3 Deka Batteries


Between the engines, helm displays, trolling motors, live wells, sound systems, lights, and other gadgets, marine batteries are the unsung heroes of boating. Your boat’s batteries serve two primary functions: starting engines and running accessories. Some batteries are built for one function while others can do both, so it’s important to know your marine battery basics.  Read more “HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BATTERIES FOR YOUR BOAT”

Edison Sailing Center sailing at sunset


Here in Southwest Florida, boating isn’t just a lifestyle, it’s a passion that brings us together on and off the water. And whether boaters realize it or not, it takes a village to keep our boating community going! So, we’re taking a closer look at two local organizations that support boaters and make significant contributions to our area’s marine industry through education: Edison Sailing Center and Fort Myers Technical College.


We live in a waterfront playground, so it’s no surprise most Southwest Floridians either own a boat or get to tag along with friends and neighbors from time to time. We’re also lucky to have plenty of rental boats available along our coast. For full-time residents and seasonal visitors alike, taking a loaner for a spin is a great way to enjoy our waterways without the long-term commitment of boat ownership.

Read more “BOAT RENTALS 101”

Buying New vs. Used: Things to consider while you’re considering.


It is a question boat buyers have faced for decades. And, while there is no perfect answer, there are pros and cons to each, and a right and wrong way to go about it. Breaking it down, there are five key areas to consider:

One of the first reasons people consider used boats is cost. Once a boat is 5-10 years old, the depreciation factor starts to cause a considerable gap between used boat prices and their comparable new counterparts—for the most part. However, value-priced new boats can often be close in price to many used alternatives, and come with all the advantages of buying anything new; warranty, ability to finance and the benefits of the most up-to-date technology (things I will expand on shortly). These all enter into a price vs. value analysis that can’t be ignored if you are to avoid the regret associated with many buying decisions.

Hand in hand with the price factor is ability to finance. If the used boat you are buying is not terribly old, its residual and loan value might make it a sound purchase that doesn’t deplete your savings to afford—provided your bank writes boat loans if you are buying from a private party. But as many used boats don’t qualify, it might need be a cash deal. On the flip side, new boats are easily financed and even give you the ability to add options and accessories to the amount financed, allowing you to outfit the boat how you want it and build it into your payment.


The advances made in boat and engine manufacturing in the past decade are considerable. The old adage “they don’t build them like they used to” can often be seen as GOOD news, as today’s products are ofter more reliable and maintenance free than their older counterparts. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule but, on the whole the quality factor almost always favors new.

Even the best boats have issues from time to time. This is where warranty protection comes into play. New boats invariably come with warranties and used boats occasionally have either transferrable warranties from the original owner, or you can buy an extended, third party warranty. The extended warranty option often comes with conditions, however, such as excluding pre-existing problems, waiting periods, and deductibles that water down their value.


Finally, regardless of whether you buy new or used, I suggest buying from an established boat dealer. Private party sales are recipes for post-sale regret as a private seller usually has no motive—or obligation—to take care of you should something break or be discovered shortly after the sale. Dealerships have reputations to protect and the profit from the sale of your boat (and others) allows them to take care of things professionally and they typically stand behind what they sell. It’s your best bet to not being sorely disappointed.

So before you make your decision, I urge you to consider these five factors and weigh your options. A little planning now can save you a world of regret later.

By Keith Yunger
President, Bayliner Boats

Cape Coral Cruise Club Revisits Fisherman’s Village Marina


Despite a rocky, rolling, breeze driven, Charlotte Harbor, eleven hardy Cape Coral Cruise Club vessels and their crews maneuvered their way to Fisherman’s Village Marina in Punta Gorda for the October 21-23 cruise. Counting the boat crews and folks who traveled by land yacht, over 30 club members enjoyed all or some of planned activities over the 3 day event.

While some went fishing, others played card games, went biking on Marina provided bicycles, or visited the local art galleries. All enjoyed shopping at the local craft and tourist shops on Fisherman’s Village concourse. Warm weather and light breezes added to the pleasure of afternoon pool time where many members floated and shared stories of the day.

Steve and Nell Winner coordinated the cruise and attending members enjoyed daily hot breakfast casseroles prepared by Nell. As is customary with this group each afternoon ended with happy hour snacks and docktails in the Captain’s lounge. The staff at Fisherman’s Village Marina are quite accommodating in that the Marina makes the Captain’s lounge available at no added cost.

Wednesday was a pre-arranged pizza party in the Captain’s lounge with several pizzas delivered by a local restaurant. All enjoyed pizza along with their favorite beverages.


