By Russ Miyada
We all know that “Stuff Happens!” Here are some simple boat gadgets that make life easier for me.
Using 2 ½” X 3 ½” Fluorescent Orange Stake Flags, I fashioned a couple of “Remove Before Flight” flags for my boat.
One flag is hung on the transom near the drain plug, that I sometimes remove, and the retractable tie-downs which I frequently loosen. The second flag is hung on the bow winch that I also loosen.
These red flags serve as my reminder to check or reinstall the drain plug, and to tighten the two transom tie downs and the bow winch strap before leaving home for a fishing trip.
BoatBuckle Retracting Transom Tie-Down (Approx. $75/pair)
Once I installed these on my trailer, I haven’t gone back to the standard transom tie downs. These retractable ones are slick!
To deploy them, I pull the straps out, hook them to my boat’s transom tie down loops, and rachet them down to a snug fit.
To remove tie-down straps, simply unlatch the ratchets, unhook the straps, and the straps retract into the housings that are affixed to the trailer. No need to store or look for the tie-downs in the tow vehicle anymore. It’s just that simple and easy!
The BoatBuckle Universal Mounting Bracket Kit (approx. $10/pair) may be required for some trailers. Note: There are other retractable tie-down brands available that work just as well.
Kill Switch-Lanyard Attachment
I slipped a 3-inch long Carabiner into the Kill-Switch lanyard’s snap. The big Carabiner makes it so much easier for me to attach the lanyard to the D-Ring of my Personal Floatation Device (PFD) to “keep me connected.” It makes it just as easy to detach too.
As a side note, I also placed a “Kill Switch” sign in the cockpit area as my reminder to use the lanyard while on main motor.
Deploying the Kill Switch and wearing a PFD when running the boat are safety measures that should not be overlooked.
I installed a docking cleat on the starboard gunnel adjacent to the driver seat for easy docking. This cockpit cleat allows me to quickly tie up to a dock without having to get out of the chair.
The cleat is installed in a structurally solid part of the boat, such as the gunnel, to withstand large wakes and waves. It is situated near the widest beam of the boat where a boat fender can also be attached for docking or mooring.
I also installed a cleat on the opposite side gunnel for portside docking.