Here is a list of some of the Commander Bob’s articles on boating and boating safety that have been published in magazines or on other prominent websites. We like to think that these articles provide you with a broad range of educational boating topics, much like text you would read while studying for online History or online MBA classes, or for that matter ANY online classes.

Guest articles are encouraged (see paragraph below), and will be designated as such on the menu.

Commander Bob would be pleased to publish YOUR article here, without compensation. Articles may be submitted by email to articles@commanderbob.com. Articles should be 700-800 words, with a title and proper spelling of the author’s name (and title/affiliation if desired). Commander Bob’s will not assume any responsibility for copyright violations arising from publication of your material or accompanying artwork, if any. It is therefore suggested that for your own protection, you obtain written permission to use any text or artwork that you glean from another source. Commander Bob reserves the right to refuse publication of articles submitted without justification or notification to the author. Other than for obvious typographical errors, Commander Bob will not edit, modify, or revise the author’s work without obtaining permission from the author, other than type size, font, or layout.




Lightning…No Absolutes

Lightning…No Absolutes

I’ve always been surprised by the number of email questions I receive at my web site about lightning. When you compare the 90 or so total deaths each year from lightning strikes in the United States to the 600 or so PFD-less drownings during a similar time...
A Skier is a Man Overboard

A Skier is a Man Overboard

By my definition, when you’re skimming across the surface of the water with one or both of your feet attached to a curved sheet of wood or fiberglass, you’re a “man-overboard.” Okay, maybe you think a M.O.B. has to be someone who fell out of or...
Practice Backing Back

Practice Backing Back

Most inexperienced boaters find that many of the skills they’ve learned driving an automobile don’t always apply behind the wheel of their boat. Accustomed to the feel of the rear end of their Chevy following closely in the tracks of the front end when...
See a Spout, Watch Out

See a Spout, Watch Out

I have been a whale “fan” every since I was a small boy. I don’t remember what got me started, growing up in the midwest where whales weren’t exactly plentiful. It probably was because of a movie I’d seen, or a book I’d read. Or it...
If You’re Ever Under the Helo

If You’re Ever Under the Helo

Boaters should be at least fundamentally acquainted with certain principles of helicopter rescue operations. With increased recreational cruising, and with the Coast Guard’s nationwide fleet of rescue helicopters, the chances of you and the Coast Guard meeting...
Don’t Forget the Christening

Don’t Forget the Christening

Ah, Spring! Pollen fills the air, and boats of all sizes and shapes begin to settle into their thawed berths, awaiting the attention they’ve been missing all winter. For the new boat owner, it’s finally time to fill the lungs with the smell of that new...
Let’s Not Be Fuelish

Let’s Not Be Fuelish

How many explosions did you have on your boat the last time you took her out of the slip? None? Well, if you were using an internal combustion engine, you had thousands of explosions within a few feet of you and your passengers. And if those explosions involved a...
Lunacy at the Launch Ramp

Lunacy at the Launch Ramp

There is a reason that ordinary, calm and stable people become raving lunatics at launch ramps. My friend down the street, who reads UFO Today, tells me it’s because boat launch ramps collect the beams of a full moon, and suspend them in the atmosphere above the...
The Algae’s Always Greener

The Algae’s Always Greener

They say you’re never too old to learn something. I believe it. I thought I knew most everything about the behavior of boaters from many years of hanging out with them, listening to their tales and observing their love affairs with all things watery. But I now...
Boating is a Family Affair

Boating is a Family Affair

For those of us who regularly boat with family members aboard, we’re missing a golden opportunity if we don’t involve each of our family passengers in some sort of duty aboard the boat. Not only does it become a process that is fun and educational, but it...
Tow, Tow, Tow Your Boat

Tow, Tow, Tow Your Boat

More than 95 percent of recreational boats in the United States are trailerable. If you’re a trailer-boater like me, you know that our recurring nightmare is looking into the rearview mirror and seeing our trailer, with boat astride, departing company with our...
Facing Heavy Weather

Facing Heavy Weather

Your VHF radio weather forecast wasn’t so promising this morning when you decided to leave the dock for the next leg of your cruise, but you consulted with the wife and kids and the unanimous vote was to go. After all, you didn’t take this vacation to...
Shooting Charley Noble

