Boating For Beginners: 6 Basic Tips

Boating For Beginners: 6 Basic Tips

Boating is very much a specialty hobby that requires knowledge, certifications, and experience.  But the only way to get experience is to take the plunge and get out there! If you’re a rookie boater, here are six tips to help you navigate your first boating season.  Don’t ever forget to check the weather.You can never check the weather too many times! Check a few hours before you leave, right before you leave, and while you’re out on the water. Remember that storms can sneak up on you out of the blue. If you’re a new boater, you don’t want to get stuck in dangerous weather.Layer, layer, layer.It might be warm at the marina, but if the breeze picks up on the water, it could get cold. Bring long sleeve shirts, a waterproof jacket, and more. Better to be overprepared and have whatever you need on hand than to get stuck in cold weather. Drive slow when docking. The last thing you want...
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6 Ways To Stay Safe In The Sun During Your Boat Trip

6 Ways To Stay Safe In The Sun During Your Boat Trip

Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. However, there are several steps you can take to lower your risk. If you’re planning a boat trip to sunny Florida, be cautious of too much sun exposure. If you’re lucky enough to avoid cancer, you’ll still have to deal with premature signs of aging, like wrinkles and age spots. Here are six tips to stay safe in the sun.  Protect yourself.Try to wear long pants, long sleeved shirts, and wide brimmed hats as often as possible. If you find such clothing too oppressive in the Florida heat, slather yourself in sunscreen and linger in the shade.Wear sunglasses.UV rays can cause serious eye problems, such as cataracts. Wear sunglasses that block UVB and UBA rays to protect your precious eyeballs.Limit your time in the sun.Sun rays are strongest from 10am to 4pm. Plan to be in the sun early in the morning or later in the afternoon. If you...
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5 Famous Sarasota Restaurants You Should Check Out

5 Famous Sarasota Restaurants You Should Check Out

From casual to fine dining, here are five of Sarasota’s most famous restaurants that you have to check out! 1. Bijou CafeIf you want a classic Downtown Sarasota experience, plan to stop at The Bijou Cafe before catching a show afterwards. This fine-dining spot is located right next to the Sarasota Opera House. Featuring delicious menu options such as bijou crab cakes, tuna tartare, tagliatelle pasta, and lamb shank, Bijou Cafe has experienced many talented chefs over the years.  2. Dry Dock Waterfront GrillIf you’re looking for something more casual, grab a grouper sandwich at Dry Dock Waterfront Grill. Enjoy your sandwich and the weather with a fantastic view of Sarasota Bay. You won’t regret it. 3. Ophelia’s on the BayPerfect for couples seeking romantic dining on the water, Ophelia’s features two glass-walled dining rooms and patio seating with beautiful views of Little Sarasota Bay. The menu is printed daily and features local seafood fishes and Florida-grown fruits and vegetables. Imagine...
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5 Beach Safety Tips For Your Florida Boat Vacation

5 Beach Safety Tips For Your Florida Boat Vacation

Are you planning a boat vacation to Florida to escape the winter blues? While you might believe the beach is all sunshine and smiles, there are some dangerous things that must be taken into consideration. While you’re preparing for your tropical escape and getting your boat ready for voyage, make sure you also properly prepare for beach and ocean safety.  Wear sunscreen, and stay hydrated.Sunburn can ruin even the most well-planned, luxurious vacations. Make sure you lather yourself up with 30 SPF and reapply either after two hours of sunbathing or after swimming. While you’re at it, stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol (especially if you’ll be driving the boat), and drink plenty of water. Protect your feet.The idea of a long walk on the beach might sound romantic, but romance can quickly turn into an emergency if you step directly on a sharp edge of the rocky coastline. Pack some water shoes, such as Tevas or Chacos, to prevent cuts from...
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6 Tips to Prevent Theft On Your Boat in Sarasota

6 Tips to Prevent Theft On Your Boat in Sarasota

If you’re considering buying a boat in Florida (or you already own one), it’s imperative to make sure your belongings are secured and insured. The amount of stolen boats has fortunately subsided, but Florida is still a hot spot for these type of crimes. Practice safe and smart boat ownership by taking the following steps.  1. Know your coverage.Boat insurance policies vary widely. It depends on the type of boat, the waters it will traffic, how many months of the year the boat is in use, and more. Familiarize yourself with your coverage, in case anything happens.  2. Take photos of your boat and its equipment.This is a great way to keep track of everything installed on your boat, in case of theft. Create a spreadsheet that includes the value of everything you own. This will help you decide what kind of insurance coverage to lock down. 3. Don’t leave your title or registration papers in your boat.Instead, store them in a safe...
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5 Tips To Keep You Safe On The Water This Winter

