California is a boater’s dream, with its sparkling ocean views and calm, clear lakes – not to mention its year-round sunny weather. Whether you’re passionate about jet-skiing or just enjoying the view, there’s something for everyone here. And once January 1, 2018 rolls around, the mandatory boating safety education law will be phased in by age. To operate any motorized vessels on California waterways, Lifetime California Boater Cards will be needed for everyone by 2025. Read on to find out our fave five boating spots in the golden state and get yours before you go.
Known for its sunset cruising, Newport Beach is at the top of our list. With clean beaches all around, coves and islands to explore, and tons of restaurants and shops on the boardwalk, this destination is perfect for the whole family. You’ll find there’s plenty to see within the harbor, although it boasts ocean access for more adventurous captains. There’s a reason it’s the largest small-yacht harbor in the country!
Though it was the largest man-made small-craft harbor when it was first built, the marina is actually 800 acres. The area is full of on-the-water activities – some that everyone knows, like sportfishing and surfing, and some that could only be found in Southern California, like paddle board yoga! This open-ocean marina is a prime place for spotting sea lions and dolphins alike. If you want to get really up-close and personal, jet-skis are also welcome!
With a true wooden pier (one of the longest on the coast), Oceanside is a West Coast marvel. While whale-watching and surfing are tourist faves, locals know the real heart of Oceanside is in its fishing. Catch bonitos, butterfish, halibut, kelp bass and many more from shallow to deeper waters while basking in the sun and wide-open ocean views.
Shasta Lake, Shasta County
Best for: water-skiing and other tow-sports
If boating right on the coast isn’t your thing, California might surprise you with its lesser-known gems: clear, blue lakes. As the state’s largest reservoir with eight different marinas, this Northern California lake is ready to host you. Say hello to mountain views, evergreen trees and tons of room for practising tow-sports safely. You’ll find water-skiing most popular on this lake, with wakeboarding a close second.
Clear Lake, north of Napa County
Best for: watching wildlife
Find your freshwater fishing paradise just a few hours north of San Francisco at Clear Lake. It’s known as the “Bass Capital of the West” – and rightfully so, since two-thirds of the fish caught here are largemouth bass! Aside from the bass, you’ll spot year-round populations of ducks, blue heron, and bald eagles on the lake, while the surrounding area is home to deer and mountain lions alike. With warm water safe for swimming, it’s fun for the whole family!
Whether you choose a crowd-pleasing oceanside harbor or a glittering inland lake, the West Coast truly is a boating haven. But don’t forget, boating anywhere in California will require a license – take the BOATsmart! boating safety course, pass the test and be out on the water minutes later as a certified boat operator. What are you waiting for?
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.
There may be a slight chill in the air and pumpkin spice everything has probably taken over most of your life, but that doesn’t mean that summer is over! Our BOATsmart! crew know that feeling of not wanting summer to end; the long warm nights chilling by the fire after spending all day on the boat, soaking up the sun and making memories – we get it, it’s hard to say goodbye. That’s why we’ve come up with some delicious hearty summer recipes to stretch your summer.
Here’s a recipe that will warm your bellies from the barbeque to your plates. It’s dairy-free and vegan, takes about 45 minutes to cook and is considered a super easy dish. Spark up that barbeque and char the eggplant and zucchini as well as the ciabatta to get that smoky taste that makes you think of the smell of the campfire while you sing some Van Morrison with the acoustic guitar.
There is no cooking required for this summer salad, which is probably what makes it so epic. It’s perfect for BBQ’s and buffets, with lamb, steak or chicken kababs! The dressing is super easy, made with fresh herbs that can be blended in a food processor the day-of or up to 24 hours before serving. This salad is so fresh and packed with flavor, you’ll forget fall is around the corner.
This easy recipe takes only 40 minutes in total to prepare and cook, but no one would ever be able to guess! It’s packed with a medley of flavors and the lean pork meatballs are extra juicy and served with a delicious creamy, herby sauce that will leave your guests wanting more! This is a completely gluten-free meal and totally healthy that won’t leave you feeling hungry. It’s the perfect way to stretch your summer one tasty bite at a time.
