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, 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:

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

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.

Five Tips To Prepare Your Palmetto Boat For The Cold Winter Months

Five Tips To Prepare Your Palmetto Boat For The Cold Winter Months

Winter can be especially hard on your Palmetto boat. Extended periods of inactivity accelerate wear and tear. If you don’t get your boat ready for storage, neglect from the cold winter months will come back to haunt you in the spring.

For that reason, it’s extremely important to get your boat ready for winter. Even if you don’t live in a place where the waters freeze, following these five tips will keep your boat in pristine shape after an extended period of storage.

1. Flush the Cooling System. For inboard and stern drive Palmetto boats with raw water-cooling systems, thoroughly flush the engine with fresh water to remove dirt, salt, and corrosion. In extreme climate areas, you should also run anti-freeze into the cooling system. Outboard motors should be flushed with freshwater, and all water should be drained from the engine.

2. Lubricate the Little Things. Don’t overlook the many small but critical systems that should be lubricated throughout the year. For Palmetto boats on trailers, this an ideal time to grease the trailer wheel bearings.

3. Don’t Give Moisture a Fighting Chance. Check the bilges, removing any standing water and cleaning up any dirt or oil. Do the same with any lockers, drawers, live wells, fish holds or storage areas.

4. Prepare the Fuel System. Top off your fuel tank to avoid the collection of condensation over months of inactivity. Change the fuel filter at the end of the season. Add a marine fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank to reduce build-up of gum and varnish. After adding stabilizer to the tank, run the engine for a few minutes to ensure it circulates through the system.

5. Remove and Store Whatever You Can. It’s bad to have valuable objects onboard your boat subjected to the winter elements. It can also contribute to the gathering of dirt and moisture in your vessel’s storage areas. Get those lifejackets, flares, fenders, first extinguishers, and skip ropes out of the boat and store them indoors. To protect against theft and potential damage, any GPS, radar displays, VHF radios and other electronics should be removed and stored safely.

Overall, you may want to get your Palmetto boat winter ready just in case it does start to get a little cooler in the winter months.

A Florida Boater Dream Race: Repeat Performance For Scarlet Oyster

There are easier ways to cross the Atlantic than peeling kites every hour, changing course on every lift, and sitting on the weather rail whenever it might make a difference. But if you’re trying to place in the racing class of the ARC 2014 and eager to add to a string of former wins, then these things will improve your chances. At least, this was the opinion of Scarlet Oyster’s owner/skipper Ross Applebey and his crew.

Having won the racing division overall in 2011 and their class for the last three years in a row, they were enthusiastic to keep pushing to see if they could add another victory to their existing collection of triumphs. All Florida boaters would be quite proud of this accomplishment alone.

Setting goals this high, in what has become an increasingly competitive event, is to raise the bar once again. To attempt it in a 27-year-old cruiser is particularly impressive. But as Applebey and his crew crossed the finish line here in St Lucia on Monday night, they took first overall in the racing division once again.

The win hadn’t been easy, especially during the last two days when they had calculated what time they needed to finish. Apparently, the crew was simultaneously nervous and excited. Scarlet’s achievement is all the more impressive given the crisis they were facing 24 hours before the start. 

Having lost their rudder during the Middle Sea Race in September and then building a replacement in a back street fabrication shed on a remote island, Scarlet Oyster then set off on a 2,000 mile delivery trip to the start of the ARC in Las Palmas.

Having arrived in good time and with a new rudder manufactured in Denmark and on its way, the airline responsible for the shipping lost the package in Madrid and only finally delivered it 24 hours before the start of the race.

It’s amazing that Applebey didn’t crumble under the stress.

Shortly after Scarlet Oyster crossed the line, a flurry of other finishers followed. Each had their own story to tell of the intensity of the racing over the last two weeks, the torrential rain, the storms, and the trading of food and beverages. The next few days will see a mass of finishers in the cruising divisions along with more tales of how, why and where their courses took them.

A great feat for the entire team and another great race. Just another reason why we love all of our Florida Boaters including the ones who race. We can’t wait to see our next race that will be taking place in our own Manatee River Marina!