Friday, July 31, 2015

Selling a boat- part 1

We are selling our 28 foot Bayliner. Last year, we posted the boat on Craig's list. I never realized how tedious selling something can be. You would think that you post the listing, people who are interested respond, and then you're done. Nope, here's how it goes for us...

1- List the boat, hope for the best
2- Within a few hours, someone writes that they really like the boat and will give us $200 over list price just to hold the boat for them. Then they state several times that they would like to pay using paypal. We text back and forth. They don't ask any relevant questions about the boat, just that they really want it. This happened twice and in both cases, someone was buying the boat for an elderly parent. One person said they were in the military and couldn't come to see the boat themselves. The other person had very bad English so we figured they were probably foreign (or never passed English class). In both cases, the potential buyers said that they trusted us when we said the boat was in excellent condition. Once I sent a link for paypal scams, their texts stopped.
3- Brokers will contact us offering to sell the boat. We had one company that, for a fee, will list the boat and continue advertising until it sold. This sounded very good since they list it in several places. We never pursued that. Pop Yachts- they continue to list our boat for sale even after I wrote to them not to. We had someone offer to sell it on ebay. I will have to check into that option- why have someone else do what we can do ourselves.  Here's the thing with the brokers- unless you own your boat outright or owe very little on it, you are limited. For us, we would end up owing the broker money for selling our boat.
3- We have this person who actually came to see the boat. He brought his family to see it. He said that he had been watching the boat for a year. He offered about $8K below list price. At that time, we were going through a broker so we couldn't afford to do that.

Since we are not in a hurry to sell the boat, we are continuing to use it and just waiting to see what happens. I have signs on the boat and it is parked in a visible spot. Its a very interesting process.


Monday, July 13, 2015

A day on the boat 7/12/15

Our first trip this year, besides the boat move. A Sunday afternoon on Cross Lake.
We pile 4 adults, 4 kids, water skis, and a tube on the boat. The kids like to ride below deck. JP (the only boy) rode up top with the adults. We packed light- drinks, 8 sandwiches, snacks (veggies, venison sausage, cheesits, cheese curls).

A 45 minute boat ride to cross lake from our dock in Baldwinsville. No locks. There was a speed restriction on the river- no wake zone all the way. We basically followed that until there were no houses, then cruised faster. There were boats out that went fast all the way. I hate it when people do that. Usually its young kids piled into a tiny boat or guys who are jerks. Its always a male that drives too fast on the river.

Once we get there, we cruise around to see what kind of boat traffic we have for the day. Then we start tubing.


Piper and JP were a great combination on the tube. Both thrill seekers. Chelsey and Sydney were also a good pair although Sydney is much braver that Chelsey. Chelsey is getting better every time we go- less afraid of the speed.

Next we drift and let the kids swim. Their favorite part of this is jumping off the bow of the boat. Its surprising that they take off their life jackets to do this. They are all great swimmers so we don't worry. 

JP wants a video of his flip off the boat...



 I tried to get a shot of all kids jumping off the boat at once but that is very difficult to do with a finicky cell phone.




After swimming, we have a snack. All kids ate on the bow of the boat. Adults in back. I think we managed to avoid crumbs on the boat!  

I think we got out the water skis next. No pictures of that on my phone but I can always add it in later. Sandy was the only one able to ski. That inspired the kids to do another round of tubing. We dominated our section of the lake for a bit but it was fun. That's the great thing about Cross Lake- its big enough to find your own area to play but not so big that it takes forever to get around on the lake.

Here's a tip. Do not rely on Cross Lake marina for gas. They are $1 per gallon more expensive than Coopers marina. If you are traveling to the lake from Bville, gas up before you go. Luckily, we were just topping off so we didn't need much. Also, the restaurant at the marina is no longer open. I remember going here during the summer on a boat and in the winter on a snow mobile. We've been docking out of the area so this was news to us on our return.

We decided to head over to DeVaney's in Weedsport for what we thought was lunch but ended up being dinner due to the time. Our boat was too large for their available dock spaces so we tied it to the front wall. We were able to sit outside in view of the boat. What a great dining experience! Service was awesome, the food even better. They have limited dock space- definitely geared for the smaller boats (20' or less) but you can park on the cement wall. The current is strong there so you had better be good at your knots. We were able to have meals for 8 (4 adults, 4 kids), and 6 beers for under $100 including tip. Great selection and great prices!

