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All-New Polar Kraft Owner's Club Forum

Attention Polar Kraft Boat Owners!

We invite you to join other owners and the Polar Kraft Customer Support Team to help get your questions answered promptly so you can spend more time on the water.

The new Polar Kraft Owner's Club Forum (click here to join) makes it simple to get answers to your questions, but also to help other owners by using your boating experience. And, you can get dependable advice from our network of experts, all in one easy-to-use website.

If you already have previously registered with our former Polar Kraft Owner's Club Forum, the account should transition automatically the next time you log in. If you're new to the forums, we've made registration as simple as possible, with only an email, username and password required to get you going.

If you have any questions or comments, simply leave a comment in the Polar Kraft Boats Forum category.

We look forward to sharing some incredible new features with you as we continue to upgrade and improve your Polar Kraft Owner's Club Forum experience!

See you on the water!

Capt. Steve

Aluminum=Happiness

In addition to aluminum, rivets, and upholstery, there's something else we measure every day at the Polar Kraft boat plant. It's morale. Because happy workers are motivated workers and motivated workers build the best boats in the industry. Look closely at this chart. You can see that right now, during our busiest time of year, morale is right at 100%. You'd think that having a full pipeline of orders that need to be shipped out might affect morale in less-than-positive way. But it doesn't. These are hard-working Americans that take pride in what they do. The busier, the better. Because they know where these boats are going. They know the boat they're working on is meant to be somewhere else. It's meant to be on the water. After all, is a boat really a boat unless it's on the water? And to take it a step further, can a fishing boat truly reach its full potential unless you and your family and friends are catching bigger fish and making bigger memories you will talk about for generations? Around here, we build every boat with that in mind. You could say that, for us, boat building is not so much a job as it is a calling. You see, our destiny is to create these amazing boats so you can create amazing memories. Why is morale so high around here? The way we see it, every boat that rolls out of the building is heading to its happy place. And since most of us are boaters, just like you, we understand what that means. For you AND the boat. Does aluminum equal happiness? Around here, you better believe it.

Another Satisfied Polar Kraft Customer!

 

Always nice to hear from our loyal Polar Kraft owners...especially the guys who use their boat the way they are intended! Here's a note from Illinois angler, Paul Center. "Neither fish is a trophy but I've never had two nicer fish on two casts. "Thanks for building a boat that lets me get after the fish I like to chase around."

 

Discount On Polar Kraft Gear!

Lots of new merchandise to choose from at www.polarkraftgear.com!

Freedom, Fellowship And Free Stuff? Join The Club!

 

As a Polar Kraft owner, you are invited to join a great community that will not only help you share your experiences with other owners, but will give you exclusive access to special contests, incredible discounts and even the chance to earn free Polar Kraft gear, cash rebates and fuel cards. Yes, fuel cards.

When you sign up for your complimentary membership in the Polar Kraft Owner's Club here, you are immediately linked to a terrific network of fellow owners who also enjoy living their life to the fullest aboard a Polar Kraft. Whether you're looking for answers to common questions or you want to share boat-handling tips you've learned along with way, the Owner's Club Forum will soon become your favorite stop on the web.

Another fun reason to join is the quarterly Special Moment Photo Contest, which encourages friendly competition among your fellow owners while everyone attempts to capture the best image of their family and friends aboard their Polar Kraft. Entries are pouring in for the next contest, so don't miss your chance to claim the top prize of a $50 Visa gift card!

If you're thinking about moving into a new boat, you owe it to yourself to join the Polar Kraft Owner's Club to take advantage of a generous trade-in allowance that's only available to club members. Cash rebates of up to $1,500 are yours for the taking...what have you got to lose? Two key things to remember: You must be a club member BEFORE your new boat purchase; and your new boat must be warranty registered through your local dealer.

Chances are, you're spending at least part of your boating season out on the water with friends. And when non-boaters (or former boaters) get a taste of the lifestyle that you and your family enjoy so much, it's not uncommon for them to want to join the party. As a member of the Polar Kraft Owner's Club, you will be eligible for the Refer-A-Friend program, which provides incentives to you for steering them toward a new Polar Kraft purchase. Simply, if your friend buys a new Polar Kraft within six months of your referral, you will receive special gifts such as fuel cards and gift cards to purchase Polar Kraft Merchandise, valued at up to $900, depending on the model purchased!

In addition to these awesome benefits, you will also be the first to receive valuable information on local getaways, raft-ups, parties and cruises, as well as any pending warranty issues that will help you maximize your time on the water. Regular updates via the Polar Kraft Owner's Club e-newsletter will help you keep up with all the latest news. And discounts from club sponsors will help you save money every day on everything from boat insurance to boat care products.

