Friday, January 29, 2010

Buffett or Buffet? Both!

Jimmy Buffett has a new album out called the Buffet Hotel (Pronounced Buff-Ayy like an all-you-could-eat food place, BUFF-IT like his name), and there's the track on it that we think will become one of your favorite anthems. That's why we chose A Lot To Drink About as our Sea Song of the Week.

You can see more stories and clips from Jimmy's new album at, and all our January picks for Sea Song of the Week here.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

At the Hartford Boat Show

Each week we tell you about boat shows around the world, but this week it's personal.

While there are a few boating events around the country, the Hartford Boat Show is the only one we’re thinking about. Our sister site, BoatNameGear, will be exhibiting all weekend at the Hartford show. At the BoatNameGear booth, you'll be able to see and feel the high quality products that are usually only available online – welcome mats, shirts, jackets, totes and more, all personalized with your boat name.

Of course there are other boat shows this weekend, but the other two general-themed boat shows – in sunny San Diego and historic Duesseldorf – were tempting yet too far to travel for this young, growing organization. Other shows in the US sounded too specific for our needs – Strictly Sail in the windy city and Trawler Fest down in Ft. Lauderdale. So it turns out that the boat show in our own backyard was the only show for us this weekend!

Learn more about the 2010 Hartford Boat Show, and get coupons to print and bring to the show to save money on admission. And if you go, please stop by booth E10 and say hello! (We're not far from the food stands in the back, to the right.)

As always, details about other boat shows and more are available on our boat show calendar.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Getting Younger

This weekend, while many of us were deciding important issues such as who will be in the Superbowl, a 16 year old American girl sailed off from California in an attempt to become the youngest nonstop solo circumnavigator. You can follow the trek of Abby Sunderland and her yacht, Wild Eyes, on her website:

Of course, we've also been paying close attention to Australia's Jessica Watson, who embarked on her own quest to solo-sail around the world, unassisted, this past September. Just this weekend, around the time that Abby was setting sail, Jessica was passing through an incredible storm that she said pushed her mast "180 degrees in to the water". More details and pics of the damage done to her yacht, Ella's Pink Lady, are available at Jessica's blog.

Pete Thomas, writing for the LA Times, has a great piece about Abby's adventure, and includes factoids such as Abby's older brother Zac is (currently) the youngest American to sail around the world alone. He did it at 17, and was trumped within weeks by England's Mike Perham, who did the same but "at a slightly younger 17."

These are all amazing "kids" doing amazing things, and we look forward to their safe and successful returns!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Daydreaming of the Sea

On Steve Perry's birthday, what better boat ballad could we have chosen than Journey's Daydream for our Sea Song of the Week? If you’re not familiar with this tune, it's off their 1979 album Evolution which also brought us Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' – their first top 20 hit. Hope you enjoy it.

For a completely different sort of Sea Song, check out last week's choice from rising Irish star Lisa Hannigan.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Boat Show Mania

Seriously, if you can’t find a boat show near you this weekend, you must be on the west coast! The Midwest and east coast are flooded with big boat shows this week, but don't worry California, you've got one coming up next weekend.

Weekend-long boat shows kicked off yesterday in Minneapolis, Louisville and New York (one of the big ones). Today marks the start of the Baltimore Boat Show, and tomorrow (Friday) is the first day of South Carolina's 30th Annual Charleston Boat Show.

Milwaukee and Cleveland shows, both of which began last weekend, wrap up this Sunday, January 24th. (Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee show)

Attention US Power Squadron members: The New York National Boat Show is offering free admission all weekend long with your USPS identification according to a post on the show’s FaceBook page.

As always, details about all these shows and more are available on our boat show calendar.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Survey Says...

Buying a new boat? Once you’ve chosen the "perfect" boat, get it surveyed before you complete the deal.

When searching for a surveyor, keep in mind that a Google search will not necessarily point out which surveyors are properly accredited and honest. And while the boat dealer you're buying from might tell you they "know a guy" who can survey your boat, keep in mind that it may be a conflict of interest to get a reference from the seller.

Luckily, there are reputable organizations with searchable websites that you can use to find a trusted surveyor. The two that seem to be recognized by marine insurance companies such as BoatUS award accreditation to surveyors who have a minimum of 5 years experience, pass rigorous examinations and agree to adhere to an ethics code.

