Boating Industry Reader Survey Reports Ethanol Repairs Increasing

Via BoatUS

ALEXANDRIA, Va. July 18, 2017 – A new survey by Boating Industry magazine says those in the boating industry that manufacture, sell, repair and store recreational vessels are seeing a growing number of problems caused by ethanol-related fuels. Said one Minnesota boat dealer in the survey, “Ethanol fuels are great for our service department but bad for our customers!”

The reader survey results, which appear in the magazine’s July 2017 issue, report that 92 percent of survey respondents said “they have seen damage…caused by ethanol…and more business for the service department.” The most recent results are up from 87 percent from a similar survey last year.

The July feature “Ethanol Still a Significant Challenge, Survey Says,” also reported that “more than 15 percent of readers said that based on what they are seeing in their business, more than half of the necessary repairs are being caused by ethanol-related issues.” Eighty-five percent of survey takers were “very concerned” about the use of E15 (fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol).

Signed into law in 2005, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requires an increasing amount of biofuels, such as corn ethanol, to be blended into the gasoline supply. When it was written, the RFS assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to grow. Since 2005, however, gasoline usage has actually declined, which today forces more ethanol into each gallon of gas.

To keep up with the RFS mandate, in 2010 the EPA granted a waiver to allow E15 into the marketplace. However, only fuels containing up to 10 percent ethanol (E10) are permitted for use in recreational boats.

For the nation’s largest advocacy, services and safety group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the survey’s results add to urgency to fix the RFS. Said Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy, “For the people who know boats best, the readers of Boating Industry magazine who work on boats and keep them running so we can all enjoy a great day on the water, ethanol continues be concern. It will remain this way until we fix America’s broken ethanol policy.”

Come to the Regatta Pointe Marina fuel dock to fill up on ethanol free Valvetech Fuel.

Go to BoatUS.com/gov/rfs.asp for more information on the Renewable Fuel Standard. BoatUS is a member of the Smarter Fuel Future coalition.

The Time Is Now To Purchase Your Yacht!

Regatta Pointe Marina Staff

Regatta Point Marina Yacht Brokers host the most – more than 50 – in-water power and sail yachts in the Tampa Bay region!  Come by to discover our wide selection of new and previously owned boats.  Whether you prefer power or sail, a large yacht or something you can trailer, the Regatta Pointe Marina Yacht Brokers have great options that are just your speed, and on-site services to help make boat ownership effortless.

YACHT BUYERS: All yacht buyers are invited to come explore our more 50 on-site boats any day, because every day is a boat show at Regatta Pointe Marina!  Check out versatile trailer-able watercraft, powerboats, sailboats and much more.

Get a sneak peak of some of the boats currently on location by viewing our slideshow at www.RPMYachtBrokers.com. Or better yet, come by to view all of the boats on hand in person.  Stop by any time of any day to browse dozens of boats available from Massey Yacht Sales, American Marine, Edgewater Yacht Sales and All Captains Yacht Sales. 

YACHT SELLERS: If you’re in the market to sell, contact a Regatta Pointe Marina Yacht Broker to get your boat seen by more potential buyers.  Our marina offers high foot traffic, daily in-coming boaters, plus other great marketing opportunities you just won’t find anywhere else.

YACHT OWNERSHIP: Owning a yacht is made effortless by the skilled professionals of Nicholson Marine, located on-site at Regatta Pointe Marina.  Nicholson Marine provides skilled marine services and installations at competitive rates with superior customer service.

GENERAL PUBLIC: Everyone is invited to explore all Regatta Pointe Marina has to offer.  We are home to two waterfront restaurants, a waterfront bar, a salon and more.  We are nestled in the historic district of Palmetto, FL along the Manatee River, with bridge-less access to Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Transient slips are available for those coming by boat.

Regatta Pointe Marina is located at 1005 Riverside Dr., Palmetto, FL 34221.  Visit www.RPMYachtBrokers.com for more information, or speak with one of the Regatta Pointe Marina brokerage companies directly: Massey Yacht Sales (941) 723-1610; American Marine (941)-779-0605; Edgewater Yacht Sales (941) 417-7970; All Captains Yacht Sales (941) 773-3513. Or for repair or installation services call Nicholson Marine at (941) 479-4020.

