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Brad Laabs: Tools everyone should have on boat

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Over this last couple of weeks, I have received a couple of suggestions for articles while out fishing with customers.

The first suggestion is by a young lady that thought I should write about why women learning to fish often learn more quickly than men.

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A controversial subject for sure, but she made some very good points. She pointed out that women learning to fish will pay close attention, ask questions, follow instructions, and are willing to learn from others.

She believes women have an easier time admitting they don’t know something, so they will not be as stubborn.

Now, I don’t know if that is all true when it comes to men and women, and I am not going to get into the sexism of these statements, but her points about the character traits needed to become a better angler are all true.

We all can continue to learn, and it is important not to get stuck. Being willing to ask questions and try something that is different from what you normally do or know, can help expand knowledge and experience. I believe most of her conversation was to poke fun at her dad, as she was putting on a clinic and kicking his rear catching fish at the time.

Point taken, Sarah, and this is as much as I will dedicate to an article about the differences between the sexes!

The next suggestion was made by a longtime customer and now good friend. We were digging out tools to resolve a couple of problems on the boat, including a malfunctioned reel.

While digging for the right screwdriver bit, we got to talking about how boat owners and fisherman also need to become problem solvers and amateur repairmen.

He suggested I do an article about all the important extras that need to be on a boat to help resolve on-the-water problems. Great suggestion Joe!

I will try to cover most of the basics. You will need to review your own list and add to it as needed. Every boat-owner’s situation is a little different. Boat size and storage space availability are a part of the consideration.

First, make sure you have a first aid kit with you. You can make up your own or buy a pre-packaged set-up. Make sure it is in a watertight container.

It should include at least; bandages, Band-aides, tweezers, New Skin (or a similar product), aspirin (or one of the many painkiller substitutes), and medical tape.

This will help take care of you or others on the boat for most minor medical situations.

For your motor, have extra sparkplugs and a spark plug wrench. Electrical tape may end up being very handy for a temporary wiring solution. An extra prop and prop wrench are a must.

For the trailer, make sure you have a spare tire, a jack, and a lug nut wrench that fits the lugs on your trailer. Electrical tape will come in handy here also as you will have a trailer wiring problem at some point.

Some will even carry an extra bearing kit in the truck, especially on long trips.

Other important items that can help you out of a jam will include, but are not limited to the following: Duct tape is a standard, and home repair expert Red Green suggests you always have some available.

Also, wrenches, pliers,  adjustable wrenches, and several screwdrivers will always be welcome and help resolve problems you can’t even foresee coming at this time.

Towels, rags, paper towels and biodegradable soap can help clean up the boat or yourself. Extra rope, jumper cables, or a portable battery jump starter can also be a consideration.

If you don’t feel confident in your skillset for handling any problems on the boat, just make sure you have your cell phone.

Having the skill of knowing the right people to call may be all the skill you need to have. If you have not had any problems on the water yet, don’t worry, get out a few more times and you will encounter something … every boat owner does!           

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