7960684679?profile=originalRyan Jones of Nautical Ventures demonstrates the Hobie Eclipse’s handlebars and pedals.

7960685097?profile=originalSteve Sprague of Tuppen’s Marine in Lake Worth stands near the stern of a Jupiter 38 FS.

Photos by Willie Howard/The Coastal Star

By Willie Howard

    When one of the world’s largest boat shows comes to Fort Lauderdale in November, it’s almost impossible for those of us addicted to boating to stay away.
    I made my annual trek to the 57th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on opening day, Nov. 3.
    For fellow boat lovers who weren’t able to make it to the show, here’s a sample of powerboats, paddlecraft and accessories I found there:

Catamaran paddleboard:

7960685672?profile=original    The twin-hulled paddleboard by Live Watersports is billed as more stable than a traditional paddleboard.
    The “cat board” is designed as a fishing platform and can be fitted with a variety of accessories.
    The 14-foot L4 Expedition model on display at the boat show was rigged with an electric outboard motor, a depth finder, a Power Pole stake-out system, a marine audio system and a live bait well.  
 “I tried to turn a paddleboard into a micro skiff,” said Ryan Jones of Nautical Ventures in Dania Beach, who takes his board offshore, onto the Florida Keys flats and into freshwater canals.
 The 14-foot model sells for $2,699 (without the add-ons) and can carry 700 pounds. The smaller L2 Fish (12 feet, 6 inches) will carry 500 pounds and sells for $2,299.
    Divers use the catamaran boards as platforms to rest and to carry gear and the dive flag, Jones said.
 No trailer is required for paddleboards such as the L2 Fish, which weighs 51 pounds (without accessories). Carry them in the back of a truck or on top of a car. Launch at the beach or anywhere you can drop in a kayak.

Boston Whaler 13:

    The 13-foot Boston Whaler, formally known as the 130 Super Sport, has been a go-to skiff for generations of boaters.
    The 2017 model sells for about $15,000 rigged with a 40-horsepower Mercury four-stroke outboard, optional padded seats with folding back rests and a galvanized trailer.
    Other options include a bow pad for sun lounging and a Bimini top for shade.
    This wee Whaler is rated to hold four people, draws 7 inches of water and weighs about 850 pounds including the engine and fuel.
    Boaters often choose the smaller 11-foot Whaler with a 25-horsepower outboard for use as a tender behind larger boats and sailboats, said Danny Brown of Marine Max in Palm Beach Gardens.  

Paddle or pedal board:

    For people who have trouble paddling and balancing on a standup paddleboard, Hobie offers the Eclipse.
    The Eclipse features handlebars extending up from the front of the board — both for balance and for steering.
    Users stand on pedals that enable them to use their legs instead of their upper bodies to propel the board through the water with the MirageDrive — flipper-like blades under the board driven by the pedals.
    The 12-foot Mirage Eclipse sells for $2,599 and will support up to 275 pounds. Tie-down straps hold a small cooler or life jacket on the back of the board. The rudder kicks up when the board is beached.
    Board riders who would rather paddle than pedal can remove the MirageDrive and the steering bar to paddle the Eclipse.
    For details, go to www.hobie.com.

Pursuit C-260 center console:

     This slick-looking center console is rated for 400 horsepower, making it a good match for a pair of the relatively light, four-cylinder outboards that produce 200 horsepower.
    Standard features include a 30-gallon live bait well, a 31-gallon insulated fish box (with separate cooler in the transom) and a forward-opening center console door that provides access to a small head (toilet).
    The C-260 comes with a smooth-edged hard top, padded forward seats and coaming bolsters to protect legs when they’re leaning against the gunwales.
    Rigged with twin 200-horsepower Yamaha four-stroke outboards, the C-260 weighs 6,130 pounds (dry weight) and gets 2.49 miles per gallon at its optimum cruising speed of 28 mph, according to Pursuit.
    Base price: $112,000 with twin 200 Yamaha outboards.  For details, go to www.pursuitboats.com.

Regulator 25:

    Regulator is known among offshore anglers for building beastie boats that handle big seas well compared with other boats of the same size.
    One reason: They’re heavy. The 25-foot Regulator FS (forward seating) weighs 7,500 pounds (dry) with twin 200-horsepower Yamaha outboards. That’s almost 1,400 pounds more than the comparable Pursuit C-260 with the same engines.
    Another reason: Regulators are built in North Carolina, where inlets are notoriously rough and a run into the Gulf Stream can easily be 30 to 40 miles.
    All hatches on the Regulator are insulated, gel-coated and lighted. They include a forward deck fish box large enough to double as locking rod storage when the fishing day is over.
    Standard features include a surfboard-style, smooth-edged hard top, triple batteries, a standup head in the console, bow seating pads, and coaming bolsters all around to pad the legs when the boat is rocking.
    The 25 Regulator also has a flush-folding transom seat and a yacht-style transom door that fully seals the transom when closed.
    Base price: $156,000 with twin 200 Yamaha outboards. For details, go to www.regulatormarine.com.