5 Tips To Keep You Safe On The Water This Winter

No matter where you live, winter requires extra preparation when you’re eager to get out on the water. With colder air and water temperatures, it’s essential to have a safety plan in case of a boating emergency. Here are five tips that could save your life this winter.  1. Wear a lifejacket. Sure, they’re not very stylish. Or maybe you’re a strong swimmer, and you don’t think you need one. Whatever the case for your resistance, remember that it’s much easier to be prepared for the worst than to scramble for a lifejacket at the last second. Make sure your lifejacket fits properly and inflates correctly. Wear it at all times.  2. Have a solid method of communication.On a boat, you should have a marine-brand VHS radio and a handheld GPS. This will allow you to call for help and report your location. Don’t rely on your cell phone, as they don’t always have service in the areas you might be visiting...
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4 Ways to Care For Your Boat in the Winter

4 Ways to Care For Your Boat in the Winter

Boats face a variety of potential maintenance problems. However, there’s an even higher chance of something going wrong during the off-season. Because of this, boat owners need to properly winterize and care for their boats when it’s cold outside. If it’s your first time winterizing your boat, consult both your owner’s manual and a knowledgeable professional to assist you.  1. Clean your boat thoroughly. Before you store your boat, make sure it’s clean. Pressure wash the hull, remove any stray barnacles from the propellers, and inspect every inch of the boat’s interior. Depending on your winter climate, you might need to install a dehumidifier to limit moisture levels inside your boat.  2. Change the engine oil.It’s crucial to take care of your boat’s engine, since it’s the most important part of your boat. First, check the oil levels. Your boat’s oil should be changed every 50-100 running hours. While you’re changing the oil, check for leaks and other alarming signs.  3. Take care...
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5 Wonderful Boating Destinations in Florida

5 Wonderful Boating Destinations in Florida

Florida is the boating capital of the world and contains more registered boats than any other state in the U.S. If you’re planning a boat-cation this year, make sure to check out these beautiful Florida destinations! 1. St. Augustine St. Augustine is the nation’s oldest city and first seaport. Rich in cultural and historic significance, St. Augustine is an incredible place to explore. The city also has top notch marinas.  2. Fort LauderdaleAlso known as the Yachting Capital of the World, Fort Lauderdale is absolutely stunning. It’s also a great launching point to cross over to the Bahamas. If you can visit during the International Boat Show, you should absolutely make the trip. It's the largest in-water boat show in the world, and it’s always an impressive event.  3. Key WestThe Southernmost City is unlike any other destination in the U.S. With beautiful sunsets, delicious seafood, blue water, and friendly locals, what’s not to love? It’s only a 70-mile crossing to Dry Tortguas National...
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4 Tips for Hiring a Contractor in Sarasota

4 Tips for Hiring a Contractor in Sarasota

Finding the right person to do work on your boat is a process. However, it’s an extremely important one! You get what you pay for, and this is never more true than when you’re hiring a home contractor. Invest time and energy before you hire someone by checking the contractor’s credentials and requiring a written contract. These four tips will help you avoid problems down the road.  1. Do plenty of research. Ask potential contractors for copies of their license, insurance and bonding capacity, and then verify the given information is current and correct. Ask for references, and thoroughly vet them. Look online for news articles, customer reviews, and violation reports.  2. Be cautious of bargain bids.Try not to judge a contractor solely on his price. Low bids aren’t necessarily the best deal. They’re probably low for a reason. Low bids are sometimes on par with a lower level of service, and that’s certainly not what you want. At the same time,...
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Dabble in Sarasota’s Creative Arts Scene! Dec. 19-25

Dabble in Sarasota’s Creative Arts Scene! Dec. 19-25

Visit the theater… A Motown Christmas: Get in the holiday spirit with this festive show from The Westcoast Black Theatre featuring hits from Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and The Supremes. Playing through December 20th at the Sarasota Opera House. Deck The Halls: A Holly Jolly Holiday:  Bring the entire family to this fun show about the holidays! Kid-friendly. Playing through December 28th at the Florida Studio Theatre Children’s Theatre. Bright Star: Enjoy a lighthearted musical about a successful literary editor by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. Playing through January 12th at the Florida Studio Theatre. A Classic Crosley Christmas: Experience a blast from the past with an evening full of theater, storytelling, and music. Playing through December 22nd at Powel Crosley Estate. Outlaws and Angels: Enjoy hits from Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, and Dolly Parton. Playing through March 29th at the Florida Studio Theatre. The Sound of Music: If you’ve never heard about the infamous von Trapp family, this is a must! Beautifully sung...
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