Explore the River District

By Pat Roush, Paradigm Yacht Sales

Southwest Florida has just about the finest boating waters you will find anywhere.   We have beautiful, protected waters.  Great places for cruising, sightseeing, fishing, swimming, anchoring or whatever you enjoy.  And there are plenty of restaurants, bars and overnight dockage spots within a short cruise from wherever you are.  As a long-time resident and avid boater, I’m looking forward to sharing with you my favorite places to go and things to do on the water.

I’m sure that some who read these articles will be familiar with the destinations but may have forgotten just how nice they can be. And for newcomers to our coast, maybe this will help you enjoy your boating experience even more.

I thought we would start up the Caloosahatchee River a bit to the Ft Myers River District in the historic downtown area.  By the way, in case you don’t know, the Caloosahatchee River is part of the Okeechobee Waterway System that connects the east and west coasts of Florida.  That’s a really great trip if you feel a little more adventurous (I’ll cover that in another article).

Anyway, the River District, an easy boat ride east (about 15 miles up the river from the Gulf of Mexico) brings you to the City of Ft Myers Yacht Basin.   Dockmaster Leif Lustig and his friendly staff allow complimentary daytime dockage, if available, with an easy walk to downtown.  Or they can accommodate an overnight stay, at reasonable rates, if you prefer.  Call the Yacht Basin at 239-321-7080.

Downtown Ft Myers has undergone a major facelift and revitalization over the past few years (with more on the way) and is proving to be a great boating destination.  Once downtown, you can take advantage of a wide variety of restaurants (my favorite thing to do) historic structures and many on main and off main shops.

There is even an interactive butterfly house (sounds dorky but is actually pretty neat with a café on site) , The Southwest Florida Museum of History and even the Art of the Olympians building.  And of course the Edison Ford Estate is just a few blocks away.  If you’ve never done that tour, it is well worth your time.

The District has many planned events ranging from car and bike cruise-ins, to art and music walks, to outdoor concerts and is home to the Fort Myers Boat Show each November.

You are guaranteed not to go away hungry, thirsty or in need of entertainment.  And, if you need a place for the night, the Hotel Indigo is right in the heart of downtown.  There are also both slip and hotel accommodations a short walk away at the Legacy Harbour Marina (239-461-0775).

You can check on line at www.myriverdistrict.com for more details and event calendars.

Get that boat out and go have fun!

Getting the Most Out of Your High and Dry Marina Experience

By Ken Stead, General Manager, Cape Haze Marina

So you have decided that trailering your boat is no longer how you want to get your boat out on the water and you’ve selected a marina with inside or outside storage, and a forklift to launch your boat. Your boat is now going to get washed down and the engine(s) flushed, a great way to help keep her in shipshape.

Here are some tips to maximize your marina experience.

Cape Haze MarinaAlways try to give the marina as much advance notice as possible when scheduling your boat launch. Showing up without a phone call requesting a launch can play havoc with everyone’s schedule – the marina’s and other boaters. An hour is typical, but each marina is different. Realize if you don’t call, there could be four or five boats ahead of you for launch.

Arrive on time or let the marina know when you are running late. On busy days there can be limited room in the launch area and a couple of boats sitting for an extra hour can really clog up the basin.

Be sure the marina has a set of keys or that you keep a key in the boat. Comes in handy when we need to move it, or when you forget your set!

Cape Haze Marine Dry Dock StorageTake advantage of all of the marina’s services. For instance we will fill your boat with fuel, put ice and beverages in your cooler, test run your boat, etc. to make your day on the water hassle free and enjoyable. Most marinas provide some if not all of these services and I recommend that you use them. Nobody likes to show up and find a dead battery for instance. While we will loan you a new one to get out going, your still going to be waiting while we swap it out.

Speaking of test runs, if you haven’t used your boat in month’s, call a week in advance and request a “back in service” check to see if your boat needs any mechanical attention before you arrive for a day on the water. This is particularly important if you didn’t have it “layed up” or “summarized” before it’s extended period of inactivity. We offer to run your boat on a monthly basis if you know you are not going to be using it for an extended period, this is the best way to keep all your systems operational.

With over 30 years of Marine Industry experience, Ken is always happy to answer your questions. Email him at ken@kenstead.com.

When it comes to boating, Gasparilla Marina has you covered!

Gasparilla Marina

Gasparilla Marina is one of South West Florida’s finest deepwater marinas with a storage capacity of 1000+ boats.

Enclosed Storage

We offer traditional wet and dry storage or storage in our 2-acre fully enclosed facility, protecting your vessel from the elements. With 5 forklifts having up to a 42,000 lb capacity and 2 travel lifts handling up to 70-tons we can store and service most any size vessel.

Other amenities include 24 hour security, on-site sales and service, fuel dock, bait shop, ships store, showers, laundry facilities and boat rentals.

If you’re looking for a daytrip our onsite restaurant, Waterside Bar and Grill is the perfect location offering indoor and outdoor seating, entertainment, daily food and drink specials. Maybe you’d like to dock at the marina overnight, no worries our restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 6:30 am to 11 PM daily.

Gasparilla Marina Cocktails

Thousands of boaters from all over Florida have discovered the relaxed atmosphere and quality service at Gasparilla Marina. Since we are located directly on a deep water channel just off Boca Grande, you avoid those frustrating no-wake zones. Customers enjoy easy, high speed access to Charlotte Harbor, the Intercoastal Waterway, the world famous Boca Grande Pass, and everything that lies beyond.

Gasparilla Marina is a first class, full service marina just minutes from the intercoastal, Gulf of Mexico and world famous Boca Grande Pass. Stop by and ask for a tour!

www.gasparillamarina.com

Golden Boat Lifts the Finest Boat Lifts in the World

Golden Boat Lifts is committed to manufacturing the “Finest Boat Lifts in the World.” With over 30 years of experience in all phases of boat lift manufacturing, service and consulting we provide a full range of lift systems customized for powerboats, pontoon boats, jet boats, wave runners, sailboats, and motor yachts of all types. We offer lifts to handle sizes from 1,500lbs to 250,000lbs. Each boat lift cradle is engineered and designed to fit the boat manufacturer’s recommended bunk placement. Golden’s warranty is the best in the industry, 2 years bumper to bumper and 15 years on the structure for the 4, 6 and 8 post lifts and the GatorvatorTM.

Golden Boat Lifts has the finest drive unit ever introduced for a boat lift system. The “SEA-Drive” enclosed gear system is packed with grease, which means it is maintenance free and eliminates the chance of failure due to slipping belts or broken chains. The gear box was designed exclusively for Golden Boat Lifts. It has a rating of 8,000 inch pounds of torque which far exceeds 4,000 inch pounds of torque that the closest rival’s gearbox can produce. The “SEA-Drive” comes with a 10 Year manufacturer’s warranty on gears, seals and housing and a 2 Year Warranty on electrical components.

Golden also offers boat lift covers. The Boat Lift Cover in a BoxTM protects your boat against Sun UV & Rain. It comes in variable sizes and colors. Contact us for more details!

Golden Boat Lifts Marina Golden Boat Lifts Marina