Chris Riley

Lifestyle Editor Expertise: Boating | Water Sports | Outdoor Lifestyle Highlights: Experience: Chris Riley is a Lifestyle Editor and founder of, specializing in boating, outdoor sports, and hobbies. Chris heads up a team of industry research experts, curating a comprehensive platform and industry anchor. caters to professionals and passion hobbyists alike. Chris’ experience on the water spans his life and career, with sailing, fishing, surfing, and diving as his prime passions. He’s combined digital-research with his sailing and water-sports expertise, to curate the best in gear, boats, gadgets, and nautical knowhow for his international readership. Based in Rogers, Arkansas, Chris lives in the Ozarks and is surrounded by the Buffalo and Mulberry River, not far from Beaver Lake. When he’s not putting outdoor enthusiasts at the helm of their passions, you can find him on, under, or alongside the water. Education: Chris’ entrepreneur-ship sailed at age 12. Since then, he’s captained innovative projects, navigating his prime passions: sailing, water sports, and outdoor living. He received a first-hand education in boating and water sports, sailing to over 50 islands and travelling to 70 countries. He has his Advanced Open Water PADI Certification.

Articles by Chris Riley

Best Marine Cooler In 2019

Best Marine Cooler Of 2024 (Review And Buying Guide)

Dreaming of the next fishing trip, boating holiday or camping escape? Proper planning and investing in the right equipment may be all that you need to turn your dream into some great memories. To ensure that your drinks are cold when fighting that big fish and your catch stays fresh for as long as you…

Read More

Castable portable fish finder

Best Portable Fish Finder of 2024 (Review And Buying Guide)

Fishing has a lot to do with patience. But there’s only so long you can wait for fish to bite, especially if you went through the trouble of driving all the way to a lake. A portable fish finder takes the guessing game out of fishing. You can spend more time fishing and less just…

Read More

Understanding the Facts and Figures of Ocean Pollution

Ocean pollution is a harmful side-effect of our land-based activities, and if we don’t work hard to keep our oceans clean, the future of our planet will look very bleak indeed. Since our oceans are such an important feature of the planet’s ecosystem, unhealthy seas make for unhealthy residents. That’s why it’s essential for us…

Read More

Boating Courses Online

Online boating courses can be a great tool to help you as a boater. You’ll need to get your safety certification but there are plenty of other online boating courses that can improve your knowledge base as well. It can be daunting to track down all the potential licenses, certifications and general information you may…

Read More

Nautical Know How Basic Boating Safety Certification Final Exam

To take the final exam online:  This is the quickest way to receive your documents. You will also know right away whether you have passed or failed. If you cannot take the final exam online, you can print and mail this exam. This option is much slower than taking the final exam online . INSTRUCTIONS : After you have…

Read More

State Boating Regulations

  State Boating Regulations State Boater Education Requirements You need to know the boating laws and regulations in the states where you boat. This link will direct you to your State’s own State specific information and quiz, if available.   California Florida Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Maine Maryland Mississippi Nebraska Nevada North Carolina Ohio Pennsylvania…

Read More

Understanding Aids To Navigation

Navigational aids can be found throughout coastal waters, inlets, harbors and more to help you boat safely and efficiently. Understanding what these aids to navigation mean is therefore vital to making the most of your time on the water. You’ll be expecting other boats to follow these navigational aids and they’ll be expecting the same…

Read More

The Importance of Boat Ventilation

Ventilation is rarely something most of us give a second thought to. But on a boat, it can literally be a life or death issue. How you ventilate your boat is of vital importance. It’s also something that must follow specific, legal guidelines as well. Because of that, you’re going to want to know exactly…

Read More

Pollution Regulations

Over the years, numerous laws have been put in place with an eye towards environmental protection. A big portion of that means protecting the oceans. The oceans added $307 billion to the U.S. GDP and supported 3.3 million jobs in 2017. Much of this comes from tourism and fishing. It’s vital that we do what…

Read More

Kawasaki Jet Ski

The Complete Guide to Personal Watercraft

A Personal Watercraft (PWC) is a small vessel which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing or kneeling on it. The US Coast Guard defines it as an inboard boat and it uses a water jet pump as the primary source of motive power.   A PWC is not a toy despite the…

Read More

Distance, Speed, Time Worksheet

Coastal Navigation Course Chapter VI Distance, Speed, Time Worksheet Remember: Convert Minutes to Decimals (and back) and Round Answers Distance: Speed: Time: 1. 15.0 nm 8.6 1 hour 45 minutes = 1.75 hours Calculation: D ÷ T = S – 15.0 nm ÷ 1.75 hours = 8.57 kts 2. 12.5 nm 7 kts 1 hour 47…

Read More

The 10 Best Mold and Mildew Cleaners

Mildew is the scourge of many boaters. This fungus will flourish in the conditions presented to it on many boats. It needs a dark, damp place with lots of moisture. Poor air circulation and cool temperatures also help. Your fishing boat is a prime breeding ground. Even your carpets and personal flotation devices are at…

Read More

Coastal Navigation Course

This course will prepare you for the navigation portion of the U.S.C.G. captain’s license exam. It will also prepare you for the Coastal Navigation Standard Exam (ASA 105). And, it will show you how to get your boat to your favorite waterfront restaurant, safely and on time. The navigation course is a combination of a…

