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Steelpointe Harbor Marina
Perched on a peninsula in the heart of Bridgeport, Steelpointe Harbor sits along the tranquil shores of Long Island Sound. The 2.8 million square-foot waterfront development boasts a newly constructed harborwalk lined with dining, shopping, luxury residences, and a state-of-the-art marina and service facility.
All types of vessels up to 300’ (including wide berths for catamarans) can dock at Steelpointe Harbor Marina while steering clear of bridge passes to Long Island Sound via a 35’ channel. Built in 2019, the new marina features top-of-the-line concrete floating docks in a protected harbor with deep channel access.
The full-service marina offers 200+ slips, storage and haul-out. Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, 30, 50 and 100 amp electric, a fuel dock and boater’s lounge. Repairs, painting and refurbishing services are available at Bridgeport Boatworks located across the harbor.
Walk right off your boat to enjoy a delicious dinner on-site at the award-winning BOCA Oyster Bar that serves fresh Atlantic and Pacific oysters and traditional New England cuisine. Experience outdoor waterside dining and live music throughout the season.
“Enjoying a sunset dinner on the patio at BOCA while watching the ferry cruise in and out of the harbor is a must-do,” says Dockmaster Robert De Nigris.
“We’re committed to providing you with everything you need from dockage, repairs and fuel to local restaurants, shopping and entertainment — so you will not be disappointed here.”
Venture into town across the bridge for local provisions, retail, attractions and venues such as Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater and Total Mortgage Arena, home of the New York Islanders hockey team. For traditional Italian cuisine, check out Ralph –n- Rich’s famous “Sunday Sauce” or Trattoria ‘A Vucchella’s wood oven pizza.
Just a few miles from the marina, you can enjoy lovely parks and greenery such as the state’s largest zoo, Connecticut’s Beardsley Park Zoo to the north, and Seaside Park’s beaches to the south.
Be sure to catch popular events and festivals such as the Steelpointe Yacht & Charter Show in June and the Sound on Sound Music Festival in September with headlining acts including Stevie Nicks, Dave Matthews Band, The Lumineers and Brandi Carlile.
The marina plans to add more amenities such as airport and event shuttle service, as well as developing 420 units in a new residential area. Stay tuned for updates at bldsteelpointe.com
The marina management company is pleased to announce its growth into New England with three Connecticut properties: Old Harbor Marina in Clinton, Mystic Point Marina in downtown Mystic and Glastonbury Marina (formerly Seaboard Marina) in Glastonbury.Since its founding on the East Coast in 2015, Oasis has spread out rapidly across the United States from the northern Great Lakes to southern Florida. The company is now stepping foot on the West Coast with plans to grow new team members and properties in the future. For updates, visit oasismarinas.com
Suntex Marinas Lands New Property in New York
Suntex Marinas, a premier marina owner and operator, is proud to announce its recent acquisition of Sunset Harbour in Long Island, NY. Situated along the South Shore, this 332-slip marina provides easy access to the lovely Great South Bay. Visit suntexmarinas.com
SWITLIK Life Rafts are Back for the Season
SWITLIK Life Rafts are back in stock, in every variety just in time for spring and summer boating. Short lead times are now offered on survival equipment, rafts and man overboard modules. For more than 100 years, this U.S.-based company has produced high quality safety equipment in Trenton, NJ. Visit switlik.com
Since 1977, Pursuit Boats has produced high-end, yacht-quality fishing and cruising vessels across tons of locations. Magnificently appointed and highly anticipated with possibilities for every angler, the OS 445 is Pursuit's largest boat yet. Prepare to cruise in liveaboard luxury with this season's new model. Visit pursuitboats.com or marinalife.com/pursuit-concierge-club
Marinalife Photo Contest
2022 Photo Contest Is Open for Submissions!
Marinalife is pleased to announce our third annual photo contest, where we welcome snapshots that capture moments of maritime merriment from photographers of all skill levels. For details, see page 16 or visit marinalife.com/2022PhotoContest
Frequent analogies are made between piloting an aircraft and piloting a boat. Both require similar skills and place you at the mercy of the elements in a medium that's foreign to our bodies. Granted, being suspended in the air may be a tad more precarious than floating on the water, but when the downward spiral of a problem begins in either setting, it typically doesn't end well. For this reason, an aircraft pilot wouldn't dream of taking off without performing a pre-flight checklist. Boating is safer when using checklists, too.
