Nassau Sport Fishing Association

Nassau Sport Fishing Association

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Upcoming Meetings & Events

May 22, 2019 6:15 PM • Kraft Ten Acres Shelter House
May 25, 2019 9:00 AM • Burney Park
June 12, 2019 7:00 PM • Kraft Athletic Club
June 26, 2019 7:00 PM • Kraft Ten Acres Shelter House

Upcoming Local Fishing Events

August 02, 2019 5:00 PM • 1 S. Front St., N. Parking Lot, Fernandina Beach, Florida

For Sale by Member

May 01, 2019 2:52 AM • Isabelle Fletcher

News & Topic Forum Updates



Fishing Info Central Things You Need to Know Before You Go !
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Florida Sportsman - NE Florida Fishing                                                                                   

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council                                         


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Seasoned boat captains talk about the reality of maintaining a recreational boat. The upside: cruising on the water is ‘like a first kiss.’ The downside: the cost of owning a boat goes way beyond the sticker price.

“I still remember the first time I took my boat out into the ocean off Fort Myers, Florida,” recalls Robert Coleman. “I’m two miles offshore; it’s a beautiful day. I’m going about 30 mph. The water was crystal clear. I eased out into the Gulf of Mexico and thought, ‘I’ll just run it to Sanibel Island.’ It’s hard for me to even put it into words. I hadn’t felt like that since my first kiss.”
hen, there are the memories he’d rather forget, like the time Coleman thought his boat’s 115- horsepower motor would slice through a tangle of invasive water weeds near the boat launch. Instead, the weeds tangled in the prop and killed the motor. He had to throw his neighbor a 50-foot line to tow him out. “She hooked it to her truck and was laughing at me the whole time.” 

“Having a boat humbles me all the time.” —Robert Coleman

For 68-year-old Ottens, a lifelong Midwesterner and former vice president of a software company, the formula for happiness as a boat owner is simple: Buy the highest-quality boat you can — then take great care of it. 

Boating was always a part of his life, he says. “I’m from Sabula, Iowa, which is basically a small island in the Mississippi River. If we wanted to go to a movie, we’d get in my dad’s little runabout and head across the river. Everyone had a boat of some sort.”

Now he’s retired and lives on a lake in Wisconsin. He has two boats — a speedboat he bought 21 years ago and a pontoon he bought in 2015. He’ll tell anyone getting into boating: “If you don’t take care of a boat, by the time it gets old you’re going to have problems. I get the boats serviced every year, I keep the speedboat waxed up. The people who store the speedboat are amazed at what great shape it’s in at 21 years old.”

The general rule of thumb for critical boat maintenance: inspect and address key components (propeller, oil, fuel and electrical systems) every 100 hours of boating, or as recommended by the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines.

Every outing

Inspect for damage, leaks or overly tight or loose fittings:

  • Propeller (grease 3 or 4 times/season)
  • Fuel system
  • Outboard
  • Steering system
  • Hydraulic steering fittings and hoses
  • Rinse with fresh water (saltwater boats)

100 hours (or 1 time/year)

Check for leaks, looseness and corrosion, or change/replace:

  • Oil and filter
  • Power trim and steering fluid
  • Engine zincs
  • Connections and fuel-delivery systems
  • Battery and electrical systems and connections
  • Wiring and connectors
  • Sparkplugs (saltwater boats)
  • Bolts, nuts and other fasteners

When you’re hundreds of yards from shore and the motor quits

A major pitfall, warns Coleman, is water in the gas tank: “It can be incredibly frustrating. And it happens all the time.” Sometimes you buy gasoline that already has water in it. He warns: Be very careful about where you buy marine fuel. 

But condensation can also form in the gas tank if you don’t use your boat often. “So the boat starts and you get a couple hundred yards from shore and then the motor quits — and you’re stranded,” he says. It’s happened to him more times than he cares to admit, but he learned a valuable lesson: if he hasn’t run the boat in a month, he checks for condensation by running the motor at home or in the marina for about 10 minutes. 

“If it quits, you’re not going boating that day, but at least you’re still at the house or pier, not stranded.”

Ocean-bound? It’s $250 to $500 per hour for a tow

Coleman says that if you’re boating in the ocean, consider the following:

• An at-sea towing membership or policy that covers tows back to shore if your motor dies; on-water towing costs can range from $250 to $500 per hour (with the average tow clocking in at $750 per incident), according to a major, national boating association.
• A VHF marine radio to communicate a distress call to nearby boats and the Coast Guard when something goes wrong. 
• Emergency beacons that automatically transmit your location to authorities and to any other boats in the area

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) are generally larger than personal beacons. Their unique signals are registered with your boat and typically stay on the boat (rather than with you) in a boating emergency. The beacon’s transmission can let authorities know where your boat is and who you are and can even reach out to your emergency contacts.

Handheld Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) go where you go and transmit your position and make a distress call via satellite. Some PLBs are geared more for hikers or campers than boaters. Make sure your PLB floats and has strobe lights.

Personal Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) beacons attach to your life vest and, if you go overboard or are in distress, can send out a VHF signal that can be picked up within range (typically 5 miles or less).

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