When To Check Your Water Pump on your Bradenton Boat

When To Check Your Water Pump on your Bradenton Boat

Waiting to check that your Bradenton boat is up to date on maintenance may mean that you are actually too late. It seems the water pump on his 30-year-old Universal diesel had a bearing failure. What happens when this occurs is that the impeller inside the pump housing begins to scrape on the inside of the pump housing and, depending upon the design, maybe even the front of your engine block. 

When you are looking at your Bradenton boat and see “black fairy dust” all over the front of your engine, it may be due to the fact that it is being caused by alternator pulley alignment due to missing shims on the alternator mount. The fairy dust is actually the fan belt on your engine slowly grinding away due to the misalignment situation. It’s powered rubber. This particular observation about your Bradenton boat might not always be caused by alternator misalignment. And that is right! It could also be water pump pulley misalignment. The bottom line here is that this sort of failure can really spoil an otherwise great cruise if it happens when you are far from home.

You should grab this pulley and see if it rocks from side to side at all, checking for any radial run-out in the bearing. You may also want to remove the belt temporarily and give the pulley a few spins so you can feel for any roughness in the bearing. Better to find these things out earlier rather than later. If you do feel roughness, or there is a lot of radial run-out of the pulley, you should order a new water pump as soon as possible. That way, you’ll be ready when it does fail. If you are already seeing the fairy dust, get some new belts, too. Pro tip: Don’t try to cheap out here. It is not cost effective to try and rebuild these pumps.

How To Select The Best Palmetto Boat

How To Select The Best Palmetto Boat

We’ve all been there. A headwind pipes up, and choppy waves appear. You throttle up; you throttle back. You do your best to brave the waves.

 That’s a rough ride. And it has happened to all of us. What’s a boater to do?

 We asked three prominent boat designers, and their answers provided much food for thought. When looking at the next Palmetto boat to purchase, these answers may help you to pick the perfect one.


Soft Ride, Steep and Skinny

Dave Gerr founded New York City-based Gerr Marine Inc. in 1983. He’s designed a broad range of recreational boats and commercial vessels, both monohull and multihull. When it comes to designing a soft-riding hull, he pointed out that there are different sets of criteria for displacement hulls and planing hulls.


Displacement hulls don’t pound the way a planing hull will, so they automatically provide a softer ride. To maximize this, designers need to ensure three things: a good roll time, good heave characteristics and deadrise forward.


“For the roll time, we have a formula,” Gerr said. “Every boat has a natural roll period, which is 1 to 1.1 seconds times the boat’s beam in meters. If it’s slower than that, you’ll get that drunken motion. If it’s faster, it’s going to feel snappy and uncomfortable.”


The formula for heave, however, is more complex. It involves the weight of the Palmetto boat and the water plane area. The lighter the boat is, and the greater its water plane area, the greater the heave motion will be.


Don’t Forget Following Seas

Michael Peters founded Sarasota, Florida-based Michael Peters Yacht Design (MPYD) in 1981. Originally specializing in ­high-speed boats and offshore racing, MPYD now brings its fusion of performance and aesthetic standards to a wide variety of Palmetto boat designs. When asked about the search for the perfect soft-riding boat, Peters laughed.


“Think of these ideals: soft-riding, dry and fast,” he said. “Now, pick two.”


The softer-riding a boat is, the wetter it is, because it doesn’t confront the wave. Rather, it splits it. If you want to knock the water down and push it away, then you’ll feel the impact. Palmetto Boaters need to think about these trade-offs when seeking a soft-riding vessel.


It’s Not About the Boat

Peter Granata, owner of Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina-based Granata Design, has been designing boats since the early 1970s. With a number of award-winning designs and patented ideas under his belt, he believes that the soft-ride discussion really shouldn’t be about the boat. It’s about the customers.


“First of all, the hull ride is felt rather than measured,” he said. “And, it’s based very much on your own individual perception of what the boat looks like and what you expect it to deliver. It’s very subjective.”


