Blog June 2020


Posted On: October 17, 2020
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Posted On: June 24, 2020

Here's some great solutions for keeping the air flowing in and out of your boat this summer. 

Thanks Carolyn Shearlock.

Port Visors

For those of us in rainy areas, Port Visors allow us to keep ports open in all but the nastiest squalls. Admittedly, in nice conditions they may block a little airflow, so you have to balance how often they'll improve ventilation versus how often they'll restrict it. Port Visors are made of UV-resistant Lexan (it's practically unbreakable) and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There's no metal to rust, and because they attach fairly easily with adhesive, there are no screw holes that have to be sealed. They're permanent, and they're tough enough that lines slide off them. Another advantage is that they have a bronze tint that provides some shade — it's sort of like wearing sunglasses. They won't block all splashes, so you'll still need to close your ports in most conditions while the boat is underway.

Simple Exhaust Fan

An exhaust fan is a wonderful thing in a galley or head, but most are through-deck, not very efficient, and not safe for offshore journeys. The Basic Port Fan is cheaper, quieter, requires virtually no installation, and can be put away in bad weather. It requires only about 6 amp-hours per day on low when running full-time, and it's rated for 70,000 hours — that's almost eight years of continuous use. This fan moves about four times as much air as a computer fan, and it can be positioned to pull in air from the outside or exhaust the interior. At five inches square, several can be mounted around the boat for good cross-ventilation. Position the fan using bungee cords or hook-and-eye fasteners, then run the 6-foot cord to a cigarette lighter or 12-volt plug, or hardwire it. There's no hole in the boat to leak!


Posted On: June 17, 2020

Florida Keys

The Keys. Within this 100-mile-long stretch of islands, you will find world-class offshore and inshore fishing, numerous reefs and wrecks for snorkeling and diving, tropical sandbars, and warm, gin-clear water that’s incredibly inviting. In addition, you’ll find a long list of waterfront watering holes and dining options to choose from, and diversity within each community that’s sure to satisfy the homebody or the party-goer.

Jupiter/Palm Beach

Perhaps the nicest place on the east coast of Florida is the Jupiter/Palm Beach area. This location seems to have the right mix of everything, from amazing offshore and inshore fishing, to crystal clear water and an incredibly close proximity to the Gulf Stream, as well as easy access to the northern Bahamas.

In addition, you’ll find a few sandbars for relaxing and lots of sightseeing along the Intracoastal Waterway, especially along Palm Beach and Jupiter Island. The Palm Beach Inlet is one of the safest passages on the east coast, and the Jupiter Inlet is, possibly, the most beautiful due to its crystal-clear water and famous lighthouse backdrop.


Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay is a fantastic place to boat that’s loaded with options. Boaters can fish the vast bay or go offshore, or A day cruise to Downtown St. Pete or Downtown Tampa. They can also visit a number of spectacular islands and spend the day relaxing. Locations like Caladesi Island, Egmont Key, Passage Key, or Beer Can Island (inside Tampa Bay) offer visitors lots of choices and miles of secluded shoreline and sandbars to drop the anchor.

The high energy and active culture of this region provide additional benefits. You can even dress as a pirate and join hundreds of other boats as you invade Tampa during the annual Gasparilla Weekend.

Fort Lauderdale/Miami

This area is the most popular area for boating in the world. Fort Lauderdale offers an endless amount of canal-front living and sightseeing, as well as a downtown that’s really fun to visit. Here, you’ll also find everything you need to service your boat or yacht. While Fort Lauderdale doesn’t offer many inshore locations to relax, Miami does.

With its iconic skyline serving as a backdrop, Miami is a boater's paradise. Sandbars like Haulover and Nixon Beach are very popular, while South Beach and Coconut Grove offer incredible nightlife. Warm tropical waters, incredible inshore and offshore fishing, and its proximity to Bimini and the Florida Keys are major advantages of this area.



Posted On: June 10, 2020

Safety Comes First

Just as seat belts keep everyone safe in the car, life jackets (also known as PDF's) save lives on the water. Teach your kids to buckle up; it’s the law. Also make sure any life jackets you used last year still fit properly. If they’re too small, see if local officials or a boating organization will accept them as donations, for loaner programs.

Reds and Greens Guide Your Way

Speaking of safety, inform your kids about the meanings of red and green aids to navigation. Before long, they’ll have “red right return” committed to memory.

Reading Clouds is Essential

Cloud formations tell us just as much, if not more than, the TV weather forecasters. Turn identifying the different types of clouds, and whether they signal caution, into a game.

Charting a Course is Cool

Pull out the paper or electronic charts and plan a trip together. It’s a great way not only to get your kids more involved, but also to teach them about how far your boat can go. Additionally, you can teach them to set the waypoints on your GPS.

Fishing is Fun

Countless fishing fanatics first learned to cast in their backyards as kids, aiming at soda cans or other common household items. Find out which fish frequent your local waters. Print images for your little ones to color. Have your older kids educate your family about keepers vs. ones to throw back.

Being on the Water is Calming

Especially in these days of stressful upheaval to our regular lives, teach your kids that the sense of peace and calm that comes with being on the water is second to none.

Water-sports Are Wonderful

Our best advice would be to start with tubing, then kneeboarding, and work your way up to the more advanced water-sports.



Posted On: June 03, 2020

Lighted Beacons

The Coast Guard has approved certain lighted beacons as visual distress signals. These include the Sirius Signal Electronic Flare Distress Light from Weems and Plath ($99, It is approved as a day-night flare in coastal waters. It is battery-powered and flashes an SOS signal via an LED light that’s visible up to 10 miles for up to 60 hours.


During the daytime, you can also use an orange distress flag to signal for help. The orange flag measures 3-by-3 feet and includes a black square above a black circle. You can find these at West Marine or online sellers such as Amazon.

Non-Approved Ways to Signal

There are ways to signal that are not approved by the Coast Guard but can still help when all else fails. Does anyone on board have on a brightly colored shirt? Attach it to a boat hook, paddle or oar, and wave it into the air from the tallest accessible point on deck. Buy and learn to use a signal mirror (or any reflective device). Waving both arms from overhead to your hips is a generally recognized help signal. At night, try rapidly turning on and off a flashlight or spotlight to catch the attention of anyone nearby. At the same time, try honking your boat horn. If they don’t see you, maybe they will hear you.