Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tips for Good Night Fishing

Have you ever gone night fishing on Lake Sinclair? The quiet of the lake can bring the bass out in droves, and they won't be spooked by other people or boats. Night fishing can be a really cool experience, but one that you need to prepare for differently than a regular old daytime fishing excursion.
  • Simplify your gear. You really don't want to be trying to maneuver around a bunch of gear and tripping or knocking things into the lake. Pare down your collection to just a few lures. Put them in a small tackle box that you can keep on the deck of your boat. Decide which couple of rods you're most likely to use, and lay them over to one side, out of the way.
  • Pick the right baits. At night, bass can't see so well. And while they can detect movement while hunting for food, they are mostly sight eaters. So bring black or dark patterned bait that produce maximum contrast against the clay bottom or against a starlight surface. Carry some metallic baits that can reflect any ambient light.
  • Keep accessories on you. If you need any tools (like a hook sharpener, scissors, etc), try to keep it on your belt or around your neck so you can easily grab them instead of searching for them in the dark.
  • Keep noise to a minimum. Talking doesn't transmit under water well, so that's fine. But avoid dropping things and banging around, as that sort of noise does transmit under water and will scare your fish away. 
  • Follow the laws. Safety is your first priority, so make sure your navigation lights are on and you are aware of your surroundings. Be visible to other boaters, and don't fish in high traffic areas.
There are other night fishing tips in this article as well.

How do you feel about fishing at night?

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Sporty (and Comfy) Tahoe Q5i

"Goodbye, Friday. hello, weekend!"

That's Tahoe's tagline for their Q5i boat, and we couldn't agree with it more. As one of the few runabouts we sell, we hold the Q5i in high esteem for being a fun, versatile boat great for the whole family, and great on Lake Sinclair. This boat, as we say, is 19.5 feet of fun.

Let's start in the back. The boat is equipped with a Mercruiser stern drive, which has enough power for water skiing and other fun water sports. (The boat has a stainless ski tow ring as well.) Above that engine is a best-in-class swim platform, which is larger than many others on boats this size. It's a great place to lounge, sit with friends or jump off of.

Just forward of the swim platform is an aft sundeck, the perfect cushioned spot to catch some rays or just relax on the lake. And what's below that big cushion, you ask? Storage! To get from the sundeck to the swim platform, you simply push in the aft jump seat, which creates a step. Once you're ready to get going again, pull the cushion back out and voila - another cushioned seat! All in all, there is full-width aft seating with an insulated cooler/storage below the port seat and a 36-qt. cooler below middle seat.

The helm features a swivel bucket seat and a nice looking panel with gauges. There's also a passenger swivel bucket seat - and both are adjustable. The passenger gets to play DJ, as the AM/FM radio with MP3 jack is installed right there. 

In the bow, the two lounge seats have storage underneath them. And, what's more, those storage compartments are insulated, so they can double as coolers. There's also a large storage compartment under the floor, which can hold skis and other large pieces of equipment. 

Overall, the boat has a sporty, fun look, comfortable seats and the versatility that any lake boat should provide. Watch the video on the boat here.

What do you think about the Tahoe Q5i?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Why Dry Stack?

Where do you currently store your boat when you're not on the water? On a trailer in your backyard? In your driveway? Both of those places don't exactly allow for your boat to be out of the way. But we have a place, right here at the marina, that's perfect for your boat - it's out of your way and closer to the water. What is this place? Our dry stack storage. 

Now if you've never used dry stack storage before, you might be wondering why on earth it is something you should even consider. So here's a list (and it's not complete!) of reasons to consider dry stack.

