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Play it safe when boating at night | Pontoon-Depot

Play it safe when boating at night | Pontoon-Depot

An evening cruise to watch the sunset or do a little stargazing can be an unforgettable experience. But navigating home can be challenging. Everything looks different in the dark, and it can be easy to lose your way or hit an obstacle you just can’t see.

To make it home safely, follow these guidelines:

Slow Down

Before you head out, find out what the nighttime speed limit is in your area. Once you’re underway, if you feel you need to go slower than the limit, that’s certainly OK. Going slower at night just makes sense. After all, you can’t easily see the landmarks you need to navigate, and underwater or floating debris can be next to invisible. Safety first!

Learn the Language of the Lights

If you don’t know what the combinations of red, green and white lights mean, you shouldn’t be driving a boat at night. These lights help you know if a boat is coming toward you, moving away, or crossing your course - and which direction it’s going. Access your state or US Coast Guard resources to learn more, but a good rule of thumb is that if you see a red light, stop. That boat has the right-of-way.

Avoid Distractions

It’s easy for your pontoon to be a party on the water. And most of the time, that’s OK. But when you’re piloting your boat at night, it’s important you’re able to concentrate. So make sure any lights on the boat (NOT your navigation lights) are dimmed, look over the windshield so you can reduce glare, and turn down the stereo.

Consider Using a Compass or a GPS

Your first trip on a waterway should never be at night. If you’re at a new place, go out during the day first and take a compass with you. Make note of the direction you travel. Or, go high-tech and use a GPS system to drop a pin at your dock or boat launch. That will make it much easier to find your way back after dark, when everything looks the same.

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy fun on the water any time of day.

Summertime Fishing Tips | Pontoon-Depot

Summertime Fishing Tips | Pontoon-Depot

“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” -Steven Wright

Whether you’re an experienced fisherman or a novice, whether you love it or can live without it, you’ve probably felt that way at least once while casting a line. Days when you JUST KNOW the fish will be biting - they aren’t. Or when everyone around you is catching them, but you’re not. Sometimes, there’s just nothing like fishing to make you feel foolish.

Thankfully, there are some things you can do to improve your chances if you go fishing this summer.


During the summer, avoid fishing during the heat of day, roughly mid-morning through late afternoon. It’s hot, and the fish move to deeper water to cool off. For the best chances, you’ll want to drop your line from sunset through early evening, when the temperatures are cool and the fish become more active. The fishing will also be pretty good very early in the day, before the sun rises.  


When it’s hot, fish rise to shallower water to feed only in the early morning and late in the afternoon. During these times, you’ll want to work the shallows with top-water lures or bait. If you are fishing during the heat of midday, remember the fish are deeper. Deep fishing baits, rigs and lures are best in this situation.


The weather can have a big affect on your fishing success. Days with light rain can be a great time to fish in the summer - it can help you hide from the fish, since it breaks up their view of you through the water. It also washes insects and bugs into the water, creating a feeding frenzy that you can take advantage of.

So pack your fishing gear, these tips, and your patience - and have fun out there!

Water Safety on the Lake | Pontoon-Depot

Water Safety on the Lake | Pontoon-Depot

May is National Water Safety Month which typically applies to backyards: swimming pools, swim spas and hot tubs. But in our line of business, water safety month means being safe out on the lake. And here are some of our best tips:

Water Depth

One of the first things to remember about swimming at the lake is that the murky water keeps you from seeing how deep it really is. Oftentimes, when you stop to swim it's hard to judge the water’s depth unless you're on a beach, in which case you know that the further you get from shore the deeper the water will be.

Swimming Distance

Additionally, the glare from the sun on the water can cause you to misjudge distances and think you can easily swim from point A to point B when, in fact, it's too far. As such, it is highly recommended that you always wear a life jacket when swimming in a lake, since there are so many unpredictable factors involved.

Life Jacket Required

Speaking of life jackets, we highly recommend that while the boat is in motion everyone wear a life jacket, especially children under 12 or anyone who does not possess strong swimming skills. This is an important precaution while the boat is in motion, in case of a boating accident or someone falling overboard. And remember, boats should only be driven by licensed drivers and never be driven by someone under the influence of alcohol for optimal safety of all of those on board.

Caution of Currents

Understand that swimming in a lake is not the same as swimming in the more controlled environment of a pool. There are currents, even in a large lake. As well as waves caused by other boats passing by. For everyone’s safety, it is highly recommended that you swim only in designated swimming areas or just off of a shore, where most boats won’t be passing. And be sure to anchor the boat and turn off the motor completely before anyone exits to swim.

This summer, keep your friends and family safe by taking these precautions during lake boating excursions. And remember, every month is water safety month!