3444 Marinatown Lane N.W.  *  North Fort Myers FL  33903

E-Yardarm
January 2006

HAPPY NEW YEAR! WISHING YOU SMOOTH
SAILING AND CALM SEAS IN 2006!


Announcing our Summer Specials for 2006!

Sail and Power Yacht Charters

August, September and October, 2006

2 FREE Days with a 3-day or longer charter

!* FOR EXAMPLE, PAY THE 3-DAY LOW SEASON RATE AND TAKE A 5-DAY CRUISE OR PAY FOR 5 AND TAKE 7 DAYS!

 *charter must begin on or after 8/1/06 and end on or before 10/31/06.


Sail and Power Boating School

Take your family ‘Back to School’ –
Summer School on the water!

Pay for 3 students and the 4th is FREE from June 1-September 30, 2006.

Take any sail or power class and pay the full course rate for three (3) students and the 4th student is free.*

*class must begin on or after 6/1/06 and end on or before 9/30/06. 
*Maximum 4 students per vessel.

Bring the kids!  Bring the grandkids! 
Summer is a great time to go boating.  Plan to take the family to Power Boating or Sailing School this summer and save some money, too!


AHOY MATEYS!  WE NEED BOATS!

We have a critical need for additional late-model Sail and Power yachts to join our fleet!

If you currently own a yacht that you may not have the time to use, or wish to purchase a boat now as your "floating retirement plan", give Vic or Barb Hansen a call. 

With our sail and power courses, and sail and power charters, the demand for yachts exceeds our supply. 

If you would like some income to help offset the cost of boat ownership, or wish to have your investment in a yacht protected by having regular usage and proper maintenance, you might want to consider charter yacht ownership.

Also, if you are interested in placing your boat with a company that is a leader in the charter and boating education industry and has a reputation for excellence, please consider the company with a proven record for over 20 years - Southwest Florida Yachts, Inc.  Plus, we are located in one of the finest year-round cruising areas in the world!

For more information on our charter yacht ownership program, please give us call.


Birds of a Feather

By Barb Hansen

The other day I watched some warblers twit about the shrubbery and I was reminded of an enduring scientific certainty: We are animals. I mean that in a nice way, of course.

It’s easy to forget this while sipping merlot and emailing friends, but it’s true. Ask anybody. We belong to the kingdom of animalia, the order of primates, the genus of homo, the species of sapiens, the advanced species of wine lovers and the super-duper family of sailors. (The last two are just theories at this point. Mine, actually.)

I also believe that like warblers we humans are hard-wired to do certain things like, for example, migrate to Florida during the winter months. However, because we have advanced brains and central heat, many in the kingdom of animalia ignore those signals. And that is such a shame, because those who live in cold climates could be having so much fun outside in the sunshine and stay warm, too. Not listening to those health signals, I suspect, is one of the primary causes of the growing pandemic that the researchers call Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Warblers are hard-wired to fly to Southwest Florida in September and depart for Central America in November. We’ll miss them, of course, but it’s okay because they are listening to their inner selves and doing what they are supposed to do. Anyway, more snowbirds are on the way. Flocks of white pelicans from Canada will soon be floating in sheltered coves, diving on thick schools of minnows and taking graceful winged exercise together. Belted kingfishers will whistle and zoom through mangrove passages. Here and there a loon from the land of frozen lakes (Midwest and Canada) will pop to the surface with a fish wiggling in its beak. Our resident bald eagles and hawks always invite their cousins to visit from up north and they all come.

None of these snowbirds to the best of modern scientific knowledge suffers from SAD. Nor is there a documented case of SAD among our permanent populations of herons, ibises, egrets, willets and bitterns. All of these happy creatures are on display in the winter months to watchful sailors. Vic and I especially like to cruise the skinny back bay waters of Pine Island Sound because we can observe so many birds doing what their instincts tell them to do.

As scientific observers of the barrier islands of biodiversity at certain times of the year we hypothesize that we are also obeying silent neural instructions up to and including the part when we put the cork back into the tall, brown bottle with the dark red fluid. When summer returns to Florida each year Vic and I, still obeying said neural system signals, break open the chardonnay and migrate to cooler climes to visit relatives in New York City, Vermont, Indiana and other points north.

As a young history student in Indiana I remember learning about and feeling so sorry for the native Americans of the upper Midwest who had to try to stay warm through those brutal winters wearing only those meager garments.  But I later learned they didn’t stay there in the winter. They went south, following the sun, eating fresh fish and going where the weather suited their clothes. They were the original Florida snowbirds of the homo sapiens persuasion.

Vic and I and the visitor’s bureau warmly invite you and yours to do what warblers, ruby throated hummingbirds and all birds of a certain feather do enthusiastically when the temperature drops -- vacation in Florida.

People, listen to your inner selves. The heating bills that arrive at your home this fall and winter will remind you of that.


CAMP AHOY!  GETS UNDERWAY

Announcing a boating camp for kids!

Camp AHOY! will be launched from our power boat docks in July, 2006!