The concept of a pre-flight checklist was developed following the fatal crash of a test flight in 1935. Leading up to WWII, the U.S. Army Air Corps was looking for a new bomber to meet the demanding needs of long distant flights with heavy payloads. U.S. aircraft company, Boeing, submitted a new plane model for the Army to consider. The Army agreed to try it and scheduled a test flight to see how it would perform.Flying the plane that day were two highly experienced Army pilots, Boeing's chief test pilot, along with a Boeing mechanic and a representative of the engine manufacturer. After takeoff the plane began to climb, but suddenly pitched up, stalled and crashed into a ball of fire upon impact. All on board were initially rescued, but both pilots died from injuries sustained in the crash.The accident investigation determined that before takeoff, the pilots overlooked a safety lock on the elevator and rudder controls, which kept them from controlling the plane's pitch or attitude. Following the accident, a newspaper stated that the Boeing plane was just too much plane for one man to fly.Fortunately, this was not the end of the story, but the beginning of a life-saving idea that would transform how highly complex systems can be operated by average people. Out of this tragedy came the simple and effective concept of the pilot's pre-departure checklist. Time would prove the Boeing plane was not too much for one person, but just too much for one person's memory. Using a simple checklist on future flights would ensure that important steps required prior to takeoff were not forgotten.Checklists were developed for more and more parts of a flight, for emergency situations as well as more routine situations. NASA adopted the use of checklists for almost every part of the Gemini and Apollo space missions, and all astronauts were trained in how to use them. Astronauts logged hundreds of hours familiarizing themselves with and learning how to use these checklists. In fact, checklists were so important to the success of the Apollo moon landings that astronaut Michael Collins called them The fourth crew member.
Safety from the Skies to the Seas
Aboard our boat, we have several checklists for different applications. For example, we've found it useful to have two pre-departure checklists: one for leaving a marina and another for leaving an anchorage or mooring.Preparing for each is different enough that having a specific list for the different situations ensures that everything is safe to get underway.A checklist is also one of the best ways to manage your boat maintenance and personal safety. When your boat breaks down out in open water, you become vulnerable to additional problems.Reminder and to-do apps popular on smart devices today are a great platform for building a list of regularly scheduled maintenance tasks. The apps allow you to set a date to inspect items like fire extinguishers, or when engine fluids or anodes need to be changed. Using apps with reminders set, relieves you from having to remember critical items that need attention. They also have a notes section where you can record engine hours of the last change and numbers for any parts used in the process.
Checklists are most useful for regularly reoccurring tasks, ones we believe we do so often we've memorized them tasks like starting your boat and leaving the marina. Therein lies the problem: It's easy to become complacent with reoccurring tasks and believe you've done this so many times you don't need reminders of how to do it.For most people, life is busy, so it's easy to get distracted while going through a task. I've seen it happen on many occasions the ever-present phone rings or a boat neighbor asks a question as you're preparing to get underway and the next thing you know you're pulling out with the shore power cord still connected. Before we started making checklists a habit, I was occasionally upset by a boat passing close by, without calling us on the VHF radio, only to realize I'd forgotten to turn it on.Checklists are also important when multiple people are involved in the same process, so we use checklists for departing from the boat as well. More than once on our Sunday drive home from the boat, we looked at each other and asked, did you take out the trash or did you turn off the propane? Using a boat departure checklist makes sure important items don't get missed and you don't assume the other turned off the water pump breaker or turned on the battery charger.Using checklists also has unforeseen benefits: The more you follow them, the more you benefit. The more you follow a routine process in the same order, the more you understand its faults and failings, allowing you to make improvements.It's easy to see the benefit when developing a checklist and when you first begin using them, but the real benefit comes into play when you continue using them even though you feel like you don't have to anymore. That's when they keep you from forgetting something important.
Whether you're playing competitive games or relaxing with friends and family, celebrate spring by throwing a beach party.
