Category Archives: boats and boating

Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor Review

I bought a Minn Kota Ulterra self stow trolling motor a few years ago and hated it and all the problems I had with it. So I bought a Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor that is manual stow and deploy. It is bad on my back but it has been reliable and I have had no problems with it until recently.

At an Oconee tournament, the steel pull cable broke when trying to deploy the motor. A grove had been worn in the cast aluminum block the cable passes through and had cut the cable

groove in my Minn Kota Ultrex that cut my pull cable

I replaced the cable but it stuck some in the groove and would get cut again so i contacted |Minn Kota. here is part of their response: Hello Ronnie,

this is normal wear from the stow/deploy cable. There is not a way to make this stronger and if it is getting bothersome to the operation of the feature, it can be changed out with part number 2992333 which can be ordered online.

So they know this is a problem, say it can’t be fixed and offered to sell me a replacement block that is the same as the one damaged.

I checked online and found this aftermarket part that seems to solve the problem for about $25. They were very prompt, i received the sleeve in two days!

It was fairly easy to install and i posted on the Minn Kota Owners web page to try to be helpful, several folk there said they had the same problem, but the keyboard warriors told me I did it wrong, even after I posted a link to the installation video on the designer manufacturer’s website showing I did it like they instructed.

Bottom line, I am disgusted with Minn Kota. They know about a problem with their $2500 plus motors that looks like it can be solved with a $25 aftermarket part, but they will not add this to their design. They probably could buy a stainless steel sleeve and put it on when the motor is built for much less than $20.

Traveling Two Thousand Miles In A Week To Fish Lake Seminole and Lake Erie

Two thousand miles later, I know largemouth are biting at Lake Seminole and smallmouth are biting at Lake Erie!

   On a Thursday in Novmeber, 2016 I made the 200 mile trip to Wingates Lunker Lodge to meet Clint and Bowynn Brown to get information for the Georgia and Alabama Outdoor News December issues.  Clint and his son Bowynn live across the street from Wingates and Clint guides on the lake. Both fish tournaments there. Bowynn is a member of the Bainbridge Bass Cats High and Middle schools fishing teams.

    When I got there that afternoon they had been out fishing and had about ten bass in the live well. When they started pulling them out for pictures each held two up. Those four went from almost six pounds to about five pounds. And there was another five pounder still in the live well!

    We went out for a few hours looking at the ten spots to put on the map and talked about how to fish them.  Then I made the 200 mile return trip to Griffin, getting home about 11:00 PM.

    On Saturday Bowynn won his school tournament with three bass weighing seven pounds and Clint won a tournament with five weighing 18 pounds. Bass are feeding heavily at Seminole and it would be a great trip anytime until the water gets real cold around Christmas.

    Friday I left my house at 11:00 AM headed north. I thought leaving at that time would get me through Atlanta when traffic was not too bad. WRONG.  The traffic warning sign near I-20 on I-75 said there was a wreck at 17th street and all lanes were blocked.

    I started to try to go around it on surface streets downtown but I don’t really know my way around and was afraid I would get lost.  Sure enough I came to a stop near 10th Street.  It took me 30 minutes to get past the wreck on 17th Street. And apparently it had caused other wrecks, the police were working four wrecks between 14th and 17th Streets!

    The rest of the 400 mile drive to near Lexington, KY was uneventful and I spent the night at a Red Roof Inn. The next morning I drove to Lake Erie just south of Detroit, another 400 miles, and spent the night. I was within a mile of I-75, I took it all the way.

    Sunday morning when I got up just before daylight the windshield on my van was iced over. Not frost, solid ice. The air was at 36 degrees according to my phone weather report.  At 9:00 I met Bass Elite Pro Chad Pipkins and got my Cabella’s Guidewear, my heaviest winter suit, on.

    Chad said it was a nice day even if cold, and the wind was not bad. We put in at the boat ramp in a cove and rounded the point, and I said “I don’t think I’m in Georgia anymore.” There was nothing ahead of us but water as far as I could see.

    The waves seemed pretty big to me but Chad said it was not a bad day.  We stopped on a rock pile in 15 feet of water and he got on the front of the boat.  Every tenth wave or so broke over the front of the boat, soaking his feet and putting several gallons of water in the boat.

    He said on a bad day every wave would do that!

    We fished for about an hour and each of us caught a smallmouth on drop shot rigs. We then went back into the ramp cove and he showed me all the bells and whistles on the boat.  Pros at that level have an amazing array of extras on their boats. This one had four top end Hummingbird depthfinders on it!

    We took the boat our and I headed home. The boat followed me!  I hope Linda will let me keep it and give it a good home!

    I called and made reservations at the same motel in Kentucky where I had stayed two nights before.  When I got to Cincinnati I came to a stop about two miles from where I-75 splits and goes over the river.  Nobody was going the other way into town. Four miles and 90 minutes later traffic sped up to about 50 miles per hour and thinned. I never saw a wreck or any other reason for the traffic jam.

    Pulling a new boat through all that mess worried me a little but everything went fine until I came into Atlanta. As usual traffic was jammed up where I-75 and I-85 join, even at 1:00 on a Monday afternoon. One lane would stop while the one next to it moved, then that lane would stop while the other one moved.

    Even though the boat trailer has surge brakes I tried to leave several car lengths ahead of me, you do not stop immediately when pulling a boat. At one point the lane to my left was stopped and I was moving at about 20 miles an hour.  Some crazy woman in a tiny red car decided to pull into my lane just about the time my front bumper was even with her back bumper. I managed to slam on brakes and miss her.  If I had hit her with my big van it would have crushed her little car.

    She went about 50 feet to where the lane we were in was stopped, then jumped back into the left lane between two cars as it started to move, almost hitting them, too.  I saw her change lanes like that four more times in the next half mile or so.  She was about ten car lengths ahead of where she was when she first pulled out in front of me.

    Strangely enough, the most expensive gas on the whole trip was right here in Griffin, Georgia! I wonder why.  Long trip, 400 miles each of five days in a row, 800 of them pulling a boat, and I am glad to be home!

My Bass Boats Over the Past 48 Years

 The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

In 1974 I bought my first bass boat. It was a brand new 16-foot Arrowglass with a 70 hp Evinrude outboard on one end and a Motor Guide 12 volt trolling motor at the other. It also had one Lowrance depthfinder, a flasher.  The trailer for it had two 12 inch tires and the boat would run about 35 mph at full throttle.

    I looked at all the bass boats at the Atlanta Boat Show that January and liked the Arrowglass the best by far. It had raised casting decks front and back, a rod locker that would hold five rods and a livewell that kinda worked, if you poured water into it all day.  It was one of the most modern bass boats on the market and when I joined the Spalding County Sportsman Club that March I had the boat with the second-highest horsepower in the whole club.

    That boat had a 12 gallon built in gas tank and you had to pour oil into the gas and mix it before running the motor.  There were padded seats with arms on pedestals on the front and back decks, and two comfortable riding seats were on either side. I added a kill switch, a simple pull cord that turned off the motor if the driver left the seat.

    Eight bass boats and 42 years later, I am thinking about buying another boat. I currently fish out of a 2004 20 foot long Skeeter with a 225 horsepower Yamaha outboard motor on one end and a 24-volt Motor Guide trolling motor on the other. It has a Lowrance HDS 10 on the console and a HDS 8 upfront. Both show details on color screens that look almost like a photo of what is under the boat, and the built in GPS shows me details of a lake and how to navigate. It sits on a dual axel trailer with four car size tires.

    I have had this boat running 74 mph but never run it that fast unless I have to. It has two built in gas tanks that hold 25 gallons of gas each, and a two gallon oil tank. The oil and gas are automatically mixed as you run the boat. Two thirty gallon live wells have pump to fill from the lake and other pumps to recirculate the water to keep bas healthy and lively. Two rod lockers will hold 16 rods – each. It, like all bass boats now, has a built in kill switch and you can not crank the motor if it is not attached.

    I paid $3500 for the Arrowglass outfit. Thirty years later the Skeeter was $30,800 – without the electronics. Those two Lowrance units on the Skeeter alone cost more than the Arrowglass outfit!   I just priced a used 2016 Skeeter that a pro fisherman is selling – for $52,900. List price on that outfit the way it is rigged would be around $76,000!

    Do I catch more bass with a more expensive boat?  NO.  I can go a lot faster between fishing holes, or when running from a thunderstorm, and the ride is much better in rough water. And I can see what is under the boat in detail and never have to worry about getting lost on a lake.  And I fish in much more comfort. But I definitely do not catch more bass.

    The new boat I am looking at is a 20 foot Skeeter with a 250 horse power motor. It has a four stroke motor, just like in cars, eleminating the need to mix oil with gas. It has four depthfinder/gps combination units that sell for about $3000 each!  You can see everything under the water and one of the features shows you a 360 degree view of everything around the boat.

    Most folks think it is crazy to spend that much on a fishing boat, and I agree. But I spend at least 24 hours a month in my boat and having more comfort at my age is definitely important.  Some buy expensive cars. Nice boats make me happy and it is what I worked and saved for all my life.

Boat Fuel Economy

Optimize Your Boat’s Fuel Economy and Range
Advice from the fuel experts at Chevron
from The Fishing Wire

If you’re an avid power boater or fisherman, what truly fuels your passion for time on the water is, well, fuel.

While they are unquestionably the most fun way of getting from Point A to Point B, boats are inherently un-economical conveyances when it comes to fuel consumption. Not only do boats consume a lot of fuel (measured in Gallons Per Hour rather than Miles Per Gallon), they operate in a dynamic environment where wind, waves and currents can cut “normal” fuel economy in half on any given day.

