Let’s Learn about Parts of Your Boat

Hey, not everyone was raised on the water or in the Coast Guard or Merchant Marines, that’s just a fact. While I make a living off of people who do not know these things, I would still find myself unable to sleep at night knowing there were boaters out there who didn’t know the basic parts of a boat. Let’s Review!

  • The Hull and the Keel
    • The hull of a boat is an internal framework that extends from side to side (transverse) & also runs the length of the boat (longitudinal). The hull is covered by an outer shell plating, most often constructed of fiberglass or metal. All boats also have a keel: the backbone of the boat that runs along the center bottom of the boat & provides stability in the water.
  • Starboard, Port & Gunwale
    • When operating a boat, the starboard side is the right side of the boat & the port side is the left. The gunwale is the upper edge of the sides of a boat.
  • The Bow, the deck & the stern
    • The front of a boat is the bow & its curved shape is designed to the lift the vessel w/ waves, rather than cutting into them. The stern is the back of the boat: a flat, square stern has a broader surface for a wave to act upon compared to a round stern. The round, or cruiser stern, is safer in following seas because the wave splits & travels forward along each side of the boat. The deck is the upper surface of the boat. The curvature of the deck allows water to flow off of it.
  • What is the Sheer, Flare & Tumblehome
    • The curvature of the deck from bow to stern is the sheer, which along with the flare & tumblehome determine a boat’s displacement & buoyancy. Flare increases displacement, and is the outward turn of the hull as the sides rise from the waterline. Tumblehome, the reverse of flare, is the shape of the hull from the gunwale to the waterline.
  •  What are your Chine & Beam?
    • The part of the boat that is below the waterline is the chine and it determines your boat’s speed & how it handles on the water. If the chine is rounded, it is a soft chine. If it squared off, it is a hard chine. The beam is simply the width of the maximum width of the boat.
  • What’s the Rudder & Propeller?
    • The rudder steers the boat, which is driven by one or more screw propellers. Propellers rotate & power a boat either forward or backward. These parts of the boat are at the back and located underwater.

That concludes Coastie Marine’s boat part lecture for the day. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know all these words because now you do! And I feel safer being out there with you having a little bit more knowledge of the craft you are driving! If you have any more questions or need any boat repair of any kind, feel free to call me anytime, 850-896-9147 and I’d be happy to help! http://www.coastiemarine.com


How to Use a VHF Radio – Boat Repair

This may seem like an unnecessary read for many experienced boat users however, for those of you who are interested or need a lesson, please continue. As w/ any other tool on board your vessel, there are wrong ways & right ways to use your VHF (Very High Frequency) Marine Radio. Here are some useful tips:

1. You’re required to be monitoring VHF Channel 16 at all times! This channel is for emergency, distress, safety, & initial vessel contact messages only. You can usually set a ‘dual watch’ function on the VHF radio if you want to monitor another channel or have 2 VHF radios for your boat. If you receive a distress call, please record it along with your boat’s position & the exact time. Be prepared to give help if needed.

There are 3 international safety & distress calls that you MUST KNOW:

Mayday calls -“Mayday, Mayday”, yes this is real, it is serious & is only to be used in the event there is a very real emergency. Issue a Mayday call if your watercraft is sinking, on fire, or if someone on board is seriously injured or ill. Mayday calls are only for situations which “there is immediate risk of loss of property or life” so do not abuse this distress call for any other reason. Doing so would be like calling 911 for nothing. It is taken very seriously and can be a waste of valuable resources if misused. If you make a Mayday call, wait for a response & if you don’t receive an answer w/ in a minute or so, repeat the entire Mayday. If there is still no response, you may need to use flares or other distress signals to get help.

Once a Mayday call goes out, everyone other than the distressed vessel and the Coast Guard responder handling the call must remain silent. If the Coast Guard asks for help from vessels in the area, this is what is referred to as an exception. Next exception is if you hear a Mayday call & after a 2minute waiting period there has been no response from the Coast Guard, & the Mayday transmission is repeated without response, then you are required to perform a Mayday response. You can also relay a Mayday call if you have spotted a vessel in serious danger or have been asked by the boat’s operator to call a Mayday relay.

Securité calls – In Florida, Securité is often used to report manatees that are swimming in the path of boats. Securité messages are for reporting navigational safety concerns to other boaters. If you spot anything floating in the water that could potentially endanger boats in the area, it is expected that you put out a Securité call. By being a helpful member of the boating community & reporting major navigational hazards, you could save someone a costly repair or even protect the safety of their passengers.

