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Waterway Guide Releases Marinas App

Date Reported: Jan 30, 2015

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

WG-Marinas-App-sm.jpg

DELTAVILLE, VA – January 30, 2015 –Waterway Guide Media, LLC announces the release of the FREE Waterway Guide Marinas App for iPhone and iPad, with detailed listings for over 3,600 marinas and boatyards. The Marinas App gives you all the information you need to make a decision about where to stay while on the water. This is a must-have reference for both weekend boaters and long-range cruisers. 

Waterway Guide has been the cruising authority since 1947 and maintains hundreds of data points provided by our marina partners. This easy-to-use app provides coverage for the same geographic areas as the Waterway Guide publications and provides a visual link to the corresponding editions: the Bahamas, Southern ICW (including Gulf ICW), Atlantic ICW, Chesapeake Bay, Northern and Great Lakes. 

Each listing includes specific information, details and services about the selected marina or boatyard. Our Featured Marinas also provide photos to assist with approach and docking. Captains can even create profiles for their yachts so the app only displays marinas that can accommodate them in terms of length, beam, draft, electricity requirements, service capabilities, etc. The embedded GPS map allows you to see at a glance your map and satellite location and the contact information for marinas and boatyards up to 100 miles ahead. The app also functions offline once downloaded. 

“We are extremely excited about this release, which is just the first of many new endeavors on the horizon for Waterway Guide,” states Jeff Jones, President of Waterway Guide Media, LLC. “This marina app is the perfect companion to the six Waterway Guide editions and web site. Stay tuned for more great Waterway Guide products.” 

The free Waterway Guide Marinas App can be downloaded for Apple devices through the iTunes Store. Android phone and tablet releases are to follow shortly. 

Source: WG Staff

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New Facebook page explores Cuba cruising

Date Reported: Jan 29, 2015

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

Cruising-Cuba.jpgAll cruisers can now visit Cuba...or, no they can't...or, only the ones who can play guitar...or...

Ever since President Obama announced that the U.S. may normalize ties with the island nation 90 miles to our south, the internet has been buzzing with "information" on who is allowed to go, under what conditions, and what a cruiser would expect to find there – and a lot of it ranges from speculation to nonsense.

Waterway Guide Cruising Editor Wally Moran has just started an exciting new Facebook page for those interested in cruising to Cuba. He was concerned about the large amount of inaccurate information online, and his new group, "Sailing and Cruising: Cuba" will feature his regular mix of good, solid information plus entertaining commentary.

Wally has sailed the entire north coast of Cuba, and returned with his own Cuban gal, Aduana, a 34 pound terrier who adopted him in Varadero. He will be returning to Cuba shortly to explore the south coast before heading to Havana and then back to the U.S.

Visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SailingandCruisingCuba/ 

Source: WG Staff

Comment submitted by mickey - Fri, Jan 30th

I agree, Facebook does not reach all of us. Put it out there for all to read

Comment submitted by Ziggy - Fri, Jan 30th

Wally,

I am writing from the library, but darn computer is asking me for same credentials, i do not have.
I ma here with Dave, no "faceplant" for me either.
How can we read about your adventures?

Regards

Capn Z.

Comment submitted by M Douglas - Thu, Jan 29th

Don't do "Faceplant". Would enjoy a link without having to link with Facebook.

Comment submitted by Wally Moran - Thu, Jan 29th

Hi Dave - I'm sorry, but not really. My suggestion to you is that you create a FB page using totally false information if you're that concerned. fyi, it is possible to keep all of your information private on FB now by selecting your preferences as you set up your account.
If you're REALLY paranoid, you would set up and use this fake account at the library on a public computer.
I don't think you need to be that concerned, really ;>)

Comment submitted by Dave McMillen - Thu, Jan 29th

Is there any chance this FaceBook page can be made available to people without a FaceBook account? Some of us are just uncomfortable getting one.

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Coast Pilot 3, Atlantic Coast, 48th Edition, now available

Date Reported: Jan 29, 2015

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

Coast-Pilot-3-2015.jpgNational Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)–U.S. Coast Pilot 3, Atlantic Coast: Sandy Hook, NJ to Cape Henry, VA, 48th Edition, 2015, has been issued and is ready for free download and weekly updates at http://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/nsd/cpdownload.htm.

The United States Coast Pilot® consists of a series of nautical books that cover a variety of information important to navigators of coastal and intracoastal waters and the Great Lakes. Issued in nine volumes, they contain supplemental information that is difficult to portray on a nautical chart.

Coast Pilot 3 covers the Atlantic coast from Sandy Hook, NJ to Cape Henry, VA, including Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay.