Type of “Camp” – 5-day power boating safety and marine environment day camp.

“Campsite” –A Mainship Pilot 34 Power Boat and the Waters of Southwest Florida.

“Camp Counselor” – US Coast Guard Licensed Captain and Boating Instructor.

"Camp" Sessions
(Monday - Friday)

July 10 - 14
July 17 - 21
July 24 - 28
July 31 - Aug 4

“Campers” – Kids from 10 to 15 years of age.  Space is limited.  Minimum and maximum 5 "campers" per vessel.  Other vessels will be added as needed.

“Camp” Tuition - $995 per child (plus tax.)  Cost includes 5 days of Day Camp on board the vessel, “Counselor,” Fuel costs, Lunch daily, and Camp AHOY!  t-shirt!

* Note:  All “campers” must know how to swim.

Call 1.800.262.7939 or 239.656.1339 to register your “camper” for a Camp Ahoy! Session today!

A View From The Aft Deck
 
By Capt. Gary Graham


Thank you Lord for
one more day.
 For sky so blue,
and clouds so gray,
for trees of green,
and tide on the rise.
 
I thank you Lord for
giving me eyes,
that I might see the
beauty, both above and
below the deep blue sea.
 
For it's there I've chosen
to make my life.
Away from the cities,
and all the strife.
 
I plotted my course,
I set my sail,
I sailed through calm, and
I've sailed through gale.
But it's here, each day,
upon the waters
of Matlacha, you'll
hear me say
Thank you Lord
for one more day.


 SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

YACHT SALES AND BROKERAGE

Southwest Florida Yacht Sales is focused on matching boat buyers from around the world with trawlers, motor-yachts and sailing vessels 30-feet or longer. It is a member and abides by the code of ethics of the Yacht Brokers Association of America and the Florida Yacht Brokers Association.  SFY is also a participating member of Yachtworld.com, the
online, universal yacht listing service.

Visit our Website
www.swfyachtsales.com

FEATURED BOAT OF THE MONTH

1991 GRAND BANKS 42 – Asking $345,900

Available for charter fleet placement or private ownership.


Sistership

Main Salon

Twin Caterpillar 3208TA 375hp diesels.  Onan 8kw generator.  Marine Air conditioning.  Bow thruster, Niad stabilizers, windlass, trim tabs, oil change system, Grunert refrigeration, (3) burner electric stove with oven  microwave, custom manual dinghy hoist, and much more! 

Call Vic or Barb Hansen to make an appointment to see this lovely yacht.

FOR COMPLETE SPECS AND PHOTOS ON ANY OF OUR YACHTS, PLEASE
CALL US AT 800-262-7939 OR 239-656-1339.

WE NEED LISTINGS, TOO! 

If you have a boat to sell, let the professionals at Southwest Florida Yachts assist you!
Give Capt. Vic Hansen a call today!  We can help you sell your boat or find the boat of your dreams.


Self-Sufficiency is a Virtue

By Barb Hansen

For all our faults we boaters are self-sufficient people. We plan. We practice. Before a trip we check everything from fuses to foghorns, charts to chocks. Tanks are topped off. Spares are secured. For a weekend cruise we stock the fridge for a fortnight.

This is fun, actually. Planning the cruise is part of the cruise. See, virtue really is its own reward.

Pre-cruise we tune the TV to The Weather Channel. We check real-time satellite images. If a tropical storm or worse is a possibility, we call off the cruise.

Certainly, the human survival instinct motivates us. Boaters know how quickly the sea gets angry and becomes life threatening. We’ve read about others who died at sea or survived, barely. So, we prepare. We play what-if games. Better safe than sorry is more than a cliché.

And there is this. No boater wants the embarrassment of being rescued by another vessel or, God forbid, the Coast Guard. Chastened, that skipper imagines what other boaters might be saying back at the dock, mean things like, “He just ran out of gas; is that pitiful or what?” Or, “You won’t believe this, but they were using an old chart.”

To a vessel operator, embarrassment of that sort may not be a fate worse than death, but it’s right up there.

Another current of thought – you could put it at the core of the boating belief system – is the ideal of freedom. We are free to sail where and when we want. But we also accept the corresponding responsibility. If others are willing to rescue us when we’re in trouble, we ought to try hard not to get into trouble in the first place.

It seems like every hurricane season we have a case where thousands who should and could have evacuated, did not.  They probably told themselves, Hey, we haven’t had a storm here since forever. It won’t hit us. They never do. That rationale reminds me of the Steven Wright line: “I plan to live forever. So far, so good.”

Well, if just a few individuals get into trouble the police or fire departments may come to their rescue. But when thousands get into trouble it seems to me some should have made other plans.

Super hurricanes like Katrina and Rita remind us that there is a fine and fragile line that separates our comfortable lives from hardship or death. Good planning helps us boaters stay on the bright side of that line.

PS to readers: If you have not already donated to the relief effort, we hope you will. You never know when the tide will turn and you and your family might need help.


