Sure, winters in South Florida may not be known for roaring fires or a “white Christmas,” but take a closer look and you’ll see—our holiday spirit is alive and well! Just read on to see a few of our favorite festive ways to spend the season, on and off the water.  

Do holiday shopping by the water

Looking for ways to avoid the holiday shopping scramble? Head to a unique destination where the emphasis is on the pleasure of shopping for one-of-a-kind-finds, not deals and doorbusters! There are many waterfront destinations throughout South Florida where you can have some fun and do a little shopping, too. One of our favorites is the West Palm Beach GreenMarket, which takes place every Saturday right by the water. Here, you will be able to snack on fresh baked goods—their scents wafting through the coastal air—as you browse through candles, soaps, gourmet goodies, dog treats, flowers and many more meaningful gifts for the people on your list. The market is held from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., so keep your afternoon open for some boating fun!

Participate in a holiday boat parade

Pair your love of boating and festive fun at one of South Florida’s famous boat parades! You can deck out your boat and participate in events like the Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade on Dec. 7, Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade on Dec. 15, or the Winterfest Boat Parade in Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 14! Even if you’re not cruising in the parade, you can still swing by and enjoy the show from shore—these extravagant light displays and beautiful boat decorations are not to be missed.

See snow…

There’s a lot to love about winter in South Florida—but for those who pine for the majestic beauty of a snowy holiday, South Florida has you covered. Head to CityPlace in West Palm Beach to enjoy nightly snowfall and a truly beautiful, playful scene the whole family will enjoy.

… and a new kind of Christmas tree

South Florida’s “Sandi” isn’t your average Christmas tree—in fact, sculpted out of 700 tons of sand, there’s no tree in the world like her! See the uniquely Sunshine State sight for yourself in West Palm Beach from Dec. 5-30.

Enjoy quality time with your furry friend

Who better to spend the holidays with than your furry best friend? On a beautifully brisk South Florida afternoon, head to a dog-friendly destination like Bark Beach in Boca Raton where Fido can run around, dig in the sand, enjoy the water and, most importantly, share your company! Your pet can even enjoy some quality time off-leash in designated areas. This is also a great time of year to bring your dog out for a ride on the water—she probably likes the sea breeze and salty air just as much as you do!

Warm up with the manatees

You didn’t need another reason to visit South Florida Yachts’ new location in Riviera Beach, but here’s one anyway: manatees!

FPL’s Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center is home to a natural manatee lagoon thanks to its warm water—at this time of year, when the weather gets a little cooler, nature’s gentle giants (a.k.a. sea cows) gather at the lagoon to warm up, much to the delight of spectators up above. Gathering around the lagoon with family and friends to try and spot a family of manatees (or a few dozen of them, depending on the day!) is a great way to spend the holiday season, and has become a sort of holiday tradition for locals and visitors alike.

(Tip: While there are no boats in Manatee Lagoon, you may find yourself sharing the water with manatees this winter. Always keep an eye on posted speed limits and other signage, as well as the water below you, and cruise carefully to help keep the water safe for these beautiful creatures.)

Go fishing

Stuart is the Sailfish Capital of the World, and winter is the best time to fish for this majestic catch! For avid anglers, there’s no greater gift than the thrill of landing one of these skilled swimmers. Get your fellow anglers together for a holiday outing at your favorite offshore spot.  

Host holiday gatherings on the water

Even if you’re not going fishing, your boat is a great place to host holiday gatherings! Invite friends and family out for an al fresco lunch of easy bites like fruit skewers or grilled seafood sandwiches. You can even use your boat as the venue for fun holiday traditions like a White Elephant gift exchange. After all, there aren’t too many places where you can sport shorts and a light sweater during the middle of December, so embrace it!

We hope that these seasonal ideas help you embrace the holiday spirit on and off the water! Of course, if you’re looking for the perfect gift this season—even a gift for yourself—South Florida Yachts is here to help make it happen with the boat of your dreams. Call or visit us today to learn more.

While you wouldn’t know it by our beautiful palm trees or breezy shorts-and-boat shoes weather, winter is here in West Palm Beach! One of the best ways to mark the beginning of the season is to visit the West Palm Beach Winter Boat Show on Dec. 13-15.

Just read on as we share five easy ways to enjoy the show and the surrounding area!

