With summer now in full swing, we’re stoked to get on our PWC’s (… that’s a ‘personal watercraft’, more commonly known as a Jet Ski or Sea-Doo, etc) to rip around the lake and make a wake! Did you know you can easily tow a one-person inflatable tube behind a 3-person PWC? Yeah, it’s equally as amazing as being towed behind a boat! How does that work? Well, you have one driver, one spotter (facing backwards, like the image above) and one person riding the tube.
However, you should always keep in mind that PWC’s are super maneuverable, fast-moving and they can lose balance and tip over – meaning that you could get yourself into a tricky situation. That being said, check out these 6 safety tips you should always remember when operating a PWC this summer. Knowing your stuff is the best way to be safe on the water and have tons of fun!
– Don’t follow too closely behind other PWC’s – quick, sudden maneuvers can result in accidents. ‘Bumper-boats’ is no joke on the lake!
– Always be on the lookout for action and other boating traffic around you – i.e. kayaks, swimmers, PWC’s, boats, etc.
– Remember, PWC operation follows the SAME responsibilities as operating a motorized boat.
– Never operate a PWC at night (after dark) or in the morning (before the sun comes up).
– Use an ignition cutoff switch or lanyard, and attach it to your lifejacket. A quick pull on these lanyards (say, if you fall off) will immediately stop the engine, preventing accidental runaway.
– Know how to get back on a PWC (in case you happen to fall off in deep water). It happens sometimes and re-boarding requires some effort. Watch and learn:
PWC Age / Horsepower Restrictions
To legally operate a PWC in Canada you must be 16 years of age or older, and have your Canadian boating license (also called a Pleasure Craft Operator Card).
Just remembering those 6 simple tips can mean a summer full of waves, tubing and good times. Have a great Sea-Doo, Jet Ski and/or boating photo? Tweet us at @BOATsmart with the picture and we’ll retweet it to our followers!
Here at BOATsmart! our off-roading adventure vehicle of choice is and always will be Nissan. Nissan has been our trusted and loyal choice to get us and our family to the cottage safely, with all our water toys in tow. No matter what vehicle you have, it’s always a good idea to educate yourself on the warning signs to ensure your vehicle remains in fine condition. The key is to understand your vehicle’s issues and know how to fix them because let’s face it, there are many common issues that can arise for any driver. Of course, there will be times a visit to your mechanic is necessary as they are the professionals however, with these below tips, you may be able to get away with one less trip.
Many issues with your vehicle will appear on the dashboard and there are universal symbols that we should all become acquainted with. Next time you’re heading to the cottage for a weekend of boating and fun and one of these lights come on, you’ll have a better idea of what they mean and the steps to take to remedy it.
ECU/Emission System/Check Engine Warning Light
If this light comes on, it could be for a number of different issues and your best bet will be to visit your mechanic. To give you an idea of what the problem might be, see below for the top reasons:
1. Oxygen Sensor – There may be an issue with the oxygen in your car’s exhaust system which means that your engine will be burning more fuel than it needs to. This will cause damage and eventually harm your spark plugs and catalytic converters.
2. Spark Plugs or Spark Wires – Spark plugs ignite the combustion chamber of your vehicle which allows it to run. If there are issues with either of these it’s important to replace them right away as long-term issues with other parts of your vehicle can consequently occur.
3. Catalytic Converter – These converters ensure harmful gasses are not being produced by your vehicle and emitted into the environment. They also help to keep your fuel economy and car temperature at a steady rate.
4. Gas Cap – This is a simple problem to fix yet often times it’s overlooked. If your gas cap is missing or damaged it can cause you to lose fuel and the pressure in your gas tank will be off.
Coolant Warning Light
If this light comes on it could simply mean that you need to check your coolant levels as they could be low. To do this, you can look at the gauge on the side of the coolant tank. If it is in fact low, simply add more coolant. However, if the coolant light goes on while your temperature gauge is rising simultaneously, this may be an indication that your engine is overheating. If you believe this is the case, you should turn your heat on all the way, open your windows and point the vents towards them. This will remove the excess heat from your engine and help to cool down the engine. Once the vehicle has cooled down, if your coolant level doesn’t seem to be the problem, a mechanic should take a look.
Battery Charge Warning Light
If this light becomes illuminated and stays on, you should check your vehicle’s battery terminals, battery conditions and alternator belt. There are a variety of different reasons that these issues are arising. It’s best to seek the professional help of a mechanic.
EPAS (Power Steering)
If your EPAS or power steering light goes on, this most likely is indicating an issue with your steering system. You will be able to tell if this system has failed because steering will become difficult and will require much more effort to turn and move your wheel. This can become very dangerous at high speeds (such as on the highway). If this persists you should seek a mechanic as soon as possible.
Hopefully these vehicle tips have given you a better idea of what to do next time you see a light flashing on your dash. For more specific instructions you should refer to your owner’s manual. You should always investigate all warning lights that appear on your dashboard, as well as any other concerns you’ve noticed with your vehicle. You may find that some vehicles are more reliable than others. Our trusted vehicle of choice has and always will be Nissan. The trucks have amazing towing capabilities, safety features and a wide range of to choose from. They are the ultimate vehicle for any outdoor adventure and trusted for all family adventures. BOATsmart! cardholders receive dealer invoice pricing on Nissan vehicles plus any current dealer offers!
Summer has sadly come to an end and as winter slowly encroaches on our wistful and elusive memories of boating, sun and swimming, it’s time to think about wrapping up the cottage. There are the obvious steps to take such as storing your outdoor furniture, canoes/kayaks and barbeque, taking in your dock, cleaning out your fridge, making sure all your windows are closed and locked and covering your wood pile. We’ve created a list of things below to ensure you don’t miss anything when it comes to wrapping up the cottage season.
