Great Lakes Angler Blog

New Premium Boat Graphics Service by BoatUS Comes With Your Own Private Designer

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Boat names are as varied as boat owners. However, owners looking for something special to put on their vessel now have a new premium level Custom Boat Graphics service from Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) that includes the services of their own private designer. The new Custom Boat Graphics service is for boaters who want something more than just boat name lettering, but who may not have the time or creative talent to design their artwork. “Boaters only need to come to us with an idea, and in as little as two to three business days we have a custom designed artwork ready for installation -- not just a boat name -- delivered to their door,” said Boat Graphics Specialist Ron Crittendon.  Read Full Story

Most boaters should tow for free

Thursday, June 05, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- Tossing a towline to a disabled boat and bringing it back safely to the launch ramp is a time honored act of kindness that recreational boaters have always done for each other. But what happens if the Good Samaritan tossing the line decides to charge for their services? Is there much of a difference between a Good Sam looking for a little extra gas money and a professional towing service charging for on water towing services?

According to Boat Owners Association of The United States, once money changes hands for a routine tow, a Good Sam is opened up to a world of liability they may not want in their lap. Accepting money also requires a mariner’s credential – such as a Captain’s license – and would require commercial registration of the towing vessel.

While Boat Owners Association of The United States offers the largest on water towing fleet in the US, it understands the law of averages: There are 12 million registered recreational vessels in the nation and some are bound to breakdown. In 2013, the BoatUS 24-hour dispatch centers alone received 70,000 requests for on water assistance, and the boat owners group says there are likely thousands of Good Samaritans each year lending a helping hand to other boaters. Said BoatUS Towing Services Vice President Adam Wheeler, “Towing is a job best left for the professionals, but many boaters often find themselves in areas where professional assistance is not available."

While Good Samaritan laws vary from state to state, they generally provide that anyone who renders aid to injured persons is not liable for any damages if the assistance is provided in good faith, without compensation or other consideration, and without gross negligence. And in fact, in some states, failing to render emergency assistance to the persons involved can also possibly put you in trouble with the law – but there is no duty to require a Good Sam to tow or “save” a boat.

For federally designated ‘navigable’ waterways, federal law trumps state law and says that the master or individual involved in rendering assistance “is not liable for damages as a result of rendering assistance or for an act or omission in providing or arranging salvage, towage, medical treatment or other assistance when the individual acts as an ordinary, reasonable and prudent individual would have acted under the circumstances.”

“A boater who does not charge for rendering assistance is protected under the Good Samaritan laws for any damages or injuries that might occur during the tow,” said Wheeler. “If money exchanges hands and someone gets injured or the disabled boat gets damaged, you’re no longer considered a Good Sam and would be opening the door to much more liability. You may be even personally liable, depending on your insurance policy – if you have one. It’s just something else to think about before throwing a towline and asking for money. A commercial towing company carries insurance to cover those types of mishaps.”

For boaters committed to being a Good Samaritan, BoatUS has these tips:

  1. Never put yourself in danger or go beyond your capabilities.
  2. For the safety of everyone, always report disabled vessels to the Coast Guard or other authority.
  3. Ensure that your cleats are properly backed and you have the properly sized tow line (some lines can stretch and suddenly break).
  4. Understand that once you start towing, the Good Sam has a duty for the safety and care for those aboard the disabled vessel.
  5. Minimize risk by having everyone don their life jackets and remain seated – away from the bow in case a line parts or cleat gives way.
  6. Maintain headway for control, but don’t tow any faster than leaving a small wake.
  7. Be careful to prevent other boat traffic from crossing the towline. Keep a horn or whistle available to warn others to stay clear.
  8. Always tow to the nearest safe place. While it may not be near where anyone wants to go, it will shorten the time of the tow and minimize any exposure liability, and gets passengers to a place where they can fix the boat or arrange for a proper tow. The BoatUS 24-hour Dispatch Center can be reached at 800-391-4869 or via the free BoatUS Towing App.
  9. Another option is to stand close by, but not undertake the tow and wait for a responder to arrive while staying close just in case of emergencies. A Good Sam could also remain on the right side of the law - and keep potential liability low - by simply removing the disabled boat’s occupants and returning them to the dock, while arranging for a local tow of the broken down (and safely anchored) boat.

