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Pay attention to the direction of both wind and tide any time you beach your boat or are anchored in shallow water. A shift in either one can leave you and your boat high and dry and in need of assistance to get back afloat.

Be smart when retrieving beached boat

One minute we were enjoying a Memorial Day picnic on the beach, and the next we were up to our knees in mire, racing the tide to get enough of our boat to float to get us off the barrier island.
March 25, 2008 at 11:12am
Asking for trouble, these passengers are a slip away from an overboard situation, which requires careful boat maneuvering on the part of the captain to initiate a safe rescue.

Overboard situations can turn deadly

Just as most injuries at home are caused by slips and falls, tripping and slipping are common accidents aboard boats, with the added threat of falling down and out of the boat. Slipping on a wet deck is the most common cause of lost footing aboard any watercraft, which is why textured “non-skid” surfaces are often applied to decks and areas where secure footing is critical.
February 29, 2008 at 1:58pm
Autumn is as good a time as any to give your fishing rig an annual visual inspection. And if you pull your boat out for the off-season, fall makes an excellent time to learn what needs to be fixed or replaced.

Annual autumn inspections in order

When considering the purchase of my home, I hired a home inspector to give me a professional opinion of what condition it was in. The guy saved me a bundle by pointing out repairs that needed made and that I passed along to the seller, and he left me with a piece of advice that I apply annually to my boat and trailer rig as well as my abode: The inspector urged me to assign one hour a year to taking a walk around the exterior of my house, pad and paper in hand, looking for things that need attention or upgrading.
October 30, 2007 at 10:56am
When it’s time to put the boat away for the season, either top-off or drain the gas tanks to make sure the fuel you start with next season is up to the task.

Care for fuel now for a happy spring

After launching the center console for the first fishing trip of the season, one minute I was zipping toward the fishing grounds at cruising speed, and the next I was off-plane and barely able to keep the outboard at idle as it labored to turn an erratic 500 RPMs.
August 22, 2007 at 11:59am
As high as it may be, the price of gas at roadside pumps is still likely to be at least 20 percent less than the per-gallon rate for the same fuel sold at waterfront fuel docks. One of the benefits of owning a trailerable boat is being able to fill its fu

Seven tips to save $$ while trailering

The peak of the summer vacation season also sees a peak in gasoline use, and with the spike in prices at the pumps this summer, it pays more than ever before to know how to squeeze every mile out of a gallon of fuel — both on the water and on the way to and from the launch ramp.
July 30, 2007 at 11:15am
Even boats with lots of deck space like this pontoon model can cramp a kid’s style after too long on the water. When boating with children, make sure to factor in plenty of stops along the way to allow them to get ashore, stretch their legs and see sights

Take kids on boating vacations

July is the most popular month for family vacations, when children are out of school and available to join the family on extended trips. As any parent will tell you, there’s a learning curve involved when adjusting to traveling with children, and that’s especially true when — as most fishing families eventually will want to do — you include boating as a vacation activity option.
June 28, 2007 at 3:19pm
False albacore aren’t exactly the most desirable of species, but a kid who catches one doesn’t need to know that.

10 tips for teaching kids to fish

Studies show that most people who are fishing on a regular basis today were first introduced to the sport by the time they reached age 12, and the majority of youngsters are taught how to fish by an adult family member.
May 22, 2007 at 4:36pm
Safely towing a boat and trailer is tough enough without adding dangerous distractions to the mix, such as eating or talking on a cell phone — or both — while at the wheel.

Distracted drivers asking for trouble

Those of us who tow our boats to and from the fishing grounds accept an elevated responsibility for ourselves and our trailered rigs when we share the road with fellow drivers. Those extra axles and the extended load make us less maneuverable, while at the same time making us a larger target for trouble from other drivers who may not be as skilled or attentive as they should be.
April 24, 2007 at 3:59pm
Flushing the engine’s cooling system with fresh water after use in salt water is one of the most important things you can do to prolong engine life.

A post-salt flush is vital for engine health

Whether your boat is primarily a freshwater fishing craft out for a rare day in the salt or is bobbing in brine full-time, there is a post-trip task that can’t be overlooked — the freshwater flush.
March 21, 2007 at 11:42am
The road is no place to learn that your boat’s trailer needs service. Give your trailer, as well as your boat and tow vehicle, a pre-season tune-up to make sure it is fit for travel.

Trailer often overlooked by eager boaters

I watched with some envy as my neighbor across the street prepared his boat for his annual spring break fishing trip to South Florida.
February 22, 2007 at 2:30pm
Before you even think about launching for a trip across exposed waters of the open Gulf or large bays, you need to make sure your boat is prepared to tackle any rough stuff that may kick up.

Get rigged right for winter’s rough seas

It’s one thing running inland lakes, rivers and bayous when the wind and waves kick up and protected waters are never too far away; it’s another story when rough open waters of a large lake or open Gulf separate you from the fishing grounds or launch ramp.
January 25, 2007 at 2:48pm
More people get their new boat information at boat shows than from any other source. The shows offer respite from the weather and a great place to find a boat deal.

Play the game to save money at shows

If you’re in the market for a new boat — and who’s not always at least looking — this may be the best time of the year to make your best deal. Why? Because it’s boat show season, that’s why!
December 28, 2006 at 10:03am