The fifth annual Lake Puddingstone Sprint Boat Races in San Dimas, California, ended in tragedy on March 8 when a 64-year-old boater was killed in a speedboat collision. Gregory Belda was racing his boat when it was hit from behind by one of his competitors. The driver of the other boat was taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
Local news source The Daily Bulletin reports that the Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Division is still investigating the accident. It was the 15th watercraft-related fatality at Lake Puddingstone since 1968. The most recent took place in 2011 when three women were killed riding jet skis.
"They went into a corner," Ted Kolby, a participant in the event, told CBS Los Angeles. "They were three wide, a warm up lap. They weren't going real fast. The middle boat made a 90-degree turn. We don't know if the steering broke off [or] what happened. And the boat that was on the inside, ran over him."
Water sports can be incredibly dangerous, and boaters who take to the water, particularly when they'll be racing high speed vessels, should ensure that their vehicles have the marine equipment they need to keep all passengers safe. This includes life vests and radios that can be used to communicate with other boaters nearby.
If you need to stock your boat with the latest communication and navigational technology available, your best source for these items is ePal. Make sure to browse our enormous selection of high quality, reliable marine supplies. If you have any questions about these products, our customer service representatives will be happy to help you find answers. Give us a call today at (877) 245-8649!
California is currently facing one of its worst droughts in recorded history, and the damage has extended from the state's drinking water supply to its boating industry. Many communities are under threat of having their water rationed and several reservoirs, lakes and ponds have seen their shorelines shrink. The latter situation has made things difficult for recreational boaters, some of whom have slips that are resting on dry ground.
A series of storms over the past two weeks failed to rectify the situation completely. Trade Only Today, a boating industry news resource, reports that marine professionals believe the recent rainfall has only "slightly" improved the state's water situation. Folsom Lake, located in Northern California, is at about 36 percent capacity, according to the Sacramento Bee. Overall precipitation for the season is 38 percent of normal.
It doesn't appear that much relief is on the way. The Sacramento area is expecting some rainfall for the next day or two, but after that things will be sunny and warm for the foreseeable future.
Something to keep in mind if you're a freshwater boater is that with water levels so low, there's a greater likelihood that your vessel could strike underwater objects. While most boaters will likely rely on their eyesight to spot such obstructions, there are times when these hazards will be virtually invisible above water.
The best way to avoid any damage to your hull is to make sure your boat is equipped with a transducer. These marine instruments are an invaluable tool for making sure that you don't strike any objects and your boat remains afloat. For the latest in transducer technology, browse ePal's selection of marine electronics today!
While much of the country remains plagued by record-cold temperatures and weather patterns that are less-than-friendly to boaters, the clock is close to winding down to the official start of sailing season. This means that if you are planning on putting your vessel in the water this spring or summer, you no longer have time to wait to prepare your boat if its been sitting in storage all winter long.
If you kept your boat in a storage unit, you need to be thorough about giving it a thorough cleaning. This is especially true if you allowed your boat to sit outdoors all winter, even if you did wash every square inch of your boat before packing it up for the season. For instance, if you use bottom paints for your boat, now is the best time to apply a fresh coat to keep slime and barnacles from accumulating on the hull.
This is especially true for wooden boats, which are susceptible to rot and other damage along the water line even when they aren't submerged. Closely inspect your hull in the transom and under decks that might have retained moisture over the winter months and alleviate even the slightest signs of damage before taking to the high seas.
Other basic tasks to knock off your checklist are a thorough polish of all bright work on your vessel, replacement of aged hull zincs, greasing winches and lubricating the anchor windlass.
This is also a great time to consider investing in new boat accessories to make the upcoming season your most enjoyable and successful one yet. Whether that entails buying a new chartplotter or marine GPS, any "gift" for your vessel will only make the season more enjoyable.
A large shipping freighter lost over 500 containers at sea when it was bombarded by 30-foot waves and 60-knot winds off the Atlantic coast of Europe. The Svendborg, owned by The Maersk Group, was traveling from Rotterdam, Netherlands, to Sri Lanka via the Suez Canal. It is currently docked at the Bay of Biscay, where its owners are trying to calculate the total damage and losses.
There is no current requirement by any international organizations for ships to declare losses at sea, so no one is entirely sure how often such incidents take place. However, CNN reports that The Through Transport Club, a shipping insurance company, estimates that about 2000 containers are lost every year.
