Saturday, December 29, 2007

I Love New York

Update Nov. 29, 2010: This page is one of the most popular on our site, even though the boat show we're discussing in the article below actually happened roughly 3 years ago, as scheduled, shortly after we wrote this post. So if you came to this page looking for NEW information about New York boating, or if you simply love NY, visit our up-to-date NY Boating Resources page on FirstBoat - we think you'll "love" it!

Here's the original post for this page:

Today is the first day of the New York National Boat Show, which has supposedly is in its 103rd round. I say "supposedly" because they also call it the 101st somewhere on the official site, but it might be an oversight. The show is also called the 98th by International Boat Industry, so who really knows. Either way, that's a lot of years to have a boat show - could you imagine the show in its infancy - 1904 or 1905 - when there were hardly any cars around?

Anyway, the NY Boat Show is one of the biggest in the world, and worth a visit. Of course it's all indoors since it's in the middle of winter. You'll find it in the Jacob Javits Center (655 West 34th Street), New York, New York.

Official New York Boat Show Site

Saturday, December 22, 2007

If You Had A Boat

Just rediscovered this song on YouTube and though I would share. Hopefully, if you've never heard it, you'll enjoy it as much as I do. Not a Christmas song, but nice to listen to - especially if you're snowed in, or looking for something soothing to help settle down during this hustle bustle time of year. Enjoy!

Lyle Lovett | If I Had a Boat

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Captain Kidd Ship Found

Researchers in the Caribbean have found what they believe to be the wreck of a pirate ship abandoned by Captain the Kidd in the 17th century.

I don't fully believe this article that the ship has remained untouched in only 10 feet of crystal clear water just 20 yards off the coast.

Is it the real deal? And how much loot do you think is on that ship anyway?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Survival of the Fibbers

DailyBoater would like to send a warm welcome back from the dead to John Darwin, the British canoeist who went missing in 2002.

It seems that the man has been charged with fraud, as his wife - who allegedly cashed in his life insurance policy for nearly a million dollars - has known he was alive for at least four of the last five years.

In her latest interview with the UK's Daily Mirror, Mrs. Darwin now claims that her husband faked his canoe accident from the beginning and planned his disappearance in order to get his family out of debt.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Where Not To Swim

There's a new service on the web to help boaters get from point A to point B, download charts or view them online, and best of all - avoid sharks! told me about NavQuest and how useful their AAA-like trip planning features were. They are cool, and easy to use (though a little frustrating when trying to choose cities for which they don't yet have marinas listed.) Once I found a couple of shoreline towns for which they had data, NavQuest promptly told me the distance between the two locations, the lat and long of each, the amount of fuel I might consume and how long it should take me to get their. It also provided a bearing for my compass, a chart view and a satellite view (courtesy of Yahoo - possibly b/c Google already partners with a similar service called EarthNC).

While all of that is helpful, failed to mention NavQuest's coolest feature of all - their Shark Attack Map - which displays a map of the world marked with shark attack locations and the dates they occurred.

On the web:

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Do Not Pick Up The Snakes

(alternative post title: "Snakes on a Boat")

Southern California is on alert this Wednesday for strong winds and seriously high swells of 15 feet or more. Obviously, this is a bad time to boat.

Due to the extreme weather conditions, officials also issued a warning about rattlesnakes.

LA County's Department of Beaches and Harbors warns that snakes can be carried by runoff water to the ocean and beaches, and can resemble sticks when they are on the sand or mixed in with debris.

Those snakes are gonna be pissed after that unexpected ride - watch out!

Get the latest weather conditions and snake warnings for southern California here (

Thursday, November 29, 2007

On the Web - Boat Name Gear

A new website - Boat Name Gear - launched last month, offering boaters high quality shirts and caps with their boat name custom stitched right on it.

What makes BoatNameGear different from the myriad of other custom embroidery companies out there?

First, all they do are Boat Names, so your order will be important to them - they are not worried about that next big "corporate" order.

Second, there are no minimum order sizes and no set-up fees - which is unheard of when you are buying high quality, custom-embroidered shirts and hats like these.

Third, they have their own line of premium stitched Captain and First Mate shirts - Perfect gifts for all your boater friends - even if you don't know their boat's name!

Lastly, you know you can trust them because they are part of the FirstBoat family of NauticalSites.

On the web:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Just Like Titanic, Happier Ending

Over 100 people including passengers and crew were rescued overnight after their cruise ship apparently hit an iceberg in the Antarctic and started sinking.

The people had all escaped to lifeboats, and waited while a Norwegian passenger boat in the area arrived to pick them up.

The ship, listing in the first photo (Chile Air Force/AP Photo), may end up sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Luckily all lives were saved. Kudos to the brave crew for keeping cool during the accident. As of this posting, I have not found any reports that state how long the evacuees were in the lifeboats, but it looks like it was not much longer than a couple of hours. That would be a couple of hours too long for my liking, especially if you imagine yourself drifting in one of the lifeboats (as pictured below / AP photo) in that brutal cold.

