Authors Posts by Stephanie McMillan

Stephanie McMillan


Ho Ho Holiday Gift Guide

It’s the Southern Boating 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Spread holiday cheer for all to hear with these unique gifts for everyone on your list.


For the Sportster:

JBL’S Endurance Dive Wireless In-Ear Headphones have an IPX7 waterproof rating that allows use while swimming and in all weather conditions. Bluetooth technology provides wireless streaming for eight hours, and the Speed Charge battery pack gives an extra hour with a 10-minute charge. The built-in 1GB MP3 player stores more than 200 music tracks, and the TwistLock and FlexSoft technologies ensure a secure, lightweight and comfortable fit.

MSRP $89.95


Topside Fins fit like a shoe and are comfortable enough to spend as much time as you want swimming, snorkeling or body boarding, and their fin length makes it easy to walk out of the water. Fins are made with a high-grade polymer blend and ultra-grip sole, and the boot is a stretch neoprene with a hook and loop cinch strap for a secure fit.

MSRP $69.99


Casio-PRG-330 watchCasio’s Pro Trek PRG330 Timepieces use Triple Sensor Version 3 Technology for fast, precise data readings to help navigate through any adventure with a direction sensor for compass readings, a pressure sensor for altimeter/barometer readings and a thermosensor for temperature readings. Water resistant to 100 meters with many more features, Casio’s Tough Solar Power technology keeps it running.

MSRP $200


Ocean Kayak Malibu 9.5 and 11.5 Kayaks are compact, stackable, easy to paddle, track straight, and have a 33-inch width for stability. A newly designed AirGo molded-in seat and seat pad with an adjustable AirComfort backrest provide paddling comfort. There’s plenty of legroom (52 inches) with calf rests and molded-on footwells and weighs in at 50 pounds. MSRP (9.5)


For Parties

Maruda Steelpan Rum won Best Pot & Column Still Rum as well as World’s Best Rum at the World Rum Awards 2018. The tasting note says, “Sweet nose with rich aromas of caramel and vanilla. Nice depth in body, rich. Dry finish. Complex and very drinkable.” A three-step process ages the rum in bourbon barrels made of American white oak without the use of additives and colorings for three years each in Trinidad, Guyana, and Jamaica.

MSRP $42.99

Add some fun to your night with Nite Ize’s Nitegem LED Luminaries. These unique, pyramid-shaped lights are waterproof and durable and come in white or color. Choose to have white glow or flash, and color lights can glow solid or cycle through six colors. Replaceable batteries run for 20 hours.

MSRP (color) $10.99



For the Kids

Marine Science for Kids is a colorful, fun, photo-filled guide to explore our underwater world. Dive deep into the science of aquatic study, discover how and why oceans move and learn the answers to questions like “Why is the ocean blue?” Designed for grade levels four to six.

MSRP $18.99


Kids-activity-book holiday gift guideWhen the sun sets or rain keeps them indoors, keep kids occupied with The Kid’s Awesome Activity Book. Kindle their curious minds and imaginations with games, crafts and hands-on activities that will keep away boredom on board.

MSRP $14.95;



Sharkopoly Board Game for a kids gift this holidayHidden within the shadows of the ocean, sharks are an integral part of the world’s aquatic ecosystem. Have a “jawsome” day and ferocious fun with Late for the Sky’s Sharkopoly Board Game. For players ages 8 and older.

MSRP $24.95;


For the Fashionistas

AGA-Correa-ReefKnotBracelet in Southern Boatings Holiday Gift GuideA.G.A. Correa & Son’s Reef Knot Bracelet is a half-inch wide and made with 14-carat gold. The reef knot, or square knot, dates back to the late 18th century and is still used for many applications today. A.G.A. Correa & Son have been designing nautical jewelry in Maine since 1969.

MSRP $3,900

The Sand Dollar Tie Tack is worth its 14-carat gold weight. Sand dollars found on the beach are the bleached skeletons of a type of sea urchin. Recognizable by their unusual five-pointed design that looks like a flower petal or a starfish, sand dollars got their name because they looked like large coins from centuries ago.

