Thursday, March 31, 2011

Can I Get Directions to the Boat Show?

With event names that include "Northwest" and "Northeast", this weekend's boat shows are literally all over the place!

In-water boats on display at last fall's Norwalk Boat Show. Photo © Nautical Sites Media

Events this weekend include both the Northwest Sportshow and the Great Northeast Boat Show. You would think their directional titles would make it easy to guess where they are, but don't worry - if you can't guess, we'll tell you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Future of Life Jackets

What will life jackets look like in 10, 20 or 100 years?

Will life jackets soon be simply an inflatable shirt? Image from

This week, the BoatUS Foundation and Underwriter's Laboratory announced the winners of their 2011 "Innovation in Life Jacket Design Competition". Bulky, cork-filled life jackets from 100 years ago are a thing of the past. But what will the life jackets of the future look like or be made of? This contest aimed to find out.

Which Way is North?

A few weeks ago, guest contributor Vincent Pica warned that our GPS system could be affected by solar flares. This week he takes another look at GPS, considers the virtues of carrying a compass, discusses True vs Magnetic North, and more.

Guest blog by Vincent Pica
Chief of Staff, First District, Southern Region (D1SR)
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Image: Chaiwat /
There is no doubt in my mind that one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century was the GPS – incredibly complex in its Einstein-ian mathematics yet largely a “turn on and go” device (see Thanks to GPS) So, who needs the simple compass?  You do… But be aware. The core of the very Earth itself is on the move – and always has been. And that affects you and how you use your charts, your compass and even your GPS.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Boating Incidents and Accidents

It must be spring, as reports about boating accidents and incidents are on the rise in the warmer states

U.S. Coast Guard photo of a rescue near Cottrell Key, FL
When the Monday morning headlines are sprinkled with reports of weekend boating accidents from around the country, you know it must be getting closer to boating season.

This morning we woke up to several disturbing stories in the news, including a capsized 35' sailboat off San Diego that left two dead, and a few more incidents in Florida.

Friday, March 25, 2011

You Caught It, You Cook It: Fish Tacos

This month's recipe may be the perfect meal from yacht chef Victoria Allman

Photo courtesy of Victoria Allman
This recipe was sent to us by yacht chef and author Victoria Allman, a regular contributor to our You Caught It, You Cook It column.

Between Fridays during Lent, the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday, and the summer boating season, we're sure you'll find an excuse to make Fish Tacos some time soon. But it turns out, this recipe is so Delicious, you don't really need an excuse - you can make Fish Tacos anytime. By the way, Victoria's latest book, SEAsoned: A Chef’s Journey With Her Captain, would make a great Mother's Day gift.

We are pretty sure this will be your new favorite meal, and here are a few reasons why: homemade tortillas, deep-fried mahi-mahi, sea salt, beer batter... should we go on? Keep reading for the full recipe.

Mad Man on the Water

Check out today's Sea Song of the Week

Each week we post a nautical tune to help you get your weekend off to a great start, even if you can't get out on the boat. Now that we're into spring, boating season is so close for many folks across the country that you can almost taste it... Well, at least you can always hear it here at the Daily Boater.

This week's Sea Song took us a while to pick as we browsed through the libraries of two legends who happen to share a birthday today - Aretha Franklin and Elton John.

And our pick for Sea Song of the Week is...

Elton John - Madman Across the Water

Make sure you visit Elton's official website

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The First Boat Shows of Spring

Despite the snowfall across the northeast, spring boat shows are beginning to bloom

A 2010 spring boat show in CT. Photo © Nautical Sites Media

Attending the January boat shows with several feet of snow outside and summer still months away may have quenched your thirst for boating briefly; but now that we are officially five days into spring, and boating season is within reach, the current boat shows will give you a chance to really get excited.

As you'll see, this weekend's lineup of boat shows has something for everyone. Is there one near you?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

No Jellyfish Today

Floating boat pool keeps the kids in and the jellyfish out.

The Nettle Net was on display in Norwalk, CT, this past fall. Photo © Nautical Sites Media
One of the cooler things we saw at a recent boat show was something called the Nettle Net. The Nettle Net is a portable pool that enables you to swim near jellyfish without the fear of getting stung. We saw the Nettle Net on display at the Norwalk Boat Show this past fall and our first thought was, "what the heck is that thing?!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

National Safe Boating Council Urges Life Jacket Use

Safety organization targets spring breakers and early-season boaters with an early start to their "Wear It!" campaign

The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) is trying to get a head start on curbing the number of boating accidents and fatalities this year. The NSBC today called out the top 10 states for both boating accidents and boating fatalities, and in the same press release encouraged all boaters to always wear a life jacket each and every time they are on the water. While the 2010 numbers are not officially out yet, we looked at last year's boating death rates in a couple of states recently and the numbers were grim (States Surpass Last Year’s Boating Deaths, 12/4/2010).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wave Theory – and Practice

Waves can be the most beautiful and the most fearsome aspect of the sea.

