Your Maintenance Regime Should Include Detailing: Here’s How & Why

Boating season is in full-swing here at Port Annapolis, but here’s a quick thought before you hit the open water: Have you adequately maintained your boat this summer? Many boaters think they’re doing everything right in terms of maintenance—but are ignorant of the finer aspects of boat maintenance that can greatly impact the longevity of their vessels. One such oft-neglected detail is the detailing process. Here are a few tips on how to incorporate both engine and all-around detailing steps to ensure you are doing the utmost to keep your boat looking and performing great for years to come.

ENGINE DETAILING

Like most avid boaters, your boat is most likely one of your most prized possessions–but remember it’s the engine that makes all those cool boating adventures possible. A clean engine makes visual inspections more effective. And the process of detailing your engine will make you more familiar with and force you to examine every inch of your engine. So treat your engine right by caring for it with these maintenance tips that incorporate engine detailing measures.

Clean: Use paper towels to remove big globs of grease. Then apply a solution of soap and water with a rag or sponge: Dawn dish detergent is an effective and inexpensive degreasing soap. Rinse thoroughly with a light spray of water. Allow to air-dry.

Paint: Color-matched engine paint is available from your dealer or the engine-maker’s website. This includes paint for inboard and sterndrive engines, as well as for the gear cases of sterndrives and outboards. Painting staves off corrosion and can also enhance the resale or trade-in value.

Lube: Be sure to lubricate all control linkages with grease, remembering that a little goes a long way. Also apply grease to outboard cowling latches. Check your owner’s manual for the location of any grease fittings (Zerk fittings) specific to your engines. Spray the entire engine block with a silicone-based aerosol lube.


Replace: In the process of cleaning, painting and lubing your engine, you might discover some fasteners that have corroded. This is especially true for coastal boaters. Remove and replace (or clean) these now, before you need to remove them and can’t because of corrosion.

ALL-AROUND DETAILING

Here are some tips gleaned from the pros on how to make your boat look great by taking the time to detail.

Remove the Old Wax: Wipe the hull down with acetone or a dedicated product like Pettit’s D95 Dewaxer. Use several rags, and turn them frequently so you don’t reapply the wax you remove.

Use a Machine: Save the “hand-rubbed” finish for woodwork. A polisher makes quicker work using less material and does a better job of removing compound and wax. And it’s in the removing that these products achieve the fine finish. We recommend using a rotary polisher, which is quicker, spatters less and doesn’t “kick” when working around transom rings, rub rails, vent fittings and other obstructions. But if you’re inexperienced, consider a random orbit polisher, like Shurhold’s Dual Action model, which is more forgiving and doesn’t allow you to goof and create swirl marks.

White-Glove Treatment: There are many areas aboard that require you to apply compound and wax by hand. The areas between gauges and instruments, the narrow borders surrounding hatches and companionways, and beneath cleats and grab rails are some of these. Instead of using a rag, don a pair of clean cotton gloves and use your fingers like custom-conformable polishing pads.

For most, a boat is a major investment that pays back through years of fun and memories. To realize the greatest return on your investment, and optimize your experiences, take care of your boat by detailing. Clean, paint, lube and replace fasteners for engine detailing, remove old wax, machine polish, and give the white-glove treatment for all-around detailing. If you need a detailing boost, contact the Service Department, (410) 269-1944 x18 or (410) 269-1944 x11.

How to Keep Cool Aboard Your Vessel

We’ve all been there before: excitedly leaving the dock in the cool evening summer air only to find yourself constantly sweating moments later in the open water. Yes, here at Port Annapolis, boating is our favorite way to beat the heat. But sometimes, the weather is just SO hot that even the relief found aboard the boat needs a little something extra for boaters to get comfortable and make it an enjoyable experience. The next time that happens, try these tips to raise your boat’s chill factor:

Splash the Deck
The process of water evaporating emanates a cooling effect to offset the hot weather aboard your vessel. Use the wash-down hose, or a bucket, and splash down your fiberglass or wood cockpit sole. (Note: If your boat’s sole is covered in glued-down carpet, this tip may not be for you). Doing so will noticeably drop the “local” temperature and provide relief for you and your crew.

Install Hatches Hinged Aft
Deck hatches, or those in hardtops, are best installed so that they are hinged aft. This way, while anchored, any breeze will flow into the boat when the hatches are open. Although some hatches are installed, hinges forward on the premise that they will simply close, instead of ripping out. Should a careless captain take off into the wind, you might still consider altering their configuration and being a bit more responsible with your acceleration habits in exchange for some much-needed cooling during the summer months—that’s a trade-off your guests will be thankful for! You can also install a wind-scoop to make your hatches even more effective.

Hydrate
Drink lots of water. It’s what your body needs to cool down when the temps heat up! Always stock up your cooler with plenty of water and ice before leaving the dock. Stop by the Ships Store or The Wet Dog Café to fill your cooler before heading out on the water!

