Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Boating Laws for the New Year

Over the past several weeks we've noticed a few new boating laws announced or enacted across the US. If you don't see your boating community listed here, don't worry, we'll update you as new laws crop up near you.

New York
We already mentioned this one, but it's worth a reminder. As of last month, Boaters who venture out during the colder months must wear a life jacket.

Also in the Big Apple, Dayelin Roman – writing for The Post-Star – reported that a senator has proposed a bill that would make the transfer of invasive species illegal between bodies of water. With all the lakes and rivers within and bordering NY, not to mention Long Island Sound and the Atlantic, this law sounds like it would be a challenge to enforce if it passes.

North Carolina
As of May, 2010, boaters under 26 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course before operating any motorboat, and it is now illegal for kids under 14 to operate a PWC. Are they going to need to keep their driver's license in their bathing suit? Source: Salisbury Post.

Boaters on Candlewood Lake will be restricted to boats under 26 feet in length if a law being contemplated by the CT Dept of Environmental Protection passes. Robert Miller of the Danbury News-Times suggests that the rule may grandfather in bigger boats already used on the lake. Not sure how that will work, or if lakeside property owners with big boats will stand for such a new law on Connecticut's largest lake, but it sounds like a good idea if it reduces the crowding on summer weekends.

Okay, Arizona has no new boating laws. In fact, an article that came out last week by Travis Grabow of the Cronkite News Service stated, “Arizona is one of only six states that don't require some or all of those who operate watercraft to complete a boating-education course.” Look out Arizona. With that type of press, Arizona will be passing more boating laws in the near future. By the way, the article was accompanied by the Coast Guard’s top 10 list of states with the highest total boating accidents in 2008. Arizona, at number 7, appears to be the only state that is landlocked.

This just came across our wires as we were about to post. Maine boaters have been getting socked (and shocked) with an unexpected tax bill, according to Soundings Trade Only Today.

Other than generating revenues for state governments, and the invasive species thing, most of these new and potential laws are about boating safety. Subscribe to the Daily Boater to stay on top of boating laws that may affect you, and for the absolute basics of boating safety, a good place to start would be the FirstBoat's boating safety page.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Safety Advice Straight from a Survivor

To say that boating safety advice is often ignored would be an understatement. That’s why this article by Shannon Tompkins in the Houston Chronicle jumped out at us.

The article not only presents good boating safety tips you can use, but Ms. Tompkins paints us a picture of how some of the advice actually saved the life of a waterfowl hunter who was rescued after spending 12 hours in the water.

This story is a must-read for all boaters, whether your vessel is a bass boat or a mega yacht, power or sail. Please share it with a boater you care about, and don't forget to check FirstBoat's boating safety tips for even more common sense advice for boaters.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Sea Song of the Week: Ho Ho Ho

...and a Bottle of Rum, by Jimmy Buffett.

What? Did you think we’d do something other than a Buffett tune a week before Christmas? Actually, since her 29th birthday is today, we did consider that Christina Aguilera song where she is dressed like a sailor, but it turns out that the lyrics have nothing to do with sailing or the holidays. Who knew?

Anyway, we hope you enjoy one of our favorite island Christmas songs.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Boaters Welcoming Winter

It is so cold in New England today that it’s hard to believe winter doesn’t officially start until Monday. Florida (because they can) is kicking off the season with several boat parades this weekend, including some rescheduled due to rain last weekend. But the big one is in California, where they are welcoming winter with a bang - despite the fact that the weather won't really even change for folks in SoCal. The 101st Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade kicked off on Wednesday and runs nightly through the 20th.

And while there are no boat shows this week, there has been plenty of boat show news. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), which is behind more than a dozen boat shows all over the US, will own and manage Boston’s annual New England Boat Show beginning with this February’s event. With the NMMA in charge, the Boston show may include two programs that will help you out if you’re a new boater. First is the NMMA’s long-running Discover Boating program, which strives to introduce people to the joys of recreational boating (Just like FirstBoat, only bigger). Second is the NMMA’s new Affordability Pavilion – a special area on the show floor featuring boats that can be financed for $250 or less per month.

If you were making plans to attend the 49th annual Vancouver International Boat Show (April 8-11, 2010), you’re going to have to find something else to do. The show was canceled, allegedly because of construction. However, other boat shows have been canceled recently due to the economy. Just saying.

In Texas, the 2010 Houston International Boat, Sport & Travel Show, which boasts sixteen acres of boats and campers on display, has announced it will be held January 8-17 at Reliant Center.

Details and links for all of these boat parades and shows can be found on the FirstBoat boating events calendar.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Long Time at Sea

While we were busy holiday shopping and attending boat parades this past weekend, American artist, adventurer and sailor Reid Stowe was busy breaking the record for the longest solo sea voyage in history.

Stowe set off in 2007 aboard the Anne intending to stay at sea for 1,000 days, but he wasn’t alone for the first 300-ish days. However, as of this past Saturday, December 12, 2009, by staying at sea alone for 658 days after transferring his one crew member to another vessel, Reid Stowe has broken Jon Sanders’ 20-year-old record for a solo sea voyage. This is a remarkable accomplishment by any standard; in fact, Stowe, according to his website, has even received encouragement and letters of congratulations from Sanders himself.

Reid Stowe is expected to wrap up this fantastic voyage (which, by the way, is being called the Mars Ocean Odyssey) and reunite with his first mate, his newborn son, and the rest of the human race next June on the Hudson in NYC, and you are invited to the homecoming! If you’d like to participate with your boat in the flotilla, visit or contact soanya(at) with your name, vessel name, vessel size, and a contact phone number.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

Ghost Yachts has just unveiled a new yacht, and it's scary how cool it looks. The Dutch firm's G180 with its unique combination of cutting edge Dutch engineering and a stylish Italian look provided by Gloss Design of Italy will surely be a head turner.

The yacht will be easily recognized by its unique "vertical bow configuration," which appears to be a variation of the reverse or axe bow design. This innovative hull shape should have less resistance than hulls on comparably sized mega yachts, and "offers the possibility to reach semi-displacement speeds in excess of 20 knots," according to the company.