MSRP $800


OceanicGear’s new Tactical Boardshorts are crafted for the angler and feature a pliers pocket, hidden zipper pocket for valuables and utility D-rings to hold extra gear.

The shorts stay snug with a 4-way stretch rear panel and are made with the latest Dry-Fit materials. Available in seven designs.

MSRP $54.99


Keep your smartphone safe from drops with these fun Sea Life Phone Cases.

They have a glow-in-the-dark feature so you can always find your phone in a dark environment, and the hard polycarbonate material protects it from scratches and cracks.

MSRP $60.99



Capt Jack’s Vintage Anchor Cap is “made for sailors by sailors.” This maritime-inspired cap offers exceptional fit and function and will keep your head dry and comfortable throughout the day.

MSRP $35

Avery Sunglasses from Abaco Sunglasses are the ultimate Pilot Sunglass.  Made from lightweight stainless steel with premium metal screw hinges, the frames feature temple tips and adjustable silicone nose pads for comfort. The UV400 protective lenses protect eyes from the damaging rays of the sun, and polarized lenses block glare and reduce eyestrain.

MSRP $60



For Revitalization 

Sun, wind, and salt spray takes a toll on hair and skin. Replenish and revitalize after a day on the boat with Dirty Girl Farm’s Charcoal Set. Activated charcoal draws out dirt, oil, and toxins to reduce acne and detox skin.

The set includes shampoo, conditioner, clarifying facial cleanser, and scrub and is made from plant-based materials and free of any synthetic elements.

MSRP $75

Our skin soaks up particles in the air and from the water. Ahimsa Healer’s Showerheads filter faucet water through a choice of four raw crystals, each with their own healing properties. Carbon and mineral filtration removes toxins and impurities from the water.

MSRP $77


For Environmentalists

4ocean bracelet Southern Boating Holiday Gift Guide4OCEAN has pulled over 1.1 million pounds of plastic and trash from the ocean and coastlines in 27 countries around the world. To support their efforts, they offer products made from recycled materials, including the popular 4OCEAN Bracelets. Each product purchased will help remove one pound of trash.

MSRP per bracelet $20

Abandoned fishing nets and ropes (ghost nets) are the silent killers of the Ocean. Planet Love Life helps preserve the marine environment through marine cleanup projects. Their Ghost Net Bracelets are handcrafted by local artisans from 100 percent salvaged fishing nets, ropes, and lines.

MSRP $20


For Decorators

MAPTECH has a full line of charts and cruising guides and now offers Decorative Nautical Charts to display at home or in the office.

These 24×34-inch charts can be framed, but because they’re printed on a self-adhesive matte fabric they can attach to almost any smooth surface and are easy to peel off and reapply without leaving a residue. More than 60 popular locations are available.

MSRP $39.95

For Photographers

Raven Drone Southern Boating Holiday Gift GuideThe Raven Foldable Drone with GPS and Wifi Camera is your entry point into the drone photography world. The quadcopter has an adjustable angle Wi-Fi camera as well as Return Home, Follow Me and Auto Take Off­ functions. The drone can do 360-degree flips and folds for easy storage.

MSRP $129.99

GoPro Hero 7 Southern Boating Holiday Gift GuideGimbal-like stabilization is the latest technology in the new GoPro Hoero7 Black Camera and is now waterproof down to 33 feet without a waterproof case; a deep-water housing is available for divers.

Other features include voice control, live stream capability, time-lapse video, Wi-Fi, GPS, 12-megapixel image quality, and a 4K video capture with super slow motion.

MSRP $399

For Anglers

Explore all your fishing hot spots with the 2019 SeaDoo Fish Pro. The only personal watercraft built specifically in the factory for fishing, the PWC is powered by a Rotax 1503 NA engine and uses the Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 62cs Fish Finder. Features include a 13.5-gallon LinQ fish cooler, angled gunwale footrests for stability, trolling mode, and watertight phone box.