Cover Hatches and Ports
A dark cabin is a cool cabin! While you can have custom hatch and port covers sewn by a canvas fabricator, simply draping towels secured by lines or weights will reduce the solar gain and keep the cabin cooler.

Just like a car sitting in the sun, your boat can also be a hot spot. These few simple steps can help improve your boating experience and make sure you have a cool and fun time on the water!

4th of July Boating Safety Tips


Photo by Visit Annapolis

The 4th of July Holiday is the busiest, and often most dangerous time of the boating season. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is urging all boaters to exercise extra caution while boating during the upcoming July 4th holiday. 4th of July, along with Memorial Day and Labor Day, typically account for more than one-third of all boating-related accidents and fatalities. Still, the holiday is a terrific opportunity to gather with fellow boating enthusiasts and enjoy the festivities in the comfort of Port Annapolis Marina’s premium facilities. Here are seven tips on how to stay safe this Independence Day.

Always Wear a Life Jacket: While it can be hot and steamy in Annapolis, don’t be tempted to forgo wearing a life jacket. Accidents happen quickly, and often there isn’t time to put on a life jacket once an accident has happened. Statistics consistently show that 80% of those who perished in boating accidents were not wearing life jackets.

Make Sure Your Boat is Properly Equipped and Equipment is Functioning Properly: The 4th of July is sometimes the first and only time people venture out on the water after dark. Make sure your navigation lights work so you can be seen. Better yet, request a free Vessel Safety Check to make sure your boat has all the legally required and recommended equipment onboard.

Be Prepared for Emergencies: Accidents happen quickly, often with little or no warning. Take the time to familiarize your crew with basic emergency procedures, and show them how to contact authorities for help via marine radio or cell phone. Make sure your flares are up to date, but never use flares as a form of fireworks. Doing so constitutes a false distress call, which is a class D felony, punishable by up to six years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines, plus the costs associated with the false distress.

Boating and Alcohol Don’t Mix: Boaters are also reminded of the dangers of drinking and boating. Along with decreasing the operator’s ability to make good judgments, the consumption of alcohol also negatively affects the ability of passengers to respond in the case of an emergency on the water. The effects of the sun, wind, waves and a boat’s motion in the water can add to an operator’s impairment. Intoxicated boaters can face both federal and state charges with penalties of up to one year in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.

File a Float Plan with a Friend: A float plan for a boater is similar to a flight plan for a pilot. It lists who is going, where you’re going, what the boat looks like, and when you expect to be back. Don’t file this with the Coast Guard; rather, share it with a friend who will be staying ashore, and instruct them what to do in the event that they don’t hear from you within a reasonable time of when you expect to return home. CLICK HERE for a complete plan along with instructions

Keep a Sharp Lookout for Other Boats, Weather, or Anything Unusual: The Coast Guard asks the public to be more aware of their surroundings, including carefully watching the weather, celebrating responsibly and understanding the hazards of boating under the influence of alcohol and misusing emergency flares as fireworks. Report any emergencies to local authorities by calling 911 or VHF-FM Channel 16. Any suspicious activity that might involve terrorism should be reported to America’s Waterway Watch at 877-24-WATCH.

Practice the 3 Cs – Caution, Courtesy, & Common Sense: Use caution, especially in close quarter maneuvering situations with other boats. In such situations, slow speeds are better. Be courteous to your fellow boaters, and use common sense. Don’t cut people off at the launch ramp, and never light fireworks from your boat!

By following these seven simple tips, you could save your life, the life of your passengers or fellow boaters and swimmers – and will make your Independence Day less stressful and more fun!

Be a Greener Boater: Protecting the Environment

Environmental-friendly boating practices help seafarers look beyond the bow and make a difference to maintain clean, healthy waters for years to come. Boating goes hand-in-hand with wildlife watching, swimming, fishing, snorkeling and diving—and each of these experiences is enhanced by the clean water required for a healthy bay. Unfortunately, mishandling a boat can be detrimental to marine ecosystems, wildlife and water quality. Improper handling, irresponsible or neglectful vessel maintenance, and poor refueling, repair and storage habits all present significant environmental risks. Reducing these risks not only helps preserve clean water and protect the animals that live in it, but also keeps boaters and their families safe – and can even save money!

 

Below, the experienced staff of Port Annapolis Marina lays out some best boating practices for a greener boating experience—practical steps you can use every time you hit the water. Learn more about how boaters can develop and incorporate environmentally friendly management strategies in six key areas:

  • Oil and Fuel
  • Sewage Pollution
  • Vessel Maintenance and Repair
  • Marine Debris
  • Storm Water Runoff
  • Vessel Operation

It’s important to realize you can make a tremendous difference and impact in preserving the health of the ocean and waterways!

 

Oil and Fuel

Diesel fuel and motor oil are toxic to people, plants and wildlife. They can also block life-giving sunlight in the water. Most oil pollution results from accidents and/or carelessness.

