Atlantic Yacht Basin has 85 years experience!


Meet Our Crew

Every e-newsletter, we highlight one of the interesting and highly experienced people who make Atlantic Yacht Basin so unique.  This time it’s James Taylor, our Vice-President and COO, who is incidentally one of the longest serving employees of the company.

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  I still commute from there to Chesapeake, Virginia every day to work at AYB.

When did you first start working at Atlantic Yacht Basin?  Where did you start?  
I started in the Machine Shop as a mechanic in 1968.  I loved it then and I have loved it ever since.

What do you think makes Atlantic Yacht Basin different?
In my opinion, it is the personal touch that goes into everything that we do.  From the skill and pride in their work that our employees and craftsmen demonstrate to the many friendships we walk away having with customers, everyone at AYB goes that extra mile.  Working with Atlantic Yacht Basin is not like working with other more typical boat yards. We really love your boat like you do — and it shows.

What do you love most about your job?
How many people can say that they come to work every day to a place that they love?  I love my work — I love the boats, love working with the other people here and meeting new and interesting people all the time.  It’s never the same except for the fact that I have loved it all of these years.  My wife calls this job my “mistress”, because it has meant so much to me and I have devoted so much time to it over the years.

What first drew you to working on boats?  
Boating is in my family and in my blood.  I was raised on it and went to work in a shipyard as a younger man because of that.

What are your favorite boats that you have worked on over the years?
Asking me to pick a favorite boat is like asking a father to pick a favorite among his children.  I have had the rare privilege of being able to work on so many great boats and with so many great owners over the years.  From one-of-a-kind custom beauties to vessels that are pieces of history to the newest top-of-the line yachts, I’ve seen them all and hope to see many more.

If you could have any boat you wanted, what would it be?
am still amazed by so many of the yachts that come through the Yard.  But for fun, I am a “go-fast” kind of guy — so for me, the ultimate is a speedboat.  

What do you wish that guys coming up in the company now could have seen that you have witnessed in person?
There is something about the old-school traditions of building and maintaining boats that is really vanishing.  The good news is that we are keeping that alive in the best ways at AYB.  We respect history and tradition, but we also stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest marine trends.  But I have seen so many fascinating, wild, and beautiful things over the years working in this place and I wish that everyone that I work with could see what I have seen.  

What are your other passions besides boats?  
Well, I am a fan of what I call “land yachting” — my family and I love to take our RV out and explore.  And I am a Harley guy — which is a place where I indulge my passion for going fast and seeing the world.

Where do want to go next on your motorcycle?  Your boat?
Hitting the open road, it has to be the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota.  On open water, I really want to spend some time exploring the coast of Maine –
which they say has enough deep water harbors to accommodate all the world’s navies at once.  I’ve seen the islands and the Southern side of things – but Maine is my next dream spot.

Tips from Atlantic Yacht Basin

Spring marks the beginning of boat season for many.  So whether you are getting your boat out of storage or making plans for the warmer weather ahead, here are some key things to remember.

1. Build out your “boat list” in advance — Keep a running list of things that you need to do on your boat and schedule that maintenance and those repairs or upgrades proactively. Some fixes and upgrades are seasonal, some are cyclical and some are occasional. But having a plan for how you want to tackle the work that needs to be done to keep your boat in good shape will help you keep its value and maximize your pleasure in getting out on the water — and often with fewer costly surprises as well.

2. Do a thorough engine and systems check and a test run before you take your boat out for its first big trips of the season – So many boaters end up with having major repairs or getting stranded unexpectedly if they don’t check things out before they’re hitting the water for long periods of time. Staying on top of what is happening with your boat – on-season and off — is key.

Keep this checklist in mind for your spring maintenance.

  • Change the oil.
  • Replace fuel filter and water separator and inspect coolant levels.
  • Check batteries and confirm that connections are secure.
  • Check all zincs on hull and running gear
  • Inspect all hoses and hose clamps.
  • Check shaft log and rudder packing for leaks.
  • Clean and polish exterior.
  • Inventory and inspect safety equipment – check dates on flares and fire extinguishers.
  • Check operation of bilge pumps.
  • Check electrical connections for corrosion  – including shore power cord.
  • Check communications and navigational equipment and lights.

3. Have a back up plan for your onboard communications equipment – So many people are such steady smartphone and computer users that they forget the importance of including a back up plan for their onboard communications equipment.  Or they try and rely too heavily on spotty cell reception and uneven Wi-Fi access while out on open water. Don’t get caught in a dangerous situation – for you or your boat – with communications or navigational equipment that is in sub-par condition.  Letting people know what you are up to from time to time while you are underway is also key.  Staying prepared and in contact helps ensure that you can get help if and when you need it most.

Prime Boating Season Is Just Around The Corner and AYB Has a New Look

With such unseasonably warm weather so far this year in so much of the country, we’re already underway getting our customers’ boats ready to get out on the water.

And we have been busy getting our new and improved website ready to go too.

Lots of exciting projects are happening on the Yard and people are taking advantage of AYB’s full range of marine services from maintenance and repair to refits and overhauls.

