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Year in Review: The Best Boating Stories of 2022

Pontoon boat Great Loop
Scott Meyers completed the 'Great Loop' in a pontoon boat in an unbelievable 34 days

And so the Earth has done another tour around the sun. 2022 sure was something. I'm not sure if it can be encapsulated by a few adjectives, so I won't even try. But, I can say it was an interesting year, all things considered, and that includes both the good and the bad.

Industry wise, business is booming. There has been a massive increase in boaters both during and after the pandemic, and manufacturers are still working to meet demand. Much of that struggle can be chalked up to things out of their control, mainly supply chain issues and the inability to get the parts needed to finish boats, but beneath that is a good problem to have: boaters want to buy boats.

But 2022 was absolutely not a bad year. Far from it. We saw major advancements from companies like Mercury Marine, Sea Ray, Formula, BRP, and more. Boating, as a whole, finds itself approaching the dawn of a new era. It is now definitively on the cusp towards standardized features that include autonomous electronics and systems control, digital helms with mobile app integration, and electric power, just to name a few. In other words, boating is becoming easier for the end user, and therefore more pleasurable. The days of struggling to dock your boat, fighting against currents, navigating unknown waters, and the myriad of other common gripes that boaters lament, are quickly becoming fewer and farther between.

The demand heading into 2023 will be very high but if you spent 2022 much like I did -- on the water and in the sun -- then you made the most of a tumultuous year. And that's great news -- boaters all around the world had a great year on the water. Now we have to let the seasons change before re-launching in spring 2023 to a whole new season of adventures. Unless, of course, you're one of those lucky people who can boat year-round. In which case, I have to ask: can I come visit?

So without further ado, here are the 22 biggest boating stories of 2022. They were assembled based on the interest of our readership, but there's also a few thrown in because they're entertaining and make for a great read. You can call that editor's choice. We were incredibly fortunate to cover unbelievable some stories from the past, the present, and some that will definitely help shape the future.

Here's to another great year in 2023.

1) BRP Unveils Groundbreaking Rotax Outboard Engine with Stealth Technology

The future of engine technology has always been of major interest to our readers, so when BRP announced an industry-changing outboard that can be stashed beneath the transom, it made waves everywhere. Read More

2) Man Completes The Great Loop in Pontoon Boat in 34 Days

Completing the Great Loop typically takes 10-14 months, depending on your schedule and how many stops you want to make, so when a doctor from Oklahoma managed to rip around North America in a pontoon boat in just 34 days, boaters were stunned. Read More

3) The 2023 Forecast- When is the Best Time to Buy a Boat

Everybody wants to know when it's the best time to buy a boat, so Captain Bill broke provided the answers. He shows you what to look for, what to avoid, and when to sign on the dotted line. With supply chain issues making boaters nervous, his 2023 forecast is a must-read for potential buyers. Read More

4) Wayne Gretzky Has Excellent Taste in Boats

The Great One might hold 61 records in 'The Show,' but now he holds another: the retired pro athlete with the nicest boat around. His Steinway Coeur Custom 34 HT is an absolute stunner. Read More

5) YouTuber Sinks 400k Pavati Wake Boat, Uses Navy SEAL Ship to Recover It

The world of famous YouTubers is becoming increasingly absurd, with endless budgets and few limitations on what they can, and can't, do. For David 'Heavy D' Sparks and The Diesel Brothers, accidentally sinking a pristine 400k Pavati wake boat was just an excuse to get creative while filming its resurrection. Read More

6) Formula Surprises With Two New Centre Console Models

The almighty Formula boats just never stops innovating. While still atop their game with the growing popularity of their 'Super Sport Crossover' series, the Indiana boatbuilder stunned crowds by returning to the centre console market with the all-new 387 CCS and CCF. Read More

7) Hydrofoils are Back! Let's Weigh the Pros and Cons

What was gone shall rise again. Hydrofoils are making a huge resurgence, mostly due to being ultra-efficient when it comes to fuel consumption. They're also getting the attention of electric boat builders who are taking advantage of their exceedingly low drag compared to traditional hulls. Captain Bill weighs the pros and cons so you can decide if a hydrofoil is in your future. Read More

8) Boating Georgian Bay In A Group & The Lessons Learned (Two-Part Series)

BoatBlurb contributor Rick Layzell is a cruiser if ever there was one. After spending the past few seasons exploring the vast waters of Georgian Bay, he documents what it's like travelling in a group while exploring northern arm of the famous 'G-Bay.' The art of rafting, travelling through tight quarters, and organizing the docking of a huge group is all covered. Part 1

9) Mercury Unveils 'Avator' Electric Outboard

It's no secret that engine builders are putting massive resources into designing electric outboards. Mercury Marine continues to be a leader in that department, and their progress became evident with the new Avator electric outboard. You can expect to see the technology in the Avator being expanded in the very near future as electric motors become capable of powering increasingly large boats. Read More

10) Hollywood Stars & Offshore Powerboat Racing (Two-Part Series)

Boating legend and ultimate historian Richard Crowder took a deep dive into the love affair between Hollywood and offshore powerboating. It's easy to see the attraction- fast boats, good weather, and the perfect scenery for 80's tv shows like Miami Vice. The most surprising part, however, was that Hollywood celebs who got a taste of boating became deeply involved with offshore racing, including iconic actors like Don Johnson and Kurt Russell, who became legitimate racing champions. Part 1

