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I sometimes like to give a shout out to marinas we visit. This time it’s for the mid-west. Folks often speak of Southern hospitality and in most places except Florida in the winter and spring it is a “real thing”.  However, in our travels this spring headed to St Joseph Michigan with a small boat transport we came upon a truly hospitable marina.

Eagle Pointe Harbor, www.discovereaglepointe.com, with easy access from I-94 and US Highways 31 & 33, is the name of this sweet Michigan marina.  Nestled in just east of Lake Michigan and on St Joseph River the scenery is lovely and the marina is up to date and well kept. There is a sprinkling of some nice homes around the marina, but not a tremendous amount, just enough. Eagle Pointe is a full service marina, welcoming their marina residents and visiting boaters as well. We will let them tell you about rates and/or check out their nice website.  However, they have more than adequate slips for different size vessels and parkingfor your vehicle if you must have one. Service Technicians and staff are available to assist you with any boating needs. 

A Fisherman’s paradise for walleye and salmon fishing on the lake or on Michigan 2nd largest river.  Day trips to the shore of Lake Michigan are another great adventure for boaters other than just fishing from Eagle Pointe Harbor. Skiing and tubing are also a great activity on the river.

Just to name a few amenities are swimming pool, outdoor pavilion, children’s playground, fish cleaning gazebo, modern restrooms and showers, nature trails, basketball and volleyball (sand) courts and on and on…

The city of St Joseph it is big enough to find and do just about whatever you need or want.  Shopping, restaurants, golf, movies, places of worship, etc. but not so big that schools and community activities are not prevalent for the year round resident. So sounds like a great place to visit, spend the summer or live.

The staff of Eagle Pointe Harbor were personable and accommodating. Most marinas don’t welcome us boat transporters. After all we are just truck drivers, right? Wrong.  We love boats and enjoy visiting all areas of the US where boating is common.  I would venture to say that I have never ran into a nicer group than at this St Joseph marina, Eagle Pointe Harbor, not even in the “Olde South”.

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After the terrorist attacks of 2016 in Brussels and San Bernardino, in boat transport,safety is ever present on my mind. Especially as boat transporters, always on the roads and in public places, such as busy truck stops, ports, rest areas and marinas, where there are all kinds of people from all over.

I have always tried to consider all people as equals and good people until they prove otherwise. And I still do. However, I have become much more aware of my surroundings and the people around me and what they are doing and carrying. People carrying items that don’t look normal for where they are and heavy coats in warmer weather, people wearing items that disguise their faces, hostile people, etc. all could be a threat to you and others around you.

As a woman it has always been a practice to notice who is around me and make eye contact with a small smile to people I pass. A smile and eye contact says, I see you and I am not a threat and I see you and I am aware of you and what you look like. I think this is a good practice for men, women, and children. The person who is walking along not noticing their surroundings, obsessed with their phone, packages, etc. could be a target for someone wanting to do them harm. I think the best alarm is the alarm on your key remote if you have one. Those things are obnoxious and loud. Also yelling fire when you are in trouble. Folks may not want to intervene in an attack but most everyone wants to see what is on fire! And most times all you need to stop an attack is an audience, right?

As a law abiding people we need to do our part and take action when needed. If someone in trouble either notifying authorities or intervening only if it is clear the person needs help and a first responder authority is not available. Asking the question, “Is there anything I can help you with?” to someone you think may need help can be a lifesaver.

On the road last year at a truck stop, we saw another trucker driver lose his life by being run over by a truck. Safety concerns are not just an intentional threat but accidents as well. In parking lots be aware of vehicles. Make sure they are stopping before you step out, make eye contact with the driver.

Danger can be on the road as well. Truck drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs, with the amount of time they spend on the road and the amount of traffic they endure. Too many fellow drivers don’t realize they are creating road hazards by pulling in front of trucks to close when passing, stopping to quickly without warning in front of big trucks. Drivers who make constant lane changes in heavy traffic are a threat to everyone on the road. But big trucks loaded down heavy, are at more of a risk in these situations because of the extended stopping time required.

So drive safely and consider others on the road with you and around you in those public places.

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Flagship Boat Transport had the opportunity to move the MH31 recently and Wow a great cruising off-shore sailboat. The Marlow-Hunter 31 is the latest off-shore cruising model being made by this top-notch manufacturer and designers. She maneuvers and handles well without exception. Marlow-Hunter has 40 years’ experience building fine sailboats.

Her exterior construction - hull and deck with Vinyl Ester resins and gel-coats, continuous reinforcement fibers, Kevlar and state of the art Nida-coring. The security is there with its structural integrity. A medium size vessel with a much larger look and feel inside at a glance and out too.

