Thursday, February 27, 2014

Spring Pre-Launch Checklist

Spring is just around the corner. And we all know what that means. Time to start getting our boats ready for time on the water. Annual preparation and cleaning projects are essential in helping to keep our boats protected and safe. We all want to spend more time on the water and not off once boating season begins - right?!

Our friends at Discover Boating have put together some general guidelines for pre-season boat preparation with six key areas of maintenance. (Always consult your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions specific to your boat model.)

Fuel System

Inspect the fuel system for leaks or damage; pay special attention to fuel hoses, connections and tank surfaces. Evidence of damaged fuel hoses includes softness, brittleness or cracking. Replace components when necessary and verify all fittings and clamps are properly secured. Ensure the engine, exhaust and ventilation systems are all functioning properly.

Belts, Cables & Hoses

Belts, cables and hoses are important to check, as they can become brittle and may crack during winter storage. Belts should fit tightly around pulleys to prevent slipping; a worn belt may have a black substance near the pulley and will fit loosely. Cracks or swells on the outer jacket of control cables may be a sign you have to take immediate action.

Electric System

Inspect all electrical connections for cleanliness and tightness—corrosion is often a sign a connection may not be safe. To prepare electrical connections for the summer, remove the terminals and use a wire brush to clean them, along with all cable ends. Charge your battery and have it tested to ensure it can hold a charge. Electrical systems should be regularly inspected by a qualified technician.

Fluid Levels

Check all fluid levels including engine oil, power steering, power trim reservoirs, and coolant. Be sure to change the engine oil, oil filter, and drive lubricants, if these tasks were not done prior to winterizing your boat.

Propellers & Hulls

Inspect propellers for dings, pitting, cracks and distortion. Damaged propellers can cause unwanted vibration and damage to your drive train. Make sure the propeller is secured properly, and replace bearings when needed. When inspecting the hull, look for blisters, distortions and cracks. Be sure to clean the hull, deck, and topsides using an environmentally safe cleaning solution. And, make sure the drain plug is securely in place before every launch.

Safety Gear

Check your life jackets to ensure they are in good condition and that there are enough on board for all potential passengers. It’s important to ensure that each individual has the correct size life jacket for their body weight. Be sure all onboard fire extinguishers are the correct class for your vessel, and are fully charged and stowed in the proper place. Take advantage of any safety inspections offered by the US Coast Guard (USCG), USCG Auxiliary or US Power Squadrons.

Tips for Buying a Pre-Owned Boat

Pictured: 2003 Supra Launch SSV Gravity/SK - $28,500
Are you exploring the market for a "new to you" boat or pontoon? We have some helpful tips to save you time and headaches; whether you're thinking about purchasing from us or going with a private seller.

Buying From a Dealer

Buying a pre-owned boat from a trusted boat dealer can save you headaches and extra costs that might come along with buying from a private seller. We inspect every pre-owned boat so that it is ready and waiting for you to inspect it yourself. We stand behind all our boats, service, and maintenance. Your boat is an important investment and we can help you protect that investment. Having access to really good trustworthy boat service professionals is a key element of carefree boat ownership. Not everyone is cut out to do boat maintenance. But we are and we enjoy doing it. Our team of boat service professionals is among the best in the business. 

Sinclair Marina is part of the Classic City Marinas' Network Program. As part of Classic City Marinas' Network Program, our customers are welcome to use the marina facilities of any of our affiliate marinas. So if you live in Eatonton, Georgia, for instance, and you have your boat at Sinclair Marina, but you are a huge Clemson Tiger fan and spend fall weekends in Clemson, SC, you are welcome to reserve a temporary slip (subject to availability) at Clemson Marina at no additional charge to extend your weekend fun while in Tiger Town.

Buying From a Private Seller

Thinking about going with a private seller? Most private sellers do not allow you to test drive the boat that you are interested in purchasing. Most private sellers also do not stand behind the boat sale or offer mechanical and other help should a problem arise once the boat is yours.

If you're still considering purchasing a boat from a private seller - look for scratches, dents, cracks – open all doors and cabinets. Make sure to check the cables and steering. You may even consider hiring a qualified professional boat surveyor to look over the boat and to do a complete certified inspection. Always make sure that you’re working with a well known, local, and highly recommended seller.

