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.