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Need help what do you wish you knew when you started boating that you know now.

robert843

Jetboaters Admiral
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AR
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So working on a project and kind of curious what things do you wish you knew when you started boating that you know now. Example I wish someone had told me just how much time would be sent cleaning and fixing things or I wish someone would have told just how stressful boat launch and retrieval can be with the family in tow or how much time and money would later be spent on mods. Lets hear it guys.
 

Julian

Jetboaters Fleet Admiral
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I wish I'd known how much more fun life is the further south I go, and i wish I'd moved south sooner, and probably should move even further south....like to an island asap!
 

Garrett C

Member
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2018
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Completing your own maintenance vice taking it in to the shop for the small stuff. I am not good at working on engines, but I can change oil, spark plugs little things like that, that will add up a lot. Could save you money if you learn that part of boating.
 

jEt_jAk

Jet Boat Addict
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Hands at bottom of steering wheel and using mirrors for backing up at launch ramp. Turn the wheel the way you want the trailer to go. Had a really hard time until I learned this.
 

Dean P

Jet Boat Junkie
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Chaparral
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2017
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VRX
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I wish someone told me to not sweat the small stuff, stay calm and not to worry. Anything can be fixed. Not sure if I would have listened but I wish I heard this.
 

tdonoughue

Jetboaters Captain
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2012
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Really 2x @Garrett C ! I am pretty good with an engine. Wish I had known how easy all of the maintenance and repair was. From fiberglass to plugs to oil to adding handles to... everything. Would have saved the $$$ on the YES and the first few trips to the dealer. And had things done better from the start.
 

Wisefam22

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Lake Lanier ga
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Year
2006
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SX
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I grew up on boats, but one thing didnt deal with much was trailers. Boating is fun but you gotta get to destination.

If you keep boat on water that can present other problems one must be aware of. Bilge issues, secured properly for storms ect.
 

W3bexec

Jet Boat Lover
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Greeley, CO 80634
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Yamaha
Year
2018
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AR
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Just some random stuff, kind of more Yamaha related.

Before you go: Go ahead and put the drain plug (and clean out plugs, otherwise leave them out) in before you leave for the water, might as well. Buy a multi-meter and check the batteries, normal voltage is 12.6 on fully charged battery. Start battery at 12.0 or under? that is not OK. Even if you follow directions and start the blower before starting the engine, go ahead and open the engine compartment and let that air out some. Start up the engines for a few seconds just to make sure things are right and the lanyard is set. Check the hose clamps every few trips.

Trailer: If you have bias ply tires on your trailer - if not immediately, you WILL eventually upgrade to radials. After a couple of times of being on the side of a busy road putting the spare on, never mind just the hassle, you will say screw this. Its a safety issue IMO. Don't totally cheap out on the replacement radials either.

Trailer: If you plan to "just use the tow vehicles lug wrench" make sure its the same size as the lugs on your trailer. Same can be said for the jack.

Trailer: You might need to move the winch back on the trailer 6" to 8" depending on your tow vehicle to reduce the tongue weight a little. Factory placement does not work for all tow vehicles. If it doesn't feel or look right, then its probably not OK.

The boat ramp: If you are new, see @jEt_jAk 's post above. Take it slow and make small corrections. Overreacting makes things worse. Contrary to popular belief there are boaters out there who understand what you are going through. If you are a trailer backing jedi - give people who are struggling some grace.

Fuel: Don't buy it at the marina unless you keep it there in a slip or mooring, just don't.

Preparedness: Things to keep on the boat - Sharp knife, strong flashlight, a couple extra dock lines (15' is good), a few common tools.

Buy in bulk: Food and drinks tend to cost a fortune when bought in single trip quantities. Save yourself the extra 30% over the course of a season by buying by the case for soda, beer, water, chips and snacks, or whatever at the start of season. We tend to like bringing cold fried chicken but don't buy that for the season ;). No one was ever sorry about having extra ice.

After trip: Plan on spending a couple hours and maybe a bit more after trips to clean up the boat, de-trash, remove sand, dirt, etc. Waiting to clean it just makes it harder as these "things" dry and begin to cake on or begin to discolor vinyl and even gelcoat. Get it off early. Let it dry out before covering. Keep any extra ice cold beer in the cooler next to the boat so you can drink it while cleaning, its better that way. (I'm a fresh water boater [currently] so 2 hours or so is what it takes me).
 

sofakingbig

Jet Boat Junkie
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Round Lake, IL.
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Yamaha
Year
2016
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242 Limited S E-Series
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24
Assuming everyone on the water knows what they are doing and how to captain a vessel! (maritime rules, boating safety etc.) Every year I am still amazed that all of these boat dealers sell thousands of boats to first time boat owners, once the deal is closed the dealer simply hands them the keys and says "Enjoy!" Uhhhh.... Scary shit right there! 😲 Just because you can drive a boat in a straight line on smooth flat water does not make you a good captain!

Smooth seas don't make good captains!
 

F.M.

Jet Boat Junkie
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Harvest, AL 35749
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Yamaha
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2017
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242X E-Series
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24
I wish someone had warned me about boating on holidays (Memorial Day & July 4th in particular). It seems to me that every Joe Blow, that doesn't know anything about boating or have any common since, somehow ends up buying, renting or borrowing a boat. My local waterways end up being covered in a bunch of idiots that have no boating experience at all.
 

Dean P

Jet Boat Junkie
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2017
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VRX
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I wish someone had warned me about boating on holidays (Memorial Day & July 4th in particular). It seems to me that every Joe Blow, that doesn't know anything about boating or have any common since, somehow ends up buying, renting or borrowing a boat. My local waterways end up being covered in a bunch of idiots that have no boating experience at all.
This is one fact someone DID tell me when I started boating. Stay away from boat ramps on holidays. They said if you want some entertainment go and watch!
 

tabbibus

Jet Boat Lover
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Roswell, GA
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Yamaha
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2018
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242 Limited S E-Series
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24
I wish I knew how to tie knots, set up fenders and tie to dock! Made first few rides out quite stressful
 

biffdotorg

Jetboaters Lieutenant
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Dilworth, MN
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Yamaha
Year
2011
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Limited S
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Download a service manual. Even if you don't want to do your own service, it allows a person to research an issue and talk intelligently with a person qualified to do the repair. What a person usually finds out, that if you can read, you can do anything with these boats.

In the water, you are steering the rear of the boat (some folks need a reminder of that)

In the water, never approach anything faster than you care to hit it.

Couples/families at the landing are a team. If everyone has assigned tasks, minimal things are forgotten, and the process flows smoothly
 

F.M.

Jet Boat Junkie
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Couples/families at the landing are a team. If everyone has assigned tasks, minimal things are forgotten, and the process flows smoothly
Ditto! I gave both my kids specific jobs to do and now they no longer stand there in the way arguing with each other.
 

JBehrens

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Being around the water and various boats for a long time, there is a lot that I wish I knew at first but here are a few highlights;

1. Take a CPR/First Aid/AED class, something full fledged not just the basic 1 hour CPR class. I boat on lakes where it could take 2+ hours for emergency services to arrive, if you can even get a call out for help, any knowledge to possibly save someones life is a plus to me.
2. Something is going the break eventually, don't let it ruin your trip.
3. Have a checklist and use it! Something like MiraCoPilot that is designed for aircraft can be very useful on the water and for post trip. My SX190 list (work in progress): MiraCheck Cloud

Honorable mention: If you tow long distances, having a good trailer is worth it. The aluminum trailer wasn't cheap but it makes towing so effortless that I want to take the boat on more/longer trips.
 

tabbibus

Jet Boat Lover
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Roswell, GA
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Yamaha
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2018
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oooh. app for check list? I like it
 

Scottintexas

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Corinth, TX (DFW)
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2007
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AR
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#1 your going to make a ton of new friends, some you'll never meet in person unfortunately,

#2 the confidence it built in my kids, from learning how to knee board, wakeboard, surf to tying knots docking to learning how to drive, I think it really helped open their eyes to not being afraid of trying new things,

I wish I would have bought my boat a few years sooner, I was cheap, looked for a bargain and wasted 2 years of boating,



.
 

drewkaree

Well-Known Member
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Location
Fremont & West Allis, WI
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Yamaha
Year
2019
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AR
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21
oooh. app for check list? I like it
If you've got an Android, there's tons of 'em to be found here: to-do list app - Android Apps on Google Play

I don't have an iPhone, but I'm certain you can find something that'll work. I personally use Evernote, but I've used Wunderlist in the past. Evernote is easy for me to sync up with the wife character, so she's got the same info that I put in, and I can follow her changes if she wants to do so. I've been looking at everyone's lists around here, and I'll come up with my own and set it up with a checkbox type of list after I decide what I should be doing on launch and after retrieval.
 

Peelz

Jet Boat Junkie
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SE IA
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Glastron
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2004
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SX
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17
how much we were going to love it, and use it.

I would have laid down more $ and gone bigger. lol
 
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