Find the boat of your dreams

The main attraction at this year’s show is, of course, the boats! Featuring center consoles, bay boats and everything in between, this is the perfect time to check out the boat you’ve been dreaming of in person—or to stumble upon the ideal ride! South Florida Yachts will be attending this year’s show to answer any questions you may have about our selection or the boat-buying process. (Tip: Even if you’re not ready to buy a boat just yet, swing by and enjoy the day with family! Not only is it a great atmosphere filled with water lovers like you, but you may be able to learn more about the style of boat you’re most interested in, or to familiarize yourself with the purchase process so you know what to expect later on.)

Pick out a new water toy or accessory

In addition to the boats themselves, the West Palm Beach Winter Boat Show will feature plenty of personal watercraft and accessories to browse through. Once you have the dream ride, you naturally want to make your on-the-water experience even better with thrilling additions like these! So browse around and pick out something that takes your cruising to the next level.

While you’re in town…

West Palm Beach is filled with fun opportunities to enjoy beyond the boat show, too! Once you’re in the area and have enjoyed some quality time at the show, be sure to stick around for activities such as…

Go fishing

From West Palm Beach, you’re not far from some of South Florida’s very best fishing opportunities. As you cruise the Intracoastal Waterway, you can prepare for a seriously fun inshore adventure—and then, as you make your way out to sea, you’re sure to be in for some equally enjoyable offshore action. At this time of year, close-to-shore catches include crevalle jack, sheepshead and mangrove snapper. Venture a bit farther out and you will discover prized catches like sailfish or blackfin tuna, to name just a few.

Visit the West Palm Beach Warehouse District

West Palm Beach is home to a unique shopping experience you won’t find just anywhere in South Florida! The West Palm Beach Warehouse District features shops and casual dining venues (each with a one-of-a-kind character) built into industrial warehouses from the 1920s through the 1960s. Browse around and pick up a beautiful plant or old record, or savor a delicious dessert—there’s no wrong way to spend an afternoon at the Warehouse District!

Grab a bite

If you’re a boater, you might just feel yourself being pulled toward destinations like Clematis Street, a beautiful row of shops and restaurants that runs right up to the Intracoastal Waterway. Before you head back to the water for some boating fun—or perhaps after a long day on the water—grab a bite at one of Clematis’ beloved restaurants, with picks ranging from classical Italian to fresh seafood and everything in between. It’s the perfect place to recap your boat show adventure, or to start planning to purchase your next ride! Now that you’re equipped with a guide to all things West Palm Beach, we can’t wait to see you at this year’s show!

The world’s largest in-water boat show is back! As we celebrate the beginning of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, just read on as we take a closer look at some of the highlights, including fun ways to enjoy the local area by water. Let’s jump right in.

Explore the “Venice of America”

For much of the country, boat show season is a time for boots, coats, and daydreaming about a return to the water come spring and summer. Here in South Florida, though, you don’t have to dream! Even in late October, Fort Lauderdale is a warm, sunny paradise ready to be explored by boat. You can cruise along the famous Intracoastal Waterway that earned Fort Lauderdale its nickname of “Venice of America.” The Intracoastal is lined with beautiful waterfront homes as well as shopping, dining and cultural opportunities to discover! Plus, even if you don’t yet have your dream ride (or you simply want to enjoy a hands-free afternoon), you can get around by hopping aboard a local water taxi or cruise.

Dig in

With such an abundance of fresh seafood and world-class dining opportunities to discover, you owe it to yourself to dig in during show weekend! Dock and dine at one of the many lux al fresco eateries that line the Intracoastal Waterway, or grill up your own fresh catch on board as you soak in the sea breeze.

There will be plenty of culinary fun at the show itself as well. Foodies will enjoy events such as the show’s 2nd Annual Sunset Soiree & Yacht Chef Competition, where seasoned yacht chefs will put their skills to the test crafting delicious, gourmet meals—and you will have the pleasure of tasting them!

Live the luxury lifestyle

You can’t help but feel luxurious while spending time in Fort Lauderdale. It’s the Yachting Capital of the World, after all, and there are plenty of opportunities for those seeking to savor the luxury experience. You can join the Windward VIP Club to enjoy drinks, special events and a comfortable lounge to cool off in, for example, or simply treat yourself to DIY elegance with a hand-crafted picnic by the beach. There is no shortage of ways to indulge your luxurious side during show weekend.

Discover your dream ride

One of the big reasons why people come to boat shows is, of course, to find their dream ride—and you will certainly have plenty of opportunities to do that at this year’s show! Members of the South Florida Yachts sales team can be found at the Bob Hewes Robalo tent to answer questions about finding your perfect ride for boaters local to our area. You can also check out our beautiful 40’ Schaefer at the Schaefer Yachts tent!

