Boat Shelter During The Cold Winter Months

Boat ShelterIf you live in a cold winter area that gets snow and freezing rain, keeping your boat sheltered from the harsh winter elements becomes a challenge. A boat, during the winter season, takes a real beating from the attacks of winter.

To protect your boat from the harshness of winter, there are several ways to protect your investment. If you have the room, or have space on your property, housing your boat in a closed building, like a garage, is probably the best protection. There are many that put up their boats in a paid storage facility. These two ways can be expensive and costly.

A lot of boaters keep their boats outside with a boat cover or tarp over it. This approach is okay, but your boat is still open to the elements, and your covers usually don’t last long. A regular boat cover will end up accumulating snow and water build up on the cover, which sometimes seeps through the cover and introduces moisture inside the boat, creating mildew build up.

Navigloo Boat ShelterA new product, manufactured and tested in Canada, provides an economical solution for keeping your boat dry and out of the winter elements. It’s called Navigloo. With it’s patented design and structure, it is like having your boat in an enclosed structure. It is easy to assemble and take down, and the parts store easily off season without taking up a lot of space. Check out their website here.

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Posted by admin - September 25, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Categories: General Boating   Tags:

Winterizing Your Boat

Fuel StabilzerIf you live in a climate where the temperatures drop below freezing during the winter months, or your boat is not used in the off season, it is time to start thinking about winterizing your boat for the upcoming winter months.

 

 

 

Here is a short, and to the point checklist for getting your boat ready for off-season storage:

  • Clean, Wash and Wax Your Boat – Storing a clean and waxed boat will keep contaminants or other elements from eating away at your boat all winter long.
  • Change your engine oil with fresh new oil – Old oil sitting in your crankcase over the winter months will just build up sledge and gum up your engine during spring start up.
  • Fuel Stabilzer – Flush your engine with fuel stabilizer, as well as adding a stabilizer to your fuel tank.
  • Fuel Tank – Top off your fuel tank to minimize the formation of moisture through condensation in the fuel tank.
  • Run Engine and Fogging – Run your engine for about 10 to 15 minutes, ensuring that the fuel stabilizer has worked it way into the fuel lines. Just before turning off the engine, thoroughly spray a fogger into the carburetor.
  • Anti-freeze – Remove the upper raw water hoses on the engine and pour in the pink RV anti-freeze. Make sure that you have pour a sufficient amount to thoroughly flush out the raw water and replace it with the anti-freeze.
  • Battery Removal – Remove your battery(s) and store them in a dry cool place. Attach a battery tender or trickle charger to maintain a proper charge during the off-season months.
  • Lubrication and Grease – Lubricate all moving parts with a light coat of oil. Grease all grease points.
  • Trailer Wheel Bearings – Re-grease your wheel bearings, making sure that there is no water present.
  • Trailer Tires – Check the air pressure in the tires.
  • Cover Your Boat – Put a cover over your boat to keep the winter elements from getting inside. If you live in an area that receives a lot of snow, you might consider garaging your boat or using a boat shelter system like Navigloo.

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Posted by admin - September 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm

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Washing and Cleaning Your Boat

Cleaning your boatA boat can last a long time if you take care of it. One of the most important things for keeping your boat looking new, is to keep the various surfaces clean from contaminants that cause corrosion, rust and discoloration. This is especially important if your boat has been in salt water. Salt will speed up the corrosion process.

When pulling your boating out of the water take time to wipe down your boat with a couple of dry rags. Water spotting, if allowed to sit in the hot sun, become a lot more difficult to remove. If you do have some hard water spots, a chemical like Limeaway does a pretty good job. If you use Limeaway, make sure that you wear rubber gloves, and only do small areas at a time, then rinse thoroughly with water.

After you have towed your boat home, use some soapy water to clean the grime away from your boat. It is good to wash sections of your boat at a time, then thoroughly rinse with water, not allowing the sun to dry the soapy water to the surface of your boat. Work from the top down, making sure you don’t miss any spots. You might need to use a soft brush to clean away a waterline on the hull.