Various news items about the incident:

CBC News


AP/ Google News

Thursday, November 15, 2007

EarthNC Makes Google Water Friendly

If you've ever tried Google Earth, you know how cool the application could be - zooming around the globe and seeing 3D images of cities you love.

The one thing Google Earth has lacked for us boaters is accurate nautical information. Imagine if the 3D zooming coolness of Google Earth was merged with nautical charts - Now, imagine viewing the two combined on your laptop while cruising along the coast!

EarthNC, a Florida-based technology company, has delivered just that. EarthNC offers nearly 700 charts that cover the waters in and around the US, Bahamas, and Virgin Islands.

And for the holidays, EarthNC has taken their offering a step further and bundled their application with GPS, for the ultimate Google Earth experience for us nautical types!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dolphin Cleats

Wrap your rope around a dolphin. A dolphin cleat, that is.

This is an idea that I can't believe had not been thought of already (maybe it has?) because it makes so much sense. Add form to the functionality of one of the most basic items on any boat or dock with cleats designed as dolphins or bass!

The geniuses behind these cleats are from a company called - of course - Creative Cleats based in Holland, New York. I only wish I thought of it first.

Monday, October 29, 2007

6 Year Old Rescued

While it was nice to see a happy ending to this story in the Houston Chronicle, there didn't have to be a story at all... The incident could have been avoiced altogether and not be so close to tragic.

Boaters adrift all night long in rough seas and the only communication device onboard is a cell phone!? That's just crazy. I just did a quick search at FirstBoat's electronics store and found several VHF radios for under $100, and some as cheap as $50.

What about GPS? Those things are now a necessity with prices as low as $100 to $200 for a battery operated Garmin, or even less for the Lowrance iFinder.

The boaters in this article had use of their cell phones for some time... Imagine if they were able to give somebody their coordinates from a GPS device? They may not have had to spend all night on a drifting boat in rough seas. Luckily, it turned out alright for them, but isn't it worth a few hundred dollars - when you just spent thousands on a boat - to have some basic battery powered marine electronic equipment on board?

Full story: Coast Guard rescues boaters adrift overnight

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Magic Wi-Fi Wand for Your Boat

That's what it looks like to me, anyway.

Check out this new WiFi device being produced in the UK. It simply plugs into your USB port on your laptop, and lets you access Wi-Fi hotspots from nearby marinas or other businesses on-shore offering the service that your laptop's traditional wi-fi receiver wouldn't normally pick up.

Buy it for under 200 Euro at one of these stores:

Thanks to WiFiFreeNet for the tip, and to BYM for announcing the product.

For more on the subject of Wi-Fi at marinas, visit

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sailing on the Pacific

Thought I'd share this video I just stumbled across taken by somebody sailing on the Pacific. The video was just uploaded to YouTube a few hours ago, so perhaps the footage is from as recently as this week!


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Basics of Boat Charters

Thinking of chartering a boat? What do you look for? How do you know who to trust? Boat or yacht charters, crewed or bareboat, could be tricky. This article in today's Wall Street Journal is a good primer for those looking to learn more about boat charters - and best of all, I didn't have to log-in or subscribe to read it. Please comment if that changes when you click through to the article, and I'll update this post.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Marina for Sale - Only $12 Million

I just got a piece of mail offering me the opportunity to buy a marina on 55 acres in Seneca Illinois. I don't have $12 Million laying around, so I thought I would share the offer with you:

The property is called Hidden Cove Marina of the Seneca Yacht Club and is located about an hour outside of Chicago.

If you're interested in a marina with 150 slips on the Illinois River, please contact Don Stump at 708-380-1881 or

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hybrid Boat

Sure they're small like their land-locked counterparts, but hybrid boats have finally arrived with the launch of the Craigcat Hybrid.

The Craigcat Hybrid is very compact, sits two comfortably, and will run for eight hours on a single gallon of gas according to the company.

Friday, August 03, 2007

On the Web - Custom Boat Names

A new website - Custom Boat Names - is available that offers vinyl boat lettering that you can buy online and have shipped to your door - no hassels, no expensive sign shop at the marina.

Of course you can preview your boat name online in all kinds of colors and literally hundreds of font styles, and even add an arch effect, drop shadows and borders.

But what really makes Custom Boat Names unique is their Boat Name Idea Generator - they claim to have about 50,000 boat name ideas in their computer, and I believe them. You can click all day for some really wild and cool boat names. Keep clicking and you'll see famous boat names, boat names about your job, hobby, family or favorite movie. It's amazing how it seems to come up with so many boat names that fit my personality over the span of about 15 minutes.

It is so easy to apply this stuff now, that it doesn't make sense to buy vinyl lettering any other way.

And, Custom Boat Names has easy step-by-step instructions for removing old lettering.