Ghost Yachts expects to be complete with production engineering by this time 2010, so now you know what to ask Santa for next year. You can learn more about Ghost Yachts and put your name on their waiting list at their website.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Sea Song: Christmas in the Caribbean

Christmas is only two weeks away and Hanukkah is already here, so what did you expect our choice for this week’s Sea Song to be? If you are looking to escape from all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, then sit back and relax, listen to this song and let Jimmy Buffett take you away to an island paradise.

Just realized that the "La La" link above may not allow you to play the full song. Here's the song on the Daily Boater YouTube channel, where, by the way, you can find most of our recent (and a few of our upcoming) picks for Sea Song of the Week.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

FL Packed With Boat Parades This Weekend

Florida is a pretty large state, with some points requiring a several hour drive or a short flight to reach them. But there are so many boat parades in the state this weekend, you won’t have to drive far to find one no matter where you are in Florida.

Check out our calendar
to see if there is one near you (and, as mentioned above, there IS one near you if you live in Florida.) Oh, there’s also a boat parade in Alabama this weekend.

Have fun and let the holidays begin!

There are a ton of boat shows over the next couple of months, especially in cold weather states like NY and MN. We're updating our calendar this week, so contact us if you want us to include your event.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

An OnStar-like option for boaters

Three years ago we told you about a nautical product on the market that had similar features to what you see advertised for cars in OnStar. A vessel assist device that always knows where you are, even when you don’t, and can call for help.

Now imagine such a marine device working in partnership with the equivalent of the Automobile Association of America of boating, BoatU.S. Of course BoatU.S. is much more than that, but they do claim that their towing fleet offers North American boaters the largest network of U.S., Canadian and Bahamian towing ports with over 290 locations and over 600 towing assistance vessels - three times that of any other service provider – a similar advantage to AAA’s dominance on land.

With a new Spot unit combined with a BoatU.S. membership, boaters can now call for help with the touch of a button, even when cell phones and VHF won’t work, as the Spot Assist message is sent via communications satellites. And, like EPIRB, your location is determined by GPS satellites and sent with your help message.

BoatU.S. recommends that offshore boaters still carry an EPIRB, and that all boaters continue to carry a VHF radio. But at an annual price that is less than the cost of a tank of fuel for most boats, adding Spot Assist to your BoatU.S. membership is an inexpensive way to have additional peace of mind on your next family boating trip.

Learn more at BoatU.S. or Spot's website.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

EPA Gives Boaters a Breather

Imagine thinking you did everything right to winterize your boat only to find that your engine has major problems when you go to commission her in the spring. Or reeling in your lines as the sun goes down only to realize that your outboard won’t even hint at starting. Ever since ethanol has been used as an additive to fuel in the US, the blended fuel has wreaked havoc on boaters, reducing overall performance, causing safety concerns and costly engine repairs.

The Environmental Protection Agency has delayed its anticipated decision to increase the percentage of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent (AKA E10 to E15). But the change may still be coming, perhaps in less than a year.

What can you do to make sure your boat can handle the current ethanol blend and to prepare for future changes to the cap?

A good place to start would be Suite101, where Alan Sorum has been advising boaters on the Ethanol issue through his Boating & Sailing blog since 2006. Also, Southern Ski Boats in Virginia has tips for winterizing your boat in an ethanol world on their blog.


Monday, December 07, 2009

The Gates of the Great Lakes

Have you read about Asian carp and the efforts to keep them out of the Great Lakes?

The fish are causing quite a stir in the maritime community. A boater in Indiana recently posted the following on Twitter, highlighting how serious a threat these fish may be: "Don't close off boating on to and from the Great Lakes. Look for alternative ways to keep the Asian Carp out!"

What is it about these little buggers? Why are they causing so much buzz?

First of all, the “little buggers” are not all that little. Almost every article about Asian carp states that they can grow to 4 feet long, and weigh 100 pounds, eating so much plankton that there is no food left for other fish. The new carp consume virtually everything, like the Borg, threatening entire civilizations (of fish). They’ve also been known to leap out of the water, lured (or annoyed) by the humming of a boat’s engine, and collide with a boat’s operator. Check out this picture of them jumping courtesy of the USFWS.

If these carp get into the Great Lakes, the region’s $7 billion-a-year commercial fishing industry will suffer. Recreational boating will suffer. To prevent the expected suffering, authorities have gone to great lengths. They have installed an electric fence and have poured 2,000 gallons of poison in canals leading to Lake Michigan, resulting in 200,000 lbs of dead fish. They have so far I.D.’d one victim in the fish kill as an Asian carp, with the rest being members of the species they were trying to save). The next drastic move under consideration is to shut down the locks, which will be a major annoyance to recreational boaters and a major financial burden to companies that rely on the water to ship goods through that region.

Other alternatives are being considered and stakeholders are taking up sides on this explosive issue, but time may be running out. What can be done to stop these invasive fish that we brought here 30 years ago?

Related stories and sources worth reading:
Washington Post: Fish kill called necessary to save the Great Lakes

Chicago Tribune: Asian carp worries fishermen

Indianapolis Star: Keeping the monsters away

Globe and Mail: Asian carp get past barrier, threatening Great Lakes

The Daily Boater: Warning: Flying Fish in FLA


Friday, December 04, 2009

Sail On, Sea Song of the Week

Today would be Beach Boy Dennis Wilson’s 65th birthday, so the band’s Sail on, Sailor was a natural choice for our sea song this week.

As usual, Wikipedia has some interesting background on this tune, including how Dennis almost sang the lead vocals, but he went surfing instead. And the legend lives on...

Check out some of our recent picks, including Moby Dick and Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Boat Parades and St. Pete Boat Show

There are plenty of opportunities to fit boating into your holiday activities this weekend, especially in warmer areas of the US.

Thursday is the first day of the four-day St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, which the show’s website claims to be “the Gulf Coast’s largest boat show”.

Also in Florida this weekend are boat parades in Eustis on Friday and Port Canaveral on Saturday. Other boat parades this weekend include the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights which can be seen from Washington D.C., as well as a parade in Stockton, California.

These boat parades are fun to watch and even more fun to participate in if you get the chance. Learn more about them and other upcoming boating events on our boat show calendar.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Light it up

Have you seen boats with underwater lights, or do you have a strong opinion of them?

With Christmas boat parade participants preparing to be lit up topside with decorations (and libations), wouldn't it be cool to see what's going on below the waterline?

