Friday, May 31, 2013

The Heat of Summer Is Almost Here; Don't Bake Your Outboard

The heat of Summer offers boaters great weather and many days of enjoying life on the local rivers and lakes. Summer also creates some challenges for boaters, overheated engines cause by debris in the water and grass clogging water inlets is a big problem if not handled correctly. Read on learn how to make this seasonal issue no big deal or take a chance on baking your outboard engine.

Every Summer when boating traffic increases and the submerged aquatic vegetation (grass) grows all over the river we have customers pick up a dis-guarded  ice bag or even grass in their water intakes and overheat their outboards. It happens, the alarm goes off and everyone tries to figure out what happened. If no water is coming out of the telltale then it has no water pressure and the intakes are likely clogged causing your engine to overheat. This is the time when you can save your outboard and yourself thousands of dollars in repairs or let it sit there and bake. If you stop your engine when the alarm goes off, clear the debris from the water inlets and then start your engine up and give it an high idle in neutral, your engine will quickly cool back down. The worse thing you can do is to sit there and wait for your engine to cool down by itself. With no water circulating through the engine the temperature will stay high for quite a while, baking the engine and its parts. I have seen coils, hoses and wiring harnesses melt to the block because of this. It can turn into some serious dollars, as bad as including total engine rebuilds with additional accessories needing added to complete the repair. Not knowing how to handle engine overheating is a killer.

When you go out boating this Summer; enjoy the boating, fishing or whatever water-sport you like. If you overheat your engine take the correct steps to save your outboard engine and continue enjoying your day while others cook hot dogs on the engine blocks.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Potomac River Is About To Be Trashed

The heavy rains of early this week have begun to head down the Potomac River watershed. The Potomac is about to be Trashed.

During the Spring every year we run a chance of the Upper Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers getting flooded out. The heavy rain storms of this week have done just that. As of today, May 9th, the Potomac River at Point of Rocks is at or near flood stage. River crest will happen tonight or tomorrow just above flood stage. You may be thinking, doesn't affect me, I don't fish the Upper Potomac. You would be wrong, it will affect you if you fish the Lower Potomac. This flood stage water is on the way to the Lower Potomac as I write this blog. Today when I crossed the Potomac at Point of Rocks it was high, orange and full of floating debris. This debris will take weeks to settle out on the Lower Potomac, especially up around the D.C./Maryland line. Tides on the lower river will also be higher than normal, which picks up debris along the lower rivers banks. The water clarity will also be affected on the Lower Potomac for a week or so. Logs floating cause many of the boating accidents along the river.  It affect the whole river when the upper river floods.

The important thing to keep in mind during this flooding is that your will need to use caution over the next week or so on the Lower Potomac. Those wanting to fish on the Upper Potomac should spend the weekend celebrating Mother's Day with loves ones instead of going boating and fishing. The debris and high water won't last long and the fish will be there next weekend. If you do decide to go out boating, please be careful, it's not worth getting hurt or tearing up you boat. Have a great weekend and take mom somewhere nice to eat.