Last chance to win Taco Marine boat; U.S. Power Squadrons to rebrand

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With the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show set to open Wednesday, time is running out to enter the Taco Marine Project Boat raffle for charity.

Meanwhile, a new AIS electronics course from the United States Power Squadrons is the latest addition to the BoatUS education lineup.

The Taco Marine Project Boat is a one-of-a-kind 1989 Pursuit 2650 that has been totally remodeled and updated over a 2-year period as chronicled on the popular “Ship Shape TV” program. The boat has been displayed at many boat shows and will be going to some lucky winner on Sunday, the closing day of FLIBS.

All funds raised will go to the I’m Logan It Foundation, whose mission is to inspire young people to achieve self-esteem by encouraging them to do acts of kindness in their daily lives and spread this message to other people throughout their schools and communities.

More specifically, I’m Logan It was established in memory of Logan Matthew Kushner. The foundation raises money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund and provides scholarships to student athletes who have overcome adversity and exhibit values, qualities and interests that are similar to Logan’s.

Although the Pursuit features an array of Taco’s latest products, a long list of top marine industry companies also supplied products and technical assistance (see complete list in my Sept. 28 Dealer Outlook) to support the fundraising project. The boat is valued at more than $150,000. And there is still time to get a raffle ticket here.

It could be your ticket, or mine, randomly drawn at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. Plans also include live streaming the drawing on Taco Marine’s official Facebook page. Good luck to you!

New USPS brand and AIS course

The United States Power Squadrons has unveiled its new branding — “America’s Boating Club” — and introduced its latest education course: “AIS Electronics for Boaters — See and Be Seen on the Water.”

The Automatic Identification System, or AIS, offers a combination of practical knowledge with technical know-how, but is still a simple way to get up to speed on this navigation technology, which is becoming increasingly recognized by recreational boaters, primarily on larger cruisers and sailboats.

Now used by all commercial vessels, boaters who regularly ply areas with heavy commercial traffic are finding that the addition of an AIS unit to their boats increases their safety. The new USPS course examines the types of AIS available and what each offers. It also teaches important terms such as “update rates” and “time to closest approach” so boaters will get a full look at AIS and how it does increase safety. Upon completion, interested boaters will be able to build out a sample AIS component system for installation for their own boat.

“The course is designed for boaters, not marine electronics technicians,” emphasized Amanda Suttles Pérez, the BoatUS Foundation director of education. “All our online learning systems make it easy on your own PC or tablet.”

The AIS course is being made available by BoatUS for a limited time at a promotional price of $15, using coupon code AIS15 at: BoatUS.org/AIS. It’s also notable that a wide variety of other excellent USPS courses are available online via BoatUS and worthy of your recommendation as a dealer to your customers.

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