Archive for » February, 2018 «

Best iPhone Game Sales Round-Up: ‘You Must Build a Boat’, ‘10000000’, ‘Monster Hunter Freedom Unite’ and More

I know January is supposed to be the month where everyone is understandably broke because of Christmas and the New Year, but we’re now deep within February and my bank account does not look any friendlier. To be fair, a lot of it is self-afflicted, as there have just been so many fantastic gaming releases on every platform in the few weeks of 2018 we’ve had so far. If you’re similarly spent, but also are keen to fill up that backlog with even more essential iOS titles, you’re in luck – some seminal App Store classics have been heavily reduced in price over the past few days. If you’re missing any of these games from your collection, you truly have no excuse now.

You Must Build A BoatYou Must Build A Boat

You Must Build A Boat, $2.99
Kicking off our sales round-up is the phenomenal puzzler You Must Build A Boat from Luca Redwood of EightyEight Games fame. There’s very little I need to say about this excellent title, as it has received numerous accolades at TouchArcade since its release in 2015, including an emphatic five star review and our coveted Game of the Week award. In my opinion, this is one of the best match-3/puzzle games on the platform, and in many ways You Must Build A Boat feels like the sequel to Dungeon Raid that we never got – which is even more pertinent considering the latter game’s demise at the hands of iOS 11. This puzzle RPG title is full of content and irreverent charm, and at a bargain price of $0.99 (down from $2.99 for only the second time in three years), it really is essential for any iOS gaming fan.


10000000, $2.99
Read the above paragraph and replace You Must Build A Boat with 10000000, and you know my thoughts on this landmark iOS release. Seriously though, while the former title may be a spiritual sequel to this game, 10000000 is an incredible game in its own right, and is truly iconic in the illustrious history of the App Store. Dropping quite literally out of nowhere in 2012, 10000000 was our Game of the Year runner-up at the time, and its hopelessly compulsive gameplay loop of hitting the dungeons, solving puzzles, upgrading your skills and repeating it all for hours was perfection. 10000000 hasn’t been on sale since 2014, so even though it’s more than worth its normal $2.99 cost of entry, this is another must-have for anyone with a passing interest in puzzle games.


While finding the iTunes link for Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, I stumbled upon an App Store review that stated “At only $15?! Such a freaking great deal”. This sums up why Capcom’s latest promotion for its flagship beast-slaying series on iOS is an absolute bargain, as Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is on sale for only $3.99. It may be a bit old in the tooth now, despite its notoriety for not actually working on iOS for the longest time, but Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is still one of the best console-size experiences on the App Store to date. With the console version of Monster Hunter World dominating gaming headlines over the past few months, Freedom Unite is an excellent place to dive into the series in its classic portable guise.

Life Is StrangeLife Is Strange

Life Is Strange, $0.99
Life is Strange has been somewhat of a revelation amongst console gamers since its 2015 debut, as the story of Max and her devastating attempts to change the future through a gift of being able to rewind time. While we noted minor performance and control niggles in our review, this is the game episodic console classic in arguably its most intuitive form yet, and $0.99 for the first episode is a great price to try the series out for anyone on the fence. Life is Strange does require relatively recent iOS devices to run – and I really would only recommend it for those with powerhouses such as the iPad Pro – but this is really a title that needs to be experienced at least once by every gamer.

While these four titles are the highlights of the past week’s App Store promotions, I’ve undoubtedly missed a few classics from the list, and many essential releases are being discounted every day. Let us know which games you’ve picked up recently, or any sales you’ve managed to sniff out, on our Price Drops forum and Discord server.

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Don’t Miss the Boat on Potential Expedition Cruise Sales

Traditional cruising is not expedition cruising. This is true. But have you considered that your traditional cruisers could potentially become expedition cruisers if only given the opportunity? So often travel advisors limit their clients into the categories of travel they currently enjoy, literally and figuratively “missing the boat” on exploring new types of travel with their existing customers that could potentially be a travel experience homerun.

Taking the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it approach” is a safe strategy when you’re marketing to your existing clientele, sending them the latest and greatest traditional cruise itineraries they have become accustomed to, to spark further interest. But what about opening up a whole new window of opportunity in cruising that they otherwise wouldn’t have even dreamed about?

“I offer expedition cruising to almost all of my able-bodied clients. Most of my clients are very seasoned cruisers, so they have been to most every place a traditional cruiser goes. But expedition cruising unveils so many new places for them and they are typically very enthusiastic about it,” said Stefan Bisciglia, of Specialty Cruise Villas, a Virtuoso agency based in Gig Harbor, Washington.

