Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Press Release: Holiday Gift Guide for Boaters


The Daily Boater Releases its First Holiday Shopping Guide for Boaters

Unique nautical gift ideas specially selected for boating and fishing enthusiasts

Newington, CT - November 24, 2010 - In an effort to facilitate holiday shopping for people who have boaters and anglers on their list, the Daily Boater today announced their first annual Holiday Gift Guide for Boating Enthusiasts. The editors of the Daily Boater handpicked items that will be sure to please anybody with a passion for the boating lifestyle. The guide includes unique nautical drinkware, fishing trips, life-saving boating gadgets, products personalized with a boat name or a nautical chart, and more.

The products and services selected to participate in the guide were chosen from small businesses across the United States, including Autotether,, Caron’s Beach House, SeaSquared Charters, MaraMAPS and MegaYacht News. Andrew Canepari, publisher of the Daily Boater, stated, “If you have someone on your shopping list who enjoys boating, this guide will certainly make your life a lot easier. We chose products we like from small businesses that we trust to provide excellent service, especially during the busy holiday season.”

Many of the featured products include personalization and should be purchased early to accommodate production and shipping time for the holidays. Shoppers should check with each individual store for their delivery policies. The Daily Boater Holiday Gift Guide is available online at:

The Daily Boater, the official blog and newsletter of, delivers boating news and information daily. The publication’s goal is to help people have fun and boat safely. The site’s community of boaters interacts under the well-known FirstBoat brand on LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter, and directly on and as well as through several syndicated publications.

Andrew Canepari, Nautical Sites Media
Direct: (860) 249-1166


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

IBEX Today

Here's a great video, filmed today, from Soundings Trade Only, letting us know about what's going on at IBEX - the biggest B2B show in the marine industry - which starts today in Louisville.

At the opening ceremony, the NMMA president predicted a better year in 2011, saying that the worst is behind us. Let's hope Thom is right! Now here's the Bill and Beth show:

Monday, September 27, 2010

By Way of Norwalk

Stopped by another boat show this past week, this time in Norwalk, Connecticut. The Norwalk show is the only big show in Connecticut with boats in the water this year, and as such draws a pretty good crowd of boating enthusiasts from across the state. It takes place on Connecticut's gold coast, one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, and is just a stone's throw from New York City. Add in the fact that the show is located both geographically and chronologically near big shows in Newport, Annapolis and Boston, it's no wonder the show is a great place to see a large selection of yachts, boats and boat products.

Similar to my trip to Newport the previous week, I rushed in and out of the Norwalk boat show in two to three hours - I again spent less time at the show than on the road. But it was still enough time to see all of the land vendors, and walk all of the docks and even board a couple of the bigger boats. I got to speak with some interesting folks I know including the president of the Conn. Marine Trades Association, the editor-in-chief of WindCheck Magazine, and the guy who sells Nantucket Baggs at every boat show I've been to in the past year. Also met a bunch of new exhibitors (new to me, but most of them seasoned exhibitors, actually), many of them based right here in Connecticut and New York - some of them offering services nationwide, and some of them just trying to reach northeast boaters.

Anyway, got some good photos and story leads and had a few good, albeit short, conversations, and was impressed with the crowd for lunchtime on a Thursday. The parking wasn't bad, but would have been rough for someone to just pop-in during a lunch break from the office, so I suspect the crowd got even bigger as the day and weekend wore on.

Next up for me is the Boston Fall Boat Show, and instead of just a few hours I'll be on-site all weekend, exhibiting as BoatNameGear. I'll also have our new northeast sales rep on-hand if anyone wants to discuss advertising on our nautical sites network .

Here are a few photos from the Norwalk show - you can see more on flickr.

Remind me to used this on next July 4th.

I call this a "Billy Joel" boat, because it reminds me of the style he cruises in around Long Island.

An electric boat

Geico: The bigger, faster, brighter the better.

A view from the docks

The Lagoon 400 - this catamaran looked as wide as it did long.
see more on flickr

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Newport to Boston

A view from the Goat Island causeway
There's nothing like going to a boat show on the water, and in this job I get to go to them all the time. The other day, for example, I went to Newport RI for what I believe is biggest in-water boat and yacht show in the northeast. As the publisher of a diverse network of boating websites, I attended the show with several goals, and accomplished all of them in just a few short hours.

