Tips For Boating In Shallow Water

Sunday, March 17, 2013 8:40:51 PM America/Los_Angeles

One of the best bits of boating advice I’ve ever heard was from a crusty old fishing guide as we headed out of a marina near Key West, Florida. As we carefully navigated through the notoriously shallow waters, he pointed to a group of birds walking in the water only a few yards away from the tiny channel we were passing through. He said, “Never assume the birds have long legs.”

While you should always be aware of your surroundings when you’re at the helm, you should be on full alert whenever you’re entering an area with shallow or “skinny” water. Whether it’s an area that’s filled with boat-crunching coral like Key West or a muddy tributary to the Mississippi River, a cavalier attitude can get you grounded, stuck or worse. But with a little common sense and the following tips, you can boldly cruise skinny water with confidence.

Check The Soundings

Although boat electronics were once priced out of the reach of many average boaters, today there are lots of reasonably priced devices out there to help in shallow-water situations. For most folks, it will be a depth finder. But if your conditions are extreme, it makes sense to consult a chart…either electronic or paper. They contain valuable information called “soundings” that show the depths of any particular area you may be traveling. What you’re really looking for are the areas where the water suddenly gets shallower. Steer clear of those areas.

Know Your Limits

By all means, know your boat’s draft. That’s a number, normally measured in inches, that tells you how much of your boat is underwater, from the lowest part of your boat up to the waterline. The easiest (and most accurate) way to get this information is from your owner’s manual or the boat manufacturer’s website. In a pinch, you can estimate this number by dividing the overall length (measured from bow to stern at the waterline) by two. Keep in mind that unless you’ve got a jet drive, you’ll also have a spinning prop or two at about that depth, so always trim up when things start to get shallow.

Read The Water

This is where those high-tech polarized sunglasses really earn their keep. As you’re underway, you’ll be able to see a variety of different colors under the water. Look for drastic changes in color, and always be aware that darker usually means deeper. Some parts of the country have little jingles to help you remember such as: Brown, brown, run aground. White, white you just might. Green, green, nice and clean. Blue, blue, sail on through.

Know The Tides

Even if you got through some skinny water yesterday without incident, you always need to check the tide schedule before trying it again. Many coastal areas deal with a significant tidal change of up to several feet, making low tide extremely treacherous when you’re shoving off. Worse still, you could snake your way to some great flats fishing, then find yourself stranded for hours until the tide comes back in. Don’t let this happen to you!

Slow Down

Unless you’re cruising on a pontoon, more than likely your boat has what’s called a “planning hull.” That means it will sit lower in the water until you reach an “on-plane” speed, which is different for every boat. Once on plane, your boat will lift and rise up out of the water, giving you a little more shallow-water clearance from the bottom. The problem is, if you’re running at planning speed and suddenly come up on a shallow area, your reaction will likely be to pull the throttle back completely. That can run you aground (as the boat drops off plane) or worse. Just run slowly and stay off plane if there’s a chance of shallow water. Better to bump something and be able to back off gently than run aground hard and risk damage to you, your passengers or your boat.

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Go fly fishing

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 10:11:11 PM America/Los_Angeles

Fly fishing is considered a sport or a hobby by some, and an art form by others.Call it what you want, fly fishing is a pleasurable pastime built on the camaraderie of the anglers themselves, the oceans, lakes and rivers they fish, and the beautiful fish they pursue. It is an angling method in which an artificial "fly" is used to catch fish. The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. Casting a nearly weightless fly or "lure" requires casting techniques significantly different from other forms of casting. Fly fishermen use hand tied flies that resemble natural invertebrates or other food organisms, or "lures" to provoke the fish to strike.

What is the difference

In fly fishing, fish are caught by using Artificial flies that are cast with a fly rod and a fly line. The fly line (today, almost always coated with plastic) is heavy enough to send the fly to the target. The main difference between fly fishing and spin or bait fishing is that in fly fishing the weight of the line carries the hook through the air, whereas in spin and bait fishing the weight of the lure or sinker at the end of the monofilament or braided line gives casting distance. Artificial flies are of several types; some imitating an insect (either flying or swimming), others a bait fish or crustacean, others attractors are known to attract fish although they look like nothing in nature. Flies can be made either to float or sink, and range in size from a few millimeters to 30 cm long; most are between 1 and 5 cm.

