Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How to Win a Boat

$40,000 worth of boats and gear are up for grabs in various contests across the web

Did you ask Santa for a new boat for Christmas? Feeling lucky? This may be your year.

win a boat
Image courtesy of RBFF / Contest details below

Right now, there are several contests going on that give you a chance to win either a free fishing boat like the one pictured or a ton of boating gear. Three contests in particular are offering a combined forty thousand dollars in cash and prizes. All of these contests are sponsored by large, reputable organizations. If you don’t win, you may get an email or two from the sponsors – which are all clearly identified – but you can always opt out of their lists once you receive the first unwanted message. None of these contests look like the type of deal where you’re going to get cold calls from timeshare salespeople.

Keep reading for the three big contests and find out how to enter them.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Six Things To Do When Your Boat Is Sinking

Guest contributor Vincent Pica shares the top reasons that boats sink and what to do if it happens to you

By Vincent Pica
District Captain, Sector Long Island Sound/South, D1SR
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Lt. Frank Wolfe
Why do boats sink at sea?
Before we get into the why’s and wherefore’s of sinkings, the single most reported reason is water coming aboard from the stern through the out-board engine cut-out. So, be extremely cautious about taking a boat so configured onto the high seas. A following sea can easily “poop” you from behind and overwhelm your capacity to off-load the water (see Skippering in Heavy Seas.)

As to the other reasons, roughly 1 in 5 sinkings at sea (18%) are due to direct leaks in the vessel, not caused by violent contact with the bottom or the sea itself. Areas of ingress, in order, are:
1. through-hull fittings that give way,
2. stuffing box leaks (the spot under the boat where the drive shaft exits the engine space of a cruiser and enters the water),
3. knot-meter plugs,
4. bait well discharge back-ups

Roughly 1 in 8 sinkings at sea (12%) are caused by raw (sea) water cooling and exhaust systems failures. These parts, subjected to high heat from engine exhaust gases and the corrosive effects of salt water, simply wear out – and you are now pumping water from the sea into the engine spaces...

Hitting something, often rocks, accounts for another 10%. This is called "holing the boat", i.e., you just put a hole in it...

Roughly 1 in 20 sinkings at sea (6%) are caused by excess force/excessive speed and the hull comes apart...
(Editor's note: The 45 ft sailboat in the above photo was taking on water this past Friday, November 26, about 90 miles off of the Outer Banks, North Carolina, in 12-foot seas. The two men onboard were rescued by the USCG and reportedly did not know the source of the flooding..)

What to do when the boat starts taking on water

Friday, November 26, 2010

Boat Parades Begin on Black Friday

Lighted holiday boat parades this weekend in Mystic, Newport, NY, Savannah

ny boat parade
Image by Bernard Ente, sail-nyc.com
There’s nothing like a lighted boat parade to get you into the spirit of the holiday season with a nautical twist. And they are already starting to happen this weekend, so make plans to bring the family to a waterfront near you and watch the boats decked out in their Christmas splendor.

A sailboat on parade in Florida
The festivities begin on Black Friday in Rhode Island, where the Newport Yacht Club is open to the public for viewing the Newport Harbor Holiday Boat Parade.

Saturday, the big boat parades are happening in New York City, Savannah and in our home state of Connecticut in Mystic.

More information is available for the aforementioned events in our boat show calendar. Additional boat parades can be found in a calendar BoatU.S. put out this week.

If you know of any boat parades happening THIS WEEKEND, please add them as comments below and they will be approved and published right away.

And since it is Black Friday, make sure you check out our Holiday Gift Guide for Boaters, featuring unique, handpicked nautical gifts from trusted small businesses across the country.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Gift Ideas for Boating Enthusiasts

Unique gifts for boaters fill our first annual holiday shopping guide

Browse all our gift ideas: Read on...
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday upon us, we decided to put together a collection of nautical gifts that are sure to please any boating or fishing enthusiast. If you have a co-worker, neighbor, spouse or any friend or family member with a passion for the boating lifestyle, you will be sure to find the perfect gift from among our selections. Our guide includes unique nautical glassware, shark-fishing trips, life-saving boating gadgets, products personalized with a boat name or a local nautical chart, and more.