No Slow Down Ahead for Expedition Cruising
Expedition cruising is exploding, according to industry experts, with no signs of slowing down any time soon. A number of new vessels are coming online over the next few years and research shows these travelers are willing to pay a premium for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

“Expedition cruising engages you from the moment you step aboard. It challenges and fulfills you. It takes you to places few others have tread. While ocean cruising is relaxing, entertaining and educational, it rarely achieves the depth of experience provided by expedition cruising,” said Ange Wallace of Wallace Pierson Travel in Fernandina Beach, Florida

For travel agents who specialize in expedition cruising, research is key to engaging new clients. “Chances are you haven’t been to most of the places on these itineraries, so you need to learn why anyone would want to go. The cruise lines are a great resource for this information and are more than willing to educate you,” points out Bisciglia.

For Wallace, client events are her best marketing tool for expedition cruising. “The videos and first-person stories about the experiences are more exciting when shared face-to-face. The presenters from the expedition companies are well-traveled, passionate and inspiring.

Conveying the uniqueness of expedition cruising is how Ngaire Keene of Keene Travel in Frisco, Texas, has succeeded in selling this type of travel for the past 18 years. Keene sets it apart from traditional cruising by inviting her clients to see the world in what she calls “an up-close-and-personal way.” While she tends to focus on nature-oriented and adventure-minded travelers, she reiterates the message that her clientele is also diverse, from the very active to those who are not so active, but are seeking monumental experiences.

“Standing in the middle of thousands of penguins or being close to a polar bear from a Zodiac is truly life-changing. The scenery is another aspect where smaller ships and Zodiacs can get closer to glaciers and massive icebergs, which is awe-inspiring,” said Keene, who emphasizes to clients that the ships are smaller (typically around 200 people) and unlike traditional cruising, the atmosphere is very informal. “It’s a relaxed environment and a very down-to-earth experience, with no dressing up. The expedition team members are all experts in their fields and share so much information that is on a different level than what a normal lecturer might give on a traditional ship.

Experiencing the product is another avenue to sales, said Keene. “I know when I am talking to my clients, my genuine excitement of what this type of trip offers is what makes people want the same experiences. We take a lot of pictures [when we go on expedition cruises] because they are worth a thousand words. I also have extremely detailed information on my website, from what to wear riding the Zodiacs to clear accounts of the size of cabins, the food and service. Experiencing the product means understanding it so you can share accurate information on the facilities of the ship, and that is very important.

FROM THE SPONSOR: There’s no need to identify as one style of adventurer with Silversea Expeditions. Our global cruises deliver the best of the world, allowing your clients to explore every thrilling and humbling aspect of discovery. Our fleet of four purpose-built ships sails to over 590 destinations across 7 continents, with carefully curated complimentary shore excursions plus specialty themed culinary and wellness expeditions. Our Expedition Team is comprised of professionals of the highest caliber, hand-picked for their expertise in a wide range of fields. Through briefings, onboard lectures, Zodiac cruises and guided hikes, they will bring to life everything your clients encounter. Equally gratifying is the experience onboard our intimate, luxury ships. With the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising, personalized service is guaranteed. Enjoy butler service in every suite, epicurean cuisine, and the value of a cruise fare that includes nearly all discretionary onboard expenses. This is about letting your clients experience adventure in the most immersive way imaginable in the comforts of luxury. #ThisIsSilversea

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Table Rock boaters in trouble? Give Jim Pulley a call – Springfield News

Jim Pulley loved to fish with his dad, but there was one aspect of his outings on the lake he didn’t particularly like.

“We had an old boat with a 7 or 8 horsepower Sea King outboard motor that would always break down,” Pulley recalled. “I got tired of always having to row back in. There’s not a worse feeling in the world than being out there stuck on the water.”

The seed of an unusual career was planted aboard that boat.

Fast forward a lot of years, and you’ll find Pulley and several family members rescuing boaters on Table Rock Lake when an engine quits or the vessel somehow runs out of gas. They average 1,500 tows back to port a year.

After 15 years on the water, Pulley’s Sea Tow Table Rock Lake business has been named Sea Tow franchise of the year by parent company Sea Tow, based in Southold, New York.

His Kimberling City-based franchise was up against 100 other Sea Tow franchises in the United States — many serving vastly larger areas like New York, Miami and Los Angeles. There are Sea Tow franchises internationally, as well, but Pulley’s Table Rock Lake operation stood out in 2017.

“The Table Rock Lake crew have far exceeded the goals we set for each and every one of our Sea Tow franchises,” said Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer III, the company’s CEO, in a news release announcing the franchise of the year award. “The entire team should be proud of the exemplary work they have put in to grow their franchise and provide the top-notch service Sea Tow is known for.”

The Sea Tow concept got its start in 1983 after the Coast Guard stopped responding to non-emergency calls on the water. The need was clearly there, and Sea Tow franchises popped up in major boating markets.

Including Table Rock Lake.

Pulley said he responds to boat breakdowns, lost boaters and other calls for help where someone needs a tow back to the dock, boat ramp or marina.

His company also salvages boats that have sunk, like the big houseboat that took on water through a rotted transom and sank in its marina slip on Jan. 1.

“That was a bugger to get out,” Pulley recalled. “It took us two days.”

With 850 miles of shoreline, it’s not impossible for a boater to get lost on Table Rock Lake. A call to Sea Tow sometimes is in order.

