All indoor storage boats that were dropped off will be prepped and ready for pick-up May 2nd, 2022.
2648 Patterson Rd
Wayland, MI 49348
(Commercial Building Just North of Showrooms)
All indoor storage boats that were dropped off will be prepped and ready for pick-up May 2nd, 2022.
2648 Patterson Rd
Wayland, MI 49348
(Commercial Building Just North of Showrooms)
Wake (weyk) noun
the track of waves left by a boat or other object moving through the water
the path or course of anything that has passed or preceded
The term “wake” should be familiar to every boater. Anytime your boat is traveling and leaving waves behind it, it’s creating a wake. If your boat has an engine, it produces a wake. If you’ve boated often enough, you’re sure to have been through a few “No Wake Zones”; areas where you must keep your engine at idle speed in order to produce NO WAKE.
As simple as the term “wake” is, it has taken a whole new tone over the last decade or so. With the advancement of wake boat technology and wake sports increasing in popularity; “wakes” have become a central conversation in boating communities.
In this blog, we’ll explore why “wake responsibility” has become such a central conversation to boating, especially as it relates to the wake-sports boom.
Erosion [ ih-roh-zhuhn ] noun
the process by which the surface of the earth is worn away by the action of water
the gradual decline or disintegration of something
Any disturbance to the water - surface or subsurface - is going to create erosion. The bottom of your favorite lake is always being shaped by the movement of the water above. However, the surface is more tumultuous than deeper areas due to weather, boating, the annual freeze & thaw, etc. While erosion may not be as obvious down below, it can become VERY obvious along the shoreline.
Erosion is a major problem, and the fact of the matter is: boat wakes cause it.
Lakes with heavy boating traffic experience less shoreline vegetation and ecological habitat - and often more algae - due to water quality issues and the sediment getting constantly churned up by the wakes of boats.
We may not love the weeds and reeds along the shoreline of our favorite lake, but vegetation and habitat (both above and below water) is critical to preventing erosion. Every year, lakeshore homeowners are watching more of their property slip into the proverbial sea due to natural - and unnatural - shoreline loss.
But it’s about more than just erosion. Heavy boating churns up silt, often saturating the shallower water with sediment and suffocating vegetation growth. Vegetation that creates shoreline habitats that are nesting areas for birds, frogs, turtles, and other aquatic mammals can be easily disturbed by excessive wakes.
Vegetation is not only critical to underwater and above-water life; healthy vegetation and habitats create clearer, cleaner water.
Along most shorelines are docks, watercraft lifts, and mooring areas that homeowners install to make the most out of their shoreline. These areas and the objects in them are vulnerable to high boat traffic and can be severely damaged by repetitive and negligent boating activity.
Too large of a wake, too close to the shore can cause major damage to docks, lifts, boats, and could even injure someone. Every season we hear more stories about damaged property, swamped boats, overturned kayaks, and more, all resulting from irresponsible wakes.
The owner of any vessel is personally responsible for any damage to life or property resulting from a wake or swell created by the negligent operation of the vessel, where the vessel is being operated with his consent. Always maintain safe speeds and follow no-wake laws.
This means, if you (or someone you’re allowing to drive your boat) fly by in your pontoon too close to a dock, and someone falls off that dock and hurts themselves from the resulting wave; you’re responsible for any repairs needed to the dock AND any injury you may have caused to the person who fell off.
We’ll talk more about etiquette in a bit; but as it pertains to wakes - it is proper etiquette to keep your distance from the shore, especially when moving fast. This will help reduce damage to shore and habitat (or potential damage to property) caused by your wake.
Just remember, if you’re producing a large wake, stick to deeper water.
There are quite a few reasons, many of which are legitimate concerns. Here are some realities about wake boats (and their differences from other types of boats) that are worth considering:
By the nature of their design a wake boat’s prop sits more toward the center of the hull and therefore deeper into the water. Because of this, the initial displacement of water (what creates a wake) happens deeper in the water, potentially causing more environmental damage.
Definitely. Larger wakes are the whole point of owning a wake boat. The placement of the prop helps to create a larger initial wake already. In addition, wake boats have ballast systems to weigh down the boat in different ways - in order to create even larger wakes than what would be possible with the prop alone.
They are because they’re designed to be. Modern wake boats have dozens of ballast settings that can dial in everything about the wave being produced behind the boat. Height, shape, and length of the wave can all be adjusted to fit anyone’s riding preference.
