Summer is here...is your vessel ready for the heat, wind and rain?
The heat of a Southwest Florida summer makes airconditioning essential, even on your boat. If your vessel is kept in the water, it's a good idea to leave the AC on cool or at least dehumidify around the clock. This will keep condensation and mold at bay. Doing so, however, will require a few routine maintenance checks. First, make sure your sea strainer is checked regularly (once a month in winter, every week or two in summer). Next, make sure nothing is blocking the return air grates. Finally, periodically check the air filter on the air handler. This often gets overlooked, but is important because a dirty filter can lead to the air handler actually turning into a block of ice! It is also recommended to have your AC serviced by a professional this time of year. Only they can properly flush the cooling lines and recharge the refrigerant.
If you "summer" up north and leave your boat to sit idle while you're away, it's at risk for exterior motor and/or cylinder corrosion. Many local service providers offer summerization options to prevent this corrosion and help ensure your boat is in tip-top shape when you return for another Naples' season. Options include a chemical flush of your engine, a freshwater system flush, fogging the cylinders, adding extra fuel stabilizer, or spraying corrosion inhibitor on vital engine components. Here is a list of Hamilton Harbor's preferred providers and the engines they service...
||Mercruiser, Mercury, Sea Ray's with Diesels
|Naples Boat Mart
||Diesel Cat, Cummins, Volvo, Yanmar, Lehman, Onan
|The Boat Place
|Hinckley Yacht Service
|Gulf Shores Marine
||Mercury, Yamaha, Suzuki, Mercruiser, Crusader, Indmar
|Keith Forman Marin
Along with summer comes hurricane season, which began on June 1st. Protect your boat in a safe harbor with Hamilton Harbor's Summer Storage Program. Our steel-reinforced concrete boathouse is designed to withstand hurricane force winds up to 150 mph. Enjoy peace of mind along with unlimited boat launches and discounted marine fuel. Prices start at $17 per linear foot with no minimum lease term. A social membership is required for summer storage and comes with a variety of benefits including waterfront dining and reciprocal club privileges. Summer storage is a temporary benefit of social membership. For more information, please call Membership Director Pat Schulz at 239-775-0506.
Summertime is just around the corner, which means afternoon thunderstorms aren't far behind. It's always wise to check weather conditions before heading out, but if you find yourself on the water during a storm, here are a few tips on how to stay safe.
~ Close all hatches, windows and doors to reduce the chance of swamping.
~ Keep bilges free of water. Be prepared to remove water by bailing.
~ Disconnect all electrical equipment and stay clear of metal objects.
~ Have passengers put on a life vest and sit on the vessel floor close to the centerline to make the boat more stable.
~ If you choose to head for the nearest shore, turn the bow into the waves at a 45 degree angle. Slow down, but keep enough power to maintain headway and steering.
~ To ride out the storm in open water, drop a sea anchor on a line off the bow to keep the bow headed into the wind and reduce drifting.
Check out Hamilton Harbor's online Weatherbug Station for up-to-the-minute storm information as well as a live weather web cam!
In and around the home waters of Hamilton Harbor, the spring fishing bite is in full swing! Gamefish species are now staged in their traditional haunts testing the tackle, skills and wills of anglers. It's one of the best times of the year to catch The Big Three...snook, tarpon and permit. From points south of Marco Island northward to Bonita Beach, the tarpon are teeming and best caught early or late in the day. Snook can now be found prowling the area beaches, middle bays and passes. Tide is critical to your snook success as this feisty fish feeds during times of swift water movement. On the offshore, the permit are here for their annual spring/summer spawning cycle, so catching a twenty to forty pounder isn't unusual. Click here to check out the best type of gear to use for your saltwater fishing adventure!
We'll be doing a little fishing of our own here at Hamilton Harbor on Saturday, June 9th, when we invite kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County to throw a line from our docks in honor of National Marina Day. It will be the first time fishing for many of these kids and we can't wait to help them reel in some big ones!
More and more women are discovering the joys of getting on the water, but they often leave the navigating to the men. Not anymore! Marine Max is helping to put more women at the helm with complimentary Women on Water(W.O.W) classes. Designed as a hands-on experience, women learn basic marine rules, how to dock a boat, tie marine knots and use a marine radio, among other things. Small group classes, for women only, are taught by Coast Guard certified captains in a classroom setting and behind the wheel of a boat. Hamilton Harbor members recently participated in a W.O.W. class right in our own harbor (see photo)! To register for an upcoming Marine Max Women on Water class, or for more information, call 239-262-1000. Find more tips on how to be a woman at the helm here!
The weather in Southwest Florida during March and April couldn’t be more perfect for boating. Follow these tips for reducing fuel usage and you’ll enjoy more time on the water for less money…
Tune up and slow down. A well-tuned engine and slower speeds mean less fuel usage.
Make proper use of trim tabs to reduce drag, especially while accelerating.
Minimize time idling at the dock.
Use dockside electrical power in lieu of onboard generators.
Have a float plan so you spend less time wandering the waters.
Launch with a clean hull.
Avoid under powering your boat. You need enough motor to handle the load.
Check your propeller. If your boat is slow "out of the hole" or lacks top-end speed, you might have the wrong propeller.
Use the grade of gasoline specified by the engine manufacturer.
Remember to stop by the Hamilton Harbor Fuel Dock for all of your boating needs, including non-ethanol fuel, bait, snacks and drinks. We offer premium service less than 10 minutes from Gordon Pass!
Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club was built in the tradition of two great Southwest Florida clubs also founded by the Collier family- the Useppa Island Club and the Everglades Rod and Gun Club. These clubs introduced United States Presidents and captains of industry to the rustic hospitality of a new frontier in recreation and sport.
In fact, it was a visit to Useppa Island in 1911 that began Barron Gift Collier's love affair with Southwest Florida. A barrier island off the coast of Lee County, Useppa was the first of what would become an extended series of land purchases by Mr. Collier that would eventually total 1.3 million acres. On Useppa, he created a classic club named The Izaak Walton Fishing Club. Here, tarpon fishing became a passion; Rockefellers and Rothschilds were his guests, as were Gloria Swanson, Shirley Temple and Zane Grey. Although Collier's club was virtually destroyed by a mid-century hurricane, it has now been rebuilt to greet new generations of those seeking the simple elegance and tranquility of Useppa Island.
The Everglades Rod & Gun Club also was a Collier creation. In 1923, while engaged in the building of the Tamiami Trail, he recognized that Everglades City in Southern Collier County was ideally located as a headquarters for the project. As this small fishing village became a boomtown, Collier converted what had been the homestead of the area's founding family into the Rod & Gun Club, a riverfront, wood-paneled haven for hunting and fishing enthusiasts including Ernest Hemingway and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Part memory and part legacy, this rich past provided a clear roadmap for Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club. Its Old Florida architecture and unaffected style reflect its roots. Its facilities and service mirror the standards set by its founder. And, its respect for the land -some 160 acres of preserve and one and one half miles of protected shoreline - sustains a family and company committment that spans generations.
Buying a pre-owned boat doesn't necessarily mean settling for less. Check out these like-new vessels for sale by members of Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club...
|2001 Tiara 31 Express Cruiser captain maintained throughout its ownership. This beautiful boat has been run for approximately 650 hours and comes fully equipped with most factory options, including air conditioning, generator, Teak and Holly sole, a full complement of instruments and a new sound system with iPod docking station. Offered at $99,000. Call Craig Bradley at 239-592-9891.
|Practically new 43' Azimut in pristine condition has only 141 hours on its Cummings motors. Always stored indoors, this boat has been generously maintained with new additions made frequently, like a full mooring cover to protect it down to the water line. Call Ed Abel at 239-253-2984.
|2010 Everglades Center Console with T-Top and twin 350 horsepower Yamaha engines that have only been run for approximately 270 hours. This boat was tailor made for the fisherman with full Simrad electronics, GPS, radar, navigation plotter, 2-NSE-12 displays, sounder, side scan, satellite weather, Icom VHF radio, digital antenna, video camera, outriggers, windlass, full head, tackle station, live well and much more! Contact George McLaughlin at 847-275-2767 or email@example.com.
