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Yachting Around 2010

Yachting Around 2010

April 1, 2010

Here's an update of what's been happening on the Volunteer Princess: 

  • New Navigation Screen on the Upper Deck
    • Now you can see exactly what the Captain see's as we cruise down the river.
    • This includes the Ship's Navigation System (GPS), Radar, Depth Finder, Docking Cameras, & Weather (if you have visited with me in the Pilot House before you probably know what I'm talking about).
    • Also see our speed and various landmarks on the river.
    • This is one project I have been trying to do for a very long time.  The only reason I didn't do this earlier is because Raymarine (Manufacturer of our Navigation System) sells the output cable from the Navigation System to the TV for around $400.  I researched that cable to try and find out why it was so expensive and didn't find anything that satisfied me.  I looked at the output on the back of the Nav System and it looked to me like a simple VGA output (similar to that of your output on your computer).  I was scared to try my $10 VGA cable when Raymarine wanted $400 for their special cable, but I did it anyway.  Turns out that the $10 cable was all I needed, so now you can all see my Navigation screen on the TV at the bar.
  • New Bar Menus
  • New Champagne Buckets
  • Are you celebrating something special on your cruise?  Now you can add to your experience by purchasing any of our Cruise Enhancement Packages.  
    • Order a dozen roses with a personal message
    • Have your picture taken and framed with our Bon Voyage Photo Package
    • Add Chocolate Covered Strawberries or a bottle of Champagne


May 26, 2010

US Coast Guard visits the Volunteer Princess

We just celebrated our 4th anniversary of the Volunteer Princess cruising the Tennessee River in Knoxville, TN.  While it's exciting that we have been in business for 4 years, as captain of the yacht, I know this means it is getting closer to Coast Guard Inspection time.  Since we run a commercial cruising operation, the Volunteer Princess is a Coast Guard Inspected Vessel.  This means that each year the Volunteer Princess is inspected by the United States Coast Guard.  They check everything:  life jackets, flares, first aid kit, fuel tanks, fire extinguishers, fire pumps, main engines, generators, steering equipment, documentation, licenses, safety equipment, etc.  They have us conduct our safety drills including man overboard and our fire drill.  We practice these drills monthly to make sure we know what to do in the event of an emergency.  

Even though we have been through this four times already, this is still a very stressful time for me because they could basically shut us down if there was anything wrong with the yacht.  In the previous years, they have found just minor things such as some rope that needed to be replaced and some first aid materials had expired, which we fixed immediately.  It's kind of like the health department- they have to find something.  Well we were inspected May 18, 2010 and I am very happy to report that they did not find one single thing wrong.  Everything was perfect.  Even our first inspection they found something, and the yacht was brand new!  After the Coast Guard finished our inspection, they were off to the Star of Knoxville to follow up on some things that they found wrong during their inspection.

And the Winner is.......

Knoxville Tourism Alliance presented the 2010 Pauly Awards on May 6, 2010 to local businesses and Volunteer Princess Cruises won the award for Museum & Attraction of the Year.  This was a great feeling for all of us because it feels like all of our hard work is starting to pay off.