Amplify your on-the-water adventure

Already have a boat to call your own? This year’s show also offers an abundance of ways to amplify your current setup with inflatables, apparel, boat accessories and other must-haves. You can also indulge your artistic side at The BlueWild Watersports and Marine Art Expo, treat the kids to a fishing lesson or learn something new yourself! With so many exhibits, seminars and other exciting opportunities to enjoy, you’ll be able to celebrate your love of boating in a big way.

We hope that these tips help you enjoy the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to the fullest! The fun begins on Wednesday, Oct. 30 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 3. It’s just the beginning of a lively South Florida boat show season, so stay tuned to South Florida Yachts as we share news and updates on upcoming events throughout the area—and of course, be sure to browse through our expansive inventory to find the ride of your dreams.

Fall is the festive season, a time for gathering with friends and family over delicious food and meaningful moments! The postcard version of this season often features cold days, falling leaves and firelit dinners—but here in South Florida, we do things a little differently. Where else can you enjoy harvest-season get togethers on the water, with little more than a light sweater to keep you warm?

If you’re looking for ways to entertain on your boat this fall, we’ve got you covered. Just read on as we share a few of our favorite ideas.

Maximize your entertaining space

When you think “on-board entertaining,” your mind might jump to images of big, beautiful yachts with plenty of room above and below deck. These kinds of vessels are, of course, perfect for on-the-water gatherings, but smaller rides can still get in on the fun just as easily! Maximize your on-board entertaining space by stowing away loose items like gear, extra snacks, towels and more. (Build-in storage benches and other “hidden” options, many of which can be found in our inventory of Robalo boats, are perfect for this!)

When you’re entertaining at home, you might extend the party out from your dining room to the patio, or from the kitchen to the family room. You can do the same thing on your boat! Dock by a favorite beach or popular waterfront plaza where you can easily explore beyond your boat; or opt for a lively raft-up, a South Florida tradition in which friends and family bring several boats together (at a convenient meeting spot, like a marina or sandbar hangout) to enjoy quality time together.

Opt for easy, delicious eats

Don’t worry about planning an elaborate menu for your fall gathering! The best on-board eats are both simple and satisfying. If you’re throwing an on-the-water brunch, opt for classics like pastries and fruit salad, which can be enjoyed without requiring a traditional table or chairs. For evening get-togethers, you can’t go wrong with a delicious charcuterie for effortless elegance! Bring together bite-sized meats, cheeses, pretzels and other savory bites for a truly memorable meal that requires hardly any prep-time.

For effortless cleanup…

Reusable plates and cutlery are perfect for effortless cleanup, and they’re also good for the on-the-water environment!

Bring spare clothes and blankets

Even South Florida fall can be a little brisk come nightfall—so if your party extends into the evening hours, or it simply happens to be a cooler day, be sure to bring along spare clothes and blankets so that you’re prepared for a sudden temperature drop or inadvertent splash.

Create a party playlist

Now’s the time to put the finishing touches on your on-the-water gathering. Whether you opt for modern pop, smooth jazz, or Caribbean-infused coastal rhythms, use your phone plus a simple outdoor speaker to create a playlist that will inspire the easygoing mood of your get-together. With the right boat, you already have a ready-made entertaining space perfect for fall and all year long! When you’re in search of that ideal ride, we’ve got you covered—browse our inventory and call or visit us today to learn more.

Fall is officially here! Here in South Florida, we may not see vibrant fall foliage—but we do have a host of reasons to enjoy the switch of season, especially when it comes to fun on the water. Just read on as we share a few simple ways to celebrate the season ahead.

Enjoy wide-open waterways

Now that some of the summer crowds have cleared, you’re free to explore your favorite waterways, beaches and hidden gem destinations with ease. Kick back and relax as South Florida sees lower humidity and, eventually, cooler temperatures that convey fall is truly in the air.

Explore waterfront farmer’s markets and other activities

Fall in South Florida is defined by beautiful weather and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy—and fortunately for those who can’t get enough cruising time, many of these activities take place right by the water! For example, the West Palm Beach GreenMarket kicks off on October 5th and runs on Saturdays throughout the season. Located on the city’s vibrant downtown waterfront, the GreenMarket gives you the chance to enjoy fresh baked goods, pick up some fruits and veggies, enjoy live music or stroll around with your four-legged friend all before heading back to the marina.

