The 52nd installment of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is this weekend (October 27-31, 2011), and is known around the world as the premier boat show. There are thousands of boats available to view, including mega yachts, runabouts, sport fishers, high performance vessels, jet boats, trawlers, cabin cruisers, and center consoles. Some of the boat manufacturer’s that will be there are: Aziumet, Palmer Johnson, Beneteau, Carolina Skiff, Atlantis, Back Cover, Admiral, Broward, Sea Ray, Sea-Doo, Baja, Buddy Davis, Calcutta, Boston Whaler, Cabo, Nautique, Bertram, Aeon, Donzi, and hundreds more.
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show covers over 3 million square feet of space, and has hundreds of participants. Show attendees are able to purchase everything from boat propellers to marine electronics to marine hardware, clothing, captain’s chairs, fishing poles, tackle, clothing, paintings, and everything else tied to the marine industry.
The boat show is open from 10am til 7pm daily, and tickets can be purchased on-line or at the show.
Come visit us in booth 1227 at Bahia Mar
What do the baseball, football, and boating seasons have in common? They all have pre-seasons.
In boating, Spring is the time to get your vessel ready for the greatest season of the year. It is also an opportunity to avoid potential safety problems.
The pros at Deep Blue Yacht Supply have designed a powerful playbook to help you prepare for boating season.
Dust off the owner’s manual. Always consult your manual for specifics and for items that may deviate from this checklist.
Click here to download a printer friendly version.
Change the Oil
Did you change the oil when you winterized your boat?
Even if you did, the oil usually absorbs unwanted acids and chemicals from the engine during the long winter’s sleep. You may want to change the oil again to remove these deposits.
Reconnect Spark Plugs
If you left the spark plugs disconnected during the winter, it’s time to re-install and re-connect.
Reconnect Fuel Hoses
As with the spark plugs, the same applies to outboard.
Intake Sea Strainer
Double check that the strainer is free of debris and corrosion.
Inspect all belts and hoses.
Clamps should be snug and free of rust. If they show signs of cracking, rotting, or feel mushy, it’s best to replace them now.
Here is a neat trick that we use to test fuel lines and clamps. Take an old white rag and run it up and down the fuel clamps and hoses. If you see or smell fuel on the rag, it is best to tighten the clamps and inspect the hoses more carefully.
To replace any hoses or belts, check out our selection of Buck Algonquin® hoses and clamps.
Sterndrive Boot and Hydraulics:
Inspect rubber boot for cracks or holes.
Check fluid levels in lift pumps and hydraulic steering.
PROPELLERS and SHAFTS
Remove prop and lubricate if necessary. Inspect prop for dings or damage. Even a slightly dinged prop can cause excess vibration on the engine / lower unit. If ding exposes aluminum, then excess corrosion can occur from electric currents. Have propeller repaired or consider purchasing a new propeller.
Deep Blue Yacht Supply offers the following tools:
Inspect shafts and struts for proper operation.
We offer stainless steel boat shafts in Aqualoy® 17, 19, and 22 material. Please refer to our Shaft Guide for specifics about custom stainless shafting.
Check water levels
Fully Charge the battery
It’s been sleeping for a while.
Clean Battery Terminals
Remove all the corrosion
Inspect Electrical Connections
Check for wear in electrical wires. Repair if necessary.
Shore Power Cable
Inspect cable for burns and wear
Test your electrical systems for proper operation
- VHF Radio
- GPS Units, Plotters, & Fish Finders
- Water Pumps
- Bilge Pump
SAFETY & EMERGENCY
Inspect Life Jackets / PFDs
Get them out of the back of the locker. Inspect them for rips. Double-check the seams. Do you have enough for each person onboard? Do you have enough sizes for younger kids?
Have you ever had to put on a life jacket in an emergency? How about one that is still in the plastic? Take out a stop watch and time yourself. Can you put in on and adjust the straps in less than 15 seconds? To avoid potential problems, we use the following technique for all our trips:
Pull out your PFDs. With a Sharpie, number each one. When your guests board your boat, assign them a number and throw them a life jacket with the appropriate number. Ask them to adjust the straps to their size and try it on for size. This helps in two ways. First, in an emergency, there will be no time messing with the straps. Secondly, it helps get the life jackets out from the back of the locker, and closer to the surface.
Throwable Flotation Device
The U.S. Coast Guard requires that you have one throwable PFD. Let’s say that you throw it and miss your target. Now what? I keep two throwables on my boat. One with a line attached. In an emergency, I first throw the regular cushion. If I miss, then I’ll have the one with the line to throw over and over again.
Make sure the extinguisher is fully charged. In addition, the extinguisher has been sitting in its mount for a while without any movement. To avoid the chemical from settling into a hard rock at the bottom of the canister, slowly invert the canister 20-25 times. You should feel the chemicals slosh back and forth through the canister.