  • Refueling is when most spills happen. The U.S. Coast Guard recommends filling the tank to only ninety-percent to capacity to reduce the chance of spills from overfilling.
  • Even small oil spills spell trouble for water quality; bilge pumps can often discharge oil directly into the water. Be sure to use oil absorbent pads in the bilges of all boats with inboard engines.
  • Inspect thru-hull fittings often. A sinking boat is not only a safety risk for passengers, but also leaks dangerous fuel, oil and chemicals into the water.
  • DO NOT use soaps to disperse spills – it is ILLEGAL.

 

Sewage Pollution

Think one boat doesn’t make a difference? A single overboard discharge of human waste in a shallow enclosed area like a bay can be detected across one square mile. Excess nutrients disrupt natural cycles and pose a human health hazard.

  • Install and use a marine sanitation device as required by law.
  • Sewage and chemicals from holding tanks readily contaminate water.
  • Bring portable toilets ashore for proper disposal.

 

Vessel and Maintenance Repair

Sanding, cleaning, painting and degreasing boats can pose major threats to our waters. Particles of dust and paint in the water can block life-giving sunlight, and toxic substances from cleaners and antifouling compounds can sicken or kill marine life.

  • Use nonhazardous materials—if it’s hazardous to you, it’s hazardous to the environment.
  • Old batteries can leach dangerous lead or cadmium, and expired marine flares contain toxic materials as well so dispose of them properly.
  • When you paint your hull, choose officially certified environmentally-friendly materials

 

Marine Debris

Trash in the water isn’t just an eyesore; it damages boats and threatens the well-being of marine wildlife. It also undermines tourism and economic activities that create jobs. But there’s good news. Litter in the water is entirely preventable.

  • Bring your food containers, cigarette butts and other trash back to shore and recycle them whenever possible.
  • Let your marina know if it can provide better waste collection facilities.
  • Boaters are known for being good stewards and routinely picking up trash. For greater impact, raise awareness and collect data on what’s out there by participating in programs like Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.

 

Storm Water Runoff

At marinas, storm drains can carry pollutants – including toxic metals from boat hull scraping and sanding, oil and grease, detergents, litter, and hazardous bilge waste – directly into the water.

  • Use nontoxic cleaning products.
  • Discard worn motor parts carefully so oil doesn’t wash from them into storm drains.
  • Dispose of trash properly in onshore bins.

 

Vessel Operation

Marinas and individual boaters must play a role in reducing vessel operation damage. Vessel operation damage occurs whenever improper handling, irresponsible use or neglect of a vessel results in damages to the environment. The effects can be costly.

  • Anchors aweigh: Choose anchor sites carefully and use proper techniques to avoid damaging sensitive habitat.
  • Avoid boating in shallow water, where you can stir up sediments and disturb underwater habitat—not to mention damage your propeller, hull and engine if you run aground.
  • Know where to go slow to prevent shore-damaging wakes.

Port Annapolis has been recognized by the Department of Natural Resources as a Certified Clean Marina, so if you have any questions about how you can be a greener boater, please contact us! We’re happy to point you in the right direction and get you connected to local organizations in Annapolis that support green initiatives and cleaner water. Happy boating!

Fire Prevention Tips: Stop On-Board Fires Before They Start

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What’s the best way to deal with any problem? Stop it before it starts—and the same maxim hold true when it comes to boating. Experienced sailors are some of the most cautious people you’ll meet—and for good reason. While boating is an exhilarating and enjoyable pastime, there’s no getting around the inherent risk involved with heading out on the water, miles away from medical and professional assistance in the case of an emergency.

Fires are perhaps one of the most dangerous, yet preventable, potential threats to safety that can occur onboard a boat. Nothing can replace the effectiveness of fast, efficient action combined with a cool head—critical procedures of effective on-board fire management for dealing with fires before they spread out of control. Following these procedures can not only help sailors prevent a fire, or contain it in the event one breaks out, but they can additionally help them save the lives of their crew members.

First of all, make sure you have the proper size and classification of marine fire extinguishers on board your vessel. You may be required to have more than one depending on the size of your boat—the U.S. Coast Guard has published these requirements along with other highly useful safety information in its Federal Requirements brochure. The document is available for free online and can be accessed at www.uscgboating.org. Ensure that all fire extinguishers are mounted in such a way so that they are readily accessible and positioned in locations that you can get to quickly in the event of a sudden emergency. As with all on-board equipment, regular inspection and maintenance is key. You need to inspect your fire extinguishers at regular intervals to verify they are fully charged and have not exceeded their expiration dates. If your boat has an internal fixed firefighting system along with sprinklers, be sure that it is also inspected and professionally serviced annually in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The majority of on-board fires are caused by fueling and electrical complications or errors. Prior to fueling your boat, request that all passengers disembark the vessel and shut off all open flame sources such as stoves or grills. Close all windows, doors and hatches to prevent excess gasoline fumes from entering the boat and providing a potential source of combustion. During the fueling process, make sure the nozzle maintains in direct contact with the tank in order to prevent contact sparks and avoid overfilling the tank so the fuel has adequate space to expand. Obviously, do not smoke while fueling. After you’ve completed fueling, be sure to wipe up any spillage and dispose of the rag in an off-board, designated location. Re-open all the windows, doors and hatches and run the exhaust blower on full power for approximately four minutes. Prior to turning the engine over, perform a “sniff” test of the bilge and engine compartment. If you detect the odor of gasoline, turn the exhaust blower back on until it dissipates.

