I hate to ask a stupid question, but since it could happen to anyone, here goes:

I am new to boating in Florida (previously owned a boat in NC).  Sooner or later I will probably experience engine/battery problems on the water.  What is the general advice for this here in Sarasota/Bradenton?  Emergency numbers?  Sea-tow service? panic?

Thanks

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Comment by Rusty Gardner on April 14, 2012 at 7:39am

Hi Steve, these are great questions and even if it never happens you should always be prepared.Here are my suggestions.

1. Get unlimited towing from Sea Tow or BoatUS. This has saved me thousands of dollars.

2. If you are going more than a few miles off shore buy an ePIRM

3. Make sure you have a water filter installed for fuel and an extra battery.

4. Flares! check the expiration  date.

5. A chart plotter  and marine radio is a must . Connect the two and to make use of DSC. This will explain it and can save your life. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IcBezzgDW4

6. Get a Vessel Saftey Check. It's Free. http://www.safetyseal.net/GetVSC/

7. If your not sure of water depth, follow another boat:)

8. File a float plan or at least let someone know where you are going and when you coming back. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/float-plan-essential-tool/id34115156... 

9. Always and I mean Always watch the weather. It changes quickly here. 

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