“Once I got a call from a guy who was drunk and didn’t know where he was at,” Pulley said. “I asked if he could see any landmarks, lights on shore or a water tower. All he could tell me was that he was directly under the moon.”

Pulley eventually managed to find him.

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Boats on Table Rock have changed a lot since he first got the franchise started.

“When we began, it was a lot of 25- to 30-foot runabouts,” he said. “Now people are putting way bigger and much more expensive boats on the water. And they occasionally break down.”

Some of the new yachts have computer-controlled engine systems. Occasionally the computer gives an error code and the owner can’t figure out what to do.

They call Sea Tow.

“For liability reasons, we don’t try to fix that, we just tow them back in,” Pulley said. “I tow more new boats that have a lot of electronics. They’re a rolling computer on the water.”

Pulley said people have come to know the bright yellow Sea Tow boats. He started with three boats. He now operates six vessels spread across the lake, including one on a trailer that can be towed to distant parts of the lake if needed.

When yachts got bigger and much more expensive, Pulley said he added two RIBs — Rigid Inflatable Boats.

The air-inflated hulls are less likely to scratch or damage an expensive yacht if the RIB comes alongside, he said.

A Table Rock Lake boater in trouble can call Sea Tow any time.

“We’re like AAA on the water,” he said. “We’re on call 24-7, 365 days a year.”

Sea Tow is membership-based, with a one-year membership starting at $119 — a price that hasn’t changed since Pulley started his franchise. Members can call and get a tow, a quick fill of fuel if they’ve run out or a jump start from a Sea Tow boat if their boat battery is dead.

He said the Table Rock franchise has about 1,400 members.

“If you’re not a member, you can still call us, but it’s a lot more expensive,” Pulley said. 

A nonmember tow costs $350 for the first hour and $250 each additional hour. A non-member tow can quickly top $600 to $700, he said.

“You can see why a membership can be worth the cost,” Pulley said.

Sea Tow Table Rock Lake is the only Sea Tow franchise in Missouri, and Pulley said the next closest franchise is 600 miles away. He said he has had a good response from boaters at Table Rock.

“It’s tough when your boat breaks down,” he said. “You can’t get out and push it back. You can’t get out and swim it back. You can’t get out and walk on  water — there’s only one guy who could do that!”

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He’s been at it for 22 years. Now a Fairhaven restauranteur is ready to pursue another dream

After 22 years as a restauranteur in Fairhaven, Don White is ready to pursue another dream.

White recently put Skylark’s Hidden Cafe up for sale with the intention of moving to New York City. With the recent death of his father, White came to realization that it was time for him to pursue something that he’s always wanted to do. He believes the restaurant is in a good place and he’s ready to try something new.

“I’m at a stage where Skylark’s is a mature business,” said White, 54. “All my life I’ve dreamt about living in New York City. If I don’t do it now, I may not get another chance.”

Skylark’s actually got its start in 1995 as a ice cream and gift shop in the Sycamore Square building. White was helping a friend set up the business. A year later White took over ownership and moved the business into a corner spot away from the main streets, hence earning the “hidden cafe” moniker. At that time, White said there was a need for a restaurant in Fairhaven that offered a comfortable family atmosphere.

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In 2008 he tripled the cafe’s size at 1308 11th St., becoming less hidden. White also expanded the menu to breakfast, lunch and dinner and brought in other features, including live music events.

A major expansion came at a challenging time, given the recession that followed. During that time he created a Budget Bailout menu, offering discounts at different times of the day that kept customers coming back. Sales continued to climb and White said this is the best year yet in sales. The restaurant has 38 employees.

White has also been blessed with good health. He said he’s never taken a sick day at the restaurant, and rarely takes a day off. Asked why he’s been rarely away from Skylark’s, he said the feeling he’s had about the restaurant is much like a hobby, comparable to someone building a boat in the garage.

“If you have a hobby like that,” White said, referring to the boat in the garage. “You’d want to spend every day in there.”

Once he sells the business White said he’ll miss the regulars that now span several generations.

Skylarks 1

Customers will also miss White. Attorney Seth Fleetwood, a former Bellingham city and county council member, has probably eaten more bowls of clam chowder at Skylark’s than anyone else. He estimates he’s had about two bowls a week at the restaurant for around 20 years.

“Skylark’s has been a staple in Fairhaven since the beginning of the Fairhaven comeback,” Fleetwood said, referring to the transformation that started in the 1990s. “Don has been reliably committed to the betterment of Fairhaven from the moment he got here.”

The sale price for the business is listed at $295,000. Details can be found on its Facebook page or by calling 360-715-3642.

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A three-story house tops the sales list

The top real estate transaction for the week of Jan. 11-17 in Flagler County was in Ocean Hammock. Scott and Kelly Willis, of Dallas, sold 115 Ocean Way N. to Atlantic Coastal Properties LLC, of Palm Coast, for $740,000. Built in 2015, the house has five bedrooms, 4.5 baths, an elevator and 3,427 square feet.