Lastly, if the expiration date has passed, or is coming due, it would be best to buy a new fire extinguisher. If you can find an ABC extinguisher, I would definitely pick one up.
Flares / Visual Distress Systems
Check the expiration date on your flares. 42 months is the usual life of flares. If the flares have expired, you can donate them to your local USCG Auxiliary Flotilla or Fire Department.
- Re-organize your emergency box
By re-organizing your emergency kit, you’ll see if something has gotten wet, or if something has expired. If you don’t have a kit, it’s time to buy one. I keep a fully stocked waterproof box onboard.
Here are some of the items that we store in the box.
- First Aid Kit
- Vise-Grips Pliers
- Spare Navigation Bulbs
- Spare Spark Plugs
- Spare Fuses
- Extra Knife
- Extra Batteries
- …and even more batteries
Check your compass
What if your GPS unit loose powers. This is your non-electrical friend.
Is it time for servicing? Please use a local facility or your OEM for this one, as they can repack it properly.
Have the liferaft supplies expired? Are they still in good condition?
Test the Smoke Detectors
Check expiration date. Use the manufacturer to replace batteries.
Register unit with USCG. Follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to test.
- Abandon Ship / Ditch Bag
You hope it never happens, but just in case. Here are a few items worth considering.
- Sea-Dye Packet
- Handheld VHF Radio
- Watertight Bag for Electronics
- Protein or Granola Bars
- Water Packs, Water Maker, Desalinization Packs
- Water Container
- Inflatable Distress Flag (can catch rain water, too)
- Fishing Line / Hook / Sinkers
- First Aid Kit
Inspect the lifelines, pulpits, and stanchion. Inspect the anchor, ground tackle, lines, and fenders.
Inspect all deck hardware including cleats, deck pipes, hatch lifts, brackets, vents, and scupper plates for damage or wear.
If you are in need of deck hardware, check out our wide selection of Buck Algonquin® Marine Hardware.
Inspect dingy and life raft clamps
Inspect bimini canvas and covers
Inspect Hull for Damage
Look for and repair any scratches and gouges. Inspect for blisters.
Inspect Trim Tabs
Be sure to test the trim tabs to make sure they function properly. Refer to your owner’s manual for specifics.
These sacrificial pieces of metal protect the precious metal components of your boat including lower units, propellers, rudders, shafts, and struts. They should be replaced when one-third of the original zinc remains. I like to replace mine once a season when the boat is out of the water.
Be sure to check out our wide array of Zimar Zinc Anodes.
Inspect Rubber Gaskets and Seals
Renew caulk and gaskets. If in doubt, you should replace.
Inspect rudder / steering components and fittings.
Deep Blue Yacht Supply provides a wide range of Steering Components.
Inspect Drain Plug
Fill the water tanks
Reconnect the hot water heater
Non Toxic Antifreeze
Although it’s non-toxic and alcohol based, nobody likes it. Flush out the antifreeze that you added in the winter. Run all the faucets including the shower heads.
Verify that bilges operate properly
Verify connections to battery. Clear debris from float.
Make sure bilge has oil
USCG Auxiliary Safety Check
The Coast Guard Auxiliary performs complimentary safety checks. This helps confirm that your vessel meets both Federal and State regulations. There are no citations issued and violations are not reported to law enforcement.
Visit SafetySeal.net to locate an examiner in your area.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is hosting the 51st Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on Thursday, October 28-Monday, November 1, 2010. And we are excited to announce that we will have a booth again this year.Come visit us at Booth 1225 Bahia Mar in the Engine Tent next to the Floating Cocktail Barge! When you visit us, ask for a free propeller sizing from our inboard experts.
The “Yachting Capital of the World” will have so many show exhibitors to choose from. There will be 5 days of pure boating bliss! The show will consist of 4 Boat Show Venues: Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, Hall of Fame Marina and Las Olas Marina. So buy the 2 Day Adult pass so you don’t miss anything!
What a great way to spend time with the family over the weekend! Exotic boats, great vendors/exhibitors, lots of fun freebies, not to mention the great food and plus you can come meet some Deep Blue Yacht Supply staff. Did we forget to tell you that we have some great giveaways, a drawing for $200 towards anything on our website (www.deepblueyachtsupply.com), and some other goodies. But you will have to come visit us to see what else we will have going on.
Have a fabulous weekend and make it better at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. We hope to see you there! If you need tickets or want to find out more information, please visit http://www.showmanagement.com/fort_lauderdale/event/ .
BOAT SHOW SCHEDULE
October 28-November 1, 2010
Prime Time Preview:
Thurs. Oct 28, 10am – 7pm