Tips To Navigate A Palmetto Marina At Night

Tips To Navigate A Palmetto Marina At Night

For some, driving a boat at night causes intense anxiety. Humans are visual. When it’s dark, we get nervous. Who knows what could happen?

Yet, nighttime navigators need not fear. With the correct equipment and decent weather, a night cruise in and our of our Palmetto marina can be safe and enjoyable.

Slow and Easy
The first rule of night boating is to slow down. Even on a moonlit evening, you can’t see nearly as well as during the day. Objects won’t come into view until they are close. If you’re going too fast, you might not be able to avoid a collision. Don’t rush. Take it easy. Navigating around our Palmetto Marina can be tricky, but once you navigate out to the Manatee River.

Mood Lighting
Onboard lighting is tricky when navigating at night. You need backlighting to see your instruments and electronics, and you need an overhead light to read a chart.

But once your eyes have adjusted to the dark, too much onboard light can wreck your night vision. With this in mind, most marine electronics allow you to adjust the brightness of the backlighting, and many units also have a “night mode” with a darker background to keep illumination levels to a minimum. 

Wherefore Are You?

Thanks to detailed electronic cartography from C-Map, Navionics, and others, today’s chart plotters show more detail than just your present position. Almost any fixed object above water, such as buoys, jetties, and exposed rocks, show up on the plotter, along with the boat’s relative position to these objects. Chart plotters also indicate water depth, reefs and other submerged objects.

Radar Love
Radar (radio detection and ranging) provides sight for you. It shows you what’s out there in the dark and tells you how far away it is.

While a chart plotter shows fixed objects, radar can show you almost everything above the water’s surface, including other boats. Marine radar has been around for dozens of years, but today’s radar systems are more refined and easier to use.

Light Up the Night
Boats don’t have headlights, and for good reason. In open water, the light reflecting off waves and mist is often more blinding than beneficial at night. However, there are occasions when a searchlight or spotlight is useful, particularly if you are trying to locate or identify a nearby object.

There are three basic types of spotlights — fixed-mount, remote-control searchlights; handhelds with 12-volt plugs; and rechargeable battery-operated handhelds.

Scope Things Out
You can also buy night vision, a technology that amplifies light through a scope. This allows you see as if it were daytime, though everything’s cast in green. For tricky waterways, night vision is extremely useful.

Learn the Lights
The U.S. Coast Guard has long-established light display standards for nighttime navigation. If you know the navigation light patterns, you can identify any type of vessel and its activity, as well as determine where to safely enter and exit a harbor at night.

Eyes and Ears
In the end, the most valuable thing to have is multiple sets of eyes and ears when darkness falls. There should be at least two pairs of eyes and ears on the bridge at night. Modern navigation gear is fantastic, but a good lookout is better.

Safety is always a top concern in our Palmetto Marina and getting in and out of our marina can help to make your trip that much easier.

Marco Rubio vs. John Kerry’s Yacht

Marco Rubio paid off his student loans, crawled out of debt and bought a “luxury speedboat” that he’d been pining after. Clearly armed with plenty of cash, Rubio made a series of luxurious purchases, ending with a “splurge” on the 24-foot Edgewater 245CC, a great vehicle for boating around the Miami waters.

The 24-foot Edgewater 245CC is great for fishing. But it’s not the luxury yacht that the New York Times was hoping they’d find when he announced the purchase.

Meanwhile, with summer approaching, John Kerry is preparing his luxurious motorboat for some ocean action. When he departs Nantucket, however, he did it in a real luxury speedboat: a $7 million luxury yacht that was built in New Zealand and which Kerry docks in Rhode Island instead of Massachusetts in order to avoid $500,000 or so in exise taxes.

Kerry’s boat, “Isabel,” which is three times the length of Rubio’s, is 76 feet. The Edwardian-style interior is finished in glossy varnished teak. The vessel can accommodate four guests in two VIP main staterooms with en-suite baths. Also on board are all the bells and whistles a busy politician needs, from WiFi to satellite communications.

The yacht is available to charter, if you’re interesting in experiencing the life of John Kerry. Rates start at $45,000 per week. What are your thoughts on the two wealthy individuals boats? Would you ever expect to see those around the Palmetto waters in the near future? Even having them at Riviera Dunes Marina for one day may be a great way to spend a summer afternoon looking at these prized luxury yachts.

Water And Electricity Don’t Mix On Your Palmetto Boat


Water And Electricity Don’t Mix On Your Palmetto Boat

To start off, the photo above was taken at the Miami Boat Show, on a new powerboat with a robust shore power electrical system.  Here you see all of the power inlets located in an enclosure under a lid that was opened to take the picture. If you look to the far right of the picture, you’ll see what looks like a faucet. In reality, it is a faucet! A hose attaches to this faucet, which will probably be the freshwater wash down for this boat.