When it comes to underwater lights, boaters seem to either love them or hate them, as discussed on Panbo several months ago (see: Underwater lights, stupid & offensive?).

But even if you think boat lights are useless and annoying, you might "see the light" when you check out Aqualuma’s LUMA-Vu Underwater Camera. As BoatTrader Insider points out, "this camera provides an underwater viewpoint from a perspective never before available." It’s true. Imagine simply watching sea life drift by from the comfort of your cabin, or capturing images of the fight you feel but rarely see as you reel in the catch of your life.

If you've thought about adding underwater lights to your boat but were hesitant because they just didn't seem all that useful, then the Aqualuma LUMA-Vu - with it's combination of lights and underwater camera - may offer you the excuse to brighten up the water below.

Learn more about these gadgets from BoatTrader Insider and Australian-based Aqualuma.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Top 10 Boats of 2009?

CNN's Mainsail just released its top ten boats of 2009.

The list is comprised of everything "from superyachts to sail-planes" and we’re proud to say that it even includes vessels recently featured on the Daily Boater - Super-environmentalist David de Rothschild's Plastiki and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich's Eclipse.

Since Mainsail is a program that runs on CNN International, it is no surprise that many of their top 10 boats look like they were chosen more for their newsworthiness than for their seaworthiness. That’s okay with us, as the designs are out of this world.

Speaking of "out of this world", our favorite vessel on the list might be "Planet Solar" with a design reminiscent of the Star Trek Enterprise. What's your favorite?

On the web at

9:05 AM Editor's note: Shortly after we posted this story, CNN changed the title of the article on their website from "Mainsail's Top 10 Boats of 2009" to the more appropriate "Will this thing even float? The craziest boats on the oceans." Either way, we still like the boats!


Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday Boating Specials

Here are a few Cyber-Monday deals we found for boaters around the web.

Note: Many of these links will not work after 11/30/09 and most point to one-day specials only. If we mention a coupon code, you have to copy it down - the discounts won't work without them.

Shop at West Marine before midnight tonight and save 10% off ANY order with promo code BIG10.

Overton’s is offering up to 15% off today, depending on the size of your purchase. 5% off purchases of $50, 10% off $100, 15% off $200. Entering code VH1127 at checkout should give you the appropriate discount.

Need a new tender, or an inflatable kayak or fishing boat? Sea Eagle is offering $50 to $150 additional savings off every boat, today only, on their site.

Last but not least, of course we have a deal for you at our own partner store, Boat Name Gear, where you can save 20% off any order of $100 or more before midnight tonight by entering coupon code CYBERFB at checkout. This is in addition to the discounts on items that went on sale today, including 5% savings on all boat name welcome mats.

Happy shopping!


Friday, November 27, 2009

Sea Song with Attitude (and Latitude)

This song has held up well for more than 30 years. Actually, this live version is only a couple of years old and might make you want to go to see Jimmy on his next tour. Here is Jimmy Buffett with this week's Sea Song: Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.

Did you know that the line "good times and riches and son-of-a-bitches; I've seen more than I can recall" was changed to "good time and riches, some bruises and stitches; I've seen more than I can recall" when this song was released as a single, according to Wikipedia? We're glad Jimmy plays it the "right" way in his concerts!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks for Boating Events

Understandably there are not any boat shows in the US this weekend as we officially kick off the holiday season with our Thanksgiving celebration.

But if you like to look at boats as much as we do, you’re in luck. Boat parades - where several boats get decked out with Christmas lights, line up, and slowly cruise through a harbor just after sundown - have become a popular tradition among boaters this time of year.

You can enjoy boat parades this weekend in Cocoa (Florida), Eden(Maryland) and Parker (Arizona), and in several more locations throughout December.

There is one major boat show kicking off Saturday, but you have to go to Brazil to see it. In other boat show news, the New Orleans Boat Show has been canceled for 2010 and is expected to resume in January, 2011.

For details of this weekend’s events and future boat shows and parades, visit our boat show calendar.

There will be no post tomorrow, so have a Happy Thanksgiving! We'll see you on Friday with our Sea Song of the Week.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just Plain Tuesday ($10 Coupon)

Black Friday, Cyber Monday... During the holidays, it seems like every day has its own special name to remind you to shop. You don’t need a reminder; you need gift ideas! Especially for the boaters in your life.

Our partner store, BoatNameGear, can help. Give a personalized welcome mat, bath robe, or even a towel, embroidered with a boat name. These unique gifts show a personal touch and are perfect for use on or off the boat.

Boat Name Gear also carries sweatshirts, hats and long sleeved t-shirts, all embroidered with the boat name of your choice in virtually any color.

Orders usually take a few business days to process, so order now to ensure that your personalized gift is delivered in time for the holidays!

Oh, and about that Black Friday- Cyber Monday thing... Here is an exclusive coupon code for you to save $10 and get free shipping on any order over $99, valid only at on new orders placed now through Cyber Monday (otherwise known as 11:59 pm ET Nov 30, 2009.)

Your Exclusive Coupon Code: CYBER99 (Copy that code and enter it when checking out at


Monday, November 23, 2009

It Was a Busy Weekend for Rescuers

Thanksgiving may have a lot more meaning than usual for several boaters rescued from precarious situations along the east coast this past weekend.

Five people were saved from their sinking 47-foot sailboat off Cape Lookout, NC, on Saturday. The Coast Guard helicopter arrived just as only a foot or two of the boat remained above water according to the Virginian-Pilot.

Meanwhile, two boaters off of Manasquan Inlet, NJ, abandoned their burning boat (named “the Finally”). Luckily they didn’t have to jump into the chilly northeastern water – they had a life raft in which to wait for the Coast Guard boat that rescued them. From the AP on

Also in New Jersey this weekend, the same Coast Guard station rescued all eight people from the sinking 30-foot sport fishing boat, the "Jamaican Princess". The boat had a leak according to the Asbury Park Press.

Unfortunately, sometimes luck and heroes from the Coast Guard are not enough. How can you be prepared? Boating safety resources from FirstBoat are a good place to start.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Moby Dick Sea Song

Wikipedia told us today that it is the anniversary of the 1820 sinking of the whaling ship Essex. The Essex was supposedly attacked by a ticked off sperm whale in the Pacific Ocean, sinking the ship and leaving its dwindling survivors to eventually resort to cannibalism in their lifeboats.