In order to prevent electrical-based fires, routinely inspect all electrical connections. Furthermore, inspect any shore power connection lines that you may be accessing prior to connecting them to your boat’s power system. If any wires appear to be fraying or if you see sparks, quickly disengage the main power source and have the problem repaired before attempting to use the device again. As the weather gets colder, be careful when using heaters in enclosed spaces and never leave one running unattended.

In the event that a fire breaks out, be sure that all those on board are fitted with a life jacket in case they have to abandon ship. If possible, steer the boat so that the flame is downwind and direct all passengers and crew move upwind away from the fire. Never attempt to use water to extinguish a gasoline, oil, or grease fire as it will only spread the flames and if there is an active electrical current there is a very real threat of shock—access one of your on-board fire extinguishers and use it instead. To use your fire extinguisher, simply remember the saying “PASS”:

                  Pull pin

                  Aim at the fire’s base

                  Squeeze the handle

                  Sweep from side to side

Finally, radio for help on your VHF radio or cell phone if you have service and prepare to abandon ship if unable to prevent the fire from spreading out of control.

Cruising into Fall: 2016 United States Sailboat & Powerboat Shows

 

Looking to kick off the fall season with a bang? Join Port Annapolis Marina and thousands of fellow boating enthusiasts from around the world for seminars, prizes and more at the 2016 Sailboat and Powerboat shows! We’ll be representing the local seafaring community—be sure to stop by Tent C39 to support your favorite Annapolis marina, learn more about our outstanding staff and services and join the area’s premier full-service boating location. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming festivities so you can enjoy a stress-free day at the largest in-water sailboat and powerboat shows in the world!

Sailboat Show

2016 United States Sailboat Show

The economic upturn and subsequent industry growth means boaters will be out in full force this year—the collection of attendees is ever-changing so there’s never a dull moment regardless of how many times you may have attended in the past. There’s something for every interest: last year the show featured over thirty boats under thirty feet—a trend that will be continued this year with several entry-level cruising boats, custom-designed race boats, trailerable monohull and multi-hull boats and more registered. On top of all the wonderful boats and cutting-edge equipment featured, the show is jam-packed with educational opportunities for boaters of all ages and levels of experience. Those new to sailing can register for a brief training on board a brand new Beneteau First 22 in the First Sail Workshop. For those looking to potentially purchasing a boat can learn more about their buying options during the interactive “Take the Wheel” workshops that features an all-inclusive day of classes; sea trials on two of eight demo boat choices ranging from 35 to 54-feet; and breakfast, lunch, and an evening reception. Here’s the need-to-know info for those looking to partake in what promises to be one of the most exciting shows in the event’s history! Still have questions? Visit the show’s official even page at: www.annapolisboatshows.com.

