Thursday, September 30, 2010

Boston Boat Show Returns

Boston's Fall Boat Show Tops This Weekend's Events

We have been talking about it for so long, it's hard to believe that it's finally here. The Boston Fall Boat Show is this Friday through Sunday at the Seaport World Trade Center. Our friends from Boat Name Gear will be exhibiting and giving away a $100 shopping spree for their personalized stuff.

If you're going to the show, make sure you visit the boat show's official website first for discounted admission and printable coupons for free stuff at the show:

And the Rest
If you are nowhere near Boston this weekend, there are a couple of other boat shows around the world - maybe one is near you. The Anacortes Boat Show starts today near the San Juan Islands in Washington, and the Southern Outer Banks Boat and Outdoor Expo is happening in North Carolina on Saturday and Sunday. Overseas, the week-long 50th Genoa International Boat Show starts on Saturday.

You can find links to the show websites, maps, and more for each of these and other upcoming shows on our boat show calendar.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Boat Product of the Week: Baby Boat Seat

New baby seat is perfect for boaters with young kids 
baby boat seat

Sitting on a gently rocking boat and sitting in a baby swing are probably two of the fastest ways to put a baby to sleep. Armed with this knowledge, a North Carolina man had what you might call a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Moment and invented the SearocK – a baby seat designed for use on the boat. We met the SearocK’s inventor, Billy Taylor – a passionate father and boater - and saw the product in action when it debuted at the New England Boat Show earlier this year, and again at the Newport show just this month. We were impressed.

At first glance, the SearocK looks like your average baby swing. But it’s much more. It has a tray for small toys or food, a faux fishing rod holder, and is made of marine grade materials to withstand the elements of salt and weather.

The SearocK baby seat is crafted to hang under any sturdy boat top (thus protecting the child from the sun) using a 4-point harness. For added safety, it has a stabilizer chord below the seat to keep it from swinging too high or hitting anything. The product’s website warns, however, that the SearocK is for use only in no-wake areas and should never be used while a vessel is underway.

If you have a boat and a child between the ages of 6 months and 3 years old, be sure to check out the SearocK at


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Boating in Southern New England

If you boat in Connecticut, Rhode Island or Massachusetts, or hope to someday, you can now visit first for local boating information. We will soon be adding local boating resources for other parts of the United States as well, but we are starting with our own stomping grounds of Southern New England. We thought maybe we could help some folks while we still have a few more weeks of decent boating weather.

Speaking of New England... Meet us in Boston THIS WEEKEND for the return of Boston’s Fall Boat Show at the Seaport World Trade Center. Coupons for discounted tickets are available at
Back to our new local pages
Visit our new Boating in Connecticut, Boating in Massachusetts, or Boating in Rhode Island pages and you’ll find all the resources you need before navigating to any of these states, including:

* Maps marked with marinas so you can decide exactly where to boat

* Online charts so that you can begin to plot your course before you hit the water

* Safety certificate requirements so that you can make sure you’re legal

* Advice about tricky navigational spots, lists of boat ramps and much more
So if you boat in New England, or plan to someday, we hope our free local boating resources help you enjoy your time on the water. Let us know what you think, or if there's anything you'd like to see added in the future.

Not in New England? No problem! Please let us know which states you'd like to see us "beef up" with more local boating resources - comment below or send us an email.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Dramatic Rescues at Sea

There were some dramatic rescues on the water and boating incidents around the world over the weekend. Following are a few that caught our attention.

Meet us in Boston this weekend for the return of Boston’s Fall Boat Show, October 1 – 3, at the Seaport World Trade Center. Coupons for discounted tickets are available at

Seattle Water Taxi Crash
In Seattle, the Rachel Marie, a ferry carrying 73 people, crashed into the town dock sending seven passengers to the hospital. Lots of photos, video and eyewitness testimony on the West Seattle Blog.

Photo: WA Surf Lifesaving
EPIRB Saves Five
Five men who had been fishing over the weekend were found alive in the Indian Ocean by rescuers several hours after their catamaran sank in high seas. According to, an EPIRB saved their life.

