Friday, January 31, 2014

Boat Show Season

This time of year is a great one for boaters and dealers alike. It is right in the middle of the off season and now we can take a break from the cold and head indoors for a boat show. Boat shows do a great job at keeping our minds on boating during the winter months. Boat show season starts the beginning of January and usually goes through March. This is when most of the major boat shows happen.

One of the most important ways that you prepare for a boat show is to get your budget in order before you head out. You don't want to be at a boat show and have that discussion with your significant other once you have fallen in love with a boat that is way out of your price range. Of course, you don't have to buy a boat when you go to a boat show. But know what you want to spend whether it is $20 or $200,000.

Now that you know what you can, or can't, spend, you need to find all the boat shows that you would like to attend during the season. You can do so by using this tool from Discover Boating. Mark those dates in your calendar and start getting excited.

Taking what you have learned today, you can make this boat show season a great one. Leave us a comment telling us what boat show you are most excited about attending.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Keeping Your Gear in Like New Condition

We love our watersports and hate this time of year when we can no longer spend every weekend enjoying our time on the water. How can we keep our gear looking and acting like new year round? How you store your gear when not in use has a big impact on its lifespan. 
It really doesn't take much to keep your gear performing like new. Your Wakeboard's edge is critical not only to how it performs, but how it ages. You don't want to stand it up in a corner on a hard surface. That is an easy way to crack the joint where the top and bottom of the board come together. If that happens, you board will come apart. Always place your board binding side down.  You could even go one step further and entirely remove your bindings to dry them separately from your board. 
If you are anything like me, your rope gets pulled into the boat and laid on the floor in a heap after each use. Make sure to take the time to coil the rope after each use being careful to loop it in 1-3 foot long sections. To make coiling easier, give your wrist a little half twist as you are coiling. It will make the rope want to wrap around itself. 
After your adventure on the water, your wetsuit needs drying before it is stored. The proper way to do this is to lay it inside out on a flat surface out of direct sunlight. doing this will maintain the seams and material. Once it is dry, you can hand it up on a hanger like a normal suit. Better yet, find an actual suit hanger with broader shoulders to help hold the shape of the suite better.
The last piece of gear is your life vest. Did you know that drying your life vest in direct sunlight can actually break down the fibers in the vest drastically reducing its life span? You also do not want to just stick in a storage compartment to dry. Doing so will create some not so pleasant smells and mildew problems. The best way to dry your vest is letting it drip dry in a cool dry well ventilated area making sure it is vertical to allow the water to drain from the bottom. 
With these tips your gear will continue looking and acting like it did the day you bought it. Do you have any tips or tricks to making your gear last? Leave us a comment sharing with us your tips & tricks to keeping your gear like new.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Right Plug

With today's modern fuel injection engines, changing your spark plugs is few and far between. there still is a possibility that the day will come that you will need to know how to properly change a spark plug on your boat. That is where we come in. Here are some tips and tricks for changing your spark plugs.

The Right Plug

A tad short or not the right heat range won't fly. Close enough will not work when installing spark plugs. The best way to figure out the right spark plug is to contact the manufacturer. 

The Right Wrench

Spark plugs have a porcelain tip on them that is protected by a foam cover. Using a standard socket wrench could crack the porcelain. You will need a steady hand, socket extension and tight griping socket.

The Right Torque

Over tightening is one of the biggest mistakes. If you overtighten the spark plug when reinstalling it, your could strip the cylinder which would be costly to remove and have it re-threaded. The average torque wrench setting should be between 18-20 pounds per square inch. Make sure to check with the manufacturer before use.

The Right Gap

The gap is the distance the spark has to jump. If you have a gapless engine, then this is one step that you do not have to worry with. If your sparks need to be gapped, I would suggest investing in feeler gages. The gap setting can be found on the emissions plate of the engine or in the owner’s manual

Quick Tip: As you are changing your plug, check the others. Look for water droplets, aluminum bits, or a white substance on them. If you find any, take it to your dealer before you head out again.

Now that you know how to change your spark plugs, don't let the fear of what might go wrong stop you from enjoy a day relaxing on the water. If you are looking for some more tips on the subject, check these out

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Don't Forget About Your Battery

It is the time of year when boat winterization is on everyone's minds. Most people bring their boats into the shop and have then winterized and stored for the winter. There are also some people who prefer to do their boats winterization on their own. If you opt to perform your own winterization, make sure that you do not forget about your boats battery. Batteries too need care and maintenance to provide you with long term and reliable service.
During your boating season, the battery care includes checking to make sure that all the connections are tight, clean and greased. It is also ensuring that the acid isn't boiling away. Now that the end of the boating season is in sight, what should you do with your battery for winter storage?

Storing Your Boat 
 If you are storing your boat in the water for the winter months, you will have a whole different list of tips. Keeping the battery and area dry is the first one. You will need to switch off all breakers except the one for the bilge pump. A lot can happen to a boat that is stored in the water when not in use. Because of that you will need to regularly check on your boat at least once a week, and even more in bad weather. Keeping your battery charged is an important priority. You can do so by plugging into shore power and using an installed charger or a regulated battery maintainer. Performing an acid test should also be done. Do this by checking the electrolyte level of flooded batteries and top off with distilled water just enough to cover the plates. 