On land, the maximum fuel range of your car is rarely of critical concern — cars are generally fuel efficient and there are gas stations everywhere. Boats are different. Once you leave the harbor or launch ramp, you are generally limited to the fuel your boat carries onboard. On the water, fuel range is the limiting factor that dictates everything — from how far you can run to find fish to how long you can stay out looking for and/or catching them.

There are some simple steps all power boaters can take to squeeze every drop of fun out of their boat’s fuel tank, whether it’s an aluminum walleye rig, high-performance bass boat or multi-engine offshore fishing machine that holds 400 gallons.

1. Always start full. Well, duh…but you’d be surprised how many fishermen try to save a little time or money by not fueling up before each trip. You never know what a fishing day will bring, and you don’t want to have to stop short if the fish are farther away or the weather comes up. Also remember the rule of thirds when it comes to estimating your boat’s range – a third of a tank for the day’s fishing, a third of your fuel to get back, and a third to keep in reserve. Smart boaters who’ve learned from past mistakes know that “empty” can sneak up pretty fast when conditions change, so they keep a good amount in reserve just in case.

2. Lose some weight. Carrying unnecessary weight or having an unbalanced weight load can change the way a boat rides and drastically reduce fuel economy and range. Go through your boat and consider removing things you don’t really need, like extra fishing gear you never use, boxes of lead sinkers, extra anchors and chain, old expired fire extinguishers, and the like. Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon, so it’s easy to see how filling live bait tanks and livewells when they’re not needed can really weigh you down and cut fuel economy.

3. Know your boat’s “sweet spot.” Every boat/motor combination has its own “sweet spot” where it’s operating most efficiently. In magazine boat tests, this is often referred to as Most Economical Cruising Speed. Depending on vessel style and hull type, it may be quite a bit faster than you imagine. Most modern boats/outboard engines come equipped with fuel computer systems, which allow you to track fuel consumption at various engine RPMs and boat speeds. You can compute your Most Economical Cruising Speed by looking at the Gallons Per Hour being burned and cross referencing it with the boat’s GPS speed. For example, if you’re burning 10 gallons per hour and traveling at 20 miles per hour, you’re netting 2 miles per gallon. You might find, however, that your boat burns 13 gallons per hour at 32 miles per hour, which works out to almost 2.5 miles per gallon. At this cruising speed, you’ll get where you’re going faster while ultimately burning less fuel. It’s important to figure this out with your boat loaded the way you normally use it, which might be loaded with a full tank, gear and fishing buddies.

4. Propellers matter. Your boat’s propeller(s) is responsible for efficiently translating the RPMs of the boat’s engine into forward movement of the vessel. There are a wide variety of propeller types and sizes, and finding the right one for your boat may require some trial and testing. One of the key propeller measurements is pitch, which refers to how much forward movement it provides. For example, a propeller with a pitch size of 21 will move forward 21 inches for each turn, while a “less aggressive” 18-pitch propeller will move three inches less. When you consider that high performance outboard engines can run at 5,000+ RPMs for sustained periods, this can make a huge difference. A propeller with too much pitch will make it hard for a boat to get “out of the hole” and accelerate from a standstill. A propeller with too little pitch might over-rev the engine and reduce top-end performance. Either one can negatively impact fuel range and economy. A well-matched propeller will allow the engine to fall within the manufacturer’s recommended maximum RPM range (say 5,000-5,500 RPM) when the boat is well trimmed and running at Wide Open Throttle (WOT).

5. Keep the engine and fuel system clean. Techron Marine Fuel Treatment provides boaters with the cleaning power they’ve long counted on in their automobiles and tow vehicles. The fuel experts at Chevron developed this specialized formula to clean gasoline engines used in the harshest marine environments. When used with every fill up, Techron Marine restores power and maximizes fuel efficiency by cleaning fuel injectors, throttle bodies, carburetors, intake valves and combustion chambers, preventing corrosion and removing gum, varnish and carbon deposits. It also keeps the entire fuel system clean, preventing gunk, corrosion and deposits in the tanks, fuel lines, filters and fuel pumps from interrupting fuel flow and compromising performance. A fuel system kept clean with Techron Marine will also deliver quick and easy starting in any weather, smoother idling and faster response when it’s time to hit the throttle. With a range of economical bottle sizes and a treat rate of just one ounce per 10 gallons of fuel, Techron Marine is a cost-effective way to stretch the fuel range of any gasoline-powered boat.
Doing these things will help maximize your range and time on the water between visits to the fuel pump. It’s also important to remember to treat your fuel when you won’t be using your boat for an extended time. In addition to cleaning your engine and fuel system and keeping everything running like a top, Techron Marine Fuel Treatment provides best-in-class corrosion protection and stabilizