3 necessities for your fishing trip

Father's Day is this Sunday, and we know that many of you outdoorsy folks will be heading out onto the water for a day of fishing with dad. With a week left before dad's big day, make sure that you have the necessities to ensure the best experience for all on board.

1. First Aid Kit - You never know when you might need a band-aid, antiseptic or tweezers on a boat. Make sure that you are prepared for even the worst situations by assembling a first aid kit that carries all of your medical necessities. Make sure to have Neosporin, waterproof medical tape and throw in some sunscreen for good measure!

2. Knife – Whether you are cutting into packaging, slicing up the catch of the day or just snipping a line, having a knife on board is a must. There are a bunch of options out there, and depending on the intent of use, you may choose to have more than one. For multi-purpose, however, Gerber's Bear Grylls Grandfather Knife is perfect for every generation of fisherman.

3. PFD - It may seem trivial to load up the boat with life jackets, but if you ever need them, you will be glad they are there. Keep in mind that, as boaters, you now have a ton of style and function options that you didn't have before. Life jackets are available from small and compact inflatables, to industrial looking, strapped jackets. If you are looking for something on the small side, try the Mustang Inflatable Belt Pack. It looks like a belt, and acts like a PFD.

With these three simple carry-ons, your boat will be well equipped to handle a weekend away with pop. For these items, and many more boat accessories, make sure to contact ePal Inc. Our staff of customer service representatives will outfit you with everything you need for a fantastic Father's Day.

How to make your boat water sport friendly this summer

Summer sports are tons of fun and are a great outlet for the kids to let off some steam. But if the weather is too hot, it can put a damper on a good time. For boat owners, having some toys for the boat will get everyone active and on the water and make this summer a blast! Here are three fun water toys that are sure to be a hit:

Tube: Little kids love to go fast, and with the inner little kid in mind, why not consider buying an inflatable tube for your powerboat. This boating accessory is almost a necessity for any family on the water this summer. With products like the Mach 2 from AIRHEAD, kids and adults alike can have fun in the sun!

Wakeboarding: For those of you who are multi-season athletes, or at least raising your own, wakeboarding is a great way to keep those skateboarding and snowboarding skills up to par through the summer. And whether you are a veteran to wakeboarding, or just starting out, there are products for everyone. For beginners, consider the Rave Jr. Impact Wakeboard. This package deal comes with board and boots at an affordable price for people looking to try something new.

Water Trampoline: Could there be anything more fun than that? Jumping around with family and friends on a giant, floating trampoline and splashing into the water might sound too good to be true, but with Rave Aqua products, it's totally possible. The company's Aqua Jump is essentially a party size, floating trampoline that comes in a number of sizes and colors. It is even compatible with additions, like an Aqua Launch, that will throw jumpers into the air so they can land with a splash!

If you are in the market for these boat accessories or any other outdoor products, contact us at ePal Inc. Our staff of knowledgeable customer service representatives are ready to help you gear up for summer!

3 Easy Upgrades for your boat this summer

Whether you are out with the family or entertaining friends, your yacht has to be in tip-top shape to guarantee a relaxing experience on the water. As summer approaches and days out on the open sea become more frequent, consider some quick and easy upgrades that will ensure tons of fun for the whole family.

Get your grill on: Literally. Whether you are cooking for yourself or a flotilla worth of people an attachable grill is a great addition and is sure to impress your guests. Kuuma offers a few different models that cater to any type of chef. Their products are transportable and can be stand-alone, or mounted to a railing system for space saving. 

Fishfinding: Once you have the grill on board, you have to have something to cook! For the fishermen and women in the crowd, a fishfinder is the perfect bonus item for your vessel. Available in a range of models that offer different types of technology, boat owners are able to find the equipment that best suits their needs. If you are looking for a simplified, yet powerful, technology, consider the Lowrance Mark-5X Pro Fishfinder Mono. It offers an intuitive interface alongside an easy-to-read home screen for ease of use.

