News

The Price of Fun

By
Bob
Arrington

World events over the last two years have created a record high interest in recreational boating, but unfortunately they also generated record high fuel prices. To help you understand exactly how various boats burn fuel differently and how to run your boat at its most efficient, we’re turning to Steve Zimmerman, founder of Zimmerman Marine, a highly respected boat yard and boat builder with six locations in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

Steve is knowledgeable in all aspects of boat maintenance and design that effect fuel consumption. I had the opportunity to ask Steve recently to dispel some commonly held misconceptions about fuel use in popular styles of recreational boats.

BOB:

When boaters talk about fuel consumption, they mostly speak in terms of gallons per hour, not miles per gallon. What’s the difference?


STEVE:

Many boaters focus on gallons per hour (GPH); however, in determining how much fuel you use to cover a distance on your boat, we have to bring speed into the equation. For example, if someone asked which is more efficient, a boat burning 11 GPH or a boat burning 22 GPH? The answer is it’s impossible to say without calculating miles per gallon (MPG).

If the boat burning 11 GPH is traveling at 10 knots (nautical miles per hour), we divide 11 GPH by 10 knots to see it is getting 0.9 nautical miles per gallon (nMPG). If the boat burning 22 GPH is traveling at 22 knots, 22 divided by 22 equals 1.0 nMPG. So, in this example, we see that although the difference is minor, the boat burning double the gallons per hour achieves better mileage.

BOB:

If people are considering a new boat, are some designs more fuel efficient than others?


STEVE:

All boat hulls require a certain amount of energy to move through water. The more easily they move through the water, the less energy is required. The primary factors that influence how easily the hull can be moved include hull shape, length, total weight and drag. Hull shapes are sorted into three basic categories: full displacement, semi-displacement and planing. To determine which offers the best fuel economy, we introduce the most important variable of all: speed.


BOB:

So, the faster a boat goes, the more fuel it burns?

STEVE:

Usually that’s true, but not always. Different hull forms respond differently to the demand for speed.

As speed increases, boats move through the water in three basic ways. At slow speeds the boat sits fully in the water, riding between a wave at the bow and a wave at the stern. Full displacement boats live in this zone. As soon as speed increases, fuel burn rises sharply. Semi-displacement and planing hulls can apply more horsepower and begin to climb up onto the bow wave. In this phase the bow rides awkwardly high, and fuel economy plummets. By applying even more power, these hulls ride more on top of the water. The bow comes down, speed increases, and fuel burn levels off. All get better fuel economy at the slower speeds, but the penalty for higher speeds varies substantially between hull types.

STEVE:

For all cruising powerboats, when it comes to fuel economy, speed trumps all other factors—but only at slow speeds. At full-displacement speeds going a knot or two slower can double or triple your fuel economy. Among the things that influence fuel economy on planing hulls are the condition and cleanliness of the props and rudders, alignment of shafts, health of bearings and a fouled bottom. Once you are on plane, increases in speed matter far less, but the importance of a clean underbody and running gear matters far more. Don’t be misled by GPH, taking the extra step to calculate MPG, which ultimately determines overall fuel use.

HOW DO DIFFERENT HULL TYPES VARY IN FUEL USE?

The most common hull forms used in recreational boats are:

FULL DISPLACEMENT
Let’s look at some actual numbers from a full-displacement trawler in the 40- to 50-foot range. At a speed of 7.5 knots, if it’s using 3 GPH, that equals 2.5 nMPG? If we push for a little more speed, the fuel burn changes, at 9 knots, burning 11 GPH, it’s down to 0.8 nMPG. Notice that by going just 1.5 knots slower, it’s using 300% less fuel.


