Decorating Tips for Your Boat

  1. DECORATIONS: Both sides of the boat must be decorated the same.
  2. THEME: The 2017 Parade Theme is “Broadway on Parade.”
  3. DECORATING TIP: Use a pattern / coroplast / foam board / bead board /corrugated plastic sheets/styrofoam, etc. for your designs – draw on coroplast your designs, paint and outline in rope lighting. (HINT): DO NOT USE SPRAY PAINT on foam. It will dissolve. Acrylic Paint is best or vinyl. If you work with a sign company – they can help create your designs  (SAMPLE using a projector to help outline characters, images for your boards)Outlining Simpsons close
  4. Punch holes for placing lights or staple rope lighting. You will have to figure out the placement of the lights…A 50 light string or 100 light string. Space them so you have enough to go around the figure as desired. You can always tie up the extra in the back… just make sure you are not short. You can use a screw driver to punch holes in the foam.
  6. ATTACHING THE DECORATIONS TO THE BOAT: Use plastic tie wraps for the figures and lights.
  7. ATTACHING THE FIGURES AND LIGHTS TO THE BOAT Tie the corners and anywhere else it matches a rail to secure it. Be careful – remember wind can move objects – use the plastic tie wraps in all corners of the foam board.
  8. VIDEO TIPS: Decorating Tip playlist on You Tube:
  9. Please remember costumes, fabrics and spotlights to enhance your decorations! And Don’t forget your hull – use glittery milar curtains.

 Additional decorating tips:


IF YOU ARE USING C-7, C-9 LIGHTS – this is the minimum guideline: Depending upon the display and type of lighting being used, a chart has been formulated to provide minimum guidelines. These figures are traditional Christmas tree string lights and are listed per deck (i.e. a two deck, 40’ vessel will be required to have a minimum of 12,000 miniature lights or 3,000 C-7 & C-9 lights). Please remember, these are MINIMUM guidelines and Winterfest reserves the right to disqualify any entry if these guidelines are not met! This is an application only, no entry is granted by submission.

Boat Size in Feet       Miniature Lights           C-7 & C-9 Lights

20-29                             5,000                                              1,000

30-39                             6,500                                              1,500

40-49                             8,000                                              2,000

50-59                             9,500                                              4,000

60-69                             12,000                                           6,000

70 Plus                          17,000                                           8,000

To check the ABYC allowable ampacity of conductors, download the rating table from Blue Sea Systems or check a reference guide such as Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual by Nigel Calder.  Also click on the linke:  to calculate power usage.

LOOKING FOR ROPE LIGHTNG DISCOUNTS: Use Code: paradise100 for free shipping on orders over $100. Ordering less than $100? Sign up on the


You can power almost any amount of lights and decorations, depending on the size of the generator.

Disadvantages: While using a generator gives you the advantage of being able to use a greater number of lights and decorations, it does have some drawbacks. Some generators can be loud and can restrict your ability to hear and the limited availability of generators to rent or borrow can be a challenge if your boat isn’t already equipped with one.

OTHER METHOD: Use of an inverter if you have an inboard engine. Inverters invert the power from your engine’s DC current to AC. If you have an outboard engine without electric start, an inverter probably will not regenerate the on board batteries. Inverters can be purchased at local marine suppliers. Make sure to purchase the correct inverter for your vessel. Add up the amount of watts that you intend to power and obtain an inverter with extra wattage.

Advantages: An inverter is simple to use and uses the power your engine is already generating. It is quieter than a generator and boat engine running at the same time. When not using the inverter for decorating your vessel, you can use some of your 110 volt items from home providing you have purchased the correct size inverter.

Disadvantages: Inverters range in price depending on how many watts you want to generate. The more watts you require, the more money you will have to spend. If you have an underrated inverter, you may find you’re without lights in 20 – 30 minutes because the safety feature of the inverter will shut it down.

Where to get your generator:


Boaters – We Need YOU!

December 09, 2017 – Be a Part of the “Greatest Show on H20”

Enter your Boat    decorate your boat and host a party with friends, family or promote your business.

Fees start at $35 Or …

Be a CONTROL BOAT get the best  anchoring spot while defining parade perimeters along our waterways. We need your help during this great community event!

All participants get to attend a Thank you Party at the end of the year and receive a well-stocked goodie bag

#WinterfestFL17   Call Today: 954-767-0686 or visit



Family Fun Day – Where to Park?

Planning on attending this Sunday’s November 22nd Winterfest Family Fun Day with the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Open Streets? Click on the link to find the best locations to park. Remember Las Olas will be closed during the day and the event is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. City lots will have a flat rate of $5.


Below Deck Star to Sail in Winterfest

2015 Celebrity Capt Lee @BelowDeck

‪#‎StudoftheSea‬ Bravo Star Capt Lee of Below Deck will be a celebrity in Winterfest on December 12, 2015. Capt Lee and his lovely wife, Maryanne, recently joined Winterfest board member Kim Bokamper, President & CEO Lisa Scott-Founds and David Founds for dinner to discuss details (Runway’s Vinnie also shown in photo). Cannot wait to see‪#‎CaptLR‬ ‪#‎RockTheWaterways‬ ‪#‎WinterfestSoFlo15‬

Welcome Winterfest 2015 Theme – Board & Advisory Team

With visions of sugar plum fairies, mermaids, gingerbread houses, princesses, talking animals, dragons and so much more, Winterfest announced the 2015 Boat Parade theme  of “Fairy Tales Afloat.”  Winterfest, a Florida not-for-profit organization known as the producers of “The World’s Most Watched Boat Parade,” also announced their 2015-2016 Chairman of the Board and new board members. Beauty & the Feast Restaurant on Fort Lauderdale Beach was the perfect setting for the new board installation and announcement of this year’s theme.  Past Chairman of the Board, Ken Ortner, President of Kenneth A. Ortner, P.A., handed over the gavel to Jim Dunn, Vice President of JM Lexus, dressed in a “Beauty and the Beast” costume.  “The 2015-2016 Winterfest Board has a fresh new direction,” said Lisa Scott-Founds, Winterfest President & CEO. “As we embark on our 44th Parade year, Winterfest continues to look for a fresh look and a twist of the unexpected. Many committees are already working on ideas with our fairy tale theme for the 2015 Parade and other events during the Winterfest Celebration.”





Winterfest TV – watch and vote

Missed the Winterfest Special? You can watch Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day  and EVERYDAY on the Internet!

  • SOUTH FLORIDA: Watch the Winterfest® Television Special on WSVN 7 on  December 25 and January 1 (5 a.m. and 1 p.m.).
  • STATE OF FLORIDA: Winterfest® Television Special is shared around the state through network partnership with WSVN and Fox Sun Sports. December 24 (7 p.m.), December 26 (1 p.m.), December 27 (11 p.m.), December 28 (5 p.m.), December 29 (11 p.m.), December 30 (6 p.m.), December 31 (9:30 a.m.), January 1 (10 a.m. and 1 p.m.), January 2 (1 p.m.), January 3 (11 p.m.) and January 4 (11 p.m.).
  • BOSTON: WSVN sister stations will air the Parade December 24 at 1 a.m. (WHDH) and December 21 at 2 p.m. and December 27 at noon. (WLVI).
  • AROUND THE WORLD: has the live version on their site with a link on

ROCK THE VOTE:  VOTE for Your Favorite Parade Entry and WIN a Chance to Fly Away!

There are a variety of ways to vote: