Posted: December 05, 2022
Beginner's Guide to Launching and Unloading a Boat By Yourself:
Boating is often a better experience when you go out with others, but sometimes you just want to enjoy the water by yourself. The major downside of going alone is that you have to have to try and unload a boat by yourself. If you go out on a busy day with other boaters, asking someone to lend a hand is often the best practice.
But what if you're truly by yourself, with no one around to help you? Here are the major steps you should follow in order to launch and unload a boat by yourself and into the water:
Step 1: Do the prep-work before you're on the boat ramp.
If you have others with you, it's easy to do all of the necessary pre-work to unload you're boat right before you get in the water. It can be time consuming if you're by yourself though, so don't hog the ramp and do the pre-work before you descend.
Make sure you follow the normal checklist of items that you would follow if you were with others. Make sure the drain plug is inserted properly. Remove the back straps and any other chains keeping your boat secure. Lastly, if you anything sticking out the back, make sure it is up so it doesn't scrape across the ground when you begin your descent.
Step 2: Slowly back down the ramp and into the water.
If you have another person, it's easy for someone to guide you where you need to go. Because you're on your own, you'll want to take your time and reverse carefully. An extra minute or two of slow reversing will save you significantly more time than going too fast, causing your boat to veer in the wrong direction.
Once you reach the water, make sure you put your car in park and put on the emergency break.
Posted: November 28, 2022
Is Ethanol Fuel Good for Boat Engines?
When it comes to operating a boat, one of the most important things to keep track of is your fuel. After all, your engine isn't going to get you far with an empty fuel tank. So while you're at the gas station, you've probably asked yourself this exact question: is ethanol fuel good for boat engines? Can you use it instead of traditional fuel?
The short answer is that you can, as long as it's an E10 rated ethanol fuel or smaller. However, depending on when your boat was made along with the type of engine can all affect the answer as well. As such, here are the facts you'll want to know when using ethanol fuel with your boat engine:
What is Ethanol Fuel?
Ethanol fuel is very high proof alcohol made from products like corn, sugar cane, or what that is added to fuel. The reason is because it is an "oxygenate," because it helps reduce hydrocarbon emissions when added to fuel to reduce air pollution. Ethanol fuel is rated by the percentage of ethanol mixed in with gasoline fuel. E10 is 10% ethanol, E85 is 85% ethanol, and so forth.
One of the most important details to understand about ethanol fuel, especially when it comes to boats, is how it interacts with air. The common myth is that ethanol sucks water out of the air. The truth is a bit more complicated. What ethanol does do is collect water more easily than gasoline. So, if water sprays the side of your boat, heavy ethanol can cause a condensation build up overtime.
Because of its environmental friendliness, even your traditional gasoline sold in the store likely has a small percentage of ethanol mixed in with the fuel. As such, you can refuel your boat with low grade ethanol fuels. Heavy ethanol fuel mixtures can lead to engine damage, however. To explain why, you'll need to learn about Phase Separation:<
Posted: November 28, 2022
5 Must-Have Boat Accessories for Your Malibu Boat
Whether you're a longtime Malibu owner or just purchased your first vessel, custom Malibu boat accessories let you enjoy the water on your terms. Here are five of the best accessories for Malibu boats no matter where you sail.
Motor Box Protector Shock Tube
This 48-inch shock tube hooks around the ski pylon to prevent damage to the motor box or rear engine hatch. It also absorbs rope tension, which helps avoid the "slingshot effect" if a rider takes a tumble.
Perko Step Plates
A pair of gunnel step plates provide traction so passengers can safely board when surfaces are wet. Perko plates have soft black pads and a chrome-plated zinc alloy frame for a stunning look.
Tower Mirror Bracket
With a mirror bracket, you can get the rearview mirror off the windshield for a better look at what's behind you. These G3 tower mirror arms are made of billet aluminum with a factory-matched white or black finish.
Keep your boat safely moored with a solid braid dock line made of durable polypropylene. These tough 15-foot lines are available in black, red or blue with the official Malibu logo.
Insulated Cooler Bags
Designed to fit in the onboard cooler, a Malibu Boats cooler bag is perfect for packing snacks and drinks. It delivers extra
Posted: November 23, 2022
DIY Boat Upholstery Repair: What You'll Need and What Cost to Expect
Just like a car, the upholstery on your boat seats can get faded, stained or ripped over time. If the seats need a refresh - or if you just want to change up the look - our DIY marine upholstery repair guide will help you get started.
Do-it-yourself boat upholstery can be a big money-saver versus a repair shop. But the exact process can vary greatly depending on the type of upholstery, the seat style and even what boat you own. For this guide, we're going to focus on the items you need and how much you can expect boat seat upholstery repair to cost.
