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Latitude 30.41 (30° 24’)   |   Longitude -87.25 (-87° 15’)

Fall Newsletter 2018



In this issue:

  • 1906 Hurricane
  • Safety Tips
  • Winterizing your boat
  • Words of wisdom from Keith

The 1906 Mississippi hurricane was a deadly and destructive hurricane. The fourth hurricane of the season, the system was originally observed in the western Caribbean on September 22; however, it’s been revealed that the system became a tropical depression on September 19. The system slowly intensified, eventually becoming a major hurricane by September 24.The system made landfall near Pascagoula, Mississippi, during the evening of September 27, devastating the cities of Pensacola and Mobile and the state of Mississippi. Damage totaled to at least $19,221,000, and more than 134 people were killed.

Safety Tip: What to Take Aboard

No matter how careful you, your passengers, and fellow boaters may be, accidents can still happen. In the event of an incident, you should always have these items with you while you are out on your boat:

  1. Boat certificate and registration.
  2. Towing policy paperwork (if you have one).
  3. Personal flotation device (PFD) —with protective packaging removed—for each passenger.
  4. Charged and functioning fire extinguisher.
  5. Fully-stocked boating emergency/survival kit.

Winterizing your boat, It’s Florida, Should I?

For boaters up north, there’s not much choice, but what about boaters south of the mason Dixon line? According to BoatUS. insurance statistics, the state with the most reported cases of freeze-related boat damage isn’t Wisconsin or Minnesota. It’s California. Huh? Southern states such as Florida also rank high in this category, mostly because boaters there are less prepared.

By far the greatest danger of winter boat damage comes from water, which is one of the rare liquids that expands when it freezes. If you plan to use your boat year-round in the Panhandle area the temperature can dip below freezing occasionally. You should winterize systems such as the water holding tank, showers, livewells, faucets, and the head system — if your boat has them — and don’t use them during winter. It can be too much of a hassle to winterize and recommission every time you want to go out. Take a bucket instead.

The other H2O-related issue is water in your engine systems. An outboard is easy. Tilt it down to drain it, and bump the starter to clear the water pump. If you have a closed cooling system, double check that your antifreeze solution is up to snuff. For a raw-water I/O or inboard, make sure, after every use, that you drain the water that lurks internally. Usually, there are drain plugs in the block and on the back bottom of the exhaust. Tilt the outdrive down and bump the starter to allow the water pump to fully evacuate. After a few times performing this procedure, you’ll be a pro.

Sometimes, a prolonged cold snap will cause a period of inactivity, but most often it’s the real world intruding into our boating lives that’s the problem. While you might have intended to go boating at least once a month, several months can slide by before you know it. One way to minimize the risk is to start your boat every couple of weeks, even if it’s using the old “fake lake/ocean,” aka ear muffs. Don’t leave muffs attached, however, as water might remain inside the engine during a freeze. Also, keep your batteries charged.

If your boat needs professional help and you wait until spring to get it, you’re hitting the contractors at their busiest time. So it pays to take care of any problems and dealer-required maintenance in the fall or winter. When the temperatures starts to warm it time to hit the water.

Words of Wisdom from Keith:

It looks like Mother Nature is gonna keep us on our toes for the entire 2018 Hurricane Season.This is typically the most active time of the season, so please keep an eye on the tropics and be prepared.We hope everyone has had an opportunity to get on the water and enjoy living on the Emerald Coast. Don’t let September and October scare you away as there is a lot more time for you to get on the water.

We are looking forward to things cooling off in the yard.The 90 degree heat definitely makes for some challenging work conditions.But all of our crew and contractors have stayed extremely busy and we look forward to seeing the fall and winter projects begin.If you have any projects that need to be done, remember, this is a great time to contact a contractor and get on their schedule so that you can get them accomplished and be ready for next season.Plan ahead and discuss scheduling your work for next year so that you will be ready to enjoy as much of the season as possible.

We hope everyone has a safe holiday season.

See you soon!

Keith Bellflower
General Manager

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