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Raft Up!

May 28, 2014

Rafting your boat is a great way to spend time on the water with family, friends and other boaters. Here are a few tips to keep you and your boat safe while rafting up this summer.

Raft Up!Gear:
Make sure you have the right gear for rafting up. Fenders, dock lines, spring lines and anchors are important. A boat hook is also handy to maneuver boats at close quarters while keeping hands and feet clear for safety.

Make a Plan:
Having a good plan will make the process of rafting multiple boats together go smoothly and safely.

  • Designate the heaviest boat (not necessarily the biggest) to be the host or ‘anchor’ vessel. This will be the first boat in the raft, setting a good anchor for the boats that will then tie along either side.
  • The total load on the center boat will be more than normal and extra scope is necessary. Make sure the captain of the anchor boat is familiar with his anchor and sets it good at 7:1 minimum scope, 10:1 is always a good idea especially for larger rafts.
  • Size up the boats that plan to participate in the raft up. It is best to place similar sized boats next to one another to best protect the vessels when tied and make crossing between boats easier. Place larger vessels near the center of the raft, on either side of the host or anchor boat, and smaller boats towards the ends of the raft.
  • When planning a larger raft, it is a good idea to have multiple boats set an anchor to secure the raft, every third boat is a good rule of thumb. Be aware of current, tides and wind conditions. Plan to either anchor your raft in place (forward and aft) or to allow for swing (which can tangle lines and anchors if you are not careful).

Raft Up

Communicate:
Use your marine radio or cellphone to communicate between boats as they are added to the raft up.

Be Ready:
Have your fenders deployed and lines ready. Take into consideration if you will be setting an anchor prior to easing alongside the raft. Be safe, look for swimmers and smaller watercraft as you join the raft up. Children and guests not involved with rafting up should be sitting out of the way.

Tie Off:
When in position, tie off to the other boat. Adjust bow and stern lines so your stern aligns with the rafted boats. This allows for safer and easier travel between rafted vessels. Use spring lines to prevent forward and aft shifting between boats.

Movement:
Movement, especially in wake situations is usually unavoidable. This is one reason some choose not to participate in raft ups, and is often a cause for the rafted boats dispersing before dark. How protected your anchorage is from wind and wake, how safe and secure your fenders keep your boat, and how securely lines were tied are all important factors that will contribute to a safe and damage free raft up experience.

HAVE A PLAN, HAVE THE RIGHT GEAR AND HAVE FUN THIS SUMMER BOATING SEASON!

Be Respectful: Respect the privacy and belongings of the boats next to you, especially when coming aboard another’s vessel to cross along the raft. Be mindful of where you step, avoid walking over hatches and through cockpits, etc..

Be Safe: Take your time when crossing between two boats, never jump! Climbing over bow rails, lines, gunwales or swim platforms pose trip hazards and safety concerns. Be careful of cleats and other sharp objects when barefoot. Keep arms and legs out from between boats, you never know when shifting may occur. Wear life jackets or PFD in case of a slip. Never swim between boats.

The Right Tools: Even if you only raft up with other vessels once in a while, it pays to have properly sized and shaped fenders, and the right kind of dock lines for the task. For rafting up with larger vessels, you might want to consider having a set of at least two slightly larger fenders. Having slightly heavier dock line is a good idea too, especially if some of the boats in the raft are larger. Make sure you are tying lines off securely. Checking and maintaining your boat’s cleats and other gear is a good practice to prevent damage while rafting up or dockside.

Get The Gear Here!

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Marine controls are an essential part of any boat (including auxiliary powered sailboats). After the wheel or tiller, there is nothing else that you touch as much. Your marine controls connect you to the thrust and direction of movement of the vessel whether docking or out on the open water at full throttle. A control may operate the throttle or shift or both; several choices and options are available. Reliability, smoothness, accuracy and response are all features to look for in a marine control.

Shift / Throttle Functions of Marine controls:

Single Function / Single Lever (Controls Only One; Throttle or Shifter) – This is the simple lever that controls just the throttle or just the shifter. Some typical applications are with a Berkley Jet, this lever is the shifter and a foot pedal is used for throttle.

Dual Function / Dual Lever, Binnacle Mount Control

Dual Function / Dual Lever (Controls Throttle and Shift for Two Engines) – This control sees typical use with a twin-engine vessel and offers the simplest to use setup. Like all dual function controls, the lever controls both the shift and the throttle. As you push forward on the lever, the transmission engages and the engine throttles up.

