Archive for the ‘boat travel’ Category

See all the New Tow Cars /Trucks at the Baltimore Car Show

sneak peak 2014 chevy truck silverado

2014 Chevrolet Silverado for hauling trailer boats

Tow your boat? Want to sit in trucks/SUVs/cars that can tow, examine them, get the specs, and then talk to the towing vehicle experts from the factories about towing your boat? The 2013 Baltimore Motor Trend Auto Show say on; Friday, Saturday, or Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM, 2/8 to 2/10/2013, is for you. You will find folks that know about towing boats, horse trailers, and equipment at the show. Many are boat owners, themselves, and share and understand your hobby.

Ask for a discounted ticket for seniors, military, kids, etc. and your free one year subscription to the authoritative Motor Trend magazine.

Sign in for your turn in the free Ride and Drive in a Chevy Silverado, Traverse, Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee, or Cadillac Escalade to really have an easy first-hand driving experience in a 2013 tow vehicle at the show.

SHH! This Car Show will be the first local chance to see the new 2014 GMC Sierra and the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

The exotics will be there, too. Hot Italian cars like the Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Murcielago,  Lamborghini Spyder Garllardo and Maserati Gran Turismo. Plus, other exotic like the Made-in-England Aston Martin.

Covered  parking is readily available at several places at a downtown parking charge. The Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore on Pratt Street. More information about the show, parking, as well as driving directions are here…

My Monterey Bow Rider Runabout to Bimini, Bahamas Island off Miami, FL

miami inlet atlantic ocean

Heading out towards Bimini

There was no other boat in sight. No land to see off in the distance. Nothing. I was alone on the Atlantic Ocean about 11 miles off the coast of South Florida, heading to Bimini in the Bahamas Islands chain. The boat’s sounder had stopped reading the water depth long ago. My cell telephone no longer had a signal. I had the VHF on channel 16 and heard other boaters, but they were beyond my horizon. I slowed to idle to take it all in. I spun the boat a 360 and saw water in every direction. I was very, very happy.

The waves really were not bad at all. It was the broad spacing between the 5’ high swells that allowed me a rather gentle cruise to an offshore island. The boat slowly would rise and fall from the Gulf Stream waves under my keel.

This little adventure was a long-held dream of mine. I had been to the Bahamas several times, but always on other people’s boats. This time the good ship was mine. The Monterey bowrider that I had taken delivery of in Miami earlier in the month had been equipped. I’d also tested it for over 20 hours on short trips around the greater Miami area as I closely followed the weather forecast, waiting for the right day.

On the eve of my departure, NOAA’s marine weather indicated that the sea and wind conditions for a Bahamian Crossing would be close to perfect on Sunday. I checked out of my hotel, dropped off my rental car and prepared to sleep onboard in a sleeping bag so I could get an early start…

I wasn’t nervous. I’ve been boating for near 50 years and logged several thousand miles of cruising. I passed the first of four CG courses before I was a teenager. I’ve owned many boats and been on a variety of waterways across the country. I had confidence in myself and my boat. So I was cautious, but confident.

This boat is a 2006 Monterey 268 SS bow rider, powered by a single Mercruiser gas engine coupled to a Bravo III outdrive. In my test drives, I had proven that the hull had the bow shape and other design elements to make it a top-shelf choice for running in bigger water. She’s a deep boat and heavily constructed using top fiberglass materials. The stainless steel hardware is beefy. Most of the finer details are the best that the industry offers. The folks at Monterey had built me a very good boat.

I used Richardson’s chartbook, Florida Keys and Bimini, as well as Maptech’s Florida’s East Coast Chartkit for navigation. Both had pre-printed course headings overlaid on their charts. Since I didn’t want to leave from either Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, which were already charted in these books, I eyeballed a course using theirs as a starting point. BTW, the pre-charted routes differed in each book slightly, as one edition had been corrected to 1990 and the other to 2002. Courses can change over time due to magnetic North movement.

I checked and confirmed my course heading using a hand-held Garmin 48 GPS, putting in a lat/lon for my Bimini arrival point as a GO TO point. I was pleased that my roughly calculated course was within a few degrees once I was underway. My excuse for not developing a “better” course? I was crossing on a top weather day—and in a faster boat. And land would only be out of sight for about 30-35 miles.

But what about that Gulf Stream?

Think of the Gulf Stream as a “river”, running north within the Atlantic Ocean between the South FL coast and Bimini Island. It drags all boats northward as they try to cross East-West between Florida and the Islands. The slower the boat travels, the longer it’s in this current, and the more off-course any compass heading becomes. The Garmin GPS really adjusts for this nicely.

land fall entrance to north bimini and south bimini

Bimini Ahead

My trip over to Bimini was a dream cruise. The boat lifted up on plane and headed its bow into the rising sun. I was exhilarated, for together, my boat and I were finally fulfilling this life-long goal. The hotel and condo high-rises that cried out “civilization” dropped behind the stern and then went below the horizon.

The boat had a low rise-and-fall as it was lifted over the gently sloped Gulf Stream waves that marched north below the boat. To keep on course, I positioned the boat so the sun would shine through the windshield at the same spot. I flipped open the Captain’s Call exhaust to entertain myself and then closed it when it seemed out-of-sync with conditions. When I got to feeling a little spooked from knowing that the nearest land was 400 feet straight down, I listened to the VHF to reconnect to the human race.


Wham! A dolphin flew up out of the water aiming straight for the side panel of the boat’s glass windshield. I didn’t even have time to duck. I just stared at him like a deer caught in a car’s headlights. But, it turns out he was just fooling with me. He dove right back under the water and passed under the keel. I almost wet myself over that one! Then I decided he was just a youngster who played a joke on me with this close call. I was sure that he flashed me a broad grin in reaction to my facial expression.

What is Bimini like? It’s two low-lying Islands. After last year’s bevy of hurricanes, there’s extensive damage to many buildings and some trees. But the water is every bit as magnificent as it looks on the commercials. Turquoise—an unbelievable turquoise color. You can see bottom even when it’s fairly deep. Experienced islanders can navigate by looking at the water’s colors and tone.By the time I arrived at Bimini’s doorstep and cruised around locally, the weather forecast for the next few days was far worse than I expected for a return crossing. Most likely I would have to wait at least three days to get good crossing weather again—maybe longer. Since it was still early on this picture-perfect morning, and I had plenty of fuel for a quick run back to Miami, this trip turned out to be an “over-and-back” in the same day. And it was a good decision.


chalks sea plane base in bimini

damaged building on North Bimini Island in the Bahamas


As it turned out, a 26’ center-console fishing boat went down off the FL coast the very next day. Three fisherman went overboard, but the tow service saved them and then the Coast Guard transported them back to land. If I hadn’t paid attention to the forecast and just got caught up in the splendor of my Bimini adventure, I could have been caught out there in those sea and wind conditions, too.

So I was back stateside. Bimini was glorious, but there’s still so much more to see along the East Coast. Now it was time to plan for my next destination…

see the bottom clear water off bimini bahamas

One can see the bottom in the clear turquiose blue water around Bimbini Island,in the Bahamas


Wood Race Boat TV Movie Coming

Shh! A first class movie made for TV is coming. A 200 MPH race boat has been restored (I heard the engine run), the story is now documented, and the drama of the top Canadian Boat Racing Team is getting ready to be shown to you and other fellow Classic Boaters. This is an Antique and Classic Boat Society race boat story.

harold and lorna race movie  Miss Canada IV boat photo image

restored Gold Cup race boat Miss Canada IV

The 200 mph wood racer is from the late 1940s to early 1950s era, when hydros were king. The 33’ wood Greavette Boats Ltd hydroplane Miss Canada IV set records as she beat Miss America X’s speed record, set a North American straight-a-way record, ran in other races, and competed in the Harmsworth Trophy Race. Besides a story about an antique and classic boat society correct boat, this television documentary is a story of the racers that were in the cockpit. Harold and Lorna Wilson went from sweethearts, to man and wife, parents, all the while being a race boat driver (Harold) and a race boat riding mechanic (Lorna). They set records on the race course for some 15 years and had a wonderful life while doing it. They both came to the White House to receive the Presidents Cup from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He and other political leaders then asked them to represent boat racing across Europe. WW II got in the way of that. While Miss Canada IV was a 33’ racer, Miss Canada III was 25’ by 7’, and Miss Canada II was a 26’ by 71/2’ race boat. II was designed by John L. Hacker. I understand that III and IV were designed by Douglas Van Patten. Some of the members of the Van Patten family are readers of seabuddy. By the way, much of this boat sizing was demanded by the rules limiting engine size. The earlier boats used engines in the 650 to 700 plus cubic inch size. Miss Canada IV was designed for and used a 2,239 cubic inch two staged supercharged engine. Yup, Unlimited again meant BIG! Keep up with the movie, the story, and its future showings here…

Miami Marine Stadium for boaters

orange bowl regatta miami marine stadium race boat image

proposal for cleaned up Miaim Marine Stadium

The home of some great classic boat racing is trying to gather together the folks and energy to re-open. The Miami Marine Stadium was home to the Orange Bowl International Power Boat Regatta plus events like the Orange Bowl Invitational “250” Speed Classic. The facility has been closed for years but now there is a strong group of racers, community leaders,  and passionate local people that are slowly working towards getting Boat Racing going in the Miami Marine Stadium again. In the past, the “250” Speed Classic utilized a combination of both closed course competition and of endurance racing.  It was a 100 lap race on a 21/2 mile circle course inside the protection of the Miami Marine Stadium and right in front of a wonderful covered grandstand with sight lines that were wonderful to see all the boat racing action. Besides money and trophies for the winning boats, there was prize money for each individual lap. This “lap prize money” feature for each lap kept the throttles down and the racing pace up and allowed for several strategies for racers to run to maximize their race winnings.

Click here…  to see the latest steps of the effort to re-open the Miami Marine Stadium.

Here is a short list of some drivers and race boat owners that raced at the Miami Marine Stadium; Curt Brayer, Rudy Ramos, Peter Rothschild, Mike Gordon, Bob Nordskog, Howard Brown, Gordon Cooper, Lou Brummett, and Troy Ruttman.

Here are some raceboat classes; E and F Service Runabouts, 7 Litre Hydroplanes, 280 cubic inch, 266 cubic inch, 225 cubic inch, 150 cubic inch hydros and so on.

And now some racing boat names; Miss Crosly Crew, Pepe Le Pew, Tootsie, Lil Apache, Miss Crazy Thing, Long Gone, Hot Toddy II, Miss Chrysler Queen, and Dancing Bear.

The boat brands that raced at the Miami Marine Stadium are memorable, too; Howard, Stevens, Mandella, Rayson Craft, Glastron, Donzi, Patterson, Curtis Craft, Hallett, and Aqua Craft, to name a few.

boat racing miaim marine stadium rendering

another view of the proposed cleaned up Miami Marine Stadium


to-be-built Marine Center

Above is a rendering of a proposed Marine Stadium Maritime Center located just next to the stadium.

New Boat Show

Local United States Yacht Shows, which produce  the oldest in-water boat shows in the United States, has announced  that it will offer  a spring boat show called the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, featuring a special Cruisers University.

The new event will be held at the Annapolis Town Dock, plus Ego Alley, the surrounding city lots, the Annapolis Marriott Waterfront Hotel, the Annapolis Recreation Center, and a local Park.  The show is said to feature on  more than  80 sailboats, both mono-hull hull shapesl and multi-hull.

Admission is $10 for adults, $4 for youth 7-12, and free for children 6 and under for the Boat Show. 

For the Cruisers University, a separate tuition schedule will cover all classes, meals, demos, on-board instruction, and social activities. 

Additionally, a special Cruising Destinations Series will be available to all show attendees on Saturday and Sunday.

The new show is planned for late April, after the Bay Bridge Boat Show, which is about 30 years old which is also hosted by the same organization. United States Yacht Shows are every well respected by the boating public and each of their shows bring folks to Annapolis from up and down the East Coast.