Oh, and the story of the angry whale inspired Herman Melville to write Moby-Dick.

With that, our Sea Song of the Week is Moby Dick by Led Zeppelin :-)

More about the Essex and the Melville connection at PBS.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Across the Line

Not much in the way of boat shows this weekend, but there is one ongoing boating event that we can't get enough of.

Teen sailor Jessica Watson has achieved a major milestone in her quest to become the youngest person to sail around the world non-stop without assistance. It was announced this morning on her website that Ella's Pink Lady has crossed the equator, a little over a month after setting sail from Sydney.

How did she celebrate? Well, Jessica states on her blog that she marked the occasion by eating slightly melted chocolate and taking part in the traditional salt water dumping for first time crossers, of course. How else would you celebrate?


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

King of Night Vision

New technology that makes our lives easier or safer seems to come out almost every day, especially around the holidays and especially in the marine industry.

One boat gadget that caught our "eye" recently (pun intended) is the new First Mate, which claims to be "the world’s first waterproof, hand held, high-performance maritime thermal night vision camera available for $2999."
This means it helps you see in the dark and that this high-end technology is now affordable for many recreational boat owners.
First Mate is manufactured by FLIR, a leader in night vision products whose biggest customers include militaries of countries around the world.

Marine electronics guru Ben Ellison recently reviewed the First Mate on Panbo and stated it "could be useful to navigation, and also to security around a marina or waterfront." We couldn’t agree more, as this price and technology are a good combination for your mid-sized and up recreational boat if you want to extend your cruising hours beyond sundown.

It looks like the First Mate will not be in stock at your favorite electronics store until January, but even the promise of one would make a generous gift for any boat owner.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Day to Bid on Bull

If you believe Bernie Madoff owes you something and are looking to get a little back, you should be in Florida today. As we told you a couple of months ago, several of the infamous financier’s yachts are up for auction, and the AP says today is the day to bid on them.

How much will the boats go for in auction? Who will have the winning bids? Will the boats get split up, or will one person bid enough on all of the auctions to keep the vessels together. Hopefully, we’ll know the answers to these things by tomorrow, but for now you can enjoy this video with footage from inside the Bulls and bid on more affordable boats at the FirstBoat auction page.


Monday, November 16, 2009

The Bottle Boat

Many people have sailed across the Pacific Ocean, but British super-environmentalist David de Rothschild will be the first to attempt the trip in a boat made entirely out of plastic bottles. USAToday introduced us to this trip this morning, which will include a stop at what is known as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" – a trash heap floating in the middle of the Pacific.

How can you get involved? One of the many videos about the project states that the Plastiki is still without an experienced captain. We're not sure if that job's been filled yet, but contact the Plastiki via their website to find out, or to simply to learn more about the boat and the trip.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Sea Song of the Week: Calypso

This week’s Sea Song, John Denver’s tribute to Jacques-Yves Cousteau, was recommended by a friend on our FaceBook page.

Three facts about Calypso you may not have known:
  • Calypso was originally a British Navy mine sweeper in WWII.
  • She sank in 1996 in Singapore, a year before Jacques-Yves Cousteau died.
  • The ship is currently being restored by the Cousteau Society, of which you can become a card-carrying member

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This Weekend

What are you doing this weekend?

We’ll be hunkering down for what is threatening to be one of the greatest storms to hit the east coast in a long time. No boating in the Mid-Atlantic states today or tomorrow.

But if you’re lucky enough to be out of harm’s way and near Barcelona, or in Florida near Ft. Myers or Key West, then you can enjoy a nice weekend of boating activities. For details and info about future events, visit the FirstBoat boat show calendar.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

That Looks Cold

There is no way to watch this video from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and not come away wearing a life jacket while boating on cold water. Wait until you see the people jumping into the icy water without one!

We discovered this video on our friend Captain Rande’s boating blog.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More Than Just a Ballad

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald is just a sad song from the 70s to many people. We even featured the ballad as our Sea Song of the Week this past Halloween because it is so chilling to hear, even after more than three decades.

However, every year on this date, the Gordon Lightfoot song takes on more significance as we remember the sinking of the 729-foot long freighter on Lake Superior 34 years ago today. If it's hard for you to fathom that a ship over 700 feet long was lost in a lake, let this be a reminder that weather should be taken seriously in any vessel - in any body of water.

The 29 men that were lost and their families are in our thoughts today as a ceremony is being held in Detroit to pay homage to those onboard.


Monday, November 09, 2009

Boat Warnings Across the US

Although the hurricane season in the US officially runs through the end of November, it seemed as if we were pretty much done with the buggers. Then Ida came rambling out of the Caribbean Sea and into the Gulf of Mexico. She has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane but is keeping boaters grounded around the entire Gulf Coast. (Follow her using resources from FirstBoat’s hurricane page.)

Meanwhile, boaters in northern California were warned over the weekend to stay ashore due to swells that were expected to reach 20 feet.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a location where you can still boat this time of year, were you forced to stay on dry land due to stormy weather recently?


Friday, November 06, 2009

Sea Song. Sesame Street Style

We were planning to do another Jimmy Buffett song this week, but seeing all the Sesame Street themed Google logos over the past few days inspired us to get in on the celebration.

Luckily, YouTube helped us find the best of both worlds. Here is Jimmy on the 1988 Sesame Street special "Elmopalooza!" performing Caribbean Amphibian. Have fun!
Some of our previous selections for Sea Song of the Week can now be found here.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Ft Lauderdale Boat Show Hangover

Most boat show organizers and marine industry vendors in the US must still be recuperating from Ft. Lauderdale or the Yankee's World Series victory, as there’s not much going on in North America for boating events this weekend.

But if the rest of the world is looking for a boat show to attend, they’re in luck, as there are several around the world happening right now, including:
  • Boat Brno in the Czech Republic
  • 13th Scandinavian Boat Show in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Salon Nautico, the 48th Barcelona International Boat Show
  • Northland Boat Show in Marsden Cove, New Zealand
One US boating event this weekend did make it onto our radar and should be fun for the whole family. The 13th Annual Veterans Boat Parade is Saturday, November 7th, in Madeira Beach, Florida.

