Here are a few inexpensive ways that you can show your boat some love
The first step in protecting your boat is a boat cover. It is essential for keeping your boat in good condition. Boat covers shield your boat from the sun’s dangerous rays, prevent rain and snow damage, and deter thieves.
My Empire Boat Cover has really helped keep my boat out of the harsh elements. It is strong and durable, and it holds up great in the rain and snow. Having a good boat cover is crucial to resale value when storing a boat outside like I do. Even for those of you storing a boat inside a covered area or garage benefit from a boat cover that will keep the dust off the boat. On overnight trips you need to cover the boat to keep off the dew and frost in cold weather. A dry boat is much more comfortable to fish out of.
Brandon Card with Empire boat cover
Protect the Hull
Hull protection is a must for fiberglass bass boats. The keel of the hull will take a beating from concrete ramps, rocky banks, and various other shallow water hazards. A Keelshield is the only way to go. It is an adhesive shield that sticks directly to the keel and is really easy to install. It comes in a variety of colors, so it will match any color of hull. I speak from experience when I say that you have to get this. I didn’t have one on a previous boat and my fiberglass was cracked and chipped everywhere. It looked like a beaver had a heyday on the bottom of that boat. For just under $200, this is a must have.
Protect the Engine
Like most people, I do the regular maintenance every year like spark plugs and lower unit oil. But two things that I think matter more than that are how hard the engine runs and keeping the ethanol out of gas. I try to only run my Suzuki 250 at full throttle during tournament situations. 4000 to 4500 rpm is the prime cruising range when I am practicing or fun fishing. Fuel economy will be the best in this range, and the engine will not have to work very hard. If it is not working hard, it will last longer.
Ethanol is detrimental to outboard engines, and there is an easy fix out there. I have been adding fuel treatments to my gas since the whole ethanol scare started, and I haven’t had a problem. Biobor EB is an ethanol treatment that stabilizes the ethanol/gasoline mixture and also prevents corrosion and wear. $20 a bottle treats 240 gallons and is a pretty fair bargain to prolong the life of an engine.
Remember these inexpensive ways to care for your boat, and your boat will spend less time in the shop and more time in the water. More time on the water is what we are all after. You can’t catch them unless you are out there!
Our boy, Brandon Card caught some serious fish on the Douglas Lake last week at the Bassmaster Southern Open. The 3-day tournament took place in Dandridge TN, from April 4th to the 6th. A total of 180 boats competed throughout the weekend. Card placed 77th in the Pro Anglers, weighing in at a total 14.9 pounds.
Brandon Card Weigh In Shot
Growing up only a few miles from Norris Lake, TN, Card started fishing for bass at a very young age. At age 14, he competed in his first bass tournament, and bought his first bass boat at age 16. After high school, Card attended the University of Kentucky where he became the president of the UK Bass Fishing Team. Throughout college, Card competed in a number of national championship events. However, it wasn’t until he won the Ultimate Match Fishing College Edition tournament in 2007, that he gained national exposure.
Since then, Card has been distinguished as a force to be reckoned with in the pro fishing world – and rightfully so. He competed in the 2011 BASS Southern Opens where he posted 4th, 9th, and 13th finishes in all three of the Southern Open tournaments. Card also finished 2nd place in Angler of the Year standings and received an invitation to compete in the 2012 Bassmaster Elites Series. In 2012, Brandon’s first year on tour, he won the Bassmaster Rookie of the Year title.
This March, Card placed 7th at the Bassmaster Elite series on Falcon Slam. Currently, Card is leading the Toyota Bassmaster 2013 Angler of the year race with 185 pts. At age 26 and in just his second Elite Series, Card is the youngest angler in the hunt for the AOY title.
For over a year now, Card has been a loyal supporter of Empire Covers and uses our waterproof boat covers to protect his pro fishing boat during both the on and off seasons. Thanks for the support Brandon, and best of luck on your journey for the AOY title – we’re rooting for you!
Checkout some action shots of Brandon Card on Douglas Lake below:
Brandon Card on Douglas Lake
Brandon Card on Douglas Lake
Empire boat covers protecting pro fishing boats after a long day on Douglas Lake