Manatee County’s biggest nautical event coming in early May!

   Come out to the West Marine Nautical Expo at Regatta Pointe Marina an MCS Band Slam to enjoy Manatee County’s BIGGEST boating and nautical event this year.
Here are just some of the FREE events and activities to enjoy:
–   Live  entertainment daily
–   High-quality boating seminars
–   Fishing Stations: learn how to fish by the best Charter Captains in the area sign up your son/daughter by 10 a.m. both days and learn how to fish from 12-2 pm and from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. each participant will go home with a rod and reel while supplies last.(16 & under).  Parent must be present when registering.
–   Boating demo rides
–   Powerboat/Sailboat show (more than 50 boats in the water)
–   Wide variety of marine outfitters, suppliers, services and other exhibitors
–   A nautical market from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Ed Massey, one of fourteen members of the Regatta Pointe Marina Association, would like the general public to be aware that this expo is about more than sales, it’s an effort to give our boating community the most valuable tool of all – knowledge. “Our association is dedicated to providing a quality, free event built around meaningful seminars,” Massey said. “Our seminar speakers are better than ever with a wide range of topics that will appeal to both power and sailing enthusiasts.”

Seminars will be held in the Eagle’s Nest on the third floor of the River House Reef & Grill building, overlooking the historic Green Bridge and the Manatee River.  Forlocation information, please visit

The Jet Set

What’s the deal with Jet Boats? Let’s start with what a “jet Boat” is not.  A jet boat is not a boat powered by an aircraft type jet engine nor do they have flames shooting out of the back of the boat like a rocket is attached.   Jet boats, as they are most commonly referred to, are vessels propelled by an internal high pressure water pump.  The pump takes water in from the bottom of the vessel then forces the water, with power from the engine, out the back of the vessel through a shaped nozzle, creating thrust that pushes the craft forward.  By allowing the nozzle to swivel from side to side, the thrust is directed right to left to steer the boat.  There are a number of different kinds of water borne craft that use this “jet drive” system.  Personal watercraft or “jet Skis” are jet drive powered, as well as many other vessels, from small fishing and sport boats to huge ocean going people movers and public transportation.






Why Jet Drive? There are some distinct advantages of the jet drive system, especially to recreational users. First is safety.  Because the engine, pump, and all other sharp moving parts are inside the craft, within the engine compartment, there is nothing outside or hanging down in the water to cut or hurt someone.  Also because there is nothing hanging down below the bottom of the boat, they can operate in very shallow water without worry of damaging a propeller, prop shaft or outdrive of the other types of propulsion systems that are most common in recreational boating.   Next, jet drives produce incredible thrust, which pushes the vessel to a plane almost instantly, and with the short throw steering (only about ¾ turn from lock to lock) turning is very precise, like a sports car.

Personal Watercraft (PWC) or jet skis, waterbikes, aqua sleds and whatever else they are called use a jet drive for all the above reasons and because the engines and jet pumps can be made of light weight materials and configured in a very compact size making them ideal for this type of application.  Great acceleration, extremely nimble steering and a compact, motorcycle style package make for a lot of fun.

Thanks for reading the first installment of this column. I will be providing, in future installments, all kinds of info regarding jet drive propelled vessels including tips, care, types of craft, performance and anything else I discover that is pertinent to “The Jet Set” lifestyle. If anyone has any questions or thoughts, I can be reached at Sun Sports Cycle and Watercraft in Ft Myers anytime. Thanks again.


Steve Schumpert
Sun Sports Cycle and Watercraft
[email protected]

Seacock Maintenance

The long forgotten seacock….yeah the valve in the bottom of the bilge that separates the world’s oceans from the inside of your boat! If this valve has such a BIG job, why is it that most of us never pay any attention to it?

At least four times a year minimum (and best to actuate them monthly) all of your seacocks or ball valves (depending on what was installed in your boat) needs to be “worked” to ensure that the valve is in working order. Additionally, a spray silicon lubricant should be sprayed on the moving parts to help keep working smoothly. If at all possible it would be ideal to check all of these valves when the boat is out of the water. If there is a problem with one of them, then it is more convenient to repair or replace. However, don’t delay opening and closing each ball valve or seacock to ensure proper functionality just because your boat is still in the water.  If you do have a problem with one of the valves, it obviously is better to find out when you are at the dock and not 50 miles offshore!

There are several types of these valves, each requiring slightly different care.

First there are gate valves. Let’s hope you don’t have any of these as they are the most prone to fail and have been prohibited to be used byNational Marine Manufacturers Association approved boat manufacturers by American Boat and Yacht Counsel  It is advisable to replace any of this type of valve at the earliest possible opportunity. It is best to have skilled marine technician that is familiar with ABYC Standards replace the valves.