How to make flies

Artificial flies are made by fastening hair, fur, feathers, or other materials, both natural and synthetic, onto a hook. The first flies were tied with natural materials, but synthetic materials are now popular and prevalent. Flies are tied in sizes, colors and patterns to match local terrestrial and aquatic insects, baitfish, or other prey attractive to the target fish species.

Where to go fly fishing

Fly fishing can be done in fresh or salt water. North Americans usually distinguish freshwater fishing between cold-water species (trout, salmon, steelhead) and warm-water species, notably bass. In Britain, where natural water temperatures vary less, the distinction is between game fishing for trout or salmon and coarse fishing for other species. Techniques for fly fishing also differ with habitat (lakes and ponds, small streams, large rivers, bays and estuarys, and open ocean.)

Pls do not hesitate,take your cars,let’s go fly fishing!

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How to Prepare Your Golf Cart for Winter Storage

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 6:23:30 PM America/Los_Angeles

If you live in a climate that doesn’t allow for year-round use of a golf cart, you’ll need to winterize the golf cart properly before putting it away for storage. Proper care of your golf cart will make sure your cart is running smoothly and ready to use in the spring. Neglecting to winterize your cart can damage your batteries, electrical system, tires, and other parts.

Golf Cart Battery Storage

The most important part of your golf cart to service before winter storage is the batteries. Make sure the batteries are clean and free of corrosion. Fill the batteries with distilled water so that the battery is completely covered (about half an inch above the top of the plates).

A fully charged battery will not freeze in winter temperatures. Connect the batteries to the charger until the batteries are fully charged. Disconnect the charger. Some golf cart owners also recommend disconnecting the main positive and negative.

Once a month during winter storage, check the batteries and recharge them if needed. You might also want to drive your golf cart for 10-15 minutes if possible, before you recharge the batteries.

Other Storage Tips

Store your golf cart in the “tow” switch position, if your cart is equipped with one. Make sure the tires are properly inflated. Then place blocks in front of and behind the tires so that you can disengage the parking brake while the golf cart is in storage. This relieves pressure on your brakes.

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Motorcycle Safety Tips for the Road

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 6:22:13 PM America/Los_Angeles

Riding a motorcycle means taking more risks than if you were riding in a car, which is part of the draw for some riders. Risk and thrills are part of the fun, but you also need to think about safety if you want to make it home safe and sound.

Here are a few motorcycle safety tips to keep in mind this riding season:

1. Take a motorcycle safety course.

Even if your state doesn’t require it, taking a safety course should be a no-brainer. Riding a motorcycle requires certain skills that you’ll want to practice in a controlled environment before you test them out on the road. Learning how to ride safely is worth the time and money you’ll invest upfront. It could save your life down the road.

2. Know your limits.

If your friends push you to ride faster or farther than you’re comfortable with, learn how to say no. Respect your limits, for your own sake and for the sake of those with you.

Don’t take a passenger before you’re ready, and start out giving rides to a skilled rider rather than a newbie. They’ll be less likely to move around, lean the wrong way, or make sudden moves.

3. Watch the weather.

Riding a motorcycle is risky in bad weather. With only two wheels, you have less traction than a car, and wet or icy pavement can make handling your motorcycle difficult. Avoid riding your motorcycle if rain, snow, ice, fog, or other potentially dangerous conditions are in the forecast.

4. Wear protective gear.

While you can’t always prevent accidents from happening, you can take extra precautions to prevent injury. Wear a helmet, boots, and protective riding gear when you’re out on your motorcycle. Leave the shorts and flip flops at home.

Protective gear can protect you from asphalt burns in case you lose control and need to lay the bike down. It also protects you from exhaust and engine heat, rocks kicked up by the vehicles around you, and other road hazards.

