Atlantic Yacht Basin has 85 years experience!

Tag Archives: boat

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.

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

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?  

The Largest Naval Battles in Military History

Naval Battles

In order to win a war you have to have a well-rounded military. Being able to bring the battle to the waterfront opens new opportunities and strategies. The use of boats in warfare rose in popularity with the invention of the cannon. Prior to that most naval warfare consisted of ramming boats and boarding enemy vessels. Since the cannon, naval warfare has made vast advancements, not only do we have cannons and guns but navy boats are now equipped with missiles and torpedos. Not to mention the huge aircraft carriers that have helped take our Air Force to the seas. The advancements in naval technology have helped to ensure safety along the coastlines as well as improve the technology on our own recreational boats. The following infographic covers the largest naval sea battles in history. The first one dating back to 480 BCE and the most recent during World War II.

Navy Influence

These battles have helped to shape the history of boating. Though warfare is just one aspect of boat usage, it has been one with some of the most funding and hard pressed for development. The ships used by the Navy are some of the most powerful boats in the oceans and don’t even compare to the ones we see coming into AYB. We are lucky to have the Naval Station Norfolk so close and can see these boats first hand. The station isn’t just the largest naval complex in the U.S., but also the world.  Naval Station Norfolk is home to Commander, Naval Air Force, US Atlantic Fleet, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic as well as the Defense Department’s largest supply center. We listed it as one of the places to visit around the Chesapeake Bay in a recent blog post. You can view their visitor information and times on their website.

Places to Visit Around the Chesapeake Bay

Whether you’re visiting or already a resident there is a multitude of activities to explore around the Chesapeake Bay. It has a rich history, unique ecosystem and beautiful landscape that continue to amaze long time residents and newcomers alike. If you’re looking for some things to do here’s a few to check out during your visit the the Chesapeake Bay!

Fort McHenry-

Located in Maryland at the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay, this fort is the famous place where Francis Scott Key wrote The National Anthem. There are tours offered daily and plenty of special exhibits to see. Fort McHenry is one of the celebrated historical landmarks around the Chesapeake Bay.

Smith Island-

Accessible only by boat Smith Island offers a flashback to the English Settlers in America. It is one of the few places where the dialect of the West Country of England and the dialect of Cornwall are still rampantly heard. “The island was first mapped by Captain John Smith in 1608.  The island is named for Henry Smith of Jamestown, who was granted 1,000 acres there in 1679.  There are a little over 200 year around residents living on Smith Island

Naval Station Norfolk Tour and Information Center-

If you’ve ever been interested in what a Naval base consists of, this tour is for you. See aircraft carriers, destroyers and freights along with dozens of other types of Navy ships. Located in Norfolk, Virginia.

Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse-

This lighthouse was constructed in 1873 and is the only remaining screw pile lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay. It is only open to the public three months out of the years o be sure to check ahead of your visit.

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum-

The museum offers an ever changing array of events and exhibitions that are sure to please every member of the family. The museum will lead you through the evolution of the boating industry through tours of historic buildings and their very own lighthouse saved from condemnation in 1965. You can access the museum by both car and boat.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel-

Check out this engineering marvel! The bridge and tunnel, which opened in 1964, connects Virginia and Delaware and is 17.6 miles long. Not only is it a cool experience to travel both above and underwater but there is now a podcast tour that you can listen to as you follow the road and learn more in depth about the structure.

Naming Your Boat

You may have thought naming your children would be the most difficult task you would encounter in life, but naming your boat can be equally as difficult. The name of your boat can say a lot about the person who owns it, and should reflect your personality well. Stick to names that express the things you enjoy, your occupation or why you bought the boat in the first place. Using puns and replacing words (or parts of words) with nautical homonyms can add character and make the name memorable. Unique and clever names tend to be the ones you remember. If you are struggling here’s a list of funny boat names for the creatively challenged.