Dual Function / Single Lever (Controls the Throttle and Shift) – By far the most common controller available for virtually every inboard, sterndrive and outboard application. This control is suitable for only one engine. The mounting options for this style control can range from helm stations to the side box controls on an outboard to sailboat cockpit controls. Like all dual function controls, the lever controls both the shift and the throttle. As you push forward on the lever, the transmission engages and the engine throttles up.

Single Function / Dual Lever (One lever controls throttle, the other lever controls shift) – A more traditional approach to controlling the throttle and shift. Some manufacturers do not recommend this type of control because you could throttle up (first) then slam the transmission into forward while the throttle is high! For twin engines, you simple mount two of these. Not for novices and can be dangerous when operated in a panic situation.

Control Mounting:

Traditional Runabout w/ Side Box Mount Control

Runabout, Outboard or Sterndrive Controls – Smaller boats typically use a side box mount controller, fitted to the right of the helm. With the exception of some jet boats, most of these controls are dual function, single lever. There are specific controllers made for Mercury / Mariner / Force as well as OMC / Johnson / Evinrude. You may be able to use a more generic controller by choosing cables that have end options that work with your system.

Sailboat Controls – Most sailboats use a flush side mount marine control. Older sailboats typically operated with Morse single function / dual lever controls. Most sailboat auxiliaries setup since the 1980’s use the dual function / single lever control to manage the throttle / shift in a smooth fashion.

Inboard and Larger Vessels – These controls are most often binnacle mounted controls that may have two stations (upper helm and lower cabinhouse) and twin-engine setups. The common traditional setup is a single function / dual lever control at the helm station. Owners often want more response and a ‘make sense system’ to help when maneuvering larger vessels with twin engines.

With the right controls, nearly anyone can take the helm* – note that the boat below is not under power!

Upper Control Station - Twin Engine, Single Function / Dual Lever

The Perfect Dock, Garden, Yard Cart

There are few items that can travel so effortlessly between use for the boat and use for around the home as the Tipke Aluminum Folding Cart. At a mere 33 pounds, the Foldit cart is capable of handling loads in excess of 300 pounds! Removable front gate (included) allows for larger loads and quick, easy, controlled dumping of soil or mulch. Use it for carrying valuables up and down the dock or for work around the garden and yard; and when you are finished with the cart, it folds to a compact depth of just over 9″ for easy out-of-the-way storage.

Made in the USA and backed with a 2 year warranty!

Other Uses

Tipke has thought of uses beyond the dock, yard and garden with two accessories. This dock cart can be ‘towed’ around by more than just you. There is a bicycle hitch attachment that allows your cart to be towed behind your bike to the local market or on errands. There is also a trailer hitch attachment that allows the cart to be pulled along behind a yard tractor.

Rugged Service

This cart is built for years of rugged service. The all aluminum construction is rust free and corrosion resistant. The 20 inch pneumatic tires along with the position of the axle allows travel with heavy loads over uneven terrain with some ease. When not in use the cart is kept folded by the retracting handle. The cart can be ready for use quickly by unlocking the handle and opening the cart.

Your Own Dock Cart

For boaters, the corrosion resistant construction, weight carrying capacity and compact storage size meet all the criteria of the boater who is cruising around or wanting their own cart. The days of hunting the finger piers for an empty cart are gone. When you travel from marina to marina during the summer cruise, the Tipke dock cart comes in handy for picking up supplies or loading and unloading guests possessions.

Replacement Boat Lift Canopies

The boat lift has been at the lake for years. It has stood up surprising well for an aluminum frame that has been alternatingly; in the water or dragged up and frozen on the shore.

The primary purpose of a boat lift is two-fold; to lift the boat out of the water to keep the bottom clean and to keep the boat shaded / sheltered from above to protect it from the sun and weather.

Now after more than a decade, the cover portion of the boat lift is starting to look worn – or perhaps a recent wind storm finally finished the old fabric top off.

Go2marine supplies boat lift canopy covers for many of the boat lifts built-in the past 40+ years. Boat lift cover fabric is available in 3 types of fabric with 6 colors each offering 18 choices of personalizing the fabric.

Fabric

  • Vinyl – good quality and long-lasting; likely the fabric you had on your boat lift canopy from the factory. Heavy weight at 16 oz. per square yard. Easy to clean and affordable.
  • Harbor Time – better quality and more visually appealing to some. This is an Acrylic coated Polyester material. Quality look at a lighter weight, 11 oz. Made by the same company that makes Sunbrella.
  • Seamark – great quality with a rugged fabric. This fabric is a combination of the two best materials; the rugged acrylic fabric Sunbrella and a backing of waterproof vinyl. Sunbrella is also waterproofed at the thread level (no coating to peel away). At just over 16 oz. it is the heaviest of the boat lift cover fabrics.

