Boating Tips

Modified January 4, 2008 


Boating Tips

Every boater's tool box should include the following tools: six inch long 2 by 4 section of wood, spark plug socket tools to fit each motor, eight inch needle nose pliers, regular and phillips tip screwdriver, hammer, propeller wrench (floating), electrical tape, crescent wrench, extra primer ball, extra hose clamps to fit fuel lines, and spare propeller. The 2 by 4 is used as a wedge when changing the propeller. 

Should the motor quit running or will not start, check the kill switch to make sure it is in place and centered. Also check the battery connections if you have an electric start. It is wise to check out the motors before leaving to assure they are operating properly. We tank test each motor before our adventure begins.

If you flood the engine, remove the fuel line and pull start or crank engine a few times. Make sure the choke is fully open. We always carry a can of spray starter fluid in the boat to coax a reluctant motor to start.

Protect your electronics by using in-line fuses for each. See your owners manual for the proper size fuse.

Try to keep the operator on the outside of turns. Since his line is nearest the stern of the boat and the outboard motor, it is easier for him to avoid getting his line caught by the propeller. Bear this in mind as you plan your course around islands or structure. We take turns running the boat as trying to stay on course in the wind while handling your fishing pole can be tiring.

Avoid spilling gasoline into the water. Refuel on the leeward side of an island, if possible, using a gas can with a flexible rubber spout. Put the hose two inches below the top of the gas tank and pour slowly while listening carefully. You will know when the tank is nearly full when you hear the sloshing stop. Clean your hands immediately with a waterless hand cleaner like "Fast Orange" or equivalent. Do not handle tackle with the smell of gasoline on your hands.

Try to keep the inside of the boat neat and orderly. We use waterproof bags to store clothing. The weather changes so quickly in pike territory that we dress in layers, storing unwanted layers in the bags. Rain gear is always in the boat. We prefer bib style rain pants with a fly front. As the temperature drops, the rain pants serve as a wind break.

A cut off plastic 1/2 gallon milk bottle acts as both a bailer and an emergency pee jug in case you are on the water and have to go quickly. We keep hand sanitizer in the tackle box to clean our hands afterwards.