Winterizing your Plumbing
Winterizing plumbing pipes in your cottage is something that can be time-consuming but will save your plumbing from freezing temperatures that can cause leaks and breaks. As water freezes and becomes ice, it expands producing pressure in the pipes. If you’re planning to be away from your cottage for an extended period of time, winterizing your plumbing is highly recommended.
First you will want to shut off the main water valve, turn off the water pump as well as the water heater. Next, you will want to open all drain valves and all taps, and using an air compressor, blow out any excess water that may still be in the pipes. Allow this water to drain out of the hot water and holding tank. As an additional measure, you can add antifreeze to the jet pump case. Flush toilets and remove water from the tanks and toilet bowls. Add antifreeze if there happens to be excess water to prevent the water from freezing and cracking the toilet.
Keep the Sump Pump going
Your sump pump should stay on as it will remove any accumulated water in the basement of your cottage. However, you will want to take precautionary measures such as having a battery backup or wireless alarm. Another option is having a generator backup for your sump pump in case there is ever a power outage. You will need to hire a licensed electrical contractor for this to hook the generator up to the electrical panel.
Inspect your roof for damaged shingles and replace them if necessary. Clean out the gutters as they can cause water to back up under the shingles causing damage to the roof structure below. Trim overhanging branches that could potentially dump extra snow on the roof and wait until all leaves have fell (if possible) before cleaning the gutters.
Leaving the Cottage
Before leaving cottage, ensure all appliances are disconnected. Shut off all breakers at the electrical panel and review your checklist to make sure everything has been completed. Take photos of everything in case there is unrepairable weather damage and you must submit insurance claims. Complete a final inspection of the property, lock up your cottage and enjoy your ride home!
Winterizing your cottage can be a big job, we get it. However, by planning ahead and bringing a checklist you’re already well on your way. Another pro tip when wrapping up your cottage is to use the correct vehicle. Here at BOATsmart! our trusted vehicle of choice has and always will be Nissan. The trucks have amazing towing capabilities, safety features and a wide range of to choose from. They are the ultimate vehicle for any outdoor adventure and trusted for all family trips! As a BOATsmart! cardholder, you receive dealer invoice pricing on Nissan vehicles plus any current dealer offers.
Whether you’re taking the family on a trip to the cottage, taking a cross-country road trip or off-roadin’ with your pals, Nissan provides all the tools needed to ignite the outdoor enthusiast in all of us and enable us to get outdoors and explore! BOATsmart! is a fan and advocate of Nissan as a company, but especially their truck line because we know first-hand how reliable they are. Here at BOATsmart! we use Nissan trucks every time we plan an outdoor trip as they are the optimal, high-performance vehicle that can do just about anything we need.
With 390 horse power and 394 lb-ft of torque, the TITANprovides the power to carry massive payloads. With a full-length, fully-boxed frame, powerful Endurance V8, new 7-speed automatic transmission with Tow/Haul mode, and adjustable Brake Controller, TITAN helps you tow any and all water toys to the cottage making you feel capable and confident. While you’re at the cottage, check out these 10 awesome cottage hacks to help you spend less time worrying about the small stuff and more time making memories with friends and family. Thinking about taking a cross-country trip to check out the awesome lakes to boat around on? This is the vehicle you’re going to want to use! It can comfortably tow a trailer behind it in any condition and terrain.
The TITAN XD has a larger frame and is extensively reinforced for added strength and stiffness, which helps resist vertical and lateral bending and increases torsional rigidity in comparison to its counterpart the TITAN. It features a 555-lb-ft of torque, heavy-duty brakes, a larger high-strength steel fully boxed full-length ladder frame and a sliding bed extender giving you maximum versatility with minimum effort. This truck will conquer whatever outdoor adventure you throw at it. It’s no wonder Bryan Baeumler says that “The Nissan TITAN XD is already an integral part of [his] construction business. Without a doubt this truck is the most important and versatile tool on and off the jobsite.”
With an integrated gooseneck hitch this has some serious towing capability and is the perfect vehicle to tow your boat or PWC to the cottage for a weekend of fun. We know it can often be tough to launch your boat, especially if it’s the beginning of the season. For a little refresher, check out our blog on how to launch a boat: 10 steps to get out on the water. Bringing someone to the cottage who has never driven a PWC before? We can help with that! Here’s some fun and easy directions on how to drive a Jet Ski! See? We got you!
The Nissan Frontier is next on our list and it’s built for rock-solid performance; where durability meets style, with the tailgate-mounted spoiler which helps reduce drag, this truck is known for its rugged exterior making it the perfect choice to take off-roading. But that’s not the only reason we love this truck, the performance towing capability is high with a capacity of up to 6,710 lbs, up to 261 horse power and 281 lb-ft torque and it’s V6 engine, you never have to worry about what you’re pulling behind this bad boy.
This truck is the perfect choice for a camping trip with the whole family as it offers Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC). This feature – sometimes called stability control – continuously monitors your steering and braking actions, senses any oversteer or understeer, and helps compensate by reducing engine speed and/or applying brake pressure to specific wheels. The safety of your family is in good hands in this vehicle.
There you have it, the low-down on our vehicles of choice for outdoor adventures. Here at BOATsmart! we take our outdoor adventures seriously – especially when it comes to water sports and activities. There is no doubt that when we’re planning a day out on the water, Nissan is our number one choice of vehicle for any and all situations. From the safety features to the towing capabilities, Nissan has always been the best option for getting outside and exploring the wild. Get your boating license today and receive…