Winterfest Cancels 2020 Boat Parade

Winterfest Cancels 2020 Boat Parade in Fort Lauderdale

Tune in for the Winterfest Holiday TV Special Down Memory Lane on Channel 7 Saturday, December 19th at 10 am

The 2020 Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade in Fort Lauderdale scheduled for Saturday, December 12, has been canceled due to ongoing coronavirus concerns and the organization’s unwavering commitment to the health and safety of participants and spectators. The event will resume in 2021 with the 50th Anniversary of the Winterfest Boat Parade.

The annual television special will move forward on Saturday, December 19, at 10 am and focuses on the Best of the Parade with a “Home for the Holidays” theme. The 2020 television special produced by WSVN Channel 7 will blend the retrospect and a combination of special surprises. The television special scheduled to air in December will bring the best of decorated boats into the comfort of viewers’ homes. The special will air again on Christmas and New Year’s Day along with additional airings on Fox Sports Sun.

For more information, visit https://winterfestparade.com

Fort Lauderdale Boat Show 2020

Fort Lauderdale Boat Show 2020

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Will Take Place In 2020 With Enhanced Safety Protocols

The 61st annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show will come to port on Fort Lauderdale Beach, October 28-November 1, 2020. This year’s boat show is making several safety precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including thermometer checks, requiring maks, sanitation stations, and winding the dock space.

With more than 90 acres of event space, there will be plenty of room to enjoy a lovely day with your friends and family exploring the latest and greatest in the boating industry.

Purchase your tickets ahead of time to avoid the lines. There are 13 entrances for this year’s show along A1A. Parking is available at the new garage at 200 Las Olas Circle, on the north side of the Las Olas Boulevard Bridge.

Purchase Tickets to the Boat Show

Fort Lauderdale Boat Show Website

2020 Lobster Season Tips

2020 Lobster Season Tips Fort Lauderdale

Lobster Season Tips for a Successful Hunt in Fort Lauderdale

The Lobster Mini Season in Fort Lauderdale will officially begin at 12:01 am on Wednesday, July 29, and ends at midnight on Thursday, July 30. The regular 8-month lobster season will start on August 6 and runs through March 31, 2021. This year is forecast to be very active, with more permits sold than last year, and excellent weather conditions. Before you head out on the water, review our tips below to ensure a safe and successful bug hunt!

Remember- Safety First

There is always a risk associated with scuba diving, especially during the lobster mini-season. With thousands of recreational boaters on the water at once, make sure to have your dive flag visible, bring a spotter, and keep your eyes and ears open. The 2020 Lobster Season will see more divers on the water than in the past with a 9% increase in permits sold vs. last year. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 176,190 resident lobster permits and 41,509 non-resident lobster permits sold this year.

Know Your Limitations

During the mini-season, recreational divers and snorkelers can take a maximum of twelve lobsters per person per day in Broward and Miami Dade Counties except for Biscayne National Park, where you can only take six. In the primary lobster season, one can take a maximum of six lobsters per person per day.

See the official Lobster Season rules.

Size Does Matter

It is important to remember the lobster’s body excluding the tail should be larger than 3″, measured in the water. One should carry a measuring device at all times. Possession limits are strictly enforced on and off the water. Also, be sure to check to see if the lobster is pregnant. You can see visible orange eggs on the bottom of the tail. Be sure to leave these bugs for future generations to grow. 

Buy a Spiny Lobster Permit

You must have a recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit to participate in Lobster Season. To acquire these items, one can easily pick them from a local Publix Supermarket or online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. The process is simple and only takes a few minutes to complete.

Purchase the Correct Lobster Catching Equipment

There is nothing more frustrating than malfunctioning equipment during a dive. From a leaking mask to a broken regulator, make sure to have your gear tested and prepped for this season. There are many specialty lobster catching equipment you can purchase online or at a dive shop. These items can include an underwater measuring stick, tickle stick, a net, noose, and lobster bag. 

View our blog post on the best lobster catching equipment to purchase, click here.

For more information about the 2020 Lobster Season in Broward County, please call the marina at 954-527-1829 or click here.

How to Prepare Your Boat for the 2020 Hurricane Season

How to Protect Your Boat from Damage During the 2020 Hurricane Season: June 1 – November 30

While we may be a bit fatigued from preparing for the unknown, Florida’s hurricane season runs June 1st – November 30th, with the peak of the season in August and September. This is the sixth year in a row that a tropical depression has formed before the official start of hurricane season, kicking off what experts predict will be an active season.

Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricane researchers are predicting an above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2020, with the likely absence of El Niño as a primary factor. Tropical and subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are also warmer than usual, a factor supporting an active hurricane season ahead. The Weather Company calls for 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes.

