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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Laborde Products expanding to Texas

Laborde Products, our local Yanmar dealer based in Covington, Louisiana, is expanding by opening an office in the Houston area. They are hoping to capitalize on the oil and gas, marine, and agricultural business available in Texas. Joe Manning Jr. will head up the Texas branch.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Back from the dead...

WOW! I am now fully recovered from a pretty violent strain of stomach flu I picked up last week. I assure you, things were not pretty around my house. But now that I'm on the mend, things should get back to normal around here, at least until I leave for Antigua next week!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sunset on the Louisiana marsh...

After a successful sea-trial on a 1998 Hunter 340 today, my buddy asked me to go with him by mud boat to his duck hunting lease in the marshes of South Louisiana. He wanted to go down there and check out where the ducks were feeding, and what the grass seed (duck food) situation was where he hunts. I can only say that the beauty of that area at sunset is nothing short of breathtaking. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera. However, this is a picture I took about a year ago not too far from there:


Believe me when I say that as beautiful as that picture is, it didn't hold a candle to tonight's sunset. There is just something magical about being in a place so intimate with nature, a place man rarely goes. The wildlife was more curious about us than afraid of us, and I'm sure at least mildly amused the handful of times we grounded the boat.

As an avid boater, I think its important to take time every once in a while and appreciate the gift we've been given as marine mammals to enjoy the water. It covers 80% of our planet, and yet 100% of the Earth's population is jammed into the 20% that's dry. What a waste of space! Yes, I'm probably biased, but I think nature's magnificence is most readily revealed away from the land and the lights and the pollution. If you haven't lost sight of the shore in a while, you owe it to yourself to do so!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Congratulations Chris Chivers!

Chris Chivers, a freelance fishing writer, won this year's West Marine Writer's Award, along with the $5,000 grand prize and a trophy, for his article Behemoth which appeared in the February 2006 issue of Salt Water Sportsman magazine. The article detailed what happened to three fishermen who encountered a shark that was nearly as big as their 23-foot boat.

The award was presented by Boating Writers International this past Friday at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Keeping the lights on at West Marine

West Marine reported a tidy profit for the quarter today, thanks in no small part to my continued patronage. I swear, when I walk into my local West Marine the guys behind the counter yell, "Norm"!

Anyway, even though sales dropped for the quarter, profit was up 81% to $5.3 million. This is mostly due to the cost cutting measures West Marine has implemented over the past year or so.

“Despite continuing challenges arising from lower boat usage and boating market softness, the company has reported earnings progress year over year,” CEO Peter Harris said in a statement. “This growth reflects the results of continuing improvements in store merchandise assortments, store teams focused on customer service and steps to reduce costs.”

Nice job, West Marine! You're still my favorite store!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

'Tis the season

Boat show season, that is!

Tomorrow marks the unofficial kick-off of boat show season with the opening of the 48th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (www.flibs.net for info). Dubbed "The World's Greatest Boat Show", this year will feature over $2,000,000,000 (yup, that's NINE zeros) worth of boats, yachts, superyachts, and all things nautical. Not advertised but also prominently featured will be hundreds of middle-aged guys with spray-on tans, gold chains, and enough hair gel to rival the Exxon Valdez. Gotta love Miami.

But seriously, folks, I think this might be one of the best years yet for getting a great deal at a boat show. It is no secret that a lot of manufacturers and dealers are against the ropes financially, a they'll be looking to give away the house to shrink their inventories. Show up to the show with an open mind and a sharp pencil.

Here's another bit of advice from a former dealer going into boat show season. Dealers will do almost anything to make a sale at the show. A week later back at home, not so much. But if you're willing to cut a check at the show, you can get them to bend over backwards for you.

Now that boat show season is here we can look forward to St. Pete, New Orleans, Palm Beach, Miami, and St. Aug.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Clove Hitch

Here is a great explanation of how to tie a Clove Hitch - the knot you use to tie your boat to a piling.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Brunswick closes Triton plant in Mississippi

In another round of cuts announced by Brunswick, the Triton fishing boat plant in Aberdeen, Mississippi is closing. About 170 Triton employees are to be downsized. Triton production is to be consolidated into the Little Falls, Minnesota plant.

“This action is not a reflection on the Aberdeen work force or the Triton brand,” CEO Dustan E. McCoy said in a statement. “While the closure of our Aberdeen facility is regrettable, this action is being taken only after careful consideration, and is necessary as the resulting production shift will help Brunswick accomplish several important objectives.”