Avoid Online Boat Sales
Stay away from long distance online boat sales. You may end up spending more money in traveling expenses, only to come back home with a broken boat or even worse, not coming home with a boat at all! Never purchase a boat online without inspecting it first, or hiring a certified professional to inspect it for you.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sun Tracker Continues to Sell More Pontoons Than Any Other Company

Sun Tracker Boats continues to sell more pontoon boats than any other company. How is this you ask?

In case you didn't know, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris introduced the industry’s first fully rigged fishing boat, motor and trailer package in 1978. He then followed up with a lineup of high-value pontoon boats. His legacy? Bringing breakthrough values to anglers and pleasure boaters everywhere.

As part of the Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Marine Group family, Sun Tracker takes nearly three decades of family-friendly innovations, comfort and quality and weaves them into every single model to produce a lineup of pontoon boats that is absolutely loaded with value. From the time you select the Sun Tracker that fits you and your family's lifestyle, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing you have the backing of a solid, stable industry leader dedicated to your continued satisfaction.

Ready to meet the new Sun Tracker line-up?


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

10 Reasons to Take the Kids Fishing

Why should you take kids fishing? Well, we have narrowed our list to ten reasons; but if we left any out, feel free to share them with us.

  • Give your spouse the day off. "Happy wife, happy life."
  • Make it a game. You can quiz the kids on different lures, bait, and fish.
  • Spend quality time together. Taking the kids on fishing trips creates lasting memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Kids love being on the boat. Need we say more. Kid + Boat = Fun.
  • Enhances creativity. Take the kids to the bait shop and have them pick a fishing lure. You’ll be surprised at what uses they can come up with besides using it for catching fish.
  • Helps build character. Fishing is about patience. Untangling lines, losing your lures, or losing your catch. But it’s all worth it when you see your child smile and thank you for taking them fishing.
  • Test your pain tolerance. Remember to take a boater safety class and always carry a marine first aid kit. You never know when you’ll have to get a hook out of your finger or hand.
  • Become one with nature. Kids enjoy being in the elements. They are willing to endure the heat, rain, and wind as long as they’re having a great time fishing.
  • Great fishing tales. After a day of fishing, they’ll want to tell everyone about their day.
  • Keeps you humble. Keep the fishing trip all about them. As long as they’re catching or trying to catch fish, that’s all that really matters. Big or small, they’re just happy to be spending time with you.

Friday, January 31, 2014

We Offer a Free Online Boating Safety Course

In cooperation with BoatUS and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Sinclair Marina is pleased to offer this free online boating course. You will learn about state regulations, laws, safety and proper operation while on the water. Be a safe and responsible boater by expanding your knowledge with this course. And if you would like additional one on one skills training afterwards, please contact the Sinclair Marina staff at (478) 451-0167 to set up an appointment. Our professional staff can help you put your knowledge to the test in a real life setting.

Ready to access the course? Click here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

We Are Ready for Winter Services

Yes, we know it’s cold out but Spring will be here before you know it. The winter months is a great time to start thinking about getting your boat ready for more time on the water. Get necessary service, repairs, or even upgrades completed on your boat.

Your boat is an important investment and we can help you protect that investment. Not everyone is cut out to do boat maintenance and repairs. But we are and we enjoy doing it! Our team of boat service professionals is among the best in the business. From routine boat service to complicated boat repairs, we've got you covered.

Let Sinclair Marina take care of all your boating needs. Contact our service department today!

Friday, January 17, 2014

6 Winter Fishing Tips

Have a case of cabin fever? Winter fishing not only gets you out of the house but it's just as fun as a day on the water on your boat. Well not really. Who are we kidding?!

Winter fishing does offer interesting challenges and opportunities for a great catch and a great time. So before you head out, here are some helpful winter fishing tips to help keep you safe.

  • Never fish alone! If you happen to fall in the water or encounter symptoms of hypothermia, it’s best to have help around.
  • Carry spare clothing. In case you fall in the water, you can change into dry clothes.
  • Carry extra gloves. Your hands are going to get wet, so in order to prevent frostbite, put your hands in warm, dry gloves often. And if your gloves do get wet, you’ll have an extra pair to put on.
  • Carry a thermos with warm liquid, decaffeinated tea or soup. Caffeine can exaggerate the feelings of cold so it’s best to avoid drinking it. Also, you don’t want to shock your system if you’re already suffering from exposure, so don’t drink anything that’s beyond warm. Maintain a steady flow of warm hydration.
  • Keep blankets or sleeping bags in your backpack or car.
  • Carry a cell phone or radio in case you need to call for help.

What other tips can you recommend?