Almost Free’ Cruising Guides

>>> Almost Free’ Cruising Guides

Mark and Diana Doyle, which we’ve mentioned several time for thier great Intracoastal Waterway guides, has announed that they are moving to a low-cost, ad-free model, operating as a non-profit.

This seems a great boon to cruisers, and a great way to get some high quality guides while supporting a good organization. Check them out.

When Mark and I first started our Managing the Waterway guides—now On the Water ChartGuides—we made the decision to keep our publications low-cost and ad-free. We wanted to put cruisers first, and realized it was always going to be a public service project.

Well, we’ve now decided to make it formal! On March 1, 2014, semi-local publications LLC (dba On the Water ChartGuides and formerly Managing the Waterway) ceased commercial operations. Going forward, and operating as a non-profit, our efforts will be to deliver "Almost Free" cruising and anchoring guides to boaters transiting the Intracoastal Waterway between Hampton Roads, Virginia and Biscayne Bay, Florida.

What does this mean for you? It means our goal is now to make our resources available as close to free as possible. As you can imagine, we can’t seem to find a paper manufacturer, printer, or fulfillment house as enthusiastic about supplying free ICW information to boaters as we are. So, in practice, with manufacturing and transaction costs, that puts a paper guide from our website at $9.95 (from $29.95). Future enhanced-digital editions should only be a few dollars.

In addition, we will move toward disseminating safety and educational information about the ICW through electronic media, boating presentations and webinars, and free updates via Twitter and Facebook.

Our new (mobile-compatible!) website, now reflects these new prices and will contain additional content over time.

Mark and I are very excited about doing this, and we hope the cruising community is as enthusiastic!

Warm regards,

Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, Authors

Shrinkwrap your boat – yourself

>>> Shrinkwrap your boat – yourself

I commonly see boats (new and otherwise) being transported and stored with the white shrinkwrap on them. Given I have spent time fighting tarps and the like covering mine, I have wished I could wrap mine.


Little did I know that you can "do-it-yourself". Dr. Shrink carries all the supplies you would need. Mad Marinerâ„¢ magazine recently published Honey, I Shrunk the Boat by Jan Mundy which details what’s required to successfully wrap a boat. Doesn’t sound too bad, with a little practice. Jan does stress not cheaping out on the supplies and tools, which is usually good advise in most DIY activities.

Note that you can shrink wrap all manner of things… doesn’t have to be a boat. Wonder how it would do on a boat-building shed… hmmm. Dr. Shrink’s page has a blog with further thoughts and ideas worth checking out.

Managing the Waterway

>>> Managing the Waterway


Mark and Diana Doyle of Managing the Waterway, are authors of several popular cruising guides and electronic charting books. All of the stuff of theirs that I have seen looks very nice.

Currently (expires Oct. 15, 2010) they have a buy-one, get-one free sale on their Managing the Waterway: Hampton Roads, VA to Biscayne Bay, FL (ICW) and Managing the Waterway: Biscayne Bay, FL to Dry Tortugas, FL (Florida Keys) bundle. Buy one and you get the other book free.

The Marine Installer’s Rant

>>> The Marine Installer’s Rant

Bill Bishop has a nice little blog running with some good tips and tricks. Much of it geared around reworking/fixing some of what commercial builders get wrong.

All the bad things boat builders do that cost you money. Also tips and interesting bits from Raymarine, Garmin, and other GPO chartplotter and marine electronics vendors, and general items of interest to boaters.

S&S Type Plans

>>> S&S Type Plans

Sparkman & Stephens, a long time maritime design firm, has placed quite a few of what they call "Type Plans" available on their web page. These are small detail plans of various features on boats, say bunk board mounting or sail rigging designs, etc.

Looks like there could be some great ideas to use here if you are building or modifying a boat.

Over the years we have created a catalogue of typical details which might be found on any yacht which we refer to as "Type Plans". These were delivered to shipyards along with the plans and specification when building a new S&S boat to assist them and to attempt to standardize many of the details that can be found onboard an S&S boat. While many are somewhat outdated we include them here as they are extremely interesting. We hope you enjoy reviewing them.

Concrete Canvas – a new way to create a shed?

>>> Concrete Canvas – a new way to create a shed?

Putting up a shed to construct your boat under (or for other things) is a common starting point for the boat builder community. I know I can vouch for the need for cover (since I’ve had to build outside for much of my build).


This technology looks like an interesting way… canvas stretched over a form and impregnated with concrete, which then sets and becomes a hardened structure.


Got to wonder how hard it would be to recreate on your own. Of course disposal might be a bear.

DIY Boat Owner

>>> DIY Boat Owner

This is a nifty looking "hands on" type boating magazine that has now been purchased by Mad Mariner. They are offering subscriptions at a lower rate than before, so might be a good time to check it out.

For months now, Mad Mariner readers have been telling us they want more to read on do-it-yourself projects. We heard you — and we are proud to announce the acquisition of DIY Boat Owner.

DIY is a quarterly print magazine that offers expert advice on maintenance, repairs and upgrades for just about every part of your boat, from engines and fiberglass to rigging, electronics and paint. Published since 1995, DIY employs some of the best marine writers in the industry, and it promotes the technical standards set by the American Boat and Yacht Council.

The magazine will strengthen our ability to deliver high-quality information to you, which can improve your boat, keep you safe and save you money. Along those lines, we can start with a break on DIY. To help Mad Mariner readers get acquainted, we have cut prices dramatically. A one-year subscription is now more than 30 percent lower than the cover price — less than it costs to buy lunch in most restaurants.

For full disclosure, I write some paid articles for Mad Marinerâ„¢.