A Zip-Lock bag provides protection from the elements for an exposed fish-finder while this pontoon boat is docked between trips.
Boatyards, marinas and clubs are waking up after a long winter’s nap, and boaters have begun preparing their vessels for the season. While the boat needs to be looked at and readied for a summer of fun, so does your safety. The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water says that doing these four free or low-cost things now will help ensure a summer of safe boating.
1. Get a free Vessel Safety Check: Where else can you ask a professional to go over your boat to ensure it’s safe and has all the required safety equipment? And if the boat is not up to snuff, you won’t be penalized in any way and will instead get some welcome, friendly advice on how to improve. That’s what a Vessel Safety Check does, so schedule a Vessel Safety Check now. Offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadrons, Vessel Safety Checks are completely free, and you may be surprised by what they find.
2. Register your DSC-VHF Radio to get your MMSI number: Digital Selective Calling (DSC) VHF radios can greatly reduce rescuer response times – but only if you have taken the time to register the radio and request your vessels’ unique Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number. If it’s not registered, or still registered to the prior boat owner, you’re not helping yourself and could likely waste valuable response time in an emergency. BoatUS offers DSC VHF radio registration to the public for $25 or free to BoatUS members.
3. Inspect and prep your life jackets: Inflatable life jackets need to be opened up every season to ensure they are in good shape. Regular (noninflatable) life jackets need to be brought out of hiding, inspected, and placed in locations aboard the boat that make it very easy for passengers to access. Life jackets are no good (and not legal) if they are buried at the bottom of a storage compartment and not “readily available.”
4. Take a free boating safety course: The numbers don’t lie. The U.S. Coast Guard reports that 81 percent of boating fatalities occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction. Recognize the upshot of these statistics and get instruction now at BoatUS.org/Free. The free online BoatUS Foundation state boating safety course easily fits into busy schedules, allowing course takers to stop at any time and pick up again later where they left off. It could also earn your state’s boating safety certification. BoatUS membership is not required.
By: Amy Cabanas, Pontoon-Depot
Retail is evolving. Shoppers today demand that brands deliver their BEST online. In this new era, “The age of experience,” price alone is not enough to influence decisions.
For instance, I take my job genuinely important, as an aspect of my day to day lifestyle and habits. I am planning to attempt to communicate to you the best of me once a month in the form of our blog Pontoon-Pedia. I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself to our readers, but also give you my insight on the industry of digital marketing from a digital marketer, as well as, my interruption of the boating industry. My name is Amy, and I’ve been with Pontoon-Depot since February 2018, over the past year I have spent a lot of time posting other people’s perspectives on the boating industry. And by doing so, I feel our readers have gotten interesting information but not quite enough of “US” to take in, since we weren’t writing them our self.
Moving forward, I will have a mid-month blog that comes directly from us and from our point of view, or as they say in the industry “Our Voice”. It will be a learning curve – so bear with me while I continue to learn more about pontoon boats, house boats, the boating industry and just outdoor recreational activities as a whole. I come from a finance/tech background, so its in my nature to be too buttoned up at times. I will challenge myself to share with you all “My Voice” as I see fit, and how I see it fitting with Pontoon-Depot’s “Voice”.
Now let’s get to the point of my title regarding Christmas and the yearly shopping extravaganza!
Isn’t it amusing how the holidays have morphed into a time for giving gifts, a fat man in a red suit, stories of reindeers and sleighs and depending on what kind of family you were raised in, baby Jesus or a menorah? While we all forget that this time of year is a time of savings and a switch in purchasing power. It shifts from the seller, to the buyer and a lot of people don’t even realize it. Think about it, most companies are either trying to dump their inventory, masked by some crazy sale or they are trying to lure you in to buy their products at an inflated discounted price. As if no one was paying any attention 2 months ago to your prices?!
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have turned into a ‘November & December’ crazy blowout buyer frenzy. The sales have transformed from one day, to several days, to entire weekends, stretching into multiple weeks and now two full months. But yes, you as the buyer, during the holidays have even more purchasing power. On top of that now with mobile devices right in your hand, you gain the ability to take advantage of “showrooming”. Another ‘fancy’ industry term regarding shopping at a ‘brick and motor store’ first, looking over the product, trying it out, feeling it and then turning around and buying it online at home cheaper.
Everyone wants to know how Amazon is so successful, how and why people continue to buy from them without feeling it, touching it, or trying it out. My view on this phenomenon, is due to their ability to have strategically built a high regard for UX (User Experience) when dealing with returns, especially if you’re a PayPal user. TRUST - in a company having your back, as the customer, is “Priceless”!
Small business’ will never be able to outspend all the Big E-commerce sites like, Amazon, Wal-Mart or Way-Fair, but that doesn’t mean we can’t out smart them. Since you’ve been given so much purchasing power this holiday why not spend your money with a company that takes you and their product incredibly serious. Spend your hard-earned cash with a company who’s not just pushing as much product out as possible, while luring you in with a bait and switch sale, and shop with us. Pontoon-Depot sells high quality boating accessory products and top of the line MariDeck boat flooring. Which I am learning, all boating enthusiast know, is the industry’s leader.
Therefore, take my word for it, you can trust me and Pontoon-Depot, and you can trust the quality you’re getting. So, go ahead, take advantage of our “10% Off” year-end sale this month on MariDeck products and beat the 2019 MariDeck price increase. I look forward to a great year ahead with all of you.
We’ll be taking a bit of a holiday break in the coming days. Next year, we plan on producing more interactive content around the trickiest topics in boating ecommerce, and we have big plans to find better ways to organize and surface the right content, right when you need it. Thank you, as always, for reading and best of luck in 2019! 🍾
By: Dan Armitage
As many of my fellow pontoon boat club members readied their craft for the off-season, I grew intrigued by the DIY, alternative and after-market solutions some came up with for protecting their boats and related gear. Some of these non-traditional apps are put into use by my resourceful fellow boaters during the boating season as well, and are of value for those lucky pontoon boaters south of the Mason-Dixon Line who don’t know the meaning of “off” season and may enjoy their craft year-round.
For example, you will find covers intended for back yard use on chaise lounges and Adirondack chairs protecting the furniture of some members’ boats. The patio furniture covers are less expensive than semi-custom covers designed for the job, wear well under typical conditions, and the fact that the generic one-size-fits-all covers don’t fit all that tight allows air to circulate and the upholstery to breathe a bit, which can help prevent mildew in the damp environs the boats are subject to. And when conditions aren’t typical, and a loose-fitting captain’s (aka: Adirondack) chair cover goes gone with the wind, it’s less expensive to replace.
If you’ve run across any non-traditional uses for items aboard a pontoon —or any other watercraft – we’d like to see ‘em. Meanwhile, here are a few I stumbled across during a recent late-season walk around the local pontoon boat club – and one photo I snapped last winter that reminded me that going with cost cutting alternatives may not be the bargain you, well, bargained on…