Reel Nauti Broke But Afloat
Piece of Ship Row vs. Wade
Boatweiser Xsta-sea
Notta-Yachta Bare Bottom
Fishful Thinking Moby Debt
Tip-Sea Called In Sick
All for Knot About Time
Moor Often than Knot Rest a Shore
CostaLotta Weather Oar Knot


If you’re still struggling to find the perfect boat name think back on past experiences. A good story, a family saying or a childhood nickname could all be a source of inspiration. You can even borrow names from famous boats in history, literature or film. Naming your boat doesn’t have to be hard, something simple that makes you think of days on the water is all you need.
A name is what defines your boat. The name is how it will be identified amongst all the others and should be memorable as well as unique. Once you’ve settled on a name, bring it to Atlantic Yacht Basin to have it painted on your boat!

Best Boat and Yacht Toys

Spending the day on your boat sounds great, until 3:00pm and you’ve run out of things to do. Wash away your boredom with these 10 toys to keep you and your friends entertained.



This dive computer has some of the best technology available. It has a hoseless air integration system that uses an algorithm to calculate airtime remaining.  The computer utilizes bluetooth and keeps track of data while also letting you seamlessly share your favorite dives on social media.


Taking your favorite camera and encasing it in a waterproof housing allows you to take awesome photos of your friends underwater as well as the rarely seen ecosystems surrounding you.


Forget your old snorkel gear, this new age snorkel allows you to always breathe fresh air. You won’t accidentally inhale water that’s been sucked up in the tube and it’s less awkward design makes swimming and breathing more harmonious.


These virtual reality goggles are pretty cool on any occasion, but add the movement of your boat and it can add to the experience. It’s also an easy way to watch a movie without bothering anyone else around you.


Who doesn’t want to have a giant, air-filled, blob to launch people off of? Just fnd a high point and jump away. Watch as you send your friends flying.


Drones are fun both in and out of the water. Get yours up in the air for a bird’s eye view of your boating fun. You can even use it to scout out new places on the water or get awesome shots of nature.


Avoid your mid day crash by keeping this handy espresso machine on board. It’s compact size makes it easy to keep on the boat. The minipresso allows you to get great espresso on the go without sacrificing quality.


Nerf gun wars just aren’t as much fun when you’ve run out of ammo and can’t defend yourself. Get this dart gun and have 72 darts to shoot at your victims.


what day at the water is complete without a beach ball? Entertain your inner nerd and get this Death Star beach ball and let the Star Wars jokes ensue.


Riding a bike on the water? Not sure it gets much cooler than that. Take your own little trips around the bay on this cycling machine.

Spend a few extra hours out on the water. These cool toys will keep you entertained and give you valuable time with your friends and family on your boat.

Boat Hacks

We have all found little tricks to make our boats our own. Things that save space, time or money. These tricks could be as simple as a new way to tie a knot or as complex as a completely macgyvered engine. Whatever your preference, here’s a few hacks to keep your boating easy.

  1. Shower caddies with suction cups to hold small objects- things like pens and flashlights can stay easily accessible while out of the way. Just suction the caddies  to a window or a wall wherever you need them.
  2. Use press and seal on wrap on the top of a glass to create a no-spill travel cup- any cup can become a to-go cup with press and seal. Simply cut out a small piece and seal it over the top of your cup. Add a straw and you’re good to go. Check out last week’s blog post for yummy drinks to fill it with!
  3. Use cheap solar lights for your boat- Lighting on boats can be complicated. No one wants to deal with rewiring to add or move lights. By using the small garden solar lights, you save time and money as well as the headache of pulling your boat apart.
  4. Save small condiment packets from fast food places- If you have ever tried to pack your small boat fridge you have endured the struggle of fitting large condiment bottles in your little fridge. Start gathering the small packets from fast food joints and keep a stockpile on your boat. You can have the condiments in a much more economical size.
  5. Store small tools and maintenance items in tackle boxes to keep them organized- It’s always a good idea to have spare parts and tools on board in case of an emergency, but storing them can be annoying. By organizing them in tackle boxes, they are easy to find and easy to store. Tackle boxes can really be used for a variety of things. Look around and see what other small objects could use a new home.

