If possible, it is a good idea to store your small boat in your garage. The problem is unless you have a dinghy your boat…
There are a few different ways to catch a great feed of crabs. Obviously you need to start crabbing in an area that is renowned for crabs. Estuaries, rivers, bays and inlets are ideal places to find crabs. There are 3 main methods of caching crabs. So what method works best? Read on to find out more. Drop Nets – Drop nets are ideal for boat users but not as good for shore based anglers. Basically you need to drop a crab net with some form of bait hooked to the inside and middle of the net. You can buy basic nets with just a string netting or you can upgrade to nets where the base is made from chicken wire. The chicken wire nets are a bit more expensive but they are worth it in the long run as you will have less tangles. To start catching crabs with drop nets you need to leave the nets down on the bottom of the sea floor for around 10 minutes and then quickly pull them up. You need to quickly pull the line up to ensure that the crabs do not escape from the net. This method is often used from boats but can also be done from jetty’s and piers. Common bait to use is any slimy fish or any old food that you may have (old roast chicken carcasses work great). Be sure that your rope is long enough for your drop nets. In places of high current (such as under bridges) the net may drift substantially before it hits the ocean floor. And remember to always tie the end to something otherwise you may lose all of your line and your nets. Some people use cages to put the bait in. This looks nice but from personal experience i believe crabs prefer to be able to get a good shot at the bait so using a clip is best. All you need to do is run the bait through the clip and your away. Also remember you need to use a weight in certain situations to ensure the net sinks to the sea floor (especially in deeper spots). You need to refer to local regulations, guidelines and laws as to the number of nets you can legally use at one time. Scoop Nets – With this method you walk around in the shallows with a crab scoop net looking for crabs in the water. The scoop looks like a hanging basket steel frame attached to a long pole. This method requires good eyesight and stealthy reactions. The scoop net method is definatley challenging as well as rewarding but be prepared to be nipped a few times. Once caught, you generally put the crabs you intend to keep in a container that attaches to you via a rope. Be sure to put a little water in this container as well as cover with a damp cloth or towel. This container should follow you around wherever you go leaving you free to catch more crabs. The crabs will usually put up their pincers once they see you and then swim to one side, so it is good to try to approach them with the scoop from either their left or right side (i.e. don’t approach them with the scoop from the front or behind) Although this method is fun you are more likely to get undersize crabs due to the shallow depth of water. Diving for crabs – There are a few ways to dive for crabs. You can either just free dive from a boat or get dragged behind a boat with a rope and then drop off when you see a crab. You will need a thick glove to dive for crabs and you need to come up from behind them to surprise them. With this method you will get nipped so be cautious and prepared. You will probably also need weights attached to you for this method to help you sink to the ocean floor. Goggles and a snorkel are also a must. So if you are having no luck fishing, or you want to try something different then give crabbing a go. Just remember to only keep crabs that are of legal size (they are usually measured across the carcass). Refer to the local laws for the minimum sizes of the species you are targeting.
Knowing when the conditions are right to go boating is an important skill. It is very frustrating to get up before dawn, head all the way down to the water to find the conditions are terrible. Below are a few things you can look for to make sure conditions are favourable.Look online for weather forecasts. The internet will provide the most up to date boating forecasts. Just remember to use a government site where possible and always be sure to check when the site was last updated. If it was updated a few days before you are going boating then the information may no longer be relevant.Boating conditions from newspapers and news reports is often old so don’t rely on these updates. Try to go boating when the swell is 1.5 Metres to 2 Metres or less (Under 6.5 foot). If the swell is any larger than this it may make the boat trip slow and uncomfortable especially for smaller boats.Try to go out when the wind is offshore (the wind is blowing from land to ocean). A sea breeze will once again slow you down and make the seas far more rough than a offshore breeze.Try to aim for the wind to be 15 Knots or less. Any more than this and the water will get choppy. Even if the wind is offshore, as you get deeper out you will find the ocean getting more and more rough.Always try to scan the water before you go out. Look for any hazards such as reefs breaking or a change in wind direction. If the wind is travelling the wrong way for your boating trip, consider changing your trip into a bay or inlet or an area where the incorrect wind will have minimal impact.Remember, get up to date forecasts and be sure to only use your boat when the conditions are favourable (especially if you are a small boat owner).
Safety is a priority when boating and one safety move everyone should know how to perform is an emergency stop. Emegency stops are vital in boating to stop the progress of your boat. To perform an emergency stop: 1) Look behind to ensure no-one is directly behind you. 2) Yell out ‘Emegency Stop – Brace’ so eveybody onboad can grab hold of something. 3) Move the throttle into the neutral position. The throttle must be kept in neutral for around half to one second. If you go straight into reverse you will damage your motor and the blade of the propellor will not dig in and stop the boat. 4) After this second in neutral, engage reverse and give enough throttle to stop the boat. The emergency stop is complete. Another way of performing an emergency stop is to simply put the boat in neutral and turn sharply to one side. This will quickly reduce any momentum the boat has and bring you to a sudden stop. Practice your emegency stops so in an emergency you will be able to perform one. Remembcer to keep the gap between the forward and reverse motion to avoid motor damage and to ensure the boat stops as quickly as possible.
If possible, it is a good idea to store your small boat in your garage. The problem is unless you have a dinghy your boat will probably not fit in. Below are some tips that may help you get your boat in your garage a little easier. If height is a problem try moving the jockey wheel closer to the boat. This will help lower the trailer by around 4 inches (10cm). Make sure you choose a canopy that can be folded down (or removed completely) to help with your storage. Consider lowering the trailer of the jockey wheel and on to the trailer frame. If you have a heavy boat however this may cause some problems. In severe cases you can decrease the pressure of the boat tyres. You will need to reinflate however before every voyage and this will only make a very slight difference in the height of the boat. If length is a problem try removing part of the rear wall of the garage. Insert a sliding gate so you can stick the back of the boat out through the garage. This gate will let you secure the garage again if the boat is no longer in the garage. These tips should help you fit your boat in your garage. The main point of all is to measure up your boat before you purchase it to determine whether it will fit where you want to put it. The garage is always ideal as it will be away from any elements and will require no cleaning or covers. Happy Boating!