Spring is Only Weeks Away!

After a couple weeks of ice and snow, we can assume that everyone is ready for spring and warm weather. Here is the real fact, warm weather is on its way, and we are only weeks away!  We had a really cold winter here in Memphis, so we hope that everyone took the right steps while winterizing your boats.  That being said, it is time to start waking up your boat from hibernation. t22 There are a couple steps we would encourage you to follow while you wake up that fun machine.  Like anything else, if you leave it sitting for a period time, you will want to double check some things before using it again. Here is the important stuff to check out before taking your boat out to the lake for the first time.

Trailer: It is easy to neglect the trailer on your boat.  Most of us think most about the boat.

  • Tires:  trailer tires tend to dry rot if unused for long periods of time, so take a look at them before moving your boat. Make sure they are aired up to the right pressure.
  • Bearings: Make sure you lubricate your bearings each year. Some trailers take grease and others take oil, so make sure what type of lubrication your trailer uses before purchasing.
  • Lights:  Be sure all the lights on you trailer work properly, a ticket on the way to the lake is a mood killer!
  • Brakes (if equipped): Is your fluid reservoir full?  Fluid should be flushed and changed every 1-2 years to ensure your brakes continue to work properly for years to come.

Remember, without our trailers we wouldn’t be able to get our boats to the lake so show them a little TLC.

Batteries: The winter cold will drain your batteries.  It’s best to keep them in a garage over the winter but disconnecting them from the boat is a must.  Give those batteries a charge test to be sure they are ready to fire up that motor before you head to the water.  If your battery shows signs of corrosion or is leaking, replace that bad boy.

Inspecting your boat: Now that you have checked the trailer and batteries, go ahead and do a visual and systems check. Walk around your boat and visually inspect it. Make sure everything is where its supposed to be. Check the prop and verify it is in good shape and the underwater gear is not damaged. After the Visual Check, flip on the batteries and do a systems check. Make sure to check the blower, bilge pump, running lights, anchor lights, and all your accessories including the fish finder, radio, and all speakers.

Locate your drain plug: This might seem obvious, but one step better than sinking (not fun) is not going boating because you left your drain plug in the door pocket of your other vehicle (also not fun).  Make sure you know where it is before you leave the house.

Cracked Block = New Engine

Make sure you check your fluids before and after running boat.

Warning: We have had some pretty awful weather lately so you want to check your engine before you take it to the lake.

  1.  Be sure it is summerized.
  2. Check all the fluids in your boat.
  3. Hook up the water and crank it up. let it run until the engine warms up.’
  4. Visually inspect the engine while running and verify all is good (no leaks).
  5. Check all fluids again

Double Warning: It has been really cold, so if you find that your oil looks milky, you might have a bigger issue on your hands. This is a sign of a cracked engine block. Lastly: Clean and wax that baby. no one like a trashed boat,  Hit the water and enjoy! vlx

Winterize Now Before its Too Late

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Fall is upon us and the winter months are fast approaching.  We know many of you enjoy college football.  Keep enjoying it and contact us to service your boat and prepare it for the coming cooler temperatures.   To keep your boat running great year after year we perform preventative maintenance as recommended by manufacturers so you can enjoy trouble free boating all summer.

Thinking of passing on the winterization?  Don’t do it.  You may  find yourself with a cracked engine block, hoses, ballast tanks, or other vital parts of your boat that can be damaged by the harsh winter weather.

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Most insurance companies won’t cover damage caused by a lack of winterization.

Cracked Block = New Engine

Cracked Block = New Engine

We also offer professional shrinkwrapping for your boat so that its stays out of the elements all winter. We verify your boat is dry before wrapping and add moisture eliminating products to prevent mildewing. Other than indoor storage this is the best way to protect your investment from the sun and weather when not being used.

We invite you to bring your boat in to get winterized and serviced by our factory trained technicians.  Contact tim.booker@memphisboatcenter.com for an appointment.

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Start Off The Right Way

Boating season is in full swing and everyone that we talk to is having such a great time out on the lake with their friends and family! One of the greatest parts about boating is your unlimited options of waters sports that you can learn behind a boat. Some of these options include: Two ski’s, Slalom Skiing, Trick Skiing, Ski Jumping, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating, Wakesurfing, Kneeboarding, Tubing, and many more!