Learn More About Wave Energy: HERE
The fact is, as water and wakesports have become more ingrained into life on the water over the last couple decades, we’re beginning to see more multigenerational wakesport enthusiasts. Also, with the adjustability of today’s modern wake boats, more and more people are able to enjoy wake sports much later in life.
While yes, we fully acknowledge that wake and watersports tend to attract a younger crowd in general, we firmly object to the opinion that they’re all young and irresponsible. We sell hundreds of boats each year and all of our wake boats are sold to responsible professionals with families that have been wake sporters and boaters since childhood.
Of course, there are exceptions. We get that. However, in our experience wake boaters are some of the most enthusiastic about boat safety and boating responsibility.
This opinion comes from some pretty misleading statistics. The US Coast Guard publishes accident, injury, and fatality statistics each year. Yes, it is true that “Open Motorboats” - the classification to which wake boats belong - have the largest number of incidents and deaths of any type of watercraft.
However, this “open motorboat” category includes fishing boats, bowriders, and any other motorboat with an open bow. This data is reported from all over the country and also includes oceanic travel.
When you take a deeper look at this data, most boating fatalities are caused by drowning due to dangerous conditions on open water, as well as people not wearing life jackets - not accidents due to irresponsible operation of wake boats.
Any sort of extreme sport tends to get a reputation for attracting a partying crowd. And yes, wake sporters do tend to love their jams. Which is why wake boat sound systems can get downright monstrous these days.
The reality is that most wake sporters do it to relax and relieve stress. There is something beautiful about tuning in to your body and the water while you board or surf - it can be a quite relaxing experience.
Most of us seek the “chill” of wake sports as much as the “rush”.
There is no doubt boating has become more popular than ever. Lakes are becoming more crowded, and as a result, we are seeing more shoreline and habitat degradation each year. Despite this erosion being - in large part - the result of just way more boaters, wake boaters are finding themselves at the center of the discussion; for all the realities and myths listed above.
This significant shoreline loss has brought calls on some lakes to limit the use of wake boats, and even other lake associations have banned wake boats altogether.
That hasn’t stopped wake sports from increasing in popularity though. Boat and board technology has gotten to the place where more people can ride the water earlier and later in life. Even those with certain disabilities are now able to safely ride because of continuing innovation in wake sports.
With more boats, and more wake sports, comes more wake responsibility.
Many members of the boating community blame wake sports for the increased erosion which has sparked an increased awareness of wake impact as well as a movement to make a difference.
In response to a large part of the boating community blaming water sports for their shoreline erosion, the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA) has initiated the “Wake Responsibly” campaign. This campaign’s goal is to bring awareness of the harmful effects of wakes and provide a set of tips to help ensure wake boaters are mindful of their wake’s impact.
All of this brings us back to the one thing that can help solve the wake-on-the-lake problem: etiquette. These additional tips will help you be a good steward of your sport AND the lake.
For more boat safety and wake responsibility information, visit:
For your convenience and preference, we have in-person or virtual appointments available. Simply fill out this form, and we'll have a member of our expert sale team reach out to you to confirm details.
There are very few things more classically "American" than celebrating America's Independence on your own boat. Being with family and friends, on the water, in the summer is already pretty great - but combine it with holiday festivities and you've got yourself memories in the making. This 4th of July, plan ahead and make your Independence Day on the water extra special!
If you're used to keeping your passenger list pretty small, consider filling up the seats this 4th. There is a lot of joy in boating and sharing that with people is one of the best parts of owning a boat. Unless you're the "all-out host" type, lighten your to-do list by having everyone bring some snacks and refreshments to share.
Be sure to have a variety of life vests available, especially if you're going to be doing any watersports. If you're adding kids to your passenger list - make sure they have appropriately fitting life jackets as this is often a requirement of state and local laws.
Keep an eye on your boat's capacity though. If you've over-invited, take shifts on boat cruises or watersports runs. If you don't have a waterfront cottage, find a nice bit of shoreline where the folks that aren't on the boat can still enjoy the water and wait for their turn on the boat!
A new towable tube that's shaped like a unicorn? Why not?
That sweet HO Sports floating dock and swim platform with enough room for chairs and coolers? You can never have to many places to relax!
That brand new Hyperlite Riot Wakeboard with System boots? You totally deserve it.