SEMI-DISPLACEMENT
Now let’s look at a semi-displacement boat of similar size. If this boat is going 8.5 knots and using 3.4 GPH, it’s getting 2.2 nMPG. If we increase to 10.5 knots, using 14.2 GPH, we’re down to 0.74 nMPG. Once again, going just 2 knots slower increases fuel economy 300%. If we push this boat into higher speeds though, the fuel burn differs significantly. At 15 knots, fuel use goes up dramatically to 23.5 GPH, and our efficiency is down to 0.64 nMPG. At 20 knots, using 35.0 GPH, we’re down to 0.57 nMPG. When more of the boat’s hull is on top of the water, the penalty for increases in speed diminishes dramatically and economy levels off. As speed increases, fuel economy
will gradually decline in small increments.


PLANING
Finally, let’s look at a boat designed for speed, a lightweight planing hull. When going slowly at 7.5 knots, burning 2.6 GPH, that equals 2.9 nMPG. When we increase to 11.0 knots, burning 9.2 GPH, that lowers the fuel rate to 1.2 nMPG. At a top speed of 25.0 knots, burning 27.5 GPH, that gives only a small decrease in fuel burn to 0.9 nMPG.

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Marinalife and SpeedyDock Partner to Enhance Boater and Marina Communication
|

Marinalife, a company that delivers tools and resources to fully allow the boating community to embrace life on the water, has partnered with SpeedyDock.

With digital communication taking the lead, the new generation of boaters are looking for the same convenient ways to communicate with marinas. SpeedyDock, developed in 2016, is software for dry-stack marinas and boat clubs that helps simplify marina operations. The mobile app allows boaters to request scheduled launches and request fuel, drinks, ship store items, and other services offered at their marina. 

SpeedyDock keeps track of the requested actions and makes the information available in real-time. Marina employees can work with customers and also keep other employees up to date on request statuses. SpeedyDock’s software is now integrated with Marinalife Manager, allowing their marinas to engage with their customers even more efficiently. 

Marinalife Manager is the latest product of Marinalife, Inc., and enables marina managers and owners to streamline their operations. With marina management software, marinas can seamlessly connect with their boaters, manage internal operations, get real-time analytics, and more. 

“Having SpeedyDock partner with Marinalife helps achieve our goal of connecting and empowering boaters and marinas,” says Jen Leroux, CEO Marinalife. “Reservations through SpeedyDock are now not just convenient for the boater, but also for marinas using Marinalife Manager.” 

Marinalife Managers’s integration with SpeedyDock keeps customers, boats, inventory, and more, in sync. Customer Accounts and inventory are reflected in both SpeedyDock and Marinalife Manager’s system, keeping the marina staff up-to-date. 

"When I created SpeedyDock, I was mindful of the boater's experience. I also saw an opportunity for marinas to simplify their customer relationship management," says Travis Wolfe, Founder of SpeedyDock.

To learn more about SpeedyDock visit speedydock.com.

To learn more about Marinalife Manager visit marinalife.com/manager or email getintouch@marinalife.com

About Marinalife:  Founded by lifelong boaters, Marinalife delivers tools and resources that encourage the boating community to embrace life on the water. Marinalife joined with Snag-A-Slip in 2017 to create tech-enabled solutions that allow boaters and marinas to connect and transact easily. Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, our crew is passionate about boating and delivering exceptional service to our customers. 

About SpeedyDock: Founded in 2016, SpeedyDock provides a cutting-edge software solution for drystack marina launch scheduling and boat club reservation scheduling. Our team in Ruskin, FL is committed to delivering exceptional service to boaters and marinas.

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Marinalife Announces the Winners of the 13th Annual Best Marina Contest
|

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Alexa Zizzi
Phone: 410-752-0505
Email: azizzi@marinalife.com

MARINALIFE ANNOUNCES THE WINNERS
OF THE 13TH ANNUAL BEST MARINA CONTEST

(BALTIMORE, MD, November 4, 2022) Marinalife is pleased to announce the winners of its 13th Annual Best Marina Contest. Hundreds of boaters, marinas and members of the maritime industry in North America and the Caribbean cast their votes, and the results are as follows:

BEST LARGE MARINA

First Place:  Brunswick Landing Marina – Brunswick, GA
Second Place:  Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina – Hilton Head, SC
Third Place:  Spring Point Marina – South Portland, ME

