Jimmy Buffett’s New Surfari 50 Sail Boat

From Boat US: “Jimmy Buffett: A Pirate Looks at 71” by Mark Corke

‘Gulf-and-western’ musician, singer, songwriter, and author, Jimmy Buffet, has a new sailboat. Here’s a look inside the Ted Fontaine designed Drifter.

For boaters of a certain age, there’s a good chance they’ll have a few Jimmy Buffett songs on their playlists. And while you may know him for his songs about his laid-back lifestyle, this celebrity “Son of Son of a Sailor” has long been a “real boater.”

An experienced sailor, Buffett was seeking out his next boat when he ended up at the door of designer Ted Fontaine. The result of their meeting is the Surfari 50, a stylish yet understated, high-tech vessel, constructed by Pacific Seacraft in North Carolina.

Unlike cruising boats of old where the widest part of the boat was somewhere around the midpoint, the widest part of Drifter, as Buffett has named the vessel, is almost all the way aft. With the beam farther back toward the transom, the cockpit has the space of a much larger boat and is a perfect spot for entertaining. The unique single-level, open-cockpit layout features a fully functional galley equipped with a gas grill, two-burner cook top, two-drawer refrigerator, and an under-counter freezer. An oversized sink, a pullout trash can, and icemaker complete the exterior galley-up concept. A fold-down transom is an ideal place to jump off the boat for a swim or to launch water toys.

Down below you’ll find room for four bunks, some stowage, and a generous head. But this is a semicustom boat, so future versions are likely to feature different layouts, and the designer notes that “almost anything” is possible within the overall confines of the hull.

Our best estimate of the sailaway price : $2.8 million

Margaritaville Resort Orlando Water Park to open in Spring 2019

From Orlando Weekly: “Margaritaville just confirmed it’s building one of the most technologically advanced water parks ever in Kissimmee

Kissimmee has been without a water park ever since Water Mania closed its doors in 2005 and in the years since, the area’s infamous Highway 192 tourist district has struggled to remain relevant.

The recession plus massive new developments on I-Drive, at Universal Orlando and at Disney World has meant new competition for Kissimmee. After much disappointment, the biggest hope yet for 192 is just a few months away from its big debut.

The $750 million Margaritaville Resort Orlando has already transformed the 300-plus-acre property where the failed Splendid China attraction was previously found, and has led to numerous new projects in the surrounding area.

The Margaritaville Hotel is a 184-room hotel located at the center of the new resort. A 13-foot-tall sculpture of a flip-flop and a chandelier made of over 300 margarita glasses decorate the lobby. Behind the hotel is a large swim lagoon, home to the Fins Up Beach Club.

By far one of the biggest and yet least reported aspects of the Margaritaville Resort Orlando is the brand-new Island H2O Live Waterpark. With nine slides and numerous other attractions, the tropical-themed water park will be the largest single-site installation in the southeast for Canadian waterslide manufacturer WhiteWater West, best known locally for their Ray Rush slide at Aquatica and their waterslides found on Carnival cruise ships.

The lineup of attractions includes a multi-person mat racer, drop towers, family raft rides, an interactive lazy river and a giant wave pool. Multiple DJs and dance parties will be found throughout the lushly landscaped park. Similar to a cruise ship, the water park will have an adults-only area. This will be the first water park in the area with areas where no children are allowed.

Vantage, an RFID bracelet and mobile app system, similar to the Tapu Tapu system found at Volcano Bay, will make the Margaritaville Orlando water park one of the most technologically advanced waterparks ever built.

Island H20 Live’s Vantage system will have many of the same interactive elements that Universal’s Tapu Tapu has, but via its linked mobile app, Vantage also offers many features not found at Volcano Bay, including on-ride photos and videos that can be easily shared across various social networking sites, custom on-ride music, and guest-designed on-ride lighting effects. In-park purchases, locker access and other services will also be linked to Vantage.

Island H20 Live! is planned to open this spring. No information on ticket prices has been shared, but on the water park’s website annual prices are seen listed at $79.99, though they have yet to go on sale officially. No hard date has been announced for the new water park, but it should be sometime this spring.

Mac McAnally wins 10th CMA Award

From AL.com: “Mac McAnally wins 10th CMA Award for Musician of the Year

Mac McAnally probably needs to buy a new trophy case. Tonight at the 52nd Annual CMA Awards, he scored his 10th win as Musician of the Year.

McAnally — a guitarist, songwriter, singer and producer — has a lock on this category, winning the CMA in 2008-2015 and 2017. He’s clearly a favorite among voters in the Country Music Association, but as McAnally will be the first to tell you, he never takes a CMA victory for granted.

“I continually demand a recount for every one I get,” McAnally told AL.com in 2016, after his eighth win. “And I feel compelled to call myself out, every time I make a mistake during a studio recording session. I’ll stop and say, ‘Let’s do one more for the Musician of the Year.’”

The musician, 61, probably is best known as a member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band, but McAnally also has a solo career as a singer-songwriter. His songs are in demand among many artists in the country world, and have been recorded by Buffett, Kenny Chesney, Sawyer Brown, Ronnie Dunn, the Alabama band and more.

Most recently, one of McAnally’s songs, “It’s My Job,” was featured in “Escape to Margaritaville,” a Buffett-themed musical that spent four months on Broadway.