What a better occasion to buy (or upgrade to) new water toys than July 4th? But there are even more items you can treat yourself to like:
Stop into Premier's Proshop this week and grab the perfect toy for 4th of July! Disclaimer: Just a head’s up, It’s been busy around here, and the toys are moving out the door fast. We may be out of stock in some mentioned items.
We also carry cleaning products, life vests, Yeti coolers, Costa sunglasses and all the accessories you'll need to have your best 4th!
Who doesn't love to grill out on 4th of July? If you're boat isn't already equipped with one, get yourself a new grill designed for use on boats. They even have mounts to mount the grill to the back or side and keep the smoke away from passengers. If grilling on your boat isn't a possibility, bring a grill with you or find a park with stationary grills and eat along the shore of your favorite lake.
Plan fun foods including things like red, white, and blue cookies, burgers, and hot dogs to make your bbq a classic 4th of July celebration!
Attach an American Flag, lights, and streamers onto your boat when you cruise! Maybe even join a local boat parade and show off your decor. Have fun with it and get creative!
Michigan has some amazing fireworks displays, to be sure, but there are some really great opportunities to see the show from the water as well! Consider towing your boat to Holland or Ludington to watch the fireworks along Lake Michigan aboard your boat! We promise, you wont be disappointed. More Info Below:
There is no doubt 4th of July is one of the funnest times to be a boater. It's also one of the busiest. Take care to boat and have your on-water fun safely. Keep your distance from other boaters, and practice good boater etiquette. And always designate a sober boat operator!
Don't forget to stop into Premier Boating this week for all your 4th of July needs! We'll see you out on the water!
There are many types of boaters out there. Many boaters dock at their lake home all summer. Others like to tow their boat to a new lake every weekend. Here at Premier, we say yes to whatever gets you out on the water. But even if you’re normally the dock-and-leave at the cottage type, who doesn’t love experiencing someplace new with their boat?
Michigan has a whopping amount of inland lakes - over 11,000 - not to mention access to some of the largest freshwater lakes in the world: The Great Lakes. We’ve put together our own list of “favorite” lakes and boating areas that you have to check out in Michigan - in no particular order.
Named after an early surveyor (sorry, not the haircut), Mullett Lake is situated on the Inland Waterway; a series of navigable lakes and rivers stretching across the state of MI. Mullet Lake has something for everyone as watersports lovers can zoom easily around its 26 miles of surface area, while slower boat cruisers and paddlers love the many less disturbed inlets. There is a variety of marinas, restaurants, and lodging along Mullett’s shores, so you don’t have to worry about going hungry or staying a while!
Mullett is also known for its fishing, boasting a full-featured list of Michigan’s favorite sport fish. And since Mullett Lake is connected via rivers as a part of the Inland Waterway, it’s full of many species of trout - an experience many anglers can’t get at other inland lakes. Even if you’re not a master angler, the fish are sure to be biting at Mullett Lake
For a longer trip, consider boating through the Inland Waterway. In addition to Mullett; Pickerel Lake, Crooked Lake, & Burt Lake are all connected via this water trail. You can literally boat from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. The trip is 38 miles long and features two locks. There are plenty of marinas and restaurants along the way, and lodging should be relatively easy to plan ahead.
While you could do this trip in one day, the rivers and channels can get congested, so we recommend planning on at least two. Plus, taking more time for this trip will give you the opportunity to soak in a truly unique boating experience!
Pronounced SHAR-LEH-VOY, Lake Charlevoix is one of our favorite lakes in Michigan and is regularly ranked as one of the Top Lakes in the US. Crystal clear waters are contrasted by the green of the trees that line its unusually natural feeling shores. Surrounding most of the lake is a shallow ledge making it ideal for mooring and taking a swim break or soaking in the sunset. Lake Charlevoix also has channel access to Lake Michigan making the boating community here second to none.
Don’t forget to make time for a stop at The Landing! Tie up right at their dock and enjoy a meal and refreshments before heading back out on the water!
If you’re from West Michigan, you are probably familiar with Grand Haven’s Annual Coast Guard Festival - a week-long fest celebrating yes, the Coast Guard, but also Michigan boating. If you haven’t boated Spring Lake just north of Grand Haven down to Lake Michigan, you should. Enjoy watersports on Spring Lake before heading out on a cruise through the Grand Haven Channel. You’ll pass through the bustling beach town of Grand Haven (with some amazing restaurants and bars), pass right by the State Park that hosts huge beaches and a campground, and finally cruise past the Grand Haven Lighthouse and pier - one of the most iconic lighthouses in Michigan.