So whether you have enjoyed several Polar Krafts over the years or you're new to our family, our mission is to help you take your ownership experience to a whole new level. If you're not already a member, please take a minute to join the Polar Kraft Owner's Club today!

 

GPS Has Changed Navigation...Here's How It Works

By now, you've no doubt come in contact with Global Positioning System (GPS) in one form or another. After all, if you've got a smartphone, you've probably already got an app for that. But what is GPS? And, more importantly, how has it changed the way we approach boating?

From the days when ancient mariners practiced coastal "landmark" navigation, through the complicated process of "dead reckoning" using a compass, ship's speed and the hope you'll get close, it wasn't until we looked to the sky that our position was something more than a guess. While celestial navigation wasn't exactly foolproof (not much help during the day or on cloudy evenings), a clear night sky and a sextant were definitely a huge step forward.

The technology we know today as GPS began as land-based radio signaling (some are still used today) and position was calculated by determining how far the boat is away from a known source signal. Now, of course, we use primarily satellite-based, high-frequency signaling and new receivers that are easy-to-use and extremely accurate.  

So now, no matter where you are in the world (assuming you can get a signal) your course and position data is right in front of you and usually right on the money. This makes it easy and convenient to calculate your proximity to land, other vessels and approaching weather. For recreational boaters, this has provided a new level of comfort and security when underway.

It's amazing, really. There are satellites orbiting the Earth, constantly transmitting signals that contain position and time information. All your GPS has to do is grab a few of those signals and make an quick calculation to determine the differences between those signals (the same way old-school mariners "triangulate" their position using a known fixed point like a lighthouse) and you've got yourself a spot on the map you can trust. And because the information is continuously updated, you can see an accurate heading, along with your speed and, sometimes most importantly, where you've been.

Of course, all GPS systems work a little differently, and all have their own bells and whistles, but they all essentially work the same way and provide the same basic information. Generally, you'll have some sort of graphic display to see your location, and many, especially a GPS that's designed for boaters, will offer a charting feature to put your location in context with your surroundings. They come in different shapes and sizes from handheld to fixed-mount but, again, the basic functionality is the same.

One feature you want to make sure you master before hitting the water is the Waypoint function. This can be as basic as marking your point of departure (usually "Home") and giving your self a virtual crumb trail back to port. Or you can program in a few stops you want to make during the day, which helps you determine when you'll arrive at, say, a dockside restaurant for lunch. Fisherman can also mark their favorite "honey holes" so they're easy to find the next time out.

While GPS systems won't completely eliminate the need for more traditional charts (they're not much good if your electrical system fails), they have made it easier for boaters to get more adventurous and confident out on the water.

Models Needed For Polar Kraft Photo Shoot!

Attention Polar Kraft fans! The next Polar Kraft Photo Shoot will take place in two locations during the month of August. We're looking for models of all ages for both morning and evening sessions to feature swimwear and/or fishing attire aboard a variety of boat types. This is your chance to be featured in the next Polar Kraft catalog and fishing publications around the world!

The first photo shoot is Aug. 18-20 on Lake St. Clair near Harrison Township, Michigan, north of Detroit. 

The second photo shoot is Aug. 21-30 on Lake Wawasee near Syracuse, Indiana, between South Bend & Fort Wayne. 

For details on this twice-in-a-lifetime adventure, just shoot an email to Rachael (rrussell@nauticglobalgroup), and she will get more information from you. Hope to see you out on the water!

NGG Hiring 40 Positions At Syracuse Facility

Nautic Global Group (NGG) is excited to announce we are continuing to grow! The NGG Human Resource Department will hold open interviews with applicants on Wednesday, March 5. Interested parties must first fill out an online application by visiting www.NauticGlobalGroup.com.

The open interviews will take place at our Polar Kraft/Parti Kraft production facility located at the 300 East Chicago St. in Syracuse, Indiana, from 12:30-3:30 p.m. 

NGG  has enjoyed several years of growth and is expanding our production capabilities at all three of our facilities to meet retail demand.

The company is looking to hire more than 40 people in Syracuse for the following positions:

       Fiberglass specialists (rollers, mold repair, fiberglass repair, choppers, gel coat, grinders, etc.)

       Assembly

       MIG/TIG welders

       Wire harness builders

       Riveters

       Laminators

"This is a very exciting time for our company, and the team we're building is the most important part of the equation," said VP of Manufacturing Mike O'Connell.  "The industry is growing, our company is growing, and we are seeking talented people who would like to join us."

