3 tips for making the most out of your jet ski adventure

One of the most fun things to do on the water is to take a jet ski for a ride with your friends and family. Personal watercraft are endlessly enjoyable to ride, but if not handled correctly, they can be extremely dangerous. It's important to make sure that you and your fellow riders are practicing safe habits while you are enjoying yourselves.

Here are a few tips to ensure that you have a good, injury-free time riding your jet skis:

  • Always have a spotter keep an eye out for approaching boats and other personal watercraft. They should also have a marine radio handy so that they can communicate with these boats if necessary. This is especially true when you're on a smaller river or lake, where you're more likely to be near other boaters.
  • Do not drink alcohol and drive a jet ski. These vehicles are weapons when you are intoxicated and you can easily lose control and hurt yourself or others.
  • Wear a life jacket at all times. Even if you're a relatively competent driver, the fact is that you have no control over what other people are doing. Someone else on a personal watercraft could lose control and strike your vehicle, knocking you unconscious. If this happens, a lifevest will save you from drowning.

If you're looking to purchase safety equipment for your next boat trip, or you want communication devices that you can use to keep an eye on boat traffic, your best bet is to check out the huge inventory of equipment at ePal. We carry the best brands at the best prices and have the best shipping policy on the internet.

More safety tips to make sure your next boating trip goes off without a hitch

Boating season is underway, and if you're considering heading out to your slip to take your vessel for a ride, you'll want to make sure to brush up on boating safety. This will make it much less likely that you'll experience any accidents or injuries while you're on the water, and you can focus more on enjoying your trip rather than worrying about whether you'll hit a snag.

Here are a few tips for ensuring that your voyage goes off smoothly:

  • Carry backup marine equipment: As noted by Boating Magazine, make sure you have backup gear on board that you can use in the event that your primary electronic instruments are damaged. We highly recommend having an extra marine radio on board as well as a handheld GPS system that can be used to send distress signals and transmit where you are. It's very easy to lose gear overboard and suffer malfunctions.
  • Check weather forecasts: Before you hoist your anchor or cast off, make sure that you take a look at the weather forecast to make sure you're not heading into a storm. In addition, you should check surf reports to make sure that you won't encounter any massive waves, particularly if you're heading more than a mile or so away from shore.
  • Equip your boat with a horn: No sailor or boater should leave the dock without a horn or siren that can be used to grab the attention of others on the water. These marine instruments are a necessity, particularly if you're going to be boating in a crowded area such as the Gulf of Mexico or off the coast of California.
  • Install a carbon monoxide monitor on your boat: Engines produce quite a bit of carbon monoxide, which is odorless and can turn deadly within a matter of minutes. It's particularly important to have a detector on the inside of your vessel that can let you know if gasses are collecting.
  • Keep an eye on the water surface: Especially when you're close to shore, you should watch for lapping waves and other signs that there are objects just under the water's surface.
  • Leave a float plan with the Coast Guard, friend or family member: Before you head out, make sure that you let someone know where you'll be going and when you plan to be back. That way, if you don't return on schedule and can't be reached by phone or radio, searchers will know where to start looking for your boat if you become stranded.
  • Never drink while piloting your boat: Drinking while piloting a boat can be just as dangerous as when you're behind the wheel of a car. Not only does it increase the risk of striking underwater objects and other boats, it puts you at risk if you're in an accident and need to make sound decisions in terms of how to help your crew and avoid injury or drowning.
  • Remember that boats don't have brakes: When you're approaching your slip, always put the motor in neutral well before you reach the dock. Otherwise you could suffer a major collision that could result in injuries or worse.

If you find that you need any marine and boat accessories to make your trips safer, you should check out ePal today. Our gear selection is the best you'll find on the internet, and by shopping with us you could save hundreds of dollars over list prices. For more information, visit our online store today!

Heading out on your boat soon? Follow these 5 safety tips

With temperatures warming up all over the country, many boat owners are heading out to their docks to take their vessels for a ride. If you're one of these lucky mariners, it's important to remember that safety should be your number one priority when boating. It's a fun hobby but, if done carelessly, can be very dangerous.

Boating Magazine recently listed its top 44 boating safety tips. Here are some of their best pieces of advice:

  • Bring a pair of binoculars on your journey: It's difficult to overstate how important having a pair of binoculars can be while on a boat. It can help you see approaching vehicles and land formations that may not be visible to the naked eye.
  • Go over your docking plan with crew members: Before you approach your slip, make sure that all members of your crew know exactly how you'll be approaching the dock and what their responsibilities will be in terms of throwing lines over the rail and jumping on the dock.
  • Use warping to pull out of tight spaces: If your boat is parked between two others and you can't move forward or backward without hitting another boat, use warping to maneuver. This is where you tie the bow of your boat to the dock and use it as a pivot point to swing out of your parking space.