Dock your boat along the Grand Haven pier, or rent a slip in the marina, and walk up the hill to Snug Harbor, a restaurant overlooking the channel.
Though it might be busier during Coast Guard Fest, it’s well worth the visit during this week. Tons of Michigan boaters and tourists flock to the area to enjoy craft shows, a carnival complete with rides, and fireworks you can watch from your boat in the channel. There are also parades, ship tours, live music, and food trucks seemingly everywhere. The environment in Grand Haven especially during Coast Guard Fest is a must for any social boater!
Regularly rated one of the top inland lakes in the US (and often in the world) due to its Caribbean-colored waters and summer vibes, Torch Lake has an amazing reputation for good reason. A long, deep lake, Torch has very few beaches but is well known for its various sand bars where boaters anchor and congregate, turn up the jams, and party in the shallow water. If you’re not into crowds, no worries. Torch Lake is Michigan’s second-biggest inland lake and there are plenty of places to find solitude.
Torch Lake is also connected via rivers to the Chain of Lakes - 75 miles of shoreline connecting over a dozen lakes to one another before ending up in Grand Traverse Bay.
When boating on Torch, head into the charming town of Bellaire for its shops, restaurants, and regular festivities. Bellaire is home to Short’s Brewing Company as well, one of Michigan’s highly awarded microbreweries.
Dock at The Dockside restaurant for views of Torch Lake and great food!
A southwest Michigan Gem, Gull Lake is deep, clear, and ridiculously clean - with some great shallow spots to anchor and chill. The fishing is great here as well. Drop a line in at Gull Lake during the early mornings and evenings for the best chance to catch more than a dozen popular sport fish.
There are a lot of watersports going on here, but there’s still plenty of room for everyone. They do limit the number of boats allowed at a certain time to promote safety and reduce congestion on the lake. So get to the launch early.
Keep a keen eye on the scuba diving operations going on at Gull Lake too. There’s a variety of artifacts purposely placed at the bottom of Gull to promote diving in the area. There are also sailing races here on the weekends which are really cool to watch. Needless to say, the boating vibe at Gull Lake is always vibrant.
Okay, we know we said FIVE lakes, but we couldn’t make a list of the coolest boating lakes in Michigan and NOT include our home lake, Gun Lake! An all-sports lake with a maximum depth of less than 60 ft and a mean depth of less than 10 ft, Gun Lake is partly known for its shallow, seemingly season-long warm waters.
A community of homeowners, as well as regularly returning tourists, makes for a fun boating culture and family-friendly atmosphere. Multiple parks, campgrounds, and recreation areas line the shores of Gun Lake; perfect spots to get off the water for a bit and take a hike or have a picnic. Cruise the shore to easily find a shallow spot to anchor and relax.
Dock at the Bay Pointe Inn and treat yourself to an amazing meal. Or join us for Gun Lake Live - a summer concert series at Bay Point on Wednesday nights through September 1st.
For you anglers, don’t let the shallow waters scare you off, Gun Lake has plenty of deeper holes that will not disappoint. On top of it’s healthy walleye (and really every other species) population, Gun Lake hosts the opportunity to hook onto some pretty rare catches, such as huge muskie and longnose gar.
Did we mention we’re located on Gun Lake? So you should definitely come see us this Summer. Stock up on gear in our proshop before heading out or just come in and say hi. Either way, be sure to wave to us when you’re out on the water!
Like we mentioned, there are over 46,000 lakes in Michigan. If you're a boater in Michigan, you'll never be in need of boating options. What are your favorite lakes to take your boat?
Whether you’ve been boating since birth, or it’s your first summer getting behind the wheel of your new boat, it’s a good idea for everyone to brush-up on boater’s safety before leaving your worries at the dock this year. We’ve included boater’s safety tips below to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience on the water.
Quick Disclaimer: This blog article is not intended to be a substitute for a boater’s safety course. We always recommend that any boater, but especially boaters that are inexperienced, take a boaters safety course.
If you’ve never driven a boat before, and even if you have, it’s always a good idea to take a boater’s safety course. There are rules and laws to boating in Michigan that you need to know. Rules such as traveling in the right direction around a lake and laws surrounding Coast Guard requirements are vital information for every boater. If you have any doubts about these rules and regulations, it’s important you make time to take a boater’s safety course. They are inexpensive, available online, and simple to master quickly.