  1. When you arrive the boat is in the water, cleaned up and ready to go. Seriously. We get your boat down and get it ready for a day on the lake, whether that means we hose it down or gas it up or anything else that needs to be done.
  2. When you’re done for the day, just hand us the keys. (We think this is the best benefit of storing here.) You don't have to ruin the end of a perfectly lovely day out on Lake Sinclair with the drudgery of washing your boat down, cleaning everything up and trailering home. When you're done boating, you can just let us take care of those not-so-fun tasks.
  3. Discounts. Everyone likes a good discount, right? Our dry stack storage customers are entitled to discounts on service, parts, ship store items and fuel. (Saving on gas?! That benefit alone might make dry stack storage totally worth it for you.
So there you have it. Three compelling (we think) reasons to store your boat here at Sinclair Marina. No more having to trailer your boat and losing valuable time unloading and loading. And this goes for everyone. Even if you have a boathouse on the lake, you'll save time not having to clean and gas up for the weekend. Or maybe you'll save valuable time if you can get to your house quicker by water and leave your car at the marina. Downtown Milledgeville and the grocery store are only minutes from here.

So what do you think? Is dry stack storage a good option for you? Interest is high, so you'll need to reserve a spot soon if you'd like one. Find our rates and the storage request form on our website.

Hope we can find your boat a good home, and save you some time! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Change in Georgia's Boating Education Laws

Georgia boaters, take note: a few key boating safety laws are changing soon - on May 15, in fact. Keep in mind these laws affect all boaters in Georgia, whether or not they are residents.

The biggest change is this: beginning May 15, 2013, anyone in Georgia born in 1998 or later must take an approved boating safety course before taking the wheel of a boat or personal watercraft. (This new education requirement, however, will not be enforced until July 1, 2014. Don't ask us why.) While taking a boating safety course has always been a good practice, especially for younger boaters, such a course is now required by law. The following persons, however, are exempt:
  • a person licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard as a master of a vessel; 
  • a person operating on a private lake or pond;
  • a non-resident who has in his or her possession proof that he or she has completed a NASBLA approved boater education course or equivalency examination from another state.
Where can you find approved boating safety courses? There are actually several options to choose from. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources website lists several resources for finding courses near you. Courses are often run by local Coast Guard Auxiluary units, DNR law enforcement or sail and power squadrons. There are several online options as well, including Boat-Ed, Boater Exam or the Boat US Foundation. Information for these online courses (including pricing) is on the GADNR website.

Other provisions of Senate Bill 136 set to take place on May 15, 2013, include lowering the maximum blood alcohol level from .10 to .08 for anyone operating a boat. This now makes the legal blood acohol limit the same for boating and driving. The new law also increases penalties for those caught boating while intoxicated. In addition, the new legislation tightens life jacket laws, requiring anyone on a moving boat who is 13 years old or younger to wear a life jacket (previously, it was recommended for kids under 13 and required for kids under 10).

These changes stem from the three boating-related deaths of children in Georgia last summer. We think they are good changes, ones that should make our children safer and keep everyone a bit more responsible for safety on the water.

What do you think of these new boating laws?

Friday, May 3, 2013

PARTY BARGE® 254 XP3 - Cruising With a Rear View

We've got a lot of great boats here at Sinclair Marina, but one of our favorite pontoon boats right now is the Sun Tracker Party Barge 254 XP3. Why? Well, just read on!

We say this pontoon is simply a cut above. It has yacht-like luxury and performance like no other boat we’ve ever offered.

The helm station is a captain’s dream—elevated for better visibility and equipped with a reclining chair, tilt hydraulic steering and a Lowrance® chartplotter with GPS. Guests will find spacious areas for lounging, sunning and watching the water sports action. And, rich, sculpted carpet, plush vinyl, high-gloss fencing and sleek graphics create a high standard unmatched by any other!

The interior layout is all new with its super-wide rear-facing lounge. Without a doubt, this is the best seat in the house. You’ll love watching the excitement of skiers or wakeboarders in the middle of the day. Or simply lie back and savor the sunset as late afternoon turns into evening.

The XP3 designation stands for Extra Performance, which means it has a unique three-log configuration with strakes on every log, as well as impressive power and smooth, quiet performance from the standard 200-horsepower Verado® engine (250-horsepower Verado also available). The result is extra lift, speed and control for the full array of tow sports not usually associated with pontoon boats.

As darkness falls and the LED interior lights come on, relax. You can be confident knowing you have every amenity onboard to entertain your guests well into the night. Enjoy!

So. If you had this boat, what activity would you do with it? Because pretty much anything is possible!