First and foremost, I attended in an editorial capacity. I was looking for story ideas for our boating news site - the Daily Boater - and found some unique new products that are worth writing about (see pics below).

Next, as the storekeeper for BoatNameGear, I went to the show to meet a couple of my vendors, as well as scout out new merchandising opportunities. Anything that can be personalized and used on a boat caught my eye.

Third, I was seeking potential partners or sponsors for the content sites in the Nautical Sites network. With a couple million visitors and growing, our websites are a great advertising outlet for many of the folks who were exhibiting. While I restrained myself and did not solicit anyone directly at the show, I came home with more than a few ideas for companies that my sales team will be happy to contact.

Lastly, I was investigating the show as a potential place to exhibit next year. Seeing the show in person confirmed my belief that this event - less than two hours from home - is a must-do for next summer. The only question remaining is which 'brand' to exhibit at the show!

The Newport show definitely got me jazzed for the upcoming Boston Fall Boat Show (Oct 1 - 3 at the Seaport World Trade Center, official website). While the Boston show is not quite as big as Newport, it will be great to be there for the entire weekend, putting BoatNameGear on display and talking to customers. If you're looking to get away for the first weekend of October, Boston is beautiful this time of year. And in addition to the boat show, there is plenty going on around town; the Yankees are in town playing the Red Sox, Notre Dame is in town playing Boston College, and the fall foliage is in town early and will be near its peak (fall foliage website).

Hopefully we'll see you in Boston, but for now here are a few pics from Newport and some of the products you may see more of soon on our sites...

A little yacht I passed on the way to the boat show

These yachts looked a lot bigger in person

We'll be writing up the Baby Sea Rock soon

More child's play. Opa Cove founder Richard Barbis proudly displays his Sea Squirts swim and life vests.

Boarding bars from Ding-EZ make boating easier for the young at heart


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Interview with

I was interviewed by Ericka Watson a couple of weeks ago. Ericka is the Powerboating Guide - she asked me a bunch of questions about boat names. Some of them made me think; some of them made me wish I had answered them differently. After not hearing from her for a couple of weeks, she let me know today that this article was appearing on her site.

Needless to say the interview seems to have gone pretty well. Not only did she get my company names and website links correct, she pretty much quoted me accurately throughout the article. Most importantly, she actually pulled some good advice out of me for naming a boat - when I re-read her article, I realized that I shared many tips that I have never mentioned in my own How to Choose a Boat Name article or on the Boat Name Blog.

In addition to the interview, Ericka also created a forum for people to share stories about how they named their boat. You can share your own boat name story on here. And here's the link to the interview: Naming a Boat - Suggestions From an Expert (Guess who the "boat name expert" is! :-D)

Friday, July 16, 2010


We've been churning out content on FirstBoat for about ten years now, and for at least a few through our DailyBoater blog. But for the past few months we've been really diligent about getting at least a brief message out virtually every business day.

And in many respects this is starting to pay off. Not only are we starting to see other blogs and boating sites reference our content, but we are starting to get recognized by traditional media as well.

A couple of websites that have mentioned FirstBoat or DailyBoater recently include: wrote up an overview of our entire network of Nautical Sites.

The Daily Reviewer says about DailyBoater: "This blog is one of the best boating blogs out there."

Romare Yacht Blog says "Thank you very much to for this clear and simple explanation why boats are always too small" lists both our DailyBoater and BoatNameBlog in their top 50 boat blogs.

FindingDulcinea highlights FirstBoat among a select handful of top boating sites.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Advertisers

Just taking a second to welcome some of the recent advertisers who came on board our network of Nautical Sites. Please click through and check them out so they keep coming back :-D

Secure Fingerprint Start - this company offers a security product that uses a unique fingerprint technology

Atlantic Maritime Academy - boat safety and training from a District Captain in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Speaking of Yachting

We are pleased to have onboard the network for a long-term advertising engagement. We were talking even before the press from Haute Living, so perhaps companies are starting to realize that a person's first boat is not necessarily a small boat.

If you'd like to join them and promote your business to hundreds of thousands of recreational boaters across our web and social media network, please let me know.

Now, I'm off to deliver a shipment of hats to Castle Marina in Chester, CT. Yes, I know it would be faster and cheaper to not do this myself, but that would take all the fun out of it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Haute Yachts

Very flattered, honored and excited that when Haute Living - a leading network of luxury lifestyle publications - wanted to do a story about boat names, they turned to me.