By the way, Cruisers University is a four-day educational program designed to introduce people to life aboard a cruising boat.  Billed as “The Ultimate Aid to Navigation,” Cruisers University provides expert instruction in a wide range of subjects pertinent to long-range cruising, such as on-board technical systems, cruising destinations, insuring and outfitting your boat, as well as mastery level two-day courses on Diesel Maintenance, Navigation and Chart Plotting, and Electrical Systems Design.

Chris Craft boats now in the movies

A Chris Craft runabout speedboat is the boat in the current hit…The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show

on display at the show

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show opens on October 27 and runs through October 31, 2011.The Boat Show exhibits new boats from boat and yacht companies as well as yacht designers and used or brokered yachts.

A variety of boats and ocean vessels will be on display including runabouts, sport fishing boats, high performance racers, medium sized cabin cruisers, skiffs, express cruisers, motor yachts, bow riders, catamarans, trawlers, inflatables, and extraordinary super yachts.

Covering six locations and some 3 million square feet of space, the show has a transportation network of land bus, water craft, and river boats to get around the show.

A great venue for a boat show, Ft. Lauderdale, has the water and land items that make for a great boating experience.

The best day for most is the first day, although one can’t see all of the show in a day. Take even non boaters with you, it’s a terrific venue.

at Annapolis Sail and Power Boat Shows

This vendor will be on display at both the Annapolis Sailboat Show as well as the Annapolis Powerboat Show.

see her at the Annapolis Sailboat Show this week


Beneteau first brought to market the Oceanis series in the 1980’s. In 2012 Beneteau will introduce two more model sailboats, the Oceanis 45 and
41, which will be built in the USA.

The Oceanis 41 and 45 offer more space and comfort while preserving the great sailing experience of the range. Designed by naval architects Finot-Conq and Associates the boats have a low profile cabin with long deckhouse windows. Elements that characterize the Oceanis range such as a large cockpit securely enclosed by an athwartship helmsman’s bench, pure and stretched lines and good performance still exist. Major highlights of these new Oceanis include a large interior plus an ingenious full width, electrically operated transom enclosure that provides easy access to the sea. This new feature, which is normally only seen on Super Yachts, incorporates the aft bathing platform opening by a remote controler.

Highlights of these sailboats are:
· easier to enter companionway, with a gentle 45° incline instead of the usual steep 60°.
· The windows enable you to take advantage of bright natural lighting.
· To increase the size of the interior without sacrificing the size of the cockpit, Beneteau has used an open transom feature. The new Oceanis keeps the protective feature of a closed cockpit while sailing, with its large helmsman’s seat; and yet opens widely to the sea at anchor.
· The chine over the full length of the hull brings 2 major benefits in terms of comfort: A wider berth width in the forward cabin and also a more generous deck.
· The chine not only offers more space inside, but it also maximizes stability at high heeling angles, which enables high-performance sailing at a moderate heel.
· The mast was brought back to 47% from the bow.

Marc Castelli: The Art of the Waterman at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

    This exhibit features 23 paintings by renowned Chesapeake artist Marc Castelli, 17 of which were donated to the Museum from the Diane Simison collection. The remaining images are from the artist’s personal collection. Castelli paints in watercolor on paper, working from photographs that he takes himself. This allows him not only to get the proportions and details exactly right, but it allows him to capture action and attitude that painting from life would not permit. Castelli goes out at times in awful weather–cold, wind, rain, even snow–conditions in which no one could paint.  He then photographs the watermen’s work in the full variety of conditions that they work in and takes those pictures back to paint in his home studio. Diane Simison began collecting Castelli’s work in 2004.

    “Diane quite deliberately built this cohesive collection of Marc’s paintings of Chesapeake watermen because she was captivated by the aesthetic value,” commented CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher. “But she was also drawn in by Castelli’s approach and message: going out on the boats with the watermen to capture aspects of their work and the hardships they face. Her chosen location for retirement on Tilghman Island, with its large community of watermen, certainly must have played a role in attracting her to this subject matter.”

Where it is and directions info…