Charity Fishing Tournament Raised $30,000 in Two Days!

Nearly 100 captains and their crew competed in the 4th annual Anglers For The Cure on Aug. 11 – reeling in more than $30,000 for prostate cancer awareness and research in just two days!

Tournament founder Adriana Somberg, who organized the first ever Anglers For The Cure in 2014, said 92 boats competed in this year’s event, compared to 65 in 2017.

Tournament founder Adriana Somberg, center, with guests and participants of the 4th annual Anglers For The Cure.

READ ALL ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT’S HISTORY HERE.

Additionally, 77 men received a free Complete Male Panel screening test during the Captain’s Meeting Aug. 9 – a service donated by One Lab in Boca Raton, Florida and supplemented by the charity.

Men lining up during the Captain’s Meeting to receive their free Complete Male Panel blood test, donated by One Lab.

The Complete Male Panel not only screens for the Prostate Specific Antigen [PSA], the most common indicator for prostate cancer, but also tested various other functions, including but not limited to a Complete Blood Count [CBC], a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel [CMP] and the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone [TSH].

“The men lining up for the testing was by far the most gratifying for me,” said Somberg, who lost her husband, Reed, to prostate cancer in 2014 – an outcome she aims to prevent for others by promoting earlier detection, awareness and research for a cure.

All 77 men who were tested are slated to receive their Complete Male Panel results sometime this week.

Somberg said more than 350 competitors and guests attended the Captain’s Meeting and tournament-day festivities, which had events leadings up to and during the weigh-in that included a raffle and silent auction.

For the silent auction, TACO Marine donated a pair of Aluminum Tele-Outrigger Poles, and other goodies for the Captain’s Buckets.

Each participating boat received one Captain’s Bucket.

“We’re very proud to be a contributing sponsor to Anglers For The Cure and were glad they had a successful tournament,” said TACO VP of Sales & Marketing Mike Kushner. “They are doing so much good within the community. Causes like this are ones that we’re thrilled to be a part of.”

While the tournament’s fiscal year is not yet over, Somberg estimates the charity will raise between $90,000 and $100,000 for prostate cancer research and awareness.

Somberg standing with a group of tournament participants and their fresh-caught Mahi Mahi.

“I will be hopefully doing other small fundraisers and collecting more funds,” said Somberg.

2018 benefactors include the Prostate Cancer Foundation, TrustBridge, ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer and Treasure Health. For more information about prostate cancer and when men should be tested, read here.

To donate to and read more about the charity and this year’s tournament winners, visit anglersforthecure.com.

Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat Recaps Season in Final Episode

We’re back with the final episode of the season for Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat.

In episode 13, Florida Sportsman Boating Editor George LaBonte and Marine Customs Unlimited Owner Brian O’Donnell look back on their favorite project boats.

The 31-foot Contender was a fan favorite, LaBonte said, with a lot of people commenting and e-mailing about the stunning remodel.

The 31-foot Contender Better Dayz before it was remodeled by the team at MCU.

What initially began as a fuel tank replacement morphed into a complete overhaul from inside the hull to the engines, paint, deck, upholstery, dash panel and brand new TACO Rub Rail.

The 31-foot Contender was redone and looked like a totally different boat, complete with TACO Rub Rail to compliment the custom hull paint.

Another favorite was the 21-foot Paramount, which came into the MCU shop in dire need of a complete rehab.

The 21-foot Paramount was in rough shape when it got to the team at MCU.

Beginning in the stringers, the team at MCU cut the cap down, repainted the hull and installed new Power-Poles, a new stereo system and brand new TACO Rub Rail with a Stainless-Steel Insert and LED Navigation Lights.

The 21-foot Paramount looked amazing. The TACO Rub Rail with a Stainless-Steel Insert and LED Navigation Lights tied the custom hull paint and deck together.

The 19-foot Cuda Craft for Capt. Ron in the Florida Keys was also a notable project for the team at MCU.

The 19-foot Cuda Craft came to MCU because it had a rotten fuel tank.

Originally, the boat came to the shop to repair a rotten fuel tank, but further issues were discovered as the team commenced work. They also replaced the deck, remodeled the center console, installed custom live wells and refitted an Engel cooler as a seat in place of the Leaning Post.

Once finished, the Cuda Craft was almost an entirely new boat and perfect for fishing in the Florida Keys.

Watch the exclusive clip about these boats below.

Watch the full episode 13 of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat below.

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Take a Cruise to the Florida Keys in Ep. 12 of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat

In episode 12 of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat, Brian from Marine Customs Unlimited makes one final change to the 19-foot Cuda Craft and also shows a quick fix to repair a stiff steering wheel.