For more info about these shows, and to find a boating event near you, visit our boat show calendar.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Vote the Boat $75 Contest

Got a picture of your boat and a FaceBook account? That's all you need to enter our Vote the Boat contest, where you can win $75 worth of boat name gear from

It's so simple to enter:
1. Submit a photo of your boat to the wall of our facebook page.

2. Write a sentence or two describing it.

3. Get more people to "like" your picture than anyone else.

We'll pick a winner at noon next Tuesday, November 10th, 2009. Whoever has the most "likes" will win the gift certificate. Within 24 hours the winner will be buying shirts, hats or a welcome mat embroidered with their boat name on it.

View the details and enter now


Monday, November 02, 2009

New NY Life Jacket Law in Effect

The new NY cold-weather-small-vessel-life-jacket-law we told you about in September is now in effect. New York is the first state to require life jackets to be worn on vessels up to 21 feet during the coldest months of the year.

From now (actually, since yesterday, November 1st) through May 1st, people of all ages aboard all pleasure craft as large as 21 feet – including kayaks, row boats, sailboats and motorboats – must wear life jackets while on a boat in NY. Don’t forget the existing NY law requiring kids to wear a PFD on boats up to 65 feet.

The new law recognizes that small boats, cold water and absence of life jackets are a lethal combination.

The fine if you’re caught can be up to $100.

For more on boating safety, visit FirstBoat's basics of boating safety.


Friday, October 30, 2009

A Haunting Sea Song

This week’s Sea Song is The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot.

Could you think of a more suitable choice on the eve of Halloween than this chilling ballad about the sudden sinking on Lake Superior of a 729-foot long freighter?

You can learn more about the Fitz at BoatNerd, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum or Wikipedia.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fort Lauderdale. Period.

Our Thursday post is usually a "heads up" to let you know what boating events are going on for the weekend. You never know when you'll be looking for something to do and we'll be telling you about a boat show or regatta happening right down the road.

This weekend’s activities can be summed up in one word. Lauderdale.

If you’re into boating and are within a short drive, train ride or flight of Southeast Florida, you should be at this show. The world’s largest boat show is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend, and early reports are that ticket sales are up 20% over last year (source: Soundings TradeOnlyToday.) This place is buzzing with hope and excitement.

There are a few other events this weekend, but none as big as Ft. Lauderdale, so if you want to check them out visit our boating events calendar. Maybe there's one in your neck of the woods.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Winterize to Save Time and Money

November is knocking at the door. If you're raking leaves or shoveling snow in many parts of North America, it's time to stop procrastinating and winterize your boat!

Winterizing the right way "can actually make spring commissioning an easier, less expensive experience" according to Alan Sorum, past Port Director and Harbormaster for the City of Valdez, Alaska.

Among the many tips on Alan’s Boating & Sailing blog:

  • Wash and wax the boat hull right after it’s taken from the water to make it easier to clean up for use next season.

  • Remove cushions, lifejackets and other items that could mildew.

  • It's the little things that make your boat last, and following a checklist will help you remember all the details. Ericka Watson has just such a checklist on her Powerboating Blog. Ericka also includes instructions for winterizing your boat's drive system, hull and interior.

    After following both Alan's and Ericka's advice, you'll be ready for spring and another season of boating in no time!


    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Is it OK to be a Pirate?

    With Halloween only a few days away and news today that a British couple may be the latest victims of Somali pirates, an important question may be on your mind.

    Is it insensitive to dress up like a pirate for Halloween?

    Let’s face it, with two years since the last (and until the next) Pirates of the Caribbean movie, the notorious villains of the sea are not currently being glamorized by Disney as they so often are. Besides, Disney is facing other PR battles.

    So with machine-gun-toting Somali pirates in the news, taking real ships and risking real lives, is it politically correct to be a pirate for Halloween? If you do it, wouldn’t it be more realistic (and scarier!) to toss aside the hook-hand and eye patch and simply wear a dirty t-shirt and carry a machine gun? Trick or treat!


    Monday, October 26, 2009

    Buying a Boat

    Last week we shared our top ten reasons to buy a bigger boat, which was a lot of fun for us, and for you based on the feedback we received. However, we do realize that you may not be there yet – a big boat may just not be right for you at this time.

    That’s okay, because no matter what size boat you are seeking, FirstBoat has plenty of free, sound advice for both new and experienced boaters.

    We’ve recently updated FirstBoat, including the how to buy section, so that it is easier to browse. We figured that if you found our website hard to navigate, how could you trust us to help you navigate your boat?

    So, if you’re thinking about buying a boat – new or used, big or small, your first boat or your fifteenth - visit our How to Buy a Boat section first and we'll help guide you through it.


    Friday, October 23, 2009

    The TGIF Sea Song of the Week is Sailing

    This time we're featuring a live version of Sailing performed by Guns & Roses.

    Yes, the ballad made famous by Rod Stewart in the 70s was performed live at Wembley Stadium by G&R just a few years ago, and it kind of rocks.

    U2 has also performed Sailing in concert, but we can't find the video on YouTube. If you find it, please send us the link.

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    Countdown to Ft. Lauderdale

    You might think that there wouldn’t be any boating events this week, given all the preparations necessary for the 50th edition of the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show, the largest boat show in the world, starting on the 29th.

    But there actually are a few events this week, especially for folks outside the US. This weekend marks the start of 50th Hanseboot Boat Show in Hamburg, Germany, as well as the Copper Cove Marina Festival in Wallaroo, South Australia. Here in the states, one of the few boating events is the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship – a sailing regatta in Annapolis, a city which hosted the US Power and Sail shows over the past couple of weeks.

    If you're looking for more boating events this week, your best bet might be to simply head down to Ft. Lauderdale early and watch the $3 BILLION worth of boats, yachts and merchandise move in for next week’s show – that type of logistical feat should be quite a show in itself!


    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    The Number 1 Reason to Buy a Bigger Boat Now

    Rounding out our Top Ten Reasons to Buy a Bigger Boat Now is:

    Reason # 1. Let’s Face It, ALL Boats Are Too Small

    It’s true. And after shopping for boats at countless boat shows, boat dealerships and marinas, you, too will notice the stark difference between how big a 30-footer looks up on pedestals in a coliseum or show room compared to how small the same boat looks in the water tied up at a dock.

