Boating How To


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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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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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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.

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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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.

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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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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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Wi-Fi Sonar Logging

Marine Wi-Fi technology has some clear utility for owners of large vessels. Say you’re down in the crew cabin, and you want to look at navigation data or a camera view of the cockpit. No sweat. With a network Wi-Fi hub, such as the Simrad GoFree or Raymarine RayControl, you can turn your phone or tablet into a remote Multi Function Display that lets you look at, and even control, your chartplotter, camera—or anything else that runs through your network.

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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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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.