Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Five tips for Safely Towing Passengers on a Speedboat

Speedboat captains must be careful when towing water-skiers, skim boarders, and tubers. Obviously, you want to be careful when driving a boat under any circumstance, but extra caution is crucial when towing a person behind such a strong machine. For one thing, realize that the person is going as fast as a car, and hitting the water feels more like hitting cement. For another, a crazy wake might be funny to you, but not to a novice; pay attention to the wake you expect the participant to ride. 

Here’s a great example of how easy it is to have a watersport disaster. Luckily, the skim boarder is OK, judging by the YouTube comments and description. 

To ensure you’re being extra safe with your precious cargo, always keep the following tips in mind!

•    Always have a “spotter”. This extra person will watch the person in tow, while the driver pays attention to hazards, speed, and safety.
•    An extra rear-view style mirror goes a long way, pick one up next time you’re picking up boat accessories.
•    Don’t skimp on the life vest, and lifesaver, just in case of emergencies or bad falls.
•    A quick take-off helps the skier stand up into proper skiing position
•    Never drive a boat after you’ve been drinking. Absolutely never tow someone after you’ve been drinking. Alcohol was a leading factor in 16% of fatal boating accidents last year.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

5 Fun Things to Do on Your Boat This Summer

Fun Things to do on Your Boat:

Setting sail on your boat is a great leisure activity on a hot, summer day. Cruising around ensures relaxation and fun for all… but after a few hours, you might want some things to do while out on the water. Planning some fun activities while sailing can assure that you and your family will stay more than occupied while aboard your boat or ship.

Exploring – Plan to dock at different ports. Hop off your boat and explore the different areas that you have never been before. You might stumble upon some interesting things right in your own backyard!

Swimming – Drop the anchor and go for a swim! Implement a cannon ball contest and allow the biggest cannon ball winner to pick the location for dinner. This is a great way to engage the entire family and enforces some good old’ fashion friendly competition.

Water Sports – Tubing, wakeboarding and water skiing are fun, adrenaline-pumping activities that everyone will enjoy. These activities get everyone moving around and the best part is, whenever you get too tired, you can easily hop back aboard your boat and soak up some sun!

Fishing – Looking for something fun to do with your kids? Fishing is a great bonding experience. What better way to spend a summer afternoon than to catch some rays and some fish!

Hobbies – Take your favorite hobby aboard your boat! Sailing along the water is a great place to enjoy a good book or complete a drawing you have been putting off. The water is such a tranquil, inspiring place and you will be completely free of disturbances.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer Boating Advice and Safety Tips

By now, most boaters have hit the water, two or three times. Maybe you were out for a holiday party, or a short day trip, but no boater could resist the beautiful warm days of July. Regardless, your group or family can have a world of fun on your boat. 

Obviously, safety is king, but fun is important too. Create a custom set of rules based on our advice below, and you'll have a safe, wonderful time out on the water.

• Take an extra boating safety course, beyond the required minimum. A skill or tip you pick up in class could save your life, and it will surely lower your insurance costs.
• Check the boat to confirm that all components are working properly and in good health.
• Fill up on fuel, and determine when you'll need to re-up.
• Check all weather reports for deplorable weather like high winds and storms
• Technology is only as good as its battery power; bring along some of the classics like a map or compass, just in case.
• You'll always need a high-quality anchor and anchoring equipment, even if you plan to use docks.
• Always bring along a new, fully packed, first-aid kit and extra life vests, because life is very unpredictable.
• You also want
USCG approved safety equipment like oars, lifesavers, and fire extinguishers

Whatever fun you decide to have this summer, just remember to be safe, responsible, and polite. If you’re going out with family, remember your precious cargo. Similarly, if you’re going out with friends, remember that even though your boat feels like a private party, you’re still in public.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to Determine The Age of Your Volvo Engine

Volvo Penta engines for speed and leisure boats are surely the best on the market, and they last for a long time, but how can you be sure what year yours was built?

When you examine the engine cloesely, you can pinpoint the time period to when Volvo built the engine. This is usually a close approximation, so it can save you a lot of money if you're buying one from an unfamiliar source.