Thank you to Diane Byrne for thinking of me and mentioning a few of our Nautical Sites in this article: Haute Yachts: Patriotic Boat Names

Stay tuned for more news soon, hopefully.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Few Props

Yes, I realize the term "props" has a different meaning for a lot of powerboaters than it does for Gen-X'ers trying to thank or give respect to people, and this post falls into the latter category - this is a shout out.

Anyway, thank you to for becoming the newest advertiser on our network. When I started in 1999, was one of the big dogs. They had been off the radar for a while and I hadn't given the site much thought until they contacted me about advertising recently. And they look like they are back in full force with a comprehensive classifieds database already stocked with thousands of boats for sale. I think you'll be seeing a lot of once again.

Thanks also to for mentioning two of our blogs, the Daily Boater and the Boat Name Blog - on their list of "48 Beginners Boating Sites and Tips Pages". Not sure if there is any reasoning behind their ranking, but it's cool that the Daily Boater is #2 on the list. The only thing that surprises me is that they didn't include, which we sort of built as THE site for new boaters.

Surprised and honored to be mentioned by Bruce Dillahunty on his Craft a Craft site, which he has used for several years as an outlet to help his own and other's boat-building dreams along the path a little farther. Whether or not you ever plan on taking on the challenge of building your own boat, Craft a Craft is worth checking out for their more-than-daily nautical nuggets.

Last but not least (for now), we wouldn't have had such a big month at our personalized gear store, BoatNameGear, if it weren't for our fantastic customers, as well as all the Facebook and Twitter friends and other websites that recommended us.
Among those I'd like to recognize include, a very active community of owners of Silverton Yachts. With their nudging, we now proudly offer personalized Silverton branded products at BoatNameGear.

Also, thanks to Ericka Watson, the Powerboating Guide on for suggesting that personalized products from BoatNamegear would make a great Father's Day gift.

GreenBoatingUSA has also supported us by running our BoatNameGear ads on their site, and displaying our products at their eco-friendly National Marina Day event in Tennessee. Our boat name welcome mats are made from 100% recycled materials, so they were a great fit for the occasion.

This is getting long, so forgive me if you were expecting a mention here and didn't see it... I'll get you next post!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Jacques Cousteau?

As we celebrate the 100th birthday of Jacques Cousteau, a pioneer in the field of marine conservation, it is hard not to imagine what his take would be on the Deep Horizon mess in the Gulf of Mexico.

Today Google is celebrating Captain Cousteau's birthday with a SCUBA-inspired logo (pictured). He was the defacto human representative and biggest advocate of life beneath the sea. The ocean's ambassador. So what Cousteau have to say about the oil spill?

As I googled that question to see what others who knew him better than I would have to say, I found Steven Machtinger of Tiburon (California), president of the board for The Bay Institute Aquarium Foundation, pondering that same question.

I also found that Captain Cousteau's grandson, Philippe Cousteau, has had plenty to say about the disaster. And, quite impressively, the young Cousteau has done more than just talk. According to his facebook page, he is onsite in Louisiana doing all he can to stop the carnage. Philippe even dove into the oil-infested waters a few weeks ago to see the damage up close. You can read his thoughts in this article from the Miami Herald, or check out Philippe Cousteau's website to learn more about him and his efforts to fight for the gulf in his grandfather's honor.

Click the Google logo for the most recent news results of articles mentioning Jacques Cousteau, and let's hope the people trying to stop that oil from pouring into the Gulf give Jacques a nice birthday present by having some success in their efforts.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Minutes from Mystic

This time last week I was setting up the BoatNameGear booth for a boat show - The Northeast Maritime Exhibition at Mystic Seaport. I was as impressed with WindCheck Magazine’s ability to get this inaugural show off the ground in the short amount of time that they had, as I was with their venue selection in the Seaport.

The show started out looking like a dud on Friday with stormy weather and a constant flow of nothing but school children on field trips marching by the tent… not very promising if you’re trying to sell stuff to boat owners.

The weather cooperated for the rest of the weekend, and traffic picked up a bit. I anticipate that if the show is held again next year, perhaps a few weeks later (when school is out and families are more apt to attend the Seaport), we’ll see a much better showing. The location is ideal with its long docks and makes for a nice contrast when you see new boats on display among the historic wooden ships that are the norm at the Seaport.

