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houseboat expo new

Sept. 27, 2010
Vol 9, No 1-10

Gadgets, Gadgets, and More Gadgets

In October, we check out what's new, what's cool, what could be indispensable

Shiny, clever, sturdy devices-we love 'em. Which is why you'll find out more than you thought was out there about new gizmos in the October issue.

Quickline Ultra Flip              Fortress Anchor                                             Photos courtesy of manufacturers

 What could be better than anchors to anchor our gadget issue? Kate Godfrey DeMay tells you all about new products that keep our boats right where we left them. Patti Clausen rounds up cool new marine hardware, such as Edson's Sport Knob and T-H Marine's CeaCap for through-hull installations.


CeaCap by T-H Marine Supplies Inc    Sport Knob by Edson Marine

Longtime readers know that Gary Kramer really gets a kick out of talking about the new products honored by boating writers, which this year were introduced at the Miami Boat Show. And it's not just an academic overview; Kramer gets his hands dirty. Here's a shot of him using the Shurhold Dual Action Polisher:

Kramer works with the Shurhold Dual Action Polisher. Photo by Alan Shay

He really likes the Sea-Doo RXT-X 260, too. 

He likes the veteran MacGregor 26 sailboat so much that he wrote a whole story about it, calling it the "Swiss army knife of boats" for its versatility and utility in a variety of situations.

MacGregor 26   Photo courtesy MacGregor Yacht Corp

Staying with the subject of ingenious boats, Patti Clausen reviews a new one, the Rolling Barge, a large pontoon boat that folds up small enough to be trailered to landlocked lakes. Here it is in both modes:

  Rolling Barge on the water                                       Rolling Barge on the road Photos courtesy P Kazmierowicz

 The Marina Profiles are of Cave Springs Marina by Bobbye Kenyon about its big move when Lake Cumberland water levels abruptly dropped, and Lake Blackshear Resort by Linda Aksomitis. It's inside the state of Georgia's Veterans State Park. Here are a couple of preview images of the facilities:


Houseboats at Cave Springs Photo courtesy marina   Lake Blackshear office, Cordelia's Restaurant Photo by L Aksomitis

 And, topping it all off, James and Dorothy Richardson
contribute a dreamy Heartland Reflections about this most beautiful of seasons along our heartland rivers. Here's a quick preview, from left, the Land Between the Lakes, along the Tennessee near Knoxville and a houseboat on Lake Cumberland.


Photos by James and Dorothy Richardson

Cannot wait for the new issue? It won't be long.


Boating Pet Insurance Now Offered

On Sept. 16, representatives of Progressive Insurance
announced the company now offers free pet-injury coverage for boaters' dogs and cats. If a boater's dog or cat is hurt in a boat accident, the company will pay the veterinary bills up to $1,000, a Progressive spokesperson said.

"Our new pet injury coverage for boaters gives them peace of mind their pets are protected if they get injured in an accident on the water," said Rick Stern, Progressive boat product manager, in a statement.The coverage is free for those with comprehensive and collision coverage. It covers only dogs and cats if they're on a boat and injured in an incident such as a crash, theft, fire or flooding.

Kathy Gilpin & Tessa on Table Rock Lake; note Tessa's life vest. She always wears one on water. Photo courtesy K Gilpin 

Man Does Great Loop in a Premier Pontoon

Colorado native Lyn Morgan, 63 years old, has completed a 5,300-mile Great Loop journey in a 24-foot Premier S-Series pontoon. Morgan completed the epic journey in eight weeks and one day.

             "Not sure if anyone has done the Loop in a pontoon boat, but I think this one is capable," Morgan wrote in his blog on the first leg of his journey. "It is definitely not your grampa's pontoon boat."

Morgan's 235 S-Series PTX triple-tube pontoon was powered by a Yamaha six-cylinder, 250-horsepower motor. With a top speed of 40 mph, Morgan kept his cruising speed between 20 and 35 mph. Premier Marine is headquartered in Wyoming, Minn.

Sumerset Houseboat Assets Auctioned Off

On July 27, an auction took place to sell off equipment and fixtures at Sumerset Houseboats' Somerset, Ky., headquarters, Soundings Trade Only reported.

            Jery Claunch, an executive vice president with Citizens National Bank, which was the company's lender, said Sumerset ceased operations in October 2009. The bank still owns the company's building and trade name and is making "active efforts" to sell those, he said.

            The bank did not repossess any boats.

Last summer, Sumerset, with an excellent reputation for building high-quality houseboats, announced a three-month shutdown to allow a glut of finished inventory to clear out. That shutdown had been expected to last through Nov. 1, 2009.


Publicity shot of  Sumerset's houseboat, High Limit  Photo courtesy Sumerset Houseboats


The correct name of one of the companies listed in Capt Fred Davis'
Boat Smart column in September is "Duroboat." HeartLand Boating regrets any confusion.

