Repowering the Old Pontoon Boat

Adjusting With A Tractor
This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Pontoon Boat Restoration

Sanding Deck I repainted the whole deck after the repairs detailed in the first post in this series. I once again used Behr deck paint from Home Depot, but this time tried their non-skid additive. It is a fine powder, almost like flour, and gave… Read more

New Life for an Old Pontoon Boat

NorthStar Double Bimini Top
This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Pontoon Boat Restoration

Old Lowe Pontoon Boat We bought an old 24 foot Lowe pontoon boat from a local fishing guide. He had coated the pontoons with , replaced the deck with 3/4″ ply, added a small center console and 20 gallon plastic fuel tank, and powered it with an… Read more

Wingsail Laser World Championships

New Control Test

Development of new wingsail designs continues at Solid Wing Sails here in Punta Gorda, with the latest versions designed to work on Laser sailboats. Inventor Chuck Taylor decided that the 2014 Charlotte Harbor Regatta would be a good event to test… Read more

Cowmaran Trip Up The Myakka River

Cowmaran Crew
This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series The Cowmaran

Cowmaran Crew Ever since he created the Cowmaran, Don has talked about wanting to take it as far as possible up the Myakka River, just to see what is up there and see how far the boat can get. He and his wife took an experimental journey up the… Read more

Wing Sail on a Hobie Bravo

Wingsail Powered Bravo

Hobie Bravo in Yard Trailer Early in March 2013, I got a call from Chuck Taylor of X Wing Sails asking whether I would help him test out a wing sail on a Hobie Bravo. He had been helping us remove the boats from the former site of the Charlotte… Read more

Watertribe 2013 Everglades Challenge Start and Checkpoint One Pictures

Kayak Pack
This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Everglades Challenge 2013

First Launchers At 7:00 am on March 2, 2013, conch horns and bagpipes sounded and race organizers gave the signal for participants in the Everglades Challenge and Ultra Marathon to launch their boats and start down the… Read more

Speck Tater’s View of the Watertribe 2013 Everglades Challenge

Female Watertribe Challengers
This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Everglades Challenge 2013

Hare On Fire on the Beach This is my third year going to the start of the Watertribe Everglades Challenge, and I decided this time around to see more than just the start of the race. The past two years, I have witnessed the start from the… Read more

Replacing RC Sailboat Electronics

Kyosho Fairwind Sailboat

Kyosho Fairwind Sailboat About 15 years ago, I decided to buy a remote controlled sailboat to get a quick sailing fix in the pond. Not being interested in building a model, I bought a ready-to-sail Kyosho Fairwind from a local hobby shop, took… Read more

Better Use of Punta Gorda Bayfront Center is Possible

Happy Sailing Student

Happy Sailing Student The city-owned Punta Gorda Bayfront Center, located on Charlotte Harbor adjacent to Gilchrist Park, is currently leased to the YMCA, but a competing lease proposal by the Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center would… Read more

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 16

Primer Spraying Started
This entry is part 16 of 16 in the series Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders

Second Hard Top Frame December 5, 2011 First Gelcoat on Pec, Small Repairs and Fairing   Richard the welder was an early riser and he delivered the second hard top frame just after sunrise, reminding us that we had yet to fabricate… Read more

Saw My First Wingsail In Person Today

WTF Post-Race

Sunfish Wingsail Parts Today I dropped by the Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center to borrow some race marks and anchors for the upcoming Sun Cat National Championship Regatta this weekend, and as I drove up I noticed that the truck in… Read more

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 15

Bubble Rolling From Scaffold
This entry is part 15 of 16 in the series Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders

Skinning Gunwale Faces November 27, 2011 Minor Fiberglass Repairs   All the grinding in recent days finally came to fruition today as we went around and applied fiberglass to several minor repairs. To reinforce and smooth the… Read more

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 14

Dry Fit and Final Prep
This entry is part 14 of 16 in the series Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders

Dry Fit and Final Prep November 16, 2011 Fiberglassing Decks on Both Boats   We got an early start and were out on the boats doing final preparations for fiberglassing the decks over the new fuel tanks before our young helpers were… Read more

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 13

Adam and Lane Goofing Off
This entry is part 13 of 16 in the series Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders

Measuring for Deck Plates November 11, 2011   The day started like many others: with someone running a grinder. This time it was Adam preparing the pieces of marine plywood deck for installation. The undersides were previously coated… Read more

Outboard Lower Unit Crack

Yamaha Lower Unit Crack

Cracked Lower Unit Running We have an old 3 cylinder Yamaha two-stroke on the 15′ Boston Whaler and the normally reliable beast recently stranded us for the very first time before magically fixing itself. It has been running perfectly ever… Read more

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 12

Micah Grabs Tank
This entry is part 12 of 16 in the series Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders

New fuel tank bulkhead installed and starboard side face board glassed over on Fluke. November 7, 2011 Another leap forward in time has occurred and I am returning to writing about this project on September 22, 2012, almost a year after… Read more

Welcome to the WordPress Tropical Boating!

Sun Cats Sailing

Sun Cats Sailing After a great deal of work by Tropical Web Works and some editorial skimming by me, we are happy to announce the transition of Tropical Boating to the WordPress platform. The change will make it easier to find related content on… Read more

Powering Up the Cowmaran

don-cowmaran-twins-lg
This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series The Cowmaran

Repowering The ELB – Extremely Light Boat AKA The Cowmaran Twin Engine Cowmaran Toward the end of March 2012, the Cowmaran reappeared in my yard, this time with a second engine hanging on the transom. The original design concept called for twin… Read more

Creating The Extremely Light Boat

multihull-dreams-lg
This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series The Cowmaran

Expensive Little Boat Expletive Little Boat (You get the idea…) Multihull Dreams The ELB (Extremely Light Boat) project began as many great ideas do: with a couple of guys messing about with a boat. In this case, my friend Don and his buddy… Read more

Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders Part 11

repair-ready
This entry is part 11 of 16 in the series Rebuilding Whale Watching Tenders

Ready to Repair October 16, 2011 Repairing Port Side of Pec We started the day disassembling the repair that we dry fit the night before, then Gene went to work vacuuming the pieces of wood and solvent wiping the repair area while I… Read more