Sometimes the wash down hose hand tightened  hose fittings have a tendency of loosening up. This causes water to spray out around the fitting since it gets pressurized. This is easy to fix because you can just re-tighten the fitting every now and then. The downfall here is that the wash down fittings are by electrical connections! It doesn’t seem like the smartest choice.


At the end of the day, electricity and water never truly mix. Always be careful when messing with electricity on your Palmetto boat and keep your attention on the task at hand to make sure that everything that is disconnected is turned off and cannot cause any additional issues. Safety is always a top priority for any Palmetto boat owner, but when washing down your vessel, do so with caution.


Are you a stickler for a clean boat like we are? What are your tips and tricks to keep it looking brand new? Leave us a comment on our Facebook with your tips so we can spotlight it for everyone to see!

This Super Yacht Has More Than You Can Imagine

This Super Yacht Has More Than You Can Imagine

A Florida yacht dealer is planning to build a 656-foot “gigayacht” that would be the world’s largest private yacht.

Palmetto Super Yacht

It has all the luxuries that the super-wealthy would want, including room for two helicopters, several swimming pools, and a theater with a stage for live entertainment.

4Yacht, the company trying to find a buyer, says the price point is around $750 million.

Currently, the world’s largest superyacht is the 590-foot Azzam, which is reportedly owned by Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nayan, the president of the United Arab Emirates.

The Double Century, created by superyacht designer Christopher Seymour, would be about twice the size of an American football field and just as wide. It has nine decks that rise 88 feet above seal level.

Worried about getting lost on such a huge vessel? Don’t fret. The yacht comes equipped with a GPS phone app that passengers can download.

Can you imagine a yacht this big and luxurious?

Palmetto Super Yacht

Why Charter A Palmetto Yacht?

Why Charter A Palmetto Yacht?

So, what’s so great about chartering a Palmetto yacht, instead of just booking a private villa or a luxurious hotel for your next vacation? If you’re new to the world of super yacht charter, you might not be aware of the extensive benefits it offers. Here are the top five reasons why you should embark on this adventure of luxury!

Everything is Custom Made

If you spend your holiday aboard a Palmetto yacht, you can rest assured everything will be perfect! Your time on board will be organized based on your desires and dreams. Your charter agent will help you find the best yacht for your trip, and together with the Captain and the crew, create a fully personalized destination itinerary.

Endless Freedom

Picture yourself waking up surrounded by beautiful scenery, a cool summer breeze, and freshly squeezed fruit juice.  This fantastic feeling will accompany you throughout your entire vacation. A variety of water toys are available for your use, or you can simply relax on deck with a book in your hand.

Finest Amenities

Everything aboard a superyacht has been created with luxury, comfort and indulgence in mind. In addition, crewmembers prepare everything you need before your arrival, so you feel right at home when you step aboard.

Privacy and Peace

Privacy is very important to most people. Chartering a Palmetto yacht will help you get away from the crowds and enjoy quality time with family and friends. Most superyachts have the crew quarters completely separated from guest areas, which allows for even more privacy without any compromise on fantastic service.

Highly Professional Service … Only for You

During your yacht rental holiday, a highly skilled and professional superyacht crew will look after you. The crew makes sure all your needs and wishes are met, creating the best holiday you could ever imagine.

The reasons to venture into the world of yacht charter are endless. There is something for everyone, from fast and sporty motor yachts, to more luxurious superyachts, or traditional sailing yachts. Whatever destination you might choose for your holiday, there is a fantastic yacht just waiting for your arrival.

What To Do When In Trouble On The Manatee River

What To Do When In Trouble On The Manatee River

A lot of accidents can occur out on the Manatee River, but fortunately most are more annoying and embarrassing than anything else. When lives are in danger, however, you want every available resource dispatched to your vessel. A Mayday! call will alert that kind of help.

A Mayday should be transmitted, if possible, via marine-band VHF-FM radio Channel 16 or 2182 kHz MF/SSB. Emergencies rapidly progress from bad to worse, so try to relay a lot of information quickly. You should repeat the word “Mayday” three times, followed by the name and number of your vessel and its position in the water. Then, relate the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of your position, or state your distance and magnetic or true bearing from the closest navigational landmark.

Once you’ve made contact and given your information, Coast Guard Search and Rescue planners will give you an estimate of when rescue units will arrive. If you have a medical emergency, make sure someone is monitoring the radio. The Coast Guard will guide you to the nearest safe haven and advise you on what actions to take in the meantime.

When the Coast Guard receives your Mayday, the Mission Coordinator will determine your degree of danger by considering several factors: the nature of your situation, the emergency gear on board your vessel, your position, the tide, visibility, current and sea conditions, weather, age/health of those on board, whether you have reliable communications, and the potential for the situation to worsen.