  • WHEN: OCTOBER 6-10, 2016
    • Thursday, October 6, 2016 (VIP Day): 10:00am – 6:00pm
    • Friday, October 7, 2016: 10:00am – 6:30pm
    • Saturday, October 8, 2016: 10:00am – 6:30pm
    • Sunday, October 9, 2016: 10:00am – 6:30pm
    • Monday, October 10, 2016: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • WHERE: CITY DOCK, ANNAPOLIS MARYLAND
    • Directions & Parking
      • United States Sailboat Show is located 1 Dock Street, Annapolis MD 21401.
      • For safety reasons, strollers are strongly discouraged.
      • Absolutely no pets.
      • Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium:
        • Boat show visitors are encouraged to park at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and take the free shuttle bus from the Navy Stadium to the United States Sailboat Show. Buses run continuously from 9:00am until one hour after the show closes.
          • Stadium Parking: $10.00
          • Stadium GPS Address: 550 Taylor Ave, Annapolis, MD 21401
        • Directions to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium: Take Route 50 to Annapolis/Rowe Blvd (exit 24). Follow signs along Rowe Blvd. to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
        • On Saturday October 8 ONLY** boat show visitors should follow signs to alternative parking. Shuttle buses will deliver attendees to the City Dock free of charge.
  • THINGS TO DO:
    • FREE COCKTAIL & WINE TASTINGS
      • Free cocktail and wine tastings throughout the show Sponsored by HENDRICK’S GIN, NOBILO WINES and PAPA’S PILAR
    • FIRST SAIL WORKSHOPS
      • Experience the joy of sailing on a Beneteau First 22. Taught by expert instructors, this two-and-a-half-hour class is designed for the beginning sailor.
    • PREMIER LAUNCH PARTY: OCTOBER 6TH
      • Celebrate opening night and kickoff the Sailboat Show with a star-studded cast from the sailing industry at an evening filled with island music, delicious food, complimentary wine all evening, rum and gin tastings, cocktails, chocolate, door prizes, and fun.
    • VIP PREVIEW DAY
      • A special day for the serious sailor, the VIP Preview Day is the best day to shop. Take advantage of a day ideal for talking with exhibitors and touring sailboats. Be the first for the unveiling of new boats and products, and shop opening day specials. Avoid the crowds.
    • VACATION BASIN
      • Dedicated to chartering, travel, and vacations and charter boat ownership in the Chesapeake Bay and exotic island locations.
    • GRAND PRIZE SPONSORED BY MOORINGS
      • A lucky boater will win a 6-night, 7-day charter in the British Virgin Islands aboard the award-winning Moorings 4800 Sailing Catamaran, ideal for up to 8 guests. Charter valued at approximately $15,000. Airfare for two sponsored by British Virgin Islands Tourist Board.
    • BROKERAGE COVE
      • A show within a show, overflowing with previously owned sailboats presented by regional boat brokers and available for immediate sale.
    • LARGEST COLLECTION OF MULTI-HULLS IN THE WORLD
      • Miles of docks are constructed to exhibit the largest collection of catamarans and trimarans in the world. Visitors also tour new cruising sailboats, kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes.
    • PREMIERING BOATS
      • The most exciting new sailboats from major manufacturers, including many new designs and models, make their debut.
    • SAILBOAT MANUFACTURERS
      • Only boat show in which virtually every major sailboat manufacturer is represented. Sailors have the unique opportunity to board and inspect most new models on the market, make side-by-side comparisons, and talk to industry representatives about all aspects of buying and owning a boat.
    • ACRES OF ON-LAND EXHIBITIONS
      • The sailboat show has the latest in navigational equipment, high-tech electronics, boating accessories, clothing, gear, and related services such as boating clubs, charter companies, insurance firms, and lending institutions. Boat show goers shop from a vast display of boating products and services.
    • EXCITING HIGH-PERFORMANCE RACING SECTION
      • A sailboat show venue is dedicated to sexy high performance racing sailboats.
    • CRUISER’S UNIVERSITY: OCTOBER 10-13TH
      • A comprehensive and expanded curriculum on cruising and boat preparedness for sail and power cruisers. More than 40 courses taught by expert instructors. Register for 1- 4 days of classes.
    • FREE SEMINARS ON SAILING
      • Daily programs presented by the Chesapeake Bay Magazine and Annapolis School of Seamanship.
    • TWO CAN SAIL COUPLES CRUISING SEMINAR
      • Individualized cruising lifestyle training, includes boat shopping, surveying, and personal training aboard your boat.
    • 74-FOOT SCHOONER SAILING CRUISES
      • Cruises will be available aboard the 74-foot Schooner Woodwind. All cruises depart from inside the Unites States Sailboat Show and pass by the United States Naval Academy and then into the Chesapeake Bay. Additional fee required.
  • TICKET INFO:
    • VIP Preview Day – $35
    • VIP Preview Day + Additional Day – $48
    • Adult One Day – $18
    • Adult Two Day Combo – $31
    • Children – $5 (6 & under FREE)

 

 

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2016 United States Powerboat Show

The powerboats are back with a bang at the 2016 United States Powerboat Show. The Annapolis Boat Shows have gotten bigger and better every year—and this year is looking to keep that trend going! Hundreds of inflatables, small trailerable boats, kayaks and paddle boats, along with express cruisers, sport fish, and long-range blue water cruisers are all being featured this year—virtually all styles of boats from eight to eighty feet are powering into Annapolis from far and wide! Besides the jaw-dropping array of featured vessels, there’s a full range of events to keep attendees engaged. The Demo Dock offers potential boat buyers an exclusive opportunity to try out boats before purchasing; Cruisers University gives power cruisers all the info they need to know before hitting the water; and you can meet Paul Hebert, the Wicked Tuna captain of the Boat Wicked Pisah at the party at Brokerage Cove. Here’s the event details for the largest powerboat show north of Florida—additional information can be found on the show’s official page: http://www.annapolisboatshows.com/united-states-powerboat-show/