The only down side to the trip was the ride back. Once again, we had to go slow but were able to pick up speed in unpopulated areas. I always slow down for fishing boats and kayaks. Not everyone out there is that considerate. Jim and Sandy had the best seats for the ride back. They faced the back of the boat watching the sun go down. We had lots of time until sun set but that was always my favorite part of the ride back from Cross Lake. I also got to drive as I like driving the boat slowly. Jay likes to sit back with a drink and relax since he's usually the one driving us. We are hoping to repeat this day again soon!



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Flotilla

When I last wrote, our boat was stuck at Lock 24 in Baldwinsville, NY. There were several boats in this predicament. Luckily, there is a lot to do in B'ville (as the locals call it) and we are local so we could just drive home.

I think the date was 6/30/15. The lock master let me know that the flotilla would come to take the boats east. There were boats stranded at lock 23 so some sort of trade was worked out. The lock master told me to be there at 7:30.

We arrive at 7:30, coffee in hand. We walk to our boat expecting to see a group meeting and people readying their boats. Instead we see people hosing off their boats, eating breakfast, sitting around. We go to our boat and get it ready for the short journey ahead (1 mile down the river).

After about 5 minutes, we have everything set. I've brought new "for sale" signs to put on the boat. That would have been so helpful to have a couple of days before as it sat at the wall in full public view. We decide to talk to the other boaters to see if anyone knows anything.

There is a great sail boat parked next to us. They came from Vermont or might be going to Vermont. There was mention about going to pick up their new boat. The couple look to be in their 60's, retired. The boat looks like its about 40 feet, mast down as there are restrictions going through the canal system. The guy had a great boater joke. He says, "I talk to my boat every day and it talks back to me. But ever since we came through the canal it doesn't have anything to say to me. It used to have a 60 foot erection but now it has nothing."

Next to them is a 28' Carver. I'm looking at it and I comment about how it looks much larger than ours even though its the same size. The beam (width) on it is 12'. Much wider than our 9'. Another couple in their 60's, retired. They live in Florida and come here for the summer. They stay on their boat for months. That is impressive- 2 people on a 28' boat for months at a time. They mention that they were staying at the Cold Springs Marina and we realize that we were there at the same time. We actually went on their boat to look at their composting toilet as we were considering that option for ours. They made many improvements to their boat- bow thrusters, fancy lighting, mosquito screens in their canvas, wine maker.  They were going to sell it but decided not to as they put in so much work on the boat. They are headed out to the Buffalo area to play.

There was a really cute sail boat next. They didn't have their mast with them. They bought the boat for cheap because there wasn't a mast or the mast was broken and in another place. This is common with sail boats- the boat and the mast being in different places. People will sail around and then when they reach an area where the sail has to come down, they either store it somewhere or balance it on top of their boat while they complete their journey. When they are ready to have the sail reattached, the storage place will ship it to their current location. Or, they can go to their mast and have it reattached there. This was a small sail boat, maybe less than 28'. A couple in the 60's again, just out traveling. They realized that the propane tank for the boat has an old style that isn't in use anymore so they can't have it refilled. They were on their last cup of coffee so they are very relieved to be proceeding on in their journey.

Next was one of my favorite boats. We didn't get that far to talk to the owner and he seemed a little standoffish anyways. Usually people will wave, say hello, or at least acknowledge someone passing by but this guy did nothing. His boat was beautiful. I did take pictures of it. Its a Sundancer- the brand we are looking for. I believe it is a 53'.

Lots of seating room on the deck, a jetski on the swim deck, and I'm sure below deck is absolutely gorgeous.

In all this time, we find out that no one really knows what is going on with this escort. We see a small fishing boat pull up to the lock and 3 guys get out. There is a little meeting as they discuss something. Everyone breaks off from their conversations and decides that this little boat is the flotilla (although it is sounding to me like they are saying flotella). Everyone brings in their lines, starts their boats, and starts to pull away from the dock. There is an order to things- this must have been established before we arrived. It really could have been any boat, these people would have followed anything motorized just to move on. you can see the little gray boat in the lead just past the bridge.

Here's my favorite boat...


 Here is the beginning of the line just moving out of the lock area.


Here is our cute little boat joining the parade of boats.


Our boat is now sitting safely at a private dock. When we first arrived, the water level was very high but now, a week later, it is much better. I'm not sure if there are any restrictions on the river but we have not moved it from that spot. 

