Boating How To


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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.

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Hot Topic

Boat fires are rare, potentially devastating and mostly preventable. Here’s the scoop. After witnessing a bad boat fire that completely destroyed two boats, I wondered what the three main causes of boat fires might be.

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Screen Care and Feeding

Glass or plastic? Touchscreen or traditional? Secrets to keeping them clean and bright. Saltwater and sunshine are not kind to marine electronics. One especially sensitive area of any plotter or fishfinder is the display screen.

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Properly Using a Super Cooler

In this FS Seminar, Rick Ryals explains how simple things such as limiting cooler use, storing it in a cool environment before adding ice, and loading it full to the top, will contribute to many days of cold drinks and fish.

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Sight Fish on the Drift

Some days, silence is more important than mobility. It’s the classic image of sight fishing the flats: A skiff with a man high atop an aft poling platform, using a long pole to urge the boat along in search of bonefish, tarpon or redfish.

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Battery Maintenance

Florida Sportsman Publisher Blair Wickstrom joins Ralph Baker of RJ Marine Group to talk about maintaining a vital piece of boat equipment, the batteries.

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FS Seminar – Properly Trimming Your Boat

George Gozdz, host of Reel Time Florida Sportsman, shows how to properly trim your boat using both the trim angle of the motor and trim tabs. Having the correct trim while running will allow for a much safer and more comfortable ride.