Soft can be a relative term. A boater who is downsizing from a 60-foot yacht to a 30-foot pocket cruiser might find the smaller boat has the worst ride he’s experienced to date, whereas a boater jumping up from a 16-footer will say that 30-footer provides the best ride he’s ever had.


The most important questions a boater can ask, Granata said, are: How well does this design meet its intended purpose, and what can it do for me?


“We get so wrapped up in the specifics of hull generation that we forget someone has to buy it and spend time in it,” Granata said. “The Palmetto boat is for you, not for the guy who made it.”

How To Charter A Bradenton Yacht With A Crew

How To Charter A Bradenton Yacht With A Crew

Adam Rosenfeld, a lifelong Florida resident, needed a vacation, but couldn’t convince his wife to go anywhere with their toddler in tow.

“To her, what fun would it have been being on vacation with a 1-year-old?” he said.

So he decided to plan a vacation that would guarantee all three of them could sit back and relax: He chartered a 126-foot yacht for four days in the Bahamas.

The yacht, called Impulsive, usually charters for around $100,000 a week plus expenses like food, fuel and gratuities for the crew.

Rosenfeld was addicted to the experience. But he admitted he had gotten lucky: A friend had chartered the same boat so he knew what to expect.

Given that this is a popular time for chartering in the Caribbean, how does someone who has never chartered a yacht before go about doing it? The short answer is, slowly.

The job of a charter broker — which is how most large Bradenton yachts get leased — is to know the yachts, their crews and the owner’s agents.

Katie Macpherson, luxury yacht charter specialist in Florida, likes to start first-timers off with a small yacht.

“I don’t like to overwhelm people with huge yachts right out of the box,” she said.

Yet like the weather, rules of thumb change quickly. In this case, they depend on the purpose of the vacation.

If it’s a trip with children, D.J. Parker, president of the chartered Bradenton yacht, recommends larger boats.

Just as important is the crew that is taking care of you. Some crews are great with children. Others are better for couples who want to do a lot of sightseeing.

But of course, as anyone who has been on a boat knows, boats break down all the time. What if something big breaks when it’s time for your trip?

“The contract has stipulations for everything. If there is a breakdown, there is a stipulation,” Sharon Bahmer, a charter broker and the president of the Charter Yacht Brokers Association, said.

Part of this, though, is having a broker who is knowledgeable and experienced.

For owners, there are advantages to putting their Bradenton yachts out to charter.

“The upside for me is it covers some of my expenses and it keeps the crew busy,” said Hank Freid, chief executive of The Impulsive Group, which owns the yacht Mr. Rosenfeld chartered.

Flexibility is also gained. Mr. Allen said he was chartering a yacht next month to go around Turks and Caicos; the next month, he has another one chartered in Croatia.

For Mr. Rosenfeld, that first trip made a big impression. “I liked the idea of being in one place where you could kind of bounce around,” he said. “I don’t want to say it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I will do it again. I felt very comfortable and relaxed and free.”

And that is no small feat when vacationing with a toddler. Chartering a Bradenton Yacht can be a big task for anyone, and doing so right now during the Spring months in Riviera Dunes Marina may be the best money spent this year.

Power Boat Racing This Weekend in Palmetto

Power Boat Racing This Weekend in Palmetto

On Saturday, in less than a week, Superleague powerboats will race down the Manatee River, fireworks will shine brightly above the Riverwalk skyline, and other race-themed activities will take place along the Bradenton-Palmetto shorelines for the Bradenton Area Riverwalk Regatta. Here’s what you need to know about the event.

Boat Racing:

A field of 12 boat pilots, including several from Florida, will compete head to head, racing from 0-100/mph in less than four seconds. Among the competitors are two drivers from Tampa, the Rinkers, Jeff Reno from Okeechobee, and Rob Di Nicolantonio from Lakeland.

Qualifying runs starting around 12pm will take place before the championship races, which will occur between 1 and 5 p.m.