BEST SMALL MARINA

First Place:  Chicks Marina – Kennebunkport, ME
Second Place:  Champlin’s Marina & Resort – Block Island, RI
Third Place: Jekyll Harbor Marina – Jekyll Island, GA

Winning first place in the Large Marina Category, Brunswick Landing Marina boasts state-of-the-art facilities and a top-notch, friendly marina staff. Located in historic downtown Brunswick, the property is ideal for all seasons, as it’s constructed in former U.S. Navy Hurricane Hole and protected by land on three sides. The spacious marina boasts 445+ dry and wet slips and marine services by highly skilled technicians. The boatyard offers year-round service including repairs, detailing, bottom paint, custom woodworking and more. Over the years, the marina has evolved into a party hub for cruisers with daily social activities plus free wine and beer three-times-a week, as well as complimentary propane grills on every dock.

“We are ecstatic and very grateful that Brunswick Landing Marina was selected as Best Large Marina in the country. With so many great marinas being recognized, the award truly validates that our decisions and hard work are leading us in a positive direction,” said Vibert Burin, dock manager. 

Marina Manager Michael Torres adds that the property is looking forward to future upgrades such as doubling the size of the dock office/ship store and adding 540’ of leasable dock space. 

“We are working on a new project that will include a mooring ball field with an anticipated 30 moorings. Running parallel to those projects is a much larger endeavor that is going to reshape our entire business, which will be called Brunswick Landing. Brunswick Landing is proposed to be a 26-acre mixed-use, town center-style development that will include a hotel, condominiums, townhomes, restaurants and retail space,” said Torres. 

Chicks Marina in Kennebunkport, ME, returns as the reigning first place champ in the 2022 Best Small Marina award. The 50-slip marina is tucked away in the idyllic southern coast of New England. Voted among the region’s cleanest marinas, the staff continuously upgrades facilities to ensure efficiency. The marina offers custom boat care services, 30/50/100 amp electrical, heated winter storage and 91 Octane gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. 

 “We are thrilled to win Best Small Marina for the third year in a row. It is such an honor when customers recognize your hard work and love Chicks Marina as much as we do,” said Amy Gaynor, operations manager of Chicks Marina. “Chicks Marina is a very well-maintained marina. It is central to downtown, restaurants and the coastline. Our staff is top notch and goes above and beyond to make your stay enjoyable,” Gaynor added.

Marinalife recognizes second and third place winners in each category.  Best Large Marina finalists are Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina in Hilton Head Island, SC, (second place) and Spring Point Marina in South Portland, ME, (third place). Champlin’s Marina & Resort in Block Island, RI, took second place in the Best Small Marina Category, and Jekyll Harbor Marina in Jekyll Island, GA, came in third.

As we celebrate more than 20 years of Marinalife, we send a special thanks to all the marinas and boaters nationwide for participating in this year’s contest.  Keep an eye out for announcements starting in Summer 2023 for Marinalife’s 14th Annual Best Marina Contest.

###

About Marinalife

Marinalife magazine, a quarterly travel and lifestyle publication, provides boaters with entertaining and useful articles about destinations, marinas, cruising stories, captain’s tips and more.  For information, visit marinalife.com, call 410-752-0505 or email info@marinalife.com

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Winter 2023 Caribbean Calendar of Events
|

‘Tis the season to cruise south for the winter! Follow the lead of migrating whales you might be lucky enough to spot, and experience all the Caribbean has to offer on and off the water. Carnival is in full swing all winter in almost every nation in the Caribbean. We highlighted a few, each with its own local cultural spin. You’ll find something for everyone below, from music festivals and foodie events to regattas and horse races.

ONGOING EVENTS

Whale Watching in Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos

January-February

As humpback whales migrate to their winter breeding ground in the Dominican Republic, the waters of Turks and Caicos are the perfect place to catch a glimpse. Join a whale watching tour, where you cruise to the Columbus Passage for the best views.