Pan-Pan calls – This is the last of the signals for a VHF. Use this when your boat, yourself, or a passenger is in trouble but not in serious danger. For example, if you have had an accident of some type that disables your boat but you are not taking on water and there are no injuries, then a Pan-Pan is appropriate.

If you hear a Pan-Pan call come over the VHF radio, treat it with silence on the channel just as you would a Mayday call. If you are in the vicinity of the request for assistance, please try to head towards the boat in trouble & see what you can do. You may need to get a line on the disabled vessel in order to bring it into safer waters then await further instructions from the Coast Guard.

2. Radio checks are usually not needed unless you have recently installed a new VHF radio or worked on your radio. Also, if have not used it in a while. Never use Channel 16 to perform a radio check. Stick to Channels 9, 68, 69, 71, 72, or 78A.

3. Be considerate of other boaters & do not treat your VHF radio like a toy, do not be that guy. Do not clutter important channels with chit-chat. It goes without saying but do not ever make a false Mayday call – such irresponsibility endangers others and you can be prosecuted with a $10,000 fine. Seriously, do not be that guy.

4. Aside from Channel 16, a few of the designated purposes of some other channels are:

  • Channel 9:designated by the FCC as the Recreational Calling Channel for use by non-commercial boaters. The protocol is to make contact on Channel 9, then move to one of the other recreational channels. Boaters who are monitoring Channel 9 are not required to monitor Channel 16.
  • Channels 68, 69, 71, 72, and 78A are also for use by recreational boaters. Once contact has been made on channel 9 or 16, switch to one of these channels.
  • Channel 13 is only to be used for commercial ship to ship (bridge to bridge) navigation or for use by bridges and locks.

5. Wait your turn and be patient while a channel is active. Breaking into an ongoing radio transmission is poor manner and could interfere with an emergency transmission. These radios are not toys, this is not GI-Joe in the backyard with your little brother. These channels serve purposes so again, don’t be that guy.

6. Do not use the phrase “over and out” at the end of a transmission, all that is necessary to end a VHF radio communication is “out”.

7. When transmitting on a VHF Radio, you must speak slowly & clearly. Be polite & brief. Use the phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie…)- if you don’t know it, learn it or tape it by your radio. This is used to spell out important information. Make sure to confirm that you have received a message when finished.

8. If you want to know more, consider attending a VHF Radio Operator’s Course. You can be awarded a SRC (Short Range Certificate) in just one day’s time while you learn everything you need to operate a VHF radio properly.

Bay County: Boater’s Paradise

Visit Panama City: Panama City Beach marinas are home to a variety of fishing tournaments each year, fishing charters, excursions & boat rentals: all staples of the local boating fleet. All marinas offer convenient access to the Gulf of Mexico & St. Andrew Bay, provide safe shelter, a wide variety of fishing experiences, & a way to easily enjoy a fantastic day on the water. Here’s a short list & description so you can find the best spot for your needs!

  • Bay Point Marina: gently tucked away along the Grand Lagoon in Panama City Beach, FL, yet conveniently located just 5 minutes from the beautiful Gulf of Mexico & 15 minutes from the Intracoastal Waterway. Award winning 180 boat slip!
  • Bayside Marina: full service marina tucked away in a quiet corner of  St. Andrews Bay, just a short 7 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Family friendly, fun-loving & slightly off the beaten path. The attitude is more laid back & the service more personal. Affordable storage offered for boat & trailer, w/out hidden charges.
  • Lighthouse Marina: The place sportsmen keep their boats. Built for guys, guts & fishing glory. The Man-Cave of Grand Lagoon. Simply the marina for the hard-core fisherman.
  • Pirate’s Cove Marina: tucked away into it’s own private cove on the south shore of Grand Lagoon, 1 of FLs favorite vacation destinations. Only minutes by boat from the indescribable beauty of Florida’s Emerald Coast. Provides convenient access to the area’s favorite boating destinations; Shell Island, St. Andrew’s Bay, Crooked Island Sound & St. Andrew’s State Park.

Coastie Marine: Marine Electrician & electronics repair & installation service: 850-896-9147


Annual Boat Parade of Lights

29th Annual Boat Parade of Lights

When: December 10 5:30pm

The annual Boat parade of lights comes to Panama City & St. Andrews, FL

1000s of spectators gather every year to celebrate Christmas with the gorgeous site of lighted boats!