Friday, October 19, 2007

What's Next Video Tour

This is a video tour for What's Next, a 1995 Wellcraft 3600 Martinique that we listed last week. As you can see from the videos, she's a pretty spectacular boat. She is also a ton of boat for the money. To see the actual listing and for more information on the boat, click HERE. This video tour has audio commentary as well, so make sure your speakers are on!

What's Next Exterior Tour:
video

What's Next
Interior Tour:

video

What's Next Ship's Service Tour:
video

What's Next Engine Room Tour:
video

What's Next Owner's Comments:
video

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sorry for the delay, guys...

Sorry for the sparse posts over the past week. Between the Wooden Boat Festival last weekend and getting 3 new listings put together and online, I've been as busy as a one-armed paper hanger!

The new listings are pretty exciting. The first one is a 2000 Baja 252 Islander for $39,000. Its a really cool bowrider with a ton of power. You can check it out HERE. The next day I listed a 2004 Aquasport 225 Explorer with the Tournament Package on it. That is a very hot fishing boat. We're asking $47,500. You can see that one HERE. Finally, I picked up another Wellcraft 3600 Martinique, this one a 1995 and in beautiful shape. She's listed for $73,900. Click HERE to see this cool cruiser.

I'm in the process of getting some video tours of my listings put together as well. Stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Yacht Brokerage sponsors Golf Tournament

Its not every day that you'd see a boat company sponsor a golf tournament. It has been my experience that there isn't a great deal of crossover between the two hobbies. However, when its for a good cause, exceptions can be made.

True South Yacht Services, my company, has signed on as a Gold-level sponsor of the 2nd Annual St. Anselm Golf Classic being held at the Tchefuncte Country Club on October 29, 2007. Last year's event was a huge hit and this year things look even bigger.

If you are a local golfer and are interested in playing in this exciting tournament, call 985-845-7342 and ask for the details.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Pacific Seacraft sold for $85,000; moving to N.C.

Stephen Brodie, a North Carolina businessman, bought Pacific Seacraft Corporation for about $85,000 in a bankruptcy auction. The company filed for Chapter 11 protection in May, racking up over $3 million in debt to creditors with less than $250,000 in assets to cover them. In September, the bankruptcy court changed the Chapter 11 reorganization to a Chapter 7 liquidation.

Brodie's acquisition includes the trade name, which he is going to keep, several molds, tooling and equipment, and five hulls in various states of completion. He has transported everything to Washington, North Carolina, where his is converting an old textile mill into a ship-building operation.

Among the molds he purchased is the Pacific Seacraft 37, designed by the legendary W.I.B. "Bill" Crealock. A scaled-down version, the Pacific Seacraft 34, was also included.

Pacific Seacraft is the second high-end sailboat manufacturer to be sold this year. The Samuel L. Morse Company, manufacturer of the timeless Lyle Hess-designed Bristol Channel Cutter, was sold in July to Cape George Marine Works, Inc. of Port Townsend, Washington.

BOOK REVIEW: The Outlaw Sea



It is hard for me to imagine a scene more chaotic than a full-scale ship breaking operation. Most people never even think about what happens to old ships that have outlasted their utility. In our part of the world, the various environmental agencies would never allow a ship full of fuel, oil, and various other chemicals to be intentionally run aground and drained while a myriad of workers take blowtorches to the hull. But that's exactly what happens every day in places like India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

The nightmare of third world ship breaking is just one aspect of William Langewiesche's excellent book, The Outlaw Sea. He makes the point that the oceans are so vast that it is impossible to police them. He points out that the majority of the world's cargo is transported by shipping companies that only own one or two ships and who, in the interest of capitalism, are willing color outside the lines when necessary.

The book discusses modern day piracy in detail. Most people don't realize just how prevalent it is. But every week the International Chamber of Commerce publishes the Weekly Piracy Report. You can find it HERE. These are not guys in busted old ships wearing eye patches. They are technologically sophisticated, well armed and equipped, and highly aggressive.

He also illustrates the duplicity involved in certifying a commercial ship safe for service. He goes into gut-wrenching detail on the tragic sinking of the ferry Estonia in 1994, costing 852 passengers their lives. He also shows how international shipping is quickly becoming the preferred method of transportation for terrorist groups.