Later this fall, you can cruise down toward Miami’s Coconut Grove for the annual Pumpkin Patch Festival! On October 26th, this boat-loving community comes alive with rides, delicious fall-time eats, a corn maze, and, of course, plenty of pumpkin picking fun—all easy to pair with an afternoon on the water.

Prepare for boat show season

Boat show season is almost here—in late October, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show ushers in months of boat show fun in Miami, Stuart, Palm Beach and beyond! Now is a great time to think about the events you may want to attend, and to consider your current boat situation: do you have a boat you love? Are you looking for an opportunity to upgrade? (Remember, if you want to sell your boat ahead of an upcoming show, South Florida Yachts is here to help!)

Deck out your ride

Fall is all about cozy, home-y traditions, so why not bring a sense of home on the water? By bringing a warm throw blanket or outdoor-friendly pillows aboard, you can ensure that you and your passengers feel at home and at ease when it comes time for on-board entertaining (especially when the temperatures start to dip during nights on the water!). For a sense of fall ambiance, you can also add outdoor-friendly, battery-powered candles to your deck dining space.

Don’t forget the snacks! Pumpkin granola bars or harvest-flavor trail mix are just a few delicious ways to stay fueled on the water, while keeping mess to a minimum.

Cruise with layers

As you prepare your boat for the fall fun ahead, prepare your wardrobe, too! Fortunately, you probably won’t need a thick hat, coat or boots to enjoy time outdoors in Florida this fall. However, by making a few small changes—such as swapping flip-flops for boat shoes, and dressing in layers for cooler night on the water—you can ensure that you’re prepared for whatever the day may bring.

We hope that these ideas help inspire your fall festivities, on and off the water. From boat shows to browsing for your dream ride, South Florida Yachts is here to help you enjoy the season ahead to the fullest. Just call or visit us today to learn more.

For much of the country, fall marks the end of warm, sunny fishing days on the water—but not here in South Florida! In fact, our waters will soon be filled with “snowbird” fish who want to escape the colder waters they spent the summer in, which means some seriously fun fishing lies ahead.

Just read on as we explore what’s biting this season!

Bonefish

Once the heat of summer has cooled down, September marks the beginning of bonefish season for South Florida. This shimmery fish looks like a diamond in the water, and can often be observed in shallow-water destinations, from Palm Beach down to the flats of Biscayne Bay. Fly fishing is a popular way to land one of these shiny-scaled swimmers, either from the deck of your bay boat or by jumping right into the water!

Cobia

As we progress further into fall, be on the lookout for whopper cobia. This fast-moving fighter of a fish is a thrill to catch—or even to try to catch. Head offshore for a chance at the formidable cobia, and use a combination of chumming and brightly colored jigs to work up attention underwater.

Sailfish

Did you know that Stuart is the Sailfish Capital of the World? Our waters are filled with opportunities to try for this famous fish, known for its striking, blue dorsal fin and long bill that makes it an instantly recognizable catch. To land a sailfish of your own, be prepared for a fast-paced adventure—sailfish are the world’s quickest fish with top speeds reaching nearly 70 miles per hour! Opt for trolling or kite fishing to attract this prized catch when it’s on the move.

Snapper

Snapper may not be a “snowbird” like some of its fellow fall catches—South Florida anglers know that this fish, a common fixture of the local scene, can be found winter, spring, summer and fall! Still, catching a big, colorful snapper is a timeless thrill, and a proud photo-op moment to boot. To land a serious snapper, know that the largest fish tend to love live bait. Look for snapper around structure such as reefs, mangroves, wrecks and similar areas.

Wahoo

Known for its slender shape, vivid stripes, and speed in the water, wahoo is another favorite for many anglers. Head offshore to find wahoo where it’s most comfortable going fast, and where you can keep up with the action through trolling with live bait, with squid being one popular option.

You know what’s biting—but do you still need the perfect way to get out on the water and cast your line? If so, we can help! Call or visit South Florida Yachts today to find your dream ride, or sell your boat and pick out an upgrade. We’re here to help make your on-the-water adventures even better, this fall and all year long.

Welcome to a place that is culturally vibrant yet laid-back, welcome to the Treasure Coast. Here, you can have the opportunity to relax, be adventurous and make lasting memories. With thousands of miles of untouched land, undeveloped coastline, and many diverse shops and restaurants, there is no shortage of fun-filled activities in this coastal region of Florida.