Where to Dock: Blue Haven Marina

CARNIVAL

Aruba Carnival

Aruba

January 7-February 19

Aruba Carnival kicks off in November, but most events and parades happen in the winter. Travel to Oranjestad for the opening torch parade on January 7 and the lighting parade on February 11, dubbed “Aruba’s favorite evening carnival parade.” Enjoy extravagant costumes, electrifying jump-ups and children’s parades, all culminating in the Burning of King Momo at the end of the season.

Where to Dock: Veradero Arbua Marina & Boatyard

Photo by Aruba Tourism Authority

Trinidad Carnival

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

February 16-22

The highlights of Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival lead up to Ash Wednesday. Carnival Monday opens with J’ouvert in the wee hours, and for the next two days, masqueraders dance through the streets in vibrant costumes and body paint to the sounds of calypso. Nodding to their French Creole roots, performers and attendees celebrate Mardi Gras on Carnival Tuesday.

Where to Dock: CrewsInn Hotel & Yachting Center

Curaçao Carnival

Willemstad Through

February 22

The southern Caribbean island of Curaçao offers an opportunity to experience Carnival starting in the new year. Visitors can expect music festivals with local tumba music and calypso, as well as several parades. Two popular ones are the “Gran Marcha” Parade and Grand Farewell Carnival Parade. While you’re there, explore the island’s secluded beaches, national parks and historical art and architecture.

Where to Dock: Seru Boca Marina

JANUARY

Cayman Cookout

George Town, Cayman Islands

January 9-15

The Cayman Cookout is back for the first time since 2020! Come see the world’s most talented chefs and wine and spirits experts at the Grand Cayman Ritz-Carlton for a week of curated culinary events. Foodies relish in top-notch global cuisine, explorers join events across the island, and beverage enthusiasts are in for a treat as the cookout expands its mixology offerings this year.

Where to Dock: The Barcadere Marina

Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

January 19-22

Puerto Rico’s largest festival consumes the streets of Old San Juan with live music, dancing and parades. People wearing huge papier-mâché heads of folk characters are the stars of the show. Look forward to local artisans each day and lively concerts and parties every night.

Where to Dock: San Juan Bay Marina

Rebel Salute

St. Ann, Jamaica

January 20-21

For almost three decades, this family-friendly music festival has brought reggae lovers together to experience the tunes of local and international roots reggae artists. From dusk ‘til dawn, artists perform while food vendors serve local flavors and artisans display indigenous jewelry and craft items in an arts village. Adult attendees are welcome to partake in and learn about cannabis from renowned experts in the “Herb Curb.”

Pineapple Cup, Montego Bay Race

Montego Bay, Jamaica

January 21-28

One of the oldest offshore races on the calendar, this course takes competitors from Miami to Cuba through the Northwest Providence Channel, then down a sleigh ride toward the finish line at Montego Bay. Competitors enjoy free dockage and other perks at the Montego Bay Yacht Club, and spectators can join celebratory events.

Where to Dock: Montego Bay Yacht Club

Bequia Music Festival

Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

January 25-29

Dock at the second largest island in the Grenadines, known as a mecca to the Caribbean cruising yacht community, for an unforgettable mash-up of musicians. Most artists come from elsewhere in the Caribbean, making for an intimate festival with diverse tunes. When you’re not grooving, explore the lush green hills and white sand beaches of Bequia.

Where to Dock: Bequia Marina

Grenada Sailing Week

Grenada

January 29-February 3

Chaired by a Grenadian and created by sailing enthusiasts who didn’t want the keelboat regatta to end, this week of racing welcomes contestants from 20+ countries. The first race kicks off at Grenada’s sister island Carriacou and ends in Grenada, and the second set takes place in Grenada. Spectators can look forward to performances from talented local bands and plenty of local Mount Gay Rum from Grenada.