Jupiter 38 FS:

    This center console offers a lot of fishing space but is still fast and trailerable (with a strong truck and a highway permit).
    The Jupiter 38 FS (forward seating) on display at the boat show will be visible in Palm Beach County offshore fishing tournaments. Dealer Steve Sprague of Tuppen’s Marine in Lake Worth will be at the helm during tournaments. (Look for the Jupiter 38 with triple outboards and a wahoo decal on the side.)
    The 38 FS comes standard with a 60-gallon live bait well. The Tuppen’s boat at the show was built with a second 60-gallon live well, giving it 120 gallons of bait-holding capacity.
    Jupiter Marine offers many options for the 38 FS, including a bow thruster for docking, a dive door for easy entry into the water, bucket storage in the aft bilge and a stern seat.
The base price for the 38 FS with triple Yamaha 300 outboards:  $357,900. The 38 FS at the boat show, rigged with triple 300 Yamahas, electronics and options, was priced at $483,723.
To learn more, go to www.jupitermarine.com.

Just float and relax:

    Once you’ve reached that idyllic boating destination, what then?
    Pull out the Nauti Buoy floating platform, inflate it with the electric pump and take a few hours to relax on the water.
    Unlike a basic inflatable raft, Nauti Buoy platforms are made for tough duty and are stabilized with ballast bags in the corners, similar to those used to keep life rafts upright.
    Nauti Buoy platforms were developed in Europe by former yacht crewmen who used inflatable platforms for hull maintenance near the waterline.
    Nauti Buoy platforms can be linked in sequence to produce makeshift docks extending from the side of a yacht or a dock.
    The top-of-the-line 800 model (13 feet, 1 inch by 6.5 feet) demonstrated at the boat show can support 1,543 pounds and was fitted with a leisure package, including comfy lounge seats.
    Price for the 800 model with the leisure package: About $7,600. For more info, go to www.nautibuoymarine.com.

7960685270?profile=originalCompany founder Troy Faletra of Fort Lauderdale holds a yellow Throw Raft float.

Willie Howard/The Coastal Star

Throwable flotation device easy to tote on boat

    Carrying a Type 4 (throwable) flotation device such as a ring buoy or seat cushion can be a hassle on a boat.
    The Coast Guard requires throwables and wants them to be out and accessible in case someone suddenly goes overboard.
    At the same time, if your boat runs more than, say, 30 knots, a seat cushion or ring buoy is likely to flap around or might even blow out of the boat if it’s not strapped down.
    Throw Raft came up with a solution: a compact, inflatable, throwable device that’s Coast Guard-approved.
    The little orange packet inflates automatically when submerged. Or it can be manually inflated and thrown after it’s inflated.
    The Throw Raft is far smaller than a ring buoy or seat cushion and less likely to flop around. Deflated and packed, it measures 11 inches by 4 inches. (Inflated, it measures 22 inches by 21 inches and provides 20 pounds of buoyancy.)
    One drawback: Like an inflatable life jacket, the Throw Raft must be dried, repacked and rearmed with a CO-2 cartridge after it’s used.
    The Throw Raft Type 4 inflatable sells for $129 or $199 with a protective mounting case. For details, go to www.throwraft.com.

Shark fishing regulations
on hold in Palm Beach
    The Palm Beach Town Council postponed action in November on proposed shark-fishing regulations for town beaches.
    Approved on first reading Oct. 10, the ordinance would prohibit shark fishing and chumming within 300 feet north and south of town beaches and beach-access points.
    The council was scheduled to take a final vote on the shark fishing ordinance Nov. 8 but instead sent it back to the ordinances, rules and standards committee for review.

Coming events
    Dec. 3: Basic boating safety class offered by Coast Guard Auxiliary, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the headquarters building at Spanish River Park, 3939 N. Ocean Blvd., Boca Raton. Fee $35. Register at the door. Bring lunch. Call 391-3600 or email fso-pe@cgauxboca.org.
    Dec. 9-10: Operation Sailfish, a sailfish release tournament, based at Sailfish Marina in Palm Beach Shores. This is the first leg of the Quest for the Crest sailfish tournament series organized by Bluewater Movements. Entry fee $4,770 per team. Call 954-725-4010 or visit www.operationsailfish.com.
    Dec. 9: The Boynton Beach/Delray Beach Holiday Boat Parade kicks off at 6 p.m. with music at Boynton Harbor Marina. Decorated boats will line up at the Ocean Avenue Bridge in Lantana and begin moving south through the Intracoastal Waterway at 7 p.m. Boats will continue south through Delray Beach this year to the C-15 Canal. It’s free. Donations of new, unwrapped toys will be collected along the parade route. For details, call 600-9097.

Tip of the month
    Want to stop your boat near shallow snorkeling spots along the beaches of Palm Beach County?
Consider using a mooring buoy instead of dropping anchor and risking damage to corals and hard bottom.
    Ten mooring buoys can be found at the Boca Raton patch reefs — about 2 miles north of Boca Raton Inlet in about 25 feet of water. (Look for the floating balls that hold the pickup lines.)
Farther north, mooring buoys can be found off Mar-a-Lago, off The Breakers hotel, off Singer Island and at the Diamondhead Radnor Reef north of the Juno Beach Pier.
To use a mooring buoy, have a boat hook or gaff available to reach out for the loop on the end of the floating pickup line.
    Pass your boat’s bow line through the loop on the pickup line, then secure it to a cleat.
    Mooring buoys are designed for boats up to 40 feet and for use in seas of 2 feet or less. Using them with larger boats or in bigger seas could rip them out of the bottom.

Willie Howard is a freelance writer and a licensed boat captain. Reach him at tiowillie@bellsouth.net.

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