US Powerboating Camp for Kids

I’ve got some kids at home who think boating is THE BEST way to spend their time. Fishing, jumping off the boat, and driving, too. Power or sail – your kids need to know how to handle basic boating emergencies and even just the plain old basics – to be a safe and helpful mate when you’re out on the water.

US Powerboating has taken this on and is trying to standardize the state requirements for Safe Boating certification. Their “Safe Powerboat Handling” curriculum is a 16 hour class on the water and in the classroom, that certifies both kids and adults in most state’s accepted licensing for kids aged 10 and up. In fact, the very same course is offered for adults with the same curriculum. It’s the teaching style that changes for the 10-16 year olds and Rhode Island marine education specialists, Confident Captain, have it perfected for the kids.

Over the summer if you live near Rhode Island and have eager captains in your family, it is worth looking into these 2 day camps for kids. They focus on fun and on teaching at an appropriate level for the younger learners. There are even weekend classes on occasion and classes for adults, too. Confident Captain is a US Powerboating Training Center and completion of the 2 day class gives passing students their state certified Safe Boat Handling certificate which is required by law for the younger captains.

Check out the summer schedule here and the US Powerboating course info here to see if another facility closer to your homeport can help train your little captains. And when they’re ready – they can go back to Confident Captain for a 100-Gross Ton USCG Captain’s License and you can sit back and enjoy the ride.

The Antifoulers: Getting to the Bottom of Bottom Paint


There is nothing straightforward about picking a paint for any surface on your boat. So many factors can affect whether or not a paint will work the way you expect it to work!

Jamestown Distributors has been producing and publishing how-to videos, we set up a tech help hotline and live help on our website, and we have done lots of testing of numerous bottom paints. In short we are ready and willing to do almost everything to ensure your paint job works and works well, short of actually applying the paint. (bummer – eh?)  With recent changes to many of the top selling bottom paints (see our recent TBS post about Irgarol), The bottom paint game is even more complex than ever and we here at TotalBoat Show aim to help you sort it out and demystify the process. But we need your help.


Testing bottom paints last summer with panels of each of the different bottom paints we sell. Serious research for expert advice.

The secret to picking the right paint for your boat’s bottom comes from evaluating a number of factors: what kind of water are you in (Salt or fresh), what is the water salinity of your boat’s location, is there a lot of current where you keep your boat, how often do you use your boat, and so on. Because we can’t answer this question for everyone, we developed a survey last year to get to the bottom of bottom paint. (See the 2014 Survey RESULTS) By participating and entering what worked and didn’t work – you can help us see on a map which paints work best in different locations based on crowd sourced feedback and reviews.

We carry and stock most every bottom paint out there. (Bottom Paint Shop here) We make our own bottom paint as well (TotalBoat brand, of course) and we want to know what the summer and fall of 2015 will do to your BRAND X bottom paint job. Can you help? Sign up now to input your basic info and we will touch base again in the fall for a report of your bottom paint’s performance.

The more info we get, the better results we will have to share with you and the more life we will get out of (and not on!) our bottom paints. HELP US OUT!

It is of course worth mentioning that our very own TotalBoat paints rated high amongst users. It is a top value with years of good results backing up all formulas. Have you tried our TotalBoat Bottom paint? We are offering FREE SHIPPING on all the TotalBoat Bottom Paints and have our customer service and store reps ready to help you select the right paint for your boat and your harbor! Thanks!

And check out our info page on Bottom Paint 101 where we S P E L L it all out for you! You’re welcome!

How to Apply Topside Paint

It’s the time of year when you get to stand closer to your boat and its topsides than you can at any other time of year. Okay – maybe when you pull alongside in the dinghy or swim along the waterline for a cleanup you get a good look, but nothing screams PAINT ME more than a few months staring at your dinged up, scraped up hull at eye level.

Soon though, WE LAUNCH! So time to get those topsides in top condition. If you have gelcoat, you can fill and fair and patch – but it can be hard to match faded gelcoat and it can often end up looking worse than when you started! Enter: Topside Paint. With a nice finish and some clean, invisible brush strokes, a good topside paint job will look fathoms better than bad gelcoat. And oh man – does it cost less! A can of one-part TotalBoat Wet Edge topside paint can breathe new life into your whole boat with one simple application. Apply 2-3 coats and you’re even better off. (And it comes in 20!!! colors!)

