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Virginia New boat adventures!!

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Just bought a 24, cc key largo to start my adventures pretty excited. Looking for advice on anything while I have been boating awhile and saltwater fishing pretty regularly this is first time I will be captaining my own boat and any pointers will be greatly appreciated thanks

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Welcome to the site Joe and congrats on the new boat! Most of what I can tell you is common sense- take the boating course online if you haven't (even old salts might pick up a tidbit here and there and you'll have to do it eventually).

Pick a couple of decent days and take the boat out to get used to handling her when it's not crowded. This does NOT mean take her out of Rudee during the peak of silly season (rockfishing can bring out some weird stuff). If the ramp is not busy, practice coming in and docking. Crab Creek has more room and might be more friendly as well as having an extra section of dock to tie up to. You could ask if you could set a couple of items on the dock to practice with- mark off say 40 feet to simulate coming in between other boats and practice there. Probably first this time of year is be sure you have not only proper safety equipment but cold weather gear as well. In winter, I opt for auto inflatable life jackets but everyone should have a vest on with winters onset here. At home, go over the boat until you are comfortable accessing bilge pumps, batteries, fuses and relays, radio connections and anything else you can imagine might quit and cause trouble and even those you can't. You can't be too familiar with your boat or its systems and no matter if the boat is brand new or just new to you, things CAN and WILL go wrong. Have a tool kit and be sure you have tools to work on spark plugs (and have a couple spares), fuel filters, primer bulbs and clamps and if your motor is a 2 stroke, have some extra 2 cycle oil, including a clean soda bottle full (reserves located inside the shroud are impossible to fill with a gallon jug). If you have a 4 stroke or inboard, ditto for that. If you have a source for ethanol free gas, USE IT and keep using it unless absolutely necessary!!!! Use a kit to rinse the salt from the motor if it will only be used intermittently and rinse your motor (and trailer)with every use. If you have a trailer with surge brakes, make sure your tow vehicle has the 5 wire plug. The 5th wire is for BU lights and while this may sound odd, think about it... when you back up, your trailer brakes will be applied as the trailer tongue closes up. You CAN get out and put a pin in it every time to prevent this or wire the trailer for the 5 wire plug. The current from the BU lights operates a solenoid that prevents the flow of brake fluid from reaching the brake cylinder. If you haven't spent some time backing trailers, practice that too. You will find patient, friendly folks at the ramp but they aren't as loud as some of the others... and have your people and gear ready to go when you hit the ramp. Everyone is in a hurry either coming or going it seems so be patient with them even if they are not so kind. Things seem to go better for me since I've made an extra effort to not have an attitude myself and if I don't get pissed at the ramp, I enjoy myself more on the water which is the point, after all.


That's a start and as I said, mostly common sense. I'm sure I missed a bunch and looking at this all it proves is I need to hook up the boat and get out there so I have something else to talk about!


Enjoy the new ride and be safe!




and a towing membership is an EXCELLENT investment. I've never used mine and hope I don't, btw- a long rope for towing is a great thing. I've had the opportunity to help many other boaters out of some not so good situations over the years.

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