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Wakesurfing Tips

If you are wanting to get into the newest craze, here are a few wakesurfing tips.

Rope: You need to make sure that you get a rope specifically made for wakesurfing. You don’t want to use a wakeboarding rope; it’ll be too thin and end up giving you rope burn if you can get it configured short enough to work. Wakeboarding ropes also have large handles that can be dangerous when you fall if you get caught up in it. Wakesurfing ropes are generally made thicker than most, sometimes they will have a small handle, and other times they will have knots in them to help you pull yourself into the “sweet spot” of the wake. 

Ballast: Getting your wake just right is crucial for wakesurfing. This typically entails using ballast bags or systems to put all the weight in the boat in the back, and onto one specific side of the boat. You need to be careful to make sure that you don’t exceed the boat manufactures maximum weight specifications for your boat as well. 

Board: People used to use surf boards, but now they have companies that make boards specifically for wakesurfing. You will want to be sure to get a board that is specifically for wakesurfing especially when you’re learning to make sure that you’re giving yourself the best chance possible while learning. There are two different types of wakesurf boards, the “surf” style is used for harder carving and surfing, the “skim” type boards are easier to do the tricks with. 

Speed: Most boards have a speed that they will perform best with, but you also need to account for the boat you are in. You’ll have to think about the boat size, the ballast weight, etc. Typically for wakesurfing you will want to stay somewhere in the 9-13 MPH range. 

Getting up: Standing up on the board is easier than it looks. You want to just lay back in the water with your feet loosely on the board, feet bent, and the rope between your legs. The driver should start slowly to let you dig your heels into the board and then pop up vertically. Once you start to come up the driver should speed up to help you get all the way up. 

Feet positioning: Generally, you want your feet about shoulder length apart, with your back foot about 6 to 18 inches from the back of the board. Your feet should be close to the edge of the board that is cutting into the wake. Shifting your weight into your back or front foot is a lot like a gas and a break. As you start to get better, you will move your feet all around the board to help with tricks. 

Wake boarding Safety Tips

Wear a life jacket!

Be sure to wear your Personal Flotation Device (PFD) always while in the water. You especially want to wear your life jacket while participating in any kind of water sports activity. 

Use a Spotter

Using a spotter will help ensure that the driver of the boat always knows your position in the water. Knowing where you are in the water is very important for your safety and the safety of other boaters or skiers in the water.

Distribute Your Weight Correctly

While getting up you need to have all your weight in your front foot. Once you get up you need to remember to shift your weight into your back foot. 

Use the Correct Boat Speed

Wake boarding requires less speed than other water-sports, its important to remind your driver of that. The ideal speed for wake boarding is 14-19 MPH. 

Take your Time

The most important tip you should remember is to take your time! You need to stay relaxed and remember that practice makes perfect. Don’t get upset if it takes you a couple times to get up and keep going. Taking a spill or two is normal and apart of the learning process. 

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Docking Tips

#1 Come up with a plan

You need to be able to see where you want to go and visualize how to get yourself there. You need to know how your boat handles and what goes into getting your boat docked safely. It easiest to start somewhere not so jammed up before you try docking into a packed marina. 

#2 Learn how to use wind and current to your advantage

Its best to learn how wind and current affect your boat. You will learn how to use the wind and current to your advantage when docking, especially in tight quarters. 

#3 Using Reverse

Learn how to use reversing your propeller to your advantage. It will reduce the stress and aggravation of docking. 

#4 Watch your Speed

Idling speed, and less throttle is all you are going to need while docking your boat. 

#5 Pay attention to Line length

You don’t want to tie your boat tight, you need to account for the rise and fall of the tides. You don’t want your boat to be left hanging or to be pulled under. 

#6 Make Small Throttle and Steering corrections

You want to use just enough throttle to move slowly. If you need to move the boat to one side or another, you need to make small steering adjustments. You also need to wait until those changes take an effect before you make any more. 

Everyday Boat Maintenance Tips

  1. Keep a close eye on the engine

Routine inspection of your motor whether they are outboard, sterndrive or inboard. Always begin with the basics. Always check the oil and give it a top up if its low. At least every 50-100 hours you need to do a full oil change. It also doesn’t hurt to check for any kind of oil or fuel leaks either. You want to be sure to keep all moving parts lubricated with an anti-corrosive. Always, inspect all lines and hoses for wear and check clamps and fuel lines for corrosion.