MSRP $14,799

ANGLR Hero in the Southern Boating Holiday Gift GuideAnglr Bullseye is a Bluetooth-enabled button that attaches to you or your boat and records your catch locations, weather, waypoints, and more to track your day out on the water without tapping on your phone or chart. The connected ANGLR fish tracking app lets you see trends in your fishing for better results wherever you throw out a line.

MSRP $29.99

For Someone Special

Water Car in the Southern Boating Holiday Gift GuideSave on berth fees, and drive up the ramp and off­ to home with Water Car’s Panther. Each one is custom-built with a Jeep-style, fiberglass body and uses a Honda V6 V-Tec, 250-hp engine that powers the transmission and the jet propulsion. Choose your own fabrics, colors, and graphics.

MSRP $172,000



SD Model Makers Southern Boating Holiday Gift GuideTake your boat home or to the office with its exact replica from SD Modelmakers. Each model is handmade with the exact colors, helm station, upholstery, name, rigging, and more by master model makers and craftsmen into a museum quality replica. From canoes to megayachts, this is a special gift for the boat owner.

MSRP varies on boat model and scale.

Need more ideas?

Download the 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

WatchMate Vision2

WatchMate Vision2 keeps you safe aboard

Vesper Marine’s WatchMate Vision2 alerts captain and crew to imminent danger.

Resting easy at 3 AM can be a challenge when you’re at anchor and it’s pitch black, but with Vesper Marine’s WatchMate Vision2, you just might sleep better. That’s because the unit’s Anchor Watch feature clearly displays a history of the vessel’s position on a smartphone (Apple or Android). If the boat swings in wind or tide, a quick visual check of your phone will tell if the anchor is set. And, if things go awry, an audible alarm alerts you.

“Our WatchMate Vision2 is the most advanced AIS transponder on the market,” says Jeff Robbins, CEO of Vesper Marine based in New Zealand. “Already packed with life-saving features like smartAIS alarms, DSC calling and faster GPS, we have enhanced the user experience with an easy-to-use touchscreen, faster Wi-Fi, more Wi-Fi connections, and a brighter display.”

How to Use

Southern Boating readers love to cruise with family and friends, so how might the captain of a 50-foot motoryacht use Vesper’s new AIS transponder with his able-bodied wife and two adult guests as crew? Robbins explains that with WatchMate Vision2, a captain can be anywhere on the boat and be aware of AIS information. “Use the built-in Vision2 display at the helm, or use your smartphone, tablet or smartwatch if you are elsewhere like the cabin, the bow or somewhere on deck,” he says.

The WatchMate Vision2 can connect up to eight devices simultaneously via the Wi-Fi network. This ensures that the captain be aware of potential collisions, anchor drag or man overboard (MOB) situations. An audible alarm on the transponder as well as alarms on the smartphone or tablet will sound. “The captain’s guests can also connect on the transponder’s Wi-Fi network to access the AIS information available to the captain as well as be alerted of any alarms,” Robbins says. “Any of the crew can do navigation watch if the captain is busy.”

Advanced Technology

an image of the WatchMate Vision2
The WatchMate Vision2 keeps you safe and connected.

In addition, with autopilot apps, the captain can send messages to the autopilot from his mobile device over Wi-Fi to change course or other necessary navigation requirements using the Vision2’s NMEA Gateway. In the case of a man overboard, the alarm sounds when a crew member activates an MOB on any manufacturer’s model. With the unique MOB labeling feature of Vision2, the captain or yacht manager will see the name of the MOB as well as the position when the MOB was first detected and continuous MOB positions.

The unit’s touchscreen is very intuitive and easy to scroll through the menu, zoom in and out, see vessel details and navigation data, change alarm settings, and more with the most gentle of touches,” says Robbins. “All the latest software and features are preloaded on the WatchMate Vision2. These features are also available on the original Vision WatchMate by updating its firmware directly from a mobile device using the WatchMate App.”

Vesper Marine also has an option for existing Vision customers to upgrade their Vision hardware to the Vision2 hardware. The factory upgrade will include a 12-month warranty from the date of the upgrade at an attractive price. Existing Vision customers can extend the life of their investment even further.