Swim Platform: Boating on the water often ends with a swim. So whether you are keeping the kids safe or making it easier on yourself, installing a new swim platform makes getting into your boat much easier. If you are in the market for a new platform, consider one made of teak or a poly blend. Both options will require much less maintenance and will last from season to season. Whitecap offers some easy-install, affordable and durable options!

For all these items and many more, ePal Inc. is a one-stop-shop for all your boat accessories and outdoor needs!

Buyers guide for summer camping

What says family bonding like trading in electronics and sturdy shelter for canoes and adventure? Summer camping trips are a great for getting away from the hyper-connected modern world we live in – even if it is just for the weekend. While getting the kids in the car might be easy with the promise of campfire s'mores and no bedtime, reality sets in when you reach the campgrounds and they realize the lack of amenities.

But just because you are going off the grid, it doesn't mean that you have to go without. So make sure that you pick up all of your camping needs, and in case you are needing some assistance on picking out the right necessary items, we've got you covered!

- First, you will need a tent. Tents can be pricey, but they are a worthwhile investment if you are going to be a regular camper. For those of you that are traveling by land to your destination, just be sure to pick a tent that will accommodate all the people in your party. If you are a parent traveling with kids who are old enough to have their own tent, give them the independence and responsibility of setting up their own shelter for the weekend. If you are choosing to camp on the water and are traveling by boat to your destination, be extra sure to pick a tent that is waterproof or quick dry. Consider checking out tents from Coleman. They have an array of styles and features that are sure to please any camper!

- Once your shelter is set up, you are probably going to be hungry. Make sure that the food that you have brought with you, along with anything that you might fish for on your trip, is well preserved in a functional and effective cooler. NorChill offers a soft-sided cooler that can be used for hot or cold items.

- Then, once you have established a place to sleep, filled your belly and spent some time enjoying the surroundings, you are going to want a cozy place to lay your head for the night. While there are a number of types of sleeping bags out there, be sure to pick one that keeps you warm on cold nights while still allowing good ventilation so you don't overheat at night.

If you are interested in purchasing camping gear for the coming summer months, look no further than ePal Inc. Not only do we have a vast array of products, including camping and boating accessories, but we also have a staff of knowledgeable customer service representatives that are available to advise you on the right choices for your needs.

3 tips for staying safe on the water

The start of summer has many boat owners out on the water with friends and family. While boating is a wonderful recreational summertime activity, if skippers or passengers are not taking all precautions, it can end badly.

In Chicago over the weekend, for example, a 33-foot-long motor boat capsized on Lake Michigan, casting four passengers into the chilly waters. One man was found 12 hours after the time of the accident, floating on life jackets. He is the only known survivor at this time, and the cause for the accident remains a mystery according to the report from the Chicago Tribune.

While the case in Chicago is still under investigation, it is important to keep in mind that preventative measures on and off land can ensure the safety of all aboard your boat.

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) offers some memorable tips for safe boating this summer:

Don't drink and drive- Boating under the influence is both dangerous and illegal. The USCG says that "alcohol is more hazardous on water than on land. The marine environment – motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray – accelerates a drinker's impairment. These stressors cause fatigue that makes a boat operator's coordination, judgment and reaction time decline even faster when using alcohol."

Undergo a vessel check- A free and beneficial service, a vessel check is done by a certified examiner at a time that is good for both parties. With no charge and no consequence if your boat is missing a key element, or has something fundamentally wrong, having your boat checked out before it goes in the water is a great way to ensure safe travels this summer.

Wear a life jacket! According to statistics presented by the USCG, the chance of drowning while wearing a life jacket are 1 in 66, whereas the chances without a life jacket are 1 in 11. In fact, it is unlawful to not have an equal person to life jacket ratio aboard your vessel.

As always, for all your boat accessories, look to ePal Inc. Our array of products, and knowledgeable customer service, are sure to get you everything you need to have a safe and fun time on the water this summer.