Boat Upholstery Supplies List & Preparation
For small tears and holes, a boat seat vinyl repair kit may be all you need. Make sure to get a quality kit with mixing compounds or patch tape that will match the existing vinyl's color. These kits can cost as little as $15-20 at a marine store.
However, large tears or significant fading and staining will require replacing the vinyl. If you determine a full reupholstering is necessary, start by removing the seats and inspecting them. While new boat seat covers may be all you need, there's also the possibility that the seat foam is damaged or the structure is rotting. Doing the correct repairs now will save you from having to "Bust Out Another Thousand" later.
You should also measure the existing seat cover and foam padding to make sure you buy the correct amount of material. To measure the old cover, remove it from the seat and lay it flat on the ground.
Once these things are completed, you'll need the following DIY boat seat repair supplies:
- Marine-grade vinyl
- Foam padding (if necessary)
- Heavy-duty staple gun with stainless steel staples
- Sewing scissors
Posted: November 21, 2022
Understanding Your Engine Control Module:
When it comes to operating a boat, one of the most frustrating and difficult components to troubleshoot is the Engine Control Module, or ECM. Also known as the Engine Control Unit, or ECU, the ECM monitors your engine to ensure optimal performance. Due to their importance, all types of motor vehicles rely on ECMs, including carts and boats alike. When working properly, a ECM will even learn from your driving habits and make adjustments to your engine accordingly.
An ECM traditionally monitors four different aspects of your boat's operating system: the air-fuel ratio, variable valve timing, ignition timing, and the idle speed. Within each of these categories there are likely additional sensors, such as oxygen sensors, air-fuel sensors, and for boats specifically other water related sensors.
If your engine not performing correctly? Something may be wrong with the ECM. Here are a few symptoms of a bad engine control module to keep an eye out for while you're boating:
When should I replace my boat's ECM?
The main cause of a faulty ECM is moisture and corrosion damage. Given that boats are meant to be in water, it's only natural that your ECM is going to get warn out over time. If your boat is experiencing the following, it's worth checking the ECM to see if it's corroded:
- The engine warning light is on.
- Your boat isn't starting properly.
- Your engine is misfiring or stuttering.
- You experience sudden bursts or loss of acceleration while driving.
- Your fuel gauge will experience dramatic swings while driving.
- Your engine isn't performing as well as it used to.
- Your boat shuts off unexpectedly while driving.
Posted: November 21, 2022
Looking for a Boat for Your Lake House? These are the Best Boat Types for Lakes
A lake house is a dream for those who love the water. If you've achieved that dream, you're also going to need the right boat so you can take advantage of having a lake in your backyard.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a lake boat, including the size of the lake and what activities you plan to use it for. The experts at Bakes Marine have made our picks for the best inboard lake boats and what you should consider before taking the plunge.
The pontoon boat is one of the most versatile lake boats around. They were originally designed for slow cruising; however, some modern pontoons can reach speeds of 40 mph. They come in many sizes with signature wraparound seating and use an outboard motor to propel them through the water. While pontoon boats are very adaptable, the lack of a planing hull limits their top speed and makes rough waters more challenging.
Like pontoons, the deck boat and other runabout boats are all-purpose watercraft. However, they are designed very differently. The seats in a deck boat all face forward, which most people find more enjoyable for high-speed cruising. Deck boats also have a deep-V hull to cut more smoothly through the water and be more stable. On the other hand, they usually don't have as many creature comforts.
Want to live to the extreme? A watersports tow boat is the answer. Also known as a ski boat or wake boat, these vessels have a powerful inboard engine, a modified V-hull and rear towers to pull people behind you. The propeller is also under the boat for safety. While they are excellent for wakesurfing, waterskiing
Posted: November 16, 2022
Best Gifts for the Boater in Your Life
Need the perfect gift for people who someone whose first love is the water? Drop anchor in our boating gift guide! We've come up with our favorite affordable gifts for sailors to surprise them on birthdays, holidays or other special occasions.
Boat Accessories Gifts
- Marine Cup Holders - Boating is better with a refreshing beverage, and the Chrome Flip-Up Adjustable Cup Holder is a stylish place to set your drink so it won't spill.
- Cooler Bags - Make sure drinks and snacks taste great all day with a Malibu Boats Insulated Cooler Bag that keeps them cold.
- Boat Decals - Help a boat captain customize their watercraft or towing vehicle with peel-and-stick boat stickers featuring logos and cool artwork.
