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Get A Grip!: 3-Blade vs 4-Blade Props

On: Fri, Nov 27, 2015 at 2:16PM | By: Captain Ron Kowalyk

More Opinions from the Rock of Ages: never being one to avoid a “Barney”, here’s another opinion. With the Manatee Zones and other slow-speed no-wake areas, how do we best optimize the power on our skiffs? We want an optimum hole shot, for performance, safety, and economy. Power-to-weight ratios being taken into consideration, which prop is most appropriate on the shallow water flats?

Determine the True Draft of Your Hull for Shallow-Water Running

On: Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 10:33AM | By: Captain Ron Kowalyk

Every boat manufacturer in Florida will give you an estimated figure on your skiff without motor, fuel, add-on equipment and true passenger max load. Now there’s no subterfuge really implied, but the draft specified is for the bare hull. Additional outfitting must be considered when determining true draft capabilities. Other factors will help trim and adjust the true draft of your when not underway, not making way.

Tips From the Tipsters

On: Thu, May 21, 2015 at 1:50PM | By: Captain Ron Kowalyk

Everybody wants to be in the know, well, that’s only natural. I sit around the shop at Estero River Outfitters on my morning visit when I’m not on the water. It’s a good way to network, try ‘n stirrup business and just generally kibitz. You can sell everybody a fishing trip, that’s OK, too. The prevalent question is where we should fish to catch whatever’s out there. Immediately you know these guys are totally in the dark.

BoatUS: Boat Motor Oil Analysis Made Simple

On: Wed, May 13, 2015 at 12:51PM | By: BoatUS

A lot goes on inside a boat engine, and akin to drawing blood, an engine oil sample analysis (OSA) can tell you a lot about the health of your boat’s motor. While a single sample may not give you the whole story, an OSA creates a “baseline” that helps you look at your engine’s health over time. That’s why some mechanics and surveyors recommend taking one sample every year. But what does a typical oil sample analysis include and what does it tell a boat owner or buyer? BoatUS, the nation’s largest boating advocacy, services and safety group has some answers.


If You Don't Want More Corn In Your Gas Tank, Speak Up Now!

On: Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 9:29AM | By: BoatUS

THE ISSUE: The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is the 2005 federal law that requires the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. When it was written, it assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to rise and mandated escalating amounts of biofuels to be blended with our fuel. Since 2005, however, gasoline usage has actually declined steadily, which today forces more ethanol into less gasoline.

Analysis of Decade of Lightning Strike Insurance Claims and What It Means

On: Sat, Mar 21, 2015 at 10:26AM | By: BoatUS

The odds of getting struck by lightning are about one in a million. But if you own a boat, the odds of it being struck by lightning are significantly higher—about one in a thousand. However, not all boats are created equal when it comes to lightning. A just-released analysis of 10 years of insurance claims by Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) shows that certain boats are significantly more at risk than others. But which ones? And, what can you do if you’re caught on open water? BoatUS has some answers:

Peer-to-Peer Boat Rentals: What Do You Need To Know?

On: Sat, Mar 21, 2015 at 9:35AM | By: BoatUS maybe a popular “peer-to-peer” lodging site on the web, but if you want to rent a boat in your local area or away, you’ve got options, too.,, and are just a few of the new crop of online websites offering a chance to rent a boat for the day or weekend. These services, which connect private boat owners to renters, can help owners recoup some expenses, and can also give non-owners a chance to get on the water with friends without the cost of full-time ownership. So what do you need to know? Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has some information for both boat owners and renters.

Tax Provisions for Boats Extended

On: Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 9:10AM | By: BoatUS

In an exceptional act of agreement, the recently departed 113th Congress did the right thing for boat owners. It extended some boat sales tax and mortgage interest deductions when filing a 2014 federal income tax return. The catch is a boat has to include a sleeping berth, cooking and toilet facilities, and is offered to new owners who paid substantial state sales taxes on a new or used boat purchase last year. If there is a loan taken, mortgage interest paid on the loan may be also be deducted from your federal income taxes, according to the nation’s largest boater’s advocacy group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS).

Simple Observations on Trailers, Tires, and Wheels

On: Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 10:37AM | By: Captain Ron Kowalyk

To the average layman, or those of us who aren’t engineering majors, ratios and gearing and wheel circumference may be weird science. However, it can be easily explained by stating that a bigger wheel rotates fewer times to cover the same distance as a smaller wheel. That’s clear as mud but it covers the ground.

Ethanol and Non-Ethanol Fuel: Some Facts, Some Fiction

On: Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:17AM | By: Captain Ron Kowalyk

I’ll hear about this skeed but I’m used to it. There are two or three or four schools of thought about the effects of ethanol on the operation of outboard motors. But one thing we can all agree on is that water in fuel is not good!