Monday, 05 June 2017 09:59

Boating Breakdowns

We have all been there one time or another. Stuck at the dock or stranded on the lake with a motor that doesn't want to run. If you haven't been there yet, hopefully you never will. When it does happen though, it turns a great day on the water into a nightmare. Hopefully problems don't arise half way through the day when you are in the middle of the lake. In those cases usually your only option is to get a hand from another boater or to call a tow service. I mean, no one wants to be the guy who asks a stranger to stop enjoying their day just to help you out. Lets hope you are prepared enough for most possible breakdown situations so that you can get back to the dock without having to be "that guy".

Tuesday, 02 May 2017 14:24




For the 2017 season, Yamaha completely redesigned their F25 to be the best 25hp outboard on the water. Weighing in at only 126 pounds, the new light weight and compact Yamaha F25 is not only a whopping 25% less than the previous Yamaha models weigh, but it is also the lightest 25hp outboard on the market. That being said, it has a number of different boating applications that it can be used for. From jon boats and inflatables, to deep V fishing boats. All of these styles of boats can now benefit from the F25 which has the best power to weight ratio of any 25hp on the water.

The brand new power head design of the F25 features two cylinders which have two valves per cylinder and a single overhead cam. This design helps keep the weight of the motor down while not sacrificing any of the power. Also new to Yamaha's F25 line is the addition of the Electronic Fuel Injection System. The Multi Point EFI provides greater fuel efficiency as well as minimal starting effort in any condition that you may encounter on the water. To add to that, the Fuel Injection System on this motor operates with out a battery. No battery means even less weight needed in your boat.

Practicing proper boat launch ramp etiquette will ensure things at the launch run smoothly.
With boating and fishing season finally here in West Michigan, practicing proper ramp etiquette will not only ensure things at the launch run smoothly, but it will keep you on good terms with the other boaters. We have all broke a "rule of the ramp" one time or another, but hopefully over the years with a little practice you have learned to be more efficient with unloading and loading your boat. But for the "noobies" or the first time boaters this season, here are a couple key rules to follow while using a public launch so that you wont be "that guy" on the lake this summer.

All through the winter, technicians at Van's Sport Center make great use of their time by reconditioning or parting out the trade-in marine motors that our store in Grand Rapids accepted during the 2016 boating season.

Our winter work can add up to big savings to you for marine motors and parts that have been run only in fresh water.

So now is the time to start thinking about whether the boat you love should be repowered with a larger used motor or if that tired old 2-stroke you've been nursing for years should finally be retired.

Many of the nation's largest boat shows are launching January through April to get boaters thinking of warm weather after weeks of winter blahs. For boating enthusiasts, a boat show represents the perfect opportunity to gather information under one roof from several local dealers about the latest products and services that make boating even more enjoyable.

Regardless of your locale, here are a few tips to help you get the most from your price of admission.

When it comes to the Holidays, our staff at Van's Sport Center and our customers get the real meaning of the phrase: "We are all in the same boat together."

We are constantly amazed and gratified at how everyday people in our area want to share their good fortune with others. A study done a couple of years ago by Grand Valley State University's Johnson Center for Philanthropy showed that individuals in Kent County have a reputation as being generous givers. At the time of the study in 2013, residents of Kent County accounted for about 9 percent of Michigan's total estimated giving by individuals, yet the area made up only 6 percent of Michigan's households.

A good lithium-ion jump starter should be on the holiday gift list of all boat owners who don't run double batteries in their boats, says Scott Quoss, owner of Van's Sport Center in Grand Rapids.

Unlike car and truck owners, boat owners who can't start their engines due to dead batteries may spend hours waiting for help and pay for the assistance.

New lightweight and extremely portable versions of jump starters easily pay for themselves on the first emergency use, and they aren't restricted to marine applications. Today's jump starters can have built-in powerful LED flashlights for emergencies, as well as adapter cables to start cars, jetskis, power laptops and run some AC powered appliances. 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 08:52

Tips on Winterizing Your Boat

The stuff that floats your boat during the summer can cause major league damage to your craft during the winter.


Damage from freezing is all related in one way or another to presence of unwanted water. The same tremendous force that can cause roads to buckle and building foundations to heave is the culprit behind everything from damaged boat hulls to cracked engine blocks.


So whether you are a first-time boat owner or a veteran of boating, here's a checklist of ways to prevent winter’s freezing temperatures from damaging your craft.

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