Sky's Boat Buying TipsThinking of buying a pontoon? Are you overwhelmed by the choices and all the different manufacturers and dealers? Here are some tips to help you out!
Five Gadgets You Don't Want to Leave the Dock Without
We’ve got the line on five gadgets boaters can bring with them to enhance the boating experience and the fun. Christmas is closer than you think, and these are great gift options for the boater on your list.
This is the perfect gadget for the avid fisherman. Why spend hours looking for that elusive school of bass? The technology exists for you to hone in on where the fish are congregating. A fish finder is an instrument used to locate fish underwater by detecting reflected pulses of sound energy, as in sonar. This is cool tech for any angler worth his salt.
Waterproof Camera and Tripod
Capture memories on the water with a waterproof camera. A tripod will allow you to set up and snap the perfect shot. There is so much magic that happens when you are enjoying life on your pontoon. Keep the memories forever and share the moments with your friends.
Spill-Proof Dog Dish
What does your ol’ pup love more than speeding across the water with you on your Bennington pontoon? You love spending time with your furry best friend, swimming and fishing on the lake, but don’t leave the dock without a spill-proof dog dish for your canine companion. Dogs need to drink a lot of water to keep cool since they don’t perspire as humans do. You don’t want them to be thirsty or feel overheated, and you don’t want to have to turn around on a perfectly gorgeous day of boating. A spill-proof bowl keeps your dog hydrated and happy.
Part of what is exciting about boating is that anything can happen. Some surprising moments are positive, such as spotting a rainbow or meteor shower, while others can throw you for a loop. Don’t let an unexpected incident upset your entire day on the water. A well-packed emergency kit includes some first-aid essentials, such as bandages and antibiotic ointment, a whistle to be heard across great distances, a flare in case you get stranded in the dark, a warm sweater in case someone ends up overboard and the night air is setting in, and a knife, which could, quite literally, save your life.
Waterproof Phone Case
Whether you are trying to photograph that perfect summer sunset from the back of your pontoon or are using your phone’s flashlight to investigate something in the water, if your hand is wet, your phone can easily slip and fall into the water. Even a big splash from your cannonballing child or the shower that inevitably accompanies a wet dog can soak a phone innocently resting on a previously dry seat. We all need to have our phones when we’re out boating. How did we ever get along without it for safety, convenience, and comfort? It is the ultimate boater’s accessory. However, it’s no good to us when it gets wet. Keep it safe and dry with a sturdy waterproof phone case.
Which of these gadgets do you think you’ll use most on your boat?
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!
Gone Fishin’: Pontoon Fishing Accessories for Reel Fun
By: Better Boat
You’re drifting slowly in your pontoon at dawn on crystal clear water, so calm it looks like glass. You have a fishing rod in one hand, a coffee in the other, and you’re taking it all in as the sun begins to rise over the horizon. Sounds like heaven.
We’re talking a relaxing and pleasant fishing experience on your pontoon boat.
Pontoon Fishing for Reel Fun
For those of you who are new to fishing, a trolling motor is a removable motor that allows you to troll the pontoon slower than your regular motor while having your hands free to fish. It’s controlled by a remote control or foot peddle.
When I say removable, I mean you can take it off and put it back on with ease every time you use it. I love this feature because it allows you to have the extra space when you aren’t fishing and are just cruising with the family. A trolling motor is also battery powered and can be recharged by plugging it into an electrical outlet.
Most fishing enthusiasts will tell you there are other benefits to trolling. Trolling motors allow you to get into areas where your bigger motor can’t go. You can raise your bigger motor out of the water when using the trolling motor in shallower water.
Depending on the type of fish you’re looking to catch, trolling your lure in the water can be a great way to simulate the natural movement of live bait, increasing your potential for reeling in a big one.
I personally have experience using a Minn Kota and I can say it scores big points for durability and longevity in my books. We’ve had ours for years and it remains a great addition to our pontoon fishing experience.
I always suggest that you do your research and decide what’s the best option for your individual fishing needs and price point.
Built-in livewells are excellent features because they can be filled directly from the lake or ocean (and some livewells can also be installed with this feature).
The purpose of a livewell/baitwell is to keep the oxygen flowing in the water, so the fish or bait stay alive while you fish. This is particularly useful for catch-and-release fishing tournaments where your score depends on the total weight or size of fish count that are eventually thrown back into the water.
I love livewells because they promote responsible fishing in areas that have conservation laws and rules about how many fish you can keep. You can keep fish as you catch them and then release the ones you don’t want, as you upgrade on your catch.
Fishing rod holders are great for pontooners who love to fish with more than one rod in the water. This, of course, would increase your chances for catching your dinner but I would definitely check the rules in the area where you’re fishing as many lakes, rivers and bays have stipulations on how many rods you’re allowed to have in the water at once, depending on what you’re fishing for and what’s in season.
There are many different kinds of rod holders and brands. Depending on the type of fishing you want to do, I recommend making sure your holder matches the strength of your rod and will stay firmly in place when ‘the big one’ takes the bait.