Overall, I was glad to get the BoatNameGear brand out there in my homestate, and send some t-shirts and welcome mats home with a few fine folks. I also made some great connections in the industry, giving me plenty of fodder for a few Daily Boater articles, including Mobile Mariner, Sailors for the Sea, and the crew of the Spirit of Massachusetts which is part of the Ocean Classroom Foundation. Make sure you subscribe to the Daily Boater to catch our posts on the latter two organizations within the next couple of weeks.

Now for some more pictures from the show and the boats at Mystic Seaport.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Boutique Boat Shows in CT

It seems Connecticut is hosting about a half dozen boat shows this year, most of them small and first-time shows organized by boat dealers that are pulling out all the stops to make 2010 more successful than last year.

Today, I attended one of these shows in Essex, CT, and I'll be exhibiting BoatNameGear at another one in New London on June 19th. There is also one happening in Mystic at the Seaport next month. The New London event appears that it might be much larger than what I witnessed today in Essex, as it is being organized by the same folks that put on the huge SailFest every year.

As for Essex, here's what I saw on this beautiful Friday afternoon. One dock with boats, three non-boat vendors under the tent, and a couple dozen boats to look at. And there seemed to be a lot of yacht salespeople and Soundings writers and photographers milling around - at least for the kickoff of the event.

Still, you couldn't have asked for a better day weather-wise for a boat show.

Overall, I think Soundings, Brewer, Hank Aldrich Yacht Sales and the other yacht brokers involved with the event did a pretty nice job with the inaugural "Spring Boat Show" in Essex, CT. The show began today and goes through Sunday, April 25th. Here are a few photos of my favorite boats from the show.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Linked In Group for Boaters

Just a quick post to invite you to join one of the largest boating groups on LinkedIn.

The FirstBoat Business Networking Group is a place for both boating enthusiasts and folks in the marine industry to connect to discuss virtually anything. You will have the opportunity to network with other executives who share the common interest of boats and boating.

Members include executives from all different industries... all aspects of the recreational and commercial boating industry, from all over the world, as well as people who work in energy, government, education, software, manufacturing and insurance, to name a few. The group includes advertisers, logistics officers, pilots, headhunters, and even a Space Shuttle Instructor. All share a love for boating, whether they own one or aspire to some day.

So if you are on LinkedIn, stop by our group and say hello. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Building a Champagne Brand on a Beer Budget

I remember boat shopping at a few marinas along the Connecticut shore about ten years ago and being told by more than a few dealers that my tastes far exceeded my budget. In fact, I'll never forget one woman telling me that I had champagne tastes and a beer budget.

Well, I finally did get a great boat at a fantastic price, but that's another story.

The boat shopping memory came to mind today as I was stepping up efforts to promote BoatNameGear without breaking the bank. Just today I announced two new ways for customers and potential customers to interact with the brand using social media sites FaceBook and Twitter.

It's not that I think these two tools are the end-all-be-all of marketing solutions. I simply want my brands to be where the customers want them to be. In less than few weeks since creating a FaceBook fan page for BoatNameGear, the page already has over 150 fans. And the best part is they all seem to interact with the brand and with each other. Moreover, the conversations and a contest on the page have already generated new product ideas that I've put into place and a few that are now in the pipeline. The twitter account started just today and I'm hoping for similar results.

And the other nice thing about of all this social media stuff is it's all free - if you have the time for it - leaving room in the budget for some "traditional" web advertising and local trade shows.

Sure there are other sites on the radar, Google Buzz, YouTube, Flickr, FourSquare.  But you can't be everywhere on a beer budget so I recommend you go slow and stick with what you know - expand to other properties when you can. Don't get sucked in to any of these communities and overdo it, as they can easily drain a resource that is just as valuable as money to a start-up business - your time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Boating Times Long Island

It's always nice to see your store or products published in print magazines, even if that particular type of media is less relevant than it was as recently as ten years ago. It's not just because of the "free advertising" aspect, which is nice, but also because I personally think it adds a sort of legitimacy or validation to stores that are purely online such as

That's why I was pleased to see us get a mention in Boating Times Long Island ( It looks like they did a "gifts for boaters" page in their winter issue and listed our Boat Name Gear store near the top. Better still, all the stores they included were contributed by their readers, so thank you to both the magazine and to the readers of the Boating Times Long Island for thinking of us!

BTW, I am happy to provide better product images or even samples to the press for future stories. Just email me at andrew (at) boatnamegear (dot com) if you're interested.