Thursday evening was the group dinner party at the “Captains Table” restaurant on the second floor at the north end of the concourse. All participants enjoyed a wonderful salad bar and meal overlooking Charlotte Harbor while watching the sun set on a beautiful clear evening.


The Friday morning departure saw all boaters safely exiting the harbor and traversing much calmer conditions on Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The Cape Coral Cruise Club has been making Fisherman’s Village Marina a fall cruise destination for years and it is a cruise that regularly takes all the slips that the marina makes available.

The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.

By Steve and Nell Winner

Who is goboatingflorida.com?

Goboatingflorida.com is hosted by the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association. We are a member-owned trade association made up of businesses involved in the recreational boating industry. SWFMIA was formed in the early 1970’s when a small group of Ft. Myers boat dealers joined together to stage the first Fort Myers Boat Show.


At the time, the only plan was to generate a few boat sales from a show, but before long the show began to grow, by-laws were written, a board of directors formed and SWFMIA was incorporated. Actually, Boat Shows and Trade Associations are an essential element in the marine industry. Most major boat shows in the U.S. are owned by a trade association and it is the revenue from these shows that fund the lion’s share of operating budgets.

Today, SWFMIA represents the industry from Lee County through Tampa Bay, with over 200 members. We are governed by a Board of Directors consisting of a very diverse group of industry business leaders. Our objectives are to protect, promote and grow recreational boating. We play an active role monitoring legislative and political issues that affect boating, both for our member businesses and for the boating public. We provide a variety of services to our members and keep them informed on industry news and issues.
We produce three annual boat shows. The Fort Myers Boat Show, downtown on the river in November. The Charlotte County Boat Show, in January at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. The Bonita Springs Boat Show in February at the Naples/Fort Myers Greyhound Track.


About four years ago, our Board decided to create a web site that would be a source of boating information for the public. As you look through the site, you will find all kinds of information useful to enjoying your time on the water. You will also find a listing of our members, the products and services they offer and links to their web sites. This is a great source for just about any type of boat, product or service you might need in our region.

We are working to make the site a better resource to keep boaters informed about legislative, political, and rule making issues related to boating. We have local, state and national lobbyists who keep us up to speed on potential issues. For example, in the last several months, we have been involved in or are monitoring the Manatee Protection Plan being adopted in Pinellas County, the St. Petersburg Downtown Waterfront Redevelopment, the dredging of Big Pass in Sarasota, boat ramp issues in Cape Coral, and development of the Historic District in downtown Fort Myers. We’re keeping an eye on pending statewide legislation standardizing rules on where boaters can anchor. On a national level, pending legislation to increase ethanol levels to 15% will adversely affect most marine engines.

You will also see blogs on our site with all kinds of boating information. Boaters are welcome to provide contributions about your time on the water. Send us a story and a few photos about a recent day on the water or a special fishing trip. How about a great restaurant or watering hole you have been to by boat. We live in the greatest boating area in the U.S. and it would be great if you would share your boating lifestyle with others.

We welcome your comments, suggestions, and input on our site. How can we make it more informative and useful? Please e-mail us at info@swfmia.com. We will respond.

Proper Propping: Getting the most from your boat’s performance


Selecting the correct propeller is a critical factor in maximizing your boat’s performance.Choosing the correct size and style of prop for your boat will keep the engine operating within its recommended rpm range and allow it to harness as much of its horsepower as possible.

Size DOES Matter:

Prop measurements have two key designators: diameter and pitch. Diameter is determined by doubling the distance from the center of the hub to the tip the prop’s blades. A good rule of thumb is smaller diameter props are typically used with smaller engines/boats, and larger diameter props are typically used with larger engines/ boats.

Pitch measures the forward movement of the propeller’s blade during one complete revolution. This is measured in inches. Lowering prop pitch will increase acceleration and thrust. Increasing prop pitch will make the boat go faster (provided the engine has enough power to keep the RPMs in the optimum operating range. If the engine doesn’t have enough power to run a higher pitch prop, performance suffers across the board and you could easily damage your engine. A good test is, if the prop lets your engine operate at Wide Open Throttle (WOT) within its correct rpm range, you’ve got a good prop fit.

Number of Blades. How it adds up.

For years, boaters have debated the question of 4-blade propellers versus 3-blade versions. (The traditional argument is that 4-blade props are slow and 3-blade props are
fast.) Today, with higher fuel prices and tighter economic times, boaters are taking a second look at this debate. Speed is now a much smaller part of the boating equation. In turn, practical, real-world performance is the name of the game for most people. So, which props should you be using, 4-blade or 3-blade? Traditionally, the idea that 4-blades were slower than 3-blades was true to some extent. But what you need to keep in mind is that many of those 4-blade props were not designed with speed in mind. Instead, the earliest designs were intended to cure handling issues such as ventilation, cornering blowout, motor elevation requirements, and hole shot issues. Without many options in blade design, and very few of them truly intended to be particularly fast, the 4-blade got branded as slow, while their other performance benefits were largely dismissed.