What hacks have you used on your boat?










Image courtesy of www.macgyveronline.com

Boat Drinks for The Summertime

Are you sick of the typical boat drinks? Soda, water, and Gatorade getting you down? Here’s some fun new drink recipes to try out during your next boat trip, or anytime you need a sweet drink.

Pineapple Mojito Sangria

This drink is a delicious mix of white wine sangria and mojito. You can’t go wrong with this combo. The pineapple and mint leaves you with a refreshing minty sweet flavor.

4-Citrus Margarita

What summer trip to the water is complete without a margarita? This one combines all our favorite citrus fruits into one sweet and sour combination that is great for a day spent in the sun.

Italian Ice Cream Soda

I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t enjoy an Italian soda. These ones are quick and easy, with only four ingredients. Kids will love them too as they watch the cream mingle with the soda. It’s like a mini science experiment on your boat. 

Blackberry Sage Cooler

This recipe is a great soda substitute. It is crisp and sweet without all the heavy syrups. If you’re a diet soda drinker this will probably be right up your alley. It’s also a great way to get all those blackberries utilized!

Coconut Lavender Lemonade

Everyone’s favorite sunny day drink has just gotten an upgrade. Not only does it taste delicious, but it ends up a bright purple color that is sure to please. You can even add a little alcohol to take this lemonade from kids stand to adult mixer.

Remember to drink responsibly if you are going to try any of the alcoholic beverages. Boat safety should always be at the top of everyone’s priorities. To simplify your trip, try making your drinks beforehand and storing them in these cool bags to enjoy later! They’re like reusable Capri Suns. You’ll have to bring less on board with you and can keep the mess to a minimum. Stay hydrated and enjoy the last few weeks of summer on your boat!

Check out our post on Food Boats for some great food ideas to accompany your drinks.

Bringing Furry Friends Aboard Your Boat

Adventures to sea just aren’t the same when you have to leave your favorite companion on land. People are able to take their dogs when they travel by car so why not when you travel by boat? Boating with your dog isn’t as challenging as you would think. With a few tips, lots of patience, and the right attitude you can learn to bring your furry first mate aboard.

Life Jackets

Although your dog may be an excellent swimmer it is always a good idea to have them wear a life jacket. As you well know, conditions on the water can change quickly. Your dog may also panic making it even more difficult to keep them above water or get them back to the boat. A bright colored life jacket with a handle will help immensely when trying to locate your dog and hoist them back into the boat.  


You may be surrounded by it, but chances are you shouldn’t let your dog drink it. Make sure you have plenty of clean, cool water on board for your dog to drink. Dogs also need water to keep themselves cool, so it is especially important on hot summer days.


You will need to get your boat as “dog-proof” as possible. Get things put away and try to keep fishing bait out of reach. The last thing you want is to be busy steering the boat and come back to find your dog has gotten into something.


Short-haired dogs can actually get sunburned. It is always a good idea to protect them from the sun just like you would any other shipmate. Make sure they have access to shade and use a low SPF (15) sunscreen on them. Sprays are easiest to apply, but find something that is unscented to avoid irritating your dog.

Potty plan

This may be the most complicated of all the tips. It will require planning and training before hand. Unless you want to travel to shore every time your dog needs to do their business you will need to designate a spot on the boat or a litter box for your dog to use. Potty training is always a chore and trying to re-train them to go where you want them on a boat will require some patience. There are many ideas on how to handle the dog+potty+boat problem online. I would suggest some research and find a method that suits both you and your dog.

Remember that you know your dog best. Not all dogs are happy being on a boat and you should use your best judgement when bringing them aboard. You should also ensure your dog has proper identification on them both on and off land. Many mishaps can be prevented with a little planning. With a few steps and a little research boating with your four-legged friends can be a great experience.

dog on boat

Image Courtesy of: Dog Park Confessions http://rebloggy.com/blog/dogparkconfessions