CUDA CRAFT

Originally, the 19-foot Cuda Craft came to the shop at Marine Customs Unlimited for a fuel tank repair. But after further inspection, it was clear the boat needed some major repairs. After re-bonding the stringers, replacing the fuel tanks and deck, remodeling the center console and installing two custom live wells, the Cuda Craft was returned to Capt. Ron in the Florida Keys.

However, after having the boat back home for a few weeks, Capt. Ron decided he wanted to replace the leaning post with something less bulky and more practical. So Brian from MCU came up with a great solution for the Cuda Craft.

Capt. Ron decided the leaning post was too bulky for the 19-foot Cuda Craft.

Watch the exclusive clip below to see what Brian put in place of the leaning post.


SAILFISH

Up next, MCU Master Technician Dave Singer brought his 2006 23-foot Sailfish into the shop to fix a sticky steering wheel.

After removing parts of the outboards, Dave brought some extreme heat to warm up the old grease inside the steering shaft.
While heating up the steering shaft, you need to simultaneously move the outboard back and forth to help get the old grease out.
Once the old grease is out, put new, premium-quality grease inside.

Learn how you can do this quick fix in the exclusive clip below.

Watch the full episode 12 of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat below.

Stay up to date on all things Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

We’re Back with Episode 11 of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat

Watch the shocking conclusion to the 31-foot Contender remodeling project in episode 11 of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat!

The 31-foot Contender Better Dayz before it was completely remodeled.

Originally, the Contender “Better Dayz” needed new fuel tanks, but after a hurricane damaged other areas of the boat, the crew at Marine Customs Unlimited set to work on a host of other tasks, including painting the hull, remodeling the dash and installing brand new black TACO Rub Rail with a Stainless-Steel Insert.

The 31-foot Contender after it was completely remodeled, featuring brand new black TACO Rub Rail with a Stainless-Steel Insert.

Better Dayz also had a new Armstrong Nautical Products bracket mounted on the transom, new twin Yamaha 300s mounted on the bracket, a new Armstrong ladder, a completely rebuffed deck with new nonskid, custom diamond-stitched upholstery and new Pacer Group wiring.

On the water, the 31-foot Contender was like a brand new boat, complete with TACO Grand Slam Outriggers.

Watch the exclusive clip below.

Episode 11 also takes viewers onboard a completely remodeled 28-foot classic 1969  Cary Sportsman boat.

This is what the 28-foot 1969 Cary Sportsman boat looked like before Tim McKernan began the remodeling project.

Five years ago, Miami resident Tim McKernan wanted a project boat he could remodel for some family outings and fishing excursions. What was intended as a summer-long hobby morphed into a five-year adventure that resulted in the McKernan’s having a one-of-a-kind boating and fishing  masterpiece.

One of the new features to the Cary Sportsman is the center console and T-Top, which also has TACO Grand Slam Outriggers.
The completely remodeled 28-foot 1969 Cary Sportsman is a truly unique boat.

While keeping some of the boat’s original charm, such as the cabin, McKernan completely revamped the Cary Sportsman all the way from the stringers to the new Armstrong bracket and outboard engines. He also outfitted the once-dual consoled boat with a center console and T-top, complete with TACO Grand Slam Outrigger systems.

Watch the exclusive clip below.

And check out the full episode 11 of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat below.

For more Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat updates and everything else TACO Marine, subscribe to this blog and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Charity Fishing Tournament Angling to Save Lives Through Early Prostate Cancer Detection & Awareness

After prostate cancer claimed the life of her husband, Reed, of 29 years, Adriana Somberg launched the charity fishing tournament Anglers For The Cure – providing life-saving PSA blood tests for men and research funding to find a cure for the disease.

Reed and Adriana Somberg.

The Somberg’s story begins in 1985 when the pair met at a Miami job interview, where Reed ultimately hired his future wife as his legal secretary. Over the years, the outdoorsy couple did everything together, including their mutual passion for boating, fishing and just about anything to do with the water.

In 2009 when Reed, then 54, went to the doctor for a routine physical exam, his bloodwork showed an elevated prostate-specific antigen [PSA] – blood markers primarily used to screen for prostate cancer. He was eventually diagnosed with the disease and completed radiation therapy, but the cancer returned and had metastasized to his bones.

Reed passed away on May 22, 2014 at the age of 59.

Despite no family history and being at peak health, Adriana believes Reed would still be alive today if he had his PSA screening much earlier in life. The American Cancer Society recommends men begin having PSA tests at age 50. For men with a higher-than-average risk, it is recommended they begin testing at age 45.

