Chris Riley

Lifestyle Editor Expertise: Boating | Water Sports | Outdoor Lifestyle Highlights:
  • Lifestyle Editor and Content Curator
  • Specialist in Boating and Outdoor Hobby Industry
  • Advanced Open Water PADI Certification
  • Entrepreneur
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



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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…

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Vermont Boating Regulations

Vermont Boating Regulations This section contains information on Vermont Boating Regulations that are in addition to the Federal Requirements covered in the Basic Boating Course. When it comes to Vermont boat registration as well as getting your Vermont boat license and Vermont boating laws, here’s what you need to know. Age Restrictions: Persons less than 16 years of age shall…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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….

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Conversion for meters, feet and fathoms


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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…

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Speed, Time, Distance Calculations

Time Conversion Enter Time (24 hour=2230) Hr Min Enter End Time: Enter Start Time: Converting to Decimal: Elapsed Time: Speed, Time and Distance Given Two Values, Compute the Third: Speed in knots: Elapsed time (decimal): Distance in nautical miles:

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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…

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Marlinespike – Line Handling and Stowing

Neatness counts, especially because it’s also safer. Don’t throw lines in heaps about the boat. They’ll kink, tangle or jam when you need them and you and your passengers are likely to trip over them. Get into the habit of coiling your lines when they are not in use, and flemishing any lose ends on…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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The Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria

Most schoolchildren learn the tale of Christopher Columbus and his historic voyage across the ocean. The story has evolved over time to take a more realistic and practical view of the trip. Gone are they days when people thought Columbus thought the world was flat. But there’s one part of the story that not enough…

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Square Knot Step 5

How To Tie A Square Knot

The Square Knot, also known as a Reef Knot, is a simple knot that’s used to join two lengths of rope together. It’s a crucial knot that all sailors should learn. If you’re not familiar with this one, we’ve got all you need to know about it right here: a little bit of background information…

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Hull Speed Calculator and Waterline Length

  Waterline length is the length of the boat from bow to stern where it sits in the water. In other words, as it floats in the water, if you were to mark the point on the bow where the water touched and marked the point on the stern where the water touched and then…

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Knots to Miles Per Hour: Understanding Boat Speed

  One of the hardest things for new boaters to understand is speed on the water. We’re very used to miles per hour on land. But on the water there are nautical miles and knots. How and why are they different? Let’s take a look. Calculating Knots to Miles Per Hour One knot equals roughly…

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Your Definitive Guide to Boat Safety Equipment

It’s a foolish sailor who heads out to sea with no safety gear on board. It’s also illegal to not have many basic safety items on hand as well. Save yourself the frustration and potential danger by making sure you have everything you need ahead of time. A lot of safety equipment required on a…

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Your Guide to Bringing Pets on Board Your Boat

Interested in taking your cat on a boat? Do dogs on boats do well? Many boaters have managed to take their furry family members out for a trip at sea. Cats and dogs have been a part of boating for many long years. But you do need to be properly prepared. And remember, not every…

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Why Does a Boat Plane?

In technical terms, planing means that your boat is being supported by hydrodynamic lift instead of buoyancy. Boats typically, but not always, rely on one or the other when in motion. Buoyancy, or hydrostatic lift, is what keeps you afloat in a displacement hull vessel. But a planing hull relies on hydrodynamic lift instead. When…

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Cigarette Boats vs Cigar Boats: What’s the Difference?

Every so often you come across the names cigar boat and cigarette boat. If you’ve seen them before, it’s hard not to be impressed. These are very cool looking speed boats that perform incredibly well. They’re built for speed and can absolutely tear up the water in a race. They’ll leave a normal power boat…

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USCG Exam Boat Knots Chart

Marine Knots That You Need To Know!

All sailors should have a good grasp of how to tie boat knots. Knot-tying and boating go hand in hand, and knowing how to properly tie a knot will make life on the water easier. Marine knots can be used for mooring, securing loads, moving cargo, and saving lives. In fact, they can be used…

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Brunton TruArc 3

The Best Compass of 2023 (Review and Buying Guide)

So you want to buy a compass? Here’s all you need to know! Having a dependable analog navigation tool on board your boat is a smart idea. Electronics can fail, and changing conditions make navigation by the sun and stars a very tricky business. But before we get into the best compasses to buy, let’s…

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