WatchMate Vision2’s features

DSC calling

This feature helps you communicate with a vessel by directly tapping the vessel on your screen. If networked to an ICOM VHF radio, a VHF call can be placed directly to the selected vessel without the need to input lengthy MMSI numbers.

Compatibility with all brands of MFDs and chartplotter

WatchMate Vision2 and XB- 8000 are the world’s only smart AIS transponders that alarm you in case of danger, such as potential collisions, MOB or anchor drag. They are compatible with all brands of AIS-enabled MFDs and chartplotters. Some owners choose the same brand as their other equipment because they perceive an advantage of compatibility but end up sacrificing the proactive alarm feature of Vesper Marine smartAIS transponders that are just as compatible. The alarm feature means that if all other equipment, including MFDs, is off when power is low, the Vision2 will alert you.

Galvanically isolated ports

If you’ve owned a boat for any length of time, you probably know that electrical systems on boats can result in faults. Voltage differences between battery banks and the inverter, genset or shore supply can result in stray currents. This may severely damage connected equipment. Galvanic isolation means isolating the electrical circuits within your equipment by ensuring there is no conductive electrical path between the two. Achieve connectivity via a different medium, such as light or high-frequency electromagnetics.

By Don Minikus, Southern Boating October 2018

The 22nd Annual Marlow Spring Rendezvous

The "Drinking Around the World" gang at the 22nd Annual Marlow Spring Rendezvous in Marathon, FL.

The 22nd Annual Marlow Spring Rendezvous will be remembered for its global appeal.

One thing that Marlow yacht owners have is an understanding of travel. Most have been boaters and yacht owners for years and have experienced a world of adventure through their love of cruising. In fact, the Marlow Marine Cruising Club includes people from all over the world who share a unique camaraderie with fellow owners. As such, the 22nd Annual Marlow Spring Rendezvous was appropriately themed “Around the World.”

The Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club in Marathon played host for the three-day event. Faro Blanco offers an ideal setting just east of the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys. This location offers yachts a secure, protected marina marked by a landmark lighthouse. Facilities include 74 state-of-the-art slips each equipped with waste removal and water connection. The marina also offers onsite fuel, 24-hour security, Internet, a dockside ship’s store, onsite accommodations, and restaurant.

Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club during the 22nd Annual Marlow Spring Rendezvous
Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club during the 22nd Annual Marlow Spring Rendezvous

Always Learning

A rendezvous conjures up visions of celebration with plenty of food and drink, which definitely happened. But, Marlow Marine is known for its personal touch and customer appreciation and made the extended weekend event much more.

Friday and Saturday morning began with a series of sponsored seminars that covered a variety of topics: how to get the most out of your yacht through engine maintenance; desalination and water makers; satellite technology, and new products to make cruising easier. David Marlow himself concluded the series by sharing new ideas and projects he and the company have been developing.

One of particular interest was the concept of a remote heat exchanger for the air conditioners. “Today’s systems are really good but can be improved,” says Marlow. He explained that because “critters” can come up inside the onboard systems through the seawater intake. Thus, making it important to dismantle the entire chiller system to clean out the seawater animals. “Instead of running the seawater through the very expensive chiller system, we ran it through a remote heat exchanger with simple end plates on it that you could pull out and take an ordinary brass rod or wooden dowel and run it down through the tubes and knock the little barnacles out.” The idea is to have cleaner water enter the chiller system and reduce maintenance time. With the exchanger and chiller as one unit, it takes days to dismantle and clean the system. The remote exchanger takes only about an hour. The setup is still being tested, but plans are to incorporate the system aboard Marlow yachts in the near future.

Always Dressing Up

Now, to Celebrate

Although most of the afternoon activities on the first day were rained out, the clouds cleared the way for the party. Owners and guests dressed up to represent all corners of the globe. From riding camels to Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty, party-goers enjoyed an evening of cocktails, delicious food, and live music. There was stiff competition for best costume, but the award went to John and Judy Slocum of Loveshack 3 for bridging their Canadian and American nationalities.