Police Chief Plays Aquaman
Block Island Police Chief Vincent Carlone is being recognized as a hero after saving the lives of two fishermen who were struggling to hold on to the bow of their overturned 34-foot boat in heavy swells on Sunday. The fishermen and their sunken boat, the “Free Spirit”, were relatively close to shore, but huge waves and jagged rocks prevented rescuers from reaching them. The Block Island Times reports that rescue personnel determined that the best course of action would be for the police chief to put on snorkeling gear and swim to the fishermen, prompting one of those rescued to say it was like being saved by Aquaman. The two men, one of whom had served in the Coast Guard, were not wearing life jackets.

Boating Safety
Have any of these stories reminded you about the importance of wearing a life jacket? Now would be a good time to visit our boating safety page on


Friday, September 24, 2010

Sea Song for the Boss

In honor of the Boss celebrating his 61st birthday yesterday, our choice for the Sea Song of the Week is Galveston Bay by Bruce Springsteen.

Of course we recognize this song is not 100% about boating, but it does talk about the life of a couple of fishermen. It's a little surprising, given Springsteen's connection to an ocean state like New Jersey, that almost none of his songs mention boats (although many of his songs do mention being on or near a beach.) Springsteen fans: please correct me if I'm mistaken - I would love to hear him sing some sailing songs.

For more from the Boss, visit his official site at, and if you were thinking we meant the other "Boss", you will enjoy this video tribute from one Boss to the other.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Norwalk, Metro Beach, Lido and Monaco Boat Shows

This Weekend
Photo: Monaco Yacht Show © Altivue
The title says it all – there are big boating events going on this weekend at Norwalk Cove in Norwalk, Connecticut, at Metro Beach in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, and at Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach, California. And if you happen to be in Europe right now, head to the Monaco Yacht Show where, if you like luxurious super and mega-yachts, you will not be disappointed. Links and directions in our boat show calendar.

In The Water
All of these shows have something unique to offer, and all have boats on display in the water. We’ll be walking the Norwalk show on Thursday wearing FirstBoat gear – spot us, say hello, and you will win a FirstBoat hat or t-shirt. This was a lot of fun when we did it in Newport last week and we're looking forward to doing it again and meeting more of you in Connecticut.

Countdown to Boston
We are looking forward to the return of the Boston Fall Boat Show next weekend, October 1st to the 3rd at the Seaport World Trade Center. Our friends from Boat Name Gear will be exhibiting and giving away all kinds of free gear.

Between the boat show, New England’s famous fall foliage, the Yankees in town for a series at Fenway, and the Holy War (Notre Dame at Boston College), Beantown will definitely be buzzing. In fact, there may be no better time to head to Boston for a weekend getaway than next weekend. More about the boat show, including discount tickets, at


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Safety for Squirts

Every casual reader of the Daily Boater knows how strongly we feel about kids wearing life jackets, and every parent knows how difficult it is to get kids to wear them.

Lots of life vest designers have tried to tackle this issue by adding colorful designs and pictures of cartoon characters such as Spider-Man or Dora (both of which sit in this editor’s garage). No matter how many colors or cartoons you add to a life jacket, kids just don’t seem to be impressed.
Opa Cove changed that when they created Sea Squirts. Sea Squirts are the first and only life jackets to have a flexible fin on the back, which is actually more than just a fun design to get the kids to wear them. Opa Cove founder Richard Barbis told us at the Newport Boat Show that the sturdy grab-me fin is rated to hold up to 150 lbs. The jacket comes in a variety of styles, including the Clownfish (Disney probably won’t let Opa Cove call it the Nemo vest, but everyone who saw it at the Newport Boat Show was calling it that!), Killa Whale, Grrreat White Shark, Dolphin and Angelfish.

Opa claims that Sea Squirts life vests are shipshape enough to qualify as a ski vest or wake-boarding vest, and are currently pending U.S. Coast Guard certification as a United Type III PFD (expected by 2011). As soon as they’re officially certified, they will be a must-have for your boating squirts. The fin-on-the-back design is also available on a swim assist vest – perfect for the pool or beach.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Boat Load of an iPhone App

There’s a new iPhone app available for boaters, and its developers say it is far more comprehensive than any other boating app out there.

