Tips for Safe Boat Transport

If you’re a boater who lives in an area with major seasonal changes in weather, you have to go through the arduous process of hauling your boat from the water as the cold approaches and placing it in storage. Then when spring rolls around and the weather starts to break, you go through the whole process again in reverse, though returning your boat to the water is usually quite a bit more enjoyable than removing it.

Taking the steps to ensure that your sailboat or power boat has safely made it through boating season and performing necessary maintenance prior to stowing it away for the winter are great ways to extend its life. Properly winterizing your vessel prior to storage is also a great way to ensure that you’ll be able to get back into the water once the weather has broken.

One very important aspect of boat transport that can easily get overlooked though is the condition of your trailer. A thorough inspection of your trailer prior to hauling your boat is essential for your safety, your boats safety and the safety of all those around you.

Things like dry rotted tires, rotted boards and damaged rollers can spell disaster if they happen to get overlooked prior to hitting the road. The trailer isn’t necessarily an overly complex piece of equipment and most repairs can be addressed by boaters who are comfortable working with their hands. You may only use your trailer a few times a year, but it’s an integral piece of equipment if you need to haul your boat.

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Boating and The Star Spangled Banner

As you read through online boat listings, you hopefully get a good sense of the condition that a boat is in and  learn the basics about its make and model. What cannot be conveyed when a person sells a boat online is a vessel’s memories and history.

For example, a boat played a significant part in the writing of the Star Spangled Banner and it is possible that this boat passed form one owner to the other with little thought of its connection to that event.

The Fourth of July celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of independence and as you know probably know, America’s journey to true independence from Britain was just getting started on that day. Even after the Revolutionary War ended, we once again fought the British during the War of 1812 (which lasted into 1814).

It was during this war that Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner while watching the ramparts from a boat in 1814. Key was a lawyer and he had been asked to help obtain the release of a civilian from British custody. Along with John S. Skinner, a U.S. government agent, Key was able to et the British to release the civilian, however he a Skinner were kept aboard a truce ship while a battle raged on because the British were afraid the two would tell what they had learned (that The British were going to attack Baltimore).

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Be Safe On Your Boat This Fourth of July

We know that when you peruse online boat listings to buy a boat online, you do this because you enjoy being on the water. While we certainly want you to have a good time and enjoy your boat but we also want you to be safe.

The Fourth of July is a lot of fun and it is a great time to be out on a boat. In some cities you can get the best view of fireworks on a boat and not have to worry about finding a place to park or waiting for public transportation.

However, as with most holidays, there are also some dangers. This is not to scare anyone, but to simply say that it helps to be aware. The Fourth of July is a time when many people do not have to work, many people are looking to have some fun and many people want to drink alcohol.

When it comes to boating at night with the aim to see the fireworks, The York Dispatch has this advice:

“Lots of us will head onto the water to view the fireworks this weekend. But boating at night is dangerous.

If you’re not familiar with the water you’ll be on, the advice is clear. Don’t go. If you think you have the skills needed, slow and easy wins the race. Speed has no place in nighttime boating.”


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Father-Son Duo Join Crew for Transatlantic Race

One of the great things that happens after you buy a boat online is that you get to have fun sailing with your friends and family. For some people part of the fun is looking forward to getting on a boat because they don’t get to sail all the time. It is a chance to something out of the ordinary.

One father and son pair has joined a crew that is participating in this year’s Transatlantic Race, so they will be on a boat together for weeks at a time.

The Associated Press gave a history of these races:

“This year’s Transatlantic Race, part of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series, will be the 29th since 1866, when the first was held. Several members of the New York Yacht Club, which is still a co-host of the event, wagered $30,000 each that year and set out to cross the ocean. There was tragedy, though: Six crew members from one boat died in a storm. Since then, all but one of the races has been from east to west. The exception was in 1870, when the boats traveled to New York from Cork, Ireland.”

Boats and boat racing have come a long way since these races first began. Now each boat in the race has a tracking device. This way family, friends and people who are interested in the race can keep up with the boat’s journey.

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Sailing in Close Quarters for Transatlantic Race

Are you thinking that you want to sell your boat online so that you can buy a larger boat? Have your friends and family outgrown the space on your boat? If you can, you should take advantage of the opportunity to get a bigger boat to give yourselves more room.

Imagine spending 21 days aboard the same ship as participants in the Transatlantic Race that starts next month will.  And this is no pleasure cruise. You have to enjoy sailing to embark on such an adventure because there will be both fun and work involved.

Teenager Dirk Johnson is competing in the 3,000 nautical mile sailboat race and being with family goes along with the territory. Johnson is concerned about spending a great deal of time with the same people, especially since one of those people is his father, Dirk Johnson, Sr.

Dirk Johnson, Jr. will be the nipper on the crew, taking care of things like washing dishes, making repairs in the wee hours and packing the spinnakers.

The father in this pair has already participated in a Transatlantic Race, although in 2005 he was in a bigger boat–the 117-foot vessel he sailed in then offered much more space than the 48-foot vessel he and his son and other will be on this year. However, the father noted that this year’s boat is ‘small but powerful.’