Historic villages, islands accessible only by boat, locally colorful restaurants, and all-to-yourself beaches await within a boating daytrip from Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club. Here are just a few of our favorite ports-of-call...
BOATERS DREAM BOCA GRANDE
If you're looking for a full day of adventure, head north to Gasparilla Island and its charming historic village of Boca Grande. Pull into the yacht-full harbor at Boca Grande Marina (formerly Miller's Marina), where you can choose from two waterfront restaurants. If you'd rather hit a local beach cafe or downtown eatery, rent a bike or golf cart from the marina - both are allowed on bike paths and downtown city streets. Do a little shopping, tour the vintage architecture, hit the beach, or step into the local boating heritage at the funky, dusty maritime museum at Whidden's Marina. If you're tempted to stay longer, Boca Grande Marina offers overnight docking.
KICK-BACK CABBAGE KEY
Closer and more casual, Cabbage Key Inn welcomes boaters for the ultimate Southwest Florida island experience far away from the mainstream. Order a cold one at the congenial bar, tape your autographed dollar bill to the George Washington papered walls, relive Jimmy Buffet's Cheeseburger in Paradise fantasy, feed the ducks, take a nature hike, or spend the night in a historic cottage or inn room.
A trio of restaurants, each with more character than the last, rims the mangrove-edged harbor in Goodland, which qualifies as a prototype for "old Florida fishing village." Poised between Marco Island and the Everglades, it's a fun-loving place where folks celebrate Sundays doing the Buzzard Lope. Invented at Stan's Idle Hour, this backwater version of the Chicken Dance is as fun to watch as perform. Mosey from Stan's to Little Bar and Old Marco Lodge Crab House to party with the locals and get your fill of fresh seafood.
Written for Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club by Chelle Walton, a freelance travel writer living on Sanibel Island, Florida.
If you love to sail, you're in good company at Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club.
Member Trevor Moore, along with teammate Eric Storck, recently placed 9th in the world at the 2011 ISAF World Championship, securing their chance to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games! Last month, they continued their winning streak taking silver in the 2012 Rolex Miami OCR. Follow their Olympic journey here.
Members Ed Palm and Rob Butler also love some wind in their sails and just last week competed in the Quantum Key West 2012, one of the most prestigious winter season sailing regattas in the world. Mr. Palm and his J-95 "Still Crazy" placed 6th in the PHRF 2 Category and Mr. Butler and his wife Sandy sailed their new McConaghy (pictured above) to 1st place in the high performance category.
Like to sail but don't own a sailboat? Hamilton Harbor is home to a J-95 that's available for charter to slip and social members. Call 239-775-0506 for more information.
The winter boat show season kicked-off last week in New York City where the hottest trends in all things watercraft were showcased alongside a new optimism for the boating industry. The National Marine Manufacturers Association predicts that new boat sales will have ended higher in 2011 than they have for the last five years (read more). But as consumers test the boat-buying waters, they also continue to look for ways to accessorize the boat they already have, and 2012’s hot new boating gadgets don’t disappoint.
Among the most coveted is the Raymarine e7 Multifunction Display, also known as the smart phone for your boat. The e7’s Wi-FI connectivity lets boaters stream live video from the e7 to their iPhone or IPad so everyone on board can see thermal video, navigation charts, radar, sonar or anything on display. It provides networking with up to six displays along with a remote system control, music over Bluetooth and a sleek, new low profile design with Raymarine’s HybridTouch™ technology. Also on the savvy boater’s 2012 wish list is FLIR’s thermal night vision camera. The heat-seeking technology behind this camera allows boaters to see floating debris, channel markers and other boats in total darkness, making nighttime navigation safe and simple. It’s the ultimate extra pair of eyes when docking in the dark!
Take a dip into the boating marketing and see 2012’s best accessories for yourself at the Naples Boat Show January 26-29th. Be sure to stop by and see us at the Hamilton Harbor booth! Or, check out a few of the boat shows happening nationwide.