Only Print-on-Demand (POD) bound copies are available for purchase; see http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/staff/charts.htm#POD.

The 2015 Edition cancels the preceding 2014 Edition, and incorporates all previous corrections

Source: CG 5th District LNM 05042015

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New Northern Waterway Guide Edition released

Date Reported: Jan 28, 2015

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

WG-2015-NO.jpgThe Waterway Guide 2015 Northern edition is fresh off the presses! 

This newly-updated resource is the indispensable cruising companion for boaters exploring the Atlantic Coast from Cape May NJ through Maine, as well as the Hudson River, Long Island Sound and Cape Cod Bay.

As usual, the full-color guide features hundreds of pages of mile-by-mile navigation information, aerial photography with marked routes, marina listings and locater charts, anchorage information and expanded "Goin' Ashore" articles on ports along the way. 

Plan ahead for your spring and summer cruising – get your 2015 Waterway Guide Northern Edition at marine stores and booksellers, or at Waterway Guide's Ship Store.

Or...visit us at a boat show, including the big Miami International Boat Show February 12-16. Stop by and say hi to the Waterway Guide crew at Booth 1806 in the Accessory Room.

Source: WG Staff

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AGLCA Radio: Do-it-yourself trawler maintenance

Date Reported: Jan 28, 2015

Reported by: Janice Kromer

AGLCA-Flag.jpgEditor's Note: The America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association Blog Talk Radio Show airs at 10 a.m. each Friday – but each show is archived so you can listen anytime you want after the air date. From Janice Kromer, Executive Director, AGLCA:

The ever-popular Capt. Sterling Kennedy will be back this week for a discussion on do-it-yourself maintenance on your Trawler. Capt. Sterling will be joined by fellow trawler owner, Capt. Bill McKay. Don't forget to listen on Friday morning, January 30, 2015, at 10:00 AM Eastern Time to what will be a lively and information discussion.

You can listen by going to our website at http://www.GreatLoop.org, clicking on AGLCA Radio in the Free for Everyone section of the top navigation bar, then scrolling down to the Great Loop Radio player. Then, just left click on the arrow below the name of the show to start listening. Be sure not to tune in too far in advance or you will be listening to the show from the prior week.

You can also listen to the show on Blog Talk Radio's website. Just click here, or go to http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com and type AGLCA in the search box. That will take you directly to AGLCA's page where you can listen live, or, check out the archives. The show is also available on iTunes.

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In Memoriam – Tom Conrad

Date Reported: Jan 28, 2015

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

tom-conrad-SkipBob.jpg

The cruising community has lost a true helping hand. Tom Conrad died January 27, 2015, after a long battle with cancer.

For six years, Tom Conrad served cruisers by providing his "Weather Musings" to aid in the challenging, 170-mile passage of Florida's "Big Bend." Using his seasoned meteorological interpretation and knowledge of cruising vessels, Tom has helped countless boaters find a safe weather window to make the crossing in comfort. He recently trained and handed the helm over to a new skipper, Eddy Johnsen, who now provides his service – "Eddy's Weather Wag" – daily on the America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association (AGLCA) Forum.

Tom received the Skipper Bob Award in 2009. The Skipper Bob Award was given annually to ordinary people who have made extraordinary efforts to help the recreational boating community.

Tom and his wife, Patsy, cruised for many years, completing the Great Loop on a 28-foot Catalina sailboat in 2002, and later cruising on a 42-foot Nordic Tug – both vessels named True North. They have also come to the rescue many a time when a boater has been stranded in the Panama City area. They also served as members of the Advisory Board of AGLCA.

Our sincere condolences go out to Patsy and their family and friends. Thank you, Tom, for your friendship and service to the cruising community. May you rest in peace.

Visit the Heritage Funeral Services website for obituary and memorial information. 

Source: WG Staff

Comment submitted by Don Radcliffe - Thu, Jan 29th

I remember getting Tom's weather musings for weeks before I made the crossing. Every day, long before I got up, Tom would have been accumulating all the weather information available and throwing in his own 'Kentucky windage' based on feedback from hundreds of Great Loopers who followed his advice. I can only hope that it took his mind off his health issues. Thanks again, Tom and rest in peace.

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Federal tax provisions for boats extended

Date Reported: Jan 28, 2015

BoatUS-Tax-Breaks-Extended.jpgA press release from BoatUS:

In an exceptional act of agreement, the recently departed 113th Congress did the right thing for boat owners. It extended some boat sales tax and mortgage interest deductions when filing a 2014 federal income tax return. The catch is a boat has to include a sleeping berth, cooking and toilet facilities, and is offered to new owners who paid substantial state sales taxes on a new or used boat purchase last year. If there is a loan taken, mortgage interest paid on the loan may be also be deducted from your federal income taxes, according to the nation’s largest boater’s advocacy group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS).