Located on the southeastern coast of Florida, Treasure Coast is comprised on three counties including Martin County, St. Lucie County, and Indian River County. If you’re looking to explore this coastal region, simply read on for information on the area and the don’t-miss attractions that make The Treasure Coast a popular residential and vacation destination. Take a look!

What’s in a name?

The Treasure Coast name’s origin goes back to the 18th century. In the early 1800s a fleet of Spanish ships carrying gold, silver, and precious jewels crashed and sank right off the southeastern Florida coast. The treasure sank and can still be found washed up on shore to this day. This unfortunate blunder gave this area its well-deserved name making the Treasure Coast not just a great place for relaxation, but also an ideal spot for modern day treasure hunting.

Sebastian Inlet State Park

The Treasure Coast’s biggest attraction is its thriving wildlife. Here, there are so many natural wonders to enjoy and many coastal adventures to embark on. You may find yourself wondering how to fit it all in, but we’ve got a few ideas for the water enthusiasts!

Sebastian Inlet State Park, located in Indian River County, is a premier saltwater fishing spot. The park contains three miles of gorgeous beaches that provide perfect opportunities for surfing, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, beachcombing and more! This park is a true beach lovers paradise. Surfers from around the world flock to the park to catch some of the best waves in Florida. For the calmer visitor, the untouched beaches are ideal for collecting shells, observing sea turtle nests or fishing from one of the jetties that run into the Atlantic. You can even spend the night at the park’s campground or simply park your boat for the day to explore the land. You won’t want to miss this gorgeous natural attraction!  

Offshore and Inshore Fishing

For the more serious fisherman, you can spend the day fishing the water that The Treasure Coast is known for. Catch a Fort Pierce Fishing Charter in St. Lucie County for a world-class offshore fishing experience that you won’t soon forget. If inshore fishing is more of your thing, the Indian River Lagoon is ideal for making the perfect catch. Top of the line fishing charters are plentiful in The Treasure Coast and guides are knowledgeable of the area so that you can learn the best spots and strategies for making your dream catch.

Blowing Rocks Preserve

Head to Martin County to experience Blowing Rocks Preserve! This is the largest rocky, limestone shoreline on the United States Atlantic coast. The ecosystem that is found here is quickly disappearing from many Florida islands. In fact, there are many endangered plants and animals that call Blowing Rocks Preserve home, including the rare loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles.

Experience this unique rocky shoreline by indulging in some swimming, snorkeling or simply observing the rare birds, plants and animals along their three hiking trails.

Snorkel a Shipwreck

Have you ever wanted to explore a real life shipwreck? Well, you’re in luck! Indian River County’s Vero Beach is home to one of the most famous shallow water wrecks, the SS Breconshire. On this exciting excursion, you’ll have the opportunity to go beneath the crystal blue waters to witness an ever-changing landscape of colorful coral and vibrant marine life. Marvel at the historic shipwreck that lives below and try to spot your very own underwater treasures

After your snorkeling experience, head over to The McLarty Treasure Museum in Vero Beach to see artifacts, dioramas, cannons and a film about the one of most famous shipwrecks in the area, the 1715 Fleet disaster.

Downtown Stuart

Located in Martin County, Stuart, Florida’s historic downtown was voted the #1 Happiest Seaside Town by Coastal Living. You’ll quickly understand why when you see the countless local restaurants, shops, art galleries, music venues, and more. Many boaters love this downtown due to its many docking and waterfront dining opportunities.

As you explore the beautiful Treasure Coast this summer and beyond, be sure to stop by South Florida Yachts and say “hi” at our Treasure Coast location right in Stuart. We offer an amazing selection of boats and are one of the top Robalo dealers in the state of Florida. We pride ourselves on treating each and every client in a personal and professional manner with the ultimate goal of placing you on your dream boat. Contact us today to discover the perfect vessel for your Treasure Coast expedition!

July is the time of year when summer comes in full-swing! That means the sun is stronger, the days are longer, the heat is turned on full-blast, and days are best spent entirely on the water. So, as you continue to take your boat out for summer fun, consider some practical advice that will make these sunny days even more enjoyable.

Simply read on as we share our top five tips for boating in the summertime and every day that follows!

1) Cover Up!

We all know that the sun is extra strong in the summer months, but did you know that the sun’s rays are stronger when you’re on the water? That’s right, when you’re in or even near the water, the sun’s rays reflect and can cause sun damage more easily. This is why it is crucial that you take care of your skin while boating in the summertime.