You can find information on Michigan Boaters Safety Certification HERE.
If you have younger individuals planning on driving your boat, it may be required that they have a boater’s safety card on board while operating the boat. Depending on the individual’s age and even the engine size, it may even be required that they be supervised while operating the boat.
The State of Michigan has clear rules on age restrictions HERE.
Briefly, the following is quoted from Michigan’s Boaters Safety Law about Age Restrictions:
Persons less than 12 years of age:
Those born on or after July 1, 1996, may operate a boat legally only if they have been issued a boating safety certificate and have it on board the boat.
Those born before July 1, 1996, may operate a boat legally without restrictions.
NOTE: There are different rules for Personal Watercraft (PWCs). If you plan on your child operating your PWC, it’s important that you know these laws.
The U.S. Coast Guard offers complimentary boat examinations to ensure you have the proper safety equipment for your vessel and that it is in good working condition. Free of charge, they also offer virtual vessel exams.
While these are more common for boats going out on bigger bodies of water like Lake Michigan, they are good practice for every boater and can offer peace of mind.
Any time you launch your boat, you should double check your departure checklist. Things like ensuring life jackets are on board, proper anchors are secured, as well as maintenance and other emergency items (flares, whistles, etc.) should be added to the checklist and checked thoroughly before every departure.
We found a pretty good checklist HERE.
Being prepared with a well-equipped safety kit can help you through most situations you encounter on the water. By their definition, emergencies are unpredictable, so think through your kit. Below are some of the items we recommend adding to yours.
Life jackets (PFDs) have come a long way since the bulky, orange, uncomfortable classics. These days they’re designed to keep someone's face up and even help prevent hypothermia. Everywhere you boat is going to require you to have a PFD on board for every passenger. Most states also require children under a certain age to wear them at all times while onboard.
Moreover, it’s important for anyone doing water sports like wakeboarding, skiing, or tubing - even those that are experienced - to have a PFD on. You never know when an accident might knock a boarder or skier unconscious.
Consider investing in a comfortable PFD for anyone that is going to be a regular on your boat. Try them on. Make sure you have a good range of motion while wearing them and that they fit snugly but not too tight.
It’s always good practice to have a flotation device attached with a long rope and secured to your boat at all times to throw to someone overboard and be able to bring them in, just in case.
Be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out. Nevertheless, as we all know, the weatherperson can’t predict everything - this is especially true over bodies of water. And it’s even more true over large bodies of water like Lake Michigan.
Keep an eye out for varying gusts of wind and increasingly choppy water. These changes are often indicators of a storm rolling in. If the weather changes quickly for the worse, consider venturing closer to your launch point just in case.
Aside from boating laws and regulations, certain etiquette should be kept in mind when out on the water. Remember, you’re not the only one on the water. There are other boaters, as well as lake residents to consider when boating.
The following is a list of laws and "elements of respect" to ensure you are following both the written - and unwritten - rules of the water.
If you’re of proper age, there’s nothing better than sipping adult beverages while you’re out on the water. But drinking while operating a boat is illegal and is responsible for nearly half of all boating accidents. Sheriffs can also ticket anyone they see operating a boat while intoxicated. Designate a sober driver before heading out - you’ll be happy you did.
Dropping an anchor is a really nice way to stop and enjoy a single spot on the lake. But often boaters don't know how to properly anchor their boat and they end up drifting 100s of ft before they even realize it.
Depending on the wind, current, and conditions of the lake, one anchor may not be enough. You may need to drop two anchors in a V formation to ensure your boat is properly anchored so you don’t drift far from your chill spot.
Familiarize yourself with the different types of anchors, and the lake bed material (and type of boat) for which they work best. And if it’s windy, ensure you have an extra anchor!
The increase in ballasted boats designed for wakeboarding and wake surfing has dramatically increased in recent years which has caused some ripples in the boating community. Primarily because ballasted boats, by their definition, create large wakes. These large wakes can damage docks and shorelines - calling for some lake associations and even states to consider banning the sport.
Also, wakeboarders and surfers have gained a reputation for “taking over” lakes - with intrusive “get out of my way” behavior and other things like music that is obtrusively loud.