11) Boat Ejections- How to Avoid Getting 'Hooked' or 'Flipped' Out of Your Boat

You've all see the famous YouTube clip, but do you really know what went wrong? Captain Bill breaks down how a 'hook' or a 'flip' exit can happen with a boat, and how you can avoid becoming the subject of your own viral video. Read More

12) The Octavius - One of Boating's Biggest Unsolved Mysteries

The Northwest Passage was an alluring, albeit nearly suicidal, goal for explorers for centuries. The current narrative says that the frozen deathtrap wasn't completed by boat until 1906, but that might not be true. There's more than enough evidence to suggest that the Octavius completed the epic journey all the way back in 1761. That being said, the truth lies in one of the creepiest discoveries in boating history. Read More

13) Cigarette Set to Launch Electric PWC's

Cigarette Racing has more than earned their reputation as one of boating's best high performance builders. So when the company announced they were not only going into the PWC game, but that their new machines would be electric, that certainly got the industry's attention. New owner John H. Ruiz has ambitious plans for the iconic brand, and boaters will be eagerly awaiting to see what happens in 2023. Read More

14) The Quiet Innovators in Boating (6-Part Series)

There's the boat builders we know and love, but we often forget who truly changed the game. Richard Crowder goes all-in to explore the lesser known boat designers that never got their due, and you'll be shocked to see the impact these seemingly unknown innovators had on the boating world. His 6-part series is a must-read for any historian. Part 1

15) Vision Marine Shatters Electric Speed Record with 109 MPH Run

Canada's Vision Marine Technologies has perched themselves atop the heap of electric boatbuilders seeking to dominate the emerging market. In 2022, no feat was bigger than setting a new electric speed record. In partnership with Jaguar Boats, Vision Marine 180e electric outboards propelled the Jag catamaran to a whopping 109 mph at the recent Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Read More

16) Mercury Continues Evolution with Launch of V10 Verado 350 & 400 Outboards

After completely altering the course of boating in 2020 with the launch of the V12 Verado, industry honchos Mercury Marine used 2022 to bring in the next evolution of the outboard- the V10 Verado. Given how many boats simply aren't big enough to house the enormous V12, it stands to reason that a slightly smaller, albeit more economical outboard, would serve the greater good. The V10 is it. Read More

17) What You Should Say to Your Passengers Before You Depart and Why You Should Take the Time to Say It

Every captain has a speech they want to give to their guests at the dock. Some lay it out hard and fast, some keep it light and breezy. But no matter what, giving 'the speech' is important. Captain Bill doesn't spare any feelings and lays out exactly what needs to be said. It's a great primer for new and old boaters alike, and it never hurts to let your crew know that they better be on the ball if things go awry. Read More

18) Sea Ray Makes Surprise Release with Two New Models

Sea Ray has been an industry leader in pleasure boating for decades, and with their 2022 advancements there's no reason to think that will change anytime soon. The all-new SLX 260 and SLX 260 Outboard came by surprise, but the response was nothing short of joyous. Fun Fact- over 90% of boats in North America are under 26-feet and trailerable, so making the ultimate 26-foot dayboat falls right into the core of the boating market. Sea Ray knows that, and the SLX 260 is going to be the envy of day boaters for years to come. Read More

19) 10 Things I Learned From My First Season of Boat Ownership

We were all new boaters once. We bumped a couple docks, got lost once or twice, and had to learn the ropes the hard way. That's part of the experience, but rarely do we get an honest account of what it's really like when you decide to become a boater. BoatBlurb contributor Dustin Woods lays it all out on the table, the good and the bad, and not only is it a great primer for new boaters, it's also a great reminder for veteran boaters to remember where they came from. Read More

20) Jeff Bezos' Superyacht Sneaks Away Under Cover of Darkness After Bridge Dismantling Backlash

Jeff Bezos gets his fair share of headlines, but none may have been bigger in 2022 than a sticky situation with his new superyacht. Bezos commissioned a $500 million superyacht from Oceanco in the Netherlands and the project was nearing completion until they ran into a major hiccup- his new ride couldn't fit under a bridge between the shipyard and the open sea. Cue some very angry locals who didn't want to see a historical bridge get dissembled to assuage one of the world's richest men. So what did Bezos and co. do? Sneak out under the cover of darkness. Read More

21) What to Do if You Run Aground

No, the first thing to do when you run aground isn't to gun the engine and hope for the best. If you take a deep breath and assess the situation, there's a fairly good chance you'll be able to un-stuck yourself, but only if you follow the protocol. Captain Bill gives you exactly that protocol, and you'd be wise to keep it at the front of your mind if you boat in shallow waters. Read More

22) A WWII 'Ghost Boat' Has Emerged From a Lake in California with Incredible Ties to U.S. History

Nobody expected anything interesting to turn up in California's Lake Shasta when the water level receded. Maybe some fish, maybe some garbage. What they got instead was an oddly shaped boat that seemed wildly out of place. A quick look at her serial numbers revealed she had not only been active in WWII, but that '31-17' had also participated in some of the war's biggest battles and hosted some of history's most famous figures, including Dwight D. Eisenhower and General George S. Patton. Read More

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Great photos! Thank you for putting this together!

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