The Sales Tax Deduction

The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 continues to offer a federal tax deduction for state sales taxes. Boaters must choose either the state sales tax deduction or state income tax deduction on their federal tax return — you cannot take both.

In addition, to take the state sales tax deduction, the sales tax on a boat purchase must be applied at the same tax rate as the state’s general sales tax. In order to claim the sales tax deduction, tax returns must be itemized. State sales taxes are entered on IRS form Schedule A, line 5b.

The Boat Loan Deduction

For those owners with a secured boat loan, mortgage interest paid on the loan may be deducted from your federal income taxes. Taxpayers may use the home mortgage interest deduction for one second home in addition to their primary home, and must itemize deductions on their returns. A boat is considered a second home for federal tax purposes if it has a galley, an installed head and sleeping berth.

During federal budget negotiations last year, some in Congress sought to eliminate this deduction for boat owners while keeping it in place for second home and recreational vehicle owners. BoatUS advocated for a more equitable all-or-nothing approach when applying the deduction, and boaters did not get unfairly singled out.

Some boaters may be unaware of this potential tax benefit because not all lending institutions send borrowers an Internal Revenue Service form 1098 which reports the interest paid. Not receiving the form does not preclude taking the deduction. If a 1098 is not available, boaters should contact their lender for the amount of interest paid and should enter it on line 11 on Schedule A along with the lender’s tax ID number. If a form 1098 is sent, boaters should simply enter the amount on line 10 of Schedule A.

Sorry, AMT

For those who fall under the Alternative Minimum Tax, most deductions are unavailable. Boaters are urged to contact a tax preparer or financial advisor for more information.

For more details on the mortgage deduction on boats that qualify, go to www.IRS.gov and download Publication 936 or the Fact Sheets. For state tax deduction information, download Publication 600 which also includes state-by-state tax tables.

Source: BoatUS

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Potable water systems

Date Reported: Jan 24, 2015

Reported by: Steve D'Antonio

Water-Filter.jpg

Unlike propulsion, steering and watertight integrity, potable water systems are rarely thought of as critical.  After all, the vessel will continue to function safely without potable water.  However, the crew is another matter, without clean
 water they can be stricken with debilitating illnesses, which in turn may compromise the safe operation of the vessel.  Therefore, close attention should be paid to this all too critical system.

Begin the analysis of your system with the tank, what is it made from and has it ever been opened and inspected?  Ideal potable water tank materials include 316L stainless steel, fiberglass that is coated with...

To view the rest of this article and more, please follow this link:  

www.stevedmarineconsulting.com/potable-water-systems

This is an excerpt from Steve D' Antonio's "Marine Systems Excellence" blog. With nearly 25 years of experience as a marine mechanic, electrician, consultant and boatyard manager, Steve ranks as one of the most knowledgeable boating experts in the country. His ability to explain highly technical information on a wide array of boating topics in a clear, easy to read and easy to use manner has made him one of the most widely read boating writers and lecturers today. Steve's commitment is to strive to improve the safety and reliability of boating products while increasing the confidence and enjoyment boat owners. In short, Steve strives to help bring the fun back to searching for, building, maintaining, repairing and owning a boat. Text and photo by Steve D'Antonio - © 2014

Upcoming Events

Steve will attend the 2015 Miami Boat Show from February 12th - 14th. For more information on the show, please click here.

The second Trawler and Motor Vessel Technical Training Workshop led by Steve D'Antonio and assisted by Keith Ruse, with guest lecturers Ralph Naranjo and Jeff Merrill, will be held on April 18th - 19th, 2015, offering two more instructors over two days and a variety of new topics and hands-on sessions. We have reached our attendance limit of 26 students. To be added to our waiting list, please e-mail katie@stevedmarine.com, or for more information on the class, please click here.

Source: Steve D'Antonio Marine Consulting, Inc.

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Florida transportation public forums to be held in February

Date Reported: Jan 21, 2015

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

Florida-FTP2060.jpgWith around 120,000 miles of roads, 2,793 railway miles, and 3,475 Miles of waterway routes, transportation is a big deal in Florida – and there could be some big changes to the railways and railway bridges in the near future. The Florida DOT is holding public meetings to gather input on the future of transportation in the state, although the outline does not include non-commercial use of waterways, nor the new All Aboard Florida passenger rail service:

The Florida Department of Transportation will continue to gather input that will guide the update of the Florida Transportation Plan and Strategic Intermodal System Policy Plan through a series of Regional Forums. Those who attend the Regional Forums will have the opportunity to participate in collaborative visioning exercises similar to those that took place at Florida's Transportation Visioning Summit. Each Regional Forum will involve the five potential Alternative Futures that were presented at Florida's Transportation Visioning Summit.

