Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You are enlisted

The US Government needs your help thwarting terrorists.

If you boat near any military bases, power plants, cruise ports, large populations, national monuments, tourist attractions - Ok, if you boat ANYWHERE - then you should read this.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Boats for Sale

News of slumping boat sales made the Wall Street Journal yesterday as Brunswick reported slumping profits for in their quarterly earnings announcement.

If you are a boat owner, chances are pretty good that the boat you own or one you used to own is now a brand under the Brunswick umbrella. Brunswick is the parent company for Bayliner, Sea Ray, Trophy, Crestliner, Maxum, Mercury, Baja, Cabo, Suncruiser (and that is really just to name a few!).

So, as Brunswick goes, so goes the industry. In fact, the WSJ article attributed the CEO of Brunswick as saying that Brunswick is not the only boat company having trouble. "Mr. McCoy noted U.S. marine unit sales slumped 17% industrywide."

All I see here is opportunity. You know how it goes. As dealers get hungry for sales, you'll be able to get some great deals. I wrote more on falling boat prices here, but now I'm actually seeing proof. I saw a 27 ft cabin cruiser listed for $1,200 yesterday at a marina in Connecticut. I asked if it had an engine, and was told that it did and it runs!

I'm not only thinking about buying a new boat, but possibly also some stock in Brunswick!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Recycle Your Boat Wrap

You know that disposable shrink wrap that everyone wraps their boats in all winter?

What do you do do with yours when it's time to launch your boat in the spring?

You and boaters at your local marinas may be throwing tons of plastic away each spring.

Remember a few years ago when most boaters instead used canvas and re-usable plastic tarps, and lots of messy ropes - to accomplish the same protection from the elements in the off-season? This was not as convenient or effective as the plastic used today, but it was a heck of a lot more environmentally friendly.

I just read a story about a bunch of marinas in Westchester County, NY, that started a recycling program for this newfangled boat wrap. If you keep your boat at the city of New Rochelle marina, the city of Rye boat basin or Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck, you'll get to participate in this pilot program.

I'd like to think this isn't the only part of the country where boaters and marinas are being environmentally conscious about their winter wraps.

If you are part of another community that is recycling your plastic boat covers, please post a comment here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Love a good rescue story

It's always great to hear about would-be tragedies that end with the boaters being rescued.

This was the case in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, several miles off the coast of Clearwater Beach, Florida, as reported on Tampa Bay's 10 (see full story).

The men were traveling at 35 mph when their boat hit a wave and knocked them both out of the boat. If you're a new boater, you may not realize it, but 35 is FAST when you are on the water.

While I love to see the happy endings like this, I also like to take these opportunities to remind folks about boating safety: If you boat, there's never a bad time to wear a life jacket.

Monday Came As Promised

Come Monday is one of Jimmy's best, and watching this video is like going back in time. I've seen plenty of pictures and album covers of this younger Jimmy Buffett, but to see him like this on a crisp YouTube video is something you must see if you're a parrothead.

Click here to view post and video.

Friday, April 18, 2008

See you in Jacksonville?

The fastest growing boat show on the east coast, the 12th Annual Jacksonville International, is going on now.

This in-water show runs April 18, 19 and 20 (2008) is at the Metropolitan Park and Marina in Jacksonville, Florida - Located on the St. John's River,
West of the Stadium.

Visit www.jaxboatshow.com for more info

Topless Fishing Charter is Also Slip-less

The outdoor life blog told me today about a topless fishing charter company in Florida that is making waves at the city marina where their boat is (was) docked.

Although the boat advertises that its bikini-clad deckhands will drop their tops only while out at sea, the city is concerned about its image and reputation back at the marina.

I guess they think topless chicks at their marina is not conducive to a family atmosphere.

If you're interested in trying to book a charter with the topless (and now slipless) charter company, visit their site here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Boat Show in Sarasota this Weekend

In addition to all the regular boat show stuff, this event features live music on a floating cocktail barge (fun for adults) and a free kids fishing clinic (fun for kids) on Saturday and Sunday.

The show's website claims that at the conclusion of the clinics, each child gets a free Rod and Reel!

What: 26th Annual Suncoast Boat Show
When: Thursday, April 17th - Sunday, 20th, 2008
Where: Ken Thompson Park and City Island in Sarasota, Florida
Web: http://www.showmanagement.com/sun_coast_2008/event/

Monday, April 14, 2008

Supply and demand - boat prices falling

The Boston Globe today confirmed my theory that it is a GREAT time to buy a boat. Sure, the price of gas is high, but you can probably make up for it in savings on the price of your boat, interest, and possibly even slip fees.

Why are boats getting cheaper? Supply and demand. My favorite quote from the article:

"It's the first thing to go, right?" said (Morningstar market analyst Marisa) Thompson. "No one needs a boat to survive."

Not sure why, but it made me think, "tell that to Noah."

Read the full article here at the Boston Globe's site, Boston.com, but watch for pop-ups.

You can find deals on boats at FirstBoat's boat auction listings here, or on their boat classified listings here.

Oh, and if you're one of those folks who needs to unload your boat in a hurry, list it for sale on FirstBoat's classifieds site, and it will also be included on UsedBoats.com and all their other partners' sites. A real deal at $39.95.

It was not the sharks that got them

Tragic story off of Kleinbaai, near Cape Town, South Africa, where three lives were lost in a shark encounter adventure.

But the sharks weren't to blame even though the boat was on a tour like this one.

All passengers and crew were on the boat when a rogue wave crashed onto the 35 foot vessel. The three who did not survive were apparently sucked under the boat and drowned.

Read the full story here
and here

Friday, April 11, 2008

Free Ride on the Okole

Thanks to YouTube, I invite you to take a free 20 second ride aboard the Okole, as it leaves Ushuaia, debatably the world's southernmost city, heading south for Isla Navarino. This boat ride took place in March 2008.

Click here to view the video

Monday, April 07, 2008

Boats in MySpace

I've been trying to figure out this whole social networking thing.

I mean I boat... I blog... but Myspace and Facebook have been a little over my head (or under my age!)

Anyway, I'm testing the waters to see if we can share our boating experiences with more new and experienced boaters in the world.

Right now, I've got a myspace page for FirstBoat. If you're one of the 50 zillion people on myspace, please be like Jimmy Buffett and add FirstBoat as a friend.

Here's the page: http://myspace.com/firstboat

I've also set up a group on Linked In. Be the first to join the FirstBoat Group on Linked In here.