Boating How To


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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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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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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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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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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.

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New Outboards for 2015

Every year outboard engine manufacturers look into their crystal balls to anticipate what new products the boating industry needs, as well as what new products the boating public will buy. Sometimes, changes in a product line are brought on just for the sake of change, but there are also real innovations that will make your boating experience better.

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FS Seminar – Survival Bag

Florida Sportsman boating editor Dave East reviews the essential items to pack in a survival bag in case of an emergency. Check out Dave East’s boating seminar “Backcountry Ditch Bag” in the April 2013 issue of Florida Sportsman magazine for more information.

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Wrapping Your Boat

Most boat manufacturers have some shade of white as a standard color and for good reason. They are interested in selling you on the qualities of their boats and not wanting to also have to sell you on a color. But what if you want to set your new boat apart from the crowd? A hull color can add a rich look to even the most simple of boats. There are three basic ways to add a color to the sides of your boat.

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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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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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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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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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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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Removing Hull Stains

If you leave your boat in the water for extended periods of time, or even just run in dirty waters, you’ll find yourself dealing with a stubborn yellowish stain from the waterline down. Freshwater and soap won’t even make a dent in removing this discoloration. Having the right cleaner will make the job painless.

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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.