Things I learned from this experience:
1- always check for travel restrictions and conditions on the water
2- if you are selling your boat and you have to leave it in a public place, make sure their are for sale signs on it when you park it, not when you are driving away
3- get out and talk to people, hang around the other boaters, you can learn so much
4- stay over night on your boat at least once when its parked in a public place- great to see the activity
5- maybe we are a bit young yet or our boat is too small but we need to spend more time out on the water
6- boat clubs- in Florida, they have boat clubs where you pay a yearly fee and can rent out boats for several days at the price of gas. A great way to try out different boats before you buy.





Saturday, June 27, 2015

A rainy weekend for the NY Canal System- stranded at lock 24

Today was the day of the big move. We travel from our marina in Sylvan Beach to a private dock about a mile or so after lock 24 on the Seneca River. Jay and Piper drove the boat. What makes things interesting is that there is a storm approaching so they tried to stay ahead of it. It is no fun crossing Oneida Lake in a storm.




The approaching storm...The background map doesn't show at all but all that green is rain. The white area it where we started. The green area is where we were headed.

In looking at the weather on Saturday and Sunday, I decided that Saturday would be the better day to travel. Things started out pretty smoothly. No rain and the temperature was in the high 60's. I decided to leave the windows below deck open so Piper could ride below while underway. Big mistake. The lake turned out to be rough anyways and water came in through the windows. I found a weather cam. The lake doesn't look too bad at the moment but then there's a big tree in the way.

We get to lock 23 in Brewerton and see that the weather is still holding out. The lock master tells me that the canal is closed from lock 24 on. I had no idea and never knew to check this kind of thing. We've had a lot of rain but it has been dry for the past week. We also learn that it is a free canal weekend. So, good news and bad news. Jay takes the boat through lock 23 and I drive ahead to lock 24 which is in our home town. 

Side view. The boat has just been cleaned and has a freshly painted bottom so I thought I'd get some shots as they pass by.


There's Piper in the back. She loves going for boat rides!


Here's a shot of them going into the lock.

This is what the doors look like closed. I just love the lock!!


Here are the open doors of the lock and the lock master's building. This guy was awesome, he let us use the bathroom in that building instead of the port-a-potty on the other side. Thanks to my hero!


So as Jay passes through the lock, Chelsey and I go back to the truck. We drive home, drop off Dexter (the dog who has had a nice swim) and head out to lock 24.

At lock 24, the lock master gives me the situation. The river is unsafe due to the water pressure and the high waters. Must be a strong current although, I don't know how that would matter with our power cruiser but then, I'm not the expert here. They let people through the lock but the boats have to tie off on the wall until the boatell (that's what it sounded like) comes to escort the boats down the river. Then there was a conversation about where to park. I wouldn't mind being stuck on some of these bigger boats for a week or so at the Baldwinsville lock 24. There's a lot to do in town.
Here is Paula, Jay, and Piper posing near the lock after a great lunch at the Lock 24 restaurant
Here is Chelsey and Piper at this historic thing.

Chelsey and Piper at the lock 24 visitor center. What a cute place!

Chelsey and Piper at the Lock 24 library. What a great idea. On the other side is a glass cabinet with books in it. Mostly novels. You can take a book to read and probably add to their collection. Kind of like a book trade.

Here is Jay and Piper bringing the boat into lock 24. 

Jay and Piper looking at me as I take the picture. I'm on the other side of the lock, obviously.

Here is one of my favorite little buildings. At night, there is a spot light that makes this business stand out. Its an organic salon (need a haircut, color, oxygen treatment?). The owner does a great job. Our daughters are friends so Chelsey was able to have a nice little visit while we sorted out our boat situation today.


The town is really ideal for boaters stuck at the lock. Within walking distance, we have...
  • liquor store, one close, and one farther away but still within walking distance
  • a library
  • several restaurants including the famous Bville diner
  • there is a gas station that fills growlers (craft beer exchange), a Sunoco
  • lots of pizza places
  • a dollar store
  • 2 banks that I can recall
  • groceries- Kinny's, Byrne Dairy
  • several doctor's offices of varying specialties
  • there's a museum close by
  • churches in walking distance
  • Red Mill Inn if you get sick of staying on your boat
  • Paper Mill Island has concerts almost weekly throughout the summer


So to all you stuck boaters, I hope the river conditions improve enough for your travel to whatever destination is in your future. For us, its hanging out at home waiting for the rain to stop. (Although, I absolutely love being on the boat in the rain. Listening to the patter of rain on the deck while I'm all cozy inside the boat...)




Friday, June 26, 2015

Things I want in my next boat

1- larger beam- at least 12 feet
We currently have a 9 foot beam. This refers to the width of the boat. I want there to be enough room to lounge without feeling cramped.

