Archive for » May 20th, 2017«

21st Annual Southeast US Boat Show at Metro Park – Florida Times

The 2017 Southeast US Boat Show kicked off in Metropolitan Park Marina on Friday May 19, 2017. The show will continue through the weekend and will be joined by the Oyster Jam Music Festival. | Buy Photos


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Folsom Lake’s Driftwood Problem Could Hinder Eager Boaters

 FOLSOM — With boat sales and lake levels on the rise, Folsom Lake has seen many boaters eager to get out on the water.

However, the heavy rainfall has also brought a large amount of debris that could be potentially dangerous to those on the lake.

Craig Larson, owner of Larson Marine in Rancho Cordova, says boat sales are up around 15 percent this year compared to last year.

A very full Folsom Lake and other area rivers are a main reason why. The current gas prices play a role as well he says.

“People were putting in pre-orders back in November knowing it was going to be a great year,” Larson said.

Friday the Brown’s Ravine boat launch on Folsom Lake was packed with boaters able to launch where there was very little or no water just a year ago.

Last year, when the drought created very low water levels at Folsom Lake, motorized boats could only be driven at a maximum of 5 mph.

The problem this year is with all the driftwood that has made its way into the lake.

Crews are still cleaning up 7,000 tons of driftwood and will continue to do so for weeks, which could stall boating yet again.


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Better Call Behnken: Palm Harbor boat shop customers paid for boats and got nothing

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) — A consignment boat shop in Pinellas County is getting hammered by customers claiming they were ripped off hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Complaints are piling up against Gulf Coast Boat Sales in Palm Harbor after customers say they paid for boats and got nothing. Others tell News Channel 8 they sold the dealer boats and did not get paid. And others got a boat, but still did not receive a title.

The owner, John Hartnett broke his silence on Friday, telling News Channel 8 he’s been fully focused on a boat manufacturing business he owns in Oldsmar, and he had no clue so many customers were left high and dry at the Palm Harbor location.

He blames the general manager, who allegedly controlled the business’ deals and finances. The manager tells 8 On Your side that Hartnett is now throwing him under the bus and that no decision was made without his knowledge.

More than 20 customers called 8 On Your Side or the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in desperation, wondering if there was any recourse.

Sandy and John Walling tell us they paid $41,000 for a brand new pontoon boat after meeting John Hartnett at a boat show. They found him at a booth for Gulf Coast Boat Sales, and decided to sign a contract for a brand new boat. Over some months, they were able to pay for the boat in full. Right now, they are stuck paying for insurance, dock fees and lender payments—but there is no boat.

“I just can’t believe that people would do this to other people, to this extent. It’s a lot of money,” Walling said.

Rick Weaver says he forked over $24,000 for a boat that sits at his house because it doesn’t have a title.

“I like to do everything legally, and I don’t really want to get pulled over and then I have to explain my way out of it,” Weaver said.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is in the process of reviewing these complaints.

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