Jet Ski Racing:

High performance jet skis will race through the Manatee River as one of the featured water events. Competing in the event are 12 pilots from all over the nation, including world champion and Bradenton native, Troy “The Slugger” Snyder.

Racers will compete for the Florida Winter Championships and Mayor’s Cup from 2-3 p.m.  During the day, jet skiers also will perform demos, stunts and attempt Guinness World Records at the Regatta Pointe Marina in Palmetto.

Other events:

World Champion BMX Stunt Show: Chris Clark, an internationally known stunt cyclist, will bring his freewheeling repertoire of tricks to the Bradenton Area Riverwalk Regatta.

Xpogo:  A group of high-flying extreme professional athletes will bounce to heights as high as 10 feet on extreme pogo sticks. A few of the XPogos pro athletes were born and raised in Bradenton, and are extremely excited to bring Xpogo to their hometown.


Restaurant Row:” Several Bradenton area restaurants will be providing delicious food and beverages at the event. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity.


The restaurants participating are Anna Maria Oyster Bars, Big Cow Creamery, Darwin’s, “Fair Fare” Food, J&J Barbecue, Riverhouse Reef & Grill, Tarpon Pointe Grill, SoMa Diner, Demetrio’s Pizza, Mountain Comforts Coffee, Poppo’s Taqueria, Sugar Cubed, Smoothie King, Cedar Reef Restaurant, Pier 22, Yacht Sea Grille and enRich. The Crewe of De Soto is handling beverage sales. 


Jefferson Starship: Following the F-2 races, iconic rock band, Jefferson Starship, will headline as part of its 40th anniversary tour from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Main Stage on the Riverwalk.


Local musical stars will take the stage at 11 a.m., such as American Idol finalist Sam Woolf and The Western Sons.


Zambelli International Fireworks: The day will conclude with a fabulous finale of Zambelli International Fireworks Spectacular, one of the most recognized names in pyrotechnics.



The Riverwalk Regatta is free and runs to 6:30 p.m., ending with a uniquely choreographed firework spectacular by Zambelli International. In addition to the above attractions, there will be a food festival and kid zone for younger children. The Green Bridge connecting Palmetto and Bradenton at U.S. 41 will be closed for the entire day and residents should expect traffic jams. The De Soto Bridge, which connects the two cities via U.S. 301, will be open.





Take A Look Inside A $1 Million Yacht

Take A Look Inside A $1 Million Yacht

Take A Look Inside the $1 Million Yacht


Tucked into a corner of the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park for the past few weeks has been a $1 million yacht that was attracting plenty of attention.  The yacht was part of the Milwaukee Boat Show, a week-long show for boat lovers throughout southeastern Wisconsin. 


The yacht was on display by Beacon Marine of Door County. The 47-foot boat sleeps six and includes two bedrooms, a utility room with a mattress, and a full washer and dryer. The luxurious yacht has a listing price of $1,070,430.


Visitors lined up to see the yacht. Most were just there to sneak a peek, but some undoubtedly imagined what it would feel like to cruise around Lake Michigan in such a luxurious boat.


There were 300+ boats on display in the Wisconsin Expo Center ranging from large yachts to small fishing boats. Does this yacht right here look like one that you would love to own in the near future? We know that we would definitely love to see it in our Bradenton Marina in the near future and we know that you would look great inside it.





Speedboat Tennis: The Newest Sport

Speedboat Tennis: The Newest Sport

Recently, Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt came together to promote a new tennis concept called FAST4.



The result of a gimmick show turned out to be fantastic footage of the two tennis stars hitting tennis balls back-and-forth from speedboats. Watch the video above to see the awesome clip! Now that is something we would love to see on the Manatee River.

Sarasota Boat Owner: When To DIY and When to Hire a Professional for Repairs

Sarasota Boat Owner: When To DIY and When to Hire a Professional for Repairs

If you’re a handy Sarasota boat owner, you probably take care of a lot of your own maintenance and repairs. However, there are jobs that are best left to seasoned professionals.