Robert and Patricia Hershock, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, sold 1200 Cinnamon Beach Way, Unit 1161, to Richard and Mary Hines, of Stony Brook, New York, for $340,000. Built in 2004, the condo has three bedrooms, three baths and 2,003 square feet. It sold in 2005 for $719,000.


MTGLQ Investors LP, of Irvine, California, sold 3580 Ocean Shore Blvd. S., Unit 810, to Shannon Gunter and Federico Garcia, of Ocala, for $177,500. Built in 1982, the condo has two bedrooms, two baths and 1,121 square feet. It sold in 2004 for $257,000.


Cypress Knoll

Ralph and Kathy Corbett, of Palm Coast, sold 11 Essington Lane to Robert and Carrie Snedeker, of Palm Coast, for $299,000. Built in 2001, the house has four bedrooms, three baths, a swimming pool and 2,948 square feet. It sold in 2015 for $239,400.


Vivian Pereira, of Palm Coast, sold 5 Easton Place to Andrew Stewart, of Palm Coast, for $231,350. Built in 2006, the house has three bedrooms, two baths, a swimming pool and 1,611 square feet. It sold in 2006 for $247,100.


Grand Haven

Lois Beckwith, individually and as trustee, sold 36 St. Andrews Court to Marie Soucie and David Groendyke, of Minden, Nevada, for $529,000. Built in 2005, the house has three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a swimming pool and 3,150 square feet.


Indian Trails

Oleg and Tatyana Cheberko, of Flagler Beach, sold 148 Brookside Lane to Frederick and Tracy Dillard, of Palm Coast, for $348,000. Built in 2006, the house has five bedrooms, four baths, a swimming pool and 2,728 square feet.


Claudette Jacques sold 1 Berkshire Lane to Crystal Hill, and Jerry and Sharon Yoder, of Palm Coast, for $245,000. Built in 1982, the house has four bedrooms, three baths, a swimming pool and 2,140 square feet. It sold in 1995 for $82,000.


Sherley Cuyler sold 19 Bird of Paradise to Clyde and Toni Witherspoon, of Palm Coast, for $177,000. Built in 1997, the house has three bedrooms, two baths and 1,746 square feet. It sold in 2004 for $155,900.


Elizabeth Waters, individually and as trustee, sold 47 Bradmore Lane to Pauline Bastow, of Palm Coast, for $160,000. Built in 1983, the house has three bedrooms, two baths and 1,800 square feet. It sold in 1983 for $65,800.


Lehigh Woods

Dennis and Elizabeth DeWitt sold 2 Riverside Lane to Ralph and Lilli Rizzitiello, of Palm Coast, for $273,000. Built in 2009, the house has three bedrooms, two baths, a swimming pool and 2,070 square feet. It sold in 2014 for $240,500.


Donald and Gloria Ennis sold 1 Red Top Lane to Ina Lovett, of Palm Coast, for $218,000. Built in 1994, the house has three bedrooms, two baths, a swimming pool and 1,550 square feet. It sold in 2015 for $185,000.


Ralph and Jean Nichols, of Athol Maine, sold 5 Rosedale Place to Buny Seang and Lily Khiv, of Anaheim, California, for $165,500. Built in 2004, the house has three bedrooms, two baths and 1,520 square feet.


Escade and Yuma Mettelus sold 16 Rosecroft Lane to Chance and Tira LeBlanc, of Palm Coast, for $125,000. Built in 2010, the house has four bedrooms, two baths and 1,347 square feet.



Ruhl and Linda Doup, of Palm Coast, sold 614 Cumberland Drive to Mark and Alicia Klingler, of Flagler Beach, for $385,000. Built in 2002, the house has three bedrooms, two baths, a boat dock, swimming pool and 1,910 square feet.


James Michaelis, of Palm Coast, sold 2325 Flagler Ave. S. to Wilmington Savings Fund Society, as trustee, for $179,000. Built in 1988, the house has two bedrooms, two baths and 1,324 square feet. It sold in 2002 for $137,000.


Palm Coast Plantation

Eugene and Dianne Thompson, of Silverthorne, Colorado, sold 18 Emerald Lake Court to Larry and Connie Williams, of Palm Coast, for $480,000. Built in 2017, the house has five bedrooms, three baths and 3,000 square feet.


Palm Harbor

Jay Starry, of Palm Coast, sold 1 Cynthia Court to James and Gail Eldridge, of Palm Coast, for $457,500. Built in 1995, the house has three bedrooms, two baths, a fireplace, swimming pool and 1,349 square feet. It sold in 2011 for $225,000.


Kee and Myong Rhee, individually and as trustees, sold 36 Clearview Court N. to Scott and Danielle Colvin, of Palm Coast, for $321,000. Built in 1998, the house has three bedrooms, two baths and 1,862 square feet. It sold in 1999 for $163,000.