Plus the semi-annual migration from southern waters has started. We are beginning to see a lot of interesting boats out on the Waterway again. And with spring in full bloom, it’s really beautiful in our spot of the world.

To get a free quote on what your boat needs to get out on the water, please give us a call toll-free at (800) 992-2489 or local at (757) 482-2141 or drop us a line at info@atlanticyachtbasin.com.

And if you’ve been holding back on coming to us because you don’t think you have the time or because you don’t know what AYB is all about, give us a call and we’ll talk you through what AYB can do for your boat and for you.

If you are outside of the area, we can also help arrange transport to our facility or recommend a licensed captain to bring the boat in for you via the Waterway.

We also invite you to like us on Facebook for interesting updates, tips, and specials going on at the Yard.

How To Make Sure Your Personal Flotation Device Fits Properly


Did you know…


  • That half of all recreational boating fatalities happen in calm water?*
  • That these fatalities often happen close to shore?*
  • That in most cases, there were PFDs stored on board the boat, but they weren’t being utilized?*
  • That the number of U.S. boating accidents had steadily fallen from 1997 to 2012, but they have been on the rise since then?**

This is why The U.S. Coast Guard’ Boating Safety Division recommends that all boaters wear PFDs (personal flotation devices) while they are out on the water. Simply having them on the boat isn’t always enough to save a life.

Just wearing a PFD isn’t enough, though. It’s very important to select the right type of PFD, and to make sure that it fits properly. A PFD that doesn’t may slip off, be incapable of keeping the wearer afloat, cause an unconscious person to flip over, or in some cases, cause loss of blood flow or strangulation.

So how do you make sure your life jacket fits? Follow these guidelines, courtesy of The U.S. Coast Guard:

PFD Fitting Guidelines
Whether swimming, fishing, participating in water sports, or just having a family cruise, we want everyone to have a great time out on the water. As always, happy and safe boating from Atlantic Yacht Basin!




How To Find Boating Safety Education Courses In Virginia

boat with life preserverAs of July 1st 2016, the state of Virginia now requires that anyone of any age operating a boat or personal watercraft (PWC) holds a Boater Education Card, which can be obtained by completing a boating safety education course approved by The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA.)

This law applies to all PWCs, and any boat with a motor of 10 horsepower or greater. It does not apply to canoes or sailboats, unless they have a motor of 10 horsepower or more. Keep in mind that the minimum age to operate a PWC in Virginia waters is 14, but there is no minimum age for motorboats.

An approved boating safety course will provide instruction on operating and maintaining boats, as well as state and local boating laws and requirements. This course should also cover how to handle an emergency. Once you’ve completed the course and earned your boater education card, it does not expire and does not need to be re-issued unless it gets lost or damaged.

In Virginia, NASBLA approved boating safety education courses are offered both in a classroom and online. Experienced boaters also have the option to take a proctored challenge exam to earn their card. There are many places where you can find and take a boating safety course or challenge exam.

Classroom Courses

The Virginia Department Of Game and Inland Fishing offers boating safety courses all across the state. Most of these courses are free of charge, and are open to individuals 12 years or older. The course materials are set at a 6th grade reading level. To find a VDGIF boating safety education course near you, click here.

Online Courses

There are also several websites that offer online boating safety education courses that are NASBLA approved. Virginia law states that you must spend at least three hours on this course, whether taken online or in a classroom, so be prepared for that.

  • www.boatus.org offers the boating safety education course online for free, and also has advanced classes that you can pay for.
  • www.aceboater.com offers the course online for $19.95, and allows unlimited tries to pass the unit quizzes and the final exam.
  • www.boatcourse.com offers the course online for $24.95, and you are able to re-take any unit test you fail to pass.
  • www.boat-ed.com offers the course for $29.50, and also allows unlimited attempts to pass the course.
  • www.boaterexam.com offers the course online for $29.95, and allows unlimited retries sould you fail to pass.

Proctored Challenge Exam

The last option is to take a proctored exam. This is for experienced boaters who have a good working knowledge of Virginia boating laws. The exams are offered in various locations throughout the state, and there are no reference materials allowed. It is highly recommended that you study the Virginia Watercraft Owner’s Guide beforehand. You can find a scheduled challenge exam near you here.

Safety First

Keep in mind that these laws are meant to keep everyone safe out on the water. If you haven’t attained your boater education card yet, please schedule a course or exam today to get the ball rolling.

And as always, happy and safe boating from Atlantic Yacht Basin!

Useful Boating Knots

Knowing how to tie a knot is a crucial skill when it comes to owning a boat. Ropes, tie offs and cleats are just a reality of life on the water. If you’re just getting started or are even a long time veteran check out these knots and maybe learn few new tricks.


The bowline is a great knot for the end of a line of rope. It is a great knot when it is in use and under tension but can easily come undone without tension on it. This knot is especially helpful when you need to connect two lines of rope.

Cleat hitch-

Cleat hitch is probably the most simple of knots to master. It also can be completely ineffective if done incorrectly. Use the cleat hitch to secure your rope to a cleat and keep your boat held steady at the dock.