The good news is, this is a simple fix. If you’re boarding or surfing, be cordial, and use common sense. Stay at least 200 ft from docks and the shoreline (even if your lake regulation is smaller), and avoid repetitive passes in the same area. Don’t be the bad seeds that get the rest of us banned from doing our favorite sport!
We’ve always been committed to boater's safety here at Premier, but this Summer, we’re stepping up our commitment. We’re planning on partnering with the DNR and Allegan County Sheriff this summer to have a booth set up near the boat launch at Gun Lake State Park. We'll be providing more information on boater’s safety, properly fitting PFD’s, and signing people up for boater's safety courses. Keep an eye out for us and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions!
Don’t see us out at the State Park? No worries. Our showrooms are just up the street from the Gun Lake County Park. Stop by and our team will be happy to assist you - whether you’ve purchased a boat from us or not.
Boating safely doesn’t have to be a scary or difficult thing. At the end of the day, being prepared before you go out with the right kits and knowledge will go a long way. And when you’re out on the water, use common sense and just be aware of your surroundings. If you have any doubts about your knowledge, take a boaters safety course.
Knowing proper boating safety will help you have a ton of Summer Fun in 2021!
You can find more information on boater's safety courses and certifications HERE.
In Michigan, we call early March "Fake Spring" - with deceptively warmer temps inevitably turning back into a brutal winter at least once more before we're truly into spring. Nevertheless, despite knowing we're not quite there yet, it seems as soon as the temp gauge gets above 40 around here, we start thinking about getting our boats ready for the water.
Whether you're looking to catch some spring wake sessions, preparing for early season fishing, or just can't wait for that first sunset cruise with the family; use the following tips to prepare early and maximize your boating experience this season.
Needless to say, you probably had your boat winterized before storing it this past off-season. Winterization is the process of preparing your boat for storage - so de-winterization is the process of preparing your boat to get back out on the water in spring. Which means it's the first thing you'll do when getting your boat ready for spring boating.
We could write a whole article on the actual process of de-winterization. However, because each type of boat is going to have different needs when it comes to de-winterization; we always recommend having winterization and de-winterization done by a professional to keep your boat running at its best.
If you stored your boat with us in the off-season, we're currently scheduling Spring deliveries for 2021.
Early spring is the perfect time to wash, wax, and detail your boat. Be sure to use marine safe washes, waxes, and cleaners. Avoid using products designed to clean your home or car - these can damage your vinyl and canvassing.
We carry everything you need to properly clean your boat in our Pro Shop - including popular marine-friendly cleaners:
When you're cleaning, take everything out of your boat. If you've been using your boat to store things like PFDs, fishing equipment, and water toys, set these aside for their own cleaning later.
Be sure to vacuum and wipe out storage and engine areas, paying special attention to the hard to reach areas.
Taking extra time now to deep-clean your boat will mean easier maintenance throughout the boating season. Also a clean boat makes it less likely dirt and grime will cause maintenance issues to sensitive areas of your boat.
Spring is a good time to check all your electronics. While you should always have a certified technician check your engine's electrical systems, you should take some time to check the electronics you'll be using everyday. Charge your battery, check your interior, exterior, and navigation lights, and ensure your navigation system is up to date if you have one.
Be sure to put on your favorite tunes, and check your stereo system for the best sound.
If your boat has an electronic bimini, put it up and down a couple times to make sure it's working properly. (If your boat doesn't have an electronic bimini - be sure to check your bimini straps and buttons are still fastening securely.)
If you have a fish-finder on your boat, mount it and ensure the electronics are connected properly.
Especially newer boats have many featured electronics not listed here. Take time to check all the electronics that apply to your specific boat.
Reviewing the safety equipment on your boat should be a regular thing. However, spring is an especially good time to ensure you have the right amount and types of PFDs and that they are still in good condition and not expired. While they're relatively uniform, each state has varying requirements for PFDs, so you should familiarize yourself with local rules and regulations.
Check your fire extinguishers are filled and not expired. Do the same with flares and make sure they are stored back in your boat safely.
SAFETY PRO-TIP: Often overlooked, make sure your boat is equipped with a well-stocked, easy-to-access first aid kit. This could mean the difference between having to end your boating day early for a cut or scrape, or being able to stay out on the water.
Now will be a good time to check your lines, fenders, and anchors as well. Lines should be washed, properly dried, recoiled and tied. Anchors and fenders should be clean, and well secured to appropriate lines.