Joe and Edith Tooley sold 14 Felicia Court to Joe Tooley, as trustee, for $260,000. Built in 1976, the house has three bedrooms, two baths, a swimming pool, boat dock, boat house and 2,129 square feet. It sold in 1933 for $131,000.


Danny and Jessie Dilley, of Palm Coast, sold 47 Florida Park Drive to Faisal Masud, of Fall City, Washington, for $140,000. Built in 1974, the house has two bedrooms, two baths and 1,408 square feet. It sold in 2000 for $57,000.


Maurice Sterling, individually and as representative, sold 55 Black Bear Lane to Elizabeth Moretti, of Palm Coast, for $98,000. Built in 1978, the house has one bedroom, one bath and 878 square feet.


Pine Grove

Gary and Shirley Garrison, of Wylie, Texas, sold 179 Point Pleasant Drive to Mary Duser, of Palm Coast, for $265,000. Built in 2011, the house has four bedrooms, two baths, a swimming pool and 2,450 square feet. It sold in 2012 for $172,200.


Pine Lakes

Scott Ferris and Beverley Brown sold 43 Whitcock Lane to Mikhail and Bella Gorfinkel, of Palm Coast, for $207,000. Built in 1997, the house has three bedrooms, two baths, a swimming pool and 1,779 square feet. It sold in 2014 for $181,000.


Seminole Woods

Travis and Kathryn Lang, of Palm Coast, sold 6 Sedgefield Path N. to James Santana, of Palm Coast, for $190,500. Built in 2005, the house has three bedrooms, two baths and 2,010 square feet. It sold in 2012 for $137,900.


Toby Tobin, of, contributed to this report.


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2018 Miami Boat Show: Five Highlights From Day 2

Within a few minutes of posting a couple of videos from today’s rides in the MTI 340X catamaran and MTI-V 57 performance center console, we got several text and email messages from friendly readers not present at the Miami International Boat Show. The gist of those messages was the same: You guys have really tough jobs.

Powered by four Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines, the latest MTI-V 57 was quite a ride. All photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

Trust us, we know how lucky we are to do what we do for a living and count our blessings every day. When the toughest part of your job is choosing five highlights from the second day of the Miami show, you know you have it pretty good. So here goes.

Going To Extremes With MTI
We might as well start here. Marine Technology Inc.’s 57-foot center console is the largest boat the Wentzville, Mo., company makes. The 340X sport catamaran is the smallest boat the company makes. With veteran performance-boat drivers and multi-time world champion offshore racers John Tomlinson of TNT Custom Marine at the helm of the 57-footer and Bob Teague of Teague Custom Marine piloting the 34-footer, we took rides in both and couldn’t have been more delighted.


Check out some more highlights of the Miami International Boat Show.

Hustler Powerboats Shows Off Its Shotgun
Getting to sit down with Joe LoGiudice, the owner of Hustler Powerboats, to discuss the company’s all-new 39 Shotgun—a cool, new, roomy outboard-powered sportboat from the Calverton, N.Y., boat builder—was a treat (as it usually it is). Yet this time around, LoGiudice was as passionate as we’ve ever heard him when talking about one of his new boats. And for good reason, the 39-footer, which is powered by triple Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines, had all kinds of unique hidden design features. Look for a more detailed story on the new model next week.

High Fives For BBLADES New Wheels
For the second year in a row, Brett Anderson of BBLADES Professional Propellers of Princeton, Wis., has introduced a new series of propellers. And for the second year in a row, they’ve created buzz at his Miami show display. This time around, Anderson showcased his new 5-SPEED propeller line and began taking orders for testing and purchase.

Surf’s Up At Bluave
Just six years ago, we were reporting on Missouri-based Waves and Wheels as a company to watch. Since then, we’ve watched Justin Wagner and his enthusiastic crew expand on their custom audio system and interior business. And now Wagner’s Bluave Marine Audio stereo components, which he displayed in Miami for the first time, are white-hot with the likes of DCB Performance Boats, Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats and more.

New Mystic Mojo
While Mystic Powerboats M4200 luxury center console commanded a healthy share of attention for the DeLand, Fla.-based company during the past two days, the company’s upcoming 38-foot catamaran, which will be based on its C4440 model, and M3800 were the talk of the display. With two 38-foot cats sold and a third sale almost complete, Mystic principal John Cosker said he expects the first 38-footer to debut at the Offshore Powerboat Association Lake Race in June on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks. And Cosker and Greg Weber, Mystic’s director of sales, also reportedly took orders for the new M3800, as well as the M4200.

Related stories
Weber Named Director Of Mystic Powerboats Sales And Dealer Development
2018 Miami Boat Show 2018: Five Highlights From Day 1
Counting Down to the 2018 Miami Boat Show

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Detroit Boat Show Might See $50 Million In Sales, Organizers Say

When the Detroit Boat Show sails on into the Cobo Center Feb. 17, the event will mark its 60th anniversary in the motor city. The show will occupy over 420,000 square feet inside Cobo, with exhibitions and boats of every possible design, size and purpose.