Oneupweb, the agency that released Boat Load, say it was designed to help any and all boaters on the water. The app is essentially a nicely packaged bundle of several boating features found in numerous other boating apps, but that bundling is also what makes it so useful. From one place on your iPhone you now have access to several important tools, including weather forecasts and data and tide tables, integrated GPS and mapping for marinas, point-of-interest (POI) trip planning tools and shopping and maintenance notes.

There are also several features on the Boat Load app that can help make boating safer. The app makes real-time float plans easy to create and share. Anything that makes it easier to remember to use a float plan is worth five bucks in our book. Also, the app’s two-tap SOS button activates and confirms an emergency 911 call. This is great when close to shore, and as a back-up to a VHF radio, but never depend solely on a phone for boating safety. The company also claims you can file instant insurance claims with this app, but we didn’t want to have to put ourselves in a position to test this "claim" (ha ha).

Oneupweb has created other mobile apps, but the Boat Load app was born out of the company’s connection with and passion for the water. Their Traverse City offices overlook beautiful Traverse Bay, many of Oneupweb’s employees are avid boating enthusiasts, and the company’s CEO, Lisa Wehr, can be found on her pontoon boat all summer long.

The Boat Load app is currently only available for the iPhone, with no set plans to port it to the Droid or Blackberry. You can get it in the iTunes store for a one-time download fee of $4.99.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Boating Rescue Caught on Video

There were several boating mishaps over the weekend. Some of them were tragic, some dramatic and some just plain strange, but most have boating safety lessons you can take away from them.

Forced Rescue on Video
We’ll start with our headline story. People watched a man struggle to get his boat to shore for more than 24 hours before the onlookers called authorities in to help him. When the helicopter arrived, the captain wanted to stay with his ship, but as you’ll see in this amazing video, they got him just in time.

Missing Boater Found in Woods
Usually reports of people who fall overboard and go missing end very badly, but no matter the outcome they are usually found in or near the water. WTVM reports that was not the case for a Savannah Georgia man on Sunday who was found alive in the woods after a 7-hour search.

Pakistan has an Environmental Protection Agency?
When you see a headline like “3 held for motorboating”, your first instinct might be that the newspaper left off a couple of words such as “while drunk”, or “in a stolen boat”. But yesterday, 3 men were reported as being arrested and their boats confiscated by police.
Why? Because they were on Rawal Lake in Pakistan, where boating was banned by the country’s EPA earlier this month.

Sinking boaters call 911
On Sunday afternoon in Florida, the owner of a 22-foot Sea Cat called 911 on a cell phone according to ABC Action News. But his sinking boat had drifted more than a mile and a half away from where he made the call, so by the time the Coast Guard located the vessel all three passengers were in the water. Luckily all three were wearing life jackets and were safely rescued. Details in stories like this are always vague, but could a handheld VHF radio made this rescue go a little more smoothly by allowing continuous communication between the Coast Guard and distressed boaters?


Friday, September 17, 2010

Mystic Sea Song of the Week

This week's Sea Song of the Week is Into the Mystic by Van Morrison...

IntoDownload Into the Mystic, off Van Morrison's Moondance album, on iTunes

Lately we have been using this space on our Sea Song of the Week posts to link to our featured artist's official website, but fans may be disappointed when they go to Van Morrison's site. All we found was a blank page. Normally, in a case like this, we'd connect you to the Van Morrison Wikipedia page as an alternative source for information. But just this week Rush Limbaugh taught us that you can't always trust what you read on Wikipedia.

Oh well, just enjoy the tune.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Boat Shows on the Coasts

Both coasts of the US are hosting boat shows today through Sunday the 19th.

East Coast
The Newport International Boat Show kicks off today in Rhode Island, celebrating its 40th anniversary. If you go today (Thursday), and you see our publisher walking around wearing a FirstBoat polo shirt, say 'hello' and he will give you a free FirstBoat hat or t-Shirt. If you miss it, don't worry - you'll have another chance to win at the Boston Fall Boat Show in two weeks.

