About Pete McDonald

Pete McDonald is a contributing editor to Power & Motoryacht. Previously, he spent 11 years on the editorial staff of Boating. He has won multiple writing awards and holds a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Cuba Travel Restrictions Lifting?

This news report from CNN could mean a whole new world is opening up for boaters and anglers.

I’ve been dying to go back since I went, legally as a journalist, to cover the 50th Anniversary of the Hemingway Open in 2000. I also did a little fly fishing for tarpon.

I’ll go again if anyone’s willing to send me.

The Case For John Boats

A welded-aluminum john boat may just be the perfect small-boat light tackle fishing platform. They are multi-faceted.

The reasons in favor:

1. The are lightweight and hard to break.

2. At slow speeds they bounce off rocks.

3. The engine and fuel tank are removable by hand.

4. Little kicker engines seem to require no maintenance.

5. If a kicker does fail, you can row home.

6. Should you choose to do so, a johnboat is easy to clean and maintain.

7. Should you choose not to do so, a johnboat seldom looks worse for the wear with dings and dirt.

8. They are easy to paint.

9. They are stable fishing platforms.

10. They float in inches of water and can be poled.

11. You can beach it.

12. Load it up with driftwood for a bonfire and it won’t get all scratched up.

13. Load it up with decoys in the fall.

14. You can trailer it with a mountain bike, practically.

The cons:

1. Lightning

Kids and Boats

Daughter on the water.

My daughter’s already got the disease. We spent the holiday at my family’s summer place, and after her first spin on the first day, the words she most often uttered henceforth were, “Boat ride.”

The key, we found, was to keep the boat expeditions short and sweet. Usually half an hour, never longer than an hour. We’d go slow and explore so she could see. She grew excited to see several herons, an osprey, a beaver dam, families of ducks and ducklings, even Canadian geese.

Her favorite thing? When we turned off the engine and glided into areas where you could see bottom. She’d see perch, sunfish, carp, and even a few trophy largemouth bass. Each time she would point and scream, “Fishy!”

The whole car ride home after the vacation, she’d see water out the window and ask for a boat ride. Right now she’s at the age where there’s not even a remote way of predicting what she’ll grow up to be. But if she decided to be a marine biologist or even the world’s best fishing guide, that would be all right with me. As long as she comped her Dad some trips.

BP To Work With Private Boat Owners

GRAND ISLE, LA - JUNE 28: Workers pull aboard boom being used to help block the flow of the oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon in Cat Bay on June 28, 2010 near Grand Isle, Louisiana. According to reports June 28, analysts are saying the economic damage from the oil may not impact the U.S. economy beyond the Gulf rregion. Millions of gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf since the April 20 explosion on the BP leased oil drilling platform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The BP oil spill in the Gulf hasn’t come close to being contained. The company’s getting a slight reprieve from media scrutiny while LeBron James decides where he’s going to play basketball next year, but the oil is still flowing. We’re looking at mid-August for relief, according to this CNN report.

According to this USA Today report, BP will get more local boats involved, hiring them for cleanup duty. Right now the company has enlisted 8,500 boats from affected regions, presumably people who have lost their livelihood due to the contaminated seas.

The article goes into more detail on payment:

“…For example, vessels shorter than 30 feet get $1,200 for a 24-hour period, while those longer than 65 feet get $3,000. Crewmembers get $200 per eight-hour day for responding to the spill or receiving training.”

Meanwhile, the Boating Line tweeted an article stating that vessels are banned from coming within 65 feet of an oil boom.

Beyond that, tarpon, bluefin tuna, sea turtles, and other marine wildlife are pretty much screwed.

Beyond the oil, there’s no telling the long term effects from the daily doses of dispersant.

Where did LeBron say he’s signing again?

OLD SCHOOL: Johnson Sea Horse

A 5-hp direct drive Johnson Sea Horse that still runs well.

Spotted this weekend in the North Country: an old direct-drive Johnson Sea Horse outboard. 1940s vintage. It has no clutch. A guy pulled it out of an old shed to stick on a skiff for his kid. Hadn’t been used in 12 years and after a quick prime it started right up.

Vet Memorial Adorned With Nautical Stars

Edson Marine makes and sells these nautical stars for boats. Since we’re approaching a patriotic weekend, this seemed like a good time to post about the memorial featuring these stars in Friendswood, Texas. The Veteran’s Memorial is a stainless-steel American flag. It’s 8 feet tall, 16 feet wide, and sits on a granite base. Some nautical influence away from the water.