Let's Get Personal
No respectable boating gift guide is complete without a selection from BoatNameGear. If you know the boat's name of the person you're shopping for, then BoatNameGear can make your life a lot easier this holiday. With fast shipping, no minimum order size requirement and no set-up fees, BoatNameGear is our choice for boat name gifts.
Embroidered wear from BoatNameGear.com

View more from BoatNameGear and all our Gift Guide selections in our first Daily Boater Holiday Gift Guide.


Gifts for Boaters - Our Holiday Gift Guide

Great gift ideas for the boating enthusiasts on your holiday shopping list

Browse all our gift ideas like these nautical pilsner glasses.
We've sought out some nautical gift ideas that are sure to please any boating enthusiast. If you have a co-worker, neighbor, spouse or any friend or family member with a passion for the boating lifestyle, you will be sure to find the perfect gift from among our selections. Our guide includes unique nautical drinkware, fishing trips, life-saving boating gadgets, products personalized with a boat name or a local nautical chart, and more.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Boaters Be Warned

Recent boating news illustrates boating hazards are everywhere; boaters should expect the unexpected

Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission/NOAA
In scanning the boating news from local newspapers (i.e. news websites) from around the country over the past few days, we found that boaters basically have to be vigilant of almost everything! Beyond the boating safety basics you normally have to worry about – wearing a life jacket, filing a float plan, checking the weather, etc. – there are also special hazards, unique to your boating community, that you must be aware of before you boat. We’re talking about large sea creatures, submerged pilings, abrupt changes in water levels, and pirates, to name a few.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How to Avoid Drowning in Cold Water

Our guest contributor from the USCG Auxiliary spells out the new facts about Hypothermia

By Vincent Pica
District Captain, Sector Long Island Sound/South, D1SR
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

A cool water cruise could turn deadly. ©iStockphoto.com/TT
Traditions Die Hard at Sea
It isn’t easy convincing mariners that a life-time of tradition and practice is wrong. And not everything we know and practice on hypothermia IS wrong – but some has been. So, here are the facts:

The first phase of cold water immersion is called the cold shock response. Data now shows that roughly 20% die in the first two minutes. They take on water in that first uncontrolled gasp, panic and drown, plain and simple. Surviving this stage requires you to stay calm and get your breathing under control. If you don’t, your life is measured in minutes and you won’t need your other hand to count them.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Best Sailboats Announced

Sail Magazine’s 2011 Awards for the Best Boats
Presto 30, Cruising Monohull Under 50ft. Source: SAIL

SAIL Magazine has announced the Best Boats Awards for 2011 in the December issue of their publication. According to their press release about the awards, the magazine's judges pored over the Best Boats nominees on the docks at the recent Newport and Annapolis boat shows, and tested many of the finalists before choosing the winners. Wouldn’t that be a great job!

It's The Beatles

Each week we pick a song to celebrate the sea, and help you kick-start your weekend or think about boating if you can't get out on the water.

iTunes & App Store  With this week's announcement about The Beatles finally being available on iTunes, did you have any doubt that we would pick a tune from the Fab Four as our Sea Song of the Week?

Even after more than four decades, there is still controversy about what this song is really about, but according to Wikipedia, the song was inspired by a nursery school drawing of a girl on a boat. Regardless of what the young Beatles were thinking about when they wrote this classic, we'd like to remind you that the opening line of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is "Picture yourself in a boat on a river".

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boat Shows Light

This weekend there are only two boat shows for consumers, and both events are in Florida

We're calling this the light edition of our weekly boat show round-up. The boat show season has nearly come to a grinding halt and remains virtually nonexistent until January.
Photo © Nautical Sites Media

That being said, there are a couple of small, free boat shows this weekend, which both happen to be in Florida.

We also have some other news of nautical events over the next several weeks, as well as a $10,000 contest that you can enter online - the winner will be announced at the Miami Boat Show in February.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another Promising iPhone App Released

New iPhone App Makes Marinas Easy to Find and Puts Concierge Services in the Palm of Your Hand

With the increasing popularity of the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and iPad with boaters, the Daily Boater has been trying to keep you up to date on all the boating apps that have been coming out recently.
Screenshot from itunes.apple.com
In fact, it seems as if there has been a whirlwind of new apps for boaters released over the past six months. Our latest report came just last month covering two new niche boating apps for the iPhone, and today there is yet another announcement.