The pay range for these open positions varies from $10 per hour to $18.25 per hour and up, depending on experience. Full-time health benefits are also available.

If you have questions about the positions or open interviews please contact Nautic Global Group's Communication Specialist Judi Lykowski: (574) 322-6218 email: jlykowski@nauticglobalgroup.com.

NGG Rewarded For Going Green

Nautic Global Group (NGG) is going green and is proud to be rewarded for doing so!

Kurt Kenning with Energizing Indiana and Bruce Griffey, an Energy Efficiency Representative with AEP, along with David Kline, an AEP local customer service engineer presented NGG with a rebate check for $103,000 today at Nautic Global Group's headquarters in Elkhart, Indiana.

The rebate money is from the Energizing Indiana Commercial & Industrial Rebate Program that is designed to help Indiana's commercial and industrial facilities achieve long-term, cost-effective energy savings.

Nautic Global Group has qualified to receive in total $293,816 in Energizing Indiana rebates since the energy efficient transformation at the NGG facilities started in November of 2013. The company is expected to receive another rebate check, for changes that were made in the two NGG production facilities located in Syracuse, Indiana.

The rebate money was awarded to the boating manufacturer for changing close to 1,400 light fixtures and light bulbs in all three of the production facilities to make them more energy efficient. 700 light fixtures were replaced with new more efficient fixtures and bulbs in the Elkhart facility, and 700 more were replaced in Syracuse, Indiana.

Brian Oakes, a maintenance technician at all three NGG facilities said this major transformation was completed in two months. Oakes worked with Bill Erdman, Transportation Manager at Nautic Global Group, to execute the plan to fruition.

Erdman said, "Nautic Global Group is getting more out of the Energizing Indiana program than what has been invested monetarily in replacing the lights and bulbs." "Almost no money is coming out of our pocket to promote energy efficiency."

Kenning, a Commercial & Industrial Trade Ally Coordinator with Energizing Indiana said he worked closely with NGG to validate and verify that each and every light bulb and light fixture was replaced with new efficient replacement models.

"These new bulbs are brighter and use half of the electricity that the old bulbs used, plus they do not give off as much heat. So not only are we saving money on electric, but we will also save on heating and cooling to keep the plants comfortable for production," said Oakes.  

"As a boat manufacturer, participating in this type of program makes perfect sense for NGG," added Doug Sexton, VP of Sales & Marketing at NGG. "The very nature of our business promotes an active lifestyle that takes full advantage of our natural surroundings. It's good for NGG and the people who are employed here, for the boating lifestyle, and for the environment."

Nautic Global Group Creates New High-Level Customer Service Role

In response to increasing boat sales and a rapidly expanding worldwide dealer network, Nautic Global Group has named Natalie Thomas to the newly created position of Director of Customer Service.

Thomas, who has extensive customer service process experience with Harmon Automotive, NIBCO and Delta Faucet Company, will design, implement and oversee customer service initiatives across many areas including parts, sales coordination, warranty and process improvement. 

"We are seeing a tremendous increase in business, and that presents all kinds of new challenges," said Jim Orbik, Chief Operating Officer for Nautic Global Group. "In an effort to stay ahead of these challenges and continue to deliver the high level of service expected by our dealer partners, we have created this new position. Natalie will bring a fresh new vision and an incredible amount of energy to this important role." 

While individual departments have previously been responsible for integrating customer service programs, Thomas will now oversee all initiatives to ensure consistency and proper accountability. She will be located in the company's Elkhart, Indiana, corporate offices, and will report directly to Orbik. 

"It's refreshing to see a company as committed to delivering superior customer service as Nautic Global Group," Thomas said. "I'm excited and honored to be here, and I am ready to hit the ground running to help raise the bar for both our dealers and consumers." 

 

Nautic Global Group Dealers Earn Top Industry Awards

Nautic Global Group is proud to recognize its retail partners named to Boating Industry's Top 100 program this year, including Dealer of the Year Legendary Marine - with multiple locations on Florida's Gulf Coast carrying Hurricane Deck Boats, Rinker Sport Boats and Express Cruisers, and Godfrey Pontoons.

"As we continue to expand our dealer network, we've been fortunate to partner with some of the strongest marine retailers in the world," said Doug Sexton, Nautic Global Group's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "These awards are a fitting tribute to the hard work and dedication of these business owners and their teams."

