New Tech for Your Boat

Blog post title for Cal Stagger's boating blog

Boating is a great way to pass the time and enjoy a hobby you’re passionate about. For many people, boating is simply being out on the water and enjoying that time. While boating is meant to be fairly relaxing, there are also new ways to enhance your boating experience. It’s possible to find technology that benefits any area of life and boating is no exception. Here are some new pieces of tech you can get for your boat. They’d all make great gifts for the holidays!

Weatherflow Windmeter Phone Accessory

This windmeter simply plugs into your phone or connects through Bluetooth. It’s used to detect temperature, humidity, and wind readings. It’ll be incredibly useful for helping you navigate the waters and keep track of the weather conditions while you’re out boating.

Leatherman Tread Multitool Bracelet

Having tools readily available on your boat is always important, because you never know when you might need a wrench or some other tool to repair a problem. The Leatherman bracelet keeps you prepared for any emergency situation by providing an accessory that looks like the band of a watch, but actually provides you with a variety of tools. It can be adjusted to fit any wrist size and comes with Allen wrenches and screwdrivers as a few of the tools on the bracelet.

Fortress Boat Anchors

Boaters and experts alike have identified this anchor as the “World’s Best Anchor” over and over, which is a pretty great endorsement. This anchor is made from high-tech aluminum alloy, which makes it as strong as steel, but luckily for anyone using it, it isn’t nearly as heavy! You can easily dismantle it for quick storage as well.

Yeti Hopper Cooler

This cooler will actually keep drinks cold for days at a time. It’s perfect for weekend boating trips when you want to have cold drinks the entire time you’re on the water. The cooler holds about 30 pounds of ice and can easily be transported on and off your boat. The leakproof HydroLok Zipper comes from survival suits and the fabric of the color is incredibly durable, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking anytime soon.

Chums Floating Keychains

Losing your keys in the ocean would definitely put a damper on any boat trip, particularly if they’re the boat keys. In order to make sure this problem is never one you have to deal with, consider getting a floating keychain! Chums sells a small keychain that you can attach to your sunglasses, keys, or other items and never worry about losing them in the water. The keychain is also bright yellow, so it’ll be incredibly easy to spot in the water.

Spring Boating

cal staggers boatSpring is finally here, and in addition to the enjoyment brought by flowers blooming and the weather getting nicer, for boating enthusiasts that means getting back out on the water. There are several things everyone with a boat must do to prepare their craft for the upcoming season, and the sooner they get them done, the sooner they’ll be fishing, tubing, or just floating around and relaxing.

Fuel System – Inspect the fuel system for any sort of damage or leaks, and ensure the exhaust and ventilation systems are working.

Belts, Cables, and Hoses – These items can become brittle and cracked during winter storage, so make sure that hasn’t happened to these parts on your boat. If it has, just replace them.

Electric System – Make sure all electrical connections are tight and free of corrosion. Also, charge and test you battery to make sure it can maintain a charge.

Fluid Levels – Change your oil filter, engine oil, and lubricants, and check all of your fluid levels.

Propellers and Hulls – It’s possible that with extreme temperature changes, propellers can become distorted or cracked, so check to make sure this hasn’t happened. The same goes for the hull, which should also be cleaned before first use.

Safety Gear – The first time you take your boat out for the season, and actually any time you step onto it at all, count the number of life jackets you have on board to make sure there are enough for every passenger you’re setting out with. Also make sure there is a fire extinguisher on board, and run through a safety check list to ensure you and your passengers are prepared for the outing.

Reasons Shopping for Outdoor Enthusiasts is Easy

Cal Staggers pro shop

I came across a fun article/blog post at about why it is easy to shop for people who love outdoor activities (they offer 5 reasons, I will summarize 4 below). Since we are so close to Christmas, and since there are always last minute shoppers who haven’t yet figured out what gifts to give this year, I thought a summary of the list in this article could possibly serve as a little bit of inspiration for such people.

1. No hunter or fisherman has everything. There are always little accessories that they will be excited to receive, and that they will actually use, which is more than you can say for many gifts. Also, since there is naturally a lot of wear and tear on outdoor equipment new items are always well appreciated.

2. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, too, you will find shopping for another one to be very easy. Probably the hardest thing will be not buying one of everything you get for yourself too.

3. There is another benefit to shopping for an outdoor enthusiast if you are also one yourself: You’ll get to see the equipment tested an used before you buy it. You might even be lucky enough to go out and test it yourself if you buy the equipment for a good enough friend. I’ll offer a disclaimer here, though: this type of self serving gift is not in the Christmas spirit!