Read More

Nebraska Boating Regulations

Nebraska Boating Regulations This section contains information on Nebraska Boating Regulations that are in addition to the Federal Requirements covered in the Basic Boating Course . If you have not reviewed the course material, please do so now. All Federal Requirements in the basic boating course apply to Nebraska; this section lists Nebraska Boating Requirements…

Read More

Heading vs Course vs Bearing

How many times have you heard someone discuss where they’re going in a boat and drop the words heading or bearing or course or track? We’re on track to the marina. We’re on a heading due south. On a course to meet a friend. Bearing north at 12 knots. Whatever it might be, they’re generally…

Read More

Search MIC Database

You may remember reading in a past tip that the first three letters of the Hull Identification Number are a three letter code that identifies the manufacturer. To decipher the code and determine the manufacturer of a boat, click on the link “USCG Manuf. ID Code (MIC)” and you will find a page similar to…

Read More

How to use dividers

Navigation Tools How to use dividers Using dividers and the latitude scale on your nautical chart, you are able to measure distance in nautical miles. (Remember, do not use longitudes to measure distance. Longitude lines converge at the poles and the distance between them changes relative to your position on the earth.) One minute equals…

Read More

How to use parallel rulers

How to use parallel rulers Parallel rulers are used to plot direction on your nautical chart. They are, essentially, two straight-edges hinged so that they maintain the same angle. By alternating the moving edge, and securely holding down the non-moving edge, you can move the rulers about the chart while still maintaining the same angle….

Read More

Swap Fathoms to Feet with Our Quick Conversion Calculator

Do you know how many feet are in a fathom? Our fathoms to feet calculator makes the conversion quick and easy. Convert Fathoms to Feet with Our Calculator The calculator is very straightforward. Simply type in the number of fathoms in the first calculator or feet in the second to convert from one to the…

Read More

Nautical And Statute Mile Calculator And Conversions

Statute Miles vs. Nautical Miles How to convert nautical miles to miles and miles to nautical miles: A statute mile is 5,280 feet in length. A nautical mile is 6,076.11549… feet in length.   To convert from statute to nautical miles a factor of 1.15 is generally used, even though it is not precise. (5,280…

Read More

Image5.gif (25104 bytes)

Marlinespike – Terminology

Confused when trying to learn new knots? We’ve put together some basic rope and knot terminology to help keep you from being confused the next time you try picking up a new style of knot.   Bitter end: the free end of a line Standing part: the longer part of a line which is fixed…

Read More

stow4.jpg (22063 bytes)

The Ultimate Guide to Line Handling and Stowing

Line handling and stowing is an important but often overlooked part of boating. Knowing how to neatly and safely manage and store your lines will ensure a much easier time on your boat with less hassle and less cost in the long run. Learning how to handle and stow your lines keeps everyone on board…

Read More

Cleat Hitch Step 11

How To Tie A Cleat Hitch Knot

When it comes to mooring your boat, the Cleat Hitch Knot is the best knot for the job. It’s strong, secure, and easy to perform. It’s easy to untie too! While it’s mainly used for securing a mooring line, the Cleat Hitch can be used for a wide range of tasks. For example, it can…

Read More

Two Ropes Being Pulled For Rope Strength

Understanding Rope Strength: Breaking Strength and Working Load

Rope strength is a misunderstood metric. One boater will talk about tensile strength, while the other will talk about working load. Both of these are important measurements, and it’s worth learning how to measure and understand them. Each of these measurements has different uses, and here we’re going to give a brief overview of what’s…

Read More

Clove Hitch Step 6

How To Tie A Clove Hitch Knot

The Clove Hitch Knot is a divisive knot. It’s fun to learn and has many uses, but it’s not the strongest knot out there and there are far better alternatives that could be used instead. Even so, it’s an important knot for all sailors to have in their repertoire. A Clove Hitch is a multi-purpose…

Read More

Rope Types

The Different Types Of Rope

Rope is one of the most important pieces of marine equipment out there, and while there’s no shortage of literature about hull types, the best anchors you can buy, SOS distress signals, there’s not enough written about rope, rope types, and the different properties, uses, and marine applications of this useful tool. In this article,…

Read More

Bowline Knot Step 7

How To Tie A Bowline Knot

If you’re only going to learn one knot this season, here it is: The Bowline Knot! The bowline is a very versatile knot. It is used to form a temporary loop in a line which may then be put over a piling or cleat. It can also be used to attach a line to an…

Read More

Sheepshank Knot Step 9

How To Tie A Sheepshank Knot

There are plenty of people out there who will tell you that learning how to tie a Sheepshank Knot is a waste of time. They’re half right and half wrong. You see, the Sheepshank Knot is a fairly useless knot and there’s no real practical application for it in this day and age. The Sheepshank…

Read More

Round Turn and Two Half Hitches Step 11

How To Tie A Round Turn And Two Half Hitches Knot

All good sailors should learn how to tie a Round Turn And Two Half Hitches Knot. It’s a basic knot that can be used for a wide range of purposes, and it’s so simple that everyone should learn how to tie it! It’s an evolution of the classic Half Hitch, but it’s far more secure…

Read More

The History of Ship Figureheads

One of the most striking and prominent features on any old ship is the ship figurehead. A carved figure displayed prominently on the bow, these ornamental displays are iconic. Their origins stretch back further than some might think. And their meaning and purpose is multi-fold. These figureheads were symbolic, hence the name. But they were…

Read More