The book is a real page-turner that is guaranteed to open your eyes to a lot we take for granted. I couldn't put it down. I was absolutely fascinated with how easily a ship can change it's registry to a flag of convenience and circumvent a bevy of international laws.
The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime reads more like a spy novel than an expose on maritime lawlessness. I consider it required reading for anyone interested in long-distance cruising!

Gelcoat Repair Part 2

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Brunswick announces more layoffs...

On the heels of last week's announcement of a 5% layoff in their Sea Ray division, Brunswick today announced a 13% downsizing in their US Marine division. This amounts to a layoff of 40 of the 309 employees in the division. The US Marine division manufactures the Bayliner and Maxum brands of power cruisers. The company also announced temporary closings of the Bayliner plant in Roseburg, Oregon effective October 26.

“These actions are in response to continued weakness in the marine market,”
Brunswick said in a statement. “The U.S. marine industry has seen weak demand as numerous economic pressures continued to reduce consumers’ spending power and new-boat purchases are being adversely impacted. US Marine has concluded it must take measures to size its production levels in line with retail demand.”

The plant closings will be during the week of October 22, Thanksgiving week, and for two weeks during the Christmas holidays to help further reduce production.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Wanna build a boat???

I think most of us boaters at one time or another have dreamed about building a boat. The reasons for it are probably as varied as all of us are. Some of us consider the economy of building a boat from scratch versus buying one new off the showroom floor. Others think of the romance involved in designing and building your own boat and then sailing it around the world. I think boat building in general appeals to the rebel that seems to be inside every boater.

That's all well and fine, but the reality of boat building is seldom anything like the fantasy of boat building. To build a seaworthy vessel from scratch can be a truly daunting venture; one of years of work, frustration, disappointment and, most of the time, non-completion. It is a sad fact that those who actually complete a boat and go cruising on it often measure the task in the number of years it took and the number of marriages it cost.

However, boat building isn't all despair and heartache. If the amateur boat builder approaches the project with realistic expectations and an honest appraisal of his or her skill level, it can be fun and very rewarding! That is why I recommend starting small to everyone that comes to me interested in building a boat. That's where your good old Uncle John comes in.

I'm referring of course to Uncle John's Pirogues, a company here in Louisiana that sells kits for the first-time boat builder. For those of you out of state, a pirogue is essentially a flat-bottomed canoe. Uncle John's pirogue kit comes with all the instructions to build a pirogue any size from 12 feet to 16 feet. More important, the kit comes with the necessary frames, eliminating what is probably the most difficult aspect of building a boat. The kit sells for $57.50 and that includes shipping.

They call this boat the 6-hour canoe, because that's how quickly it can be built. In all honesty, it took me about 3 weeks of working a few hours at a time to build mine. But I built a big one (16 feet) and I fiberglassed it, stained the inside, and painted the hull. Start to finish, including the cost of the kit, I had a really nice boat for about $200. Here are some pictures of the one I built:



As you can see, it can be done! This was a very easy project, but it taught me a LOT of the basics of boat building. I now know that I really enjoy building boats and I'm ready to tackle a much larger project. If you think you might like to build boats, or just want a great boat for about $200, get in touch with Uncle John's and get to work!

Feel free to leave any questions or comments and I'll be sure to get back to you soon.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Madisonville Wooden Boat Festival this weekend


The annual Madisonville Wooden Boat Festival is coming up this weekend, October 13th and 14th! This is a festival that gets bigger and more exciting each year. It takes place along the banks of the Tchefuncte River in Madisonville, Louisiana.

This festival is definitely worth the trip. The boats are gorgeous, there are tons of activities for the kids, the food is phenomenal, and the entertainment is top notch. Local favorites Four Unplugged will be on stage at the end of the festival.

One of the best parts of the festival every year is the Quick & Dirty Boat Building Contest. This is where all the entrants are given the same boat building materials and have to design and build a boat to win a race on the river the next day! Some of the boats built are just glorified rafts, but some of them are actually well-thought out designs that make the crowd wonder how they were built so quickly. The best part is the race itself, because it is hilarious! Trust me - someone always ends up in the river!

For more info and for ticket information, go to www.woodenboatfest.org and they'll have everything you need. See you out there!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sea Ray lays off 5% of workforce.

