Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Interesting Stuff from "Boat Bits" Blog

It's always interesting to me to see the growing number of new articles about survival and SHTF concerns published on sites that are primarily focused on other pursuits.  But it's not really surprising to see this kind of thing on sailing websites and blogs, because people who are self-reliant and contrarian enough to make a lifestyle out of living aboard and cruising places on small sailboats tend to spend a lot of time thinking about these things anyway.  I first started meeting families and individuals living this lifestyle more than twenty years ago, on my kayak trip through the Caribbean.  Even back then many of them I talked to expressed the same kinds of concerns that are frequently discussed on survival sites today.  A big part of the reason most of them chose the independence of the cruising life is that they feel safer.  There's nothing quite as reassuring as having a well-found vessel under you, capable of taking you anywhere in the world as long as the wind still blows. 
One of my all-time favorite sailing bloggers posted a review of The Pulse last week and then went on to write more about the over-reliance on technology that most of us modern sailors have in common.  The fact is, while there may never be a catastrophic solar flare as strong as the one in my novel that takes out the grid throughout the hemisphere, any number of things, including deliberate action by the government, can render the man-made constellation of orbiting GPS satellites inoperable.
Then, on the other hand, maybe there will be a massive solar flare sometime in the near future.  The author of Boat Bits also sent me this yesterday:
In another example of a site normally devoted to recreational boating posting about a possible SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situation, this article on suitable boat designs for such an event recently appeared in Duckworks, an online magazine for amateur boatbuilders:
The author brings out some really good points to consider in choosing such a boat to build, and even mentions some of my favorite designers, such as James Wharram.  I plan to expand my thoughts on this one in another post soon, as bug out boats were a big part of my book, Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters, and of course, I'm currently building just such a boat myself.


  1. On the strength of the Boat Bits review I ordered "The Pulse." I should get it by the end of the week. Looking forward to it.

    I'm also a big fan of Dave Z and his exploits.

    Since funds are limited I had to decide between a chart plottiing GPS and paper charts. Opted for the charts and a very basic GPS. Also have a good compass and a seat of the pants feel for basic navigation.

    My lovely wife and I are slowly working towards boat living. We spend up to a week at a time living on our little Oday 19. After a week it's time to do laundry. We'll be checking out a bit larger boat in a week or two. Wonderful way to live.

    Love your site and I'm following your boat build.

    All the best!

  2. Sixbears, hope you enjoy the book, thanks.

    Paper charts and a basic GPS are a wise choice, and all I ever used on my last cruising boat. With the GPS to back up your dead-reckoning, you can't go wrong, and if it does fail, you'll still know pretty much where you are.

    I've followed your blog too and wish you the best in your journey towards boat living and cruising.

  3. Finally finished, and posted my review.

    Sixbears, you will enjoy the book!

  4. Craig, glad you enjoyed the story and thanks for your review. Your favorite character, Scully, will definitely be back and play a larger role in the sequel!

  5. Bought your book THE PULSE. Really enjoyed it. Learned some from it. Keep up the excellent work.


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