“It’s always good to help out a fellow boater because sooner or later, it could be you asking for a tow back to the dock,” said Wheeler. “However, the best backstop for routine on water troubles is to consider a BoatUS annual towing plan.” BoatUS towing plans start at $67 annually (freshwater boaters) and include BoatUS or BoatUS Angler membership. For more, go to www.BoatUS.com/towing.

###

  Read Full Story

Why Boaters Hate Ethanol

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – If you own a boat, you may have heard by now that a government mandate has been increasing the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply, which not only damages boat engine and fuel systems but can present very real safety concerns. Mandating the increasing use of the ethanol was legislation passed in 2005, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which BoatUS, along with a coalition of world hunger, oil and gas industry, environmental, and restaurant groups, petroleum distributors, meat and poultry producers, and auto and power equipment manufacturers, is now fighting to repeal. That’s because the Standard no longer reflects America’s fuel usage, which has been on a decline and is opposite of the legislation’s assumptions made nearly a decade ago.

No matter what side of the coin you’re on, it’s clear the RFS isn’t working for recreational boat owners. Here’s a short video from the American Petroleum Institute, one of BoatUS’ partners, that says it best:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se9_P-R9QTA&list=UUX5uNpKyy9TU6f1tkCYn0LA

If you’d like to know more about ethanol and boats, see the BoatUS Magazine feature, “E15: A Good Law, For Yesterday,” at BoatUS.com/e15agoodlawforyesterday.

  Read Full Story

Make a Line Recycling Bin

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ANNAPOLIS, MD – It’s hard thinking about fishing when most of country is still frozen solid. However, anglers anticipating the spring bite can make a difference with improving fish habitat this upcoming season by building a fishing line recycling bin with some help from the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. All of the instructions to build a line recycling bin from affordable and easy-to-work-with plastic PVC pipe are explained in a short video at BoatUS.org/monofilament/build-a-bin.

The line recycling bins are suitable for any location where anglers gather, such as ramps, piers, marinas, docks and popular fishing areas. Bin builders can also get free stickers to affix to the outside that identify and give instructions on how to use the bin, as well as bilingual “no trash” stickers, simply by sending an email to Cleanwater@BoatUS.com.

“Once the weather warms up, you’ll be ready to install the bin and can arrange for clean-outs with help from fishing buddies, clubs, marinas or local agencies,” said BoatUS Foundation Vice President Susan Shingledecker.

As the bin fills up, discarded fishing line can often be dropped off at municipal recycling stations, or it can be mailed to the Berkley Conservation Institute where it will be used to make “Fish Habs” - artificial, underwater habitat structures that attract fish. Discarded line shipping instructions can be found at BoatUS.org/monofilament.

  Read Full Story

Get 7 Things Done Now for Great Boating Season

Friday, February 21, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Boaters can get frustrated when a repair or upgrade takes a long time, but delays are often a simple result of supply and demand. “Spring and summer can be the most challenging times to get work done on a boat because everyone else wants their work at the same time,” said BoatUS Director of Consumer Affairs Charles Fort. But with a little foresight boaters can get the services they need — sometimes at a better price — now. And some things on a winter “to do” list don’t require outside help. Here are some common projects boaters should be looking at doing now, before the spring rush: 

Engine and Prop: Getting your boat’s motor worked on in June is like waiting to buy Billy Joel tickets at the door. Get your mechanic on it now if you have a project in mind. It’s also the time to have the dings taken out of the prop – your prop shop guy will be glad to see you.

Canvas and Sails: Canvas and sail lofts are notoriously cyclical businesses so don’t feel guilty about asking for a discount on winter work. Now is the time to get the new bimini top made, repair the camper canvas, or get the sail stitched up.

Wiring: Every boater needs an extra 12V outlet at the helm, or knows of a corroded wire or two somewhere on the boat that needs fixing. If you want to take on this project yourself, here are some tips on wiring: http://www.BoatUS.com/boattech/articles/choosing-cabels-and-terminals.asp.

Paint and varnish: Generally you need warm weather for these projects – but consider taking home hatch boards, tiller handles or wood trim projects and working on them now in well ventilated basement or heated garage.