If a helicopter is dispatched, be sure to secure all loose items on deck. Remember, never shine a light directly toward the helicopter, and never fire flares toward the helicopter. Wait for the rescuers to tell you what to do, and then do it. Listening is key.

Recently, the Coast Guard began implementing a new command, control and communications system (Rescue 21), which is now being installed in stages across the United States. It will significantly improve the Coast Guard’s ability to save lives. Employing advanced communications technology, this system will cover coastlines, navigable rivers and waterways in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico. It will also help eliminate 88 known radio coverage gaps.

You don’t need any new equipment to benefit from Rescue 21, but you can help improve response time by upgrading to a Marine-Band VHF-FM radio equipped with digital selective calling (DSC). When properly registered with a Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number and interfaced with GPS, the DSC radio signal transmits important vessel information with one push of a button.

The U.S. Coast Guard is always prepared to assist boaters facing extreme and imminent danger. Your best bet, however, is to decrease your risk of encountering an emergency in the first place. Keep your vessel’s equipment in top condition. At the start of the boating season, get a Vessel Safety Check. Take a basic seamanship course and additional instruction as necessary to ensure that your boating skills match the requirements of your vessel. Finally, make sure that everyone on board wears a life jacket at all times when on the Manatee River.

Top On-Water Inventions From Shark Tank

Top On-Water Inventions From Shark Tank

If you haven’t heard of Shark Tank, it’s a reality show where aspiring entrepreneurs make business presentations to investors on a panel that includes Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, and Lori Greiner.

Here are some of the “shark tank” products that would be perfect for a day out on the Manatee River.

ZUP Watersports Board

The ZUP™ Watersports Board is a board that can be pulled by any boat or watercraft. It let’s you stand, kneel, lay, surf, etc! Even though this board hasn’t made its debut on Shark Tank, the show has called and asked for a submission video.

Tower Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
Mark Cuban got together with this company and it has been successful so far. The Tower Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard is an inflatable paddleboard that can be easily rolled up into a small, convenient bag. Take these inflatable paddleboards anywhere you want with no hassle at all!

Oru Kayak
In just a few minutes, the Oru Kayak quickly transforms from a box into a boat. Oru Kayak and Robert Herjavec made a deal and now Oru Kayaks are being sold all over the world!


Liddup is a cooler that has built in LED lighting. This LED lighting produces no heat and has just the right amount of light to be able to enjoy your favorite beverages!


Although you may not need everything that Shark Tank has to offer, we must say some of these products are pretty nifty to use. Perhaps the next time we see you at our Palmetto Marina you may be able to show us the newest Shark Tank product you are using for your boat.

Be sure to check out our other recent blogs as well in our Riviera Dunes Marina blog section to keep up to date with your favorite Palmetto Marina!

35 Palmetto Boating Tips and Tricks

35 Palmetto Boating Tips and Tricks

No matter what level of a boater you may be, you can always use some additional tips and tricks when out in the ocean. Here are some of our all time favorite Palmetto boating tips and tricks.

  1. Wipe morning dew off your boat with distilled water and it will be ­spot-free.
  2. For a snazzy shine, remove last season’s wax with a dewaxing solvent before applying new wax.
  3. Want a green alternative to bleach? White vinegar kills mold.
  4. Need to clean a shore-power cord? Citrus pumice-style hand cleaners work well.
  5. For safety, always move an orbital polisher in the direction of its rotation.
  6. Oven-cleaner spray will remove paint and adhesive residue from gelcoat without damaging it.
  7. Make a splash guard from cardboard when using a drill-operated paint mixer.
  8. Scraping paint or caulking? Use a file to soften the ­corners of a putty knife “scraper” so it won’t gouge.
  9. Punching holes at “N-S-E-W” around a paint can’s rim allows paint to drain back into the can.
  10. A squirt of spray lube can return an electric horn to normal.
  11. Is glare at the helm reducing your visibility? Place a dark towel or shirt under the windshield.
  12. For a crisp waterline, “burnish” masking tape by rubbing its edges down with a paintbrush handle.
  13. A 50/50 mix of acetone and automatic transmission fluid is a great solvent to free corroded fasteners.
  14. A safety pin makes a good tool for removing a bad hydraulic steering seal.
  15. Carry a spare belt – Just in case.
  16. Also carry a spare primer bulb.
  17. A section of rigid hose, cut to length, can protect outboard props from damage during storage.
  18. Free play in hydraulic steering can often be eliminated by simply adding fluid to the helm pump.
  19. Check all fasteners, supports and plumbing to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  20. T-clamps are more expensive but clamp hoses evenly; worm-gear hose clamps can distort.
  21. A wet towel can be placed under a cooler to keep it from sliding around.
  22. Liquid dish soap applied to carpeted trailer bunks will help the boat slide off more easily at a shallow ramp.
  23. Wipe your boat down with liquid soap before a long tow to make bugs and grit easy to remove once you arrive.
  24. Rigging tip: Coating cables with baby powder makes them easier to pull through the boat.
  25. Monitor your boat through a few tide cycles after first launching to make sure you’ve ­correctly adjusted the dock lines.
  26. “Mouse” anchor shackle pins with stainless steel or Monel seizing wire.
  27. You can break the seal of ­polyurethane adhesives like 3M 5200 by heating the fastener with a soldering iron.
  28. It’s stainless steel, not stain-free steel. Crevice corrosion attacks stainless where you can’t see it.
  29. Strange leaks are often the result of failed deck plate and hatch O-rings.
  30. Check the chain, thread and O-ring on fuel fill caps to help protect the fuel tank from water intrusion.
  31. Locking pliers, clamped to a protruding fastener and with their jaws abutting the nut, allow you to gently pry the stud until it breaks off clean.
  32. Masking tape will help prevent chipping when drilling holes in fiberglass.
  33. Caulk dipped in ­petroleum jelly provides a better seal than a nail.
  34. Make rigging wires, hoses and cables easier by dipping a rag in silicone spray and running the cables through the rag before pulling them through the boat.
  35. Top off ­batteries with distilled water, available at a drugstore.