The 14 Nautic Global Group dealers represented on this year's Top 100 list include: Atwood Lake Boats, BMC Boats, Colorado Boat Center, Davey Marine Center, Deep Creek Marina, Gordon Bay Marine, The Great Outdoors Marine, Legendary Marine, Lynnhaven Marine, Maple City Marine, Omaha Marine Center, Russell Marine, Ski & Sports, and Woodward Marine.

Other Nautic Global Group retailers receiving key awards at the 2012 Marine Dealers Conference & Expo event include:

 The Great Outdoors Marine: 5-Star Dealer Certification (Best Practices)

 BMC Boats: Best in Class (Marketing)

"One thing all these dealers have in common is their superior customer service," said Sexton. "And it's a commitment to their local boating communities that translates into success. These companies demonstrate how positive experiences at the dealership can help grow boating while growing sales."

 

Nautic Global Group Names New CEO

Nautic Global Group (NGG) - parent company of Hurricane Deck Boats, Rinker Express Cruisers and Captiva Sport Boats, Godfrey Pontoons, Polar Kraft Aluminum Fishing Boats, and Parti Kraft Pontoons - today announced that Bradley (Brad) D. Gates has been named as the company's new Chief Executive Officer.

Gates, who brings marketing, customer service and product strategy experience to NGG, succeeds the company's interim CEO James (Jim) R. Malone. Malone will continue in his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Gates will join the Board as well. The succession is effective March 3, 2014.

"Following an extensive search process, we are excited to welcome Brad to Nautic Global Group," said Malone. "Brad is a proven leader, with skills and experience that are a natural fit with our emphasis on quality and service. His team-oriented and high-energy style, combined with his strong professional background in marketing, customer service, aftermarket parts, and forward-looking product strategy for dealer-distributed manufacturers, will support our focus on execution while also positioning the company strategically as it enters its next phase of growth."

Gates previously served as the President of EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa) at Capital Safety Group, a privately owned company engaged in the manufacturing and distribution of fall protection safety equipment. In this role, Gates developed strategic plans to drive growth, customer service enhancements, and profitability, successfully turning around the company's EMEA business performance and results. Before joining Capital Safety Group in 2007, Gates progressed through business and marketing roles of increasing responsibility at Minnesota- based The Toro Company, a leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of professional turf maintenance equipment and services worldwide. Gates earned a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing Management and a Master's Degree in Organizational Management from Concordia University.

"I am honored to have been selected as Nautic Global's new CEO," said Gates. "I am excited by the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead for the company and am committed to its success. I look forward to working closely with the talented senior leadership team and Nautic Global Group's 900-plus employees to further our objectives of manufacturing great boats and selling them through a great dealer network.

"For more than 60 years NGG has established an impressive presence in the global boating industry," Gates continued. "I am enthusiastic about joining the team, and I look forward to us continuing to enhance the dealer and customer experience as we grow." 

Nautic Global Group Recognizes Accident-Free Milestone

Nautic Global Group along with plant three has reason to celebrate! Godfrey Pontoons Plant Manager Dan Finke announces that Plant Three has made it an entire year wihout having an accident.

"And these guys sure aren't making teddy bears over there," said Finke who has worked for NGG for two years.

Plant Three makes metal railing for all Godfrey Pontoons and railing sets for the Hurricane FunDeck series.

"Plant Three has one of the best teams, and I believe earning this honor is a great accomplishment because they face some of the biggest challenges due to operating high-powered and potentially dangerous equipment," Finke said.

Plant Three Supervisor Dave Napier credits the plant's accident-free record to the team atmosphere he creates for all 37 of his employees. "Last February we moved into this building as a team and ever since our main focus is safety first every day."  

Group Leader Chad Pontius says, "Every morning employees meet to make sure everyone has all the tools to properly and safely do their jobs."

Steve Gingerich, also a group leader said he is proud of all of the employees because they have increased their production by 80% since February 2013. "We went from producing 183 railings a day to now 275, and I am proud to say we have increased production without sacrificing safety."

NGG Human Resource Director Steve Ott swas among several members of management who recently recognized Plant Three employees for their efforts. Finke is rewarding Plant Three employees by ordering each one of them a jacket with their name and the NGG logo.  

Ott says the company record for consecutive accident-free days, (two years, five months and three weeks) is held by our Polar Kraft Plant in Syracuse, IN, which was recognized in 2011, under current Plant Manager Tim Weisser.  

Fabrication equipment requires extreme concentration and precision, and the employees that make up Plant Three have set the standard for excellence. Please join us in recognizing all Plant Three employees for their accomplishment.

Nautic Global To Add 70 Manufacturing Jobs

If you or someone you know is looking for a great job in southwestern Michigan or northern Indiana (known as Michiana), Nautic Global Group is having open interviews at its Elkhart, Indiana, campus on Tuesday, February 25, from 12:30-3:30pm. 