Sea Ray Boats, a division of Brunswick Corporation, announced the immediate downsizing of 180 employees, or roughly five percent of their workforce, citing continued weakness in the marine market. Their plants in East Tennessee and Florida will be affected, as well as the Baja boats division in Ohio.

“These decisions are very difficult, but nonetheless must be made to protect the overall health of the business,” the company said in a statement. “Affected employees will receive assistance in transitioning to other employment.”

The past year has shown the marine industry overall a double-digit decline in demand for new boats. The downturn in the housing market and the tightening of consumer credit has played a large role in the decline.

“Sea Ray has concluded it must take measures to size its costs in line with the declining market,” the statement continued.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Transmitting a MAYDAY call

While recreational boating is a great way to enjoy life, everyone who enjoys boating must be aware that there is an element of physical risk involved. From time to time, emergencies do occur. Skippers must be prepared and must keep a level head.

With that in mind, I wanted to publish the correct procedure for sending a MAYDAY call over the radio. This procedure keeps the transmission short but contains all the pertinent information necessary to facilitate emergency assistance afloat. Pay attention; this could save your life.

First of all, a MAYDAY call is only used when grave and imminent danger threatens life or property and immediate help is required. Any non-life threatening situation is handled with a PAN-PAN call. I'll cover that procedure in a later post. In the meantime, here is the procedure for a correct MAYDAY call. Speaking slowly, clearly, and calmly, use your marine radio tuned to Channel 16 to communicate the following information:
  1. "MAYDAY....MAYDAY....MAYDAY"
  2. "THIS IS (boat name)....(boat name)....(boat name)."
  3. "MAYDAY (boat name) POSITION IS (vessel position in degrees and minutes of latitude NORTH or SOUTH and longitude EAST or WEST, or as a distance and magnetic or true bearing from a well-known navigation landmark)."
  4. "WE (nature of your emergency)."
  5. "WE REQUIRE (type of assistance required)."
  6. "ON BOARD ARE (number of adults and children on board) AND (safety equipment aboard). (State conditions of any injured)."
  7. "(Boat name) IS A (boat length in feet) FOOT (type: sloop, sportfisherman, etc.) WITH A (hull color) HULL AND (trim color) TRIM."
  8. "I WILL BE LISTENING ON CHANNEL (16 or 2182)."
  9. "THIS IS (boat name). OVER"
Nearby vessels will hear your call and acknowledge. Rescue will be coordinated by any nearby vessels and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Hopefully, you'll never have to use this procedure, but now at least you'll know what to do if the situation arises. Remember: its always better to be in a boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with a boat on the rocks!

Be safe out there.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A great resource for knot-tying

I came across this website a while back and I was blown away at how informative it was. I have friends and customers ask me all the time to teach them how to tie a variety of boating knots. In most cases, I've been tying the knot for so long that it has become second nature and is actually more difficult to explain how! That is where this website comes in.

The website is www.animatedknots.com and it offers free instructions on tying over 100 knots. They have everything from the basic bowline to knots you would use to climb mountains, all in an easy-to-learn animated format. So grab a couple pieces of rope and check it out!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Beneteau USA reports record year.

Beneteau USA of Marion, South Carolina announced today that they broke their record for boats shipments this year. In a year when new boat sales have been pretty miserable across the board, Beneteau managed to ship more than 400 boats in sizes ranging from 32 to 49 feet.

Making this feat even more extraordinary, 5 of the models produced were new to the assembly line this year. In recognition of their workers' achievement, Beneteau paid out a special $200,000 bonus to the plant workers, averaging about $700 per worker.

Wayne Burdick, president of Beneteau USA, said in a statement,
“In spite of a very challenging North American boat market and with many unforeseen supply issues, the team at Beneteau USA pulled together to win more market share for our future and our dealers,”

Way to go, Beneteau!


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Big win in Washington for recreational boaters

Though many recreational boaters have been unaware of the impending disaster that proposed legislation on ballast water would have caused, it looks like we may have finally dodged the bullet. According to Soundings Trade Only, here's what happened:

U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., unequivocally committed themselves to resolve the issue before a September 2008 permitting deadline.

“A recent court ruling has cast doubt on whether recreational boaters — people going out for a day of fishing, or waterskiing — can continue to operate without a permit from the EPA,” Nelson said in a statement. “They've never been required to have such a permit, and there's no reason for that to change. You shouldn't have to ask the EPA before you take your boat out on the water.”

