Pontoon boats and lighted boat parades: You could even say they glow

Published online: Dec 21, 2011 News Terry Tomalin - Times Outdoors-Fitness Editor
Viewed 288 time(s)

TREASURE ISLAND - Steve Wacker gathered up the youngsters, made sure the gates were zip-tied shut and then shoved off the dock.

"This is how we celebrate Christmas in Florida," the avid boater explained. "We decorate our boats and cruise the Intracoastal."

Wacker, whose Thunder Marine crew won last year's Treasure Island Boat Parade, takes the competition seriously.

"We have been decorating all day," Wacker said. "We live for this. We are a boating family. That is what we do."

Clad in flip flops and a loose, button-down shirt, Wacker didn't seem to mind the cool breeze drifting down the Intracoastal Waterway. There was plenty of popcorn, juice boxes and the kids were cranking up the karaoke.

Kicked back in a captain's chair, he honked the horn at a gang of boat parade groupies yelling his name from a nearby dock and then primed his crew for a big, loud holiday cheer.

"Here comes the judge boat," he whispered. "Now everybody yell 'Merry Christmas.' "

Party boat on salt

The 44-year-old St. Petersburg resident grew up on fishing boats, but in recent years the die-hard angler has turned his attention to a craft most don't associate with ocean use.

"I love my pontoon boat," said Wacker, who owns and operates a boat dealership on Tyrone Boulevard. "People used to think these were only for lakes and rivers, but today's pontoon boats are built for saltwater."

The advantage for families is the obvious room, comfort and stability a pontoon boat provides. These bulky boats are not known for their rough-water handling ability. But most parents don't want to take small children out on the water during a small craft advisory anyway.

Read more at
http://www.tampabay.com/sports/outdoors/pontoon-boats-and-lighted-boat-parades-you-could-even-say-they-glow/1206483

You May Also Be Interested In...

April 16, 2015

Breaking News

The National Marine Manufacturers Association canceled the Progressive Chicago In-Water Boat Show, which was set to take place June 11-14, and will stop producing the annual show.
April 16, 2015

West Marine announces new "Deck Out Dad" social media contest

West Marine has launched a new social media campaign called Deck Out Dad!
April 03, 2015

66 Days At Sea

We are happy to report that after being adrift at sea and lost for 66 days, Louis Jordan has been rescued 200 miles off the coast of South Carolina.
April 01, 2015

JC Manufacturing becomes JC TriToon Marine

Formerly known as JC Manufacturing, the Indiana-based pontoon manufacturer has officially changed its name to JC TriToon Marine.
March 31, 2015

Cascade Cycleboats launches pedal-powered boat tours

A rickshaw by any other name...wouldn't be a rickshaw anymore, I guess. But Cascade Cycleboats certainly evoke those three-wheeled conveyances of years past.
March 19, 2015

Carefree Boat Club adds location in Georgia

Carefree Boat Club has just opened a brand new location, adding to its ever-growing lineup.
Follow us on Facebook!  Follow us on Instagram!  Follow us on Twitter!  Follow us on YouTube!