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When you bought your boat, did you walk into your store (hopefully Woodard Marine) and point at the one you thought looked cool and say, “I’ll take that one?”  Of course not. Or maybe you did and regretted it later.  The point being, you took time, researched, and found the one that best suited you, your needs, and your situation — right? Right. So, what we’re going to do today is educate you on: 

  1. The different types of trailers
  2. What to look for in a boat trailer
  3. And then answer some frequently asked questions
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Let’s get things going, shall we? First —

Types of Trailers

Despite what you may think, all boat trailers are not created equally.  Each one is for a [...]

Supra for blog

Docking your boat is a complicated task and can’t really be compared to parking a car for many reasons, but most importantly because there aren’t any brakes. As a result, you need to know how to stop forward motion and slowly bring your boat to a stop alongside a dock.

Speed-boat-approaching-dock 1. Approach slowly

One of the golden rules of boating is to never approach the dock faster than you’d be willing to hit it. There’s no perfect way to slow your boat down quickly, so it’s important to lower your speed far in advance of reaching the dock. 

2. Check the current

Take note of what way the current (and wind) is moving, so you understand whether it’s pushing your boat towards or away from the dock. You’ll [...]

Howtodrive for blog

Okay, you did it! You read our blog about what’s the Best Boat for a First-Time Boat Buyer, you contacted our expert staff, you pulled the trigger and bought the perfect boat for you. Now you just have one more thing before you’re out in the sun creating memories to last a lifetime — You don’t know how to drive a boat.

No worries, friend — we got you!  In this blog, we will show you:    

  • How to start a boat
  • How to steer a boat
  • How to slow down a boat
  • And we’ll answer a few frequently asked questions

So, with that, let’s get started by, well, starting…

First, before we get into anything — whatever and wherever your body of water is, it will more than likely have its own rules and regulations. Please make sure you do your due diligence and find whatever is required of you to operate your vessel. 

How to Start a [...]
Dock line tied to boat cleat

Docking a boat can seem like a daunting task, but knowing what lines you need to tie can make the whole process run more smoothly. In this blog, we’ll outline how to tie a boat to a dock or in a slip, what lines and equipment you’ll need, the kinds of knots you need to know, and some helpful tips to keep your boat safe and secure.

Dock line tied to boat cleat Prepare your boat

There are several pieces of gear you’ll need in order to properly dock your boat. 

  • Bow lines (to secure the bow)
  • Stern lines (to secure the stern)
  • Spring lines (diagonal lines to keep your boat from moving back and forth)
  • Breast lines (to aid with boarding and disembarking)
  • Fenders (to protect the [...]
Boat fuel nozzle at gas dock

Filling up your boat’s tank is a bit more complicated than gassing up a car or truck. There are many simple but potentially life-saving safety precautions you should take before, during, and after fueling your boat. Many of these rules apply whether you’re mooring to a gas dock, towing your boat to a gas station, or using portable gas containers. 

Gas dock with pumps What to do before fueling your boat

Reduce the risk of spilling

If you’re at a gas dock or filling up with a portable container, make sure your boat is securely fastened to the dock. The less your boat moves while you attempt to fill it, the better. Using more lines, including spring lines, will add stability. 

Ask all the other passengers [...]

Pontoon boat from above

When choosing a boat, it’s important to understand how much it might weigh, as you’ll need to know how many pounds your boat is before purchasing or renting a trailer or lift. A pontoon boat’s weight depends on its length and the type of pontoon, such as leisure, fishing, or sport.

Pontoon boat from above What is a pontoon boat?

Pontoon boats are recreational boats named after the pontoons (or tubes) that allow them to float. They are usually designed as catamarans, with one tube on either side, but some models have a third pontoon in the middle.

Pontoon decks are flat and feature ample bench or lounge seating for passengers, as well as convertible bimini tops to provide shade and ladders to provide access to the water. They’re [...]

Bananas on a boat

You might not consider yourself a very superstitious person, but chances are you observe some without a second thought. When was the last time you walked under a ladder or opened an umbrella indoors?

You might be here, reading this article, because you’ve innocently broken one of the cardinal rules of the water: never bring bananas on a boat.

It sounds silly, but it’s a superstition that’s so old and ingrained in fishing and boating culture that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what inspired it. There are many theories, all of which work together to explain the real-life dangers of the banana that turned it into a symbol of bad luck.

Bananas on a boat deck Bananas and fishing boats

Although the superstition seems to have [...]

Boat anchor

Before you set out on the water, you need to know how to anchor your boat. We’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide to the anchoring basics you need to know.

What anchors do to secure your boat

Anchors keep your boat from drifting away with the current or wind. They’re usually made of metal, so we tend to think of them as being particularly heavy, but that’s not always the case, especially for recreational boats. Instead, anchors latch onto the bed of a river or lake with arms that dig into the sand or mud. After connecting with the bed, the anchor will tip over due to the tension created by the boat, and in doing so latch into the bottom of the body of water.

How to anchor a boat

Remember: anchor from the bow of your boat, not the stern. It’s possible to anchor from both the bow and the stern [...]

Mooring buoy

There are times when you’ll want to tie up your boat without docking or anchoring it. Luckily, you have one other option: mooring.

Where is it legal to tie up your boat when it’s not docked?

You can’t just tie up your boat anywhere. If you’re not docking it, you’ll need to find another safe and legal way to temporarily secure your boat. There’s only one other legal place to tie up your boat. 

Mooring Bouys

Mooring buoys are buoys whose sole purpose is for boats to tie to. Their appearance varies by locale, but they are often white with either an orange or blue stripe.

A Note About Bouys You CAN’T Tie To

It’s illegal to tie your boat to any other buoy, including lighted buoys, hazard buoys, and information buoys. These different types of buoys are in place for navigation purposes, directing boaters where they should and should not go. Tying your boat [...]

Dock cleat

One of the most important things you need to know before setting out on the water is how to securely tie your boat’s lines to dock cleats. Your boat is one of your prized possessions, and the last thing you want is it coming loose from the dock and drifting off on its own.

How to tie a boat…

To a dock

You can tie a boat to a dock by fastening your lines to either dock cleats or, if there aren’t any cleats, to pilings.

In a slip

In a slip, you’ll need to fasten your boat on both sides to keep it in place and stop it from hitting the docks or piles on either side of the slip.

Cleats & Hitches

What is a dock cleat?

So, what exactly are you tying your boat’s mooring line to? A dock cleat is a piece of hardware attached to a dock. The most common [...]

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