Although this sounds like it’s on the more difficult side, this is actually qualified as an easy recipe. With a prep time of 15 minutes and cook time of 1 hour and 40 minutes, this hearty chicken casserole will evoke summer in France with the simplistic herbs and vegetables that make it fresh to taste. Serve this stew-like meal right from the dish for a family dinner that will excite your taste buds and have you dreaming of summer nights in Provence.
This vegetarian dish has the same flavor palette as Greek moussaka with pasta rather than potatoes. There are some intense flavours in this dish and is qualified as a medium-level of difficulty to make. It cooks in 1 hour and 35 minutes and will comfortably serve six people. Serve this warm dish golden and bubbly with a hint of fresh thyme and chilli on the top for a mouth-watering experience.
So, there you have it – some delicious recipes that will help you stretch your summer by keeping the barbeque grillin’ and fresh vegetables as your main ingredient. We know all-to-well what it feels like to have boating season coming to a close, but hopefully with these recipes they can help you keep the dinner parties and laughs rolling for a few more weeks.
We have the scoop on the latest and greatest boating accessories from MISSION boat gear! As a team of boating enthusiasts who love being on the water themselves, they understand it’s all about having fun with family and friends out on the water. They want to heighten these experiences with their products to generate smiles and create memories for years to come.
This piece of equipment was created in 2016 and totally changed the game of wake surfing. This new innovation creates a beautiful wave, that distributes the flow of water, opposite of the surfer, allowing you to surf behind your v-drive or direct-drive inboard boat. It’s a removable surf solution that attaches to the side of your boat cleanly with suction. You can thank the people who dedicated over a thousand hours to investing in the prototype that would make the most perfect wake. Every single aspect of DELTA was designed with the wakesurfer in mind and promises to deliver the best-in-class wave performance. The reason for this is due to the geometry of the device; the contoured front panel with engineered side vents generates the perfect amount of turbulence to give you the best wave performance for your boat. If the panels were larger and flat, it would put more stress on the boat and would increase steering problems, fuel consumption and splashing. The reversible orientation design is optimal for direct-drives or complex hulls that require DELTA to be attached higher while the normal orientation is typically used for decently weighted v-drives.
This mat will provide you, your friends and family with endless amounts of fun this summer! Enjoy limitless options as you sit on top of the water on this stable and rigid mat. It’s made with extra durable material that’s used in naval applications with premium drop-stitch construction and double reinforced seams. It’s 4-inches thick, giving the mat maximum stability to perform your favourite acrobatics, golf, cannonballing and much more. It comes in three different sizes for your preference and stows in a small bag. If you’ve ever wanted to know what it feels like to walk on water, now’s your opportunity!
These are the absolute best towels to take with you to the cottage or on a camping trip. The microfibres absorb way more water than cotton towels, they stow small and have an integrated strap which serves as a way to hang the towel to dry. They also come with a water-resistant carrying case to ensure that after a day of wakesurfing, you won’t need to air dry.
These are an innovative boat bumper solution that quickly attaches to boat cleats and docks. What’s different about these fenders is the protection they offer both above and below the rub rail. These fenders have been adapted to meet the needs of boaters today. They are easy to use on smaller boats, boats that don’t have flat sides, handrails and/or high-waisted rub rails. They have a hanging point that’s lower than traditional fenders which aligns with the contour of your boat and keeps it from getting caught on top of the dock. They keep your boat safe with an innovative hanging system (a strap, rather than a rope) and an easy, adjustable locking mechanism that allows you to place it on a boat or dock offering optimal protection.
You can keep your board looking snug as a bug in a rug with these low profile, stylish board SOX. You can choose from the point or snub nose styles. The snub nose fits wakesurf and wakeboards up to 57”, the large point nose fits boards up to 64” and small point nose fits boards up to 55”. These SOX are light-weight, quick-drying and perfect for storing your boards on the boat or at home.
MISSION boat gear is a leading company in the boating accessory industry. They continue to innovate and bring new, exciting products to the water for us to enjoy and create life-long memories. Use one of these accessories next time you’re out on the boat, and you won’t be disappointed! Happy boating!