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For many of our customers, trying water sports for the first time can be a little confusing or intimidating, but don’t worry, we are here to help!

The following are some suggestions that we would like you to try next time you are in the water learning a new sport!

-Wear A Life Jacket!: No mater what sport you are trying for the first time, make sure that you always wear a Coast Guard Approved Life Jacket. Life Jackets are designed to keep you afloat no matter the circumstance.

-Establish if you are a Regular or Goofy rider: For wakeboarding, you always want to make sure that you have the right riding stance before starting in order to make it easier on yourself. There is a quick easy way that you can find out what stance you are. While standing up straight with your feet together looking straight ahead, have some one gently push you backwards. The first foot to step back and stop your momentum will be your back leg on the board! Easy! If you are left foot back, you are a Goofy. If you are right foot back, that means you are Regular.

-Stay Relaxed: The point of water sports is to enjoy the water and the boating lifestyle. If you keep yourself relaxed and have fun, you will enjoy the experience much more. No one has become a professional after the first day of riding, so make sure not to let yourself get frustrated and keep trying!

Sometimes you will fall fantastically, but getting back up i worth it. you can laugh about it later

Sometimes you will fall fantastically, but getting back up is worth it. you can laugh about it later

-Let the boat do all the work!: Many people try to fight the boat to get up and as soon as the boat gets going, they try to pick themselves up by pulling their arms in and slowly getting up. I’m not sure about you guys, but a tug of war between me and a 350 horsepower engine will have the engine winning every time. Before the boat gets going, make sure to keep your arms straight and low, your legs bent and your back straight. Once the driver begins to pull you up, let the boat do all the work for you.  All you have to do is lean back and resist the boat’s pull and stand up with your back straight, arms straight while keeping them low, and keeping your hips over the board or ski, just like you would if you were doing the squats or one foot press at the gym.

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-Boat Speed and Rope Length: When learning any watersport, you want to make sure that you are going rather slow. 14-18 miles per hours are great speeds for a beginner. Make sure you have the rope set all the way in for a beginner as well.  Slower speed falls are a lot softer for beginners. 1001531_10151730948790513_967636026_n

Remember to always have a spotter on the boat and to always have enough jackets for everyone on board.

If you have any questions or want to talk to one of our guys about the best board set up for you or a few quick tips on riding make sure to call us at (901) 744-4444.

 

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Why I love Boating -Hart Robinson

As a father of three boys (soon to be four), I’m familiar with a life of chaos. The weeks and months pass by in what feels like the blink of an eye as we repeat our daily routine. Get up, go to school, play, eat dinner, cleanup, go to bed. The cycle repeats and before I turn around it’s been another month, a half-year, and a year has gone by. With what seems like so little time I find my comfort in tradition. Tradition has a way of anchoring children, a way of giving them an identity.

Cooper Robinson with the Liberator

Cooper Robinson Jr.

 

For me, my childhood was spent in and around boats on local lakes and rivers. I can remember spending the entire day of nearly every weekend out on the Tunica Cutoff with tons of friends and family. We had a cobbled together dock anchored out in the lake. On one half was a screened in porch with a roof, on the other half was an open deck with a swimming pool ladder permanently bolted on. Everybody would setup shop there and ski, swim, eat, and play all sorts of games until the sun reached the tops of the trees. I can remember nearly getting carried off by mosquitos as the family helped dad prepare the boat for the drive home. Mosquitos in the river delta are huge! We’d often stop at the Delta Queen in Tunica to get ice cream chocolate “dip cones” if I was able to stay awake. More typically, I fell asleep before we made it to the highway.

Tridition doesn't change, Paw Paw started it all

Cooper Robinson Sr. taking delivery of yet another boat

I remember taking boat trips to different places from a very young age. Our family, along with 3-4 other families (some cousins) would load up and spend the days on the boat and nights in a state park or other hotel nearby. We visited Cincinnati, Chicago, Charleston, Savannah, the Gulf Coast, Key West and more. We went to some awesome places and had some amazing experiences, many of which I don’t remember. What I do remember is the undivided attention my parents gave me and my siblings. It was clear there was nothing more important in the world than their investing their time by spending it with us.