Dog and Boat Personalities

By Barb Hansen

The way I figure it all dogs on God’s blue water planet are hard-wired to go boating. After all, are they not descended from the original pair that survived the flood aboard Noah’s Ark?

We’ve read about how dogs act and even look like their owners, but have you noticed that dogs also tend to have the same personalities as their boats?

It is so. Star, our Border Collie, is a trawler dog. Trawler dogs are basically working dogs. I’d put retrievers in the trawler category, too. I’ve heard about retrievers who happily jump into the water on command and swim after something or other that has blown off the deck. To earn her sleep and dish of food, Star patrols the perimeter of the vessel to make sure enemies (like gulls, pelicans and egrets) don’t land without permission. Like her vessel she is kind and reliable.

I can’t begin to picture Star on a sleek Italian-styled motor-yacht. On that billionaire’s vessel you’re more likely to find a fluffy animal the exact colors of the plush carpeting.  Like her keeper, she doesn’t work. She just tries to look sleek and pretty, haughty even, and be available for petting. Dogs and cats in this category include the Bichon Frise, Yorkie, Chihuahua, Lhasa Apso, Miniature Poodle and Pekinese.

Sailboat dogs, like their vessels, are practical types who like the wind in their faces and can take just about whatever nature dishes out. One of the best pets for a sailboat I’ve heard is a short, sturdy mutt who, like its vessel, just “goes with the flow.” Smaller dogs seem to be better suited to navigate an angled deck and don’t get whacked by a swinging boom. Your sailboat dog is small enough to fit into a canvas bag so the skipper can transport him on the handlebars of a folding bicycle.

I vote for the Labrador Retriever as the perfect kayak and canoe dog. If the vessel tips over, this dog with the webbed paws is in his element.  The only problem is, at roughly 70-80 lbs, this canine and handler may occupy too much volume for a paddleboat at any one time.

For commercial fishing vessels there are Newfoundlands and Portuguese Water Dogs. They have the same rugged look and low freeboards as the fishing hulls they work on. They do the same work, too, pulling fish nets, towing small boats, and retrieving fish and fowl. 

I read that the winner of the Tulsa World photo contest shot a picture of a dog steering a speedboat. They didn’t say what kind of dog it was but I’m guessing it was a sleek collie with big, white teeth and long hair and drool blowing in the wind. He’s the designated driver. The owner, presumably, was in the passenger seat sipping a beverage.

Do you have a nomination for the best personal watercraft dog? Browsing the Internet I read about a young couple that takes their 11-pound Pomeranian jet skiing. Yes, it must be the Pomeranian. As boats and dogs go, it is small. And, like the personal watercraft, if you ask me, it is a restless, noisy toy.

Now in the brave new world in which we live, selective dog breeding is creating new boating animals such as the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle. The breeders say they love the water and have the retriever work ethic but also are non-shedding and allergy-friendly like the poodle.  What would Noah think?

Now, perfect boat dogs are able to take bathroom breaks on deck so the owners don’t have to take them to shore in a dinghy.

Hear that, Star?

 ...Top of Page


“Sojourner” Sails to the Promised Land – and Beyond!

When Pastor Jack Allyn and his wife, Anna Belle, retired from the ministry in 2004, they had completed a very special and rewarding journey in life.  They soon traded that voyage for one of a different kind. 

In the spring of 2004 they set sail on their Island Packet 31, “Sojourner” from Fort Myers to their home port of Jacksonville, Florida following their boat’s “retirement” from the SFY Charter fleet.  Then in June of 2005 they headed north up the East Coast to the Chesapeake Bay and many ports in between, returning to Jacksonville in November with hundreds of miles under their keel and boatloads of stories to tell.

Having their boat in charter for three years gave this Captain and his first rate First Mate a chance to get their sea legs and plan the cruise of the second half of their lives.  They worked on the boat when it was not on charter and used the charter revenue to help equip the boat for their long-term cruising plans.

Jack and Anna Belle plan to spend the winters in Florida and then set sail again next summer.  They’ve promised us a return visit to Fort Myers, then on to the Keys and the Bahamas on the next leg of their voyage.  For this couple, the “promised land” might well be just over the horizon.  We wish them smooth sailing!


CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITES!                

For complete charter, school, and yacht sales information, try our websites:

www.swfyachts.com
www.flsailandcruiseschool.com
www.swfyachtsales.com

You will find complete charter and class rates, specs on all the boats, copies of many newspaper and magazine articles about our company, the latest news, boats for sale, and special offers!


SFY OFFERS FREE VIDEO ON VHS OR CD-ROM!

For a copy of our free video, "Sailing and Cruising- Passport to Excellence" give us a call at 800-262-7939 or visit our Website and click on the video request form! 
Watch our video and you will see why we love beautiful Southwest Florida!


For more information on charters, classes, charter yacht ownership, or brokerage yachts for sale, please call us at 1-800-262-7939 or 239-656-1339.
E-mail: SWFYACHTS@aol.com

WEBSITES:

www.swfyachts.com * www.flsailandcruiseschool.com* www.swfyachtsales.com


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