Editor: Dave Gleason
 October 2017

Happy Halloween

Ironically enough, with the arrival of October the Seafarers' snowbirds return and Harry will no longer be working with a "skeleton crew."   The great thing about modern communications, however, is that the Board has been in touch all summer long, so the Seafarers have hardly missed a beat.  As usual, our calendar has been anything but scary.

But now the real Season begins, and you'll want to check the calendar for the major events of the Fall - the Regatta at the beginning of November and the Change of Watch in December.  Sign up early and often, and don't forget the pirates' code - "many hands make light work!"  (Actually, I'm not sure that's part of the code - but it should be!)

To view the past 12 months' newsletters, click here (be sure pop-up blocker is off):
October | November | December | January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September |


Commodore's Report: by Harry Ensley

Boy, September, what can you say?  At first, we weren’t going to leave.  Irma was supposed to go up the east coast of Florida and spare Punta Gorda.  Then on Thursday, the spaghetti plots started showing it going up the middle of the state.  We’d get a little rain, but that’s all.  Then on Friday, they showed it coming up the west coast of Florida and a 12 ft. storm surge!  We finished tying down the boat on the lift and left for New Orleans to stay with our son and his family.  All the preparations had been made.  All we could do is drive and wait for the all-clear to come back.  Such a bad feeling.

Then we started hearing good reports from people about Punta Gorda being spared.  We stocked up on gas and made our way back to Punta Gorda.  Not until we pulled into the driveway did we breathe a sigh of relief. So good to see the house and boat in good shape!

Needless to say, Irma put a crimp in boating for the Seafarers in September.  The cruise to South Seas Resort was cancelled since they were closed for repairs.  But we did make it to Tween Waters Resort in late September.  Also, we had a great time at the Visani Comedy Club.  Pete George and the other comedians were just what was needed after such an unnerving experience as Hurricane Irma.  In October, we will get back to cruising and the Regatta is getting closer!  Life is good in PGI.

Let the good times roll,



Membership Report: by Gayle Clark, Director

No change in Membership.. We remain at 272 members.



Education Report: by John Tiller, Director

Boat Repair Suggestions

Every year, many of us need to have some repair made on our boat, often something beyond our personal knowledge and skills.  This column combines some advice from BoatUS and some personal experiences to make suggestions on how to avoid problems with a repair person or shop.

1.      Select a reputable and reliable vendor. 

a.       Ask for referrals.

b.      Ask your boating friends about their experiences.

c.       Check the internet for online reviews and boater forums.

d.      Check with the local Better Business Bureau and BoatUS for complaints.

e.       Learn about the credentials of the technicians.  Mechanics or shops with credentials and good diagnostic equipment may cost more, but the result is likely more reliable. Credentials are offered to qualified individuals from both manufacturers and the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC Certified Marine Technician).

2.      Insist on a detailed estimate in writing. 

a.       This should include details of services, parts, and time needed, plus other items that might be needed depending on what is found once the work is under way. 

b.      Have a clear understanding of hourly rates and when they apply.

c.       Clarify any added fees, such as storage. I recently had my boat in for new electronics and it was hauled so new through-hulls could be installed.  I was charged for storage every day they had the boat.  That is, I paid them to keep my boat.  Does any auto mechanic do that?

d.      Clarify what, if any, charges are added for travel time if the boat is not in their yard.

e.       When additional work may be needed, ask up front what complications and costs arose in similar situations.  Ask for a “not to exceed” statement.

3.      Understand what, if any, warranty is included.

a.       Determine if any warranty includes labor or just parts. 

b.      Get that in writing. 

c.       Define how long they can take to do warranty work; having someone else do the work due to your frustration with the original repairs will likely invalidate any warranty.

4.      Remove any valuable items.

a.       This includes portable navigation gear, personal items, and fishing gear.

5.      Take pictures.

a.       Document the outside and inside, including the condition of the seat cushions and tables.  It is easier to show a “before picture” if they damage your boat. 