The boat builder - Hurricane Deck Boats, Rinker Express Cruisers, Captiva & MTX Sport Boats, Godfrey Pontoons (Sanpan, Aqua Patio & Sweetwater), Polar Kraft Aluminum Fishing Boats and Parti Kraft Pontoons - is hiring 70 manufacturing positions including welders, upholsterers, sewers and fiberglass laminators. While experience is required for welding positions, on-the-job training will be provided for many of the other positions.

Jobs are available at NGG's Elkhart and Syracuse, Indiana, facilities. Hourly wages range from $10 per hour to more than $18 per hour depending on experience. Full-time health care benefit packages are also available.

"These are exciting times for Nautic Global Group, and as the demand for our products increase, we will continue to rely heavily on the strong workforce found throughout Michiana," said Doug Sexton, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Nautic Global Group.

For a complete list of open jobs, and to apply online, please click here.

 

 

Need To See A Shrink?

Here's what happens to new boats before they're loaded on the truck for delivery. Yep, it IS pretty cool. Of course, this takes place in the quality control center after SEVEN different inspectors sign off on the boat. That's every single boat that leaves the plant. The shrink wrap, of course, keeps the gel coat from getting scratched and keeps the boat clean for the duration of the trip, and during the time before you fall in love with it and strike a great deal with your local dealer. Think about the best things you've ever gotten in your life. They probably came wrapped. And if it's wrapped, you know it's special. It's probably something that will change your life. It's your new boat.

New Brand Manager for Polar Kraft & Parti Kraft

 

Nautic Global Group has named boating industry veteran Conrad West as the new Brand Manager of its Parti Kraft pontoon and Polar Kraft aluminum fishing boat lines.

 Conrad, who has worked with Sea Ray, Monterey and Chris-Craft, most recently held a number of different roles at Forest River, helping that company launch and grow its Berkshire pontoon business. 

"There are some great opportunities with the Polar Kraft and Parti Kraft brands, and Conrad is the perfect choice to help take them to the next level," said Doug Sexton, Nautic Global Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "He will be focused on growing our dedicated dealer network in specific markets, and guiding the development of exciting new designs."

Built in Nautic Global Group's Syracuse, Indiana, Aluminum Boat facility which has been building boats since 1954, the two brands are known for their quality and rugged construction.  

"There is a real excitement surrounding this new initiative, and I am thrilled to be a part of it," said West. "It's not often you get the chance to reshape the future of two classic American boat brands. While maintaining the extremely high existing quality, the new direction means we can be even more responsive to our dealers and boat-buying consumers, and develop products that are perfect for their particular markets."

 

Polar Kraft Honors Top Dealer For 2013

Nautic Global Group, parent company of Polar Kraft Boats, recently recognized Polar Kraft's top worldwide dealer for model year 2013, 

Hamlin's Marine with locations in Waterville and Hampden, Maine, was named the Top Polar Kraft Dealer for 2013.

Owner Dave Hamlin attributes the success of his dealerships to hard work, customer service, and keeping a fully stocked boat inventory. The tough Polar Kraft line is a great fit for fishing on Eastern Maine's rocky lakes, rivers and shoreline, and Hamlin's Marine is consistently ranked among the top Polar Kraft dealers in the world.

For over 20 years Hamlin's Marine has delivered on a simple promise... "If you purchase a boat from Hamlin's Marine, we'll always be there when you need us."  Hamlin's Marine offers convenience and assurance with our locations in Waterville and Hampden, staff of 25 dedicated employees, and a fleet of service trucks.

 Congratulations to our incredible friends and partners! 

Polar Kraft Wins Award For Customer Satisfaction

Polar Kraft was one of only three aluminum outboard boat manufacturers to to be recognized by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA)  as part of the 2013 Marine Industry CSI Awards for excellence in customer satisfaction. 

The Marine Industry CSI Awards program honors participating manufacturers that actively measure customer satisfaction and pursue continuous improvement to better serve the customer. Award recipients achieved and maintained an independently measured standard of excellence of 90 percent or higher in customer satisfaction over the past year, based on information provided by customers purchasing a new boat or engine during the period between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013.

Participating manufacturers must survey all new boat buyers during this period. For this reporting period, the program surveyed more than 50,000 consumers.

"Customer satisfaction is critical to the success and growth of the recreational boating industry and its CSI award recipients that set the bar on delivering an exceptional customer experience," notes Robert Newsome, director of engineering standards for NMMA.  "We applaud and thank these manufacturers for their commitment to enhancing the boating lifestyle."