Bill Strengthens Derelict Vessel Fight, Environtmentally Sound Public Access

Via BoatUS

BoatUS applauds the passage of Florida HB 7043 that promotes sound public access and helps address the sunshine state’s derelict vessel issue.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 27, 2017 – The results of an eight-year pilot program are in, and Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature have acted. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) congratulates the governor and legislators on Friday’s passage of HB 7043 that promotes environmentally sound public access and helps address the issue of improperly stored, abandoned or derelict vessels. “These are sound regulations supported by responsible boaters,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy.

When the pilot program was enacted in 2009, a patchwork of local anchoring regulations sometimes made stopping difficult. Some boaters reported fearing a visit from law enforcement advising that they had “overstayed” their visit and needed to move on.

Conducted by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and five local governments including the City of St. Augustine, City of Stuart/Martin County, City of St. Petersburg, City of Sarasota and Monroe County/Marathon/Key West, the pilot tested a variety of methods of regulated anchoring, while still protecting the anchoring rights of the active cruising public. It also sought to reduce the growing population of derelict vessels in the state.

BoatUS expressly thanks Gov. Scott, Reps. Matt Caldwell (Lee County) Holly Raschein (Monroe County), Sen. Lauren Book (Broward County) and the FWC for their work on the bill.

Some of bill’s measures include:

  1. Providing commonsense anchoring regulations in and around mooring fields and waterway infrastructure.
  2. Broadening the definition of a “derelict vessel”; for boats in use, adding new penalties for those whose vessel registration is expired beyond six months; and making it illegal to affix a vessel to an unpermitted, unauthorized or otherwise “unlawful object,” affixed to the bottom of the waters of the state. This could include an unpermitted mooring or an old engine block. 
  3. Giving local governments the option to require proof of pumpout after vessels have been anchored for 10 days or longer in federally managed no-discharge-zones (portions of the Florida Keys and waters off Destin).

Looking At The Accuracy of 22 Years of Hurricane Season Predictions

Courtesy of BoatUS

LEXANDRIA, Va., June 13, 2017 – According to BoatUS, damage from hurricanes is a leading cause for boat insurance claims. So each summer, the national advocacy, services and safety group anxiously awaits predictions, from a number of highly qualified experts with supercomputers, as to how many tropical storms and hurricanes will form in the Atlantic.

Bottom numbers indicate how many hurricanes were forecast for each year. Red icons above the line indicate how many more hurricanes occurred than predicted. Blue icons below the line indicate how many fewer hurricanes occurred than predicted.

With most 2017 storm forecasts now predicting average to above-average storm activity for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1 – November 30), just how accurate are these predictions, and do boaters need to adjust their hurricane prep plans this year?

The BoatUS Seaworthy Program, which helps BoatUS members avoid injuries and boat damage by analyzing insurance claims data and publishing its findings in BoatUS Magazine, compared over two decades of storm predictions from one of the better-known hurricane-season forecasts from Colorado State University’s Philip Klotzbach and the late Bill Gray. Said Seaworthy Director Charles Fort, “Our mission was not to judge the forecasters but to find out how much confidence we should have in the hurricane-season predictions and what it means to boaters,” said Fort.

After comparing annual predictions to actual weather, Seaworthy discovered that out of 22 years of hurricane season activity forecasts, only one was 100 percent accurate. In some years, there were up to eight more storms than predicted (click here for chart with data).

Boaters often misinterpret what the forecasters try to do, says Fort. “Early season hurricane predictions don’t attempt to forecast the percentage of storms that will come ashore or which coastal locations will be in the crosshair.” BoatUS members can get public advisories from the National Hurricane Center as they are issued, as well as detailed maps of the forecast track, wind bands and wind field for each named storm.

The takeaway? “Weather forecasting is tricky business,” added Fort. “Despite what forecasters may predict, a boater’s mantra should be hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Have a well-thought-out hurricane plan, and prepare your boat as best as possible. It could mean the difference between an easy recovery after a storm or a complete loss.”

Free hurricane-planning help is available online at BoatUS.com/hurricanes.  
Click here to download Regatta Pointe Marina hurricane procedures
Click here to download Regatta Pointe Marina hurricane preparedness tips

Danger Of Texting While Boating

ANNAPOLIS, Md., May 15, 2017 -The National Highway Traffic Safety Commission says that sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. On waterways across the country, recreational boaters know that five seconds is a world of time to get into trouble. Unlike driving on a road, boats can approach from any direction, come in all shapes and sizes and move at different speeds. As part of National Safe Boating Week (May 20–26), the BoatUS Foundation urges boaters who bring smartphones aboard to be aware of the risk of distracted boating.