  • WHEN: OCTOBER 13-16, 2016
    • Thursday, October 13, 2016 (VIP Day): 10:00am – 6:00pm
    • Friday, October 14, 2016: 10:00am – 6:30pm
    • Saturday, October 15, 2016: 10:00am – 6:30pm
    • Sunday, October 16, 2016: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • WHERE: CITY DOCK, ANNAPOLIS MARYLAND
    • Directions & Parking
      • United States Sailboat Show is located 1 Dock Street, Annapolis MD 21401.
      • For safety reasons, strollers are strongly discouraged.
      • Absolutely no pets.
      • Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium:
        • Boat show visitors are encouraged to park at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and take the free shuttle bus from the Navy Stadium to the United States Sailboat Show. Buses run continuously from 9:00am until one hour after the show closes.
          • Stadium Parking: $10.00
          • Stadium GPS Address: 550 Taylor Ave, Annapolis, MD 21401
        • Directions to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium: Take Route 50 to Annapolis/Rowe Blvd (exit 24). Follow signs along Rowe Blvd. to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
  • THINGS TO DO:
    • EXPLORE HUGE RANGE OF FISHING BOATS FROM 40 MANUFACTURERS
      • From Everglades to Boston Whalers and everything inbetween. Click below for complete list of fishing boat manufacturers displaying at 2016 boat show.
    • MEET CAPTAIN PAUL HEBERT OF WICKED TUNA
      • Sponsored by Maui Jim, Wicked Pissah’s Captain Paul Hebert will be at the United States Powerboat Show October 14-15, 2016.
    • GRAND PRIZE: EDGEWATER 170CC DEEP-V CENTER CONSOLE
      • This year the Annapolis Boat Shows is celebrating the 45th birthday of the United States Powerboat Show and center console fishing boats by giving away an EdgeWater 170CC Deep-V Center Console Power Boat.
    • GRAND PRIZE: MARINEMAX VACATION
      • Win an exotic 7-day and 6-night charter vacation aboard a luxury bareboat MarineMax Power Catamaran!
    • DEMO-DOCK—TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
      • Dealers and manufacturers will be offering demos and sea trials from inside the boat show. Try before you buy new models, engines, and stabilizing systems.
    • CRUISERS UNIVERSITY FALL SERIES: OCTOBER 10-13TH
      • Come to the show a day or two early. Cruisers University offers a comprehensive curriculum on cruising and boat preparedness. The expert instructors will help you plan your cruise, equip and maintain your boat.
    • PREVIEW DAY: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13TH
      • This is a special day for the serious boater to take advantage of any opening day specials. Preview Day is by far the best day to shop for new and previously owned powerboats and an ideal day to talk with exhibitors.
    • BROKERAGE COVE
      • Brokerage Cove, a show within a show, is overflowing with previously owned boats, presented by regional boat brokers and available for immediate sale.
    • PUSSER’S PAINKILLER PARTY BARGE
      • Enjoy an Annapolis favorite, the Painkiller, on Pusser’s Painkiller Party Barge.
    • FEE SEMINARS ON BOATING
      • Free daily seminars on boating are presented by the Chesapeake Bay Magazine and the Annapolis School of Seamanship
    • ARES OF ON-LAND EXHIBITORS
      • The powerboat show has the latest in navigational equipment, high-tech electronics, boating accessories, clothing, gear, and related services such as boating clubs, charter companies, insurance firms, and lending institutions. Boat show goers shop from a vast display of boating products and services.
  • TICKET INFO:
    • VIP Preview Day – $35
    • VIP Preview Day + Additional Day – $48
    • Adult One Day – $18
    • Adult Two Day Combo – $31
    • Children – $5 (6 & under FREE)

3 Boating-Safety Steps When Celebrating the Red, White & Blue

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A nautical safety primer for Annapolis 4th of July celebrations

July 4th is right around the corner, and for many boaters this means watching fireworks, family get-togethers, barbecues . . . and a trip to the emergency room? Unfortunately, that’s the stark reality for many patriotic seafarers.

Research conducted by the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) indicates more than half of Maryland’s annual total of boating accidents occurs between July and August. Last year, Maryland recorded 130 boating accidents that resulted in 12 fatalities and 96 injuries. These daunting statistics prompted the NRP to focus on a simple, yet obviously essential goal for this July 4th holiday: fewer boating accidents. Their game plan is straightforward, with officers deploying in full force to all state waterways from the Atlantic Ocean to Deep Creek Lake.

“Maryland has seen eight boating fatalities so far this season and that’s eight too many,” said Col. George F. Johnson IV, NRP superintendent. “Our officers will be aggressively targeting reckless and negligent boaters, and those whose judgment is impaired by alcohol or drugs.”

In 2015, the NRP conducted Operation Dry Water, a nationwide campaign to curb alcohol- and drug-impaired boating in the weeks leading up to and including July 4th. Officers arrested six people for operating under the influence of alcohol and three for drug-impaired boating while issuing 87 tickets for other violations and conducting 727 vessel safety checks. Despite these efforts, Maryland recorded four boating accidents, three of them fatal, but the NRP aren’t giving up—and they’re turning to YOU to reign in these less-than-stellar statistics.

This year, the NRP is urging Maryland boaters to take precautions to ensure the safety of passengers and those in other vessels during their 4th of July celebrations—as Johnson puts it: “When it comes to safety, you are the first line of defense, by using common sense and following simple safe boating rules you can help NRP make this a safe and happy holiday.” So avoid a citation, and more importantly, the risk of serious injury or death, by following these safety measures this holiday weekend!

1. KEEP CALM AND FLOAT ON

Before heading out, ensure your lights are in working order. Even if they worked the night before, double and triple check. With the heavy boat traffic, don’t risk your safety! Will you have enough lines and fenders for the day? Bring some extras as backup; chances are good you or a fellow boater will end up needing them!