This is always a good time to inspect the boat for any nicks, scratches or broken items. This is also a good time to check the air pressure in your tires, the grease in your wheel bearings, and if using automatic brakes, the brake fluid.

To keep surface of boat looking shinny and new, you may want to apply a thin layer of wax twice a year, depending on how extensive you use your boat. A good layer of wax will protect your surface from the elements and keep it looking new.

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Posted by admin - August 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

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Safety When Boat Tubing

water tubeBoat water tubing  can be extremely fun if you follow the proper boating safety tips.

Tubing behind a boat can be the equivalent of an exciting roller coaster ride. It comes with thrills and spills. But can also be risky if you and the boat driver don’t follow some important safety rules.

Discover Boating lists 10 important tips for having a safe experience when riding a tube behind a boat:

 

 

  1. Wear an approved life jacket – Also known as a personal flotation device (PFD), a PFD is just a common sense precaution.
  2. Knowledge of your Tube – It is important to know and understand the characteristics of the tube or towable that you’ll be using. Know its limitations and its features.
  3. Tube Rider – If you are driving the boat, know the abilities and fears of your tube rider. Don’t push the limits with their abilities and fears. Try to give them an exciting ride with the parameters of what would be enjoyable for them. You don’t want this to be a bad experience.
  4. Boat Spotter – Rely upon a mature and alert spotter in your boat, who can watch for any obstacles in the water, and be able to communicate with your tube rider.
  5. Know the Regulations – Be familiar with the regulations for the body of water you are boating on. Know the speed limits and other rules or policies and follow them.
  6. Be Responsible – Be alert and sober. Having a clear mind will help you to make split-minute decisions to maintain safety.
  7. Towing Rope – Use only a tow rope that is in good condition and secured to the boat. Use only the designated type ropes for towing a tube.
  8. Before Starting the Boat – Always make sure that everyone and everything is clear from the prop area, and that the people in the water are clear from any entanglements with the rope or other objects in the water.
  9. Wake Caution – Be careful when crossing wakes or other rough waters. Heading a wake or a wave at a high rate of speed can throw the boat in the wrong direction. Also take care to give your tube rider a safe ride, being cautious to not slam them hard into wakes. Strong jolts can cause back and other injuries.
  10. Multiple Tubes and Multiple People – When you have more than one tube or riders being towed at the same time, be cautious with your speeds and turns so that they do not slam into one another causing injury.

Have safe fun, keeping an eye out for other boats. Traveling at safe speeds will produce a fun and safe experience while tubing.

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Posted by admin - August 16, 2012 at 10:56 pm

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Naming Your Boat

When naming your boat, you want something unique, that people will remember. You may also want something that you can relate to.

When you are ready for the lettering, I would recommend iboats. They have a large supply of lettering colors and styles.

Here are some cleaver boat name ideas:

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Posted by admin - August 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm

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Learning How To Water Ski

Water Ski Dry LandBefore Getting In The Water

To learn how to water ski, you should first start on dry land. Using a set of water skis and a ski rope, have the person you are teaching, get into the skis, hold the rope, and pull on the rope to help them get a feel of the pull of the rope and the balance of the skis.

They should have their arms out straight, knees bent in a near seating position, and lean back, giving proper pull against the rope. If you are teaching a small child how to water ski, you could remove the skegs from the skis and pull them around with the ski rope on sand or grass, giving them the feel and balance of being pulled by the ski rope.

 

 

Beginning Water SkiingIn The Water

Once in the water, have your student put on the skis and do the following:

  1. Get into a seating position, with knees bent.
  2. Keep the tip of the skis up, just showing above the water line, and the skis in a 45% angle.
  3. Put the rope between the skis, gripping the rope and keeping arms out straight.
  4. Tell the student that you will drag them a little, to get the feel of the water pushing against the skis. Ask them to tighten their leg muscles and push the skis against the water.
  5. When pulling them up, tell them to again tighten their leg muscles, remain in a seating position.
  6. Once the boat starts to pull them up, they should slowly start to stand up. If the water is smooth, they should be able to straighten their legs completely.

