Category Archives: Tips

5 Tips for the 2018 Lobster Season

lobster-season-miami-2018-tips

5 Tips for the 2018 Lobster Season

Happy Trailer Storage welcomes the 2018-19 Lobster Season

The Lobster Mini Season in Miami will officially begin at 12:01 am on Wednesday, July 25th and ends at midnight on Thursday, July 26th. The regular 8-month lobster season will start on August 6th and runs through March 31, 2019. Before you head out on the water review our tips below to ensure a safe and successful hunt!

  1. SAFETY FIRST

There is always a risk associated with scuba diving, especially during the lobster mini-season. With thousands of recreational boaters on the water at one time, make sure to have your dive flag visible, bring a spotter, and keep your eyes and ears open. Also, as tempting, as is it may seem to reach into a hole or under coral to grab a bug, do not. You can get stuck or injured by an unknown fish lurking below.

  1. KNOW YOUR LIMITS

During the mini-season, recreational divers and snorkelers can take a maximum of twelve lobsters per person per day in Broward and Miami Dade Counties except for Biscayne National Park. In the primary season, one can take a maximum of 6 lobsters per person per day.

See the official Lobster Season rules

  1. SIZE MATTERS

It is important to remember the body of the lobster excluding the tail should be larger than 3″, measured in the water.  One should carry a measuring device at all times. Possession limits are strictly enforced on and off the water.

  1. BUY A “LICENSE” OR GET FINED

You must have a recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit to participate in Lobster Season. To acquire these items, one can easily pick them up from a local Publix Supermarket or online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

  1. PURCHASE THE CORRECT EQUIPMENT

There is nothing more frustrating then malfunctioning equipment during a dive. From a leaking mask to a broken regulator, make sure to have your gear tested and prepped for this season.

How to Prepare Your Boat for a Hurricane

How to Prepare Your Boat for a Hurricane

The Hurricane Season in Miami runs from June 1st through November 30th. Make sure your boat is prepared to weather a storm.

The Hurricane Season is from June 1st through November 30th. Last year was one of the most destructive seasons on record with six major hurricanes, including Hurricane Irma that caused destruction throughout the entire state of Florida. Keeping this in mind, we strongly recommend having a hurricane plan in place for your boat to help prevent damages that can be caused by these storms.

For the 2018 Hurricane Season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an average year, with up to 16 named storms, and four major hurricanes. No matter how many storms we see this season; it only takes one to cause significant destruction to your vessel. With the 2018 Hurricane Season officially here, there’s no better time than now to prepare your boat to withstand a major storm.

CREATE A HURRICANE PLAN

The first step to prepare your boat for the hurricane season is to have a plan and know where you will keep it during a significant storm. The safest place to keep your boat during a hurricane is at a dry storage facility like North Beach Marina. Our in-door facility securely holds many vessels all keeping them dry and away from the hurricane force winds. You can also store your boat and trailer on dry land at your home or a boat storage facility like Happy Trailer Storage. We recommend selecting a location with minimal exposure to the wind. You can also reinforce your boat with straps for additional safety measures.

REVIEW YOUR BOAT INSURANCE

It is wise to make sure that you have all of your boat documents up to date and in an easily accessible location. Also, make sure to call your insurance company to make sure the policy is current. To help facilitate a timely insurance claim, take photos and video of your boat before and after to show proof of damages.

SECURE LOSE ITEMS

You will want to remove everything lose on the boat and remove equipment that could be damaged by a storm. These items include antennas, radios, life jackets, fishing equipment and canvas tops. If you cannot remove the electronic equipment from your boat, you can use shrink-wrap tape to protect it.

FIND A SAFE HARBOR

If you have no choice but to leave your boat in the water during a hurricane, try to find a safe harbor to anchor it. Once you locate a safe place, preferably on a canal with tall pilings that can allow your boat to rise and fall with the storm surge. You should use long ropes with fray protection and can use pilings from other dock slips to create more distance. When your boat is secure in the water, it should look like a spider in the middle of a web. You can also use buoys to protect the vessel from impact against floating debris, the dock, and seawall.

DON’T WAIT

Most importantly, don’t wait until three days before a storm strikes to prepare your boat. Should you need assistance preparing your boat for hurricane season call us at 786-728-9988.

Winter Shark Diving in the Bahama

shark-diving-bahamas-january-2018

Winter Shark Diving in the Bahamas

Looking for an adventure this winter? Take the short ferry ride over to the Bahamas and experience shark diving at its finest.

Written by: Carli Shekels
Photo by: Paula Herman

Winter in South Florida brings high winds, cold water, and isn’t quite the perfect time for boating but there are undoubtedly other ways to play during this season! If you’re a diver and are looking for something fun during Miami’s winter months, consider taking the FRS Caribbean Ferry over to Bimini in the Bahamas to dive with Hammerhead Sharks! Bimini Undersea Dive Shop offers a unique trip that’s very close to home. After a 2-hour ferry ride, the shop will escort you to the dive boat where you will suit up, travel to the dive site, and wait for the Hammerheads to arrive. Once the first Hammerhead appears, you can jump in and watch the feeding. Typical dives can last well over an hour, and even though it’s a bit chilly (especially for us South Floridians!), the beauty and excitement of seeing these fantastic creatures can keep you warm.

I had the privilege of diving last weekend, and the experience was truly incredible. The dive staff was very accommodating, professional and promoted safety, which is something that I always appreciate. The feeder was a pro, and he made sure to put the safety of the divers first. The water was full of large, hungry Nurse sharks when we jumped in and eventually; the Hammerheads came to have a mid-afternoon snack. They ranged from 10’-12’ and we got to see a “baby” 10’ Tiger Shark cruise by, as well. The water was cold; however, with a 3mm wetsuit, a hood, and gloves, it was bearable for the 75-minute dive. Other divers (maybe with warmer blood!) stayed down longer before heading back to the boat. Once back at shore, we had just enough time to change and have some conch salad before heading to the ferry to return home. It’s a full day of adventure but well worth it if you are interested in seeing some impressive sharks!

Take advantage of our proximity to the Bahamas from Miami and the quick ferry trip to enjoy shark diving and exploring while your boat hibernates this winter.

 

Labor Day Boat Safety Tips

10 Boat Safety Tips to Help You Keep Safe on the Water this Labor Day Weekend in Miami

Happy Labor Day from everyone at Happy Trailer Rentals!

Established by the Labor Movement in 1894, Labor Day is one of the most time-honored traditions in America celebrating the contributions we’ve made to the strength, prosperity, and well being of our country. As boaters and party-goers from around the world flock to Fort Lauderdale for the last major holiday before the fall, we would like to remind you of a few safety tips as you plan to head out on the water for Labor Day Weekend in Miami, Florida.

Top 10 Boating Tips for Labor Day

1. Don’t Drink and Operate a Boat: In 2016, alcohol use was the top reason why fatal boating accidents occur in America according to the US Coast Guard’s annual report. Operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and machinery failure rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

2. Always Have Life Jackets: Everyone on board should be wearing a life jacket while the boat is in operation. 80% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 83% were not wearing a life jacket. Make sure that you have an appropriately sized life jacket for every person on board.

3. Communicate Emergency Plan: Communicate your plan with the people on your boat and at least one person on shore in case something should go wrong. Also, it is recommended to inform the persons on shore when you will be departing and arriving back at the dock and to call to confirm your safe voyage.

4. Don’t Break the Rules: Boater education courses can help you understand laws, navigation rules, emergency situations, and other useful tips. The top five contributing factors in boating accidents include operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and machinery failure.

5. Use the Kill-Switch: Many accidents involve boaters who fall overboard without having been clipped to the engine kill switch. This important piece of equipment can help protect you by stopping the engines should you get ejected overboard.

6. Follow the Weather: Check weather conditions often and be aware of storm warnings before you head out on the water. In Miami, the weather can change drastically within minutes.  Be prepared for sun or storm.

7. Wear Sunscreen: The Florida Sun is brutal. Be sure to bring a minimum of a 50 proof sunscreen and apply every few hours to avoid sunburn. It is also recommended to wear a hat, sunglasses, and cover up when in direct sunlight for extended periods of time. If you should get burned, Tylenol and Aloe Vera gel can help alleviate the pain.