2- longer boat- 35-40 feet
At 28 feet, space is tight. After boarding these larger boats, I really feel like they will be a good fit. We grew out of our first 2 boats very quickly. It all depends on what you plan to do with your boat. Our 28 foot boat is fine for overnight. I want something I can live on for a week.

3- more on deck space, better layout
I want a lounge area in the back of the boat with built in seats, the option for a table. A small sink and refrigerator would be ideal. I would also like a seating area near the driver's seat. There should be easily accessible stairs or a walk around to get to the bow of the boat.

4- sun pad on the bow
Two of them would be great. I like the removable snap down pads. Its nice to sit on the bow but the surface is so hard without some kind of cushion.

5- more below deck space with a better layout
I really enjoy comfort in this area. Our 28 foot boat has a space very similar to a camper. There is a patch of floor to go between the v-berth, the kitchen table, the bathroom, and the master cabin. I have seen some Sea Rays that have a little lounge area under the stairs. This lounge doubles as a bunk area and has a curtain for privacy. There is a couch that has a table option. The area is big enough for a family of 4 to relax below deck without feeling crowded. The kitchen area should be its own little space.

6- 2 cabins (or a master and a bunk space)
Our kids are young yet and will likely be boating with us for several years. I want a master cabin and a separate space for the kids. I don't want them sleeping on a converted couch. They need their own space for their things. They go to sleep before us so its not practical for them to sleep in the main lounging space. Jay and I differ on this point but then sleep is not a high priority for him.

7- full or half size refrigerator
We have this tiny dorm size refrigerator with an ineffective freezer compartment. My mother in law once tried to put a bag of ice in there and it melted. The fridge is good for keeping condiments on hand and for beverages. We rely on the cooler to keep food cold. So, my next boat needs to have a bigger refrigerator. I plan to stay on it for at least a weekend. I enjoy cooking and like to have things on hand. Another point Jay and I differ on.
This would be a great kitchen...


8- more storage
We need room to keep a couple of sets of clothes on board for 4 people. I want to logical places to stow my supplies. On deck, I want better storage for life jackets, lines, anchors, fishing gear, etc. There is a tiny spot inside one of the stairs for garbage. While this isn't terrible, a larger spot would be more convenient.

9- electric toilet or foot operated flusher
We have a hand pump toilet. It is the most horrendous thing in the middle of the night. Many times, I will wait until morning to flush it. Also, it takes many pumps to get the flush down. An electric toilet has a button that will flush the toilet very quickly. The electric toilets are more expensive than the pump kind so even a foot pump would be an improvement over what we have now. A foot pump toilet will flush when the pedal is pressed, opening a vent in the bottom of the toilet for the waste.

10- separate shower in bathroom
We have never used our shower. It is the bathroom sink that extends like a kitchen sprayer. There is a door and a shower curtain. Also, since we don't have shore water (attach a hose to your boat and you have pressurized water, not from a tank), I don't even think we could take a shower with the water in our tank. There is a shower at the marina but everyone shares it. I've never used it and don't know how often it gets cleaned. There are some marinas with excellent facilities. When considering boat dockage, that is something to be inspected.


11- shore water hookups
We have a holding tank for our water. We fill it with a hose. Its inside the boat somewhere. There is an opening like the ones for gas and waste. Just fill the right one with water. That sends water through the sinks and the transom shower.

12- AC/heater
When coming on our boat for the first time on a hot summer day, having AC is essential. You're entering a cabin that has been closed up for a week on a boat sitting in the sun. Its hot! AC is used when you are plugged in at a marina or if you have a generator. You need a 2nd power cable or a splitter to run your AC and boat power. A heater is not a deal breaker but if you have a large boat and plan to stay on it during colder nights, its a nice thing to have.


13- hot water heater
This is something I never thought I would need. A hot shower is much better than a cold one.

14- built in generator
Bigger boats usually have this feature. If you are out on the water, away from your shore power, and you want to take advantage of any powered features on your boat, you will need the generator.

15- space to walk around entire boat
This is especially handy when going through the locks. I've always had to climb through a hatch or walk up stairs built into the passenger side (the area next to the driver). I like the look of the boats with this walk around area. Makes it much easier to handle the lines.