Many boaters choose to trailer their boats. If you are one of these owners, here are a few trailer maintenance tips that are perfect for early spring.
How do your tires look? Are they inflated properly? Is the tread sufficient?Check all your tires including the spare. Make sure your wheel bearings are greased or replaced if necessary.
Have someone help you check your trailer lights - brake lights, turn signals, reverse, etc. Consider buying replacement bulbs and putting them in your boat or car just in case.
Look closely at your rollers, support pads, and guide pillars. Make sure there everything is rolling well and free of defects that might damage your boat.
Test your winch functionality. The webbing should be free of tears and fraying, and the winch should crank smoothly and lock properly.
Don't forget to check your trailer hitch and all related equipment to see if it is functioning properly and fitting securely on your vehicle. Trailer safety chains should be free of rust and links/hooks should be in good condition.
Grab your registration to confirm it's up to date (including the trailer) - put a new, clean copy of your registration in your boat. Double check your registration decals are not peeling and replace them if needed. This is also a good time to assess your insurance, and any type of roadside assistance you might have or want.
Some states require boaters' licenses for anyone driving your boat. Some states only require this of boaters of a younger age. Other states may not require a license, but might require boaters take a boaters' safety course. Other regulations may only apply to open or large bodies of water. In addition, regulations may change from year to year. Familiarize yourself with your state/local/waterway regulations to make sure you have no surprises during the summer! Nothing ruins a good boating day like a ticket.
Tubes, boards, and skis… oh my! Now's the time to get out all the toys and dream of all the fun you'll be having with them soon. Wash them all thoroughly - even if you washed them before putting them away for winter storage. Inspect your tow ropes for tears, mildew, or fraying and re-coil them neatly if they're in good shape. Ensure rope handles aren't damaged and are still comfortable to hold.
Take the inner tube out of your tube and check for any leaks, weak points, or bulges. Weak point and bulges in tubes could be a good indication that it's time for a replacement. Make sure the outer covering of your tube is free of snags or tears and that the handles are in good shape.
If you have fishing gear, now might be a good time to freshen up the lines and check that your tackle boxes are well-stocked.
You may even want to stock up on some inflatable floating tubes or loungers, water guns, noodles, etc. Anything that you think would be a fun toy to bring along. Remember, fun is what it's all about - and having lots of fun toys makes all the difference!
If you live on the water or have a lakefront cottage where you primarily use your boat, get your dock and lift in early. There's nothing worse than losing valuable time on the water because you have no place to park your boat.
Keep an eye on the weather though and use good judgement as to when you install your dock. You'd hate to have one last freeze damage it.
If you've been a boater for many years, you'll know that bringing certain conveniences on your boating trips will make for a much more enjoyable experience. Here's a quick idea list to inspire you:
Make a list and build on it year-to-year as you find things you need or want while boating. Keep what items you can in your boat.
PRO-TIP: Organize anything that needs to come back and forth from home in bags that are sorted into similar items, i.e. towels in the red bag, water toys in the blue bag, snacks in the yellow bag, etc.
In most areas it's required by law that children under a certain age wear PFDs whenever they're on the boat. Which means kiddo passengers will likely be wearing their PFDs for extended periods of time. If children will be on-board, you'll want to make sure they have comfortable, well-fitting life jackets. Bulky, one-size-fits-most life jackets are bound to get complaints early in the day.
Pack plenty of snacks, cold water, sun protection, toys, etc. Especially when it comes to kiddo passengers, preparing ahead of time is key to an awesome boating trip.
There is no worse feeling than getting all packed up for a day on the water and realizing you don't have any gas in your boat. It may seem obvious, but always remember to fuel-up!
It's good to develop a checklist for your boating trips. Whether it's a day trip on your local lake, or a week-long lake tour around Michigan - knowing what your boat needs and what your passengers might want on the trip is going to be important. This could be dependent on the weather, or the type of trip you're going on. A morning surf session probably requires a different checklist than a twilight fishing trip.
Being on the water and in the sun all day can take a lot out of you - and that's even if you're not doing any active water sports. No matter what you're doing on your trip, be sure to plan for meals and bring lots of snacks and cold beverages to help you and your passengers recharge.
Alright, so we know we haven't quite made it spring in Michigan yet. But when the temp does turn up, you'll want to be ready. Getting a jump on the above items will make sure you maximize your time on the water this 2021 season.