Make sure there are enough life jackets for ALL passengers on board and that they fit well. While it may be warm and unfashionable, don’t be tempted to forgo wearing a life jacket. Remember, children ages 12 and under are required by law to wear a life jacket at all times while the boat is underway. Accidents happen quickly, and often there isn’t time to put on a life jacket once an accident has happened. Statistics consistently show that 80% of all boating fatality victims were not wearing a life jacket.

Don’t overcrowd the boat. Heed the boat’s capacity plate on the transom or by the helm, or look up the passenger capacity in the boat’s manual.

Don’t rush to get home after the fireworks display. Allow some of the boat traffic to dissipate before raising anchor.

Take the time to thoroughly brief your crew with basic emergency procedures, and show them how to contact authorities for help via marine radio or cell phone.

Ensure that you have flares and that they are up to date, but never use flares as a form of fireworks. Doing so constitutes a false distress call, which is a Class D felony, punishable by up to six years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines, plus the costs associated with the false rescue response!

2. IF YOU’RE A SKIPPER, YOU’RE NOT A SIPPER

Appoint a sober skipper to remain at the helm all evening and be responsible for returning the boat and its passengers safely to shore after the conclusion of the fireworks display. Simply put, boating and alcohol do not mix—in addition to impairing the operator’s ability to make sound judgments, intoxication also negatively affects the ability of passengers to respond in the case of an emergency on the water. The combined effects of the sun, wind, waves and a boat’s motion in the water can add to an operator’s impairment. Intoxicated boaters can face both federal and state charges with penalties of up to one year in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.

3. BE THE MAN (or woman!) WITH A PLAN

Follow the directions issued by NRP, the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary and local police as to where you may safely anchor to view the fireworks away from sparks and ash. For Annapolis-area boaters, keep in mind that the drawspan of the Eastport Bridge will be closed to boat traffic from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Boaters must avoid the 1,000-foot SAFETY ZONE around the fireworks firing area which will be established and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. At approximately 9:15 p.m., the fireworks will be launched from a barge in Annapolis Harbor.

Also be sure to file a float plan with a shore-bound friend that lists all passengers aboard, your intended destination, what the boat looks like, and when you expect to return. Instruct them what steps to take in the event that they don’t receive notification from you within a reasonable time of when you expect to reach shore at then end of the evening. Visit http://floatplancentral.org/ for a complete plan along with instructions. Select in advance the route to your fireworks-viewing destination and use a GPS to help keep you on course. While on the water, be on the lookout for other boats in the vicinity, stormy weather, or anything that appears unusual. The Coast Guard advises the public to stay aware of their surroundings, including monitoring watching water conditions, celebrating responsibly and not misusing emergency flares as fireworks. Report any emergencies to local authorities by calling 911 or VHF Channel 16.

The Best Places to Sail on the Bay

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

With its reach extending from Virginia in the south to Maryland in the north, the Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. Its interior coastline of 11,600 miles provides more sightseeing opportunities than the rest of America’s coastline combined. A year-round draw for tourists and vacationers, the bay offers a particularly enchanting allure during the fall with the changing colors of the autumn leaves and the crisp freshness of the seaborne air. Such qualities, coupled with off-season hospitality prices, lend the bay a certain measure of popularity – particularly among sailing and other ocean-going enthusiasts. The bay accommodates with numerous available destinations, ranging from the popular and suburban to the positively isolated.

One could easily spend months exploring any given portion of the Chesapeake and its tributaries, and still leave various sights and experiences un-sampled. What follows is a compilation of a few noteworthy travel destinations, popular among sailing enthusiasts and “landlubbers” alike… but perhaps uniquely enjoyable from the perspective of a waterways approach.

PAM_mapSolomons Island is a smooth 49 nautical miles (nm) from Port Annapolis. It lies just within the mouth of the Patuxent, along the western side of the bay, which leads in turn to a variety of other pleasant destinations. Further up the Patuxent, about 8 nm in, one comes to Broomes Island. Broomes is a small, pleasantly rural community, known to many for the mouth-watering fare available at Stoney’s Seafood House – a popular destination for over 20 years.

The Pearl of the Chesapeake, Rock Hall is a waterfront town located directly on the bay’s eastern shoreline, 19 nm from Port Annapolis. The local Fall Festival is not to be missed, and rural Rock Hall offers a variety of annual festivals and celebrations deeply rooted in long-standing tradition – among them, the “Pirates and Wenches Fantasy Weekend” festival in August. The town also offers a wide variety of restaurants, marinas and marine-related activities, kayak and sailboat rentals, wildlife refuges, and rustic bed-and-breakfasts.

The Chesapeake Bay’s largest island, Kent Island is located almost directly across the bay from Annapolis. The town’s modest suburban population is quite proud of their heritage – boasting locations and individuals of note going back to the late 18th century. Among the many surviving historical locations are the Cray House, the old Stevensville Post Office, and the Stevensville Train Depot; some of these locations offer rare insights into early post and plank construction methods. The island additionally offers a wide variety of scenic hiking trails, and the usual array of suburban shopping and fine dining experiences.