  1. Flush the engine after each outing

Whether you run your boat in salt or fresh water, you should flush your engine with fresh water after every outing. Flushing your engine will prevent salt crystals from depositing and damaging any internal components. It’ll also help get rid of any muck or sand.

  1. Always honor your prop

Without a prop, you’re not going anywhere. Always make sure that your prop nut and cotter pin are secured before any excursion out on your boat. Keep an eye to make sure that you don’t have any dings, nicks or a bent blade, those would hinder your motors performance. Its also a good idea to make sure that you keep the prop shaft properly greased.

  1. Dedicate one are to “dry storage”

A dry storage area helps keep all your essentials organized. You’ll want to keep all your life jackets, water toys, clothes or any kind of important paperwork like your registration, in the dry storage. Be sure to dry out any gear before putting it back into your storage area to prevent the mold/mildew growth.

  1. Be a clean machine

On a boat it is very easy for mold, mildew and dirt to accumulate. It is much easier to keep clean if you clean it more often. It will be easiest to keep up with the more you pay attention to it. Be sure to clean and storage compartments or livewells and use a good biodegradable solution. If they aren’t self-draining- be sure to get any excess water out whether you use a shop vac or sponge. If your boat has carpet, it’s a good idea to vacuum it then pressure wash it. If you have carpet that comes out, always let it hang to dry.

Get ready for the Fishing season

Fishing season is right around the corner! Now is the time to get everything you will need organized and ready for the first day on the water! Being prepared always helps everything run smoothly and will ensure you get to enjoy the new season!

First and foremost, you want to be sure to renew your fishing license, along with your license it’s a good idea to make sure any family that could go with you has their license as well. If you are planning on fishing off your boat, make sure that your boat registration is also up to date!

Second, you will want to reorganize and make sure that you have all your safety gear in order. Whether you are fishing from a pier, dock or boat its always a good idea to have safety kit together!

If you are planning on fishing off a boat, make sure that you have all your PFDs or life jackets! You will always need to have one for every person on the boat. Also, make sure that your registration paperwork is on board and all your fishing gear is organized and ready to go.

Last, but not least it’s a good idea to look over your fishing rods, you want to check all your lines, and double check all your tackle! Replace any lines if need be ahead of time!

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Dewinterizing your boat: 10 steps to follow

Remove cover and Inspect: The first step you want to follow would be to remove your cover, and to inspect for any rodent or insect infestation. Even if you had your boat covered all winter as best as you could, you need to be sure to really check over all your interior for any kind of scratches, holes or nests left behind. Rodents and insects have a good ability to squeeze into even the smallest spaces to get under even the best covered boat. 

Clean everything: You will want to next be sure to get everything cleaned up good. A good investment would be a shop vacuum. You will want to vacuum all the carpets, vinyl, and canvas. If you have a bimini top, you can even vacuum that. While you are cleaning, check over all your seats and make sure there are no cracks, rips or loose stitching that needs to be repaired. 

Check the engine and propeller: You’ll want to do an oil and filter change, also check over any and all fuel lines too. Don’t forget about your belts either, you should see if your engine has any kind of black soot around the belts, and if they do go ahead and replace them. 

Check over Cooling system & replace antifreeze: If you drained your cooling system as part of your winterization process, it’s now time to refill. If you didn’t, then now is a good time to flush and refill your system. You will also want to take this time to inspect the coolant lines for cracks too. Don’t forget to hook your spark plug wires back up too!

Replace your battery: Either put yours back in that has been on the trickle charger or get a new one! The last thing you want to happen on your first day out on the water is to end up with a dead battery. 

Check for damage: You want to inspect inside/outside and everywhere possible for any kind of damage. You want to be sure to document any damage and note it, whether you keep a diagram or whatever your preference is. 

Polish and Wax: You want to be sure to protect your boats gelcoat and any wood surfaces! So ideally you will need to pressure wash and get all the dirt/mildew off. After you get your boat really clean you can apply your favorite boat wax. Don’t forget to treat any teak surfaces you may have too. 