To still enjoy a sunny day on the water, apply plenty of sunscreen and reapply every 80 minutes to insure your skin is protected from the harmful UV rays. Lathering on sunscreen throughout the day is also a great way to cool down! A 30 SPF face stick is the perfect addition to your day pack because it can be easily applied, even while in the water.

For even better protection from the sun, toss on a lightweight long sleeve tee. It may seem counterintuitive, but a long-sleeve breathable shirt can keep you cool on a summer day, plus it blocks the sun. While you’re at it, protect your face with a hat. Just be sure to hold on when you take off for a cruise!

Another part of your body that needs protection from the sun is your eyes! Often forgotten, but oh so crucial, your eyes can suffer from too much sunlight. Whether you’re fishing, tanning, or simply cruising, polarized sunglasses are the way to go. These special lens help to eliminate sun glare, allowing you to see your surroundings more clearly which is crucial when operating your boat. Never forget to cover-up before a day out on the water!

2) Ice, Ice Baby

When boating on a hot summer day there are a few things that you just can never have enough of. Ice is definitely one of those! Not only does ice keep your drinks nice and cool, but it can also help you cool down as you relax on deck. You can even throw your sunscreen into the cooler for a refreshing effect during reapplication. Ice is also a must-have for the fisherman as you want to keep your catch nice and fresh. Ice is a summertime boating essential!

3) You Can Never Have Enough Towels

Another item that you can never pack enough of is beach towels. Sure, they are great for drying off after a refreshing swim, but they can be used for a variety of things on a sunny summer boat day. Use beach towels to lay out on the deck and relax or tan. Fold them up to make a comfortable cushion to sit on. Roll them for back support as you drive your vessel. Even throw them over your head for instant shade!

The reason that you can’t have enough beach towels is that summer sun rays are hot and that means so are the surfaces of your boat. If you’re anchored at a sandbar for the day and find yourself burning your feet on the deck, seats, or swim platform, simply lay out a towel for protection.

4) Indulge in Cool Snacks

Boat snacks can sometimes be a challenge, but with the right amount of preparation you’ll be on your way to delicious, nutritious, and refreshing snacks perfect for a summer day on the water. Pick foods that will cool you down and are high in water content like watermelon chunks and cucumber slices. Other ideas include frozen grapes, carrots and hummus, summer fruit salad, chips and guacamole and more!

Spending time on the water sure does work up an appetite so be sure to pack a substantial amount of snacks and if you find yourself ready for a meal while out and about, try researching on-the-water restaurants before you head out for the day so you can simply pull up and dock your boat for an on-the-water dining experience!

5) Take a Coast-to-Coast Trip

Summertime brings longer days and this extra bit of daylight can make it easier to set out on all-day adventures like a coast to coast boat trip! South Florida is the perfect location for this type of trip as you can catch the sunrise on the east coast, spend the day in the blue waters and finish your day on the west coast to catch the sunset. This is an excellent way to celebrate the season and explore areas that you may have not been to before.

We hope today’s blog gave you some insight on how to fully take advantage of summertime boating. If you’re dreaming of summer days on your very own vessel in the South Florida area, consider South Florida Yachts as your boat dealer. We are one of the mainstays of the Florida Boating Industry and have been based in South Florida for over 25 years.

We would be thrilled to assist you in finding the perfect vessel for you and your family just in time to catch the tail end of summer! Browse our inventory online or simply stop by one of our three convenient South Florida locations. Contact us today for more information. Happy summer!  

Imagine the perfect day out on the water. Maybe you see yourself gliding along calm seas as you feel the wind in your face and the ocean spray all around you. This dreamy image can be a reality, but only if you are properly prepared for your first boating adventure.

Perhaps you have just purchased your first boat or you’re in the market for one. Wherever you find yourself as you prepare to become an avid boater, it is important to understand your responsibilities and strategies for staying safe and smart while on the water. We’ve come up with our top 10 tips to help you efficiently and responsibly prepare for your first time out on your vessel. Take a look!

1) Obtain License & Registration

Having your boat registered and obtaining your Florida boating license is absolutely crucial to beginning your life as a boater. These important documents are required by law when you are operating a marine vessel, big or small. After purchasing your boat from South Florida Yachts, determine where you’ll be boating—rivers, lakes, the ocean—and the state (if anywhere other than Florida) in which you’ll be operating your boa. These details can have an effect on what type of license and/or registration you need. The type of boat you will be operating is also a determining factor.