Line splicing: Maybe it’s an extra long spring line you’ve always wanted, or dock lines that will actually fit your boat’s cleats. Curl up by fire, sing a sea chantey, and start splicing because you will never want to do this in the summer. Here’s how to do it: www.BoatUS.com/boattech/casey/rope.asp

Chart and Electronics updates: Does your chartplotter use an old chip or are you using the same paper chart you had 10 years ago? Your helm electronics software may also have downloadable updates that make them perform better.

Do a winter tacklebox overhaul: You’re never going to want to do this once the fish start biting. BoatUS Angler pro Steve Chaconas shows how to get your tacklebox into shape at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMzNtCkVbic.

  Read Full Story

Should You Get Extended Warranty for Boat?

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, Va., February 4, 2014 -- It’s acknowledged among boat owners that boat engines have improved in quality and reliability over the years, and backing that up are recent surveys from J.D. Power reporting a steady decrease in the number of reported problems in marine engines. So is buying an extended service contract – also known as “extended warranties” – worth the money today? The Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) Consumer Affairs looked at the issue and has these tips:

An extended “warranty” really isn’t a warranty: An extended warranty (service contract) is not a warranty at all but rather an insurance policy that pays for repairs if the breakdown, failure, or failed component is specified as covered by the policy. On the other hand, a new boat warranty covers much more, is included in the cost of the boat, and offers legal protections to the boat buyer.

Not everything is covered: An engine extended service contract covers specific items only. One BoatUS member found this out the hard way when his third-party extended service contract left him $1300 short after paying out of pocket for an engine control unit (ECU) replacement job on his 30-foot powerboat. The ECU was deemed consequential damage – and not covered – as a result of the original problem, an overcharging alternator.

The real cost of repairs could be higher: Extended service contracts typically come with deductibles, some don’t cover engine removal, and they often limit haul out coverage or, in the case of manufacturer-backed programs, will only pay if you purchased higher levels of coverage. Check the contract’s details on how the company handles deductibles and consequential damage.

Kill the overlap: If you decide to buy an extended service contract, find one that begins after the manufacturer’s warranty expires and never be pressured into buying one the same day you buy the boat. You’ve usually got up to at least nine months to make a decision. It should also be transferable, which adds to the boat’s value.

Manufacturer benefits: Consumers often get a better deal on engine service contracts that bear the name of the manufacturer because the dealer’s markup is limited. And while these service contracts take their name from the engine’s manufacturer, independent companies could underwrite them. However, you still are likely to get a better deal regardless because “manufacturer” programs often have substantially better coverage and more flexibility. Don’t forget prices are negotiable, and some engine manufacturers sell contracts direct, bypassing dealers.

Approval needed: While it is an extra step, extended service contracts require preauthorization before work begins. However, avoid those that will require work to be done only at a network of “approved” shops, or require you to use the selling dealer.

The gamble: Most defects in new boats and engines appear within the standard warranty period, so you may not get a return on the money you paid for an extended service contract.

How many problems will I have?: Some engine models that have higher than average rate of problems may benefit from an extended service contract. BoatUS members can use the BoatUS Consumer Protection Database that contains thousands of first-hand reports on boats and engines at www.BoatUS.com/consumer. For membership information visit www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.

  Read Full Story

One More Sunny For Boating Means Special Attention to Safety

Friday, October 25, 2013

  Read Full Story

What's Will Happen to Boaters Over July 4th? BoatUS Knows...

Monday, July 02, 2012

ALEXANDRIA, VA – For recreational boaters, being on the water for the July 4th holiday is akin to driving to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving. Waterways are jammed, launch ramps are mayhem, and getting home after the fireworks end can feel like a California freeway at rush hour - except there are no breakdown lanes. The folks at Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) have seen it all before, and have these three tips on how to overcome the challenges of boating's busiest day of the year:  Read Full Story

Mark Zona on Launch Ramp Etiquette: ‘Don't Be That Guy’

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The following is an open letter from Mark Zona, host of Zona's Awesome Fishing Show:  Read Full Story