4. Shopping in a pro shop is a pretty fun experience. Even if you are not into outdoor activities yourself, you might find yourself having a good time shopping for someone who is anyway. It is also a great place to find gift ideas for other people who you still need to shop for.

Naples Boat Show

Cal StaggersRight now, over this weekend, there is a boat show going on in Naples, FL in Crayton Cove, according to the Naples Florida Weekly.  It sounds like it should be a fun time and goes on for both days of the weekend, so if you are a boating enthusiast, or just want a different place to go and have a good time, this might be just what you are looking for.

The great thing about going to boat shows is talking about boats with people who share this interest with you.  It’s also great to see everyone’s different boat (usually there are a very wide variety, from tiny little boats to huge yachts), and what they do with them to make them unique to their particular water interest.  For example, some people take their boat out to relax, and so seeing how they optimize them for comfort can give you some ideas for your own boat.  Others are mostly into fishing, and you can pick up a thing or two from these people about what type of equipment is best for you, and even which spots in the water are best for this purpose.  Still other boaters are mostly into water sports, and this equipment is great to take a look at and get reviews on from a real person who has used it.  Warning: If you look at a boat geared towards water sports with your kids, your boat will soon be geared towards water sports too!

Boat catalogues and things like that are useful, but there isn’t anything quite like seeing boats and boating equipment right in front of you, and getting information from the people that own them.

10 Things For Your Boat

Cal StaggersI read a great article today (see it here) called “10 Things You May Not Have in Your Boat, But Probably Should.”  It outlines some essential tools and safety equipment that you may not think to keep at first, but which, as the title of the article tells us, you probably should.  I will summarize the list and reasons for each item from the article below.

1. Jumper Cables – We all know what a terrible feeling it is to be stranded somewhere and suddenly have your car not start.  Now imagine that same feeling, but you’re surrounded by water.

2. Buoys – Many people these days neglect the old fashioned navigation tools for those that are more technologically advanced.  Sometimes, though, it’s nice to have both options.

3. Extra Life Preserver – Having one or two more than you need can’t hurt.

4. Old Fashioned Ice Fishing Depth Finder – This is a pretty specific item, for specific boating activities.  Probably not everyone will need this.

5. Rope – This is something you don’t want to need and not have.  It serves countless purposes, including tying your boat to the dock, towing someone, or being towed.  What you definitely don’t want is to have neither jumper cables, nor rope for a tow.

6. Small Anchor – This is useful for fishing on a windy day.

7. Toilet Paper – Boat ramp facilities often run out of this, so as a back up it’s a good idea to have some of your own.

8. Cable Ties – These are useful for securing things all over your boat.

9. Multi-Tool – While still having everything you need, this item is less cumbersome and takes up less space than a tool box.

10. Quality Side Cutters – Useful for making difficult cuts.  Often times your multi tool or whatever cutters come with your tool box might not be quite strong enough.

This was a really useful article, and offers some great ideas.  Boating blogs and websites can be a great place to discover information like this.


Ways to Make Your Kids Love Boating – Cal Staggers

Cal Staggers

I came across an article about making your kids fall in love with boating.  Since family is the most important thing to me and boating is my favorite hobby, I thought this was a perfect article to share.  You can click the link above to read the full article if you’d like, but I will summarize it below.

When I first saw the article, I thought to myself, “What about boating could a kid not love?”  The author pointed out that many children can be overwhelmed by rules and boredom, and I suppose I can see what the author is talking about.  There are quite a few safety concerns that children must learn when they step onto a boat, but I think it is important to make sure they also learn the about the fun parts of the boating experience.  And there are, of course, many fun and stimulating activities to introduce them to.

First, and probably most obvious is fishing.  The surprise and excitement when your son or daughter catches their first fish is truly magical.  You can also introduce your children to paddle sports such as kayaking, which, since they involve more exertion than motor boating for example, kids can find more stimulating than just relaxing in a boat on the water (even thought that might sound just great to Mom and Dad!).

Sailing and power boating are also very fun.  With sailing there is a lot for your children to participate in, and power boating is just plain exciting because you move so fast, so these are excellent ways to help you children build a report with the water and water sports.  And if you do go power boating, a natural next step are board sports.  Water skiing and wake boarding do involve quite a bit of learning and skill, so they can be frustrating at first, but kneeboarding should not be overlooked as a good introduction to such sports, and is even quite fun in itself.

Of course it is most important to make sure these activities are done with all safety precautions taken.  Be safe and have a good time!