16- good size swim platform
On the back of the boat, there is an area where swimmers can enter and exit the boat (motors off!). We have a small one that is enough for 2 people to stand on. They make larger ones where you could fit a lounge chair. Not that you would but that gives you an idea of the size. While we're at it, let's have a better swim ladder. A ladder that mounts on the side of the boat is a wonderful idea- especially for the little ones who are afraid of going to the back of the boat. (this is not me or our boat, just a pic I found online)


Here is a ladder for dogs...(not my dog or boat, just a pic I found online)

17- head room in the master cabin
The ability to stand up in the master cabin. Our cabin is kind of tomb like. You can stand up when you first step in but then getting into bed, its like a coffin space. Its dark, private, and great for sleeping. I found 2 photos. Both are a huge step up from what I have now.
This one is my dream cabin...

For my next boat, this is more likely what I will end up with...

18- central vac
This is something I never knew I wanted until I saw a boat with one. I have a small vacuum I use on board now. Its not very powerful but it will pick up crumbs and bugs. If I want a thorough clean, I can bring my vacuum from home.

19- full canvas with screens
This is for sitting on your deck at night. Its like having a screened in porch to keep the bugs out.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

What do you need for a day on the boat?

What do you need when you go on a boat? That depends on the size of the boat, the number of people, the number and ages of the children, how long you will be out, where you are going, and possibly the day's activities. I will relate this to the 2 boats we have owned. A 21' and a 28'.

Scenario 1: lunch on a small boat
21' boat, 4 people (2 kids under 10), 6 hours, a day at the lake for tubing, swimming, and beach play.

GEAR.....Let's talk about the gear you may need. According to Jay, we need bathing suits, towels, and money. According to me (and many other moms out there) we need
     -beach toys (2 pails, 2 shovels, frisbee, 2 noodles)
     -snacks (quick food for the kids to eat without making a mess)
     -the meal
     -drinks- water, caprisons, adult beverages
     -sunscreen
     -bug spray
     -first aid kit (keep one on board permanently)
     - 5 towels (need 1 sacrificial towel for sopping up water on board)
     -life jackets for everyone on board (these stay in the boat)
     -the tube- inflate it at home and secure it to the boat with bungee chords. If you have a battery operated pump, you can inflate it on the boat
Our boat had a cuddy cabin so everything went in there.


FOOD...We take a big cooler, pack it at home with ice packs, and then fill it with ice on the way to the marina. Once again, if it were up to Jay, he would bring money and probably beer.
     -snacks- goldfish, tortilla chips, watermelon chunks, carrot and celery sticks
     -the meal- I make sandwiches (turkey, ham, or bologna) with all the fixings (depends on who is  eating which sandwich), wrap them in tinfoil, then put them all in a ziploc bag (keeps the water out). My girls also love egg salad sandwiches. They call these sandwiches "egg sandwiches on the boat". .
     -drinks- bottled water, caprisons, beer, soda
If we are in the middle of a lake, we just eat on the bow or the back of the boat. Usually, we leave the marina close to lunch so we end up eating while the boat is in motion. Also, when in a small boat, the meals aren't like a picnic where you set everything out. We eat in stages so we don't have alot of things out at once.

TIPS...
1- If you must eat on the boat- do so before it gets wet. Crumbs on a wet carpet are really gross.
2- Make sure everyone keeps their sandwich wrapped in tin foil while eating- catches the crumbs.
3- Have a garbage bag handy before you start to eat.
4- Keep everything low and close to you if you are eating while in motion. Stuff will blow away.
5- Keep the cooler under a seat if you can. Easy access throughout the day.
6- Keep a small vacuum or dust broom on board. Keep the boat clean.
7- If you are having a picnic on land, think about where you are leaving the boat. If you have to walk through the water to get to land, you might be better off eating on the boat. If you can tie off at a doc, you can bring your cooler with you easily. Remember to bring your garbage bag as many places are carry in/carry out.

Scenario 2: lunch on a bigger boat
28' boat, 8 people, 4 kids under 10, 6 hours, a day at the lake for tubing, swimming, water skiing, and beach play.