Hauling Your Boat

If you are hauling your boat out for the winter, there are a few tips to help preserve its life. The first being charge it up. Once you have the battery charged, remove the negative cable and let it sit for a few hours before checking its status. When you do check on it using a hydrometer, verify that each cell has a specific gravity of between 1.21 and 1.28. If you do not have a hydrometer, you can use a voltmeter. A fully charged battery will read 12.5 volts. Throughout the winter, make sure to check the battery power once a month to ensure that it is keeping its charge. 
Using these helpful tips will ensure that your battery will last through the off season making it easier and faster for you to hit the water in the spring. For further information on battery storage, click here. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fire Safety On Board Your Boat

When you are a boat owner there are a lot of fears enter into your mind when you go out on the boat. One that crosses our minds at one point during our time on the water is the threat of a fire on board. Do you know what you can do to help prevent an on board fire?

There are two main types of boat fires that can happen, the first is a fuel fire. Fuel fires out number other types of fires 2 to 1. These types of fires are also the easiest to avoid. Make sure to follow these guidelines from the U.S. Coast Guard when fueling your tank.

·         Close all hatches and other openings before fueling

·         Put out anything that produces smoke

·         Turn everything off, engine, appliances, radios, etc.

·         Make sure everyone is on land

·         Keep the fill nozzle in contact with the tank and wipe up any spilled fuel

·         When finished, open up all hatches to ventilate

·         Run your blower for a minimum of 4 minutes

·         Use your nose to check for fuel vapors before starting the engine

If you follow these simple steps will help to drastically cut down on the probability of you having to deal with a fuel related fire.

The second most common type of fire is an electrical fire. Sadly many result from those boaters who decide to be a do it yourself boater. If you are going to install or fix things yourself, make sure you do it right. Electrical tape should not be found anywhere on your boat. Make sure to use waterproof materials.

Another way to prevent this type of fire is to regularly check your electrical system for signs of corrosion.

Keeping a regular maintenance schedule will help you to keep any potential problems in check. Also, a good idea would be to keep double the amount of recommended fire extinguishers on board your boat.

Fires can be a scary nightmare but as long as you are prepared and are doing everything you can to help prevent an onboard fire, that nightmare will hopefully never become a reality.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Importance Of Knowing The Weather

The weather is one of those things that can either make or break a great boating trip.  If it is bright and sunny with calm winds outside, then that sounds like the makings of a great boating or fishing trip. The sudden onset of dark clouds and high winds can make a good day go bad.

Keeping up with the weather can be a daunting task that seems to never end. You’re right, it never does. The weather is constantly changing and keeping up with it can sometimes feel like a full time job. It starts days before your planned boating trip. Start watching the weather about a week out. It will not be 100% accurate, but it will give you a rough estimate of what to expect weather wise out of your day.

It is finally the day of your boating adventure you walk outside and it is a gorgeous day. You still need to check the weather forecast for the day before you leave. Even if the weather is perfect now, they could be calling for some not so perfect weather later in the day.

Once you are on your boat, your job is still not over. The entire time you are on the water you should continuously check the weather forecast on your boats radio, or on your smart phone. The weather could change in an instant. If you keep tabs on what is happening in the sky, you can be sure that the weather will not be the cause of your bad boating experience. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Biggest Party Of The Year

Are you ready for the biggest party of the year? What do you mean “what party?” We are talking about AquaPalooza! You don't know what that is? Let me introduce you to it. AquaPalooza was started in 2006 by Sea Ray Boats. Since then it has taken on a life of its own. Sea Ray dealers across North America have their choice to participate in AquaPalooza, and with the name becoming more and more recognized, most Sea Ray dealers do participate.

The Dealers might have to be a Sea Ray dealer to throw a party, but lucky for us, absolutely everyone is invited. It doesn't matter if you drive a Premier Pontoon, Bayliner sport boat, Polar Kraft fishing boat, or even if you don’t have a boat and just want to swim up and enjoy the party. All are welcome, any boat, any brand.

AquaPalooza events vary by location and dealership. They can choose to celebrate a bunch of different ways. It could be a raft-up, weekend cruise, beach barbeque, music performance, scavenger hunt, anything you could think of and more.

Now you know what it is, and how to celebrate. Let me tell you what we are doing. Here at Power Boats Inc. we have decided that we are going to start the day with a Poker Run and finish it up with a BBQ. Pre-registration starts tonight for the party. If you would like to participate in the Poker Run or join the fun at the BBQ come and join us tonight at the Former Dockers Bar & Grill from 6PM-8PM.

On a side note, If you were curious as to what a Poker Run is, the quick definition is, you take your boat through about 5-7 check points drawing a card at each stop. The person with the best poker hand at the end of the run is the winner.

The party starts tomorrow morning, July 20. If you missed pre-registration, then you can still register the morning of. 10:30AM is when the registration will begin and at 11:30 there will be a mandatory driver meeting for anyone who will be driving in the run. At high noon, the Poker Run takes off. You will have until 3PM to get to all your stops and pick up the best hand.

Starting at three, we will start our BBQ which will go on throughout the afternoon. Get your friends together, hop on someones boat, and join the tens of thousands who have taken part of the biggest party on the water celebrating the boating life style. Oh and, don't forget the sunscreen.