Boating How To


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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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The Heart of the System

Keep your electronics going strong. Modern marine electronics (engines, too!) are sensitive to a voltage drop and frequently go offline or sound an alarm with even a small reduction in input voltage.

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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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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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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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Boat Loading with a Winch

Make easy work of boat loading with a push of the button. No one wants to hand-crank a ton of fiberglass while a Saturday crowd looks on, and the fact is, you shouldn’t need to.

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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.

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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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.

SeaDek on Ranger, full treatment

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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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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Maintaining Your Boat’s Cooling System

Florida fishing boats require special attention to cooling systems. It’s easy to lose track of time during those long summer days on the water. It’s also easy to forget that grasses and stirred-up sediments may compromise your engine’s cooling system. On coastal water, salt water itself, over the long term, is a threat.

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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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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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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.