Urban Kayaking  Armed with nothing but an inflatable kayak, a paddle and a tolerance for urban reality, paddler Evan Balkan, explores the waterways of Baltimore—and finds a surprising variety of opportunities, from the “rapids” of a rain-swollen Jones Falls to the post-industrial scenery of Northwest Harbor.

The Big Chills  Whether this winter turns out to be as bad as the last remains to be seen. Even so, the Bay has had its share of frigid weather, says writer Marty LeGrand. She delves into the history books to report on some of the really cold winters of the past.

It’s New to You  In January we covered the ABCs of buying a new boat; this month, in Part II of How to Buy a Boat, David G. Brown looks at the used-boat market—and tells us how to spot a winner among all the second-hand contenders.


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Nautical Know-How Know the Ropes—Braided, twisted, synthetic, natural—line comes in all shapes and sizes. Frank Lanier helps us untangle what’s on the market today, and how, when and why we’d want to use it on our boats.

Time Tested Compact Classic—The Tartan 27 has long been a favorite of cruising sailors. Tom Dove tells us why.

Tech Support This Time it’s Personal—What good is an emergency locator beacon on the boat if you are in the water? Frank Lanier looks at the latest kind of emergency beacon: the kind that (God forbid) goes overboard with you.

Marina Hopping Where the Fish Are—When Wendy Mitman Clarke pulled into Smith Point Marina, she found a fisherman’s haven, along with everything a transient boater could want.

A-Dock Confidential On My Oath—Jerry Renninger has been known to . . . well, talk like a sailor. He thinks it’s necessary; the Dragon Lady does not.

Cruise of the Month Wing and Wing in Tidewater—Bill Mitman sails down the Bay from Reedville, stopping for an idyllic night in Cobbs Creek off the Piankatank River.

Me & My Boat Moonsong Abroad— CBM founders Dick and Dixie Goertemiller sailed Moonsong around the Bay for years. Now we hear of her second life as Puffin.

Trading Places Wired for Success—Baltimore’s savvy but down-to-earth Middle River Electronics Co. rides the high-tech roller coaster into the future. By John Page Williams

Angler’s Almanac  Love ’Em and Leave ’Em—Yellow perch have had a rough go of it in the Bay. John Page Williams talks about efforts to revive the fish and the fishery.

Stern Lines—When personal disaster struck, Mark Connelly toughed it out, and eventually regained his footing by living on, and sailing, a friend’s boat.

On the cover: A classic runabout, tied up along Ego Alley in Annapolis.— Photograph by Scott Sullivan