HYDRO FORCE TROPICAL BREEZE ISLAND FLOAT
Stay cool, calm and comfortable on this inflatable breeze raft. Up to six people can recline on pillow backrests under a protective sunshade with easy access to cup holders for drinks. Complete with a swim-up platform, this raft lets you while away the day. ($229.99) vminnovations.com
If you're in the mood for an exciting day on the water, Bluefin's inflatable stand-up paddleboard gives the ultimate thrill. Your watersport buddies will love riding the waves on this advanced board. Complete with a kayak conversion kit and carbon rail and paddle, the board is customizable, so you can pick one shaped perfectly for you. ($699) bluefinsupboards.com
TROPICAL PALAPA RAFFIA TIKI HUT HAWAIIAN HULA BEACH UMBRELLA
Create your dream tiki party with this Hawaiian thatch patio umbrella. No need to worry about a windy day, because this umbrella is made of natural, weatherproof material. Grab a towel, a fruity drink and crank the reggae as you kick back under this eco-friendly tiki hut. ($119.77) easygo-products.myshopify.com
ROBOCUP PORTABLE CADDY
This multifunctional utility caddy provides a double cup holder and securely holds various items including fishing poles, tools, phones and keys. The spring-loaded clamps have a durable grip with UV-inhibitors to protect the resilient plastic material against the sun. ($24.99) therobocup.com
Combining deep-freeze capabilities with power consumption, the Dometic cooler keeps items fresh all day long. It's built with fender frames for outdoor durability and has a user-friendly interface for the powered cooler controls. The options may be a bit pricey, but the long-lasting guarantee will not disappoint. ($899.99) dometic.com
Stick your feet in the sand and your face to the sun with this cozy beach lounger. The supportive back and neck rest allows for long-term comfort while sitting around in social gatherings. This beach chair converts to a pillow, so it's easily compactable. ($149.95) helinox.com/collections/beach-chair
Fun & Games
TIPSY TOSS GAME SET
Give your strength and balance the ultimate challenge and bring this classic lawn game to the beach party. The Tipsy Toss full set includes two target poles, two bottles, one flying disc and a portable carrying case. Get extra competitive with this high-energy game and drop the other team's bottle off the pole with the flying disc to score. ($39.99) playgosports.com
This unique game is a fun twist on bocce ball combined with cornhole. You play by digging four-inch holes and trenches on each side to make a sandy court, and throwing an eight-ounce ball into the hole to receive points. What began as a Lowcountry classic game birthed on the sands of Folly Beach, SC, has blossomed into a popular item to bring along for beach parties. ($24.99) tidalball.com
This pretty pink flamingo ring toss is a perfect go-to for a beach or pool party. It's fun for tropical-themed events or just a chill day on the water. Toss a ring around the inflatable flamingo's neck and watch this classic game be a hit with friends. ($49.24) fishpond.com
Spring can be a mixed bag for many of our readers, for those in the northern latitudes who are looking forward to boating again, it's also time to prepare your annual tax returns. Even if you're civic minded, it's easy to ask yourself exactly what do I get from all this money I pay the government? It just so happens boaters get more than the average citizen.
Federal, state and local governments use a portion of the money they collect in taxes each year to support your favorite pastime. Actually, a surprising amount of money is spent annually to make boating safer and more enjoyable.
Keeping You Safely on Course
U.S. Coast Guard | Tidewater Muse[/caption]Let's begin with one of the most important yet least appreciated government agencies: the U. S. Coast Guard. I don't mean just in the comfort we get knowing they're there to save our bacon when we get in over our head. Can you imagine what it would be like to boat without navigation aids? No markers to tell if you're in the channel or about to run aground?
Put a price on the haul-out and repair from tearing up props and rudders, and you can already see tax dollars going back into your pocket. You can thank the men and women of the Coast Guard for being out in all kinds of weather making sure our route is clearly marked.
Keeping the marked channels dredged is a combined effort with funds provided by federal, state and local governments. Boaters regularly navigating the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), may not think enough is spent on dredging and maintaining it, and they might be correct, but we can be thankful the Coast Guard does a good job of keeping the markers moved to identify where deeper water runs through trouble spots.
Watching the Weather for You
Your favorite navigation app or chart plotter couldn't work without the information National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides for embedded charts. If you still use paper charts, you're equally dependent on NOAA for those as well.
NOAA also operates the National Weather Service. Can you imagine going boating without accurate weather forecasts? How about planning a day of fishing and not being able to predict what the wind and waves will be?
Staying safe on the water involves staying in touch with help and services on shore, as well as other boaters around you. The Coast Guard and NOAA made this easier with advanced features in VHF radio like the emergency Digital Selective Calling (DSC) button, wherein boaters with a properly programmed radio can call help to their exact location by pressing a single button.
