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Cap'n Fatty Goodlander

Cap’n Fatty Goodlander has lived aboard for 53 of his 60 years, and has circumnavigated twice. He is the author of Chasing the Horizon and numerous other marine books. His latest, Buy, Outfit, and Sail is out now. Visit: fattygoodlander.com

The Sink-ing Feeling

  Everything on a boat is complicated—even the kitchen sink. To prove my point, let’s focus on the lowly galley sink. Boring? Perhaps. But upon such technical details hinge the difference between the happy vessel and the pain-in-the-butt boat. Lubbers …

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The South Atlantic Toddle

  We recently went 38 blissful days from Luderitz, Namibia (Africa) to Nevis in the Lesser Antilles. This is about 5,400 miles as the crow flies and 6,000 miles as we happily wandered it. It was, really, a 38-day orgy …

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Yankee Trader, Fatty-Style

Fatty and his Simon's Town trinkets

  For many decades I’ve earned my living under sail. Mostly I do this by trading words for money, but occasionally I’ve been forced by economic necessity to buy and sell stuff—to temporarily become a sailing Yankee Trader. Most of …

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Some Dingy Thoughts on Dinghies

Whichever dinghy you have, it’s the wrong one. If it rows well, it squats and powers poorly. If it is light-in-weight, it flips over in a gust. If it is heavy, it is hard to get on deck. Even its …

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The Skinny on Ham Radio, Fatty-Style

  Up until recently I recommended that all circumnavigators have valid, legal amateur radio (ham) licenses. Sadly, I no longer do. This isn’t to say shipboard ham radio is dead. It is not. In many ways it is better than …

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A Chocoholic Harbor Angel

Fatty Goodlander

I am attempting to explain what a harbor angel is to my six year old granddaughter Sokú Orion. “They are wonderful people who help sailors in strange ports,” I say. “Why?” she asks. “That’s just it,” I say, “they don’t have …

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Multi-Musings by a Mono-Maran Kind of Guy

Trimaran Alien in St Croix with Jody Colbert, Scooter Mejia, Scottish Katie, and Joe Colpitt

My father and I used to walk the docks in the mid-1950s as both entertainment and education. We’d pay particular attention to the construction details of the cruising catamarans. Each time one would sail into the harbor, we’d row over …

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Living Righteously While Practicing What You Preach

I was dozing off on the Singapore bus, returning to Ganesh after a day attempting to figure out how to promote my latest book while lying around my cockpit in Southeast Asia. It was a complicated marketing problem—and I pride myself …

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Wind Versus Solar—An Easy Choice

wind vs. solar

Just keep your wind generator for what it is best at—generating noise and vibration and not-much-else. As a journalist, it is drilled into me to be fair and objective. Also, marine advertisers pay my salary. Inkslinging sailors who offend often …

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Fat Facts on Diesels

diesel engines

  Modern marine diesels are amazingly dependable—but not fool-proof, not idiot-proof. I know this. I’ve learned it the hard way. This idiot has injured a number of ‘em. Being a klutz around a marine engine can be very, very expensive. …

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Laughing at Yourself For Laughing at Others

Fatty Goodlander laughing

There’s many other How-To books I want to write: “How To Say Nothing in 100,000 Words”, “How to Pretend to be an Expert on Subjects Your Readers Know Even Less About”, and “How Not to Smirk” are just a few. …

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Keels and Schlemiels

Keels , Photo: OceanMedia

I’m old school. I believe that keels should stay attached to their vessels. I know, I know—this puts me totally out-of-step with modern yacht builders, many of whom believe that sturdy keel attachment should be an expensive ‘add-on’ option. Other …

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Slowing Devices: Cheapo Drogues for Cheapo Sailors

Slowing devices : The modified drogue and the experimental Flat Fat Drogue undergoing tests in the swimming pool

Very few Caribbean vessels sport the type of offshore safety gear that is common aboard an Indian Ocean cruising vessel. Just in terms of commercial drogues (slowing devices) we carry a Shark, Burke Sea Brake, Gale Rider, and a Paratech …

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The Brighter Side of Bigger Boats and Smaller Brains

Bigger Boats: Cap'n Fatty Goodlander: Fatty in Singapore hanging out with his old cruising buddies from Turkey

I have spent my lifetime—particularly my professional life—extolling the virtues of small and simple craft. I’ve done this so well that I am now able to live aboard a large, complicated craft. Ah, sweet success! People often ask my religion and …

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Brain Storming on Heavy Weather

Cap'n Fatty Goodlander: Brainstorming on Heavy Weather

I’m having a rough time of it. I’m currently writing a book on heavy weather—and, yeah, it’s heavy going. One problem is my target audience: people who have read (or had read to them) my previous books and who are, …

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Free Charters: No Experience Necessary!

Cap'n Fatty Goodlander: Free Charters: No Experience Necessary

My wife and I live a life of splendid isolation aboard our 43-foot ketch Ganesh—a cruising life so wonderful I totally forgot how awful penny-pinching dirt dwellers can be. Stupidly, I invited an old acquaintance, Tony Chutzpah of Fort Liquordale, …

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Sea Gypsy Forever (Doomsday at the Marina)

Cap'n Fatty Goodlander, Sea Gypsy Forever (Doomsday at the Marina)

I grew up in a Utopian bubble with the belief that life was getting better because life would always get better—especially for us clever Westerners. We’d end up with more freedom, better education, a more informed electorate, better health care, …

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