Aloft on A Classic Fife – Hold on!


Here is a little high-flying fun from atop the rig of the beautiful William Fife, Mariquita, under sail. Perfect for a Monday. Being aloft some 100 feet plus off the water is enough of a stunt for one day. Then add in balancing on a wooden spreader and helping to guide the spinnaker open – and it’s a regular tightrope or trapeze act.  Continue reading

The Wooden Boat Show 2016: Wooden Boat Paradise


The JD/ TotalBoat team had a great experience at this past weekend’s Wooden Boat Show in Mystic, CT. Many of our customers would say the same, as a handful won some of the most prestigious awards handed out at the annual show.  Congrats to LMI and East Passage Boatwrights for their work on Santana which was entered in the Concours d’Elegance and won Best in Show in the Sailboat Professionally Maintained category. Arey’s Pond Boat Yard Won the Concours d’Elegance for Best in Show in the Sailboat Professionally Maintained category (maintained by Arey’s Pond Boat Yard of course). And MP & G won with their amazing Buzzard’s Bay restoration of Mink, complete with period (1914!) pieces like a PFD, horns and anchor, sails and even hemp rope! Continue reading

Sailing Aboard a Viking Ship in the North Atlantic

Aboard the Draken Harald Hårfagre, bound for Iceland and ultimately America, it’s all hands on deck as they set out with a repaired rig and restored faith. We wrote about the transatlantic voyage here, and they have made their way to the Shetlands off the UK and are bound for the Faroe Islands – plopped right in the middle of the chilly North Atlantic. Check out this video of some gnarly sailing, some serious teamwork and muscle, and plenty of resolve to make it to America.

From their website: The aim is to explore and relive one of the most mythological sea voyages – the first transatlantic crossing, and the Viking discovery of the New World, more than a thousand years ago. History tells us about the Viking explorer, Leif Eriksson, who discovered America over 500 years before Christopher Columbus.
 The expedition is all about exploring the world, just like the Vikings did.


A Viking Transatlantic Voyage

In May 2016 Draken Harald Hårfagre, the worlds largest viking ship built in modern times, will leave her home port in Haugesund, Norway and sail off for a challenging voyage across the North Atlantic Ocean.

The aim is to explore and relive one of the most mythological sea voyages – the first transatlantic crossing, and the Viking discovery of the New World, more than a thousand years ago. History tells us about the Viking explorer, Leif Eriksson, who discovered America over 500 years before Christopher Columbus.
 The expedition is all about exploring the world, just like the Vikings did.

The project will, like Leif Eriksson, create cross-border meetings and inspire people to go beyond the horizon in a modern Viking saga.  Along the traditional route, the ship will pass Viking settlements and new archaeological findings.

Reaching the American continent,  Expedition America 2016 will sail on visiting ports in Canada and USA.

Check out this video of her under sail in the North Sail last summer. Amazing footage and incredible video from onboard this amazing viking ship.

See How a Master Outfits Her FolkBoat

This is one of the most popular videos on our JD TV YouTube channel. Carol Hasse has logged over 45,000 miles at sea! And her sailmaking is legendary among serious blue water sailors. Step inside her sweet Folkboat that looks small, but she sure packs lots into the boat that she voyages on all over. She even gives some great cruising locations and secret spots for overnights that everyone can appreciate. But most ingenious is how she packs every single necessity into this small boat and manages to have room for herself, for sleeping and cooking and enjoying wonderful sailing.

Take a look and let us know what you think! I think it’s almost time to go cruising – and this video is giving me the itch to get the boat ready for Spring!  Enjoy!


Video Feature: “You Can Do It In a Small Boat”

Set aside 25 minutes of your holiday morning  (Happy President’s Day) and delight in this little boat doing a BIG trip. This Boston Whaler is what most people assume should be confined to bays, small harbors and near coastal fishing trips – and those people are mostly right. But the purpose of this video, is that you need not have a crewed yacht or even a cruising boat to go cruising. Now, this is more like camping, but the idea is a cruisers mentality. The boat can get you to places you simply cannot reach by land. And lots of them.

So fill your coffee cup, and sit back to enjoy this peaceful trip up the coast of Maine almost to the Canadian border. This was a well planned trip and all the required safety considerations seem to have been accounted for – including how to secure the boat for the night when a 12-foot tide is expected, common to the very northern reaches of this Downeast Maine’s coast.

New England, like many coastal areas we all enjoy, has so much to offer in the way of island and harbor hopping. With a small boat you can quickly get between locations and not break the bank or the boat getting there.