Quality Motivates Us At Polar Kraft

In addition to aluminum, rivets, and upholstery, there's something else we measure every day at the Polar Kraft boat plant. It's morale. Because happy workers are motivated workers and motivated workers build the best boats in the industry. These are hard-working Americans that take pride in what they do. The busier, the better. Because they know where these boats are going. They know the boat they're working on is meant to be somewhere else. It's meant to be on the water. After all, is a boat really a boat unless it's on the water? And to take it a step further, can a fishing boat truly reach its full potential unless you and your family and friends are catching bigger fish and making bigger memories you will talk about for generations? Around here, we build every boat with that in mind. You could say that, for us, boat building is not so much a job as it is a calling. You see, our destiny is to create these amazing boats so you can create amazing memories. Why is morale so high around here? The way we see it, every boat that rolls out of the building is heading to its happy place. And since most of us are boaters, just like you, we understand what that means. For you AND the boat. Does aluminum equal happiness? Around here, you better believe it.

True American Hero

What an incredible honor to be joined by American hero and football legend, Rocky Bleier for our annual dealer conference! Mr. Bleier won a college football national championship in 1966 while attending the University of Notre Dame and went on to join the Pittsburgh Steelers before being drafted into the U.S. Army and being sent to Vietnam following his rookie season. After being seriously wounded in the leg while on a mission, doctors gave him no chance of ever being able to play again in the National Football League. However, hard work and determination enabled him to beat the odds, and he went on to make the team and eventually win four Super Bowls with the Steelers. His message of overcoming adversity through perseverance and dedication was absolutely exhilarating!

United Way Recognizes Nautic Global Group Contributions

Thanks to contributions from our incredible employees, the United Way of Elkhart County announced today that Nautic Global Group has earned the honor of being among the Top Ten companies in Elkhart County to contribute to their 2013 donation campaign. 

This morning, representatives from the United Way of Elkhart County stopped by the NGG corporate office to present a plaque to show their appreciation of the contributions. 

Steve Ott, Director of Human Resources for Nautic Global Group (pictured), accepted the plaque on behalf of all NGG employees who contribute to the ongoing United Way Campaign, in both Elkhart and Kosciusko Counties.  

Nautic Global Group contributed $7,500 dollars to the United Way Campaign in combination for both Elkhart and Kosciusko Counties, and employee contributions in both counties brought the grand total to $70,000. 

Contributions to the United Way will help provide assistance to local families in cases of catastrophic events in their lives. For example, families who have recently lost their homes and possessions will be provided with food, shelter and clothing to get back on their feet. Approximately 200 cancer patients will receive a cancer journal, care and counseling that might not otherwise be provided through convention medical outlets. And close to 3,000 local school children will receive additional assistance to help them succeed in the classroom.

Versatile Frontier Series Joins Polar Kraft Family

Nautic Global Group introduces the all-new Frontier Series to its Polar Kraft family of aluminum fishing boats. Loaded with upgraded standard features, the Frontier series is aimed at "weekend warriors," who want all the benefits of a beefy, well-built fishing boat, but are looking for a value just as solid.

Built on the legendary Polar Kraft Deep-V padded hull, the Frontier Series features an all-around-level deck design that's perfect for fighting larger species of fish such as muskie, because you can move throughout the boat knowing you'll have a clear path. The six Frontiers are available in 17- & 18-foot models with familiar deck layouts including walk-through windshield, dual-console and single-console designs. And if you're after big fish, you'll really appreciate the standard 52-inch livewell that's perfect for storing your catch or reviving it for release.

Frontiers also come standard with a huge lockable center rod storage area that has plenty of room for all the gear you may need, particularly if you're after several different species. With its location right in the forward deck, the rod storage is also very easy to access. Because they are built to run efficiently using smaller-horsepower outboards, they not only provide a higher, drier ride, but the lighter engine set up means better fuel economy, easier trailering, and effortless launch and retrieval at the boat ramp.

"I've never heard anyone say their boat has too much room for casting and fighting fish," said Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Doug Sexton. "These boats are not only beamy, but they really have a large footprint with a big, stable platform. You know, there's more to a boat than just a name. The Frontier series is wider and longer than other boats in this category, plus it's got a great warranty. These are just exceptionally well-built boats."

 

Wake Up! An Up-Close Look At Boat Watersports

As much as we all enjoy a leisurely sunset cruise, part of the fun of boating is the opportunity to not only get out on the water, but also to get wet once in a while. And if you've got younger passengers, your boat will likely be decked out with a hefty collection of different equipment... some familiar and some not so familiar.