Take Your Camera Fishing to Win Big

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

ALEXANDRIA, VA – There's a lot to pack before you head out for the spring fishing season. Just don't forget the camera to take shots of your catch to submit to the BoatUS Angler "Catch of the Month" photo contest at www.BoatUS.com/angler/contest, which kicks off this week and runs monthly through October 31.  Read Full Story



GlAngler Subscription

Recent Posts



Tags

New Zealand Grunden's Sportsman's rights toilet Brian Brosdahl Dollahon Ranger Aluminum Deep V Series Hamlin Spreads Lures Brandon Newby exotic species spinning rod Kill switch Pop-Up LED Bowlights Smart Guide to Freshwater Fishing Fuel Aluminum Deep V Series Kayak dock lines Knives Oculus Safe boating Jerky Oshkosh Buff River Fishing Navigation Fiberglass boat Records DSC CLASSIC iPhone Gunnison, CO Boat lifts Ditty bag Tournament Skamania Mania Jack Links Larson Electronics Venice, Louisiana Costa Northland YUM spreader light BoatUS Angler Husky Jerk B.A.S.S. Power Bro Brosdahl Mr. Twister Walleyes Forage Minnow Sun protection Normark Rovermax LR 100 Foul weather gear Hunting FRIDAY FUNNIES Knife sharpening ShowSpan Rippin' Lips Youth Z-Man Tommy Skarlis Telescoping JIggler Long Rod Dunkirk, NY Fiberglass tiller mudsnail Angler 175T Great Lakes Troller ATV Tides Aqua-Vu VMC Tournament Grade Circle Hooks Barry Brown Marine Pro Polish Plano Tackle Boxes Tracker Marine Michigan DNR Lowrance National Guard Batteries Wildlife Forever Dave Mull Blog WFN Weather Buoy Clam Seakeeper gyro Ditch Synergy Outdoors Marine NewsWire Whale Humminbird Smartfind S20 Personal AIS Beacon One-Handle-Does-It-All System Headgear AmVets Traditions Media Aquatic AV Green Bay, Wisconsin Ryan Kleckner Lake Ontario Trout Unlimited Slide Moor Lund Jeff's Tackle Shop Optima Iaconelli CMP Global Team Aqua-Vu Ranger Boats Glacier Glove TRAC Ecological Lake Huron F-Series Storm Gear Martin-Flory Skarlis Plano Synergy Shelter Innovative Outdoors KVD Michigan Lake Assault Bibs Bob Schmidt Minn Kota Okuma Rain suit Bass Pro Shops JVD Costa Del Mar Alaska Glorvigen jeffstackleshop.com Thermacell Lake Michigan Tight Lines Jewelry Chatterbait Fishing great lakes Owners tournament EVOLVE FISHING CO hardbaits Bass Pro Tools Sunglasses Technology Endura Contest SeaLife Cameras tackle storage Side Imaging InvisaSnap Muscle Squared 65 Rubrail Marcum Tim Popfinger GPS Speedometer Accon Marine Footwear Traditions Moisture Muncher Mosquito repellent St. Croix Rods Soo Locks Insect repellent South Haven Soul5 Tackle Labs Mustad Gene Larew BASSMASTER Swim bait Prosepec Electronics Crankbait Net Bug bite relief Line Recycle Bin redfish Soft Jigwobbler Rapala Alaskan marlin splice Mag Light Michigan City, Indiana The Harry Lure Camera mount Rippin Lips USCG 360 Tyee Trade Shows 1675 Pro Guide Line Shoremaster Angler John E. Phillips Gravity LakeMaster Western States Version Gear Orca Fin System LineGrabber Games Pharmaceuticals Invasive species Rough Weather weather U.S.S.A. St. Croix TRAC Torpedo Divers Boating Speakers Ultimate Flannel Shirts Practical Sailor Reef Runner Dogs Dave Genz Stabenow Mike Seymour New Lures Hobie Dave Mull Mark Zona Quantum BASSMASTER CLASSIC NAIFC Championship Mazurek Launch ramp inReach iPilot bimini top Multitools University of Buffalo Wisconsin blue marlin Video Rescue Flat Slider 75 Topwater ABT X-2 Countdown Wind