Some people can get right up, while others may take several tries to get the feel of the skis, the resistance of the water and the pull of the ski rope. As the boat driver, be patient and give them lot’s of encouragement. For some beginners, getting out into a deep lake and getting up on water skis can be a scary thing.

 

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Posted by admin - July 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm

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How to Get Up on a Slalom (Single) Water Ski

Slalom SkiingWater skiing has become a fun activity for family and friends. There is just something refreshing about the water spray in your face during those hot summer days.

As far back as I can remember, my family has always had a boat. I grew up on water skis. I think I was 8 years old when I first got up on a set of water skis. It wasn’t long after that, that I learned to ski on a single ski. Believe it or not, I first got up on a single ski starting from shore, called a shore start.

There are several different ways to slalom ski. When learning to get up on one ski, you should consider the various types of starts, and pick one that you fell comfortable with. A good thing to do to help you get a good feel for a single ski is to get up on two skis, and lift one foot up, so you are skiing on just one ski. Try alternating, lifting up one foot and then the other to determine which ski feels the most comfortable to balance on. Whichever ski that is, is the foot you should put in the front binding when getting up on a single ski.

Let’s review the different ways to start and how to get up:

  • Dropping a ski – This is the easiest way to ski on one ski. You first start on two skis. Have the boat pull you close to shore (Be cautious to not get to close. Safety is important) so that when you drop a ski, someone from shore can retrieve it. As you are close to shore, left up one of your skis and shake your foot free (It might help to have the binding loose on this ski). Once you have freed yourself from this ski, then put your free foot into the back binding of the slalom ski.
  • Deep start – All the way in the water, with either one foot or both feet in the ski. I personally prefer the one foot start, with my left foot in the front binding. I then drag my right foot on the water to balance myself as the boat is accelerating, and then put the foot into the back binding once I’m up. Having both feet in has a tendency to drag, making it more difficult to get up. So for now, let’s talk through the one foot approach to a deep start. It is preferable to have a deep-“V” ski rope that you can put the tip of your ski through. It helps to stabilize the ski and keep it straight during the boat acceleration. Hold onto the rope (single handle) with your hands inverted (Hold the handle with one hand up and one hand down). Keep your arms out straight. bend your knee to a sitting position. Then say “hit it!” As the boat begins to accelerate try to keep your center of gravity over the ski, trying not to lean too much forward or backward. Hang on tight, keeping your balance, and the boat will pull you up until your ski planes. Once up, slip your back foot into the back binding. Now that you are up, try and lean back on your back foot. This will help to stabilize the ski, giving you more control.
  • Dock Start – With a dock start, you sit on the edge of the dock with both feet into the ski bindings, with the ski in the water. The boat should line up so that it will pull you straight out from the dock. Take about two loops of rope, so that you have some play in the rope. Say “hit it.” As the ski rope tightens and starts to pull you, put your weight on the ski, keeping your center of balance over the middle of the ski, not leaning forward too much or back too much, keeping your arms out straight. You will sink into the water a little bit, but the momentum of the boat will pull you right up. This is somewhat like a deep start, but you are giving the boat about a 5 foot start with momentum until the two loops of your ski rope tightens up. When you get experienced with this, you could even start on a dock standing on the dock with your feet in the bindings.
  • Shore Start – This is my preferred way of starting. It does take some additional skill and timing.  To shore start, you stand in about 2 feet of water, with one foot in the front binding. Take three or four loops of rope. You hold the ski handle in one hand with the looped rope in the other hand. When the boat is ready, heading straight out from the shoreline, you balance on your free foot, and hold the ski up on the surface of the water with your other foot. Say “hit it” let go of the looped rope, lean back slightly as the rope starts to pull you, and step up on the water, keeping your center balance over the center of the ski, and keeping your arms out straight.

Don’t worry, you’ll take plenty of attempts until you finally get up. I was told by a skiing mentor that every time you fall water skiing, you are pushing yourself beyond your limits. And that is how you improve. So each time your fall, you are getting better.

