2020 Lowe Pontoons & Fishing Boats: You Can Be The Captain!
By: Lowes Boats
Admittedly, taking the helm of a boat for the first time can feel intimidating. But aboard a pontoon boat, it doesn’t have to be.
When most people think of boating, they picture driving a speedboat or a cruiser — something with a big engine (or two) and a deep-V hull. That hull allows the boat to “plane”; after rocking and bouncing through the water, it jumps up and rides on top of it. Fast.
While that seems exciting, to a newbie it also may paint a picture of too much power and too much happening. A first-timer might not want to worry about popping onto plane, trimming the boat correctly and reading waves to cross them at just the right angle.
Pontoon boats, on the other hand, are as user-friendly as they come. Just think: A new pontoon boat is basically a stable, flat deck attached to long, wide tubes for flotation. And although some pontoon boats can be equipped with high-horsepower engines and specialized performance equipment that allow them to get onto plane, the majority just slide comfortably through the water on their pontoons.
That means sitting in the captain’s chair on a best pontoon boat just may be one of the easiest, most rewarding things you’ve ever done. Turn the key. Use the throttle to move the boat forward or, if necessary, in reverse. Use the steering wheel just as you would in your car.
If you’re not sure whether or not you’ll enjoy driving a pontoon boat, and if the decision to purchase a family pontoon boat hangs in the balance, consider renting one for a few hours to see if you like it. Pontoons are so easy to operate, they’ve become one of the most popular types of boat rentals around the country.
You can rent a pontoon at the seashore, on the Great Lakes, on an inland lake, at a reservoir and even on a river. The city of Milwaukee, for example, has a thriving pontoon rental scene in the heart of downtown. You can cruise along the river, take in the sights, and then tie up at one of the many popular restaurants and watering holes.
Just remember: Learn the rules of the road, be mindful of posted speed limits and no-wake zones, check to see if your particular waterway has any special restrictions, and ensure that all children under the age of 13 are wearing approved personal flotation devices (PFDs). And later on, if you discover a real passion for pontooning, consider taking a boater education course.
See you on the water!
Causes, Prevention and What to do When one Falls Overboard
Pic By: Manitou
Typically, falling overboard is not an issue when it comes to pontoon boats. Pontoons boats are not made for oceans and large waves, so the chances are that you will not find yourself in a serious situation.
Nevertheless, I think it’s worth discussing what to do in case you encounter an emergency like this while on another type of boat.
Why People Fall Overboard
Here are some of the reasons why people fall overboard:
Excess Alcohol/Drug Consumption and Intoxication
According to foxnews.com, Jim Walker, a maritime attorney general, holds that 40 percent of the overboard fallings are caused by alcohol consumption, while the others could fit into the 60 percent.
In addition to this, the cruise lines claim to carry out precautionary measures to handle the situation of overboard fallings. Structural barriers, uniform minimum railings which are like four feet high, with other measures to prevent a fall. But when the alcohol is brought into contemplation, we know that the impossible becomes possible.
Suicide is another threatening cause for overboard falling. People fall overboard to end their pain and suffering.
According to several witnesses in cases of an overboard falling, it is believed that some deliberately go overboard or, in simpler terms, plunge into the water.
However, in most cases, suicide isn’t conclusive because there are no witnesses.
Reckless Behavior and Accidental Falling
People tend to carry out activities that could put them at risk, sometimes to put up a show, or to feed their social media viewers. I
Most actions that can be termed as reckless are; climbing the railings of a moving ship, exploring one's acting skills in risky places, taking pictures in a precarious position close to the ship’s railing. An involvement in horseplay tends to explain a reckless act on a moving boat directly.
How to Avoid Falling Overboard
Here are the necessary steps to take to avoid falling overboard:
Drink Responsibly and Avoid Drugs
Avoid consuming excess alcohol and, by all means, avoid the intake of any illegal drug. The consumption of these substances will only leave you staggering on the ship, acting recklessly, and finally falling off a boat.
Don’t Walk Around the Ship in Bad Weather
In bad weather, one could be at risk with constant blowing, shaking, falling, and tumbling. Stay safely inside your deck when you start noticing a change in weather.
Wear the Proper Footwear
The ship floors could be slippery sometimes. Ensure that your footwear is adaptable to a dry and wet floor. If you need help picking the right shoes, click here and see our suggestions.
Avoid Horseplay in Risky Area
Playing roughly on the railings, the pier, or other parts of the ship could be dangerous. Ensure that you are cautious and responsible even while trying to have the maximum fun on the ship.
What to Do If a Passenger Falls Overboard
If you see someone falling overboard, you should do the following:
Reduce Speed and use PFD
The most critical part of saving someone from the water is to toss them a life jacket or life ring. Especially if the waves are high.