As for the bad luck that supposedly goes along with that, are you really going to let a little superstition get in the way of you and the finishing touches on your new boat?

On the web:

Monday, July 23, 2007

If Wonder Woman had a Canoe

See Through Canoe, a Colorado based company, announced their all-new transparent canoes and kayaks last week. The company claims that their clear watercraft provide a more interactive experience with nature than their conventional counterparts.

I think they seem a little too similar to some other transparent vehicles that I recall from my youth.

What do you think?

Wonder Woman's invisible plane:





The new See Through Canoe:

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lower Boat Prices on the Way

I can smell it.

It's not rocket science - it's simple economics - Supply and Demand.

Too many new boats PLUS not enough people buying new boats EQUALS lower prices.

Today, Brunswick, the world's largest manufacturer of recreational boats, announced lower sales forecasts for the rest of 2007 and that they are going to cut production.

Wait, you say, doesn't a cut in production mean that supply will be short - resulting in INCREASED prices?

Good question, BUT, the fact that Brunswick is cutting production is likely a band aid on a bigger issue. They are reacting to the fact that their boat dealers can't sell the inventory of boats that are sitting on their lots. They are trying to put the brakes on a manufacturing conglomerate of multiple plants and warehouses to slow production, but they are probably too late - There is already too much supply and not enough demand, which will drive boat prices down over the next few months.

Chicago stated, "Recreational boat makers and dealers are having a hard time getting U.S. consumers to buy their pricey toys due to rising interest rates, higher fuel prices and a cooling U.S. housing market."

What does this mean for you?

Well, if you were thinking about buying a boat, and you already factored in the costs of fuel and interest rates, then NOW is the perfect time to buy a boat. On top of the falling prices on new boats due to over supply, you are approaching the time of year (sadly, the end of summer) when many boat owners put their used boats up for sale. There are thousands of people who decided to sell their boat a year ago but wanted to get one more season out of it.

The time is right to buy a boat. Mark my words, there are deals to be made. When a boat dealer gives you his best price, ask him to go lower, or go to another dealer. This is YOUR market.

Now, go buy a boat!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Go Go Gadget SmartPhone

Have you been thinking about getting a new mobile device, but waiting for iPhone prices to drop?

If you are looking for all the same features, but weren't sure if you wanted to pull the trigger on an expensive smartphone, you might want to consider this. The brand new BlackBerry device which was released today includes one important feature that the iPhone is missing: GPS.

Now you can check your email, surf the web, make a phone call and navigate to the Dock & Dine all with the same device!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Are You Active Captain?

Have you been searching for the perfect electronic guide to the waterways since Al Gore created the Internet?

Look no further, as a couple of liveaboards from Maine have designed a tool that makes it easy way to find waypoints. I found to be one of the coolest nautical sites to come along in a while.

Zoom in and find user-edited markings in your favorite ports of call. See something that doesn't look quite right? No problem - you can add and edit information yourself in just a few clicks.

Check it out now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Absa Who?

I've never heard of Absa, but I guess with nearly 200 exhibitors and 30,000 people expected to attend this year, I'm in the minority. The Absa National Boat Show is the biggest boat and watersports show in Africa.

Now in its fifth year, Absa takes place at the Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate, Johanneburg, between Friday the 17th and Sunday the 19th of August 2007.

If you happen to be in iGoli, or anywhere near South Africa in August, I highly recommend you attend this event.

Monday, July 02, 2007

World Leaders Who Boat Together...

As thousands of protesters rallied outside the Bush compound in Kennebunkport, the former and current President Bush (or is it Bushes?) took President Vladimir Putin of Russia for a fishing trip on the senior Bush's boat off the coast of Maine.

I sense a Godfather moment; I'm just not sure which one is Fredo.

See for the lowdown.

Photo from BBC.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Boating Incidents

There was a happy ending in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for two boaters on a 23 foot Bayliner that started taking on water for unreported reasons. The men were saved by the Coast Guard and their boat was towed to shore before it sank according to Channel 3, WCAX TV in Vermont.

In South Dakota, some boaters were not so lucky. Either late Tuesday evening or early Wednesday a boat ran into a large rock near something called Jenny Gulch west of Rapid City. The Rapid City Journal reports that a Seattle man died in the accident, and two others were seriously injured.

The two survivors were rescued at around 8:00 AM when they flagged down a fisherman.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Newsday Offers Summer Boating Advice

John Valenti, writing for Newsday in NY, wrote a fantastic article on boating safety this week.

A lot of it is common sense, but the staggering numbers left me to post them here:

Valenti points out that "Nearly 700 people a year are killed in boating accidents. Another 3,500 are injured," according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

How to prevent accidents when you're boating this summer?

Read the Newsday article, but in a nutshell:

Wear a lifejacket

Take a boating safety course

Don't drink and drive/boat/fly or operate any vehicle for that matter

Newsday: Summer boating advice to avoid accidents