You should also ensure that your boat is full equipped with a chartplotter and other marine instruments that will make your voyage safer. If you need to upgrade or replace your navigation equipment, your best resource for this gear is ePal. We have the best prices on the internet, as well as the best shipping policy. Browse our inventory today for our latest deals!

How to repair a crack in your fiberglass hull: Part 1

In our last article, we talked about how the fiberglass boat market has seen sales pick up lately. While this style of boat construction is popular, it's worth noting that fiberglass is more susceptible to cracks and fractures than aluminum. As a result, any boat owner who has invested in a fiberglass vessel should understand how to patch fiberglass in the event that they experience a collision at sea.

In this article we'll talk about the steps needed to prepare the broken fiberglass for repair. According to BoatUS.com, this is the process you should go through before applying new fiberglass:

  • Cut out the affected area: Before you patch the hole, you need to cut out the fractured or cracked part of the fiberglass.
  • Dewax the area around the hole: This removes wax coatings that can interfere with the grinding process, thereby making it more difficult to use adhesive to apply a new layer of glass fabric.
  • Grind the surrounding area: Using a 36-grit paper on a disk sander, grinding allows the resin to form a better bond.
  • Prepare the area with masking: Resin has the tendency to run and drip, so you'll want to mask areas where you don't want the resin to stick. Usually this involves using paper or wax to coat the area you want to protect.

Once you've taken these steps, you'll be prepared to apply glass fabric over the hole.

After you get your boat out on the water again, make sure that you equip it with the latest marine equipment and technology available. You can find great deals on the best gear by shopping at ePal, where you'll also receive free ground shipping on all orders to the lower 48 states!

Before you head out to the lake, follow these tips to catch more catfish

One of the best dishes in Southern cuisine is fried catfish, and it's even better when you make it yourself. If you're planning to head out to the lake soon to try catching a few, you're going to want to make sure you have the right marine accessories on your boat. You'll also want to follow these expert tips from Game and Fishing Magazine:

  • If you're fishing on a small river that has rapids, the area underneath ledges where the water falls is a great place to find catfish. This is because the falling water will carve out a deep section where they can hide.
  • One of the best times to catch catfish is at night. Once it's dark, you can use special bobbers that have a light on top, which will glow when the hook is bitten — an important feature when you're in a secluded area, such as a campground in the woods.
  • The best baits for large catfish are cut baits. These are pieces of sliced fish that are great for attracting large catfish even over great distances. Typically, you'll want to use an oily fish, as these give off even stronger scents through the water. If you're only looking for smaller catches, you can rely on just about any bait, including manufactured power bait and even chicken liver.

In addition to using the right techniques to find catfish, you'll also want to use the right equipment. At ePal, you'll find that we have not just the largest selection of boat accessories and electronics, but the best prices as well. Check out our store today for the latest technology that will help you catch more (and bigger) fish!

What’s the best bait for rainbow trout?

One of the best fish to catch are rainbow trout, as their mild flavor and widespread range mean that they're easy to find and terrific to eat. They're also pretty easy to catch for beginning anglers. You just need to know where they'll be swimming (typically along the West Coast in freshwater rivers) and have the right bait.

When fishing for rainbow trout, you have a couple options for bait:

  • Deli shrimp: The cocktail shrimp you normally see at the supermarket are actually terrific bait for trout, according to FishingWithRod.com. They're not a natural food sou​rce for trout, but they're easy to find and seem to be effective at attracting fish.
  • Powerbait: This is designed specifically for catching trout. It is manufactured to have specific scents that trout will find enticing, and you can typically find it in any bait and tackle shop. This type also tends to last a little bit longer in your tackle box.
  • Worms: The old standby is a favorite of trout, and obviously worms are pretty cheap. If you're just looking to have a little fun on the lake and you're not terribly serious about fishing as a hobby, worms are a great, low-cost option that lets you have fun and gives you a reasonably good chance of catching fish.

Another key to fishing for any species is to have a good fishfinder on your boat that can give you accurate depth readings and provide information about the water column. By equipping your boat with a transducer and fishfinder from ePal, you'll have more success in locating the best parts of your favorite fishing grounds. That way, you'll go home with a much bigger catch!

3 pieces of equipment that will help you catch more fish

For the vast majority of anglers, you can head out to a lake with nothing more than a fishing pole, some bait and a lot of patience. After all, many of these individuals aren't necessarily fishing in order to find their next meal. Instead, they simply want to sit by a lake and take in the view, and if they catch a fish, it's just an added bonus.