Attach electronics: Attach and test all electronics. You want to be sure that you not only attach all your electronics, but you need to test them all too. You want to be sure to check all the fish finders, GPS, depth finders and even any radios or speaker systems you have. You also should make sure that the bilge and the automatic bilge are working as well. 

Look over the trailer: This is not a step to be over looked, especially if you are planning on hauling long distances. You need to be sure to check over the tires, obviously if they are flat but you need to make sure that they are holding pressure too. Be sure to check over all your lights too, after sitting over the cold months you may have to replace a light bulb or two. Don’t forget to grease wherever you think may need some. 

Add the finishing touches: Lastly don’t forget all your gear! You want to make sure that you have the correct number of life jackets. Along with life jackets, you need to make sure that you have the rest of your safety gear in order. Don’t forget to check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher too. Last but not least, add the fun gear, like wake boards, ski’s, tubes etc.! 

Boat Ownership 101: Common mistakes and how to avoid them

Owning a boat is most people’s dream and because it is their dream, they sometimes rush into things or make decisions without fully understanding or thinking about the decision they are making. Here are a few common mistakes first time boat owners make, that are easy to avoid with a little boat education!

Not winterizing their boat

It’s pretty easy to just forget about any kind of boat maintenance once the boating season is over, but you do not want to do that! It is very important to winterize your boat at the end of the season before the temperature starts dropping below freezing. If you forget to winterize your boat, you could be left with cracked water lines or worse a corroded and water logged engine. Winterizing your boat isn’t too work intensive, just takes some time. Some of the basic winterizing steps are; running antifreeze through your water systems, removing your batteries and storing them in a warm space, spraying fogging oil over the engine components to prevent corrosion, flushing out the cooling systems and additionally you want to add a fuel stabilizer to your tank. Adding a fuel stabilizer will help slow the separation of ethanol and water and will also keep that gummy build up from happening that comes with the fuel these days. If you are not quite sure if you can get your winterization done yourself, any local marina can lend a helping hand.

Not realizing the cost of owning a boat

The purchase price isn’t where your money spending ends. You need to think about the maintenance cost that comes with your new boat, along with the fuel every time you want to use your boat. You may also have slip and storage fees or insurance too.

Too much or not enough horsepower

You would think getting the boat with the most horsepower is the best one to go with. That is not always the case though. You need to think about what you will be doing with your boat, if you are just wanting to fish around and maybe do some swimming then you may not want to get the biggest and fastest engine out there. But if you will be participating in water-sports like wake-boarding, skiing or surfing it may be a good idea for you to get a boat that has some power. The worst mistake you can make is buying a boat under or over your boating abilities, so take some time to really figure out what exactly it is you will need.

7 Ways to Check out a Used boat

Before you invest the couple of thousand dollars on your new, used boat there are a couple things that you want to check on and be sure of before you write that check! Here are the first 8 simple things you would want to check on.

Boat Type

The easiest and simplest of the list would be to make sure the type of boat you are looking at is what you need or want. You should do some research on different boat types and really take the time to think about what you want to do with you boat. You also need to think about how you want that boat to perform. You should think about the water types you will be boating in, the conditions where you will be boating, and where you’ll be. You don’t want to rush this step; you want to be sure you are getting the right boat for you and your needs. It wouldn’t be good to buy a boat, then have to turn around and sell it because it wasn’t what you wanted or needed. Of course, you can go to a dealer and they can help you navigate your needs and wants, but you also can use your fellow boaters as a great tool to help you see what they use their boats for, and what they like.

Reputation

Just like with cars, most boat purchases are done through a dealership. And much like car dealerships, boat dealerships will have a reputation. While you can probably research them online, you can also ask the fellow boaters around the area if they have used them or have had any experience with them. Ideally, you would like to find a dealership that is willing to let you look over and check out the boat you’re interested from bow to stern as thoroughly as you would like. Finding a dealership that will work with you and show you all they know about the boat is what you want to find.

Engine testing

The engines overall condition is probably one of your highest concerns. If you aren’t the most mechanically inclined it’s a good idea to find someone that is that can assist you in checking over the boats engine and systems. Your number one, most used test would be a compression test of the cylinders. Ideally, they will all test within 10% of each other in compression. This test is one of the oldest in the book and can give you an idea of the engine’s overall health and condition. You also want to check over all the electronics, any belts, batteries, alternators and starters. Much like a car engine, most boat engines can be tested with a computer hook up too.