5 gift ideas for dad this Father’s Day

The trouble with shopping for dads is that when they need something, they go out and buy it themselves. That makes this time of the year particularly difficult as we scramble to come up with gift ideas for Father's day. So, what do you get for the guy who has everything?

Fear not! We've put together a list of five great gift ideas for the outdoorsy dad that are sure to put a smile on his face!

  • For those dads that didn't get their boat in the water in time for Memorial Day, boat cleaner makes a great gift! With hull wash, deck polish and a little TLC, you and dad can spend the day bonding while you buff out the boat for a summer of fun on the water. The Flitz Marine Detailers Kit is a handy, affordable package deal for this type of job. Featuring polish, wax, lime and rust remover and buffer balls, this purchase is really a one-stop shop for sprucing up the boat! 
  • Anyone who has ever been a passenger on a power or sailboat knows the importance of dry clothes and towels. So make sure your dad is prepared by investing in a waterproof bag for him. A safe place where he can store his water-sensitive items like his cell phone, camera, clothes and towel, a waterproof bag is ideal no matter how long you plan on being on the boat. Attwood Marine offers dry bags that can hold 20 or 40 liters worth of dry goods that are a perfect substitute for an overnight bag on the water. 
  • Dads are masters at capturing those unflattering, but nostalgia-inducing, photos and videos from years of yore. As much as we hate them at the time, those pictures oftentimes capture some of our favorite memories. Make sure that your dad is equipped to seize the moment, on and off land, with a waterproof case for his camera, phone, tablet or iPad. DryCase offers an affordable and easy-to-use option that creates an air-tight seal around any tablet device.  
  • A little weather never stopped dad from spending the weekend out on the water. So if you are willing to splurge on dad's gift this year, check out tools to navigate even in the worst weather. A marine radar system is a handy gadget that helps skippers to maneuver through tight harbors and inlets, avoid buoys and pots and have a comprehensive knowledge of water depth at any point along their adventure! Check out options from SI-TEX, Furuno or RayMarine for high-quality products. 
  • And finally, for those laid-back days at sea or out on the lake, make sure that dad's boat is ready to snag the ultimate catch-of-the-day with top of the line fishing boat accessories. For top-of-the-line tackle bags and boxes, look no further than pre-packaged totes from Wild River. For coolers and bags check out products from Coleman and C.E. Smith. If you are looking for an installation piece, like a rod holster, look to industry leaders like Scotty or Wahoo Industries. No matter what you choose, dads from every school of thought will love the addition to their boat.

Even if you are still unsure about what type of boat accessories to pick up for your dad this year, don't worry! At ePal Inc. we've got you covered! Our team of boating and outdoors experts can help you find the gift that is perfect for your pop, and we offer free ground shipping to the lower 48 states, plus flat rate expedited options. Contact us today and we will help you make this Father's Day one to remember!

Must-haves for weekends on the water

Now that Memorial Day is over chances are that your boat is finally in the water, and with the combination of beautiful summer weather and no holiday traffic, weekends on the water are fast approaching! Whether you are on a powerboat or sailboat, there are a few gadgets that are must-haves this summer.

  • Marine GPS/Fishfinder Combo – This handy tool makes it possible not only to plot and navigate your destination or current coordinates also to see what is going on below your boat. With a GPS/Fishfinder Combo, you will never feel lost no matter how far from land you are, and you will always be able to find the (sometimes elusive) catch-of-the-day!
  • Cellular Amplifier – With this technology, you will be able to use your cell phone from any location, no matter how bad the service normally is. It will make your home, RV, workplace or boat become a reception hotspot. Using this tool, going out on the boat for a weekend fishing trip will get you far enough away from the real world without leaving you unable to call for help if needed!
  • Waterproof bags – Every mariner knows the importance of a dry set of clothes. Likewise, every parent knows how critical it is to have a camera at the ready for those memorable moments. With a waterproof bag, everything that you could need for a day, night, or weekend on the boat will stay safe and dry.