“As we celebrate our 60th year of the Detroit Boat Show, it’s great to see a thriving boating industry in Michigan,” said boat show manager Nicki Polan. “We have more exhibitors, taking more space and bringing in more product, which makes for a bigger and
better show that is sure to impress our attendees.”

The show expects to draw over 60,000 visitors, all looking to check out — and maybe even purchase – one of the hundreds of boats on display. There will be fishing boats, water skiing boats, wakeboarding, cruising, and paddle boats, not to mention kayaks, paddleboards and inflatables. The event organizer tout the Detroit Boat Show as the best place to buy a new boat, noting in a release that “Show prices are also extremely competitive and buying a boat in February assures boats will be ready for an early spring launch.”

According to boat show organizers, area boat dealers say they attribute up to half of annual sales to sales and leads generated at the show. Surveys reported that roughly 1,500 boats, worth an estimated $50 million, usually sell during the nine days the Boat Show is dropping anchor, or just afterwards.

In addition to the chance to buy a dream boat, the show will also offer fun events for families, including exhibits selling boat accessories, services and water toys. There will be special promotions to mark the show’s diamond anniversary, including a special 60th anniversary historical display, enter-to-win a grand diamond prize, a yeti-A-day giveaway, rail jam wakeboarding shows, Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel, waterwalkerz and rollerz, a kid’s craft area, and even the chance to meet a live mermaid.

Admission to the boat show is $13 for adults; children 12 and under are free with an adult.

Special admission days include:

  • Mon., Feb. 19: Senior Day – seniors 65 and older receive free admission during show hours (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.).
  • Tues., Feb. 20: Ladies Day – Ladies get in free.
  • Wed., Feb. 21: A Boat Load of Food – Donate 5 cans of food to Gleaners Food Bank between 3 6 p.m. to get in free
  • Thurs., Feb. 22: Millennials’ Night Out, Career Day, AND Boat Show Gives Back

Guests ages 30 and under receive free admission show hours (3 – 9 p.m.), and the show will also host a career day for high school and college students interested in finding out more about careers in the boat industry, including marine technology

The show’s hours are Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sundays Monday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. Parking is available at Cobo Center and surrounding lots. For more information, visit the Detroit Boat Show online.

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Pod Rods: Lots of Amelia Concours updates; climbing stairs in a Range Rover; a bigger boat for Mercedes-AMG – Florida Times

Athletic vehicles climbing hills and snow are just some of the fun in this weekend’s Pod Rods on

We’ve got more news from the upcoming Amelia Island Concours, plus a list of late winter car events elsewhere starting with this weekend’s Jacksonville Auto Show:

– A classic Studebaker is going up for auction March 10 at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance sale, and proceeds will be sent by the concours foundation directly to Spina Bifida of Jacksonville. In addition, the sales price for the red two-door 1955 Studebaker split-tailgate Champion Conestoga station wagon will be matched dollar-for-dollar by its donor, doubling the contribution to Jacksonville charity. Studebaker hails from South Bend, Ind., and began building Conestoga wagons in the 1850s that crossed America’s prairies. In 1902, it began making cars — the station wagon offered at auction built just seven years before Studebaker closed. The Amelia’s Conestoga is powered by a 170-horsepower inline-six, one of less than 5,000 made. Gifted by an anonymous donor, the Studebaker will be available for public view March 8 and 9 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, then be auctioned March 10. RM Sotheby’s website is

Spina Bifida of Jacksonville helps local children with the birth defect and their families. Since 1996, the Amelia’s foundation has donated more than $3.2 million to Community Hospice Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, and other local charities. The 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 9 to 11 at and near the Ritz-Carlton at 4750 Amelia Island Parkway. For more information, visit

– Last week, we talked about just some of the events that will take over Amelia Island March 9 to 11, centered around the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours in and around the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.

A very historic car will premiere at the Sunday, March 11 concours after painstaking restoration and a bit of a teaser from The Amelia crew. The concours showed a silhouette of the car on social media, asking for answers as to what the mystery car was. The answer this week – the only Shelby Lonestar, created in secrecy a half-century ago as a replacement for the legendary 427 Shelby Cobra. And it will make its international concours debut at the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 11, 2018. Based on the GT40 chassis, the Ford V-8-powered mid-engine coupe was assembled in England during 1968 and wore the name “Cobra III” in internal Shelby documents. In the end, US safety legislation halted the project. It took 10 years to restore. Jeffrey Moore of Rogersville, MO. guessed what it was, and won two tickets. More information on The Amelia is at

– RM Sotheby’s, the official auction house of the Amelia Island Concours, just released its online catalog for its Saturday, March 10 auction at the concours site at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The link, right here, showcases rare cars like a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB estimated to sell at $2.2 million to $2.5 million, and an elegant 1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Boattail Cabriolet for $1.2 million to $1.4 million. Check out the full schedule for RM Sotheby’s at

– The folks at Festivals of Speed just sent me more info on its separate events during concours weekend, centered around the Omni:

The Porsche Club of America’s Werks Reunion is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 9, at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. Spectators are free, the event showcasing 70 years of Porsches, plus “356 Outlaws. Parking is $20. Information and Porsche show car registration is at

From 8 to 11 p.m. Friday, March 9, the Luxury Lifestyle Cocktail Reception, with vintage and contemporary automobiles inside the grand ballroom of the Omni Resort, food and premium brand open bars, Brazilian Samba dancers and other attractions for $125 per person. Amelia Island select holds auctions Friday and Saturday at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation resort. Then from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 10, the fifth annual Festivals of Speed Motorsports and Antique Boat Display will be on the Omni’s golf course, with 150 vehicles on display. Lamborghini’s retired test driver, Valentino Balboni, will be at many of the events. Admission is $20 per person. Registration is still open to cars, motorcycles and antique boats and owners who want to show off their vehicles at

– Speaking of The Amelia, the people who work on it are also car collectors. And sometimes, they earn awards for their collections, which is what happened last weekend to concours vice chairman Mark Becker and his wife, Hilary. At the Antique Automobile Club of America’s annual meeting Feb. 11, their 1954 Packard Convertible was awarded The Joseph Parkin Award for the Southeastern United States. This award was established in 1973. The Beckers’ 1954 Convertible, which also won The Chairman’s Award at the 2016 Lake Mirror Classic in Lakeland, was the last year for a Packard straight-eight engine, which produced 212 hp. Original cost for this rare (one of 863) Varsity Gray convertible was $3,935.

– The new Lincoln Navigator has a new brand ambassador – tennis champion and businesswoman Serena Williams, kicking off a social media campaign Thursday. Lincoln says William’s love for the Navigator started years ago when she purchased one she nicknamed “Ginger.”

“I’ve always had a connection to the Navigator brand,” said Williams. “When I bought my first car, Ginger, it was my big step-up. I had a real luxury car now, it looked great and I felt safe. When the opportunity came to work with the Lincoln Navigator today, I was really excited because it brought me back to all of those moments I had in my first vehicle. For me, partnering with a brand like Navigator comes from a genuine place.”

 She drove her first Lincoln Navigator for eight years, then passed it along to her niece. The social media content, produced by the media company Cycle, will appear on both Lincoln and Williams’ social channels.

– Last week, we teased you with a drawing of the new Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing 515 Project ONE boat. Now we can show you the real things, marking 11 years of collaboration between the German carmaker’s performance arm and the boat builder, showcased at this weekend’s Miami Boat Show. Designed from the ground up, the boat was inspired by the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE supersports car. The special edition boat is just over  51 feet in length, with room for six. It has a 140 mph top speed through the use of a highly optimized composite structure consisting of carbon-fiber, Kevlar® and E-glass. Powered by a pair of Mercury Racing engines and M8 stern drives, it delivers up to 3,100 hp on race fuel. As for the Project ONE two-seater supersports showcar, the mid-engined (ahead of the rear axle) high-performance hybrid showcar will have over 1,000 hp, offer a top speed beyond 217 mph.

– As millions watch skiers tackling daunting downhill courses at the 2018 Winter Olympics, one British car company is going the other way — uphill. A new Range Rover Sport tackled 99 turns and 999 steps at one of China’s most famous landmarks, becoming the first vehicle to climb the stairs to the natural rock arch of Heaven’s Gate. As this video shows, the challenge began at the bottom of the 7-mile Tianmen Mountain Road, aka Dragon Road, fitted with reinforced tires with Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s Ho-Pin Tung behind the wheel. At the summit, Tung then managed the towering 45-degree staircase of the 999 steps leading to China’s legendary Heaven’s Gate.

– OK, so a Range Rover can climb up a Chinese mountain. How about a Porsche climbing up a snowy ski slope?

Well, the fine folks at Britain’s Top Gear tried to do that in a Ferrari a few years back, but it failed. So here’s the rematch in a Porsche 911 Turbo S with studded tires, as we link to its full story and video.

– Car companies take great pains to disguise the look of prototypes as they test them, yet spy photographers often get images that tease what new models look like. It’s gotten to the point where car companies release their own “spy” shots, like this four-door Mercedes-AMG sports car undergoing testing on some motorway somewhere. Mercedes-AMG released the images shortly before its March 6 world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, showing the company is adding a four-door coupe to the AMG GT family.

– One of Grand Prix racing’s most stories teams returns to F1 this year – the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team car. The public can watch a live online webcast of the Tuesday from Barcelona at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 webcast link.