Fuel system

You also want to do a full fuel system check. That would include checking over all the components of the fuel system. So, you want to check over the fuel tank and check any fuel filters for replacement. You also will want to check over the fuel lines too. You also want to check and see if it has a fuel/water separator on board and if it doesn’t you need to think about adding one, they are very important for engine protection.

Hull

This could be one of the easier pieces to check over and see. You will want to check over the hull from top to bottom. You need to check for any kind of places where the hull could have been repaired or where any kind of damage has been done to the hull. You just really want to make sure that the hull is serviceably sound.

Electronics/Radio

This is a big one, you want to test and make sure that all the electronics on the boat are working properly. That would include all your lights, pumps navigational systems and radios. While you are on your water test it would be a good idea to sound over the radio and make sure that it is working properly. You also should pay attention to the instrument panel and make sure that all of those are also working properly.

Clear Legal Title

Like we said in the beginning, you could be preparing to spend a couple thousand dollars on your new investment if not more. Your most important thing you want to check would be to make sure that the boat has a clean and legal title. You will want to be sure that you are buying the boat from the legal owners, and that there are no liens against the boat. If there are liens against the boat, you will want to be sure that those are satisfied or paid off before you take possession of the boat.

Buying a boat is a big investment! We hope that our tips we have wrote for you can help you along your way and make your boat buying adventure a little bit easier for you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Wright Marine! We would love to help you find the boat of your dreams.

Taking your dog boating with you

Don’t want to leave your dog at home while you’re out on the water? No worries, you don’t have too! You just want to make sure to keep your dogs’ comfort in mind. First, think about what your dog would think about the water. Does your dog like water, will he naturally jump right in a be happy swimming, or would he rather be up on the boat with you? Whatever you decide to do, you need to have an emergency plan in place. Whether you have a designated person in place to try and call the dog back to the boat if they fell in, or if you have someone designated to jump on in to grab them. You also need to decide if your dog is going to need a life jacket or not, is he a good swimmer or does he not quite have his water legs yet?

Pack all necessary supplies

You want to be sure that you have enough fresh water for your pup so he can stay hydrated. You never know what the water supply will be like where you will be. You also need to make sure that he has his collar and leash for when you’re getting to and from the boat. If your dog needs to have a life jacket like mentioned before, make sure you have that too. It’s also a good idea to bring whatever toys or gear that you think your dog would enjoy having!

Just be sure that your dog is comfortable with the boat, and the water and you should be good to go!

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When is it safe to dewinterize your boat?

It is very tempting to go out and dewinterize you boat on the first warm day of the year, but you must proceed with caution. But how do you know when it’s the right time? Doing it to early can cause possible damage to your boat if it freezes and doing it too late you will feel left out of some good days out on the water.

First, you need to put some time into researching when the last predicated freeze is going to happen in your area. The website for the National Center for Environmental information https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ is a good place to start. They have charts and maps that can help you predict the last freeze/frost in your area.

Typically, just one night under 32 degrees is not enough to cause your engine to freeze solid. You really do not want your engine to be subjected to numerous nights in a row under 32 degrees. Frozen water is no joke! It expands up to 10% of its size when frozen, so 10 cups of water will turn into 11 cups. That is how you end up with cracked or broken engine blocks.

How to Anchor your boat

Anchors work by digging into the ground underneath the water. They help you to stay securely in place and help keep you from drifting into the surf or rocks around you. Anchors are great if you’re needing to stop to fish or eat lunch or even to sleep overnight. It is important to understand how to properly anchor your boat so you can stay safe and out of harms way. 

The suction created when an anchor is dug into the seabed from the weight of the water above and the weight below is what helps keep you in place. As the boat pulls onto the anchor rode, digging it in deeper, the hold only gets stronger. 

After throwing out your anchor, you need to pull onto the rode hard with your boat in reverse for a reasonable amount of time with good force to ensure that you have set your anchor properly. You should feel your boat surge forward after you get off the gas, that is a sure-fire way to know that you have properly set your anchor and put enough pressure on the rode to keep yourself there. If you feel your boat moving backwards in reverse, you need to stop and try to set your anchor again. 

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