Once your boating location has been determined, do research on what information you will need to get your boat registered and how to obtain your boater’s license. Going over these important, legal requirements and details are very important to take care of early on instead of regretting it later when you’re approached by law enforcement on the water.

2) Check the Weather

Now that the background information is taken care of, you can begin to plan your first day aboard your new vessel. Choosing the day and time to launch your boat is an important factor in safe boating. Even if the weather looks like it will be good a few days out, it’s important to continue checking for sudden changes and unexpected storms. This includes the morning of your chosen launch day. Weather can change unpredictably and you do not want to be stuck in a dangerous situation on your first excursion. Wait it out for a clear, sunny day with calm winds so you’ll be able to sail smoothly into the evening.

3) Pack Smart

Don’t wait until of the morning of to begin gathering items for your boating excursion. It is wise to pack a day or two in advance for your day on the water. Include items such as a first-aid kit, a basic toolbox, sunscreen, flashlight, a radio and other basic supplies. Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep everyone hydrated and fueled. It’s always good to bring more food and water than you think you’ll need. You’ll be surprised at your heightened appetite after some time on the water.

It is absolutely required that you pack enough life jackets for everyone onboard. These floatation devices should be kept on your vessel at all times. To make future boat day packing easier, you can keep all of these items stored on your boat or keep a large duffel bag that comes with you each and every boating day.

4) Overdress

When it comes to dressing for the boat, more is always better. It may be hot on land, but once the boat gets going and the wind is whipping you’ll be thankful for those extra layers. Also, if you are riding back at sunset, you’ll notice a drop in temperature as you head back to the docks.

The sun is particularly strong when you’re on the water and it’s smart to cover up in white, breathable clothing for part or all of the day. A hat and sunglasses are also great ways to keep your skin protected from the sun’s rays. Remember that you can always take layers off when it gets too warm.

5) Have a Float Plan As a first-time boater, you never know what to expect on the water. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a rookie, you should always provide a float plan on shore before leaving for the day. You never know when something could go wrong on the water and it’s smart to have someone on land that knows your whereabouts in case you don’t return. Provide a friend or family member that is staying behind with where you are planning to boat and how long you plan to be out. If you are not heard from, your float plan will provide law enforcement with crucial information to help find you in the case of an emergency.

6) Train Out of the Water

This may seem silly, but just like a car, boats are different in the way they drive and handle. As a first-time boater it’s wise to get familiar with your vessel before hitting the water. Explore your boat on land and get to know all the mechanical gadgets aboard. Ideally you could find someone who is experienced in your type of boat who can show you the ropes. Good old trial and error is also an easy option on land. Sit in your boat while it’s still on the trailer and familiarize yourself with all buttons, switches, gauges and gadgets.

You can do your own research or read a boat manual to learn more about terminology, wind awareness, steering skills, knot tying and more. Many think that operating a boat is just like driving a car and we’re here to say that this is simply not true. When steering on the water, you must also take into account the wind and current which can have effect on your steering accuracy. Once you’re familiar with your new boat and how it operates it’s time to head out on the water.

7) Ramp & Dock Responsibly

To avoid issues at the boat ramp, become comfortable driving with a trailer and backing it up accurately.  Come launch day, take your time and don’t feel pressure from surrounding influences. Focus on what you’re doing so you can successfully and smoothly get your boat in the water with no damage to your vessel or vehicle.

When docking, be sure to take it slow. Rushing and going too fast when approaching a dock can result in damage to your boat or the dock itself. If your initial approach is not going as planned, don’t be afraid to turn around and try again. Trust us, taking it slow is much better than having a docking disaster on your first day.

8) Go Slow

Taking it slow goes for cruising on the water as well. Driving a boat for the first time can feel unnatural. Especially when operating amongst other boats, it’s wise to take things slow. A slow moving boat is much easier to stop and control than a speedy one. Don’t worry though, pretty soon you’ll have the skills and experience to zoom down the waterway, depth allowing.

9) Know the Rules

Following the rules of the water is much like following the rules of the road. It is crucial to everyone’s safety. This means maintaining a safe speed at all times and obeying no-wake areas. Always stay alert to your surroundings and posted buoys. Do not venture into restricted or shallow areas and do not consume alcohol before or while operating your boat. Be sure to avoid large vessels that may not have the steering or stopping ability that you’re used to. With caution and responsibility you’ll have no problem getting comfortable with life onboard.