GEAR.....
     -beach toys (2 pails, 2 shovels, frisbee, 4 noodles)
     -snacks (quick food for the kids to eat without making a mess)
     -the meal
     -drinks- water, caprisons, adult beverages
     -sunscreen (keep this on the boat)
     -bug spray (keep this on the boat)
     -first aid kit (keep this on the boat)
     - 9 towels (need 1 sacrificial towel for sopping up water on board)
     -life jackets for everyone on board (these stay in the boat)
     -the tube- inflate it at home and secure it to the boat with bungee chords. If you have a battery    operated pump, you can inflate it on the boat
     -skiis

FOOD...
Having a bigger boat with a refrigerator and small kitchen is much easier. We still bring a cooler, maybe 2. We also have staples on hand in the kitchen. The tough part about this is that the kids usually hang out in the cabin below deck while the boat is moving which is where all the food and drinks are. When they get hungry, they go foraging.
     -snacks- goldfish, tortilla chips, watermelon chunks, carrot and celery sticks, salsa
     -the meal- still sandwiches but I bring the lunch meat, bread, condiments and assemble everything in the kitchen
     -drinks- bottled water, caprisons, beer, soda, wine, canned margaritas
If the boat is stopped when we decide to eat, we will set everything out like a picnic. If we are moving and people decide to eat, we prepare as needed and eat things in courses. Here are a couple of pictures from our current boat (28'). We have a couple of eating areas. In the 2nd picture, you can see an open area under our seat- that's where we keep the coolers.


TIPS....
1- all tips for the small boat still apply
2- It is much easier to go to a restaurant for a meal with 8 people. Bringing your own food saves time and money.
3- When travelling with children, always have at least a snack handy for them.

Scenario 3: dinner on a bigger boat, my favorite by far!!
28' boat, 2 people, dinner cruise to watch the sunset

GEAR...
     -a couple of towels
     -the meal
     -drinks
     -plus whatever you happen to already have on board (that will be covered in another post)

FOOD...
Without the kids on board, there are many more food options. I'm going to go with my favorite one. If we had a grill on board, there would be even more options. I make the meals at home and pack them in containers for the boat.
     -pasta salad with chicken and roasted veggies (served cold), balsamic vinaigrette for the dressing
     -white wine
     -you could do an app of shrimp cocktail or something like that
     -cheese cake or a tiramisu for dessert- something individually packaged (Wegmans!)

TIPS...
1- Its difficult to drive a boat at night. Obstacles are not always visible at night.
2- Make sure you know your route home really well. If there was an unmarked obstacle in the water on your way to your destination, it might still be there on the way back. You might have to miss out on our sunset.
3- If you can, stay over night on the boat. You can rent a slip space for the night at a marina or drop anchor somewhere.
4- Always leave a light on at night unless you are safely parked in a marina.

We have dinner in the back area of the boat. Then we sit on the bow of the boat and relax. I really want to get these chairs that fold up (expensive). We have these tinkerbell chairs that do the same thing and cost a fraction of the price.



Here we are on an overnight trip long ago. We finished dinner, watched the sunset, and then sat out on the bow of the boat drinking wine in our tinkerbell chairs.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mishaps part 2

Jay and I were talking about some other things that have happened on the boat in the past several years. There are some boating tips in here.

1- Never sacrifice expensive electronics if your kids can swim...
This occurred with our 28 foot boat. (I will explain how we acquired that in another post.) Jay was bringing the boat into the new marina. He was approaching the dock and I was standing on the dock with my cell phone (expensive cell phone). My 5 year old daughter was standing with me- she loves the boat. I was on the phone with the marina trying to find out which slip space we had for the summer. This would have been good info to have before arriving but I forgot to look it up. The boat gets close enough to touch so my 5 year old grabs the railing. Lines have not yet been thrown so she is the only thing keeping the boat at the dock. The boat starts to drift, Jay yells, I turn to see my daughter start to leave the dock, holding the railing of the boat. I thought I set the phone on the dock and then grabbed my daughter. Sadly, I dropped the phone in the water.  After she was secured, I tried to locate the phone. I could have gone in the water for it but I couldn't see the bottom. I now use a floating waterproof bag with a strap for my phone whenever I am near or on the boat. Phone insurance is a must if you have anything like my luck with phones.

2- Never let your kids stand at the hatch to the cabin while the boat is under way...
The boat is moving, kids are moving from the main deck to the cabin. For whatever reason, the boat slows down and someone goes flying down the stairs. This has happened to unsuspecting adults on board too.

3- Always get a floating key chain for the boat keys...
 If your marina has a locked bathroom, make sure you get a floating key chain for that key too. Its like the cell phone incident above... no one wants to see their keys sink to the bottom of the lake.

4- Never hook up a bug zapper under your bimini top ...
We were spending the night on the boat parked at the marina. We thought it would be a good idea to bring the bug zapper along as the bugs are pretty bad at night. We hooked it up and it worked great. We have a light and bug control as we relax outside. We left it on all night. In the morning, there were bug carcasses all over the place. I am sure the neighbors just LOVED to hear the sound of my vacuum as I cleaned the mess. Bug spray may be the way to go.