Photo of boater texting provided by BoatUS

Good news/bad news: “Cellphones are the primary communication device for many boaters,” said BoatUS Foundation Assistant Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner. “So while they’re important to all of us, we have to know how to use them wisely. If you’re texting from the helm, you’re likely not helming the boat.”

The stress of it all: Adding to the challenge and unlike automobiles, says Sensenbrenner, is boating’s unique stressors of sun, glare, wind, waves and vibration. Research shows that hours of exposure to these boating stressors produces a kind of a fatigue, or “boater’s hypnosis” which slows reaction time almost as much as if you were legally drunk. Adding alcohol multiplies the accident risk.

4 tips to improve situational awareness: Cell phones, alcohol and other factors can hinder knowing what’s going on around you, or your “situational awareness.” Sensenbrenner says boaters can always improve their situational awareness by: 1. not texting while driving, 2. slowing down, 3. posting extra lookouts, and 4. waiting for your safe return ashore before enjoying alcohol.

If you’d like to learn more about safe, smart and clean boating, go to BoatUS.org.

Women’s Sailing Conference Slated June 3, 2017

MARBLEHEAD, Mass., April 26, 2017 – Lady sailors take note: the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) has announced the 16th Annual Women’s Sailing Conference will be held Saturday, June 3, 2017, at the Corinthian Yacht Club (CYC) in Marblehead, Massachusetts. The event, which features hands-on land and water-based workshops and seminars, offers women a fantastic opportunity to learn or hone sailing skills, network with other women sailors from all over the United States and gain the confidence necessary to become a valuable crew member or knowledgeable skipper.

Lady sailors gather in Marblehead, Massachusetts on June 3 for the 16th Annual Women’s Sailing Conference.

“Women of all sailing abilities are encouraged to attend,” said NWSA President Linda Newland. “By sharing experiences, women leave with improved skills and knowledge that contribute to better days on the water. There is always something of interest for everyone.”

On the water, women can improve their sail trim skills or take the helm for their very first time in a Colgate 26 or Sonar sailboat. “Women always sign up for on-the-water courses first,” said Conference Committee Chair Joan Thayer. “We are fortunate to have the support of Black Rock Sailing School and Corinthian Yacht Clubs,” she added. Generous contributions from CYC, Black Rock and Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) enable NWSA to meet the educational needs of women sailors and continue to provide one of the top women’s sailing conferences in the US.

New educational opportunities this year include training on rigging, reefing, navigating in fog, dingy skills, and weather. Back by popular demand are conference favorites such as Diesel Damsels, Suddenly Singlehanded, and Heaving-To Strategies for Heavy Weather, plus beginning necessities like Knots to Know and Rules of the Road. NWSA is proud to offer educational opportunities from some of the country’s most experienced and exceptional sailing women, including women’s sailing school owners Captain Nancy Erley of Seattle, Washington and Captain Sharon Renk-Greenlaw of Casco Bay, Maine as well as American Boat and Yacht Council Master Marine Tech Beth Burlingame and Captain Bonnie Schaeffer.

The event begins with a continental breakfast and includes raffles and a silent auction throughout the day. Participants wind down with cocktails, dinner, and address by keynote speaker Sally Barkow, two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, who will bring it all together and offer unique insights and experiences that can be applied to sailing and life. Also BoatUS and NWSA will present the 2017 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award to Linda Lindquist-Bishop, a trailblazer in the all-male world of offshore yacht racing and member of the all-female America3 team in the 1985 America’s Cup.

Raffle ticket sales and silent auction proceeds will benefit the Women’s Sailing Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization which funds the AdventureSail program for at-risk girls ages 9 to 14, and provides scholarships for AdventureSail participants via community learn-to-sail programs. In addition, the Sue Corl Youth Sailing Scholarship provides all-girl sailing opportunities for older, post-AdventureSail teenage girls. Added Newland, “This special scholarship was established in memory of our NWSA Board Member Sue Corl, who was constantly seeking out new and unique opportunities for girls.”