    Most people are surprised when they first notice this. Of course, the boat doesn’t actually shrink when it’s placed in the water. But remember that about a quarter of the boat's exterior is now hidden below the waterline.

    Staring up at the hull at an indoor boat show makes the boat look huge. Staring down at the deck from the dock when the boat is in the water makes the same boat appear much smaller. It’s only then that you realize that much of that hidden real estate on the boat is not even usable living space, i.e., the engine, bilge, storage, etc.

    So, to avoid buyer’s remorse and ensure that you will not be disappointed by the size of your boat after you purchase it and place it in the water, buy that bigger boat now!


    Top 3 Reasons to Buy a Bigger Boat

    Reason # 2. Save on Fuel and Food

    This may sound counter-intuitive – but you can spend less money on both food and fuel with a bigger boat. It's simple if you go big and take it slow.

    Enjoying a bigger boat properly means taking more leisurely cruises than you may be used to. By going slower, you burn less fuel than you burn zipping around in a smaller, faster boat. You'll even enjoy sitting at the dock more on your spacious vessel than you would in a smaller boat.

    In fact, that brings us to how you’ll save on food. A bigger boat with a workable galley and comfortable seating areas will allow you to eat on board vs. heading on shore to the closest restaurant and spending a fortune every night. You’ll save a few bucks and experience waterfront dining at its best – on the comfort of your own boat.

    This tip was inspired by the true story of Capt. Eric posted on the Captain’s Blog at

    View the entire top ten list of reasons to buy a bigger boat now.


    Top 3 Reasons to Buy a Bigger Boat

    Reason # 3. Reduce "Guest Stress"

    Have you ever experienced "Guest Stress" right before going out on the boat? You know the feeling when 9 people show up at the dock when you only invited 3.

    Somebody brought their two kids AND one of the kid’s friends, your favorite aunt brought your other aunt who doesn’t even like boats, and even your spouse invited two people that you didn’t know were coming. You hate to be the bad guy, but safety first. Imagine the horror when you have to tell some of your guests that they can't come along!

    Wouldn't it be great if you could fit more friends and family on your boat comfortably – and experience less stress about the guest list? You will enjoy your boat more if you can have "more the merrier" attitude - heck, you'll probably even live longer! The folks at Discover Boating said it best: "Your family and group of friends are growing and they will keep growing. Once you find what you think is the right boat, check one out that is two feet longer. Three years from now, will your family be more comfortable in this one?"

    Check out the entire list of top ten reasons to buy a bigger boat now.


    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Reason 4 to Buy a Bigger Boat

    We're down to the last few reasons to buy that bigger boat now instead of getting a smaller boat. Don't forget, if you've already decided that you want a bigger boat, these reasons are free for you to use in making a case to your spouse or your bank so that they are on board with your purchase.

    Reason # 4. Extend the boating season

    Up here in chilly New England, all the small boats are pretty much out of the water for the winter. The bigger boats are still being used for fall fishing trips, foliage viewing, and many yachts are making their way down south for the winter.

    The first half of the summer was so rainy here that most small boats stayed docked or on their trailer until mid-August. But a bigger boat with a cabin wouldn’t let a little drizzle ruin the weekend. Small craft advisories are just that: warnings to small crafts. The big boys get to stay out and play if it’s safe to do so.

    Simply put, a big boat is more practical than a smaller boat because it can be used more often and for a longer chunk of the year. Rougher seas, inclement weather, a chill in the air… no problem for the bigger boat!


    Monday, October 19, 2009

    Buy a Bigger Boat (Top 5)

    We have moved on to the second half of our list of the Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Bigger Boat, and the complete list will be released over the next couple of days.

    Reason # 5: Versatility

    A bigger boat is more versatile than a smaller one, allowing you to take farther, longer trips.

    Sure, you could make an argument that a little runabout is more versatile than a cabin cruiser because the runabout could take a few people out for skiing, picnics, overnight camping, and day trips across the lake. While that is true, a larger boat can carry more fuel and withstand rougher seas allowing you to travel significantly farther than you would dare in most smaller boats.

    For example, a Connecticut boater with an 18-footer might not attempt a trip to Block Island, or even outside the safety of Long Island Sound. Meanwhile, the boater with a 34-footer wouldn’t hesitate. And with the larger boat, you can still go camping on the beach… but you also have the option of actually sleeping inside the boat. Heck, if your boat is big enough, you could even carry that smaller boat around in an on board garage like the one on this Lazzara LSX 92. How’s that for versatility?

    Check out the previous five reasons to buy a bigger boat now.


    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Sea Song of the Week: Island

    If the weather we’re experiencing in New England isn’t enough to make you want to sail away to an island, then the sounds and images in this video may do the trick.

    It’s been two weeks since we featured Jimmy Buffett in our TGIF Sea Songs, so we hope you soon get the chance to enjoy this tune properly... with your toes in the sand and a frozen drink in your hand.


    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Bigger Boat (6)

    Buying a new boat? You might want to go a little bigger – we’ll help you justify it. This rounds out the first half of the top 10 reasons to buy a bigger boat.

    Reason # 6. Sharks.

    You "Jaws" fans have been waiting for this line since we started discussing the Top Ten Reasons to Buy a Bigger Boat. Here it is... be ready for it...

    The sixth top reason to buy a bigger boat is not only because the late Roy Scheider said so, but it will also make you feel safer. I know, "Jaws" was just a movie, but come on - if you ever see a big fin in the water you know you’ll be wishing the boat you're on was just a little bit bigger! Get the bigger boat now, because you never know when you’ll run into a huge, hungry shark.

    Previous posts:
    Reason # 10: It’s the economy, stupid.
    Reason # 9: Tax Incentives
    Reason # 8: Prevent value loss
    Reason # 7: The Life Boat


    Buy a Bigger Boat Number 7

    If you thought the boat you want is big enough, you may be wrong. That’s why we came up with the top 10 reasons to buy a bigger boat. This post looks at number 7.

    Reason # 7: The Life Boat
    Let’s face it, life happens. You may choose to buy a smaller boat now and think that in a year or two you’ll trade up to a bigger boat (see 8).

    Think again. You never know what might transpire in your life over the next few years that could put buying a new boat on the back burner. Car and home repairs, college tuition, a career change or some other unforeseen event might take priority over upgrading to that bigger boat.