8. Drink Water: Sun poisoning is not something we made up to scare the snowbirds. Make sure to drink plenty of water and to stay shaded to avoid becoming dehydrated when on the water for extended periods of time.  Especially when indulging in alcohol, do not forget to hydrate!

9. Avoid the Propellers. Many accidents involve non-boaters near the engine propellers. Be sure the area is clear when starting and stopping the boat engines. There were 171 accidents in 2016 which a propeller struck at least one person. Collectively, these accidents resulted in 24 deaths and 175 injuries.

10. Be Courteous: Realize that you are sharing the water with other people so please make sure to be courteous to other boats. Wave, keep your music at a low roar when anchored/beached next to someone, and make sure to leave with everything you came with (take your garbage with you).

Have a safe and fun Labor Day! If you have any questions feel free to contact us at 786-728-9988 or click here

Lobster Season Tips 2017

2017 lobster season happy trailer rentals

Lobster Season Tips 2017

Everything you need to know about the Lobster Season in Miami, Florida

North Beach Marina welcomes the 2017-18 Lobster Season. The Mini Season in Miami, Florida is the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July each year. For 2017, the Lobster Mini Season will begin at 12:01 am on Wednesday, July 26th and ends at midnight on Thursday. The regular 8-month lobster season will start August 6th and runs through March 31, 2018. Before you head out on the water review our tips below to ensure a safe and successful hunt!

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

During the mini-season, recreational divers and snorkelers can take a maximum of twelve lobsters per person per day in Broward and Miami Dade Counties except for Biscayne National Park. In the primary season, one can take a maximum of 6 lobsters per person per day.

See the official Lobster Season rules

SIZE MATTERS

It is important to remember the Carapace or body of the lobster excluding the tail should be larger than 3″, measured in the water.  One should carry a measuring device at all times. Furthermore, possession limits are strictly enforced on and off the water.

lobster size 3 inch

BUY A LICENSE OR GET FINED

You must have a recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit to participate in Lobster Season. To acquire these items, one can easily pick them up from a local Publix Supermarket or online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

FINAL TIPS FOR LOBSTER SEASON

  1. Schedule your boat launch in advance
  2. Get out on the water early to hit your limit
  3. Bring friends for safety
  4. Get Scuba Certified
  5. Rent a boat trailer and head to the Keys
  6. Have Fun!

Hurricane Season Tips For Boat Owners

hurricane season boat preparation tips miami

Hurricane Season Tips For Boat Owners

The hurricane season in Miami runs from June 1st  – Novermber 30th. There is no better time than now to prepare your boat!

Hurricane Season in officially started June first and runs through November 30th. 2016 was the most active season since 2012.  For the 2017 Hurricane Season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict an active year, with up 17 named storms and 9 hurricanes. No matter how many storms we see this season; it only takes one to cause major destruction to your vessel. We are especially reminded of this as we mark the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew on August 24th.  With the 2017 Hurricane Season here, there’s no better time than now to prepare your boat to make sure it is ready to withstand a major storm.

hurricane season 2017

Hurricane Season Boat Preparation Tips

The first step in preparing for a hurricane is to create a hurricane plan. When formulating a hurricane plan, you must always keep in mind that “life comes before property”.  At North Beach Marina, we strongly encourage that you heed all evacuation notices issued by your local county emergency management office regardless of the vulnerability of your boat.

REVIEW BOAT INSURANCE

It is wise to make sure that you have all of your boat documents in an easily accessible location and that the insurance is up to date. Also, to help with insurance claims, take photos and video of your boat before and after to show proof of damages. 

Dry Boat Storage Tips

REMOVE BOAT FROM THE WATER

If you have a smaller boat, somewhere under 35’ feet, it is safest for the boat (and for your mental well-being) to get it out of the water completely. Whether the boat is on a trailer, next to your house, or at a dry storage marina, the boats that are stored dry typically see less damage than those left in the water during a hurricane.

REMOVE COVER

If you leave the boat outside during a storm it is best to leave the cover off of the boat, especially if it is expensive or custom-made. The cover on the boat will collect rainwater and strain the cover, tearing it in the process. If the cover comes loose during a storm, it will fall victim to the wind, and more than likely get ruined. Your boat was made to get wet, so let it, leave it uncovered during a storm.

