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Ask Capt. Bob

Over the past year I received lots of questions which I was not able to answer personally. In this month’s column I’ll attempt to answer the most common and/or interesting questions.


Q. I am considering buying a Sea Ray. Do you think I should get an Express or a Sundancer?

A. Is one of them blue? You would look good in a blue boat.


Q. After fueling my boat, the starboard engine would not start. The genset runs off the same tank and started easily. I checked the battery and changed the fuel filters and it still wouldn’t start. Any suggestions?

A. When you fueled up, you put a Sorbent pad over the deck fill and pushed the nozzle through it to catch any spills. A small piece of the sorbent is stuck in the fuel line. Don’t be so cheap; buy a “Bio Collar.”


Q. What is the difference between the diesel fuel at a gas station and the diesel at a marina?

A. About $1 per gallon.


Q. Is the “bitter end” the end of a rope that is not tied off?

A. No it’s a Yacht Club in the British Virgin Islands.


Q. What do manatees taste like?

A. Chicken


Q. Can I get hypothermia swimming in Florida?

A. Theoretically yes, but you would have to be in the water for two weeks. It’s never been tested because usually the sharks get you first.


Q. I’m planning a trip to Bimini. I don’t have a GPS and my compass is off by 10 degrees. Could this be a problem?

A. I’ll notify your next of kin.


Q. If the compass variation decreases by 8' annually, will I eventually be going south when I ‘m headed north?

A. Why do you think Columbus missed India?


Q. I’ve heard a treatment for hypothermia is to have a naked woman lie on top of you. Is this true?

A. Yes, but according to a prominent divorce attorney, this story will not hold up in court.


Q. I understand FPL will spend $1 billion to tear down the power plant in Port Everglades. Does this mean the manatees will go elsewhere?

A. No such luck. Included in the total cost is $400 million to relocate the manatees during construction and bring them back when the new plant is finished.


Q. I have a 30' center console. How can I best prepare for hurricane season?

A. If you have guaranteed value insurance, do nothing and hope for the worst.


Q. Can all dogs swim?

A. No, some dogs just don’t take to the water well. Breeds with low body fat like Doberman pinschers and boxers can have trouble in the water. If you play fetch, make sure you explain to your dog when you want to discard something. When Nicole (Dead Calm) threw the engine key overboard, her untrained dog retrieved the key and it almost cost her, her life.


Q. I can’t decide between Sea Tow and Tow BoatU.S. Which do you recommend?

A. Yes


Q. Why do the marine weather reports spend so much time talking about rip tides?

A. If you are boating in the ocean close to shore and you’re engine quits, you need to paddle your boat parallel to the shore until you can jump out safely.


Q. Do I need a radio license for my boat?

A. Station licenses or operator permits are no longer required for recreation boaters traveling in domestic waters. As illogical as it seems, a license is required if you travel to a foreign port like the Bahamas. When I lived in Brazil a US driver’s license was not required to drive there.


Q. After trolling all day using squid, I didn’t catch one dolphin. When I got home I found my wife in bed with our neighbor. Can you help?

A. Try using ballyhoo.


Send your boating questions to Capt. Bob at Florida by Water.


By Bob E. Sherman
Syndicated Writer