Baltimore is a leisurely 29 nm from Port Annapolis. Along the way, you can enjoy some of the most scenic landscapes that the northwestern portions of the Chesapeake have to offer. Baltimore offers a rich local culture, and the full range of amenities of modern city life. It’s also a city with a rich historical tradition, going back to the days of America’s founding and prior colonial life. Fort McHenry, birthplace of the national anthem of the United States, sits in the mouth of the Baltimore Harbor. It’s an excellent addition to anybody’s itinerary for a weekend excursion.

If you’re up for a longer cruise along the Chesapeake’s calm waters, you’ll find Chesapeake City, 52 nm northeast of Port Annapolis. Chesapeake City is actually split in half by the C&D Canal, which was built in 1839. The town hosts numerous old homes from that era of US history, which exist today as quaint, thoroughly enjoyable bed & breakfasts. There is a local historical museum, and several places on the national register of historic places – including the canal’s Old Luck Pump House.

Queenstown lies along the eastern coastline of the Chesapeake, almost directly east of Port Annapolis, and well worth the visit. Queenstown offers beautiful scenery and particularly rich history. Though its present population numbers only a few hundred, Queenstown was once the seat of Queen Anne’s County, and it was a major hub for trade in the 1700s. Several buildings from the town’s early history sit on the historic register, including Bloomingdale, Bowlingly, and the local St. Peter’s Church. If history isn’t your thing, the Queenstown Premium Outlets offers dozens of major name-brand shopping options. There are also several local golf courses of repute, including two 18-hole options with scenic views of the harbor: The Lakes and The River.

ThFall Leaves on the Baye episcopal parish established in Talbot County in 1677 led eventually to the founding of the town of St. Michaels in the mid-18th century, as well as being the direct inspiration for its name. 27 nm from Port Annapolis, the town’s major industries once included shipbuilding and tobacco farming. The town is an early example of urban planning in the New World, and features concepts in urban development that were innovative at the time – such as the presence of a large central square, or “town commons.” St. Michaels’ attractions include the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, well worth the visit, along with several historical civilian and naval vessels.

Sharps Light is a lighthouse set nearly 3 miles south of Tilghman Island, on a concrete foundation set into the bay itself. Its located 22 nm southeast of Port Annapolis, making it a worthy landmark for anyone’s weekend excursion in the Chesapeake’s southeastern quarter. A 1977 ice flow caused the lighthouse to tilt dramatically, evoking an effect similar to that of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The third lighthouse to be built on that location, the Sharps Island Light – a sparkplug lighthouse dating to 1882 – was deactivated in 2010. Under the guidelines of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, the location has been up for sale since 2006.

The three-mile-long Rhode River is found 11 nm south and slightly west of Port Annapolis. One of the earliest points of Maryland settlement, having been originally surveyed in the mid-17th century, Rhode River offers seven named tributaries and coves. Each of these is beautifully scenic and very welcoming for short individual trips – or perhaps a weekend-long adventure. Among the river’s attractions is the recently opened Franklin Point State Park, just off of Dent Road (which is available for daytime use, per individual agreement with the Maryland Park Service).

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of other viable destinations lining the nearly twelve thousand miles of coastline along the edges of the Chesapeake Bay; it is almost a certainty that there will always be something new to see and experience. With careful planning, even a day cruise along the Chesapeake Bay can become a series of exciting adventures!

 

Trek Across Maryland

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When Justin Berk, Meteorologist, was 14 years old he almost lost one of his legs to a diagnosis of bone cancer in his left tibia. He got a second opinion and discovered that he actually had a staph infection in his bone. Justin was in the hospital for nearly two months trying to regain his health. After years of therapy and treatment, he eventually recovered and was physically where he wanted to be.
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Last year, Justin explained that the numbers just seemed to align: He was 41-years-old and his hospitalization happened when he was 14 – a reflection of digits and time; it had been 27 years since his hospitalization (2 x 7 = 14); it was 2014; and the length of his career on TV in Baltimore had been 14 years.

Justin decided to plan a 7-day trek across the state of Maryland between Maryland’s two largest playgrounds for the kids who just want to be kids again and play (Summit of Wisp to the Inlet in Ocean City). Each day he started with a 27-mile fast paced hike (for the years since he was ill), plus 14 or more miles of biking (for the age he was when sick). Justin did this trek for Cool Kids Campaign, which is a nonprofit devoted to improving the quality of life for pediatric oncology patients and their families by focusing on the academic, social and emotional needs brought on by a cancer diagnosis.

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This year, Justin tackled the 321-mile trek again, from August 9th – 15th. On the fifth day of his trek, Port Annapolis helped Justin travel across the Chesapeake Bay aboard the Salty Miss, captained by Port Annapolis’ Mike Montgomery and slip tenant, Linda Mann, owner of Shades of the Bay.

So far, Justin has raised over $25,000 for Cool Kids Campaign. For more information about Justin’s Trek, click HERE, or to make a donation, click HERE!

 

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