Power RedHead ABT Volvo Penta Bristol Bay www.bigweeniebrand.com HELLA Catfish Macho Minnow yachtpaint.com Davis Instruments Monel Metal Marine Radio Scholarship Shoes Muskie Lure New York Jeff Wenzel MATE USA Goby Slender Spoon ONIX Sharpeners Northwest Indiana Steelheaders Ascend Legend Gold Ravenswood Media Faria Size limits boat rental YUMphibian Milennia MIL-iDock Ultracoat Costa Sunglasses Lights Ranger VS1780 clubs Sport Shows News/Social IGFA Matt Serbenski Deep Sea Diver Ethanol McMurdo SeaEra QC Bug repellent Acme Army Corp of Engineers Snow-Shoe Tip-Up Titan Chain Traxstech exotic invader Mack's Lures Side Thruster Swanson-Russell Cannon Whistler Spoon Indiana DNR Radio Salmon Unlimited of Illinois Walleye Magnum Flow-Troll Corey Schmidt treestand injury Bait Rigs Yamaha Coast Guard Chicago barrier Delorme Extended Warranty Alabama Rig Up Stream Hydration Back Pack Autotether The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls Airmar Earth Day Mark Chmura Fish Hawk XD4 Conservation Bad Elf Sunstream Boat Lifts Bass Pro Shops Gift Card Smart Guide Publications jigs Grady-White LineSnubber Lund Boats Serious Shine Accessories cruzin Hobie Pro Angler Tom Neustrom Kindle book Storage Apps BoatUS Vick News Ryan Wilson Interlux Tournaments Shipping Insurance Lock Lighting Gill NA Jeff Gustafson South Haven, Michigan Brown trout Sheldon's Black Velvet OHIO Wedding Ring Baitcast Fishing Pole BBQ Lighter Bass lure Legend Extreme Honda Port of Indiana Brite Wash Holland Plano Ice Fishing Swedish FireKnife Scott Martin ASA RAT FINKEE Rain gear Bass Nautical Mack's Lure Fishing Clubs Cliff Pace EZ BoatPort Steve Wood Black Earth Creek Global Spectrum DuraSafe Bheestie Bag Wounded Warriors Asian carp ODNR Air show Home Port Marine Marketing Ranger binoculars Rig'N Tails Izaak Walton League iPad Walleye tournament Evinrude Boat US Rushton Gregory Sphaera Ice Features USCGA Boating safety Green Bay Bristol Bay Salmon Lake Erie Bait head Contaminants Berkley Church Tackle Gary Dollahon Tip-Up eZSplice Frigibar EZ Dock Boat names Patrick Hurst NMEA Kurt Mazurek Lead Reese Streams Marine Lighting Matt Straw Odd'ball Fin Spin Multi-species Audio Big Bear Products Fort Wayne, Indiana Uncle Norm's spoon Jonathon VanDam Chaco Blue Collar Outdoors PLB Raritan Yamaha ATV Whale Pumps Olcott, NY LOTSA GPS for Lightning Connector Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo Onyx BOLT Padlock PulseTech Chargers Boats Manistee Cabela's ice fishing, Bro Show, Traditions Media PRADCO iPilot Link LCWCC Wake Fishing Kevin VanDam Lakemaster Marsh Madness Radial Gary Giudice Oakley Sunglasses JBL Todd Sokolow Custom Jigs & Spins Beckson Kayaks Downriggers tree stand injury MUSHING Bass Pro Shops Four-Person Dome Tent with Screen Porch Triton Boats Evolve Aqua Vu Silver Horde Strike King Gull Lake Marine Catch & Cook USSA Marine Speakers Tackle Bag On board Frabill Betsy Electronics Spencer Yachts Aqualuma Fish America Foundation Wild River series Swim Whizz DuraSafe Electronics Lock Safety Rugged Shark Bethel University Homeport Marine Marketing Andrew Semprevivo Clay Dyer Rods WeatherStation SOG Promise Keeper FLW WileyX Princecraft Turning Point Props Lake Superior Bait Holder Chronglobal USO Shurhold Shock Wave AKOYA Balog Niagara Falls Hevi-Beads STRATTEC Boat maintenance Keep Kool Boat Covers Lake trout CUSTOM JIGS 'N' SPINS EZ Splice Fasteners Salmon

Archive