So, how do you make the decision? Start by evaluating the job that needs to be done and ask yourself, “Can I do this? Am I capable?” If the answer is no, pay a professional. If the answer is yes, make sure you’re up for the challenge.

However, there’s an overarching question that overrides whether you want to do a job. Can you afford to pay a professional? If you don’t have the cash, it looks like the job is up to you.

I can service my trailer without a problem. I know how to replace brakes, how to inspect and diagnose the hydraulic system, and how to service bearings. But I always pay a professional to do these things because I don’t enjoy the work, and the cost is inexpensive.

Another example is engine work. Most of the Sarasota boat owner engines I deal with are Chevrolet car engines, which I’m familiar and comfortable with. If an engine needs a head gasket replaced, I’ll perform that repair because engines interest me. Engine repairs can also be expensive.

Then, there are stern-drive repairs, for which I’ll usually always hire a professional. If it’s anything more serious than changing the gear lube, I’ll take it to the shop, because there are a lot of special tools for the job that I don’t have. The costs aren’t cheap, but they’re even more expensive if I mess something up while trying to fix it.

Also, it’s important to check if the repair might be covered under warranty. It might not even be necessary for you to open the toolbox!

In the end, if you are a Sarasota boat owner that doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty and spending the afternoon fixing up your vessel, then the repair may be for you. If not, then hiring a professional may be the best bet.

How Much Does A Luxury Palmetto Yacht Cost?

How Much Does A Luxury Palmetto Yacht Cost?

It’s obvious that buying a luxury Palmetto yacht requires a huge amount of money. What’s not as obvious is just how much money is needed to keep a Palmetto yacht running.

In an interview about “Grand Ambition,” his book about private equity investor Doug Von Allmen and his luxury yacht “Lady Linda,” G. Bruce Knecht told the New York Times, “Operating and maintaining a yacht is at least 10 percent of what the thing cost.”

Basically, the owner of a $10 million yacht should expect to pay $1 million every year to keep it running.

Both Kim Kavin, the charter editor at Yachting magazine and editor of CharterWave.com, and Gianluca Fenucci, the founder and director of ISA Yachts, admitted to Business Insider the 10 percent estimate is pretty accurate.

That estimate is “quite in line and within the average for a standard operational use of a megayacht,” even when various conditions (like the yacht’s age) are taken into account, Fenucci said.

However, Nicolas Valin, the president of Neo Yachting, argued the rule of thumb is not entirely accurate.

While it may not be a perfect guideline, the 10 percent figure focuses on exactly what a luxury Palmetto yacht is: a complex machine that requires fuel, docking, maintenance, and a crew to keep things in line.

Kavin says that marina docking fees for a week at a popular event usually run in the six figures, and that fuel is commonly the largest expense a yacht owner faces.

Then there are the people who must be paid to sail the  Palmetto yacht, keep it clean, and feed everyone on board.

Even for wealthy yacht owners, these huge costs can put a serious strain on the wallet. They are part of the reason Knecht’s book about the “Lady Linda” is a cautionary tale: Hurt by the 2008 crisis and swallowed by huge bills, Von Allmen was eventually forced to put his beloved, incredibly luxurious yacht on sale in 2012, for $50 million.

The Best Hot Spots For A Bradenton New Year’s Eve Celebration

The Best Hot Spots For A Bradenton New Year’s Eve Celebration

Every year brings more and more choices to choose where you would like to ring in the big night at any of the local Bradenton New Year’s Eve celebrations. If you can’t make it out to the Blu Mangrove Grill this New Years Eve, here’s a look at some of the local options for ringing in 2015. There’s something for everyone! However you choose to celebrate, don’t drink and drive.

Main Street Live New Year’s Eve: Old Main Street, Bradenton

If you’re looking for the biggest party in Bradenton New Year’s Eve, look no further than Old Main Street between Manatee and Third avenues. Live music is provided by Big Daddy and there’s a countdown to the ball drop at midnight. It’s free and open to the public.