Environmental groups and several states’ Attorney Generals successfully argued in a U.S. District Court case last fall that ballast water should not be exempted from government regulation as a pollutant because it introduces harmful invasive species into U.S. waters. Large ocean-going ships use ballast water for stability, taking on water to weigh the vessel down.

However, the court’s ruling also includes boat-engine cooling water, bilge water, gray water and common deck runoff. The court directed the Environmental Protection Agency to develop what the NMMA says is “a complex and costly permitting scheme” for the nation’s estimated 18 million boats by September 2008.

“I don’t think they should have to get these permits,” said Boxer, chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in a statement. “I’ve committed with Senator Nelson to make sure we fix this before that time. We are going to make sure that individual boaters do not need permits — that’s as simple as it gets. That’s my commitment, and it will happen.”

Friday, September 28, 2007

George Lee moves to Beacon Marine Credit

George Lee, a name synonymous with marine lending on the Gulf Coast, has moved to Beacon Marine Credit as their Southeastern U.S. representative. He handles the financing for my customers' boats and he is a great resource for figuring out how to get a boat paid for! His home office is in Jacksonville, Florida and he handles financing for Northern Florida, the Panhandle, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the Carolinas.

According to the statement released today by Beacon Marine Credit, "George brings over 35 years of marine industry experience to the Beacon Marine Sales team, spending the last nine years of his career offering retail financing solutions to dealers and brokers throughout the Southeastern United States. George can be reached at 904-629-5817 or toll free at 866-612-1184."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

How to change a water pump impeller...

The following was contributed by Randy Smith, owner of Attitude, a 1997 Beneteau 351 Oceanis. About 90% of overheating problems on diesel engines can be traced back to a bad raw-water impeller. Since the Yanmar 3GM30 is perhaps the most common diesel engine on mid-size sailboats built in the last 15 years, we thought it would be helpful to show you how to replace the impeller!

Even if you don't have a Yanmar 3GM30 on your boat (even if you have a
gasoline powered boat, for that matter), the impeller replacement is essentially the same on every engine. Find the raw water pump, take it apart, replace the impeller, go have a beer. Just like that!

Randy says:

The Yanmar 3GM30F is a wonderful 27 hp diesel used during the 90’s. She’s a solid performer if we stay on top of maintenance.


My Yanmar is a fresh water cooled engine, and the fresh water passes through a heat exchanger that is cooled with raw water. The most common failure of this system is the little rubber raw water pump impeller. Here’s how to replace it.

List of parts and tools:
Impeller: Yanmar part # 128296-42070 (Johnson #827)
Gasket: Yanmar part # 124233-4211
12 mm wrench
9/32” wrench
Impeller puller or needle-nosed pliers
Difficulty: Easy, less than 30 minutes.

The raw water pump has its own pulley and dedicated belt. The pump is on the forward starboard corner of your engine, or lower left as you look at the front.


It is necessary to remove the pump to get to the impeller. There are only two bolts and two hose clamps. Loosen the hose clamps (no need to remove). Remove the two bolts and lift the belt off of the pulley.


Pull the pump away from the engine far enough to spin it over so you can remove the 6 small bolts holding on the back cover. Be prepared for water from the hoses to run out of the pump when the cover is removed (Shouldn’t be more than a couple of cups).


Note the direction of the impeller flanges before pulling it out with an impeller puller or a pair of pliers. Also notice there is a key notch in the impeller when its time to install the new impeller.


Make sure the pump is clean and the pulley spins freely. Install the new impeller, again paying close attention to the direction of the flanges. I find it easier if I put a zip-tie around the impeller tight enough to get the flanges to lay over in the correct direction. The zip-tie will slip off as I push the impeller into the pump.

Using a new gasket, replace the cover and tighten the six small bolts. Spin the pump back around and slide the belt over the pulley. (Make sure it’s in the correct groove on the main pulley.) Install the two bolts, and adjust the belt as you tighten the bolts. Don’t forget to tighten the hose clamps.

I like to finish by cleaning out the strainer and filling up the hose with some water. It’s now time to fire up the engine and look for leaks!



For complete instructions on changing water pump impellers and any and all other repairs to Yanmar diesel engines, the new Yanmar shop manual was released on August 21, 2010. YOU CAN BUY YOUR COPY HERE.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

LifeTag - Now your GPS might just save your life...

Wow! Somebody over at Raymarine was really thinking when they came up with this!