Where to Dock: Prickly Bay Marin or Port Louis Marina

FEBRUARY

Caribbean Multihull Challenge

St. Maarten

February 3-5

Hosted by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, this race takes contestants through Anguilla and French St. Martin and ends in Dutch St. Maarten. Contestants sail catamarans and tri-hulls — new and classic — through this scenic route. Everyone else enjoys events at the club or joins the non-competitive Cruising Multihull Rally. Participants cruise to Anguilla for beach games, fine dining and a beach bar on Day 1, and Anse Marcel for more dining and partying on Day 2.

Where to Dock: Sint Maarten Yacht Club (private) or Palapa Marina (transient)

Valentine’s Day Jump Up

Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

February 17

Boaters cruising the Caribbean won’t want to miss the Valentine’s Day rendition of this Carnival-esque celebration. Steel drummers and other musicians, local food vendors, and artisans fill the Christiansted streets and boardwalk in the evening. The most iconic part is when Moko Jumbies, a Virgin Islands tradition said to ward off evil, dance in the streets in their eccentric costumes.

Where to Dock: Green Cay Marina at Tamarind Reef Resort

BVI Wreck Week

British Virgin Islands

February 12-18

Cruise to the British Virgin Islands to celebrate maritime treasures, underwater wrecks and art reefs. Divers get to explore the wrecks with local operators, but events galore are held for landlubbers. Locals share tales of Blackbeard’s time in BVI, and the local boat-building history (Tortola Sloops was created here), alongside welcome and farewell parties on the beach.

Where to Dock: Nanny Cay Resort & Marina

Dominican Independence Day

Samaná, Dominican Republic

February 27

Celebrate Dominican Republic’s independence from Haiti in 1844 in this picturesque beach town on Samaná Bay. Parades and parties run along the Malecón promenade and its businesses. Nature lovers are fascinated by the local Whale Museum and views of humpback whales, who come to the Bay for mating seasons. Those seeking relaxation should cruise to Cayo Levantado, a tiny island with gorgeous beaches.

Where to Dock: Ocean World Marina

MARCH

Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup

Garrison Savannah, Barbados

March 4

Make your way to Garrison Savannah, the home of horse racing in Barbados, for one of the most prestigious events in the Eastern Caribbean equestrian scene. Top local, regional and international jockeys race on a 1,800 meter turf course. And no trip to Barbados is complete without a rum factory tour at the Mount Gay Vistors Centre!

Superyacht Challenge Antigua

Antigua & Barbuda

March 6-11

Boaters have a blast watching a small, exclusive fleet of spectacular superyachts race 12-30 mile courses along the stunning south coast of Antigua for five days. Only 12-15 yachts in excess of 80 feet are expected to enter and enjoy the amenities at Nelson’s Dockyard. Owners, guests and crew enjoy exploring the fleet and partaking in laid back social events. superyachtchallengeantigua.com

Where to Dock: Nelson’s Dockyard Marina

Moonsplash

Anguilla

March 10-12

Avid concert goers won’t want to miss the oldest independent music festival in the Caribbean under the stars! Bankie Banx, the reggae artist known as “Anguillan Bob Dylan,” owns the Dune Preserve venue and has performed at the festival himself. Other big names such as John Mayer, Nas, Toots and the Maytals, and Inner Circle have been in previous lineups.

Corales Puntacana Championship

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

March 20-26

At this PGA Tour event, golf aficionados can see 120 players compete to earn points for the Fed Ex Cup. The Puntacana Resort & Club, host of the event, boasts an exclusive 18-hole course with natural cliffs and majestic carolina quarries. While here, book a resort on the Coconut Coast, lay out on Punta Cana’s pristine white beaches, or go zip-lining, windsurfing, or sailing.

Where to Dock: Marina Cap Cana

St. Thomas International Regatta

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

March 24-26

Round out your winter in the Caribbean with the “Crown Jewel of Caribbean Racing.” Join the shoreside fun with happy hours, dinners and live music at the St. Thomas Yacht Club every night of the race. History buffs should check out Blackbeard’s Castle and Fort Christian, and all visitors should dip into St. Thomas’s popular snorkeling spots.

Where to Dock: St. Thomas Yacht Club (private) or Sapphire Beach Marina (transient)

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