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Welcome to Anchors Aweigh, a podcast for boaters, by boaters. As owner of Freedom Boat Club Lake George, and operator of Beckley's Marina, I have seen firsthand the power that boating has to bring families and friends together, sharing experiences that will create lifelong memories. Each episode features an in-depth conversation with a boating expert or industry leader, where we cover things like boating tips, tricks, and essential gear; hear great stories from the water; and discuss trends in the industry. If you’re new to boating or have been on the water since before you can remember, our hope is that you will find these conversations enjoyable and informational and you will be inspired to get on the water, stay on the water, and bring other people to the water!

Mar 14, 2017

I learn so much in every episode, it is sometimes hard to keep track of it all! Every once in awhile, I'll do a little recap. The first five episodes featured Dan Glickberg, CEO of Dan Glickberg Food; Lisa Almeida, owner of Freedom Boat Club Jacksonville; John Giglio, President and CEO of Freedom Boat Club; Barry Slade, VP of International Sales, Regal Boats; and David Karpinski, President of Taylor Made Products. Here are some great tidbits on equipment, destinations, boats, and advice if you are thinking about getting into the boating lifestyle!

Equipment:

My guests are very focused on safety which is great! Being a safe boater definitely makes it a more enjoyable experience. John mentioned a PFD (personal flotation device) as the best investment anyone can make. He also recommended a handheld GPS, something that can make sure you get out safely and get back in safely. Dan made a great point about protecting your eyes and making sure all your senses are operating well with a good pair of polarized sunglasses. He also suggested a couple of his favorite fishing manufacturers, Ugly Stik and Penn reel. Barry talked about the importance of a cell phone and something to charge it. Some of the apps he uses are Navionics and Garmin, and Windfinder. Lisa also mentioned Navionics, which I can tell you we recommend to all our members. He also discussed going offshore and having a float plan and a ditch bag, which has many things that you would potentially need in an emergency. Lisa went the fun route and introduced us to Maui Mats!  They are a blast, check them out. She suggested Being a BoatUS member and a Sea-Tow member as well. Dave let us know about the importance of having properly sized fenders for your boat to protect the important investment! They’ve continued to innovate in color with their new line called Storm Gard.

Boating Destinations:

Hearing about where my guests have boated and want to boat is one of my favorite parts of doing this. I know I have a lot of new places I want to check out! Dave started on the Sacandaga Lake in upstate NY and has been all over for his job but remembers very fondly a great fishing trip with his son to Ft. Lauderdale catching sailfish. Barry has traveled the world - Singapore and Hong Kong, the Red Sea, the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Mexico, the Carribean, and more. They are all so unique and special, he recommends them all! A few places he would like to get are Croatia. Fiji and Bora Bora. Dan grew up fishing in Montauk and loves to fish in the Florida Keys for Tarpon - his favorite activity. He hasn’t been but would like to go to the Bahamas for bonefishing. John loves his Florida boating with his family and cruises through Lemon Bay and to Don Pedro State Park. Through his job he has loved boating in the Carolines, the Great Lakes, the West Coast of the US, every time he’s on the water he thinks it’s the most beautiful place, til the next trip! Lisa likes her boating events and wants to go to Put-In-Bay in Ohio and the Columbus Day Regatta in Miami, where thousands of boaters come together. The connectivity of these events is her favorite part of boating. She also loves boating around Fort George Island where it’s like a party of your 500 best friends.

Advice for would-be boaters:

Boating is an activity that appeals to lots of people who dream about it but can’t get off the fence. There are many perceived barriers to entry. I love to find out what kind of advice the guests have for these would-be boaters. Dan and Lisa say to stop thinking about it and do it! It doesn't have to be a dream. Just make it happen, make the decision, there’s no time like the present. Lisa, Dave, and Barry all suggest starting with a visit to Discoverboating.com. John and Barry both point out the importance doing your research on what type of boating is the right fit – buying, renting, joining a club. And take a class to make sure you’re comfortable! Barry also suggests researching your local dealers as a resource. Across the board, the biggest thing they all want potential boaters to know is that joining the boating lifestyle is a decision that will lead to great experiences, memories, and something that will make you very happy!