    The boat you buy now may end up being your "life" boat, the boat you have for a very long time – possibly the rest of your life.
    With that in mind, buy the bigger boat now as if it is going to be your boat for life.

    Previous posts:
    Reason # 10: It’s the economy, stupid.
    Reason # 9: Tax Incentives
    Reason # 8: Prevent value loss


    Buy a Bigger Boat Number 8

    If you thought the boat you want is big enough, you may be wrong. That’s why we came up with the top 10 reasons to buy a bigger boat.

    Reason # 10: It’s the economy, stupid.

    Reason # 9: Tax Incentives

    Reason # 8. Prevent value loss

    As a smart boat buyer, you have to face two simple facts: First of all, boats are like cars in that they lose a lot of value as soon as you “drive off the lot”. Second, no matter how big of a boat you buy, soon after your first cruise you will immediately start planning to buy an even bigger boat. That's just what boaters do.

    When you consider these factors, the cost of buying a boat, losing a bunch of money on it, and then buying the bigger boat later will add up to be much more than if you had simply bought the bigger boat now. Buying the bigger boat now may also quell your desire to trade up to an even bigger boat (at least temporarily!)


    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    Buy a Bigger Boat Number 9

    Is the boat you're thinking about buying is big enough? Think again.

    Yesterday we posted Reason # 10: It's the economy, stupid.

    Reason # 9: Tax Incentives

    A real estate blog in the Washington Post reminded me recently that boat owners have an excellent tax advantage available to them. That is, of course, if they already own a home and if the boat is big enough.

    Boats that have a head and a galley (that’s a bathroom and a kitchen area for you newbies) may qualify as a second home in the eyes of Uncle Sam, possibly allowing you to deduct the interest on your boat loan.

    So if you’re on the fence between a boat that has these amenities and one that does not, there could be a financial incentive to you in April if you go with the bigger boat with all the extra stuff.


    Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Bigger Boat

    Think the boat you're considering is big enough? Think again. Throughout the next several days, we're going to post our top ten reasons to buy a bigger boat. Remember: In the end, it's all relative and you should buy the boat that's best for you.

    Reason # 10: It's the economy, stupid.

    In this recession you can get a lot more boat for your money than you may ever be able to again. History and economic trends tell us that the prices of boats are going to rise significantly once they start selling again, as are the interest rates on boat loans, or the cost of money.

    And right now, boat dealers are making deals and individuals are putting boats up for auction to make a quick sale. Sooner or later, sellers won't be looking to make a deal to move inventory or to convince you that it's okay that a brand of boat is on the brink of bankruptcy. Interest rates won't be nearly zero for long.  It's a buyer's market, so grab all you can if have the means.


    Monday, October 12, 2009

    Historic Ship

    Ever wonder what happened to the famous Santa Maria, sailed by Columbus on his quest to prove the earth was not flat?

    The Santa Maria was the cargo ship in the famous voyage, and was wider and clumsier than the Nina and Pinta. As such, she was probably not very easy to maneuver among the islands that Columbus “discovered”. The Santa Maria ran aground on Christmas Day 1492 on the island of Isla Espanola, which is now known as Haiti, and soon after was taken apart for lumber to build a fortress.

    You can learn more about the ship’s history and crew at Wikipedia or


    Friday, October 09, 2009

    A Beautiful Sea Song

    This week’s sea song was an easy choice on the birthday of both John and Sean Lennon.

    Today’s Sea Song of the Week is Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) by John Lennon, which he wrote for his son Sean and released on what would be John Lennon's last album in 1980. Further qualifying this as a song worthy of sailing to is the metaphorical line "Out on the ocean sailing the waves."


    Thursday, October 08, 2009

    Columbus Day Weekend & Boats

    Got plans for the long weekend? How about something involving boats? What better way to celebrate the man who sailed across the Atlantic to re-discover the new world over 500 years ago? In fact, you could actually visit exact replicas of the Nina and the Pinta in West Virginia over the next few days.

    One of the largest sailing-focused shows in the world, the 40th Annual United States Sailboat Show is this weekend in Annapolis, MD, on the Chesapeake Bay.

    Other events this weekend include regattas in Alabama and Connecticut. Outside the US, you’ve got the Club Marine Mandurah Boat Show in Western Australia as well as the last couple of days of the Genoa show in Italy.

    More details at the calendar.


    Wednesday, October 07, 2009

    Sailing Round the World

    As a recreational sailor, you may not be aware of the many races, large and small, occurring at any given point on the waterways – all over the world. Many demand months of commitment and a lifetime of preparation from their participants.

    One such race going on right now is the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which involves ten months and 35,000 miles of ocean racing among 400 people. This year’s race began on 13 September 2009 with ten sleek, stripped down 68-foot yachts embarking on a full circumnavigation of the globe, and claims to be the only one of its kind available to non-professional sailors.

    We love oceanic comparisons to mountain climbing. As if not to let us down, the Round the World website proclaims that “Fewer people have raced a yacht around the globe than have climbed Mount Everest”. That's probably true.

    You can get the latest news from the race, see great pictures, and even participate in the race virtually – from dry land – at


    Tuesday, October 06, 2009

    Relive the Titanic

    These days we cruise confidently on large ships adorned with pools, casinos and restaurants. Passengers on cruise ships risk the occasional salmonella outbreak, or perhaps some pirates if they're in the wrong "neighborhood."

    The days of fearing a cruise ship might share the fate of the Titanic are behind us, as we have reached a point between technology and experience that enable us to avoid such disasters. But wait… isn't that exactly the same hubris that led to the sinking of the mighty Titanic? Is it really such a good idea to tempt the gods of the sea with a Titanic Memorial Cruise on the 100 year anniversary of the fateful cruise?

    That's just what British firm Miles Morgan Travel is planning for the year 2012, according to an AP story in the Canadian Press earlier today. Would you want to be in the North Atlantic on a ship on 4/14/12, the same date the Titanic hit an iceberg and began to sink? Seriously, cruising is very, very safe, but is this really such a good idea?


    Monday, October 05, 2009

    Rough Weekend for Boaters

    This past weekend’s news included an unusually high number of boating mishaps, especially considering the cooling weather across much of the US.