- Apparel - Logo T-shirts, hoodies, hats and other marine-grade clothing will look great while holding up to the rigors of the surf.
- Boat Care Supplies - Boat owners want their vessels to look sharp, and they will with a Babe's Boat Care Kit that includes all the cleaning basics.
- Boat Mirrors - A performance rearview mirror and mirror bracket means pilots can see both ahead and behind to improve safety.
- First Aid Kits - If something does happen on the water, a marine first aid kit has everything to
Posted: November 14, 2022
How to Choose a Bilge Pump for Your Boat
Boats need a bilge pump to keep water from accumulating in the bottom of the hull, but how do you choose the best one for your boat?
At Bakes Marine, our in-house boating experts have created a collection of the best bilge pumps for any size recreational boat.
Bilge Pump Basics
A bilge pump is designed to discharge the water at the bottom of your boat's hull (the bilge) that can collect, becoming smelly and dirty if you don't do anything about it. Hence, the bilge pump. Choose a manual bilge pump for boats or an automatic bilge pump for boats. While an automatic bilge pump is often recommended for larger boats (over 20 ft. in size), automatic bilge pumps are smart buys for smaller boats, too.
They're rated by GPH, or gallons per hour, which is the maximum amount of water that can be pumped out of your boat in an hour by the pump.
The hoses attached can be corrugated or smooth; we prefer smooth-wall pumps, which can measurably increase the rate of water flow per hour from your vessel.
Yes, we've all seen movies of sinking boats that lead to folks using buckets to rid the crafts of water. That's in the movies. Bilge pumps are what you need for typical water releases.
Why Two Bilge Pump Can be Better than One
Bilge pumps are inexpensive additions to your boating equipment needs. That's why we recommend that you buy two to have a backup bilge pump ready when needed.
Depending on the size and brand, you can install your backup bilge pump directly above your primary bilge pump. Or, install an extra bilge pump in another boat compartment that can collect unwanted water.
Posted: November 09, 2022
The Ultimate Guide to Boat Parts for Beginners
Knowing your boat parts basics will help you feel more confident from the start of your new adventures in boating. Knowing where to get the best boat parts at the lowest prices is easy: Bakes Marine has the biggest selections of boat and marine parts and accessories.
Boat's Bow and Stern
Your Boat Parts 101 begins with the front and back of your boat. The bow is the front of the boat, and the stern is the back. Once you know that, you can determine what's port and what's starboard.
Port is the left side of the boat when you're facing the bow, or the front of the boat.
Starboard is the right side of the boat when you're facing the bow.
ABCs of Boat Parts
If we begin with the letter A, we're talking anchors. This heavy piece of metal is used to secure your boat in the water by attaching (sinking) to the water's bottom via a sturdy rope or chain that connects from the ring on the anchor to the boat.
A bilge pump is designed to discharge the water at the bottom of your boat's hull (the bilge). You can buy a manual bilge pump or an automatic bilge pump. Many boats have more than one bilge pump.
The boat's cabin is the enclosed area, in which you'll often find the galley, or kitchen.
Boat cleats are metal fittings that hold your lines to your boat. At Bakes Online, see our collection of Malibu Boats brand stainless steel boat cleats.
A deck is the boat's surface. Those all-important drain plugs, besides their obvious use, are also how boaters drain fluids
Posted: November 07, 2022
Choosing the Right Boat Propeller
If you want to know how to choose the right propeller for your boat, you've made a smart first step in turning to Bakes Marine. We can share more than 30 years of expertise with you, in addition to offering affordable prices on our big inventory of props for boats.
Props is the nickname that boating veterans use when choosing propellers for boats. A prop (propeller) is a critical component to your vessels' propulsion system.
If you are using your boat for wakeboarding, wake surfing or other watersports, the right prop becomes an even more important piece of equipment when it comes to achieving maximum acceleration and performance. Whether you're buying a new propeller, or replacing a damaged one, always consult your boat owner's manual first to confirm compatibility.
By having Bakes Marine in your corner, you can also call the experts at our Washington state headquarters at (425) 392-7599. Or, email our courteous customer service teams at [email protected] with your questions.
Propeller Diameter and Pitch
When looking at a new or replacement propeller, you'll need to know the diameter and pitch you want. The diameter is the size of the blade from tip to tip. The pitch is the distance the propeller will move your boat forward during one turn of the prop.
The diameter is the first number, and the pitch is the second on descriptions, such as 15 x 14.25 for our Acme 2249 15 (diameter) x 14.25 (pitch) four-blade propeller.
Our Acme 3537 16.5 x 14 four-blade boat propeller at Bakes Online has a diameter of 16.5 in. and a distance