In contrast, today’s 4-blade propellers have evolved into both all-purpose and highly specialized designs. This new generation of props can be tailored to not only address those traditional handling issues, but can also be tailored to improve a boat’s performance range, which can, in some cases, include speed.

Before making a choice, determining your performance priorities will help you determine your prop choice.

Cupped Boat Propellers

Special curved trailing edges enable the prop to maintain performance at higher trim levels and in tight corners. Cupped boat props allow most boats to achieve a higher top-end speed or at least the same speed at a lower engine RPM. They also promote more efficient fuel consumption.

Material is not immaterial.

Propellers can be made of composite, aluminum, and stainless steel. Composite boat props offer good performance, are durable, and inexpensive. They also offer some protection for your lower unit during a prop strike becoming something of a sacrificial lamb. Aluminum props are the most common and are suitable for the widest range of applications since there are so many models and styles available. Stainless steel props offer the highest performance—due to their lack of flex—and best durability.
The chart below is a handy comparison:


Spare yourself the pain…carry a spare.

Finally, always have an extra propeller on board with tools allowing you to change it out. If you have a prop strike or spin out a hub, you will only be delayed a few minutes and not miss out on any for or worse—be stranded.

Cape Coral Cruise Club returns to Palm Island Marina

Led by Jon Lynch and Elise Vannoy on Desperado, a flotilla of 10 boats cruised up the ICW to a club favorite destination, Palm Island Marina. Under sunny skies and seas that were surprisingly calm and slick as glass, many boats made record time. Many boaters voiced their surprise at the number of dolphins spotted during the trip. Joining in the fun were Commodore Lee Jetton and Brenda Butler on Moonlighter, Vice Commodore John and Pati Queen on Semper Paratus, Doug and Michelle Rhees on LunaSea, Phil and Lin Quick on Sunkissed, Bob and Carol Peterson on CR Side, Joe and Kelli Miller on B Mine, John and Mary Brehm on Panacea, Jeff and Joanne Ziemer on Still Crazy, and last but not least, Jim and Rear Commodore Edie Limbright made their maiden voyage on Princess, their recently purchased Viking.


Arriving by car were Brenda and Mike Stewart as well as Mac & Bobbie McEwen. Most of the boaters gathered at Leverock’s for lunch on Tuesday then adjourned to the pool or games under the pavilion shade which made for a leisurely afternoon. Gathering for our traditional happy hour, cruising tales and mechanical advice freely flowed. With heavy hors d’ouevres supplied by each of the boats made for a sumptuous buffet.

Wednesday proved to be another perfectly sunny day enticing many to visit the beach and have a bite of lunch at Rumrunners, take a walk, float and chat in the pool or play cards. As we enjoyed our happy hour, all members participated in two brainteasers. Winners of the “Name that Boat” and “Flying Colors” quizzes were Jettons and Ziemers. Congratulations! Mike Stewart demonstrated his Grill Master credentials by cooking 26 burgers to perfection. Many thanks to Edie Limbright for a wonderful Spinach Salad, Michelle Rhees and Brenda Stewart for luscious desserts. After dinner, crews toured Jim and Edie Limbright’s new “Princess”.

On Thursday, a continental breakfast of berries and sweet rolls started the morning followed by a polite game of keep away which quickly devolved into a rowdy dunking session providing entertainment for onlookers and lots of laughs for participants. Beach goers collected perfect and imperfect shells as well as sharks teeth. Since it was Red Nose Day, each couple posed with a red nose. During happy hour, crews chatted and revealed items remaining on our “bucket lists”, then headed to Leverock’s for a group dinner full of laughter, stories and good company.


Friday morning boats departed Palm Island Marina as a good time was had by all.

The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website, www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.

By Jon Lynch and Elise Vannoy

Cape Coral Cruise Club – 2015 Extended Cruise

Each spring the Cape Coral Cruise Club plans a “long cruise”, which is to say a much longer itinerary is planned than its normal three day monthly cruises to local destinations not more than a 3 to 6 hour boat trip. The Martins began planning the 2015 trip to Tarpon Springs last fall, making marina and restaurant contacts, searching for interesting places to visit at each planned location.


