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Month: March 2016

A boat maintenance log

A boat maintenance log

Tom Keer 3/31/2016 I have heard them so often I sometimes hear them in my sleep. A stitch in time saves nine. Proper preparation prevents poor performance. Fail to plan, plan to fail. The list goes on, but the point is sharp and true. If […]

Pond Management Issues

Pond Management Issues

Andy Whitcomb 3/28/2016 Ponds can provide a fantastic fishing opportunity, especially for kids. Because they are smaller and shallower, ponds are usually more productive than larger bodies of water. However, it is this small size that can make ponds difficult to keep in balance once […]

Online Boating Courses Teach You These Surprising Things

Online Boating Courses Teach You These Surprising Things

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When do fish spawn and when do they eat?

When do fish spawn and when do they eat?

When I was a 14 years old, my football coach took me fishing. When we got to the river, he pulled out a thermometer and held it in the water. “Today is going to be a great day,” he said. “We are going to catch […]

Catch and Release: Review and Update

Catch and Release: Review and Update

Andy Whitcomb 3/21/2016 The practice of “catch and release” has been greatly successful with the conservation and preservation of incredible fisheries all around the world. However, available information on the best methods can vary. In fact, Dr. Steven J. Cooke, Associate Professor of Environmental Science […]

Use This Handy Spring Boat Maintenance Checklist

Use This Handy Spring Boat Maintenance Checklist

Using a helpful boat maintenance checklist can make spring boating preparations a whole lot easier. When you use a seasonal boat maintenance checklist, you can just check each task off of your list as it is completed. This will give you the reassurance that you’ve remembered to take care of every detail so that your boat is safe and running smoothly when boating weather arrives.

While boat maintenance requirements will vary depending on the type of boat you have (always check the owner’s manual for your specific boat and engine model) and how often you use it, these are some examples of important maintenance tasks to consider.

 

  1. Check the fuel system for leaks or damage. Be sure to inspect all hoses, connections and tank surfaces. Replace any components if necessary, and check to be sure that all fittings and clamps are secure.
  2. Check all belts, cables and hoses to make sure that they haven’t cracked or become brittle while in storage.
  3. Inspect electrical connections to be sure they are clean, tight and corrosion-free. Have a qualified technician inspect all electrical systems thoroughly if the boat has been in storage for an extended period of time.
  4. Check fluid levels including engine oil, power steering, trim reservoirs and coolant. Change engine oil, oil filter and lubricants if these tasks were not completed prior to winterizing or storing your boat.
  5. Check and replace spark plugs if needed. Spark plugs should be checked about every 100 hours or once a year.
  6. Charge and test your battery to be certain that it will hold a charge using a voltmeter. Clean the battery terminals with a wire brush if needed.
  7. If you have an outboard engine, check to be sure that the lanyard switch stops the engine and is in working order.
  8. Another important item on your boat maintenance checklist is to make sure that the exhaust and ventilation systems are working properly.
  9. Check the steering system for any binding or loose components.
  10. If you have an outboard engine, ensure that the engine is securely attached to the boat transom.
  11. Inspect your propeller(s), prop shafts, seals and zinc anodes. Repair any minor damage or, if necessary, have your propeller replaced by a professional mechanic.
  12. Check your boat hull for blisters or cracks, and make sure your drain plugs are in place. Buy a set of spare drain plugs and keep them in a safe place on your boat.
  13. Inspect all of your boat safety gear. This includes life jackets, fire extinguishers, first aid kit, and distress signals. Take advantage of free safety inspections offered by the US Coast Guard (USCG).

Once you’ve crossed each item off of your boat maintenance checklist, look for a few different places to fish and boat in your local area. Get ready to make new boating memories with your family this season.

Photo Courtesy of US Coast Guard (USCG)


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Debbie Hanson

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Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.

How to Start Fishing

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Northern Pike Spawning and Angler Considerations

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NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter with interesting blogs about fishing and boating. Get fishing tips and tricks and read personal stories from anglers who live and breathe fishing and boating. Learn new fishing skills, boating resources, fishing etiquette, conservation and more.

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Boat maintenance for the season

Boat maintenance for the season

Tom Keer 3/9/2016 After a season of being cooped up we’re ready to splash our boats. When we head out prefer words like “jacked up” or “cranked up” to describe our excitement…not the state of our trailer being “jacked up” to repair a flat or […]