The 48-foot fishing vessel Sea Hunter is hidden in the trough of a 15 - 18 foot
wave in the Gulf of Alaska. Official Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast
Guard Cutter Hickory.
Guest blog by Vincent Pica
Chief of Staff, First District, Southern Region (D1SR)
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Whether you float above them or dive beneath them, you had better understand them and most certainly respect them.

This column is about that.

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Boating Website, New Lawsuit

New boating website launched yesterday, lawsuits immediately follow?

We captured this screen shot of SeeDealerCost today to show how it displays cost info.

New boating websites pop up virtually every week, and we try to let you know about the ones that look like they'll make some waves. But when a lawsuit is brought up against a boating website within 24 hours after the site launches, it definitely gets our attention.

North and South of the Sea Song

This weekend's Sea Song of the Week is a song about a river from U2

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Each week we post a nautical tune to help you get your weekend off to a great start, even if you can't get out on the boat. It's a beautiful day across much of the US, but we found another U2 song that actually mentions both a lake (well, a loch anyway) and a river. In fact, "river" is in the song title.

Our pick for Sea Song of the Week is..

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Feeling Lucky? Go to a Boat Show

In addition to St. Patrick's Day, the first rounds of March Madness, and the beginning of spring right around the corner, there are at least a dozen boat and sport shows for you to choose from this weekend - across the country and around the world.

Boats and Leprechauns together at a parade in CT! Photo © Nautical Sites Media
There is much anticipation in the air across the United States today.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Protecting Our Waters - A Look at Lake Champlain

Today's Daily Boater article was contributed by Ross Saxton. Ross is the Director of Conservation and Education for Lake Champlain International, Inc. (LCI). We invited Ross to share his view of one of the Northeast's greatest (non-Great) lakes and what his organization is doing to ensure the lake's longevity.

Lake Champlain from above. Photo courtesy of the LCI Facebook page

The perfect boating lake... it has something for every size and type of boat: shallows and deeps, bays and tributaries to hide in and explore, wide-open water for miles, abundant wildlife and fish, unique geological features, the safety of the Coast Guard around the corner, a mountain range on either side, and some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beware the Squall

Boating season is arriving soon across the country. But is Mother Nature done challenging us?

Rainbow after a squall. Photo by Commander John Bortniak, NOAA Corps

Guest blog by Vincent Pica
Chief of Staff, First District, Southern Region (D1SR)
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

We’ve written a lot about weather and seamanship, and this is true in all seasons: It is the localized squall that is more likely to catch us off guard than a widely heralded storm. With the season turning our way, I doubt that Mother Nature is done challenging us. This column is about that.

The Squall
In 2000, the actor, Jeff Bridges, starred in the movie “White Squall” as Captain Christopher Sheldon, the skipper of the good ship Albatross. His mission was to teach a group of high school boys the way of the sea and of life – and a white squall provided the medium. The portrayal of the effects of a squall was actually very well done with respect to realism – having been in one or two over the decades.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Where Not to Keep Your Boat

Is northern California town the worst place in America to moor your boat? Crescent City has been hit by tsunamis before

Battery Point Light. Photo © istockphoto/david cooper
This northern California town is a picture perfect fishing village – nestled 20 miles south of the Oregon border, Crescent City is right on the Pacific with easy access to both the Smith and the Klamath Rivers. It is also home to the headquarters of the Redwood National Park as well as the historic Battery Point Light - one of the oldest lighthouses in California. The town's harbor is popular with both commercial and recreational boaters.

But if you knew the history that the town has had with tsunamis, you would probably be hesitant to keep your boat there.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Sea Song is Wide

This week's choice for Sea Song of the Week comes from James Taylor

Every week we post a nautical tune to help you get your weekend off to a great start, even if you can't get out on the boat.

March 12 is Boston-born James Taylor's birthday (turning 63 in 2011), and although Jimmy Buffett turned Taylor's hit "Mexico" into a standard for most boaters' playlists, we decided to go with a James Taylor song that has more references to boating. Wikipedia tells us that The Water Is Wide is an English folk song that has been sung since the 1600s, and although it is a love song, it contains enough nautical nuggets to be our Sea Song of the Week.

Here is James Taylor performing The Water Is Wide...

By the way, James Taylor is currently on tour, with a stop in Cincinatti on his birthday - make sure you sing to him that night. You can find out when he's coming to your town at his official website.

And, as always, you can find some of our previous picks for Sea Song of the Week at the Daily Boater channel on YouTube:


Thursday, March 10, 2011

This Weekend's Boat, Fishing and Sportsmen's Shows

The big, traditional boat shows are wrapping up for the winter season, but if you are an outdoors enthusiast, there are still plenty of events going on to get you ready for spring.

Hunt Yachts on display in Boston. Photo © Nautical Sites Media

Back from Boston
We had a great time at the New England Boat Show in Boston last week, and in the words of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, we've got pictures to prove it. Check the pics out on our Facebook page.

