Boating How To


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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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Applying Non-Skid

As I get the opportunity to test many boats throughout the year, one thing I see all too often is manufacturers that don’t spend enough time on the water using their own products. If they did, switches would be easier to see and systems would have better access. Along these same lines some boat builders use anti-skid as more of a design pattern instead of its intended use of a secure place to step.

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The Devil in Your Fuel

If it’s been three months or longer since you last ran your boat, consider having the fuel system serviced. If you’re buying a used boat which has sat idle for an indeterminate time, definitely get her in the shop before firing her up.

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Restoring Fiberglass Color & Shine

In this FS Seminar, FS Boating Forum Moderator Dan McCarthy shows how-to keep your hull in tip-top shape. If your hull is looking dull and faded, you can bring back its original luster and shine with ease. For more information on the products used visit www.starbrite.com.

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Hinge and Hide It

Keeping your rig at home in the garage has multiple advantages. First, it is out of thieves’ sights. Second, indoor protection against UV light, heat and outdoors elements keeps your boat new-looking. And lastly, your boat will always be prepared because you can leave tackle and electronics in place.

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DIY Cooler Slide

For years, I struggled every time I wanted to open the lid on the big cooler under my bayboat’s leaning post. The cooler serves as a fish box and the top of it sits only a few inches below the seat support. It was impossible to lift the lid more than a few inches and difficult at best to slide the cooler far enough out to be able to open it, especially if the box was filled with enough ice to chill a catch.

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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Systems Check

Captain Ron said, “If anything’s going to happen, it’s going to happen out there.” No truer words have ever been spoken. Proper maintenance of your boat’s systems is critical if you want to have worry-free days on the water.

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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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Cell Signal Booster Kits

Reviews are mixed on whether or not cellular phone boosters give an adequate increase in range to justify their price, but there’s no question that an additional antenna connected wirelessly to the tiny one inside your phone can perhaps double your range, and that can make a big difference to those of us who depend on cellphones to stay in touch inshore and nearshore.

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Renting a Private Boat

Buy a boat. Join a boat club. Pay a charter company. Or, why not rent a boat from a private owner?

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Bow Mount Sonar

Now, every boat has sonar, and a lot of flats and bass rigs have sonar at both ends. In fact, for those who fish with a trolling motor, a sonar system up front has become pretty much standard equipment—and some of the bass guys even have a couple of big-screens mounted on the front deck.

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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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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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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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Keep Your Gear Dry

If your sandwich gets soggy you’re out a lunch, but if your phone or camera gets wet you’re out a hundred or more dollars and perhaps an important safety device.