FDOT has scheduled five regional forums throughout the state on the
following dates:

Monday February 2, 2015
Sebring Civic Center

335 West Center Avenue
Sebring, Florida 33870
1:00-5:00 p.m.

Tuesday February 3, 2015
Marriott Hotel at Tampa
International Airport

4100 George J Bean Parkway
Tampa, Florida 33607
1:00-5:00 p.m.

Thursday February 5, 2015
Delray Beach Old School Square

51 North Swinton Avenue
Delray Beach, Florida 33444
1:00-5:00 p.m.

Wednesday February 11, 2015
FDOT District 2 Urban Office
Training Facility

2198 Edison Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida 32204
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Thursday February 12, 2015
Emerald Coast Convention Center

1250 Miracle Strip Parkway SE
Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548
1:00-5:00 p.m.

 

The Florida DOT wants to hear your input and hopes you will consider attending one or more of these forums. Please take a moment to register for the regional forum you plan on attending so that they can more effectively plan each event. There is no registration fee for the Transportation Visioning Regional Forums. See the Florida Transportation Plan website for more information.

Source: Florida Department of Transportation

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BoatUS cuts cost of online boating education

Date Reported: Jan 13, 2015

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

BoatUS-Weather-Course.jpgBoatUS offers several very-helpful online courses at very low prices – and now they are even lower, according to a press release:

When cold weather conspires to keep boaters off the water, it’s time to move inside by the fire and take one of many online boating safety courses offered by the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, US Power Squadrons and Offshore Sailing School partners. Accessible by computer, tablet or smartphone, the series of no-cost and tuition-based courses – now discounted for 2015 – give boating families time to brush up on their boating knowledge, get more confident, meet their state’s boating safety course requirements or even qualify them for a boat insurance discount. In addition to 33 individual, no cost, state-approved boating safety courses, BoatUS offers:

Weather for Boaters: Have you ever had the weather ruin your weekend on the water? What if you could anticipate the weather changes and understand what your observations really mean? From learning to recognize the early signs of changing weather to the basics of understanding storms, squalls, fog and wind shifts - the newest course from the United States Power Squadrons will help you to make an informed decision about weather to go or stay. Cost: $24.95 (formerly $35). 

Boating on Rivers, Lakes and Locks: This one is the best for inland boating families. Learn what you must know to boat on our inland waterways with confidence and increase your fun on the water. Created in partnership with the US Power Squadrons, this course will teach boaters the ins and outs of inland boating, from reading a river to navigating locks to boating near dams. Cost: $24.95 (formerly $35). 

Partner in Command: Are you a regular passenger or crew on a power or sailboat? Learn essential information on how to assist in the safe operation and become more confident with anchoring, signaling, handling emergencies and more. Cost: $24.95 (formerly $35).

Learn to Sail: Jump-start your sailing life or refresh your sailing techniques with the interactive lessons from America's #1 Sailing School. With this innovative online course full of video and animations, beginners will gain the knowledge to make sailing a breeze.Cost: $55 (formerly $75).

Clean Boating Course: As boaters, we have a close connection to the health of our waterways. This free course will show you the simple steps you can take to reduce the impact of boating activities on our waterways. There are also four individual courses tailored to boaters in MA, NJ, NC, and TX. Cost: $0.

DSC-VHF Radio Tutorial: What is Digital Selective Calling VHF radio, how does it work, and how can it save lives by working seamlessly with the new nationwide rescue system, “Rescue 21”? This video tutorial, at BoatUS.org/dsc, will show you how. Cost: $0.

It’s easy to start and stop any of courses at anytime, working well with today’s busy schedules. Members of BoatUS, US Power Squadrons, Canadian Power Squadrons, US Coast Guard Auxiliary and Great Lakes Cruising Club receive an additional 20% discount. To see the courses available, go to: BoatUS.org/courses.

Source: BoatUS Foundation Online Learning Center

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NOTICE: The information presented on this web site should not be used for navigation. Mariners should have the latest charts and USCG Local Notice to Mariners on their vessel when cruising. The information on this web site was correct when first obtained, but may change with time as waterway shoaling moves, new obstacles move into the waterway, etc. The information is provided only to alert you to possible problems or changes in the waterway; not as an aid to navigation.