A few months after Reed’s passing, Adriana competed in Bluewater Babes Fish for a Cure – an all-female fishing tournament to raise money for Florida breast and ovarian cancer patients in financial need.

“That’s when I woke up and said I wanted to do something for the guys,” said Adriana, who immediately began planning the first tournament.

“I had zero experience doing the fundraisers or any kind of charity event,” added Adriana, who began cold calling fishing magazines and marine manufacturers for donations and sponsorships after launching the non-profit.

In Oct. 2014, Adriana launched the first ever Anglers For The Cure tournament in West Palm Beach, Florida – raising a staggering $45,000 for prostate cancer research and awareness.

“Reed and I had spent years just fishing and scuba diving,” said Adriana, who organized a fishing tournament because she knew it was something her late husband would have enjoyed.

Now in its fourth consecutive year, Adriana hopes to break $100,000 at this year’s event August 11.

The inaugural tournament had 33 boats and 80 sponsors. After growing steadily each year, Adriana said she expects roughly 75 boats and close to 120 sponsors for this year’s tournament.

In 2017 at the Miami International Boat Show, Adriana met TACO VP Mike Kushner, who was, at the time, showcasing the TACO Marine Project Boat, which was eventually raffled for charity. After learning about Reed and Anglers For The Cure, Kushner said he wanted to support Adriana’s fundraiser.

“I think every male needs to get checked when you reach a certain age,” said Kushner. “Prostate cancer is one of those things that it’s so easily preventable if caught early.”

Because so many TACO Marine fans – fishing and boating enthusiasts – are men, Kushner said Anglers For The Cure was a great, local event for the Miami-based company to support.

This year, TACO donated a pair of Aluminum Tele-Outrigger Poles, which are slated as one of the silent auction items during the fishing tournament.

Last year, for the first time in the tournament’s history, every man who attended the Captain’s Meeting had the option of receiving a free PSA screening test – a service donated by One Lab in Boca Raton, Florida.

One Lab in Boca Raton, Florida donated free PSA screening tests for all men who attended the Captain’s Meeting during the 2017 tournament.

Of the 57 men who had a free PSA screening at last year’s event, two discovered they had prostate cancer.

“They would not have found out had it not been for them participating,” said Adriana.

Finholder and More Founder John Adinolfe was one of the men recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, which was discovered early stage.

Because he had his PSA tested during the Anglers For the Cure Captain’s Meeting in 2017, Adinolfe knew his levels had spiked when he had a blood test again in early 2018, which showed an elevated PSA.

John Adinolfe with Adriana, center, and his wife, Michele, during the 2017 Anglers For The Cure tournament.

“I would like to thank Adriana Somberg and Anglers For the Cure for making me aware of the importance of knowing your PSA score,” said Adinolfe, who is currently in treatment. “Her message is loud and clear: Get tested. Early detection is the key to your survival.”

Because of the support of One Lab, Adriana plans to not only continue with the free screening at this year’s Captain’s Meeting, but will offer a more comprehensive male panel blood test Aug. 9, when the meeting takes place.

“If 100 guys line up and get it done, that’s OK with me,” said Adriana, who will donate a portion of the event proceeds to pay for the advanced prostate screening. “I want to provide that test to them.”

2018 benefactors also include the Prostate Cancer Foundation, TrustBridge, ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer and Treasure Health.

For men everywhere, Adriana has one simple reminder.

“Prostate cancer is not an old man’s disease,” she said. “Early detection is key to living a long and healthy life with prostate cancer. It’s a simple blood test.”

For more information on the tournament, visit anglersforthecure.com. For more information on prostate cancer, visit the American Cancer Society at cancer.org.

Introducing the NEW Transom Cross Tie Cleat XL

Boaters rejoice! We’ve designed the next best thing for easy docking.

Introducing our new Transom Cross Tie Cleat XL – keeping your lines organized and elevated when the dock’s surface drops below the tops of your motor cowlings.

The new Transom Cross Tie Cleat XL is 40-inches long and constructed with a brushed aluminum finish.

The patent-pending locking mechanism allows for a secure cleat that is easy to reach, remove and reinstall. You’ll never have to find a place to tie off at the stern when docking again! These cleats are also great for hanging fenders and chum bags.

As seen in this photo, tying off at the dock without the Transom Cross Tie Cleat XL causes lines to drape over motor cowlings and props – a potentially hazardous and damaging scenario.
When employing the Transom Cross Tie Cleat XLs at the dock, lines are organized and elevated above motor cowlings and props, which is safer.

With a 15-degree large S-shape design, these cleats fit into standard rod holders 1-7/8-inches in diameter. The large loop hole accommodates line up to 5/8-inch thick.