Each year, it’s a joyous occasion to welcome new owners to the Marlow family. Nothing says “We’re glad you’re with us” and “Congratulations” more than a yacht christening. This time-honored tradition celebrated 10 yachts, some for their first Marlow and others for their new second or third. There was nothing but sunshine this Saturday afternoon as champagne brought smiling faces, good luck and wishes for safe travels to all.

As the sun worked its way down for another day, the guest came together one last time for the Marlow Marine Cruising Club Awards Dinner. The Caribbean islands played in guests’ imaginations as the sound of steel drums welcomed them to cocktails, and then the sounds of the Hawaiian Islands set the mood for dinner. The party really heated up when Polynesian dancers entertained with the traditional hula along with the fire dance. Laughter broke out when the men and ladies took turns learning to sway their hips and wave their arms. It was a sight to behold.

The True Meaning

“Around the World” may have been this year’s theme, but the impression that stood out the most this weekend was the enthusiasm for and trust these owners have in their yachts along with a zest for the boating lifestyle. “I was always impressed with the way Marlow did things and just the way they treated you when you were there,” says Greg Koch of Miss Vickie. “The quality and finish of the boats and the knowledge of the people that took you through, I feel privileged to own a Marlow. It’s safe, smart, well-built—and the engine room!”

Tom Noble of Nobility is equally impressed and conveyed his appreciation for the detail and how the yacht is built. “The people are really good, and the boat really runs well,” says Noble. “And I like the idea I can get up to 27 knots.”

As the yachts departed from the marina just after sunrise Sunday morning, the words of John Slocum of Loveshack 3 rang in my ear. “It’s just absolutely done right.” I wasn’t sure if he meant the yachts or the event and surmised that it was probably both.

By Steve Davis, Southern Boating June 2018

Photos: (Top left) courtesy of the Drinking Around The World Gang; Steve Davis

Princess S60

The Princess S60 is designed for comfort and speed as well as to entertain.

Princess Yachts are distinguished by their style, speed, craftsmanship, and generous accommodations. From the moment I stepped aboard the Princess S60 at her U.S. debut, I expected European styling with high-end finishes and comfortable accommodations, and she certainly delivered.

But what I didn’t anticipate was the number and quality of entertainment spaces she contained. This is one Princess that can party. Her layout invites guests to gather and converse in different areas while enjoying food, refreshments, and views in comfort and style.

Sculpted contours, curved blackout windows and a nearly hidden flybridge with a slicked back radar arch make the S60 look fast, and according to the manufacturer, she is. Powered by a pair of MAN V8-1200 driving shafts, she claims a top speed of up to 38 knots. To keep in step with yacht designer Bernard Olesinski’s low deadrise hull form design, which is optimized to lessen drag and bring the boat onto plane quickly, she has a steeply raked bow with a narrow entry that flattens rapidly aft.

Born to Run

This Princess S60 is designed to run, and I imagine she’s fun to drive from either steering station. The lower station is to starboard underneath a sunroof and has an opening side window. Better visibility and exhilaration can be found on the flybridge station above to port with twin bucket seating; however, the wheel and controls are on the inside right and prevent optimal viewing along the port side hull when docking.

An optional wing station in the cockpit can alleviate docking concerns, but to me, an easy fix is to swap the control located on the flybridge helm. Seating to starboard of the helm pod is a great place for guests to hang out on thePrincess S60. There’s excellent visibility, and it allows for interaction with the helmsperson. A padded area of the dash creates an aft-facing lounge that’s ideal for relaxing or sunbathing.

The Princess S60’s open flybridge is not just for piloting; it also provides one of many distinct entertainment areas. In addition to the forward seating area, there’s a cushioned, dining area aft with a table that seats six. Between the two seating areas, a console with a pop-up lid reveals a sink, electric grill and top-accessed cooler compartment to keep refreshments chilled. The layout of the flybridge makes it a great place to dine or simply relax under the stars away from dockside action, and a hydraulic retractable Bimini opens to protect guests from the elements.