Anchor bend-

The anchor bend is ideal for tying a rope to a new anchor. It is a secure and trustworthy knot which is what you need when it comes to your anchor. With that being said, you will still want to secure the loose end for added security.

Heaving line-

The heaving line knot helps to add weight to an end of the rope making it easier to throw. Illustrations of the knot are pretty straightforward but you’ll find leaving a loop on both ends while tying allows you to thread the rope end through and tighten the loop down over it.

Double overhand-

This is exactly like a regular overhand knot but with an extra loop before you pull the end through. It is great if you need extra width to act as a stopper to prevent the end from slipping out of a space. It is also the base of other helpful knots.

Please check out animatedknots.com and netknots.com for more information and illustrations for these and other knots.

Staying Connected on Your Boat

In our highly connected world we have grown so accustomed to having immediate access to information that it can be a shock when we leave shore on our boat and find ourselves truly disconnected. While some may revel in the seclusion and escape, others find it stressful. Having internet access can also help to improve your boating experience by allowing you to keep those useful apps updated and keep up to date on current weather patterns. The issue then becomes, how do you get access to the internet from the middle of the ocean or lake? Luckily, technology has our backs. There are multiple devices designed to transfer signals long range and ways to connect via satellites.


One option is to get a WiFi range extender. This device helps to boost the signal from your regular WiFi so that it can reach longer distances. If you have a WiFi connection close to where you are boating and aren’t planning on traveling too far offshore this could be a great option. The boosters are fairly inexpensive and work off the service you already use making them an inexpensive choice.


Another pick is to use your mobile device. Upgrading to a larger data package will allow you to utilize your smartphone through your cellular data. You can also set your phone up as a hotspot and connect other devices to it. Signal boosters also exist for mobile phones and could be used to help extend the range of your device. Unfortunately, the coverage is still limited and dead spots will most certainly be an issue without cell towers in the middle of The Atlantic.


The last choice is to utilize satellite internet. This will give you the best coverage and the most browsing opportunities. The downside is it is also one of the most expensive options. If you plan on long voyages across multiple countries however, this is the most feasible. Satellite is most known for its use in remote areas where landlines aren’t an option so it is well suited for the boating industry. Both the service and the equipment are going to be a large investment but could be worth the costs depending on your needs and the usage you will get out of them.

As with all things boat related, it is best to assess your needs and find the right choice for your situation. Being well informed and knowing how you use the internet will be key factors in your decision. How do you stay connected while you’re boating?

Image courtesy of GlobalCom
Image courtesy of GlobalCom

Atlantic Yacht Basin Summer Storage Specials

Summer Storage 2018

Our storage referral program has been so popular, we’ve decided to bring it back yet again

If you refer someone who becomes a new storage customer for at least 3 months – both you and your friend will get an additional month of storage absolutely free!
You must refer a new storage customer to qualify and they should mention your name when they contact AYB to sign up

Offer applies to summer storage only and storage must begin on or before August 1, 2018 to qualify.

We’re also a great stopover point for cruisers as well as those heading up and down the East Coast on their annual migrations and we are convenient to a number of airports and major highways as well as the ICW. And for local boat owners, the peace of mind that comes with storing and servicing your boat with AYB means that you can enjoy your boat up until the last minute, knowing that it will be in great hands whenever YOUR boating season ends.

Get More Info About Our Summer Storage Referral Program

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    Make Your Boat Feel Like Home

    When you live on your boat there is a balance necessary to keep your space clean and clutter free while also maintaining a homey feeling. Living on a boat is not the most traditional home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it a cozy and organized living space! Here are a few ways to make your boat home relaxing and cozy without the clutter.


    You don’t have the space to have big furniture and huge throw pillows so an easy and space sensitive alternative is to embellish the things you already have. For example, you can add a pop of color to your by using a cute area rug, or adding some fun wall decorations.


    Lighting does a lot to the feeling and energy in your home, and that is no different on a boat. The only thing that needs to be considered is space. Getting light fixtures that compliment your small space is very important. You don’t want anything too bulky, but rather something that will provide you with practical and useful lighting for any time of the day. It can also be useful to have blinds on your boat so when you dock you have additional privacy from people who stroll by to look at the beautiful boats!

    Make use of Space

    After a while, it gets easier to figure out boat hacks to save space and declutter your boat. This is a skill that takes some time. There are a lot of very clever ways to store household necessities on your boat home while keeping it clean and tidy. Many boats have a lot of built-in storage and cabinets to use. If you need a little extra space, adding small shelves can help you keep kitchen and bathroom areas tidy. This will also give your boat a cozy homey feeling as well.

    Keep it fun

    A typical home usually has some form of entertainment as well, so making sure you have a nice pastime or hobby to partake in on your boat can add a sense of warmth. Things like knitting, playing cards or a board game can be a fun way to socialize while also including some friendly entertainment to you boat home.


    These are just a couple of ways to make your boathouse more friendly, cozy, and tidy! What other suggestions do you have to make your boat home the best home?