    An accident Sunday night off Long Island, NY, resulted in a boat landing somewhere from 100 to 150 feet from the water. The AP reported that the 40-foot high-performance powerboat crashed onto a marsh island east of the Wantagh Parkway Sunday night, and unfortunately resulted in three people being killed and four critically injured.

    Earlier in the weekend, the St. Petersburg Times ran an article about a boating crash that killed a 17 year old girl and injured four other teens that were aboard a 22 ft runabout. Like the NY accident, the Florida tragedy involved operating a boat at a high rate of speed in a channel or harbor.

    Of course every situation is different, but please visit FirstBoat’s safety page for a couple of basic tips and resources for keeping safe during your boating adventures.


    Friday, October 02, 2009

    Sea Song for Friday: Come Sail Away

    Here's a live-in-concert version of today's Sea Song, Come Sail Away by Styx.

    Even though this twisted song is not exactly about sailing on the sea, the repeating chorus (come sail away, come sail away, come and sail away with me) can really put you in a nautical state of mind. And best of all... about 5 minutes in, it really starts to rock.


    Thursday, October 01, 2009

    Sail for Hope

    Sailing season is winding up in Newport, Rhode Island, but one final regatta is happening this weekend. Sail for Hope is an annual event which began after 9/11 to raise money for various charities. Hosted by Sail Newport, Sail for Hope has raised over ¼ million dollars for RI and humanitarian based charities over the past seven years.

    The 2009 edition of Sail for Hope, with more than fifty boats already registered, is this Saturday, October 3rd, and will be feature a sail around Conanicut Island. More info.

    If you’re looking for a boat show this weekend, you are in luck if you’re in Genoa, Italy, Massapequa, NY or Gonzales, Louisiana. In other boat show news, the New York National Boat Show is celebrating its 105th year with a return to its traditional mid-January dates and a new five-day format. The show will be held January 20 - 24, 2010.

    For more info about any of these events, visit the FirstBoat boat show calendar.


    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    Extreme Green Boating

    Sometimes it seems like the only choice for boaters concerned about the environment is to trade in our fuel-driven motorboats for sailboats.

    What more can you do?

    You might get some ideas from an article the NY Times ran last week about a new mega yacht called Soliloquy. While Soliloquy is still in the conceptual stage, it is expected to have retractable (think Swiss Army) solar sails and a hybrid electric-diesel motor for back-up. Turning the vessel up a notch on the green meter, it will even come with treadmills that help charge the main batteries, making the boat partially human-powered. (Think cartoon hamster wheel.)

    What else can you do? Sailing Magazine told us its green issue will be available in October. If you thought switching to sails was green enough, wait until you see what this issue has to offer. The issue is expected to discuss how to make sailing even greener, plus green places to sail and the best green products for sailors. Look for it soon at


    Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    Quiet before the Storm

    2009 has delivered a mild hurricane season so far, but is it the quiet before the storm? Just today Clemson University released a research paper showing that hurricanes have increased in frequency over the past five years. Is the worst yet to come? Now is the time to make sure you’re prepared.

    Boaters up and down the east coast and across the Gulf of Mexico know better than anybody that hurricanes can not only wreak havoc on waterside towns and property, but that boats and marinas are especially vulnerable. That is why we want to share two very important publications from BoatU.S. – a 12 page guide for boat owners, as well as a 24 page white paper for marinas and yacht clubs – to help boaters prepare for hurricanes.

    When the next storm comes, don't  be caught off guard:

    View the complete guides and additional hurricane resources now.

    Photo Credit: Collection of Wayne and Nancy Weikel, FEMA Fisheries Coordinators, NOAA


    Monday, September 28, 2009

    Boaters Face New Drinking Law

    Drinking and boating are two words that seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. But sailors in England are not pleased with a proposed law that would regulate alcohol consumption by recreational boaters. CNN reports that the policies may include breathalyzer tests and alcohol limits similar to those imposed on automobile drivers.

    In defense of the new legislation, England’s Dept. for Transportation provided figures from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), stating that alcohol likely played a role in over 25% of leisure craft deaths from 2005 to 2007.

    Do you think uniform, nationwide drinking laws are a good idea for boaters in England or in the US, or would this pretty much take all the fun out of boating? Could such a law even be enforced? What are your thoughts?

    By the way, the MAIB has very interesting and detailed reports of incidents involving merchant, fishing and leisure vessels at their website.

    Friday, September 25, 2009

    Sea Song: The Captain and the Kid

    Jimmy Buffett says he wrote this song as a tribute to his grandfather who was a sailing ship captain. While it does not get as much play as hits like Cheeseburger in Paradise or Margaritaville, The Captain and the Kid is a classic sailing song.


    Thursday, September 24, 2009

    Weekend Boat Shows

    There is no shortage of boat shows around the world this week. I’ll be in Norwalk Friday for their in-water show, which includes live music and other entertainment for the first time this year. The 31st Annual Lido Yacht Expo starts today in Newport Beach, California, and features John Wayne’s 136 ft yacht, which is named Wild Goose (photo credit: Haute Yachts.) The boldly named "BOAT SHOW USA – 2009" is happening in Mt. Clemens, Michigan – a week later than previously scheduled. Billing itself as a Florida-style show in Houston, the South West International Boat Show is happening in Texas this weekend.

    Outside of the US there are plenty of boat shows as well. If you’re in France, you can enjoy the Grand Pavois de la Rochelle. The Germans have their INTERBOOT International Watersports Exhibition, which has been going on since last weekend, and the 19th Monaco Yacht Show began yesterday at Port Hercules.

    Get more information about these shows and more at the all new boat show calendar on (now taking suggestions for future events that should be listed.)


    Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    Take Two from Down Under

    sydney dust stormsAs Australia recovers from its strange dust storm that turned the sky various shades of red, orange and yellow, and put a strangle hold on Sydney for a day, one of the country's bravest daughters is about to take a second stab at an historic journey. You can see that Jessica Watson of Sunshine Coast, Queensland, is someone who knows exactly what she wants by the straightforward statement on her blog: "Ambition: Become the youngest person to sail solo, nonstop and unassisted around the world"

    Jessica is tying up the final loose ends to prepare herself and Ella's Pink Lady for the adventure of a lifetime, I invite you to post a comment here or on her blog to let her know that she may be solo but she won’t be alone.

    On the web:
    Jessica’s blog
    Pictures of Sydney
    News about the strange Australian weather here and here