Inland Boat Adventuring!
By Richard Yvon
Boating is as a part of American culture as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie! Starting as early as 8 years old, my father entrusted me to run a solo on one of our lakes close to home. Our first family boat was a 12-foot, Sears’s aluminum v hull boat with a 5 horse Elgin engine. A rig that was the beginning of my boat fishing growing up on the Connecticut River and its tributaries. A very simple boat, for a simpler time, that created many fond memories for me. From then, I would have never imagined where this ride would take me…
All Boats are not created equal. Getting the boat that will work for your waters can be challenging because there are so many choices. First and foremost is the budget. Kayaks have been increasing in popularity because they will go into all kinds of water and the Kayak itself is very affordable. A jet boat will go almost everywhere a Kayak will go but is very expensive. Either way you choose, pick- ing out a craft is a very personal choice. Accessibility, budget, and function are key topics to think about before purchasing.
Boating Necessities can be another area to plan out. So you have bought yourself a boat now what? First and foremost is safety!
As always let someone at home know where you will be!
Here is a short list of items to think about…
• Boaters Safety Course
• Follow all rules and directions in your boat manual and local boating laws
• Life Preservers
• Throw Bag• First Aid kit (with EpiPen)
• LED Flashlight
• Phone (stored in a floating, water proof container)
• Food and Water
• Personal Effects (Rain Gear, Sun Block, blanket, sun glasses, hat)• Current boat Registration
• Fully operational boat trailer (Winch, Lights, Tires, Structural Integrity, brakes)
Trolling motors are essential. There is so much more to a trolling motor than what the name implies! These things are great providing you are using the correct configuration with the proper application. What? ! Trolling motors can be very useful but need to be purchased according to your specific boat and specific use. To attempt to keep it simple, here are a few import- ant factors that can help you select the proper system…
First and foremost give a call to the trolling motor company’s technical support. They can configure the proper system for your specific boat and use. Decide on a 12, 24 or 36 DC volt system
Determine shaft size – mea- sure your boat per manufacturer recommendation.
Salt or fresh water version? Salt-water Trolling motors are always built more heavy duty (More expensive too!)
GPS system – essential for spot lock, controlled back drifting, controlled trolling in a straight line
Whatever Boat you choose, just remember, there is no perfect boat that will do everything. In fact, that’s why several people have more than one! Determine how and where you will use a boat and choose wisely. Stay safe and have fun!