Many environmental groups are concerned that these losses can have a traumatic impact on wildlife populations, not to mention fishing vessels and other boats. Containers typically sink as soon as they hit the water, but Robin des Bois, a French environmental advocacy organization, says that some refrigerated containers could stay afloat for months.
Given how little we know about how frequently these types of incidents occur, it is critical for boaters to ensure that their vessels are equipped with communication and navigational tools that will help them identify hazards before it's too late. Having a marine transducer, chartplotter and marine GPS on board can be a lifesaver for anticipating violent weather, as well as for catching underwater obstructions before they damage your hull.
At ePal, you'll find an enormous selection of these items at discount prices. We also offer free shipping on all U.S. orders, so you can rest assured that the price you're being quoted is what you'll pay. For more information, check out our online store today!
Louisiana set a record for the lowest number of boating deaths in a year in 2013, experiencing only 13 total. Considering that the state has had an average of 25 boating deaths per year since 2010, this is a remarkable achievement.
The Associated Press reports that the previous low was 19, set in 1992. The all-time high is 79 in 1974.
The data, which was provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' Enforcement Division's Boating Safety Program, is good news for the boating industry in the Bayou State, given the thousands of citizens who pilot boats on a daily basis. The Department is crediting the improved safety conditions to mandatory boat education courses that are required for anyone born after January 1, 1984.
In order to continue this trend of improved safety, it's important for boaters to avail themselves of communications and navigation technology that makes it much easier to identify nearby vessels and avoid collisions. Some of the equipment that every boater should have on board before they leave the dock includes:
- Marine VHF: In order to communicate with emergency personnel on land, it's important for boaters to have a marine radio that puts out a strong signal. Cell phones are often inadequate, particularly when you're on a large body of water.
- Transducers: Avoiding collisions with underwater obstacles is much easier if you have a transducer that can provide accurate readings of the surface underneath your boat.
If you're looking to add these items to your equipment inventory, or you need to replace the ones you have, your best source for marine equipment is ePal!
One of the predominant trends in marine GPS technology is the consolidation of various navigation and communication equipment into one component. This allows boaters more control and freedom in piloting their vessel, and makes the process of monitoring location, engine condition and other parameters more intuitive.
In keeping with this trend, Garmin has just announced that it has partnered with Mastervolt, manufacturers of CZone intelligent technology, to create an integrated system with a simplified interface. This will give pilots quicker access to their boat's controls, thus providing a more straightforward, streamlined method for steering the vehicle so that the driver can focus on other aspects of their trip, not just making sure their boat works.
"Today, with recreational time being limited, boaters and their families do not want to worry about the operation of the boat," G.R. Schrotenboer, Mastervolt Global Business Leader, said in a press release. "They want to turn the key or touch a button and go have fun on the water. Our CZone technology offers the kind of intuitive operation that is common in one's home or car, providing complete control of the vessel's environment with a single touch."
As boaters begin to accumulate more system components in their GPS, communication and monitoring systems, it becomes difficult to keep an eye on all of these parts at once. This increases the likelihood that something can go wrong during a trip. However, as this announcement would indicate, boat part manufacturers are trying to solve this problem by bringing all of a vessel's various parts together into one unified interface, making boat travel safer and more fun.
If you're interested in finding out more about the latest Garmin GPS technology, make sure to check out the ePal online store today!
The Yacht & Brokerage Show (YBS) is underway in Miami Beach, Florida, and will run through February 17. While the boating industry puts on hundreds of trade shows throughout the year, this is by far one of the biggest. Manufacturers, brokers, marine accessories retailers and other industry professionals will be congregating at Collins Avenue to see the latest yachting models and technology. In addition, there will be tons of food vendors and live entertainment.
Brokers look forward to the YBS every year for one simple reason: Customers actually purchase boats. While other events might showcase a new model from big time manufacturers, very few visitors actually consider buying a new vessel. That's not the case with YBS.
"[It's] always been a good show," James Henderson, president and CEO for the Americas at Ferretti Group, told Trade Only Today. "I think typically we tend to write more deals [than at other shows]. A lot of people say that. I have no idea why that is, but I think you tend to hear of and see more contracts, partly because … in February people are thinking summer's not so far away."