REMOVE NONWATERPROOF ITEMS

We recommend that you take anything off the boat that’s not supposed to get wet, or that is light enough to fly away in a heavy wind. This includes (but is not limited to) cushions, dock lines, flags, Bimini tops, and GPS/radios. Make sure to secure anything else that cannot be removed from the boat.

SEAL OPENINGS

Seal all openings on the boat to keep it watertight (hatches, cabinets, doors, etc.). To help keep things secure during a storm, use duct tape for an easy remedy.

REMOVE DRAIN PLUGS

If you are storing your boat on dry land, remove the drain plugs out of your boat can be a good idea. If the boat fills up with water, the added weight can negatively affect the way it sits on your trailer or dry-rack. Marinas typically keep the drain plugs out, however, if your boat is on a trailer, it’s a good practice to keep the drain plug out. Just remember to put the plug back in before using the boat next!

Boat Storage Tips for the Water 

FIND A SAFE HARBOR

If you have no choice but to leave your boat in the water during a hurricane, try to find a safe harbor to anchor. Once you find a safe place, hopefully, off of the deep water, look around. Are there rocks? Are you near a seawall? Is your boat anchored on a sandy bottom or a rocky ledge? What obstacles can the boat come into contact with during violent winds, storm surges, or if the boat breaks loose from its anchor?

INSPECT THE BILGE PUMPS & FLOAT SWITCHES

Make sure your bilge pumps and bilge float switches are working and are hard wired to your batteries. If your boat is on a lift, make sure the lift is in good working order and lift your boat higher than then normal.

INSPECT DOCK/ BOAT LIFT

If you are docking your boat make sure your dock is in good shape -make any needed improvements to ensure the dock holds up during the storm.

ADJUST BOAT LINES

As crunch time approaches, double tie or triple tie your boat to the dock. Also, adjust all lines for the tide surges, the wind, and rain. Also use buoys to protect from impact against floating debris, the dock, and seawall.

Final Tips for Hurricane Season

DON’T WAIT

Most importantly, don’t wait until 3 days before the storm to make your hurricane plan. Call your local marinas and Happy Trailer Rentals to see how we can help before the hurricane season hits

You can take all the precautions in the world to secure your boat, but Mother Nature sometimes gets the best of us. Make sure you to prepare and stay safe.

Should you need assistance preparing your boat for hurricane season call us at (786) 728-9988.

2016 Winterfest Boat Parade Tips

2016-winterfest-fort-lauderdale-guide

2016 Winterfest Boat Parade Tips

The Winterfest Boat Parade heats up South Florida on December 10th

Happy Holidays! One of South Florida’s biggest event’s of the year is coming up in December: The 45th Annual Winterfest Boat Parade. On December 10, 2016, boats will line up in the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale a parade up the intercoastal waterways. Boats of all sizes will adorn their decks with lights and decorations, blast holiday music, entertainment and even some celebrity guests as the holiday season heats up the holidays in true South Florida style.

Winterfest Boat Parade Schedule

During the parade, you’ll see this year’s theme unfold: “Comics and Cartoons Rockin’ the Night Away”, and you’ll be able to see this year’s Grand Marshall, Pitbull. There are many places to watch the parade along the intercoastal. To find out more about it, you can visit the website at https://winterfestparade.com/

Boat Parade Entry Application

https://winterfestparade.com/parade-application

Virtual Parade Route

http://earthnc.com/winterfest

Bridge Closure Schedule

https://winterfestparade.com/when-are-the-bridges-up

Watch from the Water

We have the perfect place to launch your boat to watch the boat parade in Fort Lauderdale. Our sister company, Riverfront Marina & Pirate Bar is located along the New River at 20 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, 33315. Contact us to schedule you boat launch at 954-527-1829.

North Beach Miami Boat Parade December 17th

Although not as big and extravagant as Winterfest, North Miami Beach has a wonderful boat parade of its own! The North Beach Boat Parade is on December 17, 2016, starting at 86th Street. What started as a small neighborhood parade is growing into a fun community event that gives our local community something to both enjoy and participate in. For information on this fun family event visit http://www.northbeachboatparade.com/.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!