Cool and Green-Tips for Winterizing Your

Trailer And Boat

Protect both your trailer investment and the environment with these ideas from the BoatU.S. Foundation and its Trailering Club.

1 Select a certified clean marina to make green winterizing easier. Clean marinas in more than 20 states follow established environmentally friendly practices. Visit this site to find a clean marina.

2 Don't park under trees. Some boaters think storing the boat under a tree will protect it, but the opposite is true. Ice, snow, and howling winter storms bring limbs crashing down. Falling leaves and needles stain boat covers and gelcoat, or can make their way inside to block transom drainholes.

3 Spray lubricants such as WD-40 on metal trailer roller assemblies, winch gears and electrical connections to keep away moisture and rust. It's also best to take care of any rust spots now on the galvanized metal trailer frame.

            4 If you plan to pressure-wash your own boat, ask your marina where the best place is to do it. Many marinas have washpads designed to prevent contaminants from entering the water. If none is available or if you are at home, use a tarp under the boat to capture any debris. Use an environmentally friendly boat soap before you put her away.

5 Keep boat and trailer rig in a bow-up position to let water drain out the transom drain hole. (Just don't forget to remove the drain plug and tie it to the ignition key where you will find it in the spring).

6 Winterizing a boat's motor and outdrive creates quarts of waste oils. Collect and save these fluids for your marina's or local gas station's oil-recycling program. It's all right to put all of these oils in the same container, but ask where it should go. Also have a supply of absorbent materials to handle drips when winterizing the engine, outdrive or gear cases. 

            7 Winterize with safe, non-toxic "marine" or "RV" antifreeze that contains propylene glycol. This fluid is often pink, but can also come in other colors. Never use automotive antifreeze, ethylene glycol, which is toxic and can cause illness if used in freshwater systems.

            8 If you leave the boat on the trailer in your driveway for the winter, face the hitch away from the street, and put a lock on the trailer hitch. Make your rig as difficult as possible to steal.

            9 Remove the trailer tires and store them inside to prevent sun damage. With the tires off, it might be a good time to repack the bearings. Block the frame and secure contractor-grade trash bags over the hubs and brakes to keep them dry. If tires won't be removed, position the tires on a plank to prevent dry rot, and cover them. To avoid flat spots, move the trailer a few inches now and then.

            10 Shrinkwrap recycling starts now. Installing shrinkwrap in the fall generates waste material. Ask your marina or club to set up a recycling program to recycle the scrap leftover from covering boats. Any time shrinkwrap is recycled, it must be "clean." Ropes, tie-downs, zippers, or plastic vents should be removed.

For more information about services the club provides, visit this site or call 1-800-395-2628.



HARBORMASTER 47' - 14' beam, galley down with full cuddy, Twin Crusader 270HP, new V-Drives, 7.5 Kohler generator. Flybridge, bimini custom aft deck top. Full refrigerator and electric stove, 2 heads with 1 full shower. Radar, depth, speed and radios. Always covered, fresh water. Grafton Harbor F13. Great vessel, survey available, USCG documented. 217-454-0619.

1929 MORTON JOHNSON 45.5' - 6-71 Detroit, 13.5k Onan generator, one bath, two bedroom, central air, GPS, VHF, Bose sound system, tracking satellite. Call 563-687-2825 for
appointment. Asking $169,000. For more info: www.island

A Fun Photo Contest

Submit Your Best Fall Foliage Photos and You Could Win!

Photo: iStockphoto/chip phillips

Are you a leaf-peeper? Does fall foliage along the rivers have you reaching for your camera? The Smarter Travel newsletter folks want to see your seasonal photos.

Smarter Travel conducts many photo contests. Sponsored by Smarter Travel Media LLC, 500 Rutherford Ave, Boston, MA 02129, for this one, the photo that Smarter Travel editors choose as their favorite will be become this contest's album cover. It also will win the photographer a SmarterTravel TSA-compliant travel kit-complete with four bottles (including one spray bottle) and a funnel for transferring liquids. One kit per person.

 Beautiful, eh? Sorry, not the U.S. It's Britain's Lake District.

The deadline for all entries is 11:59 p.m. ET on Oct. 31. Entrants must be 18 years old or older. Go to this site to submit up to three photos by clicking the "Add your Photo" button. Photos must be in jpg, gif, or png format, with a 2MB maximum file size. Limited to three submissions per person/e-mail address. Entries will not be acknowledged. Judging criteria are focus, lighting, composition, and theme.

            No Purchase Necessary. Sponsor reserves the right to refuse to post any entry for any reason, and of course, photos cannot violate copyright, privacy, or defame any person, place, business, or group.

The winner will be announced on Nov. 1 and posted on the Web site.
Photos courtesy of Smarter Travel Inc

So get clicking! We cannot wait to see what you come up with.


Happy Boating,


Lee Braff 

Lee Braff
HeartLand Boating Editorial Office