Hart and his oldest son Griggs

Surfing with my oldest son, Griggs

Now that I’m a father I have the opportunity to do that same. I have the opportunity to invest in my boys by spending time with them. Uninterrupted, intentional time. I have the opportunity to build into their lives tradition, identity, and stability. I have the opportunity to teach them responsibility while having fun, rest while working hard, and the importance of family. I love boating because it provides all of those opportunities while taking us away from the distractions of daily living. I love boating because I was brought up boating and find great joy in continuing the tradition.

The kids with their dad and friends

The family and friends

The Checklist!

It happens to all of us… We are finally on the water and enjoying the lake, when suddenly we realize that we have forgotten to bring the snacks for the kids, waters for the coolers, or a first aid kit for any cuts or scrapes. “how could i have forgotten it!, i put it on the counter so that i would see it on my way out!”, says everyone in frustration when the one thing they need at that exact moment has been left behind!

Here at Memphis Boat Center we tend to be on the water a lot and we constantly leave things behind such as paddles, dock lines, towels, or first aid kits.  Some even ask us why we go out of our way to have some of the items in the list of intangibles that we are about to share with you, but the answer is plain and simple. 9 out of 10 times you will never have to use some of these items but on the 10th time if your stuck without it, the day can turn into a bad experience on the lake.

So we have gotten together and come up with a list of items you should always pack before leaving the house and double check that they are with you before putting the boat in the water.

  • Phone: Make sure that it has a full battery. Have one phone on the boat to be used only for emergencies.
  • Paddle: Trust us, if you run out of gas, or your boat doesn’t crank in the water, paddling back with wakeboards and ski’s is not a fun experience. Yes, we have done it.
  • Sunscreen: Its always a good idea to have extra sunscreen on the boat and to put it on multiple times a day. If not, all the alo vera in this world would not be enough for the pain that is sun burns.
  • Towels: When you come out of the water for the last time its always nice to have a dry towel to dry off so that you do not get cold from “air drying”.
  • Change of Clothes: At the end of the day it is always better when you get back in your car wearing dry clothes, avoiding a long ride home in a wet bathing suit or shorts. Along with the dry towel, a change of clothes are the best combination once you have come out of the water.
  • Sunglasses/Hats: Protecting your eyes is one of the most important things that you can do out on the lake. With sunglasses and hats, you do no not only protect your eyes but also avoid migraines or head aches that are caused from a full day out on the sun without eye protection.
  • Dock Lines/Bumpers: If you ever want to tie up to other boats or to a restaurant or marina, if you do not have dock lines you will find yourself sitting next to your boat holding it at all times. If you do not have bumpers, the possibility of your boat getting scratches increases significantly.
  • Water/Snacks: Water could be the most important item on this list. It is a good idea to have plenty of it and have it iced down. If the forecast is warmer than usual, bring more waters to avoid heat exhaustion or dehydration. Snacks are also important since because they will give you the energy and protein that you loose throughout the day.
  • First Aid Kit: Every once in a while an accident will happen that will require someone to clean up a scratch or cut. Lake water can be dirty and contain bacteria so by having a kit on the boat the chances of getting a cut infected decrease since you can clean the wound as soon as you come out of the water.
  • Tools: If you go to Lowes or any store like it you will see a 6 in 1 combination screw driver. This tool is awesome on the boat and will help you with any small fix that you need to do on the water.
  • Cash: Always make sure you have extra cash on you when you go to the lake. In case of an emergency cash is accepted anywhere, and some boat ramps do not take credit cards.

No matter where you are going, if you take everything on the list on the boat with you, you will be sure to have a great stress free and problem free day out on the water.

 

if you have any other items you would like us to add to this post feel free to comment below!!!

The Best and Closest Lakes from Memphis to go boating!

Here at Memphis Boat Center we are often asked, “where is a good place to go boating around here?”  Today we will tell you our favorite locations to take out our boats, and we will tell you some of our pros and cons of each lake. Hopefully they can become your favorite locations to go boating as well. Don’t have a boat? No worries!!! Which ever lake you chose, we have the boat for it!