But some of us actually want to catch big fish, and we'll look for any gear that will increase the odds of this happening. Here are three pieces of equipment that you should add to your boat that will make your more successful as an angler:

  • Fishfinder: This probably seems pretty obvious, but many fishermen will head out to the water without one despite its usefulness. 
  • Trolling motor: Let's say you're in a small bay that is part of a larger lake, and you want to maneuver around without starting up your main engine. A trolling motor can help you make small, slower movements so that you don't disturb the water and scare away the fish. These motors are much quieter and help with minor adjustments in your heading.
  • Underwater lighting: Adding a light such as the OceanLED 2010FM HD LED will help attract fish, particularly at night. White and green are typically the best colors, as they are visible at greater distances.

You can find this equipment at ePal. We carry many of the best manufacturers and equipment at prices that you won't find anywhere else. In addition, you will receive free ground shipping on all orders to the lower 48 states, with special flat rates for expedited shipping. Check out our online store today!

Selecting the right type of reel for your fishing rod

Have you decided to take up fishing recently? Or has it been a few years since you've done it and you're looking for a refresher course? We have you covered! We're going to give you a rundown of some of the equipment needed to fish and help you determine which marine instruments you need to catch the biggest fish.

In this article we'll go through the three basic types of reels that you'll want to consider when constructing a new fishing pole:

  • Baitcasting: One of the most common reels for more experienced anglers, a baitcasting reel gives you the best accuracy when casting, but it's a bit difficult to use. You need to be careful when casting, as it's hard to control how much line is thrown, which could result in tangling and other problems. This is the best reel to use when you have heavier fishing line.
  • Spincast: This type of reel is particularly suited for children, as it's easy to use and gets the job done. Basically, you push a button when you want to cast your line, and once you let go of the button it stops casting. Then you reel in your catch when you think a fish has taken your bait. Spincast reels don't offer the same kind of accuracy as other reels, but in terms of simplicity, they're hard to beat.
  • Spinning: This reel provides a nice middle ground between a baitcaster and spincaster, as it's easier to use than the former but more accurate than the latter.

In addition to having the right fishing equipment, you'll also want to make sure your boat is outfitted with the best marine electronics. Having a GPS system on board can be a lifesaver when you're fishing in unfamiliar waters. To see the latest in marine communication and navigation technology, check out the ePal online store today!

4 tips for troubleshooting your marine transducer

There are few boat accessories that can be more useful than a marine transducer, particularly when you're piloting your boat through an area where surface depth can fluctuate quickly. However, like any piece of marine electronics, they can give their owners problems if they're old or they weren't installed properly.

If you have a transducer and fishfinder but you find that they don't seem to be working for you, here are a few troubleshooting suggestions:

  • Be careful about interpreting depth readings when you're near another vessel. If their transducer is transmitting at the same frequency, it could be interfering with yours and producing inaccurate results.
  • If you have an outboard motor, make sure your transducer is installed closer to your starboard side. Your propeller can make it difficult for the transducer to take accurate readings of the bottom, so it is critical to make sure they're situated as far away from each other as possible.
  • Should your transducer cease to give you any reading at all, it may need to be cleaned. Make sure that any barnacles, seaweed or other material is removed so that it isn't obstructed when taking readings.
  • When you're piloting through shallow water and you have a high-powered transducer, make sure that you turn off automatic sensitivity and instead adjust it manually.

If you think it's time to replace your transducer and install a more powerful unit, make sure to purchase your new one from ePal. We have a wide selection of marine equipment from the best manufacturers, including Lowrance, Garmin and Raymarine. In addition, we provide the best shipping deal in the industry, with free ground shipping to the lower 48 states!

Product Spotlight: Uniden 4.3 Digital Wireless Video Surveillance System

Recently we discussed some steps that you can take to make sure your boat is secure when it is parked at the dock or in a slip, which include making sure it is locked up and chaining it to the dock when you're not using it. But you don't need to stop there if you're concerned about boat theft and vandalism.

If you're looking for an even more secure solution, we recommend checking out the Uniden 4.3 Digital Wireless Video Surveillance System, a security setup that provides you with two cameras and is expandable to four. This easy to setup system can be installed at your slip or dock and captures footage on MicroSD cards.

One of the best features of the Uniden is that its cameras are weatherproof, which will come in handy if it is installed near an ocean. Rain and wind won't affect its functionality and with a motion detector the system is always ready to capture footage of burglars and thieves that approach your vessel.

Another great aspect of these cameras is their full color, 4.3 inch monitor, which allows you to see much more clearly than competing systems. In addition, you can view your footage live over Skype! As long as your cameras are near an internet connection, you'll be able to monitor your boat remotely.

For more information on ePal's wide selection of boat security devices, as well as other boat accessories, make sure to browse our site today! You can also give us a call at (877) 245-8649 if you have any questions. Our customer service representatives can provide expert advice and know-how for any product you're considering purchasing!