5. Look twice.

Don’t assume other drivers will see you. Look twice before changing lanes or merging into traffic. Check your blind spot for cars and motorcycles. Drive defensively, and take responsibility for your own safety.

Keeping your wheels and tires out of the sun and protected from the weather will make them last longer and will help prevent blowouts on the road after storage.

 

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Tire Care for Car and RV Storage

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 6:21:01 PM America/Los_Angeles

If you store your car or park your RV for more than a couple of weeks, you’ll need to take special precautions to avoid tire damage and prevent flat spots from developing on the tires. Replacing tires is expensive, so it’s worth the time and effort to protect your tires from damage during storage.

Adjust the inflation.

Make sure the tires are inflated to the operating pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Avoid over-inflating or under-inflating the tires. After storage and before putting your vehicle back into service, make sure you check the tire pressure again and add more air if necessary.

Drive the vehicle occasionally.

When you store your car or RV for a few months, it’s important to drive the vehicle occasionally. Before driving, use a piece of chalk to mark the tires where they meet the garage floor or other parking surface. When you come back after a short jaunt around the neighborhood, make sure the car is parked so that the tires are resting in a different spot. This will help you avoid flat spots.

If you can’t take the vehicle out for a drive, at least move it slightly forward or backward so that the tires are resting in a different spot.

Go easy on the tires.

If your tires will be resting on concrete, we recommend parking on carpet squares or wood blocks for a more forgiving surface.

If you plan on storing your RV or car longer than a few months, the best way to preserve your tires is to mount the vehicle on blocks and remove the tires. Keep the tires stored in an upright position (just like they’re mounted on the vehicle) and out of sunlight. Use tire covers if you can’t store them out of the sunlight. Avoid humid or wet storage areas as well.

Prevent ozone damage with tire covers.

If you will be storing your RV or vehicle outdoors, tire covers are a no-brainer. They prevent premature cracking and damage due to ozone exposure.

Keeping your wheels and tires out of the sun and protected from the weather will make them last longer and will help prevent blowouts on the road after storage.

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Snowmobile Safety Tips

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 6:20:14 PM America/Los_Angeles

With snow season on its way, it’s time to whip off the snowmobile cover and get your sled ready to ride. Before you hit the trails, take a few minutes to read over these safety tips to make sure you get back home safe and sound.

1. Check the weather forecast and trail conditions before you ride.

Bad weather makes it hard to see, which increases your risk for an accident. Before you head out for a ride, check the forecast and the condition of the trails. Then let someone know how long you will be gone, in case the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse.

2. Don’t drink and ride.

According to the Minnesota DNR, alcohol is a factor in over 70% of fatal snowmobile accidents in the state. It’s also a major factor in many non-fatal snowmobile accidents. Alcohol slows down your reaction time, impedes your balance and coordination, and affects your vision. Avoid drinking alcohol before or during a ride, and refuse to ride with others who have been drinking.

3. Ride with a friend.

Riding with a friend or group of friends means you can get help much sooner in case of an emergency. You can also get a ride out in case your snowmobile breaks down or gets stuck somewhere. Not to mention, it’s more fun to share the experience with a friend.

4. Wear warm, weather-proof clothing.

Your snowmobile outfit should be warm enough for the weather but ventilated to prevent overheating. Wear layers so that you can take off a layer when you get too warm and add more layers if you get too cold. Protect your face from the cold air with a facemask and approved snowmobile helmet. Your snowmobile outfit should be water and wind resistant.

5. Watch your speed.

The faster you ride, the harder it will be to respond to unexpected obstacles, oncoming riders, or other dangerous situations. Keep your speed in the safe zone, and slow down if you are riding in an unfamiliar area.

Riding at night requires even more precautions when it comes to speed. Never out-ride your headlights, and keep your speed under 40 mph at night, as recommended by the Minnesota DNR.

6. Obey trail rules.

Stay to the right on two-way trails, especially going around corners or up hills. Obey signs posted on the trail, and be extra careful when crossing roadways or other paths. Stay on the trail—never trespass on private land without permission.