Shooting Charley Noble

In days of yore and wooden ships bobbing like tinderboxes across the briny, Charley Noble stood tall in the galley, awaiting the next taste of hot flame that would dance across his belly from the stove bolted below him. Who was this Charley Noble, this iron-chested...
Hankerin for Anchorin

Hankerin for Anchorin

At least for now, there is no Federal requirement for carrying an anchor aboard your recreational vessel. And from what I can tell, there aren’t any state regs that do, either. There is some discussion going on, however, as to whether an anchor should be...
Help When You Can…Safely

Help When You Can…Safely

Just as sure as the sun rises in the east, there will come a time in the life of a skipper when it becomes necessary or prudent to render assistance to another boater. Rarely will the occasion be a life-or-death situation, or of such serious nature as to require...
Boating Safety Commentary

Boating Safety Commentary

What’s the best way to find out why boaters do the good, bad and sometimes crazy things they do? Ask them! In 1999, the JSI Research and Training Institute set out to do just that by conducting a 112-question survey of boat owners, operators and renters in 46...
Hooked…on Boating Safety

Hooked…on Boating Safety

I like to fish, and I like to boat. When I’m boating, I’m not a fisherman. And when I’m fishing, I sure as heck am not a boater. In fact, I’ll wager that the majority of people who fish for recreation just don’t fancy themselves as...
Life a Fine, Swiss Watch

Life a Fine, Swiss Watch

For eons, people knew what time it was by looking at the shadow cast by a sundial. Sure, the sundial had its disadvantages. You couldn’t wear it easily on your wrist, and on cloudy days, you had to guess at the time by how hungry or drowsy you were. But it was...
Up the Lazy, Crazy River

Up the Lazy, Crazy River

Those skippers who have piloted their crafts on both rivers and seas appreciate the special and exclusively unique knowledge and skills required for both. Sooner or later, most boaters find themselves lured to the beauty and challenges of a moving waterway, and try...
Boating in the Third Dimension

Boating in the Third Dimension

As recreational boaters, we need to remind ourselves that the medium in which we operate is three-dimensional. Most of our time is spent peering over the bow of the boat, making sure we don’t let something else share the same piece of water that we’re...
You Gotta Look Good Out There

You Gotta Look Good Out There

To paraphrase one of my favorite New York Yankees, “half of this stuff about boating is 90 percent psychological!” Since I’m taking some license in modifying this particular Yogi-ism to suit this article, then I might as well take the liberty of...
Some Thoughts on Kids and Boating

Some Thoughts on Kids and Boating

A Commander Bob viewer once wrote to me with a question that confirmed my contention that more attention should be paid to the subject of boating safety for children. The viewer asked whether or not their infant should be strapped into a car seat during their frequent...
Prepare for Survival

Prepare for Survival

Let’s put 10 fictitious people in a life raft. We’ll say that they were enjoying a beautiful day sunning and listening to Jimmy Buffet CDs on a friend’s cruiser 35 to 40 miles offshore, when a disaster, let’s say a fire, caused them to abandon...
Dressing to Survive

Dressing to Survive

At least where I live, winter is already beginning to rear its ugly head. Pleasure boats are coming out of the water for their winterizing ceremony and anti-freezing, and boat slips are beginning to look a bit lonely, as their former occupants head for the barn. With...
Trying to Get It Starboard

Trying to Get It Starboard

Seamanship is not confusing. It’s just a study of simple concepts, like knowing the difference between left and right. (Or is it port and starboard?) Oh well, no matter, we’ll get all that ironed out today, and you’ll be well on your way to...
Minimize Surprise

Minimize Surprise

Eight of us from our local Coast Guard Auxiliary unit are leaving on a weekend trip tomorrow. We’re going to take three Auxiliary boats to the Mississippi River for a training exercise and general safety patrol. This trip has been a bit out of the ordinary for...
Proud Mary is NOT Tin Lizzie

Proud Mary is NOT Tin Lizzie

In most places in the United States today, the only thing you need to operate a powerboat is a checkbook or decent line of credit. Mr. Newboater leaves the dealer with Proud Mary in tow, confidently believing that if he knows how to drive that tow vehicle, he’ll...