Marinalife sent us a press release today stating that it recently got into the iPhone app market with a tool to give you instant access to up-to-date listings for marinas and related services. The new Marinalife iPhone App connects users to the company’s online reservation service and provides them with a handheld window into Marinalife’s database of marina and marine travel related information, as well as NOAA charts and Google satellite maps

The advertising-supported app, built by the company’s partner EarthNC, is available to download for free at: marinalife.com/mobileapp

Related Articles
Less is More with Latest iPhone Boating Apps

A Boat Load of an iPhone App

Cell Phones May Be Banned On Boats

Free Boat Ramp App for the iPhone

Boating on an iPhone

Boating on a BlackBerry


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Sailing Report

American wins first leg of major ocean race

We checked in with our sailing expert Sean McQuilken to see what is going on in the world of wind. Turns out there is plenty to report.

Photo: Aingoa Sanchez/W-W-I.com
Velux 5 Oceans
In a segment of the sport of sailing traditionally dominated by the French, an American is now leading a major solo ocean yacht race. After 27+ days at sea Brad Van Liew of Charleston, SC has taken a convincing leg 1 win in the Velux 5 Oceans. He sailed his Open 60 alone over 7500 nautical miles at speeds approaching 30 knots while sleeping only 4 hours a day in short catnaps no longer than 30 minutes and eating freeze dried food.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Six Tips to Surviving a Storm at Sea

Our guest contributor from the USCG Auxiliary shares his experience to help you navigate through your next storm

By Vincent Pica
District Captain, Sector Long Island Sound/South, D1SR
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Facing 25 ft waves: USCG photo by Christopher Enoksen
The Nor’easter season is fully upon us so let’s review some ideas on skippering in heavy weather.

1. Put Your Life Jackets On – Right away, the skipper has to direct everyone to don their life jackets. On my vessel, I have a heavy weather/type-1 life jacket on the back of my helm seat. Across the back, where the crew can read it, it says, “If you see the captain put this on, try to find one for yourself.”

2. Take Waves at an Angle – Those waves that you are trying to muscle through pack tremendous power within them. So slow down and tack! Your 20 knots and 5 knots of wave speed multiply the force of the pounding. Slow down and divide the forces.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Down by the Sea Song

Sea Song of the Week: Under the Boardwalk

While this song is admittedly not about boating, any tune with a reference to the sea is open for consideration when it comes to choosing our Sea Song of the Week. When the song remains a classic sing-along more than 45 years after its release, with cover versions by dozens of artists, it makes it an even easier choice.

Among all those covers, we found this version to be one of the funner (is that a word?) ones. Our Sea Song of the Week is Under the Boardwalk , performed here by Bruce Willis accompanied by the Temptations. Continue to view the video and read more about Bruce.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Two Florida Boat Shows This Weekend

Boat shows this weekend in Barcelona, Stockholm and Florida all look like a lot of fun

Ft. Myers Boat Show

TWO big boating events in Florida offer something for everyone this weekend. First, the 38th Annual Ft. Myers Boat Show should be easy to find if you're in town.
Photo courtesy Ireland Yacht Sales /Regulator Marine
The show, which runs today through Sunday, is spread out through the Harborside Convention Center, The Fort Myers Yacht Basin and along Edwards Drive in downtown Fort Myers. This is a traditional boat show offering seminars on fishing, safe boating and a preview of marine electronics for 2011. Of course, there will also be plenty of boats of all types on display, as well as lots of booths offering fishing and boating accessories. Kudos (do people really still say that?) to the folks at Ireland Yacht Sales and Regulator Marine for getting pictures of the show up on their Facebook page before the gates even opened this morning.

The Fort Myers show looks fantastic, but if you'd rather see boats in action instead of tied up to the docks, keep reading.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Do You Have a Website for Your Boat Yet?

New service makes it easy to get a website for your boat and blog about your adventures

There is a new service that offers do-it-yourself websites and blogs for boaters that want to share their adventures at sea. The web-based tools are intuitive if you’ve ever used Word or sent an email (of course you have!), and they are designed for all types of boaters - from weekend anglers to year-round cruisers.

For Boaters, By a Boater
Websitesforboaters.com was founded by Ken Williams, who not only runs the company, but is also its best-known customer! Ken and his wife Roberta publish one of the most popular boating blogs on the web using their own web service - kensblog.com chronicles the couple’s trans-ocean adventures aboard San Souci, their 68 foot Nordhavn trawler.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Best Time to Buy a Boat

Whether you are looking for new or used, it’s no secret that fall is typically the best time to buy a boat if you want a bargain.