Construction

  • Maximum leak resistance – all the fabrics that are used in the construction for boat lift canopies are coated and offer long-term water resistance.
  • Custom fit, Custom details – CAD patterns, scalloped trim. Professional seams along with stitching reinforcement where it is needed the most.

Installation

The original top was being held on with springs and line. Your replacement cover will have all necessary mounting hardware included. Canopy Installation Instructions will be included with the new replacement fabric canopy.

Replacement boat lift canopy covers for most popular manufacturers of boat lifts, including: Shore Station, Lake Shore, Beach King, Floe, Hewitt, Newman’s, Pier Pleasure, Porta-Lift and Shoremaster. All of these manufacturers are based in Minnesota, the “Boat Lift” State!

The installed T-top boat cover keeps your boat clean and dry

Go2marine offers Taylor-Made T-top Center Console Boat Covers for boats with fixed position “T” tops. These boat covers are built to accommodate a wide range of vessels, from 17.5′ to 26.4′. There are two groups of T-top covers, those that fit boats with no bow rails to 6″ bow rails and another group for those with taller rails, from 6″ up to 18″ bow rails. If you are uncertain how to measure your boat, follow these simple measurement guidelines.

Fabric and Construction:

The semi-custom T-top boat cover is manufactured from 6 ounce Hot Shot with a 5 year limited warranty. Exclusive for Taylor-Made boat covers, engine covers and other fabric products, they are  now sewn together with Gore Tenara thread. The thread is resistant to UV sunlight, saltwater, chemicals, acid rain and harsh environments; in fact, Gore stands behind the Tenara thread and guarantees that it will outlast ANY fabric it is sewn with. From the Acrylic Coated Polyester to the strap buckles and straps, these covers are made to stand up to years of service.

Installation:

Unlike T-top boat covers of the past, this pattern allow for two major design improvements.

  • The cover is made in 2 sections that can be zipped together
  • The cover can be installed by just one person – without a ladder.
Get started by pulling on the bow section…

After removing the cover from the box, separate the front and the back sections. Place the bow section over the bow and pull the cover on until it reaches the center cockpit. You may need to work from side to side. Now do the same with the stern section, pulling it on until it reaches the center console. Standing on the deck, secure and zip down one side 1/2 way, then the other side. Pull the zipped cover up under the T-top and secure. Step off the boat and zip the cover the rest of the way down on both sides.

Secure the zipped portion of the boat cover down on each side. Once you are done with the zippers and securing the straps across the zipper, move to the bow. Install the trailer strap on the bow, then work towards the stern. Here are the Complete T-Top Coat Cover Installation Instructions.

The result is a fabric boat cover that keeps out the elements and protects your investment for years to come.

From boating on the lake to tying up at the dock...

Go2marine with Taylor Made Marine Products is offering a drawing of $500 Gift Card for one lucky boater. Enter the Taylor Made Sweepstakes.

Taylor Made manufacturers a complete source of marine products and accessories. From the dock edging and guards right next to your boat to the fenders, buoys and mooring whips that keep your boat from contacting the dock. Taylor Made offers bimini tops, anchor shade umbrellas, misting systems and other products to protect you from the sun while on your boat as well as boat covers to keep your boats finish looking like new.

Tenara Thread - Lifetime Seam Warranty

Tenara thread is now used in all Ultima and Hotshot fabric products including boat covers, biminis and motor hoods. Tenara thread is guaranteed to outlast ANY fabric that it is used to sew – this means no more seams separating because the thread has failed to live up to the sun or weather.

Sweepstakes ends June 15th, 2011. No purchase necessary. See details below**

**You must be 18 years or older to enter. No purchase necessary. $500 Gift Card will be issued from a major credit card company. See full sweepstakes rules and details here.

Boat Parts – New for 2011

January 27, 2011

The boating industry, although changed by the new economy, continues to initiate improved and innovative products and boat parts for 2011.

Lasdrop Dual Injection Port Dripless Shaft Seal

Lasdrop Dripless Shaft Seal

Lasdrop has added duel injection ports for their entire product line of shaft seals over 1-1/8″. Dual injection ports can also be fitted to smaller shafts. The primary reason for this change? To accommodate dual engines for a situation when one engine is shutdown, but the other is still being used to ‘get home’. Water will still be able to cycle through the seal of the still turning shaft to keep it cool from either engine to either shaft seal. For those boats with just one shaft, don’t worry, the Lasdrop kit also comes complete with a block off plug. This easy to ignore boat part now lasts longer and is made more reliable.  Additionally, all installation hardware is now included.