West Coast
The west coast has several nautical festivities this weekend, including the Northern California Fall Boat Show in Oakland, the Central Oregon RV Dealers Association Fall RV and Boat Show and Sale (Redmond, Or), and the Boats Afloat Show in Seattle.

Across the Pond
The PSP Southampton Boat Show is still going on, and today is Ladies Day at the show - all day Thursday.

If you were disappointed that Lake Erie Boat Week was canceled last week, don't despair. Yesterday was the first day of the North American In-Water Boat Show, just 10 miles up the road, at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

For info about more nautical events, and links to the official websites of all of this weekend's shows, visit our calendar of boat shows.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Name Some Boats, Win Some Stuff

It’s time to name some boats… for a chance to win free stuff.

Some people say naming a boat is harder than naming a baby or a pet. We have a website full of new boat owners that really need your help picking out a boat name. The Boat Name Blog is one of our sister sites. Over the past few weeks, a lot of people have sent their stories into the Boat Name Blog – all of them looking for help in choosing a boat name.

How To Win
Suggest some boat names for any boat name story at the blog, keep it family-friendly, and we may randomly pick you to win a free, high-quality, personalized boat name shirt at the end of the month. These 100% cotton shirts come embroidered with your choice of color and up to two lines of text, including your boat name, on the left chest area of the shirt. (Learn more about the shirt... or buy one now.)

When, How Often, More Details!
Any comments dated in September can win this month, even if your boat name suggestions are for requests for help that are dated prior to the start of the month. You can suggest as many boat names as you want, just please keep them clean, and don't post as 'anonymous' or we won't be able to contact you to tell you if you won. This is not a best boat name contest, we'll pick winners randomly. The clock re-sets on October 1st, so come back next month to try to win again. We're doing this every month - at least until the end of the year.

The Boat Owners
Some of the folks at the blog have an idea of what they want their name to be about, some of them have pictures of their boats, but many of them are a blank slate.

So if you’re feeling just a little creative, and want to try to win some prizes while helping some fellow boaters, please visit the Boat Name Blog and suggest some boat names now.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Able to Fish and Boat

We’ve seen some exciting news in the past 24 hours about boating and fishing opportunities for people who may have previously thought that the freedom of getting out on the water was not an option.

First, we received an announcement yesterday that a non-profit organization in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, launched a new website and fund raising effort to help physically challenged anglers get back on the water. The stated mission of Armchair Anglers is to provide world-class fishing trips for the physically challenged on a fully accessible, stable catamaran boat, in an effort to bring the healing that only time spent on the water can provide. Learn more about this organization at

Next, when the Wall Street Journal hit our desks this morning, forgive the pun, but we couldn’t believe our eyes. The story that got our attention was about a man who sails a 36 foot boat, with no crew onboard, and no eyesight of his own. Wearing a webcam on his head, the sailor is guided by a sighted man onshore. Full story at

If you are familiar with any similar services or stories, please post them here as comments. Here are a few we found after this article "went to print".

Another Florida organization worth mentioning, Anchors Aweigh Charters of Amelia Island, provides fishing charters free of charge to those with permanent physical and/or developmental disabilities as well as those diagnosed with a terminal illness.

New Jersey offers a list on a PDF document, here, of Accessible Fishing Sites For People With Disabilities

Mass offers a similar list, but they've got a cooler name for theirs: Barrier Free Fishing

This headline was in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review earlier this year: Brownsville bass fishing tournament hooks disabled veterans (full story)


Monday, September 13, 2010

Boat Report from the Weekend

Cooler temps will soon keep many "fair weather" boaters out of the water and we won’t have so much excitement to write about on Mondays. But for now, there is too much to fit in our little posts.

A sailboat flipped over on Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City on Saturday afternoon, tragically resulting in the drowning of its operator, who was found not wearing a life jacket. Another man and two children onboard survived. Story, video courtesy of News9 KWTV.

Big Boat Crash in Texas
Two rented boats, carrying three families with a combined eight children and four adults, collided Sunday on Lewisville Lake in Texas. One of the boats sank, and at least one boy was seriously injured, according to the Dallas News. A spokeswoman for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department stated that the outcome might have been much worse had everyone aboard not being wearing a life vest.