Pickwick Lake, TN.**: A local favorite, this lake has it all! Its the perfect lake if you want to socialize with other boaters and enjoy its landmarks. Pickwick is a great lake to take the family for the weekend and holidays. Its has great local restaurants and great marinas to store your boat. If your looking for smooth water to wakeboard, ski, or wakesurf, the Tombigbee waterway is the perfect spot to find smooth water at all times. This lake is a great lake to celebrate the fourth of July with your family while watching the firework show over the lake.

Horseshoe Lake, AR.*: Located only 40 minutes from downtown Memphis, this lake is a great lake for a day trip out on the water. Being so close to Memphis, this lake is one of our top choices to take our boats out to film. Due to the shape of the lake, it can have rough waters, and since its a shallow lake (10-25ft), the wake will sometimes not develop completely for surfing and wakeboarding.  Horseshoe is a great lake for those warm sunny days where you decide to go to the lake last minute, but still be able to have a full day on the water.

Tunica Cutoff, MS.*: This hidden gem provides calm buttery water everyday, no matter the time or weather. The Tunica Cutoff is an old river oxbow lake, that not many people know about. Wakeboarding and skiing are awesome here and you will always enjoy the smooth water since not many ski boats are out there. To get to the cutoff, you do have to drive through a trailer park, but for smooth waters, we see it as worth it.

Arkabutla Lake,MS.*: Another Lake that is really close to Memphis, Arkabutla delivers a great “day” get-away lake. This lake is a Corps lake so you do have to wear life jackets at all times. The boat ramps at this lake are awesome, but there is very few docks, making it hard to load and unload passengers. Arkabutla Can get crowded and rough from time to time but in general it is a great lake to go out to for the day.  It’s important that you know the lake as it can be shallow and there are stumps.

Sardis Lake, MS. *: Sardis is a great for for any water activity that you might be into. Sardis is a big lake and welcomes fisherman, waterskiers and wakeboarders year round. The lake was built for flood water control purposes, but not many of the average 5 million people that visit each year know this. the lake has and abundance of bass and is great for watersports and camping. Sardis is located about an hour away from Memphis, making it one of the hot spots for the summer.  Smooth water can be a little bit harder to find.

Pin Oak Lake, TN.**: Pin Oak is part of the Natchez Trace State Park, which provides ample campsites for an amazing weekend outdoor getaway. The lake is small, but it is protected from the wind creating an awesome lake for fishing and water sports. The campgrounds are quiet and private which allow you to really have a peaceful and enjoyable getaway.  This is another of our hidden gems that we love to visit.

Moon Lake, MS.*: Relatively close, Moon Lake provides some beautiful surroundings. you may experience some rough water at Moon Lake, but you will always be able to find smooth water around the bend.  The cypress trees provide a beautiful backdrop to a day on the water.

The Tennessee River, TN.**: Being able to put your boat in the river and ride is one of our favorite things to do. The benefits about riding on the river, is that you don’t get as much choppy water from other boats around you. For water sports the river is always great, if you find your self in choppy waters, then just go around a bend or two and you will find the smooth buttery water again.

Greers Ferry, AR.***: Greers Ferry is a beautiful lake located in Arkansas. It is a bit of a drive to get there, but it is a beautiful lake on which to spend the weekend. During the summer this lake turns into an awesome hot spot for boaters. The clear water and awesome scenery make for a great weekend out on the water.

Smith Lake, AL.***: Another beautiful lake with clear water, Smith lake provides another weekend get-away location that will always put a smile on your family’s face. This lake can get crowded from time to time, but it is still one of the premier lakes in the south. Great for surfing and wakeboarding, take your boat down there for a weekend of progression in your riding.

This summer, make sure to create memories with your family and go visit one of these lakes that are close to our location. A boat is not just an asset, a boat makes memories to last a lifetime with your family. 99.9% of the time that your out on a boat on a nice summer day, your smiling….if you are not, you should be.

Distances:

  • *1.5 hours or less
  • **1.5-2.25 hours
  • ***3+ hours

For Blog ideas or questions feel free to contact us at any time: enrique.martinez@memphisboatcenter.com