– If you want to keep up with the automotive industry and market throughout the week, check out Times-Union Media’s new online page at You’ll find coverage from — a new feature provided by GateHouse Media, parent company of the Times-Union. Readers of Drive and The Florida Time-Union can also find digital versions of the top Drive stories at

Winter’s grip seems past us, so let’s check out some automotive events:


The big event this weekend is the annual Jacksonville International Auto Show, Saturday and Sunday at the Prime Osborn Convention Center at 1000 Water St., and sponsored by the Jacksonville Automobile Dealers Association. Chevrolet, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram and Toyota hold Ride Drive events outside the convention center for visitors. Inside, several 2019 models will be on display like the Infiniti QX50, Jeep Cherokee Overland, Ram 1500, Subaru Ascent, Volvo XC40 and Volkswagen Jetta. Classic cars will be on display outside, with the Corvette Circle on Saturday and Mustang Alley on Sunday. Saturday will also see the Military Trail to salute restored historic military transport vehicles, including a half-track and Jeeps like a 1945 Ford GPW and Willys MB. The auto show will also have the 9-feet tall Rock-It Robot, a dancing robot that will mingle with show visitors all weekend long. Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for seniors and $5 for children or military with ID. Discount $2-off coupons are available at area Gate gasoline stations. Parking is free. Tickets and more information at


North Florida Domestic Car Club Show: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday►, Feb. 17,◄ at Lakeview Christian Fellowship, 8300 Merrill Road. Free for spectators and $20 per show vehicle day of show.

Pedro Menendez High School Booster Club Car and Motorcycle Show: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at the high school, located at 600 Florida 206 W. in St. Augustine. Free to spectators and $15 per show vehicle.

Callahan Cruisers Hot Rods and High Heels Car and Bike Show: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, at Adamec Harley-Davidson at 8909 Baymeadows Road. Free to spectators and $20 for show vehicles.

Florida International Rally and Motorsport Park Track Attacks: Most Saturdays at the on-road and off-road racing and testing facility located at 7266 Airport Road in Starke. The track days allow car owners to test their setup and improve driving skills. The cost is $214 per driver in advance, or $250 the day of the event. Guests and crew pay $10 each to enter. Online registration ends at 11 p.m. the day prior to each event. For more information on all events at The FIRM, go to


Mandarin now has two weekly Saturday morning informal cruise-ins: The newest is 7 to 9 a.m. at Village Bread Cafe at the Crown Point Plaza, located at 10111 San Jose Blvd. The original has re-formed from 6 to 9 a.m. in the parking lot outside Panera Bread at 11111 San Jose Blvd.

 Sunshine State Chevelles’ third Saturday cruise-in: 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday►, Feb. 17,◄ at PDQ restaurant, located at 194 Florida 13 in Saint Johns.

Jax Beaches Cars and Coffee: Classic Car Cruise from 5 to 8 p.m. every third Tuesday at the Sea Walk Pavilion and Latham Plaza between 1st and 2nd Street. Information:

Amelia Cruizers: 5 to 8 p.m. each third and fifth Saturday at Dick’s Wings and Grill, 474313 Florida A1A, in Yulee. Info:

Send information on automotive and motorcycle events to or Dan Scanlan, Florida Times-Union, 1 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville FL 32202.

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Sausalito tugboat theft suspect accepts plea offer

A Richardson Bay man accused of stealing a 350-ton tugboat yacht from a Sausalito marina pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Douglass Crandall, 48, admitted to setting adrift a vessel heavier than 10 tons. The felony charge carries a potential sentence of up to three years in custody and a fine of up to $5,000, although the defense can petition the court to reduce it to a misdemeanor.

Crandall is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22 before Judge Andrew Sweet.

“This was serious conduct, very egregious,” said Deputy District Attorney Otis Bruce. “It potentially could have created a major safety risk to the community around the harbor.”

The incident occurred Jan. 22 at the Sausalito Yacht Harbor, where the 107-foot yacht is berthed at the end of a pier. The vessel, a former Army tugboat, was converted into a four-bedroom residence.

Sausalito police said Crandall, a transient known to live on boats anchored in Richardson Bay, cut the tugboat loose from the pier. Then he jumped in the bay, boarded the boat and accessed the interior by smashing a window, police said.

The Coast Guard received a report about the drifting tugboat and intercepted it. Coast Guard officers detained Crandall and turned him over to Sausalito police.

Police booked Crandall on suspicion of theft and vandalism, in addition to cutting the boat loose. His public defender, Tamara York, said it was not Crandall’s intention to steal the boat.

Crandall, she said, loosened the boat in a momentary lapse of judgment, then quickly realized his mistake and jumped in the bay after it. He broke the window in an effort to get into the control room and retrieve the boat.

He was unable to call for help himself because his phone fell in the water, York said.

“This was an aberrant act,” said York, who submitted to the court about a dozen letters of reference from people who know Crandall.

Crandall is free from jail pending sentencing. As part of his plea deal, he was ordered to stay 100 yards from the tugboat and the marina.

The boat, named Owatanna, is on the market for $1.5 million through Oceanic Yacht Sales. According to the brokerage, it was built in 1955 for the Korean War but it was never deployed. The Army gave it to the Navy in 1964 and it was used at the Concord Naval Weapons Station.

The Navy sold it to a private owner in the 1990s, and it was redesigned as a yacht.

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