So, let's take a closer look at some of the most popular watersports today. Please remember to ALWAYS wear a life jacket when participating in any of these activities.

Tubing

Nothing puts a smile on the face of a kid like the freedom found clinging tightly to an inflatable tube as it skitters across the water. Although they come in a huge variety of styles, the basic idea is pretty simple. A bladder made of flexible PVC is inflated with air, and the tube is attached to a nylon towrope, which is then attached to a boat. The rider (or riders) then sits or kneels inside the tube or holds on to handles attached to the surface of the tube. One of the appealing things about tubing is that the boat driver has plenty of control over the experience the riders will have. Slower speeds and a straight track will be great for even the most timid children, while higher speeds and sharper turns add more thrill to the ride. For the best (and safest) ride, always make sure the tube is properly inflated.

Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding involves riding a fiberglass board over the surface of the water with your feet tightly anchored to the surface with a binding. You hold the handle of a ski rope (usually attached to a wake tower "pull point" that's about 7 feet from the water's surface) and criss-cross the wake wave at around 18-24 miles per hour. Enthusiasts can launch themselves into the air or perform a number of exciting tricks. Beginners who try these maneuvers will quickly learn what the term "face plant" means.

Wakeskating

Wakeskating is an adaptation of wakeboarding that employs a similar design of board manufactured from wood or fiberglass. Unlike wakeboarding, the rider is not bound to the board in any way, which gives the sport its own unique challenges. Instead, the top surface of the board is covered with grip tape, (similar to a skateboard) or a soft, high-traction, foam covering that is kinder to riders in the inevitable wipeouts. Riders usually wear grip shoes while riding behind the boat at 16-20 miles per hour. However, this depends on water conditions, the weight of the rider and their proficiency in the sport.

Kneeboarding

It's gone by a number of different names over its 40-year history (Knee Ski, Glide Slide and Hydroslide were pioneering styles), but no matter what you call it, kneeboarding is a blast. As the name suggests, you kneel down on a surf-style board, while holding on to a towrope handle and the boat pulls you along at about 15-20 miles per hour. Starts are pretty easy, and once you reach plane, you can pull a strap securely across your knees to hold you on the board. As with tubing, the driver has a great deal of control over the rider's experience, adjusting speeds as needed as directed by a "spotter" on the boat who keeps their eye on the rider at all times. More advanced riders can perform tricks such as the Side Slide, Back Roll and Surface 360.

Waterskiing

Waterskiing is the oldest and most familiar mainstream watersport. A skier slips his feet into rubber bindings, and is pulled up and out of the water while holding the handle of a towrope attached to a boat. With the skis under water pointing toward the boat, the skier signals the driver to accelerate, while a "spotter" monitors the progress and lets the driver know when to speed up, slow down or come around to pick up a downed skier. More advanced skiers sometimes "drop" one ski and ride with both feet on a single (or slalom) ski. Invented in 1922 by Ralph Samuelson on Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minnesota, the sport has evolved from two boards and a clothesline to modern fiberglass skis to suit any skill level.

Safety First

Watersports are a great way to enjoy your boat, but safety should always come first. Remember to check the towrope at the boat connection point (ski-tow eye, wakeboard tower, or ski pylon) and the tube itself. Replace the rope at the first sign of fraying because it could breakk under strain. Also, take up rope slack slowly to prevent knots and to avoid jerking the rider. Know the abilities of your riders, and start slowly...working up to a manageable speed. Check tubes for age and weight capacities, and always know local speed limits and regulations for tow sports. Never abruptly change your course when other boats are present, and always slow down when your riders are crossing the wake.

Who's Got The Fever This Weekend?

If you've got boating fever in upstate New York this weekend, you're in luck! The 2012 Great Upstate Boat Show is being held at the Adirondack Sports Complex in Queensbury, and our friends from Saratoga Boat Works are ready to a show you a good time. There will be activities for the whole family, and you can register to win prize  throughout the weekend. Click here for a coupon for discounted tickets.

And if you're anywhere near Alabama's Gulf Coast, the incredible folks from Legendary Marine will have plenty of tough-as-nails Polar Kraft Aluminum Fishing Boats at the HUGE Gulf Coast Yacht & Boat Super Show. The show is being held at The Wharf in Orange Beach...you can't miss it. Please stop by and say hello! They've even got free dock space for you if you're coming by boat.

Why Are Boaters So Superstitious?

