Great Lakes Angler Blog

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:

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

  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

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

“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

  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:

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:

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:

  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 For membership information visit 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, which kicks off this week and runs monthly through October 31.  Read Full Story

Win Gulf Coast Fishing Trip; Guest Star on TV in BoatUS Contest

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 30, 2012 – A grand prize that includes a two-day guided fishing trip this summer in the famed fishing grounds around Venice, Louisiana, and a spot on the Cabela’s Fisherman’s Handbook TV Show are up for grabs in the BoatUS Angler “Star for a Day” Sweepstakes, which kicks off today and runs through June 24. To have a chance at the prize, anglers may enter by “liking” the BoatUS Angler Facebook page and entering the contest at Read Full Story

Five On-the-Water Boat Towboat Captains Honored for Heroism

Friday, February 03, 2012

TAMPA, FL – With more than 600 tow boats spread across North America, the law of averages dictates that, eventually, BoatUS towing captains will be thrust into the middle of life-threatening emergencies. BoatUS Towing Services recently honored five of its TowBoatUS captains for their heroic actions with its annual BoatUS "Woody Pollack Lifesaving Awards" at a ceremony that capped off the group's annual conference held in Tampa, Florida. The award is named after the well-respected towboat captain in the fleet who died at an early age.  Read Full Story

GlAngler Subscription

Recent Posts


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