Boats, boats, boats!:

Our guests have been fortunate to have experiences on all types of boats, and still themselves dream of their ‘next’ boat. Barry was a first mate on a Hatteras and now has access to Regal boats through his work. He loves the idea of a trawler style and points to Nordhavn as a manufacturer to check out for this type of boat. Dan got his start on a 25 foot Mako fishing boat, and is ready for a Claude Torres fishing boat of his own like the one he later fished on as a child with his dad. While John has a fleet of over 450 boats in his club and a 14’ side console for his kids to learn on, he thinks for his lifestyle a 23-25 foot center console with a 4-stroke outboard is a perfect boat. Lisa got started on the family Glastron, and later a Wellcraft. She currently cruises in her 32 Monterey cruiser with twin Mercs and her 22 Sea Ray Sundeck. Because you know one is never enough! Lisa daydreams of upgrading to a 46 or 48 sedan bridge to enjoy the views from up top! Dave’s first experiences were on a 1969 Glastron IO boat that came with the family lake cottage. He currently has a 22 Regal bowrider which is great for his family boating activities.

 

Random Notes and Quotes:

Lisa:

It was always a mindset of, 'of course you can do this!' It's really not that hard, I believe it's more of a mindset that women can do it. It's really just about pushing through the fear of the unknown, of the not doing, and if you've got someone there coaching you, teaching you, and letting you just be like, it's okay you made a mistake, then gaining experience and confidence is just what it takes.

It’s really fun to bring your animal on board, but you also want to remember that you're in charge of them. You want to make sure they're safe, so number one - your dog should have a life jacket that fits them well and makes them comfortable. Also, when you're coming down to the dock you want to have them on a leash because if it's a floating dock they might feel wobbly and uncomfortable. Then definitely you have got to have water and a water bowl for them.

John:

There are a lot of technological advances now, specifically with marine electronics. The electronics companies have really started focusing on customer experience.

There’s been a huge focus on trying to engage minority boaters. They are cultures that didn’t necessarily grow up boating but that is a huge opportunity for our industry. What you are going to see over the next several years, as the baby boomers age out of boating and the industry continues to look for the young people to get engaged in the industry, people are going to focus a lot more on bringing those new markets into the boating industry.

Boating should be fun. The people on the boat should have a fun time and a safe time. With the training that we offer and with some training the industry is going to be coming out with, hopefully that will solve a big part of the attrition with boat buyers moving out of the industry. If they’re going to make that leap and buy a boat or join a club, we want them here for a long time.

Dan:

I learned by doing it. To me there's no trick, it takes a little time, a little experience, but once you do it often being on a becomes second nature. It's really about putting in the time. 

Being out on the water is really about the people you are with and the stories you tell. It's really a time when you can put everything else going on in your life away, put your cell phone away, and detach and focus on being in the moment. 

Salmon is probably the easiest fish to cook. You can just put some olive oil, some lemon juice, and some fresh herbs on it. Put it on the pan, brown both sides, and put it in the oven for 5-10 minutes depending on how big a filet it is. With any fish, especially if the skin is on it, put the skin side down first, and then flip it to the filet side and you want to cook them for about the same amount of time. If you cook it well enough on the skin side, you can actually eat the skin. It tastes pretty good, very high in protein and Omega-3's. 

David:

At their younger age, everything is about respecting the boat, the people around you, the experience, the safety requirements. You can add on the lessons about navigation and tying knots but everything up until now is - we do it right and we do it safe. They’ll grow up to love boating, but they’ll have the base of knowledge and respect of the craft to do it right.

The first piece of advice was from my dad – docking is the hardest part, have good fenders! His comment to me which I still take to this day is to take it slow. People don’t realize there aren’t brakes on a boat. When he taught me, he said do it deliberately, take your time, there’s no hurry to get into the spot, do it right and do it once. The other thing which is instilled in me is the entire safety component. Don’t drink and boat. Don’t be unsafe in the way that you boat, and respect the others around you and it will be a good day!

 Barry:

The first thing that is really apparent in the market is the trend towards outboards. They’re becoming immensely popular. The surf market, the tow boat market, is also one that continues to grow and attract boaters. 

We want to connect with the emotional side of boats and boating. It’s a big discretionary item, there’s a lot of emotion involved. It’s also a memory making machine. We look at our boats as things that families will use to create memories that they’ll have for a lifetime. The younger generation still has that opportunity. Albeit they’re being introduced to a lot of different ways to come into boating. There’s boat clubs like the Freedom Boat Club, there’s the sharing economy through other vehicles, but once you’re there and you’ve had that experience, we’re all the same. The emotion is an integral part of boating.