Used Boats
The current owner of your next used boat probably wanted to get one more season out of her, and is now under pressure to sell before the holidays or before incurring winter storage fees. You’ll likely find a little more selection of used boats for sale earlier in the fall, but as the days get colder there are two types of sellers – those that decide to take their boat off the market until the spring, and those that are really going to be flexible if you make them an offer. There are thousands of boats for sale listed on FirstBoat.com through their affiliation with UsedBoats.com, and thousands more boats available for auction through FirstBoat’s EBay affiliation. Whether you are more of a buyer or a bidder, look around and make an offer… you never know what you might be able to get this time of year from a distressed seller.

Monday, November 08, 2010

What a Weekend - Boat Fires, Capsizes and Rescues

boat capsizes off New Jersey
Rescue off Point Pleasant, NJ. U.S. Coast Guard photo
Boaters Keep Authorities Busy Across the Country

Despite the cold weather throughout much of the US (we got our first snowfall here in CT this a.m.), there were still enough boating incidents over the weekend to share some valuable boat safety lessons. Stories of boat fires and small boat capsizes popped up in Oregon, New Jersey, Ohio, and Florida. Luckily, there were few injuries reported due to heroic efforts by local police, fire and Coast Guard personnel, and in some cases, a lot of luck.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Sea Song of the Week: Troubled Water

simon & garfunkel sea song
Simon & Garfunkel pose for an album cover
The Sea Song of the Week for November 5, 2010

Each Friday we announce our choice for Sea Song of the Week. We always try to pick a song, whether it's new or a classic, that has some reference to water or boating, or at least one that sounds good when you're on a boat. Art Garfunkel turns 69 today, so choosing our Sea Song of the Week today was simple. Happy birthday, Art... We're sailing right behind!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

International Boat Show Season is On

Photo HMC / Michael Zapf
International Boating Events Show Signs of Recovery

As we were celebrating the biggest boats at the biggest boat show in the world here in Fort Lauderdale, the rest of the world has been enjoying its own share of shows.

And the shows continue through next week. Barcelona, Dubai, Queensland, and Hamburg are all hosting major boat shows this weekend, with the Barcelona show already in progress. In addition to showcasing new models of boats and the latest marine gear, many of these events are displaying optimism for a positive turn in the industry.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Burning Boats in Biscayne Bay

Another day, another boat fire in Biscayne Bay caught on video

After seeing news of a 45-foot motor yacht catching fire in Biscayne Bay last Friday on a video clip from 7 News, we decided to search the interwebs for more stories about this particular Halloween-weekend yacht fire.

It turns out we couldn’t find any other sources that included video of the fire on the Gypsy Rose last Friday, but we were surprised to find several videos of other boats burning in Biscayne Bay over the past few years. Someone should research whether boats are more likely to catch on fire in this South Florida destination, or if that 35 by 8 mile body of warm water is just a highly popular boating area closely observed by people with video cameras.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Hero Saves Sailors

Off-duty cop jumps into action, saves two souls from sinking Sunfish

This news story is only worth sharing because there are valuable boating safety lessons in the end, and to praise Monroe County Sheriff's Deputy Frank Trinca, Jr., for saving the lives of two men. Sure, the two men who were rescued over the weekend could have been eligible for a Darwin award, but in the end they learned some valuable lessons.

Photo: Yankee Boating
It’s easy to think these two grown men should have been okay going for a short sail. One of them was an avid swimmer, they had life jackets with them in the boat – right at their feet, and Sunfish boats are easy to handle. (Editor’s note: I speak from experience, having spent much of my childhood on a Sunfish in Long Island Sound.)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Boating Celebrates Green Initiatives... and Bikinis

Sea-Doo Challenger 210 with Eco Mode
Eco Awards Presented by Boating Magazine at FLIBS

Over the weekend at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), Bonnier Corporation’s Boating magazine publication presented their first ever Eco Awards to honor the people and products that have made a positive impact on the marine environment. The ten recipients were highlighted in the October issue of Boating magazine, and introduced at FLIBS.

We thought the Eco Awards were kind of cool, but perhaps they were overshadowed by all the super-mega-yachts on display, or by Boating magazine’s other “first ever” announcement – their first annual swimsuit layout which was the focus of their November issue.