This is important because it does two things:
- The victim can rely on life ling rather than their swimming skills
- Life ring is bright yellow and easy to spot in the water; it helps you to keep the victim in sight.
Turn Around the Boat
The next thing is to turn around and get the victim.
But you have to be careful when doing that because going back too quickly might prevent you from stopping in time and running over that person, creating an even worse situation.
When going back, reduce your speed and pull alongside the victim by approaching from downwind or into the current. Ideally, you want to pick whichever is stronger between those two.
Stop the Engine
Turn your engine off when you are close to the victim. You have to do that for the following reasons:
- You could overshoot the victim and will have to repeat the same steps all over again.
- You cut come too close to the victim and cut him/her with the propeller. That would be very, very bad. Avoid at all costs!!
Use Reaching Pole or Assist
It’s best if you could not come to the victim. Instead, come relatively close and use a reaching pole or a rope. Let the victim grab onto in and slowly pull them over to the boat.
Again, you are trying to bring the victim onboard safely without hitting them with your boat.
Pull The on Board
The last step should is to pull the victim out of the water. But that can be tricky, depending on the size of your boat.
If you have a large boat bringing someone on board should not be an issue, lead them to the ladders or pull them over the stern.
If, however, you are in a small boat, like dingy, this can get tricky. You have to keep the balance of the ship to prevent it from flipping over. You should move to the opposite side of the boat and let the victim clime in by itself.
Another option is to have the victim climb in from the stern. This way, you could assist the victim as well; the boat will not flip over this way.
The key to saving someone’s life after they have fallen overboard is to understand the causes, how to avoid it from happening, and what to do if it happens.
Prevention is always the best option, but if you can not avoid it, it’s best to prepare yourself as best as possible.
Know what you need to do. Practice with a friend or family member if you have to. Do everything you can to be 100% confident and ready for the moment when the disaster strikes; it can literally be the difference between life and death.
Boat Security & Theft Prevention January 2nd, 2020
By: Germaine Marine
It doesn’t matter if you’re storing your boat for the winter or only for a few days or weeks— security should be at the forefront of your mind either way! Your boat is a valuable item in your possession, which means that it’s vulnerable to damage caused by weather, pest infestation, and thieves, who are always looking to make a quick buck.
Keeping your boat secure and preventing theft can be a challenge, but we can help you! Germaine Marine, with locations in Utah and Arizona, is proud to be your local boat dealer. Read on to learn the best ways to keep your boat safe and secure this winter and all year round!
Locate Secure Storage
First, you’re going to need to determine where you can store your boat safely. You don’t want to ever leave it out in the open like on a trailer in your driveway! Thieves can easily drive by or walk by and see what you’ve got, then come back at night and tow your boat away. If you can’t store your boat inside a locking garage or shed on your property, then at least pull it behind a tall fence so it’s not within view of the street.
Another good option for those who don’t have the space on their property to store their crafts is marina slip rentals or dry boat storage. You’ll want to do some research on the options available in your area to make sure that they’re secure enough so that your boat is constantly being monitored.
Invest In A Cover
Keeping your boat covered is a good way to prevent theft as well as to reduce the chance of pest infestation or weather damage (if stored outside). Invest in a good-quality, water-resistant cover that is snug-fitting but breathable enough to not cause condensation to form. A cover can even help to prevent theft simply because it’s difficult to remove and it masks the type of boat you have, so thieves are more likely to look for a less secure target instead of going after your craft.
Remove Valuables & Paperwork
Remember how parking garages often have signs warning you to remove valuables from your vehicle? The same principle applies to your boat, especially if you leave it in a public marina. If thieves can peek in and spy valuable items, they may not take your boat, but they might smash a window and take whatever they can carry instead.
Before you store your boat, make sure you remove all valuable items from it, like GPS units and other electronics, binoculars, cameras, fishing gear, tackle boxes, watersports equipment and anything else of value. You should also remove all paperwork for your boat, like logbooks, journals, registration, proof of insurance and licenses. A boat thief could make use of these items to pass off a stolen craft as their own!
Add Security Measures
To further protect your boat, you can also invest in security measures that will drive away thieves. These include alarm systems that are motion-activated, security cameras, GPS trackers, locks and chains. What you get depends on how much you want to or can afford to spend; just make sure that you’re looking at marine-grade items that can withstand wet and humid environments.
We hope our guide to boat security helps you to keep your beloved vessel safe. Visit one of our dealerships to take a look at our full stock of new and used boats for sale. Germaine Marine proudly serves the cities of American Fork, UT, and Mesa, AZ.
Arkansas Marine: We Sell Fun On The Water For 2020
By: Arkansas Marine