Let's face it... boaters are a superstitious bunch. Well, we've got a storied history that goes all the way back to the days of the earliest ocean-going vessels, when everything from bad weather to scurvy were connected to various perceived transgressions by crewmembers and (more likely) unknowing passengers. String enough of those coincidences together, and the word spreads quickly that something as innocent as bringing a banana onboard can wreak havoc on a voyage that would otherwise be smooth sailing.

Whether you view boating superstitions as solemn, don't-ever-mess-them laws, or if you get a chuckle out of the seemingly outrageous notions that have sprung up over the years, they are part of nautical folklore. And, being notoriously nostalgic, those of us with a love for boating and the water tend to embrace even the nuttier superstitions-even if it's done with a sly wink of the eye.

Let's take a closer look at some of the most-popular, boat-related myths that still rule the seas even today.

BANANAS ON BOARD

If you head down to any of Florida's coastal fishing villages in search of a fishing charter, there's one thing you need to remember. Leave the bananas at home. That's real bananas, banana nut muffins and even Banana Boat sunscreen. You're even asking for trouble if you show up in Fruit of the Loom underwear. And even if, for some reason, you feel like ignoring the no-bananas rule that exists aboard nearly all fishing charters-let's say you smuggle aboard a banana smoothie-don't plan on coming home with many trophy fish. Of course, there's nothing but anecdotal evidence to prove this is true, but you'll hear those anecdotes walking every dock from Pensacola to Islamorada.

History: Looking past the obvious things like cartoon injuries caused by slipping on a discarded peel, the more likely source of the banana superstition is that ocean-going vessels would stop at tropical islands for provisions during their months-long excursions. In addition to fresh water and other necessities, they would frequently take on crates of bananas. Good source of potassium aside, these crates nearly always came with the added bonus of deadly spiders, snakes and other critters that don't mix well in the close-confines of a boat.

RENAMING YOUR BOAT

As if you didn't have enough to think about when considering a name for your boat, you will probably get an earful from some wise mystic of the sea (the guy in the marina slip next to yours) about the hazards of changing the name of a boat that's been previously named. Fortunately, since it's a long shot that you and the prior owner BOTH dreamed of owning a boat called "My Pretty Petunia," there are certain ceremonial steps you can take to avoid offending the sea gods. Not surprisingly, the ceremony revolves around high-quality domestic sparkling wine (only use the French stuff if you're anxious to help THEIR economy rebound). Get rid of all evidence of the boat's previous name. Just draw a line through the name on all logbooks and maintenance records. Make sure all traces of the name are gone from the transom. Notify your local boating law enforcement of the name change as required, and apply your new carefully chosen new name to the boat. Invite your family and friends, and distribute plastic glasses (bare feet and broken glass do not mix). Unless you're renaming a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, best to just pour a generous portion of bubbly over the bow instead of smashing the bottle Queen Elizabeth-style. When everyone's glasses are full, say something like: "For thousands of years, we have gone to sea, and we have called our vessels by name. For all that have gone before us, we humbly raise a glass in their honor and ask for blessings in the name of YOUR BOAT NAME." If you're into flowery (and overly long) ceremonies, a quick Internet search will reveal plenty

History: This business about it being bad luck to rename a boat actually has a pretty reasonable explanation. Back in the day, when sailing vessels would travel to far-flung ports-of-call, boats and crews would carry a certain reputation. Good reputations meant easy, uncontested passage into friendly harbors. Changing a boat's name could easily raise suspicions simply because it wasn't recognized.

OTHER COMMON BOATING-RELATED SUPERSTITIONS

Have you ever known anyone who threw salt over their left shoulder? That's an old pirate trick to "keep the devil at bay." The bay, of course, is literally where they wanted the devil to stay as they headed out to sea.

Have you ever "knocked on wood" to prevent bad luck? That came from sailors thumping the hulls of their wooden ships to check for rotten areas. This is also the origin of the phrases "ship shape" and "touch wood." It all comes down to having a boat that will hold together during a voyage.

As perhaps the easiest superstition to understand, the form of a naked woman on the bow was said to calm the seas and guide the vessel to safety. If you've been out at sea for months on end with a ship full of hygienically challenged men, surely any naked woman aboard would seem like good luck.

Dramatic bodily embellishments such as tattoos, brands and piercings have long been thought to ward off evil spirits. The wilder the design, the better it allegedly worked.

It's a no-no to whistle anywhere aboard a boat, for fear that you will summon bad weather. This is where the phrase "whistling up a storm" comes from.

Winter Boat Show Season Begins!

Happy New Year...and welcome to another season of Winter Boat Shows! If you're in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend, please stop by and say hello to our friends at Paul's Marine!