The MH31’s specs are 32’4”LOA, 11’10”beam, and displacement of 12,000# dry or less. Shoal draft is 4.5’ or deep draft of 5.5’ and making highway boat transport easy at a height 12’. Standard mast height is just a tad over 46.5’.  Flagship Specialized Shippers, www.boattransportpros.com can bring your MH31 to your dock or marina with ease.Perfect size with plenty of living space with headroom of over 6’ and some her great attributes on the interior are teak furniture and floors, Corian countertops, ball bearing drawer hardware and top of the line appliances and equipment. Nicely appointed and no skimping on options here!

My experience with this vessel is that she is sleek and clean but totally livable. I have never been a “sailboater” but the MH31 one has changed my prospective. I could spend a month cruising the southern waters on this girl and only touch ground for provisions or a swim. Never sailed before? The Marlow-Hunter website even includes programs and contact info for folks who teach you to sail. Sounds like it may be time to enjoy a more relaxing cruising option.

To check out the 31’ model or many others go to www.marlow-hunter.com or enjoy a factory tour by Appointment Only through your local dealer go to http://marlow-hunter.com/contact/find-a-dealer/

This sailboat was one of the hottest boats at the Annapolis Boat Show last fall. For another article about the MH31 sailboat when she was showboating in Annapolis check out: http://www.greatlakessailingco.com/mh31-memorable-booth-talk/

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Having been a boating family and being in the boat transport business we had never really experienced Power Cats. But now working with World Cat out of Tarboro NC we have seen more than just a few come out of their factory. We have decided that we missed the boat, so to speak, when we lived on the Outer Banks of NC. A World Cat would have been a very nice vessel to have had for the family to fish, relax and cruise on.

The power cat’s design has select performance, structural integrity and an absolute fit. They are a well-made boat, smooth and strong on the water. World Cat uses top quality materials and experienced craftsmen in their manufacturing process. They have several designs to choose from, 23’ to 32’, cabins and dual consoles to center consoles. Models to suit just about every Captain.

The Livingston line of skiffs start at 9’ and move up to 19’. World Cats, Glacier Bay, and Livingston boats and skiffs can be seen all over in Florida to the Mid-Atlantic and North Atlantic, west to the Great Lakes and Washington State and south to the Gulf Coast.

Boat transport of these vessels is a pleasure. Many folks along the highways, comment to us that we can deliver the boat to their address, and we tell them – Yes we can, maybe not this one but one just like it can find a home on your dock! How? Check out www.worldcat.com.

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Ok, so you have committed to a transporter for your boat transport and you are set for pickup and delivery with your boat yard or marina, right? Maybe or maybe not…
Verify the days your marina or boat yard is available to load and unload boats. Hours of operation are important but knowing what the cut off is even more pertinent. Does the loading/unloading facilities have a travel lift or fork lift with straps? If it is a fork lift make sure they know the weight of your vessel. Is there room for a potential rig 75’ long to get in and get loaded or unloaded. Boats on their own trailers have their own set of preparation issues that are covered in a previous blog. If you are transporting your boat on its own trailer take a few minutes and read our last blog or just give us a call, we can answer any questions you may have.
It is also important to have an actual name of someone at the yard and their direct phone number for your transporter to reach the yard. This saves them and the yard time and eliminates aggravation. The folks at the yard can assist the driver with details on verifying the address, are there issues with height or width for the driver to be aware of, construction that may be going on that you the boat owner may not be aware of, etc. There are many things your boat yard or the marina can answer for the driver that you may not be able to.
Ask your marina or boatyard about charges for loading or unloading and verify how and when they want you to pay. Some facilities will not unload and most definitely will not load until all these types of charges are covered. You do not want the driver held up at pickup or delivery and sitting in the way of everyone at your boats new home or her departure location. It is often tight in marina parking areas and remember the reason you hired a transporter…more than likely he is in a rig over 62’ long.
Are there forms to be filled out and signed off on? Do they require proof of insurance? Some yards may ask you to sign a release. We have encountered yards that want a release to be signed freeing them of liability if they drop or damage your vessel &/or damage the transporters truck/trailer. If this is the case your transporter may require that you agree that you the boat owner and not the yard will be responsible for the damage to the transporters equipment. This can easily be avoided by just asking the yard or marina upfront for copies of all their forms pertaining to the loading, unloading and the storage of your boat.
As always, feel free to ask questions or join in with comments. We appreciate you taking the time to read our articles.

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