Keep reading for a summary of this weekend's boating, fishing and sportsmen's shows.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Whale Watch 2011

Live charting technology to help avoid collisions with whales?

If you’ve followed the Daily Boater over the past couple of years, or checked out some of the local pages on, you may already know how cool we think EarthNC is. They are one of the best companies we’ve found for providing nautical charts online and on mobile devices.

Photo by Alicia Windham-Reid for the USCG
But after reading a post on Panbo – the Marine Electronics Weblog - earlier this week, we realized EarthNC may be even cooler than we thought!

Panbo reported that they found out EarthNC has something in the works to help boaters avoid hitting whales. In Miami last month, EarthNC shared a version of their electronic charts for the Boston area that will contain near-real time data sent from acoustic listening buoys which are in place to protect the endangered North American right whales.

Our neighbors in Massachusetts and Rhode Island temporarily host the few hundred remaining right whales when they migrate to the area each spring, and as we’ve reported (Daily Boater, April 2010 and Daily Boater, August 2010) it can be dangerous for both whales and boaters when the two cross paths. Not sure if EarthNC is extending this overlay to their charts to other areas where boaters and sea life collide, but we’ll check with them and let you know... stay tuned to the Daily Boater for an update on this technology.


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Women on the Bridge

We’re celebrating International Women’s Day with resources for women who want to boat and fish

Photo: © gaspr13/istockphoto
If you see a lot of people standing on bridges today, now you’ll know why. Google reminded us that today was the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, and they are inviting you to join tens of thousands of people coming together on bridges all over the world to show your support for women's causes and celebrate women's achievements.

Frankly, we’d like to see more women on a bridge, at the helm, sailing and navigating their own boats. So we thought we’d take the opportunity to remind you about some great resources that empower women to enjoy boating and fishing.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Have Sailors Always Known the World is Round?

Vin Pica shares some math in his post on Celestial Navigation 101 – Sailors Always Knew…

Guest blog by Vincent Pica
Chief of Staff, First District, Southern Region (D1SR)
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Image Source: Frank Moore Colby, Outlines of General History
Going back centuries, journals of seafarers are peppered with language indicating that they knew the Earth was round. “In the offing” meant, and means today, the waters you can see from where you are to the horizon. “Ahoy, captain, vessel off the starboard bow! Hull down, sir.” might yell the Look-Out from the crow’s nest aloft. This meant that all he could see from his vantage point were the sails – the ship’s hull was still below the horizon.

Friday, March 04, 2011

A Ship Without a Rudder

This week's choice for Sea Song of the Week is about boats and about life

Each week we post a nautical tune to help you get your weekend off to a great start, even if you can't get out on the boat.

The Lemonheads are an alternative rock band, probably best known for their cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" in the 1990's. The band's singer/guitarist, Evan Dando, is celebrating a birthday today, so we were psyched when we remembered they had a song that was sort of about boats.

Our Sea Song of the Week is Rudderless by the Lemonheads...

By the way, the Lemonheads are currently on tour. You can find out when they're coming to your town, or learn more about them at their official site.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

New England Boat Show and More

Looking for something to do this weekend? There are plenty of boat shows, including Boston's biggest - the New England Boat Show

Come see the big boats in Boston this weekend! Photo © Nautical Sites Media

Are You In The Northeast?
We've got 300 reasons to go to the New England Boat Show in Boston this weekend. Our friends from are there and they are giving away a $200 gift certificate which you can register for in the show lobby, and they are holding an additional $100 contest right at the Boat Name Gear booth. You can win both. More details about this show are available here. Oh, and here are a few pictures we took Thursday to whet your appetite for the show.

FREE - ONLY for our readers
The first five people who stop by the BoatNameGear booth in Boston each day that mention the secret word (the secret word is FirstBoat), will get a FREE FirstBoat hat or t-shirt. The BoatNameGear booth is right near the main entrance, next to SeaTow - if you see a lot of yellow, you're in the right place.

That's us... to right.

More Boat Shows
In addition to New England Boat Show, this coming weekend's events include boat shows in Anderson, California, Savannah, Georgia, and if you're looking for a little excitement, there's a boat show in Dubai. There's also the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta beginning Thursday in the Caribbean. You can find details about these and other events on our calendar of boat shows.


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Sailing Report Update

With all that we reported about sailing earlier this week, it's hard to believe there's even more news from the round the world racers. 

Virbac-Paprec 3 lead the pack. Photo taken 3/2/2011 for Barcelona World Race ©

Velux 5 Oceans
An update from Sean McQuilken
Brad Van Liew finished the third leg of the Velux 5 Oceans first with a 300 mile lead on the trailing pack of boats. We are glad to see an American doing so well in what has traditionally been a segment of the sport that the French dominate.

Barcelona World Race
The leading Barcelona World Race teams, Virbac-Paprec 3 and MAPFRE, are about to round Cape Horn - a major milestone for any circumnavigator. At the other end of the pack, the We Are Water team is making repairs and cleaning after a violent knock down yesterday.