Ball Valves- Pretty simple for routine maintenance. First make sure that the component that the valve supplying water to is turned off. Now, simply close and open the valve several times to ensure smooth and easy operation. If the valve is stuck either in the open or closed position, you may want to employ a certified marine mechanic to see if he/she can “free” it up. If not, then it needs to be replaced. In the event that a hose or seal fails “down stream” of this valve and it can NOT be closed, it gets to be pretty exciting on board as you have to “MacGyver” a field fix out on the water before your boat sinks!  Also,  while opening and closing the valve, look closely at the bronze housing for signs of corrosion and/or electrolysis. If it has any pitting or is pinkish in color, have it replaced!

Seacocks- Again, pretty simple and is treated the same as a ball valve (see above). The only real difference between the two is that some seacocks can be disassembled for inspection and greasing of the interior housing and valve assembly. Newer seacocks are designed and constructed in similar fashion to ball valves and are actually a version of a ball valve. Older and some larger seacocks have a cone shaped rotating inner valve assembly that sits inside of the housing. It is held in place with a nut and washer on the opposite of the handle along the rotating axis. When the boat is hauled, the seacock should be disassembled to have the housing and valve assembly cleaned, inspected and lubricated with water proof grease before being reassembled.

When your boat is hauled this is the time to carefully inspect all seacocks. Remove the hose attached inside. Have someone inside the boatactuate the seacock while you are outside looking up into the seacock with a flashlight. Remove marine growth and any other obstructions and insure smooth operation. And finally, completely remove seacocks for disassembly and inspection every four years, which also ensures that you’ll be renewing the bedding compound when they’re reinstalled.


Richard Strauss is a broker with Galati Yacht Sales, and has been around boats nearly all his life. He has a degree in Marine Technology from Florida Tech, and has worked for well-known boat manufacturers as well as operated his own boat repair facility for fourteen years. When he is not busy helping customers find the boat of their dreams or sell their existing boat, he can be found cruising the waters of Sarasota Bay. You can contact Richard at or 239-633-5724.

Protect Your Boat’s Gel Coat

By Richard Strauss, Broker with Galati Yacht Sales

An effective care and maintenance program should be implemented from the beginning to maintain the overall appearance and value of your vessels gel coat. Consider that your boat’s gel coat is exposed to salt, dirt, pollution, soot, and exhaust on a daily basis. In addition to the destructiveness of forces of these elements is the sun. Removing them by weekly washing will prevent attack and breakdown of the finish, reducing gloss and reduced overall appearance. Additionally, valuable time is lost because it is more difficult to clean a damaged surface. In addition to a good weekly washing using the proper soap, it is wise to thoroughly rinse your boat with clean fresh water after each use.  Employing the extra pressure of using a pressure washer at least once a month helps in forcing out trapped dirt and salt deposits in tight areas,  around deck hardware and rub rails.

Cleaning your Gel Coat

When washing your boat use products designed for gel coat, not house hold products like Sno- Bol® and Soft Scrub® as they scratch as they clean. Also, if using a brush make sure it is a soft bristled brush designed for use on gel coat or painted surfaces. Tiny scratches will speed oxidation and dull your boat’s gel coat quickly. Once a boat oxidizes, the hull is vulnerable to greater damage from water penetration.  Additionally, house cleaning products like toilet bowel cleaners are very harsh and tend to break down the oils in the gel coat which is a petroleum base, thus speeding up the aging process of gel coat. If your boats gel coat has been well maintained and is waxed regularly, you may want to use a boat soap that has wax in it to help maintain the shine and life of the applied wax.

After washing your boat dry it off with a chamois to remove water spots after washing or use an in-line water softener such as Wet Spot® or Yacht-Mate .

Protecting your Gel coat

Not all waxes are created equal, and there is a reason for this. The condition of your gel coat will determine the right wax for you. If your gel coast is new and/or in excellent condition (no micro scratches, dull spots and/or oxidation then use a high quality beeswax, carnuba or silicon based wax. If you have some oxidation you may opt for a cleaner/wax product. Depending on the level of oxidation and/or minor scratches there are different levels of cleaner/waxes. For mild cases a good product is Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax 50® . For more extreme cases you may need to use 3M’s Gel Coat Restorer and Wax® If using this product, I would recommend going over your boat again with a high quality Premium Liquid Paste Wax in addition to the 3M Gel coat Restorer and Wax for extra UV protection. For a quick refresher, there are spray waxes or quick waxes. These are good to use between regularly scheduled waxings to keep up the shine while removing light dirt and water spots. Check out Meguiar’s Quik Wax 59® or Lucas Slick Mist® . These two products are easy to use and can be applied to painted, gel coat or powder coated surfaces as well as stainless hardware.

Frequency of waxing your boat depends on where you live. The minimum recommended waxing frequency is twice per year. If you live in South Florida, as many of us do, the sun’s intensity is a lot higher (more UV). So, it stands to reason that 3 or 4 times per year is not out of the question.


Richard Strauss is a broker with Galati Yacht Sales, and has been around boats nearly all his life. He has a degree in Marine Technology from Florida Tech, and has worked for well-known boat manufacturers as well as operated his own boat repair facility for fourteen years. When he is not busy helping customers find the boat of their dreams or sell their existing boat, he can be found cruising the waters of Sarasota Bay. You can contact Richard at or 239-633-5724.


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