Do you have any other Palmetto Boating tips you may want to add? Visit our Facebook Page and post them to our wall for us to spotlight you!

Crosthwait Memorial Fishing Tournament Coming to Bradenton

Crosthwait Memorial Fishing Tournament Coming to Bradenton

The yearly Crosthwait Memorial Fishing Tournament, now in its 36th year, is a fantastic tournament. The fishing community comes together each May for this local tradition.

“The Crosthwait has gone on for so long, with so much competition, because it’s an amateur tournament,” said Crosthwait board member Joe Kennedy. “It’s been a breeding ground for many guides around here who turn it into a career after winning the tournament.”

“Generations of people have fished it. Children of parents who fished it for many years are coming back to fish it themselves. You look around here and see all the young kids fishing this tournament. That’s the most important thing to me.”

Kennedy has helped the tournament evolve over his almost three decades of involvement. What started as a small gathering among friends has grown into the event anglers talk about year-round.

Behind-the-scenes tournament planning also starts early in the year for the committee volunteers.

“We start meeting in January about once a week, but everyone involved is constantly emailing throughout the week. There are so many hardworking volunteers who give time to help get this event organized.”

In addition to tournament logistics, the committee helps keep the Crosthwait competitive in regard to points.

“We received a lot of feedback from anglers saying cobia were worth too much last year,” Kennedy said. “We do change the point system to make it a level field. It’s hard to predict what fishing will be hot on a given year, so we do our best to make it fair for everybody.”

As always, the tournament will be taking place at the Bradenton Yacht Club starting at noon Sunday for junior division teams. This year features 13 boats in the junior division, 63 boats in the inshore division and nine boats in the offshore division.

Top 10 Palmetto Boating Tips

Top 10 Palmetto Boating Tips

Always remember to stay safe and follow these 10 boating safety tips when you’re about to head out:

  1. Check the Weather

    Never forget to check the weather before you leave whether it’s through the radio, internet or television. Maintain your safety by getting out of the water if you notice rough changing winds, drops in temperature or dark clouds start to form.

  2. Follow a Pre-Departure Checklist

    Don’t forget to follow a pre-departure checklist to make sure you don’t overlook or forget any Palmetto boating safety rules.

  3. Use Common Sense

    Always use your common sense! This means staying alert, operating at safe speeds all the time and being respectful of buoys that are there to ensure your safety.

  4. Designate a Back Up Navigator

    Make sure that there is a designated person that can serve as back up if the primary navigator gets injured or incapacitated. Make sure this person is familiar with operating the boat and all boating safety rules.

  5. Develop a Float Plan

    A float plan can be important and will let someone know how long you’re going to be gone and where you’re going. Some of the information float plans include are name and phone numbers of all passengers, boat registration information, trip itinerary and the type of signal equipment onboard.

  6. Make Proper Use of Lifejackets

    Make sure that all passengers are always assigned a lifejacket and that it fits each and every person. 

  7. Avoid Alcohol

    Remember to save alcohol for later. The chances of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved. 

  8. Learn to Swim

    Always remember that proper Palmetto boating safety includes knowing how to swim. If you’re not sure if you’re comfortable in or around the water be sure to check out what classes are offered in your area.

  9. Take a Boating Course

    Education on Palmetto boating varies by state and some states require completion of at least one boating safety course. Even if your state doesn’t require this, it’s important to be educated on boating. 


  10. Consider a Free Vessel Safety Check

    There are free vessel safety checks that are offered by the US Coast Guard that you can take advantage of. These safety checks are free boat examinations to make sure that the boat is in the right condition and that state and federal regulations are being followed.