QNP Light Commercial Safe-T-Puller

QPNW Crab and Shrimp Pot Pullers

These pot pullers are designed for serious recreational and commercial use with four improved electric models. The Light Commercial pot hauler is built to pull in 300 pound pots all day and features new cooling fins on the 2.1 HP motor to insure long life. All of the Safe-T-Puller pot haulers now include a factory installed roller-fairlead and quick-detach kit. The Safe-T-Hauler includes roller-fairlead, swivel block and 3-piece davit w/SS quick-release pins. Quality Products Northwest continues to build pot pullers as it has for more than a decade and a half; making improvements to offer long service life for the fishing industry.

Glendinning Pro-X Control Cables

Glendinning Control Cables

Although not entirely new on the scene with marine products and boat parts, Glendinning introduced the Pro-X Control Cables just a couple of years back. The Pro-X control cables are designed for high performance operation with a minimum loss of motion and almost no resistant forces. What this means for the recreational and commercial user is simply a long-lasting low friction, high performance control cable to replace original Morse or Teleflex fitted cables. Control cables are available in the popular 33C configuration as well as Mercury, OMC, Gen I, Gen II, BRP, Johnson, Evinrude Style, 43 C/BC, 64 C/BC and more.

It is another new year and most of us have tucked away our boats for the long winter of hibernation here in the North. This boat hibernation is not localized to just the northern part of the US, Boaters from San Fransisco Bay (and the Chesapeake on the Easy Coast) north usually park their vessels until the first days of spring.

So here are some New Years resolutions.

1. Prep the boat and do that one job that you have been putting off. There will be time right before you launch for paint, varnish and epoxy (and the weather will be warmer) in the spring. Now is the time to install those LED navigation lights, rewire the power distribution panel, change the steering helm and cables or fit a new toilet to your slumbering vessel. Pick just one job and follow it through so that you will be ready to play this next season.

2. Take a Boater’s Safety Course. Many States are requiring boaters to have completed a boaters safety course; currently, only 9 do not. Locally, the state course is often a one time class that you might not have to take for years, yet you could just ‘get it out of the way’. Some insurance companies offer a break for taking a course. The US Power Squadron (USPS) has come up with a boating safety course suitable for any students situation. There are several ways that you can take a USPS course, in class, online or through an interactive CD-ROM. Lastly, get those who boat with you aboard your vessel to complete a course – better yet, take it together.

3. Plan your next journey. Look up the information and make plans for your next boating adventure. One of the easiest ways to plan the route is using the C-Map system in your chartplotter. Whether you  are taking a trawler down the Intercoastal Waterway, a sailboat adventure to Alaska or just planning to visit those local lakes that you always wanted to fish. Internet research is easier than ever with private blogs about people doing similar things, YouTube videos or professional tour sites. Plan for those dreams and make them possible.

4. Join a professional organization that helps on the water. Volunteers are needed by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGA), Fish and Wildlife, Environmental study groups and others. There is no way better to connect with people and the marine enviroment as there is when you give your time. Whether it is helping repair a local boat ramp, counting spawning fish or inspecting vessels as a member of the USCGA, it is hard to find a more rewarding effort in a place that you care about.

5. Speaking of vessel inspection; get a vessel safety check by the USPS or the USCGA. Be a proactive boater and arrange to get this simple inspection that confirms that you have right equipment aboard (which you should have). The inspection is voluntary and is not boarding or a law enforcement issue. No citations will be given as a result of this encounter. You will be supply with a copy of the evaluation so that you may follow some of the suggestions given. Vessels that pass will get a VSC decal.

6. Get others involved in boating. Take a friend and expose them to boating. Send someone you care about a marine magazine. Share the enjoyment that you get from boating and take someone else down to the docks. Nothing fosters support better than those you care about getting involved with something you care about. Boating is about how the activity makes you feel as mush as it is about doing the activity.

7. Get a new or used boat. Now is a great time to purchase a boat – and what better activity that readying yourself for ownership in a boat if you have not had one. It is also a great time to upgrade to a larger vessel. A co-worker here bought a smaller sailboat so that their children might learn to sail a boat by themselves. Get one of those new smaller kayaks so that you can explore the shore while anchored in the perfect place. Whether big or small, increasing your boat stable may just help you spend more time doing what you truly care about.