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Posted by admin - July 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm

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Boating and Carbon Monoxide – The Silent Killer

Although not a large statistic, every year 15 to 20  boaters die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

What makes it a silent killer is CO is colorless and odorless, and you usually don’t know that you are being poisoned until it is too late. It acts quickly, as it is absorbed into the blood stream at a rate that is 200 times faster than that of oxygen. It actually replaces the oxygen in your blood stream with CO. So basically a victim suffocates to death from the lack of oxygen.

The symptoms of CO poisoning are nausea, headaches and drowsiness. In the early stages of CO poisoning the symptoms are similar to that of feeling of seasick. If not recognized and acted upon, CO can kill a person in a matter of minutes.

To avoid CO poisoning, make sure that exhaust fumes are ventilated properly. Be educated on how CO poisoning happens and avoid situations that would put you and your boaters at risk.

The types of situations that are higher risk to CO poisoning are:

  • Swimming in an area, like the back of a boat, or a swimming platform, where a generator or the engine are being operated.
  • Floating next to or near a boat that is just idling.
  • Board (Teak) surfing behind a boat.
  • Improper cabin ventilation, especially while sleeping.

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to avoid the risk of a poisoning event is to purchase and properly install carbon monoxide detectors in your boat, and to make sure you test them regularly and replace the batteries at least once a year.

The fun of boating can be dashed with a tragic event like carbon monoxide poisoning. So take the necessary precautions and enjoy a hazard-free boating outing.

 

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Posted by admin - July 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm

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July 4th To Bring Out The Boaters In Mases

This 4th of July week is developing into a very warm and clear day nationwide. And with warm and clear weather, boaters will be on the lakes in droves.

With the increase in boating traffic comes an increase in boating accidents.

The US Coast Guard reported that in 2011 4,588 boating accidents occurred with 758 deaths, 3,081 injuries and an estimated $52 million dollars in costs. Considering these statistics, almost 1 in 5 accidents result in a death, compared to 1 in 300 with  automobile accidents. Because of the higher risk to boaters, it makes it that much more important to take extra safety precautions when boating.

The US Coast Guard has indicated that boating accidents have four common causes: Excessive speed; Improper lookout; Operator inexperience; and Operator inattention.

To have a safer 4th of July week celebration while boating, follow these four important boating safeguards:

  • Do not speed, slow down – Remember that a boat, unlike a car, do not have brakes, so give yourself plenty of time to stop, if you need to stop in a hurry. Pay attention to wake-less zones.
  • Pay Attention – Be alert at all times of your surroundings, other boats and personal watercraft. Have others in the boat help to spot others on the water.
  • Know the rules – Be educated on boating safety requirements. Know your distances and standard operating procedures for boats. Take a boating safety course.
  • Drinking and Boating – Don’t mix drinking and boating. Alcohol plays a role in the cause of accidents each year.

Most boating accidents are due to operator error. Be prepared and alert, and you’ll have a fun, accident-free week. And remember to wear a life jacket.

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Posted by admin - June 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm

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Basics of Boating

Boating BasicsIf you are new to boating, it is important to learn the basic guidelines to safe boating. Knowing these ahead of time, before you are challenged with situation on the water, lessens the risk of problems. If you are a seasoned boating veteran, brushing up on the basics is important to keep these things fresh on your mind.

 

 

 

 

The following are some common-sense boating guidelines:

  1. Weather – Always know the forecast before setting out on the water, whether it is ocean boating, or on a lake. Knowing beforehand the wind and storm conditions, and avoiding weather conditions which could be disastrous and life-threatening, will keep your boating memories as pleasant ones.
  2. Double Check – Always review a list of important items to review before departing on the open water. Things like putting your plug in the boat, sufficient life jackets and up-to-date fire extinguishers, are some of the important ones.
  3. Let Others Know – Let those staying on land of your boating plan, where you are going and how long you will be gone.
  4. Boat Operators – Make sure you have another person on board who understands your vessel, how to operate it and what to do in case of an emergency. This becomes critical if you encounter a medical issue in which you cannot function physically or mentally.
  5. Safety First – Always follow boating safety rules. Never put yourself or your crew at risk for pushing the envelope of boating safety.

Posted by admin - June 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm

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