For all of your boat accessories, look no further than ePal Inc. Our intuitive website makes finding the product that is right for you easy. Our expert staff is at-the-ready to answer any product questions that you may have and to ensure that you find the items that best suit your needs!

How to improve your boat’s fuel efficiency

Power boats are fun, but if there's one drawback to owning and using one, it's that they consume tremendous amounts of fuel in order to deliver top performance. The fact is that propelling an object that weighs over a ton through water takes an incredible amount of energy – much more than it does to propel a car on a highway.

That doesn't mean there aren't steps you can take to improve your boat's efficiency. Here are a few tips to get more miles per gallon in your vessel:

  • Clean the bottom of your boat: Barnacles and other growth on your hull can create drag that slows your boat down and wastes fuel.
  • Cut back on the throttle slightly: Running your engine at full throttle reduces efficiency. According to Sport Fishing Magazine, dialing that back by as little as 10 percent can reduce gasoline consumption by as much as 20 percent without you having to travel too slowly.
  • Monitor your exhaust system: If your boat is spewing black smoke from its exhaust pipe, then the engine is being overworked and may need to be cleaned. Exhaust from a well-maintained, functional engine will be invisible.
  • Reduce your vessel's weight: This may seem obvious, but many boaters travel with more gear onboard than they need. While you should always have life vests, radios and other safety equipment on board, see if there are other items that can be removed before you go on each trip.

It's also a good idea to have marine instruments on board that provide accurate fuel readings and let you know when your engine is experiencing mechanical troubles. You can find this equipment at ePal for the best prices, so make sure to check out our online store before you go on your next trip!

A checklist for your next fishing trip

Are you heading out on your first summer fishing trip soon? The last thing you want to happen is to forget to bring essential equipment with you, especially if these items are things you may not be able to purchase at your destination. There are a few obvious things you should put on your list: fishing pole, tackle box, food, drink and sunscreen. But what else should go on there?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Fishing license: Sometimes it's easy to forget that in most lakes and rivers you're required to have a fishing license. Make sure that you know the process for securing one before you head out on the water, as it may be easier to purchase online rather than in person.
  • Hydration: Bring plenty of containers to hold fresh water. The lake water may not be safe to drink. There may also be situations when you'll be thirsty but you don't want to head back to the dock, as your motor can disturb the fish and scare them away. Having water onboard will make a big difference.
  • Marine radio: When you're out on the water, whether it's a lake or the ocean, you'll want to have a radio so that you can contact the local authorities if you become stranded and need assistance.

For anglers who like to have the best marine electronics on their boat, there isn't a better resource for this equipment than ePal. When it comes to navigation and communication gear, no one has a better selection of the best brands at affordable prices. Check out our online store today to see our latest sales!

The importance of proper release technique

Catch and release fishing is becoming a more popular practice these days as anglers are increasingly concerned about the sustainability of fisheries. Catching fish that are too small to eat and not returning them to the water can have a major impact on these populations, so it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the best practices for ensuring their survival once you release them:

  • Don't try to remove the hook if it is too deep: Sometimes a fish will take a hook so deep that you can't remove it without performing surgery. It's better to simply cut the line as close as possible to the hook and let the fish go, as they'll either expel it themselves or the hook will eventually corrode.
  • Get your hands wet when you handle a fish: Fish have a layer of slime on their scales and skin that protects them from infections and parasites. If you touch them with dry hands, you risk removing this and exposing them to these hazards underwater.
  • Stick to a five second rule: Fish should never be out of water for more than five seconds at a time. Once you pull them out of the lake or ocean, place them in a bucket of water as soon as possible.
  • Try to use a net as much as possible: The less that you have to handle the fish, the more likely they will survive once they are released. A rubber net can be used to lift them out of the water.

If you're heading out to your favorite fishing spot soon, make sure that your boat has all the latest marine electronics and technology onboard so that you have an easier time finding and catching fish. You can find the best equipment by shopping at ePal!