Surfing the Web for great boating sites

Water Ways
Honolulu Star Bulletin 03/22/03)
By Ray Pendleton

It was an e-mail from a reader that got me doing some research.

"Have you ever checked out 'The Mother of All Maritime Links?' " she asked. "It's a really cool Web site for boaters."

I had to admit I hadn't heard of it, but with a name like that, it certainly sounded like a place boating enthusiasts should have on their list of Internet favorites.

After finding it online at, it proved to have a wealth of general nautical headings to click on. And each, in turn, provided numerous hot links to related Web sites.

To list all of the link headings here would take the whole column, but with subjects ranging from Amateur Boat Building and Archaeology to Vikings and Yacht Clubs, you get the idea that little has been left out.

In fact, the subject matter is so diverse I would advise anyone to plan on taking plenty of time for even a quick browse through this "Mother."

My nautical search engine of choice up to now has been a site called It, too, provides browsers with a library-like array of maritime subjects to choose from, so between these two sites, you're bound to find what you're looking for.

Let's say for example you're having trouble coming up with a name for your new boat. No problem, just click on Marine Graphics at It has more than 1,000 name suggestions.

Then, once you've settled on a name, you can place an order at the same site for custom vinyl graphics to apply to your boat's transom. And, as long as you're at it, you can order ball caps and coffee mugs with your boat's name too.

Or, maybe you were given a Global Positioning System unit for Christmas and you still haven't figured out why you need it or how to use it.

Try clicking on GPS Nuts at, where, as a hobby, a couple of guys maintain a Web site totally devoted to providing practical guides, tips, tricks, and equipment and software reviews for GPS users.

They will even answer your technical questions so you'll be able to use your GPS like a pro in no time.

For a how-to Web site for expertise at a far less technical level, boaters can brush up on their knot-tying skills by clicking on Get Knotted! at

Using Flash animation with written directions, this site can help anyone tie most basic knots correctly, every time.

And finally, if you'd like your preteens to become enthusiastic but safe boaters, have them check out Boating Safety Sidekicks at

This site has been developed by the National Safe Boating Council and presents dozens of interactive pages and pop-up windows that can help youngsters learn the basics of recreational boating.

As you can see, whether you make your nautical Web search through the "Mother," or, I think you'll find whatever you're looking for.

But plan to take plenty of time, because you're bound to be distracted by the huge variety of options you never knew existed

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