10) Have Fun

The most important part of boating is that you have fun. Bring along your family or friends for a adventurous day enjoying the gorgeous outdoors. You’ll make memories that will last a lifetime and we’re almost certain you’ll be planning your next outing right away. Now it’s time to get out on the water and have some fun!

If you’re ready to take the plunge and embrace the boating life, consider purchasing a top-quality boat from South Florida Yachts. We’re happy to help you find the perfect vessel in the right size, style and make to get you out on the water as soon as possible! Browse our incredible inventory of center consoles, bay boats, yachts and more with one of the largest selection of Robalos in Florida. Hope to see you soon!

As you prepare for summer days on the water ahead, you may be wondering what are the best onboard snacking options. Being on a boat can feel like a culinary restriction, but we’ve come up with quite a few treats that will keep the fun going while providing the nutrition you need for a day in the sun.

The following snack ideas are easy to pack, don’t leave a mess, don’t require tons of prep and most importantly, will satisfy your hunger as you enjoy the boat life. Take a look at our following recommendations to add to your snacking arsenal for this summer boating season!

Chips & Salsa

An absolute staple, chips and salsa are one of the most satisfying and easy snacks to bring aboard. Simply pick up your favorite bag of tortilla chips and chill a large jar of salsa in your cooler. When snacking time comes, take out a paper bowl or dish and serve up some refreshing salsa. You and your boating companions will be satisfied by the both filling and refreshing snack. Just be sure to bring along a trash bag for when you’re done with the salsa bowl in order to avoid any salsa stains!

Fresh Fruit

You cannot go wrong with fresh fruit for a boat day. Watermelon, blueberries, cut-up pineapple, apples and more provide you and your family with hydration and satisfying nutrition. Those hot summer days call for chilled tropical fruit that’s easy to eat with your hands. With so little prep and clean-up required, fresh fruit is the perfect summertime snack aboard your vessel.

Bite-Sized Energy Balls

For non-stop boating fun, experiment with making bite-sized energy balls. With so many different types to try, these little protein bites are great at sustaining hunger and provide nutritious benefits that keep you going all summer long. These delicious balls of goodness can be made with a variety of ingredients including nut butters, dates, cacao powder, oatmeal, dried fruit and more. They are hassle-free in an air-tight container and the perfect snack to slide into the boat cooler.

Cooler Corn on the Cob

Another great and healthy snack to keep in the cooler is corn on the cob! You may be wondering how this will work without a grill onboard, but no need to fret. This delicious snack just requires a little innovation and a cooler box. Simply fill a small cooler with boiling water, throw as many cobs as you’d like in and let them cook. That’s it! By the time the hunger hits your crowd, these yellow cobs will be perfectly cooked for consumption. Just bring along some spray butter to enhance the flavor.

Pasta Salad

For a filling and packable lunch, try making cold pasta salad. Here is where pasta meets veggie meets dressing meets flavor! The night before your boat trip, boil up some pasta and add it to a bowl with the veggies of your choosing. Cherry tomatoes, olives, various peppers, red onion, bOAchopped spinach and more are great additions for a nutritious meal. Add in an oily dressing of your choice (we like Italian), sprinkle some garlic salt and pepper, and voila! Just chill your pasta salad in the fridge overnight and pack it in the cooler in the morning for the perfect summer day lunch.

Peanut Butter & Jelly

For all the picky eaters in the group, you just can’t go wrong with a good ol’ peanut butter and jelly sandwich. These guys are so simple to whip up the morning before heading out on the water, plus they are super filling. Choose your favorite type of bread to spread with creamy peanut butter and sweet jelly. This fool-proof lunch is no fuss and slides easily into a lunchbox or cooler.

Frozen Grapes

For those hot, summer days there is nothing like a cold and refreshing snack. Frozen grapes are ideal and a little goes a long way. Freeze your grapes in a freezer bag the night before your boat ride and add them to a well-insulated cooler in the morning. This is a great boat snack to indulge in throughout the day, plus they’ll help keep all the other treats in your cooler cold.

We hope today’s blog gave you some delicious ideas for your next summer boating day. If you’re dreaming of summer days on the water and are looking for your next family vessel, we’re here to help. South Florida Yachts is one of the mainstays of the Florida boating industry and we have been based in the South Florida region for over 25 years. We pride ourselves on our personalized customer service and are one of the top Robalo dealers in Florida.

We would be thrilled to assist to you in finding the right vessel for you and your family. Simply stop by one of our three convenient locations or contact us today for more information. Happy boating!