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Winterizing Your Boat

Author: Nicki Belczak

iStock_000001263919LargeThe days are shorter. The leaves are going out in a blaze of color. And the breeze has a bit of a bite. There’s no denying winter is on its way. In other words, it’s time to pull in the docks, rafts and lifts and close the books on another boating season.

There’s more to getting your boat ready for winter than hauling it out if you want to survive the season of shrink-wrap ready to hit the water full-throttle next spring. Continue reading

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Behind the (Boating) Music: Southern Cross

Author: Kelly Kaylor

Lifestyle Sailing_0109A favorite of many boaters, the song Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills & Nash, seems best suited for cruising a postcard-worthy waterway. Just add the glow of sunset and you have what boating dreams (at least mine) are made of. But, what does it all mean?

Written by Stephen Stills in 1982 with Richard and Michael Curtis. According to Stills, “The Curtis brothers brought a wonderful song called ‘Seven League Boots,’ but it drifted around too much. I rewrote a new set of words and added a different chorus, a story about a long boat trip I took after my divorce. It’s about using the power of the universe to heal your wounds. Once again, I was given somebody’s gem and cut and polished it.” Continue reading

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Fall Pumpkin Boat Races

Author: Nicki Belczak


Photo courtesy of West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta

Come fall, giant pumpkin weigh-offs are a tradition all across the country. What do you do with these gargantuan gourds after the big event? Do you bake a thousand pies? Carve a jack-o-lantern that’ll illuminate the entire neighborhood? Turns out pumpkins float. This discovery, credited to Wayne Hackney by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, led to the creation of a new autumn tradition, pumpkin boat regattas.

Coast-to-coast “squash-bucklers” hollow out these behemoths and head to the harbor to race for glory —and the chance to be crowned as the top pumpkin pilot.

Here are a few pumpkin fests coming up: Continue reading

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On-Water Hot Spots for Fall Foliage

Author: Colleen Richardson

Fall Foliage Hot Spots 2

You can smell it in the air – it’s officially autumn. As the leaves start to change color millions of Americans hit the road to experience fall’s beauty through a car window. Why not skip the traffic and try a new vantage point? Try taking your leaf peeping trip aboard a boat – It’s easier than you think. Check out our top 8 U.S. waterways for fall foliage, all offering cruising, rental and charter options.

For more information on these destinations and ways to get on the water check out our article: Top Spots to View Autumn Colors from the Water. Continue reading

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5 Species to Fish in the Fall

Author: Michael Perulli


If you want in on some of the best fishing of the year, don’t put your boat away before the leaves start changing color. Although it can be a little more challenging at times, autumn provides anglers with a chance to land some big fish. The fall feed (when fish eat more than usual in anticipation of winter) is the major reason that fishing can be so good this time of year. We’ve put together a list of some of the freshwater fish that anglers target when the weather cools down a bit:

Largemouth Bass

If you are looking to catch some largemouth bass this fall, keep in mind that most of them are going to be in shallow water because the lake is cooling off and the water is warmer there. This also means that some of the larger bass that would have been in deeper waters throughout the summer will come closer to shore. If the water you are fishing in isn’t clear (muddy or stained), you should target water that is no deeper than about four feet with a lure that is metallic to draw fish in from a distance.

Tackle to use:  Spinnerbait, crankbait, top water lures, and swimbaits.

Where to find: Find largemouth bass in many small freshwater lakes, the St. Lawrence, Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins; Atlantic drainages from North Carolina to Florida and to northern Mexico.

Continue reading