The two week 2015 long cruise began April 13 with fourteen member boats departing Cape Coral, bound for Palm Island Marina in Cape Haze, Florida.  After all boats were secured in the slips, several club members enjoyed the marina’s pool, and on-site restaurant.  Other members opted for the complimentary water taxi to the marina’s Gulf front beach. Four other members ventured off in a dinghy looking for the channel to Rum Bay on the beach. A minor incident occurred when the captain, wanting to get the dinghy up on plane, encountered the large wake from a passing boat that caused a wall of water to wash over the bow.  The dinghy captain’s quick action, plus an efficient bilge pump, prevented almost certain swamping of the small boat.  The only casualties were two wet women, and a cell phone that ended up under several inches of water on the bottom of the boat. On the second day of our stay at Palm Island, the cruise leaders prepared breakfast, and later, with help from other cruisers, grilled sumptuous herb-crusted beef tenderloin for dinner.

The next morning the boats departed Palm Island traveling north to the gorgeous Longboat Key Club Marina and Resort. Due to an unannounced bridge closing on the GICW just north of the Venice Inlet three boats went out the Venice Inlet and proceeded north to New Pass Inlet returning to the GICW and into Longboat Key. Most of the boats were in slips along a sea wall less than fifty feet from the beautiful pool and a fabulous restaurant.


The next morning, breakfast was provided by the cruise leaders before members headed out on their own; some taking the Longboat shuttle bus to St. Armand’s Circle for shopping and the many fine bars and restaurants.  Others opted to borrow the resort bicycles, ride around the resort, and/or pedal the 3-1/2 mile trip to St. Armand’s.  As a side note, on the way to Longboat Key, one member drifted out of the channel, and ran aground in soft sand. Assistance from a tow boat got the boat back in the channel with no apparent damage.  Such is boating in the sometimes skinny waters of Southwest Florida!  Everyone knows how important it is to stay in the channel, but it is so easy to drift out. Two days later the cruise leaders drifted not more than fifteen feet off channel and ran aground.  Again, a tow boat was called, and the boat suffered no apparent damage.

Our third stop on the trip was Loggerhead Marina in St. Petersburg.  Two boats could not clear a nearby twenty foot fixed bridge and stayed at Maximo’s Marina.  We all gathered by the pool under the Tiki huts and cooked burgers and brats, with lots of tasty side dishes.


Turtle Cove Marina in Tarpon Springs was our northern most stop for three nights.  On our first night the town was celebrating “Night in the Islands”; a very romantic Greek food themed evening where several restaurants filled the street with long tables and strung up small overhead lights.  Odyssey, one of the best Greek bands in Florida, supplied soothing, sensual, traditional Greek music. While some people danced in the streets, others formed a large circle where local ladies instructed them on traditional Greek dances. All this, while the wait staff continually delivered tasty Greek food and wine to the large crowd made this a truly memorable evening.  Over the next two days members were on their own to explore the town.  One night, we gathered at Hellas Restaurant and Bakery. Everyone was able to select a Greek dish to suit their desire.  Several dishes of Saganaki (flaming cheese) were delivered to our tables as shouts of Opa made the meal festive.

Turtle Cove Marina was very accommodating to our club, dock hands were prompt, helpful, and attentive.  One night, with a threat of rain, the marina opened the lounge for us as Phil and Gary prepared their famous fish bites.  We also used the lounge the next morning where the cruise leaders prepared a pancake breakfast.  One note here; a guest on a member boat slipped on the ramp of the dock, and fell, injuring his leg.  An ambulance was called, and he was transported to a local hospital for x-rays. Fortunately there was just severe bruising with nothing broken.


Our first stop on the return trip was a single night at Clearwater Beach Marina. The dock master was alone, and overwhelmed with our arrival, so it was up to the members to help get all our boats secured up in the slips.  A short walk had several members taking in the fabulous Clearwater beach along with its several bars and restaurants.

The next to last stop on our trip was the always popular Marina Jacks in downtown Sarasota.  After breakfast by the cruise leaders, several members hopped on the shuttle to visit the Ringling Circus and Art Museum and the John Ringling Mansion. Others opted for the great shops and restaurants in downtown Sarasota.

The final stop before heading back to Cape Coral was Gasparilla Marina. A final happy hour under a huge canopy by the docks gave the cruising members the opportunity to express their thanks to the cruise leaders for arranging a great itinerary, and or course assuring that the winds were calm and the weather outstanding.

All boats returned home safely, ending the “Long Cruise” for 2015.  Bonnie and I want to thank all the participating members of CCCC for joining us on this cruise, and we hope that everyone else had as much fun as we did!  The fellowship and cohesiveness of our club is like none other, and is so apparent in a setting such as the CCCC’s long cruise.  We can all be very proud of the courteous and proficient seamanship displayed at all times, by all our members!

The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website, www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.

By Robert and Bonnie Martin