When not in use, simply apply pressure, push down, twist and remove the cleat from the gunnel. Safely stow the cleats in the included mesh bag, even when wet.

These cleats are slated for marine distributor availability by the end of 2018 and available at marine retailers in the New Year. For questions, comments or more information on the Transom Cross Tie Cleat XL, fill out the contact form below.

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It’s Time for Another Episode of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat!

We’re back with another episode of Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat!

In episode 10, the crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get back to work on the 19-foot Cuda Craft. First, Austin was tasked with installing new rod holders throughout the gunnel. The catch? Because of the boat’s design and the location of the new rod holders, great care was needed to ensure the holders were angled correctly to protect the hull.

This 19-foot Cuda Craft had some major repairs done at Marine Customs Unlimited. Now it was time for custom rod holders and live well plumbing.
It was key that the angle and placement of each custom rod holder was carefully placed to ensure the hull would not be damaged.
Once accurately placed, the new custom rod holders seamlessly fit into the Cuda Craft gunnel.

Up next, the Cuda Craft was sent to Steve for some custom rigging on two live wells. To properly rig the live wells, Steve had to ensure he drilled the correctly sized hole for the high speed pickup for each live well. These are designed to flow fresh water into the live well without continually running a pump.

Steve then attached a ball valve on top of the pickup, which provides added protection against water leaks if a pump breaks.

Steve drilling the holes for the new high speed pickup for each live well.
The high speed pickups allow for fresh water to flow into the live well without the continual use of a pump.
Steve attached a ball valve on top of each pickup. Having a ball valve will protect the boat from leaks, should a pump break.

Steve then plumbs a spray head and overflow drain for each live well. He has some great tips to consider for boaters installing their own live wells. After the plumbing is complete, Steve installs aerators into each live well, which help keep bait alive and healthy.

Steve then installs a spray head and overflow drain into each live well.
The final touch to the new live wells was installing an aerator pump for each.
Proper aeration helps keep bait alive, healthy and active for fishing.

Watch the exclusive clip below.

In this episode, we also learn about one man’s dreamboat – a 25-foot Mako – and watch as Steve rigs a pair of self-leveling trim tabs on a classic Boston Whaler. We also see the amazing conclusion to the 19-foot Cuda Craft!

One Man’s Dreamboat features a 25-foot Mako.
This Boston Whaler gets self-leveling trim tabs.
The Cuda Craft is complete!

Watch the full episode below.

For the latest updates on Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat and all things TACO Marine, subscribe to this blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Come See Us at the ICAST Show!

From July 11 through 13, we’ll be exhibiting at the American Sportfishing Association ICAST show in Orlando, Florida in booth 3706.

We’ll be debuting our brand new Deluxe Hybrid Aluminum Tele-Outrigger Poles and the NEW Transom Cross Tie Cleat XL – two of our latest fishing and boating products in a line of new releases slated for 2019.

Designed for offshore trolling in search of bigger fish, these poles have a thicker wall for enhanced durability and feature patent-pending 360-degree swivel rollers for better natural bait presentation and reduced halyard friction.
At 40-inches long, the Transom Cross Tie Cleat XL is designed specifically for lower docks – making dock lines easier to access while helping them clear your motor cowlings.
The Transom Cross Tie Cleat XL has a brushed aluminum finish and fits into standard rod holders. The loop hole design allows for multiple applications, including hanging fenders and chum bags while fishing.

Attendees can also check out some of our most popular fishing and boating products, including our Trident Rod Holder with a Tool Caddy, rigging kits, marine-grade LED lights, our line of Grand Slam Outrigger Mounts and Tele-Outrigger Carbon Fiber and Aluminum Poles.

Captain Mark Henderson from the Liquid Fire Fishing Team, and our Strategic Product Category Manager, will be on site in our booth for product demos and questions all three days of the show.

Learn more about our Trident Rod Holders with a Tool Caddy in the FISH TACO TV video below.

You can also find step-by-step instructions for outrigger rigging in the FISH TACO TV video below.

As a leader in the marine industry for nearly 60 years, we take great pride in manufacturing the highest-quality products for boating and fishing enthusiasts around the world. Our products are backed by industry-leading warranties for years of trouble-free use. Discover more about us at tacomarine.com.

For all things TACO Marine, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Cancer-Surviving Sailor to Embark on $1 Million Circumnavigation for Charity

Cancer survivor, sailor and second-generation boat builder Johannes “Jopie” Helsen plans to embark on a $1 million around-the-world fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Heidi Trilsch and Jopie Helsen are set to sail around the world to fundraise $1 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Born in Holland and now living in St. Petersburg, Fla., Helsen, the owner of Sailor’s Wharf Yacht Yard, was diagnosed with throat cancer five years ago after experiencing pain and soreness during a sailing trip in the Mediterranean.

“I found myself rubbing my neck and I figured, with my luck, I better go see a doctor,” said Helsen, who was treated at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Fla.

Inspired by the many patients and survivors he met during treatment, Helsen knew he wanted to do something to help the fight against cancer.

During the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., he met Marty Siederer of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society [LLS] and Product Lead for the Leukemia Cup Regatta. Helsen discussed with Siederer his idea – to raise $1 million during a round-the-world sailing fundraiser for the charity.

“We’re so grateful for what he’s done to support and increase awareness of our organization,” said Siederer, who’s been with the LLS for nearly 40 years. “People like Jopie are just incredible ambassadors, whether you’re into the sailing community or not, to help cure cancer. That’s a very high quality and we’re so grateful for his help.”

With Siederer’s support, the first step toward such an adventure meant that Helsen, alongside his girlfriend Heidi Trilsch, needed a boat – a hearty, seaworthy vessel built to withstand the 15-month voyage known as the World Arc.

Hosted by the World Cruising Club, World Arc is a 26,000 nautical-mile trade wind circumnavigation that departs Jan. 12, 2019 from Saint Lucia island in the Caribbean to sail around the globe – most of which in the southern hemisphere.

While Helsen and Trilsch, whose stepmother is a Lymphoma survivor, will have long stretches at sea (the longest leg is 2,980 miles across the Pacific), World Arc includes opportunities for on-shore exploration – with close to 30 stops around the world at destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Bora Bora and Cape Town, South Africa.

Illustration courtesy of the World Cruising Club.

Finding the right boat for such a venture was no easy task. For Helsen, it not only had to be strong and capable for the harsh conditions at sea, but also comfortable and spacious enough for he and Trilsch, a videographer and an occasional crew member.

“We actually made an offer on two different boats that we did not get,” said Helsen, aged 71. “And now, looking back on it, we realize how impressive this boat is.”

With its sky-blue hull and matching spinnaker, Helsen purchased the aptly named and visually stunning SKY – a 57-foot dual-helm Vaudrey Miller monohull built in New Zealand and designed by Simonis Voogd in 2004.

SKY – the 57-foot monohull Helsen and Trilsch will sail around the world.

While originally built for the extremes of circumnavigation, Helsen said SKY had taken a beating over the years and needed some remodeling and upgrades ahead of the 2019 voyage.

Over the course of nearly one year, Helsen and his 13-person crew at his yacht yard worked on renovating SKY– outfitting the boat with a self-furling boom, enlarging the cockpit and making it possible for Helsen to sail single-handedly, should the need arise.

Because 100 percent of donations go to the LLS, Helsen said he needs sponsors to help offset the costs and supply parts and equipment.

When TACO Marine VP Mike Kushner got wind of Helsen’s fundraiser and SKY renovations, he arranged for the company to donate brand new Rigid Vinyl Rub Rail with a stainless-steel insert, LED lights, a custom-made helm chair and a pedestal for the boat.

TACO donated new LED Lights, which help illuminate SKY’s cockpit for enhanced safety at night.

“He’s one of these guys who’s very passionate and very active in the boating industry,” said Kushner, who first met Helsen more than 30 years ago. “Having done the TACO Marine Project Boat fundraiser myself, I have a better sense of appreciation for what he’s trying to do. It’s a really cool project.”

Another fan of Helsen’s fundraiser and someone with many friends and relatives diagnosed with Lymphoma is National Marine Manufacturers Association President Thom Dammrich, who’s known the sailor for several years because of his participation in the marine industry.

“I admire his adventurous spirit,” said Dammrich, who also has an endorsement published on Helsen’s website. “This is a life adventure and for a great cause. I wish them a safe voyage and return.”

With six months to go before he sets sail, Helsen said there’s still plenty to do on SKY to prep for departure, including installing new satellite equipment, rigging new electronics and conducting sea trials. He also hopes to recruit a few more sponsors to help fund the expenses while also raising awareness for the cause.

To donate to Helsen’s SV SKY 57 fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, visit svsky57.com and its donation page.

One hundred percent of every donation toward Helsen’s round-the-world fundraiser goes to the LLS, which is the largest nonprofit dedicated to curing blood cancers. Since 1949, LLS has donated more than $1.2 billion toward cancer research. The charity also provides patient support and has a grassroots network of more than 100,000 volunteers advocating at state and local levels for policy change and program funding.

In the coming months, we’ll be writing more about Helsen and following his journey around the globe. For more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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