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  • Ask the Experts | "It's Why I Got Into Bass Fishing"*

    Ask the Experts | "It's Why I Got Into Bass Fishing"*

    The 2016 Bassmaster Classic ran March 4-6 on Grand Lake near Tulsa, OK. iboats had a great opportunity to talk with Randall Tharp and Mark Menendez of the Yamaha Pro Team as they prepped for the tournament. Randall Tharp: *Randall Tharp, Bassmaster Classic Prep I got introduced to bass fishing through the Bassmaster Classic. You don't need to know anything about competitive bass fishing to be able to come to the Bassmaster Classic and enjoy it. There's always something new, it's always the latest and greatest products. All the new Yamaha products will be here. The crowds in Tulsa are unbelievable for the Classic. Even if somebody doesn't follow the tour yet, this is the event to get people interested in it. Without a doubt, the Classic has the most impact of all the tournaments we compete in all year. The Classic is the culmination of how the anglers did in the previous season. Last years' results get you into the Classic. There's around 37 Elite tournament competitors at the Classic. The regular 2016 Elite season actually kicks off at the St. John's river event in a couple weeks. I'm p...
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  • New Boat Spotlight | Evolution Of The Family Bowrider

    New Boat Spotlight | Evolution Of The Family Bowrider

    We had the chance to test out Bayliner's new VR5 and VR6 bowriders this past fall. At the recent Miami International Boat Show the VR5 won the Innovation Award for "Best Bowrider". The evolution of the family bowrider is clearly seen in this new series of stern drive powered boats. The company that turned the family bowrider concept into the "Boat-Motor-Trailer" package "back in the day" is again bringing innovation and value to boating families. Bayliner and other bowrider manufacturers have been known for helping get more families on the water. The family bowrider was traditionally powered by a stern drive with a few powered by outboards. The advantage of the stern drive was clearly seen a...
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  • New Boat Spotlight | New Nitro Z-19 Tournament Ready Bass Boat At Bassmaster Classic

    New Boat Spotlight | New Nitro Z-19 Tournament Ready Bass Boat At Bassmaster Classic

    "This is like the Super Bowl of Bassfishing," said Rick Emmitt of Tracker. "There are hundreds of thousands of dollars of prize money on the line the weekend of March 4-6"*. The top anglers in bass fishing will be using all their skills to out-fish each other and bring home some of the biggest prize monies of the season. And what better place for Tracker Marine to introduce the new Nitro Z-19 Tournament Bass Boat than at the huge 2016 Bassmaster Tournament Series season on Grand Lake near Tulsa, OK. The all new Z-19 is rated for 200hp outboard and is easily a 70 MPH boat (depending on load, water conditions, etc. ), according to Emmitt. It's tournament ready and on its trailer at $34,995.00 (plus tax, etc. ). That's for the boat, Mercury 200 outboard, trailer, fish finder, trolling motor;...
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  • Product Spotlight | Pre-Season Fiberglass Repairs Made Easy!

    Product Spotlight | Pre-Season Fiberglass Repairs Made Easy!

    It's time to get ready for another great boating season. To protect your boating investment and keep your boat looking its best, it's time to check for any needed surface repairs. The good news is that a lot of fiberglass and gel coat repairs are much easier than they look. So let's start with the gel coat. Many minor scratches that do not go through the gel coat can be wet sanded with 800-1000 grit sandpaper. Simply wet a piece of wet dry sand paper in a cup of water and gently sand the scratched or damaged area. Next use a medium grit buffing compound to return the gel coats gloss le...
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  • Product Spotlight | Four Reasons You Need a SeaStar Jackplate

    Product Spotlight | Four Reasons You Need a SeaStar Jackplate

    SeaStar hydraulic jack plates are specifically designed mounting brackets for an outboard motor that allow you to raise or lower the motor vertically. Here are four good reasons you need a SeaStar jackplate for your boat. A good jackplate makes your boat go faster: A Jackplate will lift your engine and position your propeller closer to the water line. This removes much of the lower unit from the water which reduces drag and increases the speed of your boat. Most jack plates will provide 1 to 4 mph gain, depending on application. This could not be performed by just raising your current engine without the risk of overheating due to lack of water to the intakes on the lower unit. A jack plate will allow the ...
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  • Ask the Experts | Focusing on "Focus"