Conference registration includes a continental breakfast, buffet lunch, dinner, workshops and a raffle ticket. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis at womensailing.org. For additional information contact Chair Joan Thayer at joan_thayer@comcast.net.

The National Women’s Sailing Association is a program of the Women’s Sailing Foundation, an organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of women and girls through education and access to the sport of sailing.

Affordable On-Water Boating Courses April 29, 30

SARASOTA, Fla., April 24, 2017 – Want to learn the basics of boating, or have you considered buying a boat someday? The BoatUS Foundation and Freedom Boat Club of Sarasota will offer discounted on-water training courses April 29 and 30 at Marina Jack in Sarasota. The three-and-one-half-hour skills-building courses are affordably priced at $149 and limited to three students per vessel, ensuring each gets practice time behind the helm.
 
The high costs of training with a professional instructor aboard a charter vessel can preclude many from an on-water learning experience. The BoatUS Foundation and Freedom Boat Club course aims to make it more affordable, offering more Floridians the chance to try out recreational boating or to simply brush up on their skills prior to the peak summer boating season.
 
“Our classroom is a 21-foot powerboat,” said BoatUS Foundation Director of Education Amanda Suttles Pérez. Each student will get hands-on experience on steering, docking, close-quarters maneuvering, anchoring, approaching fuel docks, understanding the rules of the road and more.”
 
Courses start at 9:00AM, 9:30AM, 1:30PM and 2:00PM. Space is limited. To register go to: http://connect.boatus.org/site/Calendar?id=100081&view=Detail&s_src=email&s_subsrc=Freedom2

BoatUS Warns: Be Wary Of Phony Renewal Notices

From BoatUS Staff

April 6, 2017 – Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) Consumer Protection Department is advising boaters with vessels having a US Coast Guard Certificate of Documentation to be wary of any letter arriving by US mail offering renewal. An increasing number of BoatUS members have complained that these letters direct them to websites that may be mistaken for the actual US Coast Guard Vessel Documentation Center located in Falling Waters, West Virginia, and appear to show a significant increase in the annual fee to renew US Coast Guard (USCG) documentation.

BoatUS advises that while the USCG does send official annual renewal notices by US mail, other notices being received by members are not from the USCG but rather third-party companies whose name or return addresses may appear similar to that of the official USCG Vessel Documentation Center. Members of the half-million boat owners group report the letters look like “real” USCG communications. Some examples members have forwarded to BoatUS do not have any disclaimers noting that they are not official USCG correspondence.

While third-party companies may legitimately provide services to assist with vessel documentation renewals, the USCG’s own renewal process is simple for most vessels and the price, $26, is often much lower than what third-party services may charge. To renew, go to the USCG National Documentation Center website at www.uscg.mil/nvdc and click on “instructions and forms.”

To be documented, a vessel must measure at least 5 net tons and, with the exception of certain oil-spill response vessels, owned by a US citizen. Boats about 27 feet in length or longer generally meet the weight requirement.

If boat owners wish to file a consumer complaint about this or any other boating-related advertisement or company, BoatUS welcomes boaters to visit http://my.boatus.com/consumer/dispute.asp and click on “send us a complaint” button.

BoatUS also advises boaters who may have received mail that they believe is misleading or deceptive may contact the US Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455 or through its website https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov.

Make Sure Your Boat Is Fire Ready

-Via Susan Croft & Boat US

Boats burn every year and when they do, things get bad. Quickly. For boaters, acknowledging the possibility of a fire is an exercise in fear because there’s nothing more scary than to have open flames aboard and no place to go. We’d like to share two new videos from the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water that I encourage you to share with friends:

Four Fire Extinguisher Myths

At the BoatUS Foundation, this subject is always a “hot topic,” especially because some boaters mistakenly believe that fire extinguishers must be mounted. US Coast Guard Fire Extinguisher requirements include the following: Must be a marine-type, US Coast Guard-approved, in good, serviceable condition with sufficient charge, and you must have the required number of extinguishers aboard for your size and type of vessel. While mounting an extinguisher is not a USCG requirement, doing so is a smart idea because it keeps the extinguisher accessible where anyone can quickly grab it in the event of a fire.

Boat Fire Safety: Burning Boats Reel

Here’s to a safe and early start to the boating season!