Watch the “Tips from a Shipwright” guru, Lou Sauzedde, as he gives us some tips on how to get a great finish with this great paint. And if you’re like me, a topside paint job can get… marital… so when you pick a buddy to help you roll and tip – make them watch this video, too. Two experts are better than none!

And as you row up to or swim alongside your fine looking yacht, you will be happy you went for a new coat of paint on the topsides. As they say – a layer of paint can hide a multitude of sins (and crashes and dings and bad docking jobs and…..) Yup.

Spring Commissioning with TotalBoat – Part 1: BOAT REPAIR


The winter was unkind to many of our boats and plans for a tidy and possibly even early? spring commissioning. Around here, snow banks are finally almost a distant memory and any day over 40 degrees feels like a heat wave. So gentlemen and women – start your sanders… time to get down to business and tick off the projects on your spring commissioning  list.

TotalBoat Show is ready to help with the full support of our award winning customer support team and help line. Daily we get accolades from pleased customers raving about how knowledgable and helpful our call center and tech help hotline are. And we work hard to learn about and try every product we can to give you – the customer – the best advice out there for jobs that aren’t always knocked off as easily as the instruction manual might lead you to believe.

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More Tips from A Shipwright: How to Strike a Straight Waterline

Since no one seems to tire of the wisdom from the ultimate shipwright, Lou Sauzedde, we again offer a video from his Tips from A Shipwright Series that we guess will be very timely and useful to those of us who are repainting a bottom and wanting a straight waterline. Is there really any other kind of waterline to have? Well, sadly – Yes!

How often have you seen a boat on her mooring with a wonky waterline? It stands out as an obvious mistake and while it’s easy to tape a nice line for your bottom paint job, getting that line to be level and at the actual waterline is another trick.

Painting a new waterline doesn’t have to be a big deal. Nail your topsides paint job and then get out the string and get leveling. Lou’s methods are time tested. He doesn’t cut corners, but does a great job explaining simple execution of common tasks which plague many boaters.


Grain Surfboards Hits the Road: Board Building Workshops


Grain Surfboards East Coast Board Building Seminar Series 

When Grain Surfboards first showed us their beautiful, hand crafted and sustainable wooden pieces of surfing art over 5 years ago, of course Jamestown Distributors was anxious to be involved and became a supplier of epoxies, hand tools and supplies.  Grain Surfboards, like many of our boatbuilding customers, is committed to using time honored woodworking techniques and local, sustainable softwoods that naturally produce artful and unique grain patterns on every board. And the best part: sold as a kit, these surfboards invite you to wrap your hands and tools around them from build to wave, connecting builder and board, creating a hand made piece of art, which much like a hand crafted boat, offers a lifetime of pride, enjoyment and of course plenty of FUN!

The Tour:
Jamestown Distributors is very proud to be a supporting sponsor of Grain Surfboards East Coast Board Building Seminars. In early March, the Grain crew is packing up their farm truck and trailer and hitting the road, heading out of their snow buried shop in York, Maine and heading south along the east coast.

Starting their tour off in Annapolis, Maryland at the home of DIY boatbuilding kits, Chesapeake Light Craft, Grain is offering a special one-day paipo workshop where you can show up empty handed, spend a few casual hours sanding and shaping a beauty of a bodyboard, and then take it home when it’s over 4 hours later (held 3/21/15 – details here).

For those who can carve 4 days out of life, sign up and drop in for an extended workshop and become a masterful board shaper and owner. Starting in Annapolis and heading south to North Carolina, Florida and back through Delaware, Grain is offering 6 different 4-day workshops. And if you can’t squeeze one of these into your life this spring, consider stopping in for a one-day hand planing workshop offered as they make their way up and down the right coast. (locations and times listed here and on Grain’s site and social media pages.) They also offer one-on-one fantasy camps at HQ in Maine as well as 7 day seminars for those wanting the full experience from start to finish.

OR order a Grain Surfboard kit from JD here, get building and shaping and then hook up with the Grain group at one of their stops along the road. They are hopeful that current owners and shapers will come out and ride some waves with them on your fancy whip.

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Sounds like a plan!

Stay tuned for Workshop Updates and Tour Stories as Grain Mobile goes South.

How To Flush Clean A Boat Engine

Martyn Boaden demonstrates how to flush clean a boat engine.

How To Install Heat Shrink Terminals on Boat Wiring has Gary Reich walk you through the process of installing heat shrink terminals, explain what tools are necessary, and provide some helpful tips.