Beachhouse New Year’s Eve Celebration: 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach

The annual Beachhouse New Year’s Eve fireworks show includes several dining/viewing options. Tables under the covered pavilion are available for $100 each, with seating for up to six guests. Seating elsewhere on the deck and inside the dining room will be first-come, first-serve. Reservations and information: 941-779-2222.

New Year’s Eve at Aces Live: 4343 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton.

Ari and the Alibis, a great band that mixes blues, funk, soul, and jazz entertain the crowd. Party favors and a Champagne toast at midnight make for a festive atmosphere. If you’re looking for entertainment all night long, this may be the best place to spend for Bradenton New Year’s Eve. Cover is $10. Information: 941-795-3886.

Annual Shamrock Shiver Charity Plunge: Gulf Drive and 12th Street South, Bradenton Beach

This will be the seventh year of the Shamrock Shiver Charity Plunge! The event has raised more than $100,000 for local charities over the years. The event is set for Jan

1st at noon. Proceeds go to Caring for Children Charities. Information: 941-952-1109.

WSLR New Year’s Eve Celebration: Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Ct., Sarasota

A family-friendly New Year’s Eve bash, from 8 p.m.-1 a.m., features Renesito Avich, the David Smash Band, and The Dram. At midnight there’s a kumquat drop. Tickets: $10-$15. Information: 941-894-6469.

Sarasota Downtown New Year’s Eve Party: Main Street, Sarasota

The festivities in downtown Sarasota start at 2 p.m. with rides and other activities. As night falls, street dancing with DJs and live music (including Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones) kicks in.

Just before midnight there’s a countdown, with a Pineapple Drop. Free admission. Information: sarasotanewyearsparty.com

First Night St. Petersburg: various locations in downtown, St. Petersburg

Cities all over the county offer First Night celebrations to let people celebrate the new year with entertainment instead of alcohol. St. Petersburg has the biggest and oldest one around these parts.

It runs from 4 p.m. until midnight at venues along downtown St. Petersburg’s sidewalks. You can purchase admission buttons online for $10 adults. $5 for children ages 6-12. Prices increase at the event. Children younger than 5 get in free. Information: 727-823-8906 or firstnightstpete.com.

Palmetto Yacht Cleaning Tips

Palmetto Yacht Cleaning Tips

From time to time, you have to clean your Palmetto Yacht. Not my favorite job, but the yacht looks great afterwards!

Although cleaning your boat is pretty simple, you need to have the right technique and the right tools.

When I clean the boat, I use the following technique:

Always start at the top and work your way down.

Then, you begin at the bow and move towards the stern.

Next, look at the wind and the sun. If the wind is coming from a certain direction, start cleaning upwind and then further downwind.

If the sun is shining strongly, you need to clean quickly. If the water and soap dry up, it’s only giving you more work.

Always hose down the surface. Rinse it off well afterwards, and mop the surface to avoid water spots.

You also need a good set of cleaning products.

I’m assuming you have limited space on board. So, it would help to have quality cleaning tools that last long and that take up a small amount of space. This is why Shurhold boat cleaning items are great.

For example, Shurhold cleaning items have a telescopic handle. Through a quick-lock system, you can put several accessories on it. One handle, multiple functions. It’s awesome!

As far as accessories, you have brushes, mops, scrubbing pads, and boat hooks. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of room available for these items on your Palmetto Yacht as well in case you decide to clean like we do and over do every thing.

They have several different brushes that vary in terms of size and softness. Depending on the surface you want to clean, choose which brush you use wisely.

You need a bucket, too. Make sure all your cleaning accessories fit in the bucket so you can easily carry them around.

When I wash down the boat with soap, I prefer a proper boat wash. I sometimes use dish-washing fluid, but that’s only when I run out of boat wash.

Boat wash is specially made to clean your deck. It washes off salt, dirt, and nasty grime. Boat wash is more intensive than regular dish soap. Try Starbrite boat products. They have great quality products.

Once these are completed, your Palmetto Yacht will look just like new.