Raymarine just introduced LifeTag, a wireless Man Overboard (MOB) system that can be fully integrated into all Raymarine C-Series and E-Series multifunction displays. Here is how it works:
The unit you see above is worn on each crewmember's wrist (or around a pet's neck, for our furry sea-going friends). The unit works on it's proximity to the base station. If the unit is immersed in water, travels further than 30 feet from the base unit, or the red panic button is pressed for more than 3 seconds the system's audible alarm is activated to alert the rest of the crew. Then the GPS kicks in and tracks the overboard crewmember, guiding the rescue to the exact location of the LifeTag.

The LifeTag starter system includes
2 LifeTag Wireless Pendants, LifeTag base station, batteries, straps, alarm module, power cable and handbook for $685. Additional LifeTag Pendants are $115 each. For larger boats that require more than a 30-foot range, additional RF Base Stations can be purchased to extend the range for $469. All these components are available through your local Raymarine dealer. I got the pricing from Raymarine's website, so I'm assuming that it is suggested retail.

On a side note, you don't just have to go overboard for this to be handy. If you're on a midnight watch and everyone is asleep when a fire breaks out on board, that panic button will come in mighty handy for waking everyone up and getting them to safety. You can bet one of these babies will be on my wrist for the next long-distance delivery I do!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Getting Right-of-Way all WRONG!!!


Makes me cringe just to watch it. Almost happened to me once with a barge in the fog. Not cool.

The Gulf Mariner is no more...

Some sad news to report, I'm afraid. The Gulf Mariner has decided to cease publishing immediately. The primary reasons for the decision are the current market conditions and the fact that their sales manager (and friend of mine and many) had a serious motorcycle accident in July and his injuries prevent his returning to work.

I spoke to their publisher Ken Brothwell and he told me that they'll be concentrating all their efforts on The Florida Mariner, the sister publication to The Gulf Mariner.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in our area to fill the gap left by the Mariner. It was the only really local magazine concentrating on Gulf Coast boating and boats for sale. There are some others that come close (Southern Boating, Louisiana Sportsman, Marsh & Bayou, etc...), but none with the Mariner's narrow focus on boating in this area.

They will be missed!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hunter leading the way with Certified Pre-Owned Boats...

Hunter Marine (www.huntermarine.com) has always been an innovator. Its part of the reason they are the number one selling production sailboat in North America. (Full disclosure: I used to work for a Hunter dealer.) They were the first to introduce the B&R rig (a marconi rig with no backstay), the overhead traveler arch, and the sugar scoop transom.

It should come as no surprise, then, that they are leading the way once again with an idea whose time has come. They are currently in the process of rolling out their Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Hunter Program.

Certified Pre-Owned cars have been available for several years now, and it is widely recognized as a mark of quality. Hunter hopes to achieve the same ends with their line of sailboats. I spoke with Eric Macklin at Hunter on Friday and he gave me the details.

Hunter sailboats up to 7 years old qualify for the program. The boat will go through a rigorous 160-point inspection and reconditioning before it will be certified. Upon certification, the boat will then be sold with a one-year warranty on key parts and components. This will give buyers peace of mind and will no doubt increase the resale value of certified Hunters.

“The concept of CPO has been a standard of the automotive industry for years, and we’re very proud to be the first manufacturer to bring the benefits to sailboat buyers,” John Peterson, Hunter’s director of sales and marketing, said in a statement. “We’ve been working on this program for a long time and are thrilled that it has arrived at a time when the climate is favorable for our dealers to embrace it.”

Not all Hunter dealers qualify for the program, so be sure to check with your local dealer to find out. And be ready to start seeing CPO boats popping up for sale on the market. Hunter even plans to roll out a listing service that includes all the CPO boats currently for sale.

Welcome to Boat Wizard!

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Dave Guilford, an avid boater and the owner of True South Yacht Services in Mandeville, Louisiana. I started this blog because so many people ask me for the best solution to a given boating problem and I thought I could help more people by publishing those solutions. Also, it gives me a chance to highlight the boating products I've personally tested and found to be worthwhile, and provides a forum for news from the boating community and interaction among fellow boaters.

Feel free to email me with boating-related questions and I'll do my best to answer them. From time to time I may have some of the experts I use answer your questions if they are beyond my considerable experience. Between all of us, we'll figure it out!

Again, thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the blog!

Fair Winds..._/)
Dave