Pro Insider – Don’t neglect important boat and gear maintenance

Weather conditions have not been good for trips offshore for the past couple of weeks, making it a perfect time for performing boat and gear maintenance. The power plant on your vessel is very important. Outboard motors need regular oil, gear case fluid, impellers, thermostats and things of that nature. Diesel owners need zinc replacements, oil, many different types of filters, belts, etc. Regular inspections of these very important parts should ensure problem-free trips offshore. I see many anglers running offshore taking the Gulf for granted. Bad things can happen. I carry more type 1 life jackets than I will ever need, a self inflating life raft, Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon, VMS with emergency action, satellite telephone, tons of flares, smoke signals, manual bilge pumps, and more. These also need regular maintenance, such as batteries for EPIRBs, repacks for rafts, expired flares, etc. Think of your boat as an island you could be stranded on. Some items I mentioned are expensive, but think about how much you would pay for them if lives were at stake.

Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and

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