Look for numbers on the decal, this way, you can determine the year at least. You can also look at lettering sequences to determine the year, for example, AQ and BB sequences ceased in the nineties.

The engine's color tells you a lot about it. A good example is an early red volvo engine, which is sign that its from the eighties. If the boat has a dark chocolate or charcoal color, you should be able to look up the information easily. 

The current red engines are from 2000 and later. The decals on these don't give an exact year or date, but you can use the number sequence on the engine to find out.

Monday, June 10, 2013

How to Prepare Your Dock for the Season

As we approach summer, the boats are hitting the water.  After you’ve gotten the boat tuned up and all set, don’t forget to look at your deck and make sure it is fully prepared for the upcoming season.  Here are some tips  to make sure your dock, gangway or deck is fully prepared and ready for summer.

Deck Surface – The boards, panels and wood on the deck should be safe and secure.  If they have come loose or if the screws are not tightly attached, make sure you secure them firmly to prevent further damage or injury. For natural wood, it might be time to apply another coat of sealant.

Level- Make sure the dock is floating at a level surface.  If you’ve stored the deck on dry land during the winter months, things may have shifted out of place. Make sure the poles support the deck as they are designed to do.

Accessory Adjustments – Things like handrails and gates should be properly adjusted as well.  Have they become lose since last year? Are they tight? If you’re adding on new accessories, make sure you have the proper space and accommodations to have them properly installed.

Gangways – Make sure the decking is in order and proper.  Does the jack work?  Are the connections between the shore and the dock good and secure?  These are crucial components to make sure nothing happens when someone uses the gangway to access the dock.

Every spring, you should give your dock or gangway a thorough inspection to make sure there will be no harmful issues when it gets busy.  If you have questions, need replacement or need help, please give us a call.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Great Reasons to Choose a Volvo Penta Engine For Your Boat

Whether you are in the market for a brand new boat or your current one just needs some fine tuning, there’s a very big factor you should consider in terms of parts and engines. Volvo Penta has become a leader in the boating world and for good reason. Here are a few reasons why Volvo Penta is the best marine engine from which to choose: 

  • Volvo Penta is always discovering new ways to reduce noise and vibration. Their latest marine system is fuel-efficient, lighter and quieter with a propulsion system that is extremely durable.
  • Another great feature of the Volvo Penta is their innovative cooling system. The engineers have created a completely closed freshwater system that protects the engine from corrosion.
  • Volvo also has added a high-flow aluminum exhaust system that utilizes the latest catalyst technology. This ultimately optimizes the torque and power over different fuel grades resulting in low emissions.
  • Volvo has surpassed other competition by using modern technology as well as hiring innovative workers that are continuously exploring new ways to benefit the consumer as well as the environment.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ten Interesting Facts about Boating

Boating is an absolute thrill whether for taking leisurely trips or engaging in a sporting event. There is something so tranquil and exciting about being out on the water, soaking up the warmth from the sun and feeling the waves crash beneath the boat. Most people love being on the boat while others are fascinated by the complex motoring system that operates the water vehicle. 

Here are 10 facts you might not have known about boating that could pique your interest:

1. The difference between a boat and ship is that a boat is ideal for rivers and inland waterways while a ship travels on seas and oceans. 

2. The "scuttlebutt" refers to the cask on the boat that holds drinking water.

3. Boaters are generally happier with their marriages, relationships, friendships and are closer to their children.

4. Boaters are more likely to recycle, carpool and donate to environmental causes.

5. Approximately 18 million Americans own recreational boats.

6. The world's oldest surviving boat dates back to 7400 B.C. and it's only 10 feet long.

7. The most common injuries to anglers are sticking the hand with the hook or they occur when exiting the boat.

8. Steamboat Willie was the first Disney character with sound and released on November 18, 1928.

9. The Phoenicians were the first to use Boat sails around 2000 B.C.

10. The difference in the center of gravity makes a boat lean when turning, while a ship leans outward.   

Looking for more unique facts about boating? Check out some of the cool links below!