This trip is akin to a solo hike on the Appalachian Trail – but to us boaters, it seems more enjoyable. Foggy sunrises, fish hopping in schools at sunset, the special “wet” that you can’t escape when boating – it’s special and specific to boating. And this guy nails it. Hop aboard and go for a 500 mile ride in 25 minutes. You won’t regret it. And it will give you something to dream up for your impending summer season on the water.

You can get most of what you need for this voyage at From safety equipment, to galley needs, tarps, coolers and cushions – we have it all! Shop online or call us for personalized assistance with your order 800-497-0010.


End of Season Winch Service

This is a great time to think about servicing your winches to have them ready for spring when your mind might be thinking of painting, waxing, the bottom of the boat and other commissioning items. IT’s a great idea to think of winch service as a fall project and this video helps you with all the various moving parts and pieces – all of which require attention and inspection and many of which will want to be greased.

Skip takes you aboard his Swan 42 and shows you one way to deal with winches if you are not interested in removing the winch from it’s seat. We recommend removing the winch whenever possible and bringing it to your workbench or a stable area where parts and pieces can’t get lost. It will also save your deck from lots of messy grease and staining that no one wants to deal with.


Adventures with Icebergs and GoPros (and a cool sailboat…)

So maybe you never want to climb an iceberg….or explore the far reaches of our globe. the high latitudes are rumored to be stunning – even more so in real life than in this cool video with ultra beautiful 4k GoPro footage. And should you be one of these crazies who does want to scale icebergs  – you better have a great support boat nearby.

We love boats around here – not icebergs, truthfully. And while not every TotalBoater will explore these remote areas, we can all dream and better yet get a lift there via dazzling YouTube videos documenting it all.  Adventure is out there – and even if you’re a landlubber or if you’re stuck in a dusty wood shop or boat shed – we hope you find time to seek and enjoy plenty of adventure. And mostly we hope your adventures involve boats…forget the icebergs….

But even if you don’t care a lick about ice climbing (count me in that category), the footage is stunning from these well camera-ed up climbers. Complete with a drone and about 4 cameras (by my count) on each climber, this remote area is very inviting for an adventure. And if you agree, then by boat is pretty much the only way to go…that is if you want the ultimate adventure which, we know, is always based on a boat!

How to Prepare Your Boat for a Hurricane

As the weather forecast zeros in on what could be a strong Hurricane barreling up the East Coast – it’s never too early to prepare your boat for a big blow or hurricane. Maybe you are in line to have your boat hauled by the busy hauler or boatyard – and maybe you plan to ride it out on your mooring or in your berth. Either way – (and even if your boat is safely ashore) you need to prepare for “the worst” in time to not be panicking and preparing as the storm bears down on your harbor.

This is a very important video on how to prepare your boat before a hurricane hits your area. It is essential to listen to weather forecasts and take the necessary precautions to properly prepare your boat from harsh winds and dangerous waves. You can find dock lines, fenders, chafing gear and thousands of other marine supplies at

Be safe! Be smart! Be Prepared!


Here Fishy, Fishy: How to Throw A Castnet

Recently, as I have sailed, kayaked or even swam around the harbor here in Bristol, I have noticed and had conversations about the amazing amount of baitfish that is around right now. The little guys are in massive schools on the surface and their fins are above the water, making it look like a school of grass growing or even a little school of sharks training for their big moment when that giant fin circles a helpless swimmer…cue the Jaws music. And then the BIG fish you really want to catch lunges up towards the bait ball on the surface and makes the big splash that lets you know he’s there and he’s hungry. But not for what you’re serving… these baitfish balls are too easy and apparently, too tasty!

Such is the battle of the fisherman who chases the fish in his sleep and plots his attack on he big guys down deep. You see, being married to a fisherman has it’s benefits (late nights and early mornings with the whole bed to myself), one of which is the osmosis of knowing how-to cast and jig, bait hooks, tie lures onto crazy knot-resistant line and throw a cast net. Wait – no – scratch that last one – the cast net is an utter mystery to me: how the heck anyone can throw a giant net on top of schooling fish and A. get it to lay out the right way and B. have it capture anything on retrieval is beyond me. I get it in theory – but to throw it and get it to work right is an art and takes plenty of practice. I tried throwing the net in the backyard after watching the technique said fisherhusband used and thought that it didn’t look that hard – and ya know what? IT IS!

So watch this video and get to your schools of baitfish with your castnet in hand (or bucket or bag – it’s heavy and odd to transport) and have a throw or 10. Let us know if this video helped your success rate with catching… and with throwing. Cause as we know fishing is easy – catching is not. But if you can make this big net scoop up numerous fish, then you’ve succeeded.  Good luck!

Get your cast net HERE at