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Erin B

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CABO 41

an image of the CABO 41 will launch at the Miami Yacht Show from Southern Boating

CABO 41

Hatteras/CABO Yachts re-launches the CABO brand with the introduction of the CABO 41. After a five-year hiatus when the company focused on the Hatteras brand, the powers that be decided the time was right to return to the well-reputed, hardcore-fishing CABOs and fill the demand for inboard offshore express-style fishing boats.

The CABO 41 features a spacious cockpit with mezzanine seating and an open helm deck. Standard power comes from twin 626-hp Volvo D11 engines, with upgraded horsepower or Cummins propulsion available. Popular options include Seakeeper 6 stabilization and full custom tower and outriggers by Hatteras partner Carolina Custom Towers.

42′ 10″ LOA, 15′ 9″ beam

caboyachts.com

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Palm Beach GT50 Open

Palm Beach GT50 Open from Southern Boating

Palm Beach GT50 Open

High performance, efficient and elegant are the words that Palm Beach had in mind when designing the new Palm Beach GT50 Open. The Open version of these makes its world debut in Miami. Low resistance is the key to the hull design, which is meant to slice through the water rather than plane.

Coupled with the lightweight construction, including a 100-percent carbon fiber deck and superstructure, the GT50 has the ability to reach 42 knots. Efficiency is achieved with the 600- hp Volvo Penta IPS propulsion, which burns 40 gallons per hour at 35 knots. All of this is wrapped up in a very elegant package as befits the Palm Beach name.

54′ LOA, 14′ 8″ beam

palmbeachmotoryachts.com

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Scout 530 LXF

an image of the Scout 530 LXF from Southern Boating

Scout 530 LXF

At the top of it’s line of luxury center consoles is the new Scout 530 LXF, which makes its world debut at the Miami International Boat Show.

Features that set it apart include the articulating rocket launchers mounted on the hardtop that electronically raise or lower at the touch of a button; the Seakeeper 6 gyrostabilizer that comes standard and the hydraulic beach platforms that unfold port and starboard to extend the cockpit to 17.5 feet across at anchor.

Quad or quint outboards up to 2,700 horsepower can propel the epoxy-infused hull. Tests with quad 425-hp Yamaha outboards showed optimal effciency at 4,500 rpm, cruising at 39.6 mph.

53′ LOA, 14′ 8″ beam

scoutboats.com

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What is stony coral tissue loss disease?

a scientist documents stony coral tissue disease

What is stony coral tissue loss disease?

And more important, how do we stop it?

In September 2014, researchers noticed that certain stony corals along the Florida Reef Tract weren’t doing so well. The Florida Reef Tract stretches approximately 360 miles in an arc along the Florida Keys and southeastern Florida. It’s currently the world’s third largest reef.

In Miami-Dade County, of Virginia Key, corals were showing “small circular or irregular patches of white, exposed skeleton devoid of tissue,” explains Dr. Andy Bruckner, research coordinator for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. From there, the tissue would slough off, leaving the stark white skeleton exposed until algae colonized it. The disease, he explains, “radiates across the colony and outward.”

stony coral tissue disease progression
Click the image to watch the sad progression of stony coral tissue disease along Florida’s East Coast.

 

And spread outward it did—the stony coral tissue loss disease has since been found in the Lower Florida Keys.

This spells trouble for the reefs, and for the creatures and people who depend on them. The reefs of the Florida Keys provide food and recreational opportunities for residents and vacationers alike, and they can protect coastal communities since they serve as a buffer for hurricanes and other storms.

Worldwide, coral reefs support approximately 25 percent of all known marine species. Reefs provide homes for more than 4,000 species of fish, 700 species of coral, and thousands of other plants and animals.

The architects of coral reefs are hard corals. Unlike soft corals, hard corals have stony skeletons made out of limestone that are produced by coral polyps. When polyps die, their skeletons are left behind and used as foundations for new polyps. An actual coral branch or mound is composed of layer upon layer of skeletons covered by a thin layer of living polyps.

Scientists believe the disease is likely caused by a bacterial infection carried by currents, but little else is known.

As Joanna Walczak, southeast regional administrator at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection puts it, “this is an all hands on deck situation, requiring an unprecedented effort and response.”

Partners from universities, nonprofits, and government agencies have joined the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to understand the disease and how it can be stopped.

What can we do?

To stop the spread of contamination from one dive site to another, experts have a few recommendations for divers/snorkelers and swimmers.

Dos

  • Inspect dive gear equipment and remove any debris between each dive
  • ALWAYS Sanitize non-sensitive gear with a bleach solution
  • For sensitive gear, wash with copious amounts of fresh water
  • Move from “healthiest” site to “dirtiest” site
  • Always decontaminate regulators, gauges and computers
  • Use a reef-healthy sunscreen

Don’ts

  • Never leave any debris on dive/snorkel gear
  • Don’t move from a diseased site to a healthy site
  • Don’t dispose of disinfectant or waste into the ocean or a storm drain

“This collaborative response effort is vitally important,” says Sarah Fangman, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary superintendent. “The broad knowledge provided by all our partners working together has resulted in the development of a variety of interventions.” Together, these partners hope to develop an effective treatment.

Learn more what scientists are doing to learn about stony coral tissue loss.

Florida’s Big Bend

Cedar Key on the Big Bend

Florida’s Big Bend

The road less traveled: Florida’s Big Bend

Florida’s 300-mile Big Bend curve on the Gulf Coast remains the road less traveled for ICW navigators. Coming from the Panhandle, most point their bows straight to Tarpon Springs, the quicker way to warmer temperatures and sandy beaches.

Typically, Big Bend shorelines are not sandy. Geologists say ancient rivers just didn’t have enough “energy” to bring fine sand to shorelines. They’re quite wild, actually. Depending on your priorities, this could be a good thing. Maybe, as poet Robert Frost wrote, this makes all the difference. Welcome to Old Florida.

Steinhatchee is just a short distance up the river of the same name. Huge turtles bask on sunlit logs. Spanish moss flows down from sloping live oak branches. Locals tend gardens, relax on front porches and go fishing. Locally caught fish, scallops, blue crabs, and oysters are on the menu. Villagers and visitors raise a little Cain at the annual Fiddler Crab Festival, this year February 15-17. Good Times Marina, River Haven Marina and Sea Hag Marina are ready for transient cruisers.

Cedar Key is a quaint island town in the cluster of Cedar Keys, south of Steinhatchee a bit. Tie up, fuel up, chat up locals, browse funky stores, buy an Old Florida painting, bike trails, go birding, kayak the backcountry, sip craft beer and enjoy fresh seafood. Above all, be amazed at the bright stars and galaxies at night. Cedar Key (population 700) hosts 20,000 visitors for the annual Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, this year March 30-31. Cedar Key Marina II  monitors Channel 11 and welcomes cruisers.

Moving south, you’ll want to explore the Crystal River, the Homosassa River and the  Chassahowitzka River, spring-fed rivers the manatees love. You’ll feel warmer temperatures and notice lots of people on sandy beaches and the welcoming marinas in Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, Clearwater, Madeira Beach, and so on as you continue down the coast where you’re now back on the more traveled route.

By Bill Aucoin, Southern Boating February 2019

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