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Discussion Starter #1
I learned something today from a forum member regarding keeping our motor in a down position while stuck in our driveway for days during freezing weather to avoid damage to lines and other parts...I didn't realize all the water doesn't drain out of it in the time between pulling it up the ramp and raising the trim for traveling.

I started wondering how many other handy tips and tricks we need to know about. We've only owned a bass boat for 2 years and these are the sort of things no one mentions until you have a problem.

Are there other basic things we should know that we might have overlooked? I'd really like to see some advice and tips for newbie boat owners, even if the tips seem to be no-brainers. It's not like being a car/truck owner where you've been doing this stuff since you were a teenager. There are a lot of us out there who buy our first boat once we're well into our middle age and haven't had anyone to teach us the ropes.

Any advice is seriously appreciated!
Deb
 

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Deep cycle batteries last a lot longer if stored in the fully charged state. So always hook up the charger and recharge fully as soon as you get back from fishing. Don't wait to charge the batteries until the night before your next trip or your battery life will be truncated severely. May seem obvious, but a buddy was telling me it was news to him until recently.
 

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Before it gets really cold, check the oil in the lower unit,if looks milky change it the milky look comes from water in it, Ice & cast Alum do not go well together, don't ask how I know. You can get the pump at Wally world for less than $10 qt marine gear oil $5 beats hell out of a new lower unit. when I still had my boat I changed the oil 4x yr.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Deb if you have bearing buddy's on your trailer only give enough grease to barely move the cap, to much will pop the back seal.
LOL, this tip came a bit too late. :( We've replaced the seals already since over-filling.

See why I started this thread?!?
 

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I have an extra key to the boat in the truck glove box and I always remove the keys to the boat when I'm tieing it down before towing home. Why you ask? Well I'll tell ya why. I have,and still do have, a big floaty on the boat keys like a lot of us do, and I never used to take it out of the ignition until one day when I got to the lake and the keys weren't there, I found some of them on the floor and the floaty with the ign.key was wrapped around the stealing cable next to the engine.All I could think is that the wind whipping around back there must have pulled it out and almost lost um. Never have used the one in the truck but I know it's there!
 

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I have an extra key to the boat in the truck glove box and I always remove the keys to the boat when I'm tieing it down before towing home. Why you ask? Well I'll tell ya why. I have,and still do have, a big floaty on the boat keys like a lot of us do, and I never used to take it out of the ignition until one day when I got to the lake and the keys weren't there, I found some of them on the floor and the floaty with the ign.key was wrapped around the stealing cable next to the engine.All I could think is that the wind whipping around back there must have pulled it out and almost lost um. Never have used the one in the truck but I know it's there!
Had similar incident happen to me as well. Now they go in the pocket when I leave the water.
 

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Watch out for others, there are no brakes on boats. Use common sense in foggy/compromised weather.
Had a guy at Choke runnin wide open one morning ,it so foggy you could only see about 50' we were close to south shore ramp ,he was WOT haulin ass I final waved him down with a maglite,he just knew he was in Owl creek.He would not belive there was an island and standing timber between south shore & Callhan, tuned around hauled ass again.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You probably know this already, but use a good marine fuel stabilizer every time you fill up. The ethanol in today's gas breaks down quickly and can wreak havoc with your fuel system and motor.
Good tip! We use Sta-Bil in the boat, lawnmower, weed-eater and other things. We also use an ethanol treatment every few fill-ups.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Watch out for others, there are no brakes on boats. Use common sense in foggy/compromised weather.
That's a damn good tip that can end up saving your bacon (and boat). We don't chance it in the fog. First time we hit major fog on the water was last year out on Bastrop and I was too chicken to head across the lake. We could hear motors at full throttle so we knew some boats were running wide open but I didn't want to risk it. Turned out well because we found some seriously sweet spots trolling out from the North Shore ramp that day and sticking close to shore. We still hit those same spots coming back in every trip and they always produce good numbers.
 

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Deep cycle batteries last a lot longer if stored in the fully charged state. So always hook up the charger and recharge fully as soon as you get back from fishing. Don't wait to charge the batteries until the night before your next trip or your battery life will be truncated severely. May seem obvious, but a buddy was telling me it was news to him until recently.
I'll take that one step further and suggest investing in an onboard charger if you don't already have one, and storing the boat somewhere you can leave it plugged in. Best money I ever spent.
 

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Strip down the boat and secure all objects for highway towing. I remove tackle boxes, ice chests (if loaded) and totes.

Back when I had a smaller truck, I would stow some totes and stuff in the boat for extra space. Two problems with that:
1. Extra weight and heat on the trailer tires we all know and love. :)
2. The airflow at highway speeds can easily blow totes out of the boat. I know this from experience.
 
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