Me? I have an electrical panel to install and have been putting off helping a friend who is a volunteer with a shoreline group… My resolutions for this year.

In 2010, the Frasier River watershed in Canada had its biggest sockeye salmon run in 97 years.  This mammoth run was in direct contrast to the 2009 run which was disastrously low at the end of a 20 year decline. The 2009 run was so significantly poor that the Canadian government formed a commission to investigate possible causes.

Just prior to the Canadian commission beginning the investigation of  the paltry 2009 run, commercial fishermen “started hauling in more Fraser River sockeye than any of them had ever seen.” reported by Daniel Jack Chasan of Crosscut.com.

There appears to be two significant factors that contributed to the boom run of 2010. First, in 2008 when the sockeyes were juveniles there were favorable water conditions. Second was the ash fall from the eruption of Alaska’s Kasatochi volcano in 2008. Volcanic eruptions result in an increase in iron in the water which in turn resulted in huge algae blooms that dramatically improved the fish’s food supply. A similar significant salmon run was reported in 1958 after Alaska’s Veniaminof eruption in 1956.

Beyond the natural environmental factors, other factors may be credited to man, including; improved logging practices, resurgence in organic (terra) farming, new protections for upstream habitat, restoration of habitat and restrained commercial fishing catch limits has begun to make a difference in salmon survival. Environmentalists are now optimistic that the huge 2010 sockeye run is a sign of better times ahead.

Salmon runs typically peak every 4 years. With this historical run there has been a turn in interest, both commercially and recreationally in salmon fishing in the Pacific Northwest. With the challenges that the boat building and fishing industries have faced in the past several years, this good news is well received; abeit with cautious optimism.

Grunden's Fishing and Rain Gear

 This years extraordinary salmon return has salmon fisheries on the West Coast of the United States ramping back up for a cautious return to commercial and recreational fishing.  According to Go2marine, they have seen upswing in demand for Grundens foul weather gear and Dutch Harbor gear. Refurbishing and upgrading fishing boats requires renewed hydraulic equipment, boat parts and marine supplies.  Go2marine and Go2hydraulics supports ecofriendly, sustainable fishing.



The winter holiday season is upon us. Many of you have put the boat away under cover or secured her at the dock for the long winter nap. This is the time to buy the ‘toy’ for the next seasons use!

Go2marine is your boats best friend! Not to be left out, we also carry products for your home – treasures for when you are away from the dock and longing for the water. Check out these great deals!

Handcrafted Model Ships & Boats

Free Shipping on Model Ships; set sail with the historic Bluenose or prepare yourself for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking with your own accurate ship model. From “Old Ironsides” to modern America’s Cup challengers and defenders, there is something for nearly every home or office.

Free Shipping on Select Weems and Plath; keep track of time, barometric pressure, temperature or tide with a quality built Weems and Plath Instrument. Manufactured of beautifully polished, solid cast brass, chrome or other fine metals with wood; there is a clock, barometer – or even a barograph – for a bulkhead, wall, mantle or desk in your life.

Ecofan 802 Airplus

On Sale, the Ecofan. Know someone with a wood or propane stove? The Ecofan is a great gift; it helps move air around and requires no electricity! The Ecofan makes its own electricity to run the fan from the heat of the stove. Simply set the fan on the stove and enjoy the principle of thermoelectric firsthand.

When you get back to your boat, you will really appreciate any of these items!

The Gill Clothing double deal! Free Shipping on select Gill clothing and if you order over $175 of Gill clothing you will also receive a free Gill Multitool. Prepare for the worst – dress with the best! Gill clothing had been in every ocean on the planet, subjected to some truly challenging environments and is regarded the as the sailors* favorite clothing. – *you can see them being worn on land as well!

AccuSat 406 EPIRB

Stay found with a new EPIRB. The AccuSat 406 EPIRB, Class 2 with a Non-Hazmat Battery can be shipped nearly anywhere and coded for your vessel and country or origin. 406 EPIRB’s are what the USCG recommends for all offshore mariners to use.  The GME Accusat 406 can make the difference between being found or drifting for 12 days.

Someone just too tough too buy for? The perfect gift is a Go2marine Gift Certificate.

“Really?” – You don’t even need to come out on deck to order! We have shipped to over 165 countries. Order on-line and have your item shipped to you before Christmas.

Visit our Holiday Gift Ideas section for more gift choices.

Merry Christmas from the Staff of Go2marine.