TIL: You can buy bottles of fake bubbly for boat christenings that are designed to break

For more than 15 years I've lived in Alameda, a lovely island city in San Francisco's Bay Area. Because we're surrounded by water, there's a boating community. Thus, we have marine stores. I am not part of the boating community, so I had never gone into any of these stores. That is, until today. Our local West Marine store is moving to another part of town, so they're having a big sale. I decided it was time to check it out.

It was nicer than I expected. They're set to close at the end of March, so a lot of the shelves were barren. But there were still some neat nautical products left like international code flags, personal locator beacons, and boat beanbag chairs.

Though, what really caught my eye were these bottles of fake champagne. They're for when you christen a boat. You just take the bottle and smash it against the vessel. They don't contain alcohol (one reviewer says it contains a "soapy liquid") and are scored to break easily.

Read for yourself. Here's the product's description:

Save the real champagne for guests and break this special christening bottle on your vessel’s prow. The bottle is scored around the middle and housed in a net to ensure that your first swing is a smashing hit. The result: cheers from the crowd when an impressive-yet safe-spray of imitation bubbly celebrates your boat’s dent-free debut.

Watch and learn:

photo by Rusty Blazenhoff Read the rest

This French baker cruises around delivering fresh-baked goods to boaters

Here's a guy who's found his niche market.

Out of a humble panga, there is a French baker who goes boat to boat selling his fresh-baked wares to those docked (primarily gringos) in Jalisco, Mexico's Barra de Navidad marina and lagoon area.

Chef Emeric Fiegen opened up shop, with his wife Christine, in this small laidback beach town over 15 years ago after a stint in Montreal. Early each morning, Chef Emeric still personally delivers his many breads, baguettes, croissants, pies, and quiches by boat. Not surprisingly, his pastries sell out by the time he's done making his rounds.

My friends Andrea and Nick are currently on an epic cruising adventure with their teen daughter Pari, and were lucky to sample the breakfast pastries while anchored in Barra de Navidad. Andrea told me that they've never come across a delivery service like this before on any of their many boating trips.

Here's a look at the menu. Keep in mind that those prices are in pesos and that it's currently about 18.50 pesos to the dollar:

Landlubbers, fear not, the French Bakery (aka El Horno Francés) has an onshore eatery for you in town.

photos by Andrea Cook Read the rest

A mini boat you can build yourself with zip ties and epoxy

Your dreams of captaining your own tiny-but-shiny electric boat are about two grand and a fair amount of elbow grease away.

Donald Bell (previously) of Maker Project Lab shared Rapid Whale's Mini Boat with me yesterday and I'm already sourcing a captain's hat.

The Mini Boat is a kit you can buy for $950 and then assemble with cable ties and epoxy. No, really, look...

It'll cost you another $510 to $1140 to complete it. From there, it's all smooth sailing.

photos by Rapid Whale Read the rest

This boat is a hot tub and vice versa

The Hot Tub Boat is both at the same time. You can rent one to float around Seattle's Lake Union or custom order your very own from HotTubBoats.com.

"Well, the hot tub boat is fifteen feet over all, she's about six feet wide, about close to 400 gallons of water in the hot tub,” says (Seattle-based co-inventor Adam) Karpenske. “It can take six people on the boat at any time."

"She does her haul speed at about three-and-a-half knots. It's controlled by a little joy stick. Kind of like a lot of people have equated it to ‘if you ever played Pac-man, you can drive the hot tub boat.'"

"Hit the water in a Hot Tub Boat" (King5 via Weird Universe) Read the rest