As many south Florida boaters know from experience that it only takes one storm to cause complete destruction- so now is the best time to prepare your boat for a potential hurricane.

Top 10 Hurricane Season Boat Preparedness Tips

Create a Hurricane Plan for Your Boat

The first step in preparing for hurricane season is to create a hurricane plan well before a storm approaches. When formulating a hurricane plan, always keep in mind that life comes before property. Customers are our key priority, so to ensure your safety we strongly encourage that you heed all evacuation notices issued by your local county emergency management office regardless of the vulnerability of your boat.

Know Your Boat Insurance Policy

Secure all of your important boat documents in an easily accessible location on dry land and make sure your insurance policy is up-to-date. Become familiar with your policy and contact your provider prior to a storm if you have any questions. To help with claims, take photos and videos of your boat before and after to show proof of damages, and inventory all equipment on your boat.

Get to Boat on Dry Land  

The best place to store your boat during a hurricane is indoors at a dry boat storage facility, like Riverfront Marina. If you do not have access to indoor dry storage,  smaller boats under 35-feet can be safely stored on land. Whether the boat is on a trailer, next to your house, or at a dry storage parking like Happy Trailer Storage Facility, boats that are stored dry typically see less damage than those left in the water during a hurricane. Be sure to store the boat on high ground to avoid flooding and place additional jack stands along with areas of the hull that are reinforced by bulkheads. Place pieces of plywood under the stands to prevent them from sinking into the ground, and chain together jack stands to prevent them from spreading apart.

Securing Your Boat on a Trailer

Tying your boat to its trailer helps prevent it from floating away in the storm surge or flooding a hurricane brings. If you’re keeping it on a trailer outside, choose a location away from trees and electricity poles, preferably next to a building or other structure that provides a shield from the wind. Place blocks beneath the frame on either side of the wheels, and deflate the tires. Tie the boat to the trailer and secure the boat to ground the best you can.

Remove and Secure Items to Reduce Wind Damage

If you leave the boat outside during a storm, remove anything that has the potential to fly off, like covers, especially if they are expensive or custom-made. Even if the storm does not damage your boat, it is likely that your canvas will be damaged or destroyed by wind, the strain from rain collecting, or by flying debris. Boats are made to get wet, so leave it uncovered during a storm.

We also recommend that you take anything above and below deck off the boat if it is not waterproof, or if it is light enough to fly away in a heavy wind. This includes (but is not limited to) cushions, dock lines, flags, Bimini tops, and GPS/radios. Make sure to secure anything else that cannot be removed from the boat. To prevent chafing, wrap protective covering around your lines wherever the ropes touch the boat. Fully charge batteries in case the bilge pump has to work overtime, and shut off fuel lines.

Seal Hatches and Openings

Seal all openings (hatches, cabinets, doors, etc.) on the boat to keep it watertight. To help keep things secure during a storm, use duct tape for an easy remedy.

Remove the Drain Plugs

If you are storing your boat on dry land, remove the drain plugs. Marinas typically do this when storing. If the boat fills up with water, the added weight can negatively affect the way it sits on your trailer or dry-rack. Just remember to put the plug back in before using the boat

Inspect the Bilge Pumps & Float Switches 

Make sure your bilge pumps and bilge float switches are working and are hard-wired to your batteries. If your boat is on a lift, make sure the lift is in good working order and lift your boat higher than normal.

Securing Your Boat to at Lift

Boats on lifts are more susceptible to damage in a serious storm due to collapsing lifts, flooding, being blown off cradles, etc. If you must leave your boat on a lift, raise your boat as high as the lift allows but do not secure the boat to the lift. Secure long ropes to anchor points (do not secure to floating docks, use pilings) in case the surge lifts the boat off the lift.

Securing Your Boat to a Dock

Boats tied to docks are at greater risk than boats kept at moorings or on anchors since they suffer more windage. If you have no other option but to dock your boat, make sure your dock is in good shape and make any necessary improvements to ensure it holds up during the storm. As crunch time approaches, double or triple tie your boat to the dock. Adjust all lines to account for tide surges, the wind, and rain, and ensure each line has adequate chafe protection on the boat and at the dock cleats. Also, use buoys and fenders to protect from impact against floating debris, the dock, and seawall.

Final Advice for the Hurricane Season in Fort Lauderdale

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Evidence shows that boats stored on land and indoor dry storage fare better on average in a hurricane compared to boats kept in the water. If you plan on hauling your boat, coordinate in advance with your marina. Don’t wait until two days before the storm to try and secure your boat. Be prepared and stay safe.

Should you need assistance preparing your boat for the hurricane season, call us at 954-527-1829.