10 Things For Your Boat

Cal StaggersI read a great article today (see it here) called “10 Things You May Not Have in Your Boat, But Probably Should.”  It outlines some essential tools and safety equipment that you may not think to keep at first, but which, as the title of the article tells us, you probably should.  I will summarize the list and reasons for each item from the article below.

1. Jumper Cables – We all know what a terrible feeling it is to be stranded somewhere and suddenly have your car not start.  Now imagine that same feeling, but you’re surrounded by water.

2. Buoys – Many people these days neglect the old fashioned navigation tools for those that are more technologically advanced.  Sometimes, though, it’s nice to have both options.

3. Extra Life Preserver – Having one or two more than you need can’t hurt.

4. Old Fashioned Ice Fishing Depth Finder – This is a pretty specific item, for specific boating activities.  Probably not everyone will need this.

5. Rope – This is something you don’t want to need and not have.  It serves countless purposes, including tying your boat to the dock, towing someone, or being towed.  What you definitely don’t want is to have neither jumper cables, nor rope for a tow.

6. Small Anchor – This is useful for fishing on a windy day.

7. Toilet Paper – Boat ramp facilities often run out of this, so as a back up it’s a good idea to have some of your own.

8. Cable Ties – These are useful for securing things all over your boat.

9. Multi-Tool – While still having everything you need, this item is less cumbersome and takes up less space than a tool box.

10. Quality Side Cutters – Useful for making difficult cuts.  Often times your multi tool or whatever cutters come with your tool box might not be quite strong enough.

This was a really useful article, and offers some great ideas.  Boating blogs and websites can be a great place to discover information like this.


Interesting Boats – Cal Staggers

Cal Staggers


As someone who just loves boating, I don’t need any sort of futuristic boat design or futuristic gadgets to get me excited about getting out on the water.  But interesting, state of the art boats can be very intriguing to say the least.  So below, please find a list of some such boats with a brief explanation of each.

The Origami Yacht: This boat has not yet been made.  It is still only in the concept phase of development.  Still, it is very intriguing.  The point of it seems to be to combine both speed and luxury.  Depending on which of these boaters want at a given time, this boat can be rigid, sleek, and compact, or it can be folded out (hence the name origami yacht) to enhance the size of the deck.  Its sounds like an interesting idea, and I’d be excited to see one of these in action in the water.

Plastiki: This boat is not only innovative, it is also quite funny.  Plastiki is made of 12,500 recycled plastic bottles, and even the parts that are not made of recycled plastic are made of other recycled and/or environmentally friendly goods.  A boat made out of 12,500 plastic bottles may sound like a joke, but there was no joke about the successful 8,000 mile voyage a crew made with this boat across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney Australia.  It even, apparently, made it through a couple of storms along the way.

Luxury Spa Fishing Boat: The Vulkana, a boat that sails along the waterways of the Arctic Circle, looks like an old Nordic fishing boat from the outside.  But inside you won’t find nets, hooks, or other equipment used for fishing.  Instead you’ll find a spa that includes a Turkish bath, a sauna, and a hot tub.  This is certainly not a book you can judge by its cover!

To see more information about these and other interesting boats, visit the Unusual Boats section of boatline.com.

Ways to Make Your Kids Love Boating – Cal Staggers

Cal Staggers

I came across an article about making your kids fall in love with boating.  Since family is the most important thing to me and boating is my favorite hobby, I thought this was a perfect article to share.  You can click the link above to read the full article if you’d like, but I will summarize it below.

When I first saw the article, I thought to myself, “What about boating could a kid not love?”  The author pointed out that many children can be overwhelmed by rules and boredom, and I suppose I can see what the author is talking about.  There are quite a few safety concerns that children must learn when they step onto a boat, but I think it is important to make sure they also learn the about the fun parts of the boating experience.  And there are, of course, many fun and stimulating activities to introduce them to.

First, and probably most obvious is fishing.  The surprise and excitement when your son or daughter catches their first fish is truly magical.  You can also introduce your children to paddle sports such as kayaking, which, since they involve more exertion than motor boating for example, kids can find more stimulating than just relaxing in a boat on the water (even thought that might sound just great to Mom and Dad!).

Sailing and power boating are also very fun.  With sailing there is a lot for your children to participate in, and power boating is just plain exciting because you move so fast, so these are excellent ways to help you children build a report with the water and water sports.  And if you do go power boating, a natural next step are board sports.  Water skiing and wake boarding do involve quite a bit of learning and skill, so they can be frustrating at first, but kneeboarding should not be overlooked as a good introduction to such sports, and is even quite fun in itself.

Of course it is most important to make sure these activities are done with all safety precautions taken.  Be safe and have a good time!

Tips on Boating Safety – Cal Staggers’ Blog

Boat Safety - Cal Staggers

Boating Safety 

Boating is a great summer pastime or life-long hobby.  Whether you’re a skilled sailor or it’s your first time manning your own vessel, it’s easy to get caught up in the activity and forget how important it is to always be alert and cautious. Make sure you always take a few minutes to brush up on some safety tips before you hit the open water.

Don’t Forget the Smaller Details

Always be aware of what is happening on and around your boat.  Make sure you are operating your vessel at safe speeds at all times and are extremely aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.  Take note of buoys that are placed in the water, as they are there to alert boaters of potential dangers.

Always check the weather before you move into open water.  However, if you forget to check the forecast or there is a sudden change in the weather, take action and stay alert.  If the wind picks up considerably, the sky begins to darken or there is a drastic drop in temperature, return to land as quickly as possible.

Before you cast off, always let someone know where you are going.  Whether it is a family member or a staff member at the marina, make sure someone knows where you are planning to travel and approximately how long you anticipate being out on the water.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Make sure you are prepared when you leave for the day.  Before you depart, create a list of all the things you could possibly need out on the water. Be sure to go over safety precautious with passengers and let them know what they should do in the event of an emergency.   Also check to make sure that you have enough fuel to power your boat throughout the day.

Always have lifejackets on board.  Most drowning fatalities associated with boating occur because there are not an adequate number of lifejackets on board.  Make sure you have at least one for every person onboard.  Even the most experienced swimmers could find themselves in a situation where they need a lifejacket.

Brush up on Your Skills Regularly

If you are going to spend time on a boat or around water, you should learn how to swim.  Even if you know how to swim, consider taking a class at a local swim club to work on technique and build endurance to become a stronger swimmer.

Take a boating course regularly to make sure you always remember the boating safety rules during operation.  Also consider taking your boat to a free Vessel Safety Check.  The US Coast Guard offers free examinations to ensure your vessel meets standard safety regulations.

For more information on safe boating, please be sure to visit the original article here: http://www.discoverboating.com/beginner/safety/tips.aspx

Things to do in Naples, Florida – Cal Staggers’ Blog

What to Do in Naples, Florida Photo on Cal Staggers' Blog.

Things to do in Naples, Florida

If you are looking for a place to travel to for your next vacation and love abundant sunshine, warm weather, beaches and historical attractions, Naples, Florida might be the place for you.  Through the ages, Naples has been affectionately called “summerland in wintertime.”   The town, originally regarded as a “sportsman’s paradise” that attracted multitudes of fishermen and hunters, quickly gained a reputation as a premier resort town, attracting many important visitors over the years.  Here are just of few of the interesting and beautiful historical sites you can visit in downtown Naples thanks to the preservation efforts of the Naples Historical Society.

Palm Cottage

Palm Cottage was built in 1895 and is the oldest house in Naples today. Located on the corner of 12th Avenue and Gulfshore Boulevard, the Palm Cottage house museum is an extremely well preserved example of Tabbie Mortar Construction.  The handmade concrete consisting of sand, shells and water is something very seldom seen today.

Norris Gardens

While you are touring Palm Cottage, be sure to take a look at the magnificent garden.  Norris Gardens allows visitors to take a walk through Naples’s landscape history, featuring exhibits like The Garden of the Sense, The Palm Collector’s Garden, The Edible Garden, The Pioneer Garden, and The Shade Garden.  Each walk appeals to different interests.  Whether you are looing for exotic plants, fragrant plants of just a shady place to sit and enjoy nature’s beauty, Norris Garden’s has a path for you.

Naples’s Historic District

A walking tour of Naples’s Historic District is a dream come true for any and all history aficionados.  The tour allows patrons to take a step back in time and imagine what the original Naples on the Gulf was like at the end of the ninetieth century.  The tour includes a walk along Third Street South, where visitors can envision the original movie theatre, general store and gas station abuzz with customers.  The tour also takes visitors past the location where the Naples Hotel, which hosted many notable guests, once stood.  Visitors also get the opportunity to walk through the neighborhoods of Old Naples where the city’s founders and other notable families once lived.

For more information about the various attractions in Naples, Florida, please visit http://www.naplesdowntown.com/naples-activities.htm.