7. Don’t ride on ice.

Avoid riding on frozen lakes and rivers whenever possible. If it can’t be avoided, take necessary precautions, such as wearing a life jacket or personal flotation device over your snowmobile outfit. Stay on the marked trail and avoid slushy spots or areas with thin ice. Never ride near ice with moving water underneath or next to it.

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Boat Cover Storage Options

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 6:19:10 PM America/Los_Angeles

Indoor boat storage in a controlled environment provides the most protection for your boat. Unfortunately, it can also be an expensive yearly investment, especially if you don’t have the space for indoor storage at home.

Home Boat Storage

Do-it-yourself boat storage is isn’t as safe and secure as a locked indoor storage unit, but for most boat owners, it’s the best way to save money and still be able to own and operate fishing or ski boat.

Storing your boat outdoors means that it will be more vulnerable to the damage caused by constant exposure to UV rays and occasional exposure to strong winds, rain, snow, sleet, hail, and other environmental hazards (such as falling tree limbs). It also means your boat is more susceptible to theft.

How to Keep Your Boat Safe

If you care about how your boat looks (and most boat owners do), you’ll definitely want to use a high quality, snug-fitting boat cover for storage. A weather-resistant boat cover not only keeps out rain and snow, but it prevents animals from hibernating in your boat, preserves the color and condition of your boat upholstery, and keeps out dirt, dust, and debris.

The boat cover should be strapped down tightly to prevent wind lofting. Make sure you add extra padding to sharp points, such as the bow or windshield edges, to prevent the cover from wearing prematurely or tearing in those spots.

Boat Cover Tips

Some type of boat cover support—whether store-bought or home-made—will prevent the boat cover from sagging. We also recommend brushing off snow and debris periodically throughout the storage season to prevent the cover material from stretching or getting clogged. A filthy boat cover will not be able to provide the same protection as a cover that’s not coated with debris.

Don’t allow water to pool on the boat cover, either. The longer the water sits on your boat cover, the more likely it will be to get inside and cause moisture damage.

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Taking Care of Your ATV Cover Will Make It Last Longer

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 6:18:19 PM America/Los_Angeles

A dirty ATV cover won’t provide the level of protection that you need for your quad. Taking the time to properly clean and care for your cover will make your ATV cover last longer and will keep your ATV clean and dry.

Some types of ATV cover materials may require special care, so check with your manufacturer before using just any old cleaning product.

Cleaning Tips

Follow these tips when cleaning your ATV cover.

  1. Don’t wash your ATV cover in a washing machine unless approved by the manufacturer. Your cover will last longer if you wash it by hand, and it will also protect the factory coatings for waterproof and UV protection.
  2. Use a soft terry cloth to brush off dirt and grime before washing your ATV cover. You don’t loose dirt to turn into mud and sink deeper into the fabric.
  3. After you’ve brushed away loose dirt and debris, wash the ATV cover with warm water and a clean sponge or terry cloth. Avoid using soap or any chemical cleaning products, since these can remove the protective coatings on the cover. If you need to clean stubborn stains, contact the manufacturer for a list of approved cleaning products for your cover.
  4. Rinse the cover thoroughly.
  5. Let the cover air dry completely. Never fold a wet ATV cover for storage, since this can promote the growth of mold and mildew.
  6. If needed, reapply a waterproof coating using a water-repellent spray, such as 3M Scotchguard. The original factory coatings will eventually wear away over time, or you may simply want to reinforce the coatings with an extra waterproof layer.

Other Tips for ATV Cover Care

Keep in mind that if your ATV cover is regularly exposed to direct sunlight, the color of the fabric will fade with time. This is normal wear even for covers that are treated with a UV resistant coating.

The ATV cover must fit your ATV cover snugly. If the cover is too tight, it can rub on sharp points and wear quickly or create holes in the fabric. If the cover is too loose, the wind can cause the cover to flap in the wind, which causes wear and tear on the fabric.

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