Knowing what other boats around you are doing with Automated Identification Systems (AIS) has increased boater safety and enhanced the enjoyment of boating more than anything since the invention of VHF radios. The Coast Guard publishes everything you could possibly want to know about AIS, VHF and a host of other important information on the Coast Guard's Navigation Center website. Check out this well-organized site and be amazed at the wealth of information for recreational boaters. The AIS link to frequently asked questions: navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=AISFAQ
Building Nearby Boat Ramps
For many, access to the water is the local boat ramp, and most in this country are public ramps constructed and maintained by state parks and natural resource agencies. Without these publicly funded facilities, we all may have a nice view of the water, but it would be difficult or expensive to get out on it.
The quality of the coastal water these boat ramps give us access to has improved considerably in the last 50 years, thanks to four programs enacted by Congress. NOAA is celebrating its achievements of the last 50 years through "The Ocean Coastal Conservation Campaign" (noaa.gov/50-years-ocean-coastal-conservation)
As reported on NOAA's webpage: "Fifty years ago, in October 1972, the leaders of the nation took action and passed four key laws to help protect, conserve, study and inspire public appreciation for our coasts, Great Lakes and ocean: The Coastal Zone Management Act governs the use of our coastal zones through federal/state partnerships and created the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The Marine Mammal Protection Act protects and recovers marine mammals and their ecosystems. The National Marine Sanctuaries Act created the National Marine Sanctuary System. Lastly, the Clean Water Act regulates the discharge of pollutants into our waters."
Anglers may benefit more than cruising boaters with additional funds going toward maintaining healthy fishing grounds. The National Marine Fisheries Service provides funds for habitat research and protection. They also shell out grants to local communities to plant sea grasses and preserve wetlands, which act as nurseries for many coastal species, and develop artificial reef programs.
If it were up to road builders, boaters would be severely restricted in movement, but thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Bridge Administration, bridges over navigable waterways are not allowed to restrict maritime commerce. The next time an operator opens a bridge to let your boat pass beneath it, thank the Coast Guard for making that possible.
Except for a few public courses, the government doesn't spend much money helping golfers enjoy a round of golf or for skiers to hit the slopes. Hikers and campers make out okay with the National Park Service, but no other recreation receives more money than boating. The reality is much of this funding is allocated to support maritime trade and commerce, but recreational boaters receive a direct benefit as well. So, if you haven't paid your taxes yet, maybe knowing your next day on the water is made more enjoyable by government funds will make it easier to write the check.
Eric Ravenschlag is the Harbourmaster of Legacy Harbour Marina located in Fort Myers, FL.
What or who brought you to this marina?
Haywood Sullivan, founder of Legacy Harbour Marina. I lived across the street from the marina and watched it being built. At the time, I was commercial fishing in Alaska and raising a family in Fort Myers.
Thankfully Haywood hired me, which enabled me to transition from fishing to eventually becoming Harbourmaster.
If you didn't work at a marina, what would be your dream job?
Flying a float plane in the Caribbean. I've always had a passion to fly floatplanes. It is the best of both worlds flying and boating.
If you could spend a day on the water with anyone in the world, whom would you choose?
For ol' times sake, I would like to spend a day on the water with Ron and Wes Kellow, the two brothers who owned the fishing vessel, Winona J, in Kodiak, AK. They believed in a kid from Colorado and taught me a tremendous amount about seamanship and how to be a competent captain, as well as many other life lessons.
Where do you like to send people for an authentic dining experience when they arrive at your marina?
The Veranda, a Fort Myers tradition since 1978. The Veranda's romantic setting in two turn-of-the-century homes, combined with their Southern cuisine is a must-visit while in Fort Myers.
Describe yourself in three words.
Loyal. Dedicated. Persevering.
If you won a trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
My favorite place in the world: the North shore of Kauai in Hanalei Bay.
What is your favorite marine animal?
Orca or killer whales. They are the largest of the dolphins and the world's most powerful predator. It is an unbelievable display of power to watch these very intelligent creatures hunt for their prey in nature.
What's the best safety tip you can give to a new boater?
Marine education, education, education. You can never stop learning while on the water. My best advice is to practice with your crew what could go wrong and have a contingency plan for captain and crew. Some examples: man overboard, fire, sinking, medical emergency, grounding, dragging anchor, helping other vessels in distress, and operating your onboard ditch bag.
What is the one thing that everyone should do or see in Fort Myers?
It would have to be the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. You will explore 20 acres of historic gardens, a museum and a laboratory. It is amazing to think how many inventions these men are responsible for.