BOOKS TO READ
Three Sheets to the Wind “The Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions” By Cynthia Barrett There have been many books published on this subject over the years and this is one of most recent ones, published in 2019. The book is published by Cynthia Barrett, an avid sailor whose family history includes her greatgrandfather who was a whaler. At 180 pages, the book includes 175 words and expressions, including illustrations, that are nautically inspired. Excerpts from the book give the reader a taste of some of them, especially those that have nautical origin but have no nautical terms in them. Cup of Joe The days of rum, beer and officers’ personal wine supply dried-up with the appointment of Josephus Daniels as Secretary of the Navy. In 1914 this stern Methodist and prohibitionist man prohibited “...the use or introduction for drinking purposes of alcoholic liquors on board any naval vessel, or within any Navy yard or station.” As a substitute, stewards increased orders for coffee. Navy lore has it that the disgruntled sailors tagged the poor substitute “cup of Josephus Daniels,” and later the shorter “cup of Joe.”
Keep Your Shirt On Masters of psychological warfare, Vikings often tore off their shirts mail in the heat of battle. They went berserk meeting “baresark.” “Sark” is Norse for shirt. The site of these fierce, half-naked warriors was terrifying to their adversaries. Now-a-days, keep your shirt on means to stay calm and in control. Let the Cat Out Of the Bag A whip composed of nine pieces of cord with three knots at the striking end, the cat-o’-nine-tails was one of the authorized instruments of punishment in the British Navy until 1881. It was kept in a cloth bag. The sailor who reported the misdeeds of another let the cat out of the bag.
Your Boat as a Business... having Tips for Success By Capt. Alex Rooker Review by Jack Feeney Being a marketing guy, I was eager to get my hands on Capt. Rooker’s book, Your Boat as a Business. I have a little side business doing sunset sails, so anything I can learn that helps make my phone ring is welcome information. As I dug into the book, I recognized the basic marketing suggestions: business cards, signs, a website, etc. For fishing guides, he suggests the most important factor for success is “the ability to catch fish.” After the first couple of chapters, I started thinking, “What am I missing here? Captain Obvious could have written this book!” But then Rooker takes you into his specialty in the boating business—Tax Law. Rooker explains how boat owners can write off expenses against income from their day job and how this can quickly get them in trouble with the IRS if they don’t do it right. Rooker also explains things like what a Hobby Business is—and how the IRS will classify your boat business if you ever have the unfortunate luck to be audited. Perhaps the most valuable part of Rooker’s book is his advice on what to do if you do get audited by the IRS. Included are questions and criteria the IRS will use to determine if you are running a business, a hobby business, or no 38
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business at all—along with the possible tax consequences. Because tax law applies to businesses individually, Your Boat as a Business cannot give specific advice. However, this book will cause you to rethink how you are running your business and keeping your books. After reading Capt. Rooker’s book, I immediately contacted my tax adviser and now I’m sleeping much better. If you do (or would like to) deduct boating expenses, Your Boat as a Business is a worthwhile read. After which, like me, you can have your CPA explain it all to you. The first edition of Your Boat as a Business was published in July 2018. Available on Amazon.com.
Jack Feeney is on the faculty at Sea School and teaches Coast Guard-approved courses for Captain’s licenses. He is also the head sailing instructor at NAS Jacksonville and runs his own charter business at www.captjacksailing.com. www.southwindsmagazine.com
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