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".
LIGHTER. STRONGER. SMARTER.
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.
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.
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.
Van's Sport Center has access to more than 500,000 parts and accessories for everything from a vintage Evinrude to the newest model Mercury outboard or sterndrive. With a few simple steps, you can conduct your own search to find the right new or used part and conveniently place your order online, via email or over the telephone.
Before you search:
Examine your engine and write down the manufacturer, model number and serial number. It's often not enough information to only have make and model -- the serial number is necessary or you may buy the wrong part. As this example shows, you need to know the serial number for a Mercury 115 EFI 4-stroke when you are buying an oil filter because the same model requires different oil filters depending on the engine's serial number.
Pleasure boating and fishing are starting to wind down for the year in the in the northern U.S., but one thing is always in season – saving money by being smart with your boat maintenance.
So before you put away your watercraft for the winter, consider this: Van's Sport Center offers discounts off labor and marine parts involved in outboard engine rebuild, lower unit rebuild and repairs.
"When we are busy, there are no discounts," said Scott Quoss, owner of the Grand Rapids-based provider of marine engine service and online seller of new and used engine parts for repair shops and do-it-yourselfers nationally. "But we are pretty much like our customers -- things start to slow down in November. So to stay busy, we start offering the discounts for the winter months."
In an ideal world, finding your needed outboard part online would be as easy as learning your facebook friends' political views. Unfortunately, it doesn't always pan out that way.There are a lot of different motor manufacturers which all lead to different makes and years, different models with different horse power levels, and different outboard part breakdowns to look through. Our outboard parts page has a lot of information, but we try not to make it a lot of work. Gathering some information beforehand can make the process a lot quicker. Here are a few things to know when searching for a part on our outboard parts pages:
It's time to transition into the spring fishing and leave the winter in the past, where it belongs. Drew Johnson, our new Sales Manager and a long-time fishing guide, has some tips for improving your chances at catching the big ones as the weather warms up.
Change up your tackle
Springtime brings great conditions for steelhead fishing. Make sure your tackle matches your intended game: plugs, spawn, and beads are great lures for steelhead fishing. They attract Steelhead with their alluring colors as well as their mockery of steelhead's real prey. Drew says his favorite to fish with are beads because they offer a "perfect imitation of real eggs." The color of your tackle can be based off of many factors, such as water clarity, the sun's placement, and even personal preference.