The parade starts as the boats light up at St Andrews Bay Yacht Club at 5:30 pm. Around 5:40 pm the boats pass Panama City Marina then travel to St Andrew Marina where first boats start arriving for the parade end around 6:15. 

Free Parking and viewing at both sites. 

Contact Coastie Marine for any of you boat lighting needs! 850-896-9147

Bay County Boat Ramps

The Bay County Boating Community is our number one priority here so to take care of our boaters, we want to provide an updated list of available county-wide boat ramps:

  1.  Bay Head North; Cherokee St. Deer point (Freshwater)
  2. Bay Head South; Cherokee St. Deer point (Freshwater)
  3. B. V. Buchanan Park Boat Ramp; BV Buchanan Bridge, West Bay (Saltwater)
  4. Deer Point Drawdown;Highway 2321 – Deerpoint Lake  (Freshwater)
  5. Dolphin Boat Ramp; Dolphin Drive (Saltwater)
  6. Donald Penny Boat Ramp on Fanning Bayou; SR 77A Southport (Saltwater)
  7. High Point Boat Ramp; CR 2311 Deer Point Lake (Freshwater)
  8. It’s Hutchinson Ramp;CR 2311 Deer Point Lake (Freshwater)
  9. Lake Powell Ramp; Lake Powell Rd-Philips Inlet (Saltwater)
  10. McCall-Everitt Boat Ramp; CR 2311 Deer Point Lake (Freshwater)
  11. McKenzie Boat Ramp; Mackenzie Rd Southport (Freshwater)
  12. Pine Log Ramp; Pine Log Forest – Otter Creek (Freshwater)
  13. Quail Street Ramp; Quail St South Lagoon (Saltwater)
  14. Safari Street Ramp; Safari St. – South Lagoon (Saltwater)
  15. Shoreline Circle Boat Ramp; Shoreline Circle (Saltwater)
  16. West Hathaway Bridge Boat Ramp; Southwest Side Hathaway Bridge (Saltwater)


Let’s get to our specialty: New Marine Electronics 2016 Style

The rapidly changing technology of the world doesnt exclude marine electronics by a long shot! Just like the iPhone you bought last year, it’s old news and sometthing bigger or better rather has already replaced. And so it goes with marine electronics…let’s review a few of the new guys to hit the market in 2016.

The Raymarine eS Series

They feature the newest LightHouse operating system &  a 7-inch, 9-inch, or 12-inch HybridTouch multifunction displays. This multifunction rotary controller, Raymarine’s eS series replaced the e generation. Out to sea, I found the rotary control extremely user-friendly & the latest LightHouse brilliantly genius. Wi-Fi, GPS, & fishfinding are all built into this brain, & the eS can be expanded w/ HD color radar, CHIRP or CHIRP DownVision sonar, IP & thermal cameras, multiple displays, autopilot, digital switching, engine data, & even….entertainment systems! The 7-inch units hit the market in April The 9 & 12-inch units in June 2016. They are priced are $1,099, $2,299, & $3,499 to start! Check them out at: http://www.raymarine.com/

And how about the: Iris NightRunner2 and NightPilot

For my seriously techy boaters, the Iris NightRunner camera system is upgraded & tagged dubbed version “2.” What upgrades are worth your time & dollar? An incredibly improved daylight camera w/ a 10x optical zoom & 10x digital zoom. Thermal imaging is also boostimg w/ upgraded vanadium-oxide thermal core. The camera comes w/ a housing & control pad that allow for 360-degree rotation plus a 180-degree tilt. Price, including the controller for the Nightrunner 2 is $4,995 at release! 

Also NEW from Iris is their NightPilot, a gyro-stabilized thermal imager that has an 8x digital zoom. The 3-sensor gyro has a tilt range of 140 degrees & a user-adjustable trim. The 320 x 240 resolution thermal core is U.S.-MADE, & the color palette can be inverted. $5,000 is the asking price for this beauty upon release.F or more information & other info, visit: 


We, Coastie Marine in Panama City, FL would love to install these beauties & more of these incredible technological gadgets for you! Contact us for more info: 850-896-9147 or visit our webpage http://www.coastiemarine.com

Don’t pay dealer prices on installation of marine electronics. Support your local vet owned small business and we will cut those prices in half!

The Saltwater Sportsman

The guys at Saltwater Sportsman hit the nail on the head in their article: CHIRP vs Conventional Sonar. In a nutshell, they explained what you need to know when shopping for Sonar. You can read their full article here: http://www.saltwatersportsman.com/chirp-versus-conventional-sonar