Boating How To


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Comfort Offshore Starts with Dry Feet

Modern deck boots enhance safety and comfort. Dry feet are a hot commodity on a fishing deck awash in chilly water. Ask any seasoned bluewater fisherman or mate.

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Lock It or Lose It

Inexpensive ways to secure your most prized possession. Storing your boat at the end of the day can be nerve-wracking, with all the reports of boat theft in Florida these days.

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Maximize Mileage

Hard-to-figure prices, empty fuel docks. How do we cut fuel costs? Tips to save at the gas dock.

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Finding Your Boat’s Proper Trim

Find your boat’s proper trim for best running attitude. Many things can affect the performance of your boat, but one that’s consistently underutilized is proper trim. Running at the right attitude will increase your speed, reduce your fuel consumption and greatly improve the comfort of your ride.

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Quicker Sticker Downers

The way auto-anchoring is going, you just might be able to power-stick your grouper rig on the reef at 110 feet before too long.

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Off the Hook

Chasing big fish in tight quarters? Rig a quick-release float to get off the anchor quick. While the finest braided lines, high-speed reels, situation-specific rods and marine electronics do a great job of putting us into position, getting out of a sticky situation is just as important.

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Reach for the Top

How a T-top makes the boat. T-top offers shelter, an unobstructed deck and a platform to carry an array of electronics, antennas, rod holders, outriggers and overhead storage.

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Tips for Towing Big Boats

Tips for hauling a maxed-out fishing machine safely on the highway. A center console boat over 32 feet used to be an oddity, but now you see them at the boat ramp more and more. The biggest concerns about trailering an oversized boat are dealing with state requirements and having the right size tow vehicle.

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Livewell Systems and Caring for Your Bait

Knowing how to properly use your boat’s livewell system can make a notable difference in your bait’s liveliness. In this FS Seminar, Reel Time Florida Sportsman host, Capt. George Gozdz, discusses tips and techniques about caring for your live bait and livewell systems.

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Arms Aboard

If you choose to carry a firearm on your vessel, consider the options carefully. Some boaters carry a firearm in their boat. Some don’t. I make no argument for or against the practice. It’s a personal decision that can only be made by the boater.

Sharp entry of this deep V hull design allows this boat to track well in a turn and ride smooth in a chop.

Right Tool for the Job

Identify optimal hull design for the waters you plan to fish. What separates similar boats more than anything is the design of the hull, or more importantly the running surface. Know going in when you start your search for that perfect boat, you may have to give up a shallow draft to get a softer ride.

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Securing Your Boat Overnight

In this Florida Sportsman video seminar, Capt. George Gozdz explains how to properly secure your boat while staying overnight at the beach and spoil islands, especially in areas with extreme high and low tides.

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Keeping Your Dock Lines Shipshape

Most anglers are fairly casual about their seamanship, and that’s understandable. But that shouldn’t stop you from keeping your dock lines shipshape.

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Maintaining Your Hydraulic Steering

Few anglers regularly maintain their hydraulic steering system on their outboard. Here’s what you should check before heading out.

A digital selective calling VHF-FM marine-band radio, set to channel 16, is shown energized for operations at Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay, Md., Dec. 9, 2010. DSC radios allow for a digital transfer between radios versus voice transmission which allows mariners to instantly send an automatically formatted distress alert to the Coast Guard, provided the radio is registered with a Maritime Mobile Service Identity number and connected to a compatible GPS unit. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandyn Hill.

On the Water and in Distress? Use Your VHF, Not Your Cell

Cellular devices seem capable of doing almost anything thanks to the advent of smartphones and downloadable applications. This versatility and cell phones’ portability are leading many recreational boaters to have too much faith in them as the sole means of communication on the water, especially in emergency situations.

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Good Vibrations

Some noises draw fish closer, some put them off. Some boats are lucky, some not so much. Mostly that’s the result of the guy at the controls putting the boat in the right place at the right time.