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Remain Alert for Safe Boating

After you buy a boat online or after you get the boat you have ready for the warm

weather you will probably feel pretty eager to get out there on the water. Before you head out into the warm weather boating season and before you head out on each adventure, remember to take the time prepare yourself mentally.

Do not be so anxious that you do not have fun, just be ready to be alert while you are on the water. As The Grant Tribune told its readers:

“The best boat operators constantly are looking around for other boats, swimmers, stumps and other hazards. This is especially true for operators of personal watercraft or other high-speed vessels.”

When you head out on the water fully aware of the rules and regulations for the jurisdiction and prepared to be alert, you can have a good time. The need for alertness is one of the reasons authorities caution boaters repeatedly about drinking and operating a moving vehicle on the water.

In the daytime there is the glare of the sun and all kinds of other distractions that may reduce visibility. Often, boaters overestimate how much room they have to maneuver with other vessels in the water. And when it gets dark, it is simply more difficult to see.

We want you to stay safe and enjoy spending time on your boat, so please remain alert.

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Hudson River Security Checks Ruffle Some Feathers

Would you sell your boat online if you thought that too many security checks were getting in the way of your enjoyment? Or would you deal with the security checks on the water the same way you deal with security checks on land at airports and other places–as something that is annoying but necessary?

One man who used to look forward to summers sailing the Hudson River told The New York Times that he has been stopped four times in one day. He is not alone, although all of the people who are not happy about frequent stops have not sold their boats. Boat clubs and marinas are contemplating just what they can do. Some people are circulating petitions and there are plenty of people interested in signing.

Law enforcement officials say the extra vigilance is necessary One area boater noted that people used to say law enforcement didn’t do enough: “Back then the Hudson felt like the Wild West,” said George Samalot, who has owned a sailboat repair business in West Haverstraw since 1985.” The increase in stops has let officials help inexperienced boaters who otherwise may have found themselves in trouble.

“Officials say that while they are sensitive to the complaints, there is no going back to the world before 9/11.

“Job No. 1 is keeping people safe,” said Charles Rowe, a Coast Guard spokesman. “Even the ones who are complaining.”



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Miami’s Merrill Stevens Dry Dock Has New Owner

If you already know that you plan to buy a yacht online to sail the waters in the Miami area, you will be glad to hear that the Merrill Stevens Dry Dock has been purchased by a new owner and that the new owner has big plans for the facility.

Merrill Stevens was an actual person who started working with boats out of Jacksonville. In the 1920s he opened a yacht yard in Miami. In its most recent heyday, Merrill Stevens Dry Dock was where people like Ivana Trump brought their mega yachts. However, the economic difficulties in recent years brought layoffs and a reduction of services. The specter of a foreclosure or of a complete shutdown cast a cloud over the dock that had been an important place for the area’s boating community.

The new owner will spend two years renovating the 5.9 acre yacht yard. It can accommodate about 20 yachts now, but who knows if the new owner will expand its capabilities to allow room for even more yachts.

The new owner, David Marlow, chairman of Marlow Yachts, told The Triton:

Merrill Stevens has played an important role in the development and maintenance of America’s yachting and commercial vessel scene.” “It is Marlow’s firm plan to restore that dignity and proud heritage to its proper place as perhaps the most iconic yard in our nation.”


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Volunteers to Clean Up W. Va. River

When you buy a boat online so that you can enjoy waterways, it is important to remember that you are a part of a community. At the very least, owning a boat means keeping up with repairs and not littering or doing things to damage the waters your vessel passes through.

If, however, you want to follow the example of boaters in West Virginia and do more than that and volunteer to clean up waterways in your area, even better.

According to The Charleston Daily Mail:

For the first time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has informed a community group of plans to release a buildup of trash behind the Morgantown Lock and Dam.

That lets the Upper Monongahela River Association and other groups plan a response: They’ll be on the water in time for the release Wednesday and will pluck out as much garbage as they can.

One volunteer says without the efforts of himself and others to clear this West Virginia waterway, the garbage would be found near the banks or it would end up downstream. And another was of the opinion that the excess of trash was connected to the heavy rains the area has had recently.

This is certainly not a haphazard effort. Volunteers will be instructed to pick up certain kinds of debris (cigarette lighters, beverage containers and tires) but they are not to pick up wood.


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Homeschooling At Sea

If you want to buy a boat online, do you have visions of sailing around the world with your family? If so, have you thought about what it would be like to take an extended trip–not just a vacation–but to spend a year or more at sea?

Should you have a family with school-age children and decide to do this, you will have to plan for your children’s education. Life at sea can provide many wonderful learning opportunities–ones your children would not get if they went to traditional schools. Still, you will want to give them some standard schooling to prepare them for the future and a time when you stop sailing.

You can get information online and from other cruising families to see what will work best for you. Homeschooling information that pertains to people on land may help, but you will also need to be prepared for the specifics of homeschooling at sea. For example, you may need to use trial and error to figure out whether it is better to homeschool during passage or to leave more intensive work for when you are at anchor.

You may meet up with other cruising families during your travels and find that you can share the load of homeschooling your children. This will provide variety and take some of the burden off of you.


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