Monthly Archives: August 2016

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  1. Make a Splash with Water Trampolines

    Editor's Note: We wrote this article for the July issue of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt, and the good people at that magazine have granted us permission to repost it. Many thanks! What's more fun than a trampoline in the backyard? How about a trampoline in the water? If you've visited Destin, Florida, you've probably seen the Crab Island Water Park on Destin's famous sand bar and party spot. Fun for kids of all ages, it's made up of inflatable slides, balance beams, and trampolines. [caption id="attachment_171" align="aligncenter" width="315"]Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Photo: Destin Vacation Boat Rentals[/caption] Like a swim raft, a water trampoline must be anchored in water of a safe depth. The manufacturer Rave Sports recommends smaller trampolines for shallow water. Larger trampolines provide a bigger bounce and, consequently, a deeper plunge into the water, so anchoring a big trampoline in deep water is important to keep jumpers safe. Unanchored, a water trampoline makes a free-floating raft with space for several friends to lounge. Water too cold? The more ruggedly built inflatable trampolines, like the Rave Sports Bongo line, can be set up on land, too. Check with the manufacturer to make sure your bouncer can be used this way without damage; one sharp stick or jagged shell is all it takes to pop an inflatable. As seen at Crab Island, slides and logs can be attached to trampolines to create a mini water park in your favorite swimming hole. Great Lakes Skipper carries complete packages from Rave Sports
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  2. Mad Props: Replacing Your Boat's Propeller

    Mad Props: Replacing Your Boat's Propeller

    You're cruising along your favorite lake or river, and you feel a little bump. The boat keeps running just fine, but when you get back to the dock, you check your propeller and find you've cracked or bent a blade. The damage might not look too bad, but even a little crack in a propeller blade can negatively impact performance, reduce fuel efficiency, and cause costly damage to the engine itself. In this instance as in so many others, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: Install a new propeller as soon possible. Choose wisely. Aluminum propellers are affordable, but for durability, you can't beat stainless steel. Steel props also are reputed to be faster, adding as much as 3 knots in speed. Large boats and motor yachts with inboard motors frequently use nibral propellers, made of a nickel-brass-aluminum alloy. Make sure the propeller you choose is suitable for your motor. If in doubt, consult your local prop shop (or call Great Lakes Skipper customer service) for advice. Safety first. Put the boat in neutral, remove the key, and pull the kill switch to keep the engine from starting while you're working. Mark your spot. Mark the position of the old propeller on the shaft with a Sharpie or other marker. This takes the guesswork out of positioning the new prop. Off with the old. Use a ratchet set to loosen the nut, then pull the old propeller

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