And always remember to: Leave Your Worries At The Dock
There is no feeling quite like cruising the waterways of Michigan in the captain’s chair of your own pontoon boat. If you’ve made it to our blog, chances are you’re in the market for a new boat. And chances are you’re probably looking for a versatile boat that might be great for cruising Gun Lake with your family and friends, sunbathing off the coast of South Haven, or maybe even dropping a line off of the bow to catch a fresh fish dinner.
Today’s pontoon boats have come a long way from your grandpa’s “tin-can” deck boat. Thanks to advancements in pontoon “tube” design, new structural materials, innovations in fabrics, and lighter, more efficient outboard engines; pontoon boats are no longer the relatively slow, kind of clunky “party barges” they have a reputation for being. That also means new pontoon boats vary greatly from model to model and brand to brand - and have TONS of options.
The truth is, pontoon boats have experienced quite the renaissance over the last few years. At Premier, we carry pontoons that are capable of handling up to 150 horsepower and tritoons that are capable of handling engines with as much as 400 horsepower. Advancements in tube configurations even allow them to corner as well as many conventional fiberglass runabout boats.
Pontoon boats are highly modular, which means each model can have as many as 20 different exterior and interior configurations. And if that wasn’t enough to wrap your mind around, there’s generally dozens of upholstery, floor covering, seat configuration, sound system, and accessory options to consider. Some of the furniture packages on our pontoons even have interiors that look and feel as nice as the inside of a luxury automobile.
Phew. The good thing is that we’re used to helping first-time pontoon buyers navigate all their options to create their perfect pontoon boat.
Start by asking yourself the following questions and you’re sure to have a fun buying experience!
The simple difference between a pontoon and tritoon boat is whether it has two tubes underneath the deck or three. Pontoon boats have two tubes whereas a tritoon has three - hence “tri” in tritoon. While at a glance, the differences may seem small, there are some pretty big distinctions in performance between pontoons and tritoons that you’ll want to consider.
As with everything else on this consideration-list, the pontoon vs tritoon choice boils down to how you’ll be using your boat. If you need precise turning while going fast or need stability in rougher water, you’ll find a tritoon is more suited to your needs. Otherwise, a classic two-tube pontoon is great for many common pontoon uses.
Keeping it simple, the deck provides usable space on the boat. However, your chosen deck size will also determine your tube dimension size as well. Coinciding, tube and deck size should be considered based on the types of water you’ll be on and the number of people you’ll be transporting. You should discuss tube size and whether you’ll need two or three tubes (a tritoon) with your Premier Boating representative.
For almost every pontoon model we carry, from 16 to 30 feet, engine performance comes down to a matter of torque. Our Mercury - "Pick Your Power" - engine option is designed to help you decide what amount of propulsion will be perfect for all your activities. When it comes to propulsion, consider how fast you really want to go, the fuel efficiency you desire, and what you’ll be using the pontoon boat for most.
These days, pontoon boats come as luxurious or as simple as you desire. There are configurations specifically designed for fishing, swimming, cruising, and entertaining. Some pontoons come with wireless phone charging hubs and refrigerated cup holders. We have pontoon boats with sunbathing beds, huge bimini tops, pop-up privacy changing booths, built-in coolers, massive amounts of storage, and more.
With so many options, it’s really important that you spend some time with an expert Premier team member to discuss how you’ll be using your pontoon boat. We’ll help find you find the perfect boat for your needs.
We know purchasing a new pontoon boat is a huge decision and investment. After helping West Michigan boat buyers through this same decision for over 25 years, we also know buying a new pontoon boat can also be a lot of fun! It’s our goal to help guide you so you can make an informed investment in your new pontoon and hopefully have a blast in the process. We know you certainly will once you’re out on the water.
When you purchase a pontoon boat from us, you’re not just making a transaction, you’re joining a community. Being a family owned and operated business, we pride ourselves on building lifelong relationships with our customers - giving them priority service, winterization, and storage (at our indoor and outdoor storage facilities). We’ll deliver your boat in the spring, and haul it out in the fall if you’re winterizing/storing with us. We even offer all our customers LIFELONG discounts at our proshop.
Ready to explore your pontoon boat options? We have three simple ways to take the next step.
For your convenience and preference, we have in-person or virtual appointments available. Simply fill out this form, and we'll have a member of our expert sale team reach out to you to confirm details.