The National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS, pictured) offers Certified Marine Surveyor (CMS) status.

The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS), offers Accredited Marine Surveyor (AMS) status.

The bottom line is, when buying a boat, look for an independent surveyor that shows you their credentials as CMS or AMS. More boat buying tips and reasons to work with a surveyor can be found in the FirstBoat buying guide.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Charter Wisely

Hiring a fishing boat can be the highlight of any vacation, but how do you know you can trust your charter boat captain?

In other words, how do you know that a boat owner did not simply flip over his vessel's "For Sale" sign and write "Fishing Charters" in order to make a few bucks to keep up with the payments? Is he (or she) licensed, familiar with the area, outfitted with the proper safety gear, etc?

Now we're all for entrepreneurship, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to start a business. We don’t want to see people getting taken for a ride or putting their family in danger when they are just looking to enjoy a few hours of fishing.

Asking the right questions is one way to make sure you are going with a reputable fishing charter company, according to Christy Johnson in an article from the Florida Keys Fishing Examiner. Ms. Johnson is also the co-founder of Sea Squared Charters, a company that is as transparent in their business practices as they are experienced in fishing the Florida Keys. A quick look at their web site ( and you already know all about the captain, the boat and the gear they use, how long they’ve been fishing, and anything else you can think of about their operation.

So if you're looking to do some charter boat fishing and you want to make it the adventure of a lifetime, use these questions as a guide before booking your next trip, and make sure your experience is both safe and fun for the whole family.


Friday, January 15, 2010

How to Sew a Sea Song

In a departure from our usual choice of a Jimmy Buffett ballad or some 1970's yacht rock, this week's Sea Song of the Week is from our latest addiction, Lisa Hannigan.

Listen to Lille from Lisa Hannigan's debut album "Sea Sew" and you'll see what we're talking about.

We've featured Lisa Hannigan's official video for Lille, along with a few of our other recent choices for Sea Song of the Week, on the Daily Boater channel on YouTube.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Bundle of Boat Shows

There are so many boat shows this weekend, there’s not even time to say anything witty about them. In fact, if you are in the neighborhood of Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, Cleveland, or Stuart, Florida, there’s a boat show this weekend near you. By the way, the cold spell has broken in Florida and Stuart is expected to be sunny and 76 on Friday, so if you're looking for an excuse to head south on a whim, this might be it. This is also the 2nd weekend of huge boat shows in Houston and London.

Next week’s calendar is just as packed, so if you want to go to a boat show, it looks like this is the week to do it. For details about all these shows and more, visit our outdoor events calendar.

Now if there’s a boat show very close to you and you’re still on the fence about going, take just 60 seconds and watch this short video where Keith "the boating guy" explains why you must go to the boat show.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Motor Boat of the Year Awards Part Two

This is not déjà vu.

Today we found out which boats were chosen as winners for the 2010 Motor Boat of the Year Awards. This is the London-based ceremony, sponsored by Garmin, and awarded by Motor Boat & Yachting and Motor Boats Monthly magazines. If all of this sounds familiar, yesterday we found out about the entirely different MotorBoating Magazine 2009 Best of the Year awards in the US. How many magazines with the words "Motor" and "Boat" are there anyway?

The Motor Boat of the Year Awards event took place at the London Boat Show last evening, and included 10 categories ranging from RIBs to Custom Yachts over 70 feet. Of the winners, one of our favorites is the Sessa C38, which took the award for the best Sportscruiser below 45ft. Sessa Marine, based in Italy, is a 50-year-old family-owned manufacturer of fishing boats, cruisers and yachts. We found this long video with an extensive tour of the C38, in and out on the water. If you can get past the shirtless comic and subtitles, you’ll enjoy a good overview of this fine looking yacht.

