Nothing wakes up the spirit of a boater than to see the ice disappear from the area lakes and rivers. Hallelujah, this is now happening all around us in the Midwest! But before you hunt a new lunker for your wall or fill up the freezer with fresh fish, proceed with caution and protect your boat.
My boat, a 2014 Nitro Z8, is not only my toy; it is my office for much of the open water season. It is imperative I protect it to insure not only success but also safety. Like other investments, such as a vehicle and home, it is important to safeguard. Think of your home. Chances are it is loaded with safety features taken for granted: airbags, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, locks, alarms, etc., and your boat needs to be fitted for protection too.
Fiberglass damage on a boat can turn into thousands of dollars for repair quickly. Damage can come from anywhere - the shoreline as you launch or while traversing the water from floating debris. The easiest and most effective way to protect against this damage is with a KeelGuard. This product is my top recommendation for all boat owners to have. If the KeelGuard gets damaged, that means you saved potentially thousands of dollars in fiberglass damage. And these suckers are tough. Look at what I put my boat and KeelGuard through this past December: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puJTwTmjkBs (would be effective to embed the video in the blog). This proves the durability and the effectiveness of this product.
Loading a boat is a pain, especially if you are by yourself, and all boat owners know that dreadful thud of boat hitting the trailer too hard. My boat’s bows have always been notorious for having scuff marks on the gel coat. Luckily for me, I discovered a remedy and preventative product: the MegaWare Scuff Buster Bow Guard. It has covered up most of my scuffs (see photos) and protects it from future marks. If I beat it up to the point where it looks poor (very likely!), I can replace it knowing I saved hundreds of dollars from removing scuff marks or even more with fiberglass damage.
While pursuing shallow water fish, my boat comes in contact with all sorts of obstructions just waiting to destroy my investment. Case in point is the skeg on my motor - the image shows the damage a miscalculation cost me. It is not always possible to avoid every obstacle, but avoiding this damage was. Had I installed a Skeg Guard beforehand, there would be no damage. Luckily, installing one now will cover my damage, improve performance, and add value to my motor.
I will admit that my Z8 gets a lot of second looks on the road, and I like it. It is no surprise - she’s beautiful and I keep her that way. My boat receives a scrubbing weekly with Bass Pro Shops Premium Boat & RV Wash. Do not underestimate how a little TLC goes a long way. Not only does it keep the boat sparkling, but it helps me discover loose screws, minor scuff marks, and other miscellaneous repairs that could lead to larger issues. In addition, scrubbing seats and other hard to reach places prevent mold and mildew from growing.
No doubt you will be heading to the taxidermist several times in 2015, but be sure these moments are not at the sacrifice of your boat and wallet. Before you head out on your favorite body of water, be sure it is ready for the obstructions that await it. A minor investment and a little time can save you from thousands of dollars in damage.
Check out some of our Bass Pro Shops Tracker Boats!
Thanks Andy Buss!