1. Early-Spring Fishing

    Early-Spring Fishing

    The thermometer might not be rising as quickly as we'd like, but with a few more minutes of light every day, spring is well on its way. The fish know it, too. As daylight lengthens and temperatures rise, fish leave their hideouts in the depths and come up to hunt. No need to wait for summer - grab your rod and tackle box and make the most of the early season.  

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  2. Spring Awakening: Early Season Boat Maintenance

    Spring Awakening: Early Season Boat Maintenance

    Hasn't it been a long winter? We think it's high time to break the boat from its shrink-wrap cocoon and get it ready to run. The Skipper has compiled a few important points for spring maintenance to ensure smooth sailing this season. How's the battery? Did you pull your battery out and store it separately from the boat, or did you leave it installed? Either way, give it a good going-over in the spring. Check its charge with a voltmeter and if it's low, charge it up to its recommended level. The insides of a battery are caustic and poisonous, so put on gloves and goggles if you open your battery to check its electrolytes. Clean the battery carefully if it's dirty, and scrub any corrosion off the terminals. Once the terminals are clean, grease the threads with petroleum jelly or an automotive lubricant. This video by Boating Local shows how to do spring prep for lead-acid boat batteries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9ckqH8cFuw&feature=youtu.be If your boat's battery is more than four years old, replace it. Clean the distributors. Remove the distributor cap and check for corrosion; scrub it away if you find any. Also clean out the cap itself if you see corrosion there (it looks a bit like bread mold). Some DIY boaters use rubbing alcohol or baking soda paste on an old toothbrush, followed by a thorough rinse, dry, and a light coat of lubricant like WD-40. If you've got a lot of corrosion or your distributors are older, just replace them and start fresh. [caption id="attachment_89" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Bucket photo: Vassili67/photobucket.com[/caption] Change the oil. If you didn't change the engine oil before putting the boat to bed for its long winter's nap, now's the time to do it. Change the oil filter, too, and if you have a sterndrive/lower unit, check the oil
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