Those who are selling boats at the show are hoping for a big turnaround after many years of recession that have plagued the industry. Typically boat purchases are the first to get hit by economic downturns, so it's been a rough couple years for the industry as a whole.
If you head to Miami and decide to purchase a new boat, or you're just going to see what's available, we recommend checking out ePal's wide inventory of marine electronics and accessories, which will help you get more out of your vessel's communications and navigational systems.
Yacht brokers are reporting that January sales of boats were down by about 5 percent year-over-year, according to TradeOnlyToday.com. The data was reported to SoldBoats.com, a proprietary database used by brokers to monitor industrywide sales. Overall, 1,635 boats changed owners in January, lower than last year's total of 1,728.
Much of the decline was in the category of boats under 26 feet, which saw a decrease in sales of 21 percent. However, the industry is still looking much healthier now than it did just a few years ago. In the past five years, the monthly average for boats changing hands was 1,559, so January 2014 was still well above the norm.
Additionally, despite the decline in the number of boats that were sold, the actual revenue generated from those sales was 2 percent higher than last year, at $242.7 million.
The industry is hoping that as the economy improves and people feel more secure in their jobs and incomes, that more boaters will think about investing in a new vessel. Recreational vehicles such as boats and RVs tend to be the first purchases that get nixed during hard times. But given the falling unemployment rate and rising equity markets, it seems as though the worst days for the boat sales industry are behind it.
If you've decided you'd rather hold on to your yacht rather than trying to upgrade to a newer one, you may want to consider replacing some of your components with state of the art models. For example, if your GPS unit is starting to show its age, we recommend checking out ePal's inventory of the latest Garmin marine electronics. This simple upgrade can make a huge difference in your boat's navigational system!
The shipping industry is expecting to rebound after several years of unprofitability. Reuters reports that while overcapacity has led to a drop in freight rates that weren't enough to cover shippers' costs, but these rates are expected to go up in the next few months, leading to more revenue.
Overall, global dry bulk seaborne trade is expected to increase by 5.8 percent in 2014. Industry observers have said that some of the main reasons for the increase are the Chinese economy and urbanization, as well as falling iron ore prices. The forecasts have led to a rise in prices for new and used shipping vessels.
However, the optimism about these increases is dampened somewhat by the fact that forecasters predict many shipping carriers will continue to have trouble, and that the market is currently oversaturated. Several carriers have already filed for bankruptcy or receivership, including TMT Group and STX Pan Ocean.
It does seem as if the world economy is on the mend, even if growth is relatively tepid. The United States is seeing a slow rise in GDP, while Asian and South American countries continue to develop at a quick pace. Hopefully, these trends continue so that the shipping industry can return to profitability.
For carriers who are looking to save money wherever they can, one budget item they shouldn't ignore is marine equipment. At ePal, we carry a wide inventory of navigation and communication equipment that is essential for operating a shipping line. More importantly, these products can be obtained for discount prices. For more information, check out our online store today.
Boating is one of the most rewarding recreational activities, but it can also be one of the most dangerous if people travel without the necessary experience and marine supplies. Even those who have been piloting boats for years are sometimes unable to avoid accidents, which is why it's important to make sure your vessel is equipped with the latest communications and navigational systems available.
The pastor of a Los Alamitos, California, church was critically injured in a boating accident that occurred near Catalina Island, just off the coast of California. Bayless Conley, who is the pastor of Cottonwood Church, underwent surgery to repair soft tissue in his neck and throat, but his vital organs and vocal chords were left uninjured.
The Long Beach Press-Telegram reports that two other passengers, Keith Johnson and Jeff Perry, were hospitalized after the incident. Johnson suffered facial injuries and possibly broken ribs, while Perry is recovering from a fractured sternum, cuts and bruises.
The accident took place on February 3 near Two Harbors, a small community that is located on the isthmus of Catalina Island.
In addition to serving as a pastor at Cottonwood Church, Conley is also a broadcaster who hosts the television show "Answers with Bayless Conley."
Even if you're an experienced sailor, it is important to make sure that your vessel is in good condition and that it has all the tools you need to communicate with the shore and navigate safely wherever you happen to be sailing. You can find the best marine electronics technology by shopping at ePal, the leading internet retailer for marine supplies and parts.