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Kris Nickerson

Love boating? The sun in your face. The smell of the water. The adventure that awaits you.

Nothing matches the feel of pulling into the open water, cutting a break at just the right angle or the sight of your buddy nodding back his confidence that there is some fun to be had out there.

Bayliner Discovery - a new line of runabouts, cuddys and cruisers - transforms boating trips into journeys and gives you the freedom to roam and explore. Take a look for yourself at Bayliner's new journey-based website, www.iamdiscovery.com. This is the place to go to fall in love with boating all over again...or for the first time. Bayliner Discovery doesn't shove boats and specs at you; it lures you into an affair with nature.

Log on and join Motor Boating Magazine's Managing Editor John Wooldridge and his buddy Ken Nicholson as they challenge a new Bayliner Discovery 246 Cruiser in the Pacific chop from San Diego to Catalina Island and on through Channel Islands National Park to Santa Barbara.

Along the way, these two embark on a dusty buffalo safari, kayak near sea caves on island shores and meet some of the local characters. "We traveled on our own terms and experienced everything from the colorful culture of Catalina Island to the breathtaking beauty of Channel Islands National Park," says Wooldridge. "The Bayliner Discovery 246 was our little magic carpet."

The hardtop cockpit on the Bayliner Discovery 246, the largest towable boat in the Bayliner Discovery line, protected Wooldridge and Nicholson from the spray of the choppy Pacific, while its other features made their journey a dream. "We managed to smooth out the worst parts with the boat's trip tab system, and the dual prop gave us an increased grip on the water," says Wooldridge. "The MerCruiser 350 MAG let us plow through everything the ocean threw at us without using the full engine potential."

On www.iamdiscovery.com, the surprisingly cool navigation of the site transports you to webisodes of Wooldridge's voyage, trip journals, planning links and, yes, Bayliner Discovery boats (but in very thoughtful and complete way).

The folks at Bayliner Discovery promise three more video journeys with top-notch travelers and journalists in the months ahead. National Geographic writer and world-class kayaker Jon Bowermaster is said to be next in line later this fall, using a Bayliner Discovery 288 Cruiser - a best-in-class, two-level mini-yacht - to navigate the stunning inlets and craggy coastline of the Maine Island Trail.

Check it out and become part of the adventures at www.iamdiscovery.com.


Great analogy.

Actually there are a couple of firms that make tools for women. Check out www.barbarak.com and www.tomboytools.com.


Tillerman, I noticed those sites myself. Pretty slim pickings. Maybe that's how I become a millionaire -- start a line of well-designed tools for women. Who wants to help?


I see that the spammer that visited my blog is now spamming other blogs too... UGH...


It isn't just women that have problems, many tools are too big for my hands, just as most shoes are too big for my feet... It is worth taking a look through the tool catalogs, if you intend to keep working on your house, as there are tools that will fit your hands available. The DIY home renovation market is a huge one, and being driven for the most part by women, not men... so you will probably see a lot more coming out in the way of women-friendly tools.


"before the new rigging for the boom vang and cunningham and outhaul"

That fragment alone makes me totally identify with your plight concerning the tools. I can't begin to parse what you're saying there, haha.

Working a weekend or two with Habitat is a great introduction to working on things. You also get to work with people who use tools every day (the staff) and have good tips and sources to share. Our local habitat store is also a great source for a lot of materials, from doors to light fixtures to knobs and pulls, and among other things, it happens to be the best place to find or get rid of partial cans of paint.


A little background. When I regripped my golf clubs, we measured my hands. I have exactly average man hands. My wife and I have renovated 6 of 8 rooms in our 80 year old house. Most of my power tools are affixed to something solid because I have trouble with the tools. They are heavy and awkward, and really only designed to be used in easy to work in spaces.

My drill is a pain-in-the-ass, and it is only a medium sized cordless. My dad has a 19.2V MONSTER cordless drill that strips screw like they are made out of silly putty. It's not because it is so powerful, but that it is so big that he can't get behind it and get enough pressure on the screw to keep the bit in the screwhead.

When we pulled the plaster down in the livingroom and dining room, we used crowbars, and oofah, it was tough. I hired someone to do two of the bedrooms, and they to circular saws and sawzalls and cut the plaster to little bits, then pulled it off the wall.

I think that there is a lot of technique to doing a job efficiently. For me, it's not that one tool is super-unwieldy, it's that every tool is a chore to make work 'just right'.


I don't have any advice for you, but this post was a lightbulb moment for me. I've been listening to a lot of long-distance cruising sailors talk lately about women and sailing as if there's something inherently woman-unfriendly about it. I've been honestly perplexed by this, since I have discovered no particular issues other than reaching for the winch handle more frequently than my male partner does. I was starting to worry that I was missing something important that I wouldn't be able to do, and I was afraid that I'd find out what the impossible task was at a crucial moment.

I realize now that it's a size issue. I'm not especially strong, but I am roughly the size of a medium size man. I think that in sailing and in "handy-ness", reaching things and having leverage go a long way. By the way, I have no trouble with power tools, either.

Thanks for making this real worry of mine make sense now.


I have 2 drills: a SKIL 2380 9.6-volt cordless drill and a Chicago 03670 drill.

For smaller hands and weaker arms, (both of which I have), I'd recommend the SKIL. I can get my hand around its skinny neck comfortably, and most of the weight is in the battery at the bottom of the drill, so it's easy to keep the drill straight without straining my wrist. However, get a spare battery.

The other thing I like about the SKIL is that the back of it protrudes about 2" behind the handle, and it's flat, so I can brace it against my breastbone and use my body weight to push while I keep it straight with my hands.

I thought I would like the Chicago because it has a level on top of it (my biggest challenge is drilling straight holes), but it's hard to brace on my chest and if I do manage it I can't see the level anyway. It has more power than the SKIL and is comfortable to use as long as I'm drilling downward, not into a wall.

Other stuff: the Paris Farmers' Union has a medium-sized crowbar that is very comfortable to use. I haven't found a circular saw I can really manage (even pre-MS), but have a SKIL jigsaw that does a nice job on sheetrock, lath, and small cuts in studs. This summer I bought some quick-release clamps (Irwin Quick-Grip) and though they're not quite like having a husband who will take care of you, they're like having a husband who will hold that board straight while you screw in two screws. :-)

Now I'm itching to get back to my Murphy bed project, but until I'm done with wedding gigs, tango band performances, and Nutcracker, major home improvement projects are not allowed. Phooey.


"Men who know how to do things seem pleased to help women (well, me) who don't."

But why IS it that men know how to do such things? Do they have a "do things" gene? No. I'll tell you this: inasmuch as I know how to do any repair-type man things, it's a result of the shame a man feels when he doesn't know how-to (change a flat, build a fence, change the oil...)

Women, it seems to me, may feel frustrated when they don't know how to fix something-- but they do not feel the gross sense of embarassment that a man does, and that's the feeling that drives the learning. Wish it wasn't this way, personally. Any woman out there who knows how to properly winterize a diesel engine should feel free to contact me. I'll let you do it for nothing.


What a great suggestion, Rob, about spending time with Habitat. I can't think of a better way to learn all about the tools and home-building work. Such a win-win situation!


I have to put in my plug for the Europe. We are slowly building the class in the NW, and we are tossing about the idea of getting the US to host a worlds in 2009 or 10. I already had plotted in the back of my mind how I would get you a boat and get you out here to sail. You can train with Simon on your team--he is a very good Europe sailor. So don't write it off yet!


I live in SF Bay Area and appreciate your take on a sailing life. I too respect the Rolex races.


lol oi im collllllll

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