More details about the ceremony from London and award criteria can be found at, and the winners from all ten categories follow:

1 - RIBs & Sportsboats – Zodiac N-ZO

2 - Wheelhouse & Walkaround – Paragon 31

3 - Trawlers and Aft Cabins – Bénéteau Swift Trawler 34

4 - Traditional and Retro – Nordic Cruiser

5 - Steel and Inland – Linssen 25.9

6 - Sportscruiser below 45ft – Sessa C38

7 - Sportscruiser above 45ft – Princess V62

8 - Flybridge below 55ft – Azimut 53

9 - Flybridges over 55ft – Fairline Squadron 65

10 - Custom Yachts over 70ft – Mochi Long Range 23


Monday, January 11, 2010

Awards for Best Motor Boats of the Year

MotorBoating Magazine announced their 2009 Best of the Year award winners in a press release, according to

The winners, which were selected in several categories, included the Regal 44 Sport Coupe (shown) in the Family Cruiser category and the Mastercraft 300 in the Day Yacht category.

Look for the entire list of winners in the February issue of MotorBoating magazine at the end of this month.

Meanwhile, across the pond, two other magazines – Motor Boat & Yachting and Motor Boats Monthly – will be announcing their own Motor Boat of the Year Awards 2010. Check this page for an update when the winners are announced within the next 24 hours.


Friday, January 08, 2010

The Bowie Birthday Sea Song

Didn’t realize David Bowie and Elvis Presley shared a birthday, but it made for a fun search through their discographies to find today’s Sea Song of the Week.

You may have thought of others and we’d love to hear them, but today we’re going with Red Sails by David Bowie.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

What to do this Weekend

Wow, the 2010 winter show season is certainly in full swing. The first show of the New Year in the US kicks off today in Providence, RI, followed closely by the Houston International Boat, Sport & Travel Show which starts Friday and seems to have something for everyone based on the title of the event.

If that’s not enough, folks outside the US can enjoy boat shows in both Europe and Southeast Asia. London and Phuket (Thailand) are both hosting large International boat shows this weekend. The Phuket boat show, called PIMEX 2010, is no joke - check out this video about the event from CNN Main Sail.

Lastly, if you’re in Connecticut this weekend, check out the Northeast RV & Camping Show at the new Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. When you’re there, please stop by booth number 5 and say hello to the folks at Boat Name Gear. Here’s a coupon to make the price of admission a little less painful.

Details on all these and other upcoming shows can be found on our boat show calendar.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Happy Trails to You

Mega yachts are always in the news, but the majority of boats are less than 25 feet in length.

It’s true. In fact, 95% of vessels on the water today are less than 26 feet long and trailerable, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. This number may increase if you consider that with the state of the current economy, many boat owners may be downsizing; and if you are lucky enough to be buying your first boat it will likely be small enough to trailer.

With all this in mind, we thought we’d share some resources we found to help you trailer your boat.

Towing a boat is no easy task, but it can be mastered if you follow the guides and tips we’ve found on the following sites.

Suite 101 Boating & Sailing: Boat Trailer Towing Tips

Commander Bob: Towing Boats

Edmunds: How to tow a trailer

Discover Boating: Towing and Trailering
If you are reading this because you are buying your first trailerable boat, then congratulations! Feel free to explore FirstBoat for additional resources for new boaters.


Monday, January 04, 2010

Boating in 2010

Now that those ten unspeakable years are behind us, let’s get on with the rest of the 21st century and hope for a healthy and prosperous 2010. We’re rooting for the New Year to bring a sunny and calm boating season and a strong economy to help us buy a bigger boat, or at least keep our fuel tanks topped off.

In many parts of North America, the New Year brings new boating laws, some of which we told you about before our Christmas break. (See: New Boating Laws for the New Year)

Two new regulations kicked in when the ball dropped last week, and they’re in warm weather states so pay attention:
Anyone under 21 must pass a state-approved boating safety course, and possess photo identification and a boating safety education identification card if they're operating a boat with a motor of 10 horsepower or more.
14 and 15-year-olds, consider yourselves warned. If you are driving a boat with a skier or water tuber in tow, you now must be least 16 years old, unless you have an adult on board. You also must be at least 14 to be the person that watches the person appointed to watching the people skiing or tubing behind the boat.
We’re sure more fun and confusing regulations will appear in the coming months and years, and we’ll let you know about them when they do. Be sure to check the Daily Boater’s law updates, or visit

Happy New Year!

* Photo Courtesy of The U.S. Coast Guard.