Good Instincts
All nine people aboard the sinking 48-foot fishing boat "Instinct" were rescued on Saturday. reported that when their boat started to take on water 30 miles off the coast of San Diego, the passengers managed to safely find their way to nearby private boats before the Coast Guard even arrived.

Multiple Boating Incidents
On Friday, the San Juan County Sheriff's Log from a paper covering San Juan Island in Washington, reported at least three boating incidents on Friday that had occurred recently. In one case a stray bullet hit a small boat; in another, a 27 ft sailboat caught on fire from an unattended charcoal stove while its operator was checking for damage from when he had recently run aground; and in a third incident, a 17 ft boat took off unexpectedly and then capsized on top of its 85 year old owner. Wow.

Across the Pond
In Great Britain, an 81 year old man had to be rescued after rowing out to sea in an inflatable boat off the coast of North Wales. He was unable to row back to shore, and his dinghy had begun to take on water. Why was he out there? Just being a good neighbor... he was trying to save the garbage can (or "wheelie" as they call them) of the man who lived next door. I guess it's true what they say, boaters make good neighbors. The Scottish Sun, which had some interesting comments from its readers, reported: “He had no life jacket, was not wearing any waterproof clothing and the dinghy was half full of water because of the conditions.”

Boating safety take-aways from all these stories? How about always wear a life jacket, and boat smart. More boating safety tips can be found on our boating safety tips page.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Runner Up Sea Song

Because of all the votes Come Monday received last week, we decided to make it today's Sea Song of the Week even though it came in second place. See... sometimes last week's runners up are this week's winners.

Anyway, here is Jimmy Buffett, back on the Daily Boater for the 2nd week in a row, this time performing Come Monday live at Wrigley Field. It's great to see him mingling with the fans before the show.

By the way, this video was offered for sharing on Jimmy Buffett's official site, so we're not feeling the same obligation to plug his corporate empire like we did last week when we pulled his video off of YouTube to use as our Sea Song of the Week - but we're still gonna because we are such big fans! Visit, where this week they are offering tickets to see Jimmy live in Paris.

Also, we have a different version of this week's Sea Song, Come Monday, at the Daily Boater channel on YouTube.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

Best Bets for Boat Shows

If you wanted to go to a boat show before the summer ends, this weekend may be your best chance. There are boat shows everywhere between now and Sunday the 13th.

southampton boat show
PSP Southampton Boat Show. Photo credit: onEdition
East vs. West
Tampa, Florida and Atlantic City, New Jersey are hosting shows on the east coast this weekend. Out west there are boat shows in Long Beach, California, and Port Townsend, Washington, as well as in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Across the Pond
Among the larger shows are two events in Europe: the PSP Southampton Boat Show, which starts Friday (9/10) and is on all next week, and Cannes, which started yesterday and goes through Sunday.

An Erie Feeling
Back in the US, the second annual Lake Erie Boat Week has been canceled. Event organizer Janie Vogel stated on the event's website that despite the best efforts by those involved, putting on the show was "... not possible due to difficult circumstances beyond my control that made it impossible to continue."

Soon... BOSTON
We are just three weeks away from the Boston Fall Boat Show, which has promised to offer discounted tickets to visitors of their website.

And the rest...
For info about more events going on now and in the near future, and links to the official websites of all of this weekend's shows, visit our calendar of boat shows.


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Boat Buying Tips: Go Small

Living in the age of megayachts and super megayachts, it is easy to understand why the first time boat buyer would want the most boat they can get for their money – even if it means getting an older model boat to fit their budget. Maybe it’s trying to keep up with the Jones’s, or a pre-boat-buying case of foot-itus. Or maybe it’s that feeling you get at the concession stand at the movies when you are offered the extra-large soda for just a quarter more. It seems like a good value, but is it really the right decision?