    Ask the Experts | Focusing on "Focus"

    What does "focus" mean to you? Is it clarity, mental discipline, avoiding distractions, being in the moment, or honing in on specific details? However we define it, mental focus is critical to water skiing success. While the fun and physical challenge attract us to the sport, the best skiers understand that it poses mental challenges as well. Our thoughts and emotions, both positive and negative, affect what we do on the water. If you don't feel confident, your on-water performance will suffer. Skiers need to work on mental focus along with body position and technique. Having great focus applies to all levels and all disciplines of water skiing. Think about the beginner who wants to get up on skis. Often, the skier is so anxious to make it up that he rises up too early and then pulls back on the handle, causing the skis to slip out for a fall. ...
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  • Ask the Experts | Five Tips for Tow Sports Success

    Ask the Experts | Five Tips for Tow Sports Success

    Try my five coaching keys to make getting up on two skis, slalom or wakeboard the first time easier, more fun and less frustrating. 1. Use an experienced water ski driver and have an experienced skier in the water next to you. The driver will ensure a solid pull, while the spotter can make you more relaxed, and help you maintain position as the boat begins to accelerate. 2. Use the right boat speed. For two skis, this will be 25 mph or slower, recreational slalom 28 mph or slower, and wakeboard 15-20 mph. 3. Look into tools that will make learning quicker. Holding a boom attached perpendicular to the boat makes starting much easier. If that's not available, attach your line to a ski tow pylon or, for more upward pull, use an extended pylon or tower. ...
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  • Product Spotlight | Hidden Corrosion Can Short Out Your Boating Season

    Product Spotlight | Hidden Corrosion Can Short Out Your Boating Season

    Simply re-installing and connecting your battery at the start of the boating season doesn't always mean your boat's electrical system is ready to go. Or, have you added a new sound system to your boat? Some LED lighting? New switches for all that? Maybe an additional battery for a trolling motor? How often have you looked behind or under the instrument panel, electrical distribution panel or into the engine compartment to check all electrical connections for solid connections, loose wires or corroded connectors? When you removed the battery for the off-season, did you see any white, powdery deposits on the battery terminals? Corrosion due to moisture and condensation over the off-season, in the bilge and salt water spray or exposure can eventually lead to failure and possibly even fire. According to studies over 50 percent of boat fires are...
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  • Product Spotlight | Keeping Your World and Your Boat Bottom Clean

    Product Spotlight | Keeping Your World and Your Boat Bottom Clean

    Bottom painting has historically been a messy endeavor. Noxious cleaning solvents were to dewax and clean the hull prior to painting, nuisance dust covered whoever had to sand the bottom, and the solvent based paints of past were messing and foul smelling. The folks at Pettit Paint offer a line of easy to use products that are gentle on the environment, the applicator (you), and most importantly, they work well on your boat! By removing the heavy metals in the paint film, and replacing them with more environmentally friendly additives, Pettit's Clean Core Technology can reduce the amount of heavy metals released into our waters by up to 90%. These new additives have been specially formulated to provide a more "finetuned" and consistent release of the b...
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  • Ask the Experts | No Skis Zone

    Ask the Experts | No Skis Zone

    Did you ever think of water skiing with no skis? Barefoot water skiing is exhilarating, offers plenty of excitement and is a real attention-getter. When you first learn, it's always memorable. Unlike water skiing or wakeboarding. barefooting only offers the bottoms of your feet to support and balance your body weight. The sport has a daredevil image and brings a real adrenaline rush. But I also see it as an extremely technical sport, more like figure skating or gymnastics. It's about understanding optimal body position and implementing precise movement, which begins with focus and mental discipline. With so little surface area the boat speed is a bit faster and the balance point is more critical and less forgiving. But good technique will have you solid as standing on land, with minimal falls. I learned to ba...
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