Posted by: Tom Keer
May 28, 2014

Tom Keer

Boating Basics

A stitch in time saves nine, goes the saying, and those true words popped into my mind a few decades ago.  I had pulled over into a rest area because my trailer tire had a flat.  Not a problem, I thought, for I had everything I needed to fix the flat.  So I put the truck in gear, applied the emergency brake, chocked the tires and got after it.  I’d be splashing at the ramp…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
October 15, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

Maybe Get Back -4 Tips for Backing up a Boat Trailer

Backing a boat trailer can be intimidating, especially at a crowded boat ramp.  Sometimes the trailer seems to have a mind of its own. With cooler temperatures and hunting seasons, there may be fewer people at the lake so this might be a good time to practice. Here are a few tips: 1) Slow and steady. “Haste makes… the tire fall off the side of the ramp.” There is a little bit of lag time…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
August 22, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

Raise the Rafters

Have you ever built a raft? And I don’t mean just inflated something manufactured, but actually lashed together various hopefully buoyant objects?  Perhaps you were influenced by reading Mark Twain’s, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and yearned for adventure. This summer, Soggy Shorts Outfitters of Emlenton, Pennsylvania organized a raft race. Safety precautions were taken, life vests were on all rafts, and a rescue boat monitored the event.  With a maximum of four people per…

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Posted by: Tom Keer
June 11, 2013

Tom Keer

Launch Ramp Etiquette

Boating is fun. Fishing is fun. And the combination is outstanding.  There is one hurdle that we need to clear before we turn the bow towards our favorite hot spot and that is the boat ramp.  And with that being said, some of you are probably chuckling while others are getting steaming mad. I have the same mixed emotions myself, and when the ramp turns into a circus my patience drains really fast.  Rather than…

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Posted by: Andy Whitcomb
April 2, 2013

Andy Whitcomb

It’s A-Boat Time!

I still have snow in the yard but the calendar says “Spring” and in the yard, there are shoots from flowers pushing skyward so I know it is time to go over my “Get the Boat Ready” list. 1. Is the boat registration up to date? Some state agencies require a yearly renewal, while others all renew on a certain date.  Best bet is to check your state’s boat registration dates and requirements. 2. Do…

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Posted by: Tom Keer
June 21, 2012

Tom Keer

Small Mistakes, Big Costs

I was at a boat ramp the other day and saw a boat off the trailer sitting directly on the ramp.  Probably the only thing grimmer than seeing a boat that should be in the water perched on the ramp, has to be the sound of fiberglass hitting concrete.  Ouch. In preparation for the launch, the owner unhooked the tow strap and chain, and proceeded to back down the ramp.  He had a buddy behind…

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Posted by: Tom Keer
May 10, 2012

Tom Keer

Fishing and Boating Rigs

We all know that fishing and boating are two of the best activities going.  Some days we don’t catch ‘em up as much as we’d want to, or other days the rain or chop foils our plans for a smooth boat ride.  Those tough days make the other ones even more enjoyable, but so does riding in the vehicles that get us to where we’re going. Now that fishing is fully underway in my area…

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Posted by: Tom Keer
April 5, 2012

Tom Keer

Safety First

Many boaters have already logged significant hours on the water.  For me up here in New England?  I’m just getting ready.  The initial arrival of migrating striped bass combined with unseasonably warm temperatures has motivated me to get my boat out of the mothballs.  Part of my checklist is reviewing all of my U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) safety requirements.  I’ve got PFD’s for every passenger I intend to bring onboard, a whistle, a visual distress…

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Posted by: Tom Keer
January 26, 2012

Tom Keer

Just a little bit more

There is something deep in our angling soul that motivates us to try and reach water that we traditionally have not been able to reach.  If we’re wearing waders we sometimes pull them up as high as they go and walk on tip-toes to get closer to where we believe the fish are holding.  Some times we get wet, other times we stay dry, some of us do it once in a while, others of…

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Posted by: Tom Keer
September 8, 2011

Tom Keer

Back a trailer down a ramp like a pro

For whatever reason, some things in life just don’t come easy.  Patting your head and rubbing your belly is one.  Learning to tie your shoe laces is another.  Driving on ice is a third.  Add backing a trailer down a ramp to the list. For whatever reason, most boaters have a tough time backing down a ramp.  Maybe it is the backwards view of the world that comes from looking in a rearview mirror.  Maybe…

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