TRUE NORTH: a 112-foot Westport, available at RJC Yacht Sales
We recently shared the top 10 reasons to buy a bigger boat (perhaps even as big as the Westport pictured here, offered by RJC Yacht Sales), but we also see things from a more practical point of view – especially in today’s economy.
If you are just starting out in boating, not everybody will tell you this, but you need to hear it. Bigger isn’t always better.
Buying a bigger boat often means:
  • Ending up with the wrong boat for what you want to do (fish, ski, etc)

  • Owning an older boat that is too-often in need of repair.

  • Learning how to boat on a bigger vessel than you’re comfortable with.

  • Having less usable space than you could get on a slightly smaller, but more modern boat.

  • Spending too much time (and money) at the fuel dock.

  • If you are still thinking of buying a new boat, and not sure how big to go, visit our FirstBoat guide on boat buying; specifically, check out our page on the benefits of buying a smaller boat. (Of course, if you are trying to justify buying a bigger boat, we've got ideas for that, too!)


    Tuesday, September 07, 2010

    Clinging to Coolers and Trees

    These are perhaps the three most outrageous boating incidents from Labor Day Weekend 2010, and there are some obvious safety lessons that can be taken away from all of these stories.

    Clinging to a Cooler
    Early Sunday morning, seven people (including 3 children) were found clinging to a cooler – 30 miles off the shore of South Carolina – 20 hours after their 38-foot fishing boat sank. All seven were wearing life jackets. However, a CNN article quotes a Coast Guard officer as saying, "They didn't have a VHF radio. They didn't have an emergency position indicating radio beacon ... that can pinpoint the location of a distress when a boat sinks. There was no signaling flares, nothing." Conflictingly, a local newspaper reports that the Coast Guard did in fact receive a radio signal around the time that the boat capsized stating, "Mayday. We're going down".

    More Cooler-Clinging
    The Detroit News reports that a 46-year-old man was rescued after spending four hours in Lake Huron on Monday morning, clinging to a cooler. The man – who had no life jacket - went into the lake after the 22-foot fishing boat he was on capsized. Another passenger on the sunken boat swam about 3 miles to shore.

    Photo: League City PD
    Boat in the Trees
    The 82-year-old operator of a 23-foot sports boat lost control and hit the bank of a creek near Galveston Bay in Texas on Sunday morning, according to the Houston Chronicle. He must have been going pretty fast and hit an angle that previously only action movie directors thought was possible, as the boat crash-landed more than 100 feet in the woods. Tragically, a female passenger was killed, and the operator and another passenger – a 9-year-old boy – were both injured.


    Friday, September 03, 2010

    A Musical Tribute to Earl

    reason with hurricane season
    The votes are in, the parrothead tribe has spoken, a decision has been made. We asked our website visitors, twitter followers, facebook friends, and anybody else that would listen to help us pick today's Sea Song of the Week.

    With Hurricane Earl fast approaching our offices, and this being Labor Day Weekend, this week's Sea Song was narrowed down to two songs, both by Jimmy Buffett, either of which would make a good theme song for the weekend: Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season or Come Monday.

    Although some folks, like Gary on our Facebook page, admitted to voting for "Come Monday" because he felt bad for those affected by the hurricane, the majority of you didn't care! Maybe it's because Labor Day comes every year, but hurricanes in the Northeast are more rare.

    Today's Sea Song of the Week, chosen by YOU, is Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season by Jimmy Buffett...

    We found this video on YouTube, but in an effort to please the corporate powers that run Jimmy's business, we offer the following sacrificial link:

    To find Jimmy Buffett's tour dates, buy his albums or t-shirts, make dinner reservations at one of his restaurants, watch his 'official' videos, purchase his margarita and beer, or book a room in his new resort, visit


    Thursday, September 02, 2010

    Last Chance to Vote - Friday Sea Song

    This weekend, it's gotta be Buffett, but which song?

    Each Friday we pick what we call the Sea Song of the Week to help you set a nautical tone for the weekend - even if you can't be on the water.