Up on Deck

A floating stairway with teak steps and a stylish stainless stringer leads down to the cockpit, where a forward-facing settee with a twin leafed hi-low table makes this an excellent congregating spot. A large bolstered sunpad protrudes aft behind the settee and allows sun loungers to engage with those seated in the cockpit or easily interact with anyone engaged in watersports off the swim platform. Also, an optional retractable awning covers the cockpit and part of the sunpad. A short stainless railing at the aft end of the sunpad is for safety, but the sunpad’s proximity to the stern restricts its use while underway. Under the sunbed to starboard is a hatch to access an optional crew cabin below with a single berth and wet head or can double as an additional storage area.

On the foredeck, a cushioned seating area faces forward opposite a large sunpad with forward-facing pop-up backs for lounging and the requisite drink holders. Divided by a Portuguese bridge walkway, there’s room for a teak cocktail table that makes the foredeck another popular and comfortable space for entertaining.

From the cockpit, a large sliding glass door opens to bring the interior outside, and an adjacent smoked glass and a stainless window opens to the galley to create a pass-through counter and an excellent serving area for cocktails and appetizers. Inside, the Princess S60, is full-featured galley is to port and to starboard is another seating area with a flip-top table. This is an ideal breakfast nook where family and friends can gather and converse during food preparation. The seating to the cockpit and galley creates one large party space on the same level when doors are open.

Entertainment Abound

When more entertainment space is needed, the raised salon area forward to port has a U-shaped couch with overstuffed cloth seating, carpet, and a double-leafed, hi-low table. The main deck helm with dual seats is to starboard and a long cabinet behind it houses a 49-inch LED flat-screen on a lift. When not in use, the cabinet offers more space for serving food and drinks. While somewhat more formal, the salon area creates another great spot to congregate. Additionally, triple overhead skylights and large windows keep the salon light even while closed. When the weather is right, open the sunroof and side windows to let the breeze flow through.

The yacht can comfortably sleep six and cabins configure to sleep three couples. A VIP cabin forward has a queen island berth with shared head access. It’s shared with the starboard twin cabin. Additionally, the bed can convert to a double, if needed. A full-beam amidships master stateroom with ensuite head and separate shower has all the expected amenities, including a 40-inch flat-screen TV and lounge seating. Large side windows and opening portholes make the cabin light and airy.

The Princess S60 provides five different areas where up to 25 guests can gather for conversation, relaxation, partying, or dining. That’s remarkable on a vessel of this style and size. Her seaworthiness and performance will keep seasoned boaters engaged. Her deck space and accommodations will make entertaining on board a pleasure. Cruising, entertaining, or host a party, this Princess was designed to dazzle. And that she does.


LOA: 62′ 11″
Beam: 16′ 0″
Draft: 4′ 7″
Dry Weight: 59,966 lbs.
Fuel/Water: 845/159 U.S. gals.
Power: 2x MAN V8-1200
Cruise/Top Speed: 31/36 knots
Range: 236 nm @ 31 knots
MSRP: $3,125,000

Contact: Princess Yachts America
One North Clematis Street, Suite 120
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
Phone: (561) 840-1940

By Arnie Hammerman, Southern Boating August 2018

Cranberry Spritz

Cranberry Spritz

Cranberry Spritz

Cruising during Thanksgiving? You certainly don’t have to miss out on the feast! If you happen to be with a few more people, you can whip up a meal that all will be grateful for.

Try out our simple and refreshing Cranberry Spritz if you’re on the water this year. It’s a crowd-pleaser.


1 cup cranberry juice
3 cups sparkling wine
12 cranberries, frozen


Add ice to four large wine glasses, and divide the cranberry juice between them. Top each with the wine. Skewer cranberries for garnish or just drop four in each glass.

By Lori Ross, Southern Boating November 2018

More Thanksgiving Recipes:

Corn Pudding

Relish and Liptaur Cheese Tray

Green Beans Amandine

Cranberry Vanilla Cake

Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Turkey Breast


Ho Ho Holiday Gift Guide

Princess S60

Center Console Roundup