6.      Require prompt service.

a.       Get a time estimate in writing, then hold the repair facility to it.  Do not let the boat sit with them for months.  There may be delays in getting parts or due to bad weather, but the longer the boat sits in the facility, more likely it is to suffer damage or have some parts “borrowed.”

7.      Inspect the invoices and the repairs. 

a.       In my recent electronic service, I was charged twice for some items.  The service person claimed to have been confused.  I might have believed that the first time, but not the second.

b.      Pay with a credit card.  That makes it easier to argue if there are problems with the repair. 

c.       Be sure to sea-trial the boat and the repairs during the warranty period.  After that, you are likely out-of-luck.  Warranties generally begin when you pay and take possession of the boat.  For seasonal boaters who have work done and then put the boat directly into storage, that can be a significant problem if the warranty period is 30 – 90 days. 

8.      How to handle a problem.  If there is problem, most shops will cooperate to resolve it.  If not, consider the following actions.

a.       Consult with a third-party expert, hopefully with the shop’s cooperation.

b.      Send a written compliant in some detail to the shop.

c.       Keep all invoices and correspondence about the issue.  Make contemporaneous notes of any calls or in-person conversations.

d.      Report the matter to your credit card company and enlist their help.

e.       File a complaint with the local Better Business Bureau.

f.       File a complaint with the BoatUS Consumer Protection Bureau.  Sometimes it can get the dispute resolved.

g.      Pay the bill; otherwise the facility can put a lien on your boat.  That is why a credit card can be useful.

h.      Avoid taking to social media to denigrate the facility. That will likely stop any communications and efforts on their side.  Besides, you can always do that later.

Most repairs are done in good faith and there will be no major difficulties.  Being careful in selecting a shop will reduce the risks of issues.  However, it is your responsibility to be careful. 



Cruising Report: by Gary Cameron, Director

Hello fellow Seafarers, our fall cruising season is off to a truly fortunate beginning with a multi day trip to Tween Waters Resort on Captiva. I say fortunate because unlike many of our fellow Floridians, we were spared the brunt of Irma's wrath. Our prayers and hopefully some aid go out to the many less lucky that we.

On October 10th we currently have a lunch cruise to Leverocks at Palm Island Resort led by Mike Epting and on the 27th we will head to South Seas Resort for a three day cruise. Please review the web site calendar where all our Club cruises are posted and sign up to join your friends for a great day/s on the water.

Our annual Regatta is set for the first week of November, get your reservations and money in ASAP.

Happy Cruising.


Palm Island Lunch Cruise
October 10

South Seas Resort Cruise
October 27 - 30

November 3 - 5



Social Events: by Mike Slattery, Director

September was a really crazy month for the Seafarers. 
The first happy hour at St. Andrews was cancelled due to hurricane Irma, but the second one was well attended and fun for all.
We had a special fundraising event at the September 26th general meeting that supported the Crossroads charity and was enjoyed by all.   Great thanks also to the volunteers that helped with setup, in the kitchen, and with cleanup. 
The September social event was a trip to Visani Dinner/Comedy Club in Port Charlotte on Wednesday September 20th.  Carla Clark ran this event and did a fantastic job.  All the feedback I got was that the food and the entertainment were fantastic.  Thanks Carla!
Don't forget the happy hours at St. Andrews on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month.
The October social event is tentatively planned for a trip to Cass Cay Restaurant for Dinner and Bar Bingo.  Once I get the details firmed up I will send a blast to let everyone know.




Cass Cay Restaurant Dinner
To Be Announced


Events at a Glance


Palm Island Lunch Cruise
Social at St. Andrews Country Club 5-7 pm
General Membership Meeting PGICA 5:30 pm
Social at St. Andrews Country Club 5-7 pm
South Seas Resort Cruise


Original Newsletter Layout Design: John Magnin