    With Hurricane Earl fast approaching our offices, and this being Labor Day Weekend, this week's Sea Song has to be one of two songs, but we can't decide which to choose! The two songs we narrowed it down to are both by Jimmy Buffett, and either would make a good theme song for the weekend:
    Trying to Reason
    with Hurricane Season
    Come Monday
    Excerpt from lyrics:
    Well, the wind is blowin' harder now
    Fifty knots or there abouts,
    There's white caps on the ocean.
    And I'm watching for water spouts
    Excerpt from lyrics:
    Headin' up to San Francisco
    for the Labor Day weekend show,
    I've got my hush-puppies on,
    I guess I never was meant for
    glitter rock and roll.

    Both songs work well this weekend, but we can't decide... So we're leaving it up to you! Please take this poll now to help us pick tomorrow's Sea Song of the Week:

    Lyrics courtesy


    An Earl-y Start to Labor Day

    boaters hurricane guide
    Boat Shows? What Boat Shows?
    We usually round up the weekend’s boat shows on Thursday, but there are no boat shows in the US this Labor Day Weekend, as most boaters are traditionally out on the water for what could be one last summer adventure. But there will not be much boating either - at least on the east coast where boaters are frantically reviewing their options to protect their vessels from the threat of Hurricane Earl.

    Warning to Boat Owners
    Up and down the eastern seaboard, the US Coast Guard is reminding people who own boats to get them out of the water, if they can. By now your marina is likely to tell you that it is too late to haul your boat, as they are jam packed. If this is the case, your boat should be properly secured and any loose items should be taken off the boat. Of course, “Properly secured” carries a lot more meaning when you’re facing a hurricane - you don't want to be the owner of the one boat that breaks free and wreaks havoc in your harbor. Don't be that guy! Check out the hurricane guide for boaters on FirstBoat for easy instructions on how to make sure your boat is secured the right way.
    Additional tips from the Coast Guard for boaters and anyone near the water:
    Stay informed – The public should monitor the progress and strength of Earl through local television, radio and internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF channel 16. Information on small craft advisories and warnings can also be found on VHF channel 16.

    Evacuate as necessary – If mandatory evacuations are set for an area, the public is urged to heed evacuation orders. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate those in danger during the storm.

    Be cautious of hazardous materials – If you have hazardous materials on or near the water, you are responsible for any spills that may occur. Take the necessary precautions to secure them prior to any heavy weather.
    Back to Boat Shows... A LOT of Boat Shows
    (Photo: Amsterdam Boat Show - OTTI photography)
    Back to boat shows for a moment… Our handful of readers in the Netherlands would be offended if we didn’t mention the Amsterdam in-water Boat Show which is going on now through Sunday. The rest of the world should gear up for a boat load of events beginning next weekend – check our calendar of boat shows to find one near you, or maybe one worth traveling to. Here in New England, we're looking forward to all our local shows over the next few weeks - Newport's 40th anniversary, Atlantic City and the return of the Fall Boat Show in Boston to name a few. Be sure to check the Boston show's site for discount coupons.

    Stay safe this weekend so we can see you at the boat shows starting next week.


    Wednesday, September 01, 2010

    Boat Insurance Gotchas

    Boat insurance can be a very dull subject, but when a hurricane is headed your way, or if you are buying your first boat, then you should probably give some thought to your boat insurance policy - or think about getting one if your boat isn't covered.

    While we're on the subject, BoatU.S. just released a short (under five-minutes) video about boat insurance that is worth watching. Sure, we cover many of the basics of boat insurance on FirstBoat, but this video covers a few "gotcha's" or things to look for when it comes to marine insurance, including:

  • Why your knowledge of home or auto insurance won't help you one bit when buying boat insurance.

  • Why you should go home tonight to check your own boat's insurance policy for "Consequential Property Damage" coverage.

  • How the "Salvage Squeeze" could end up costing you a bunch of extra money.

  • Now, enjoy the video...

    A note in the interest of full transparency: This video is from BoatU.S., and yes, they sell boat insurance. Further, we are an affiliate of BoatU.S., so if you click here and get a free boat insurance quote, we may receive a small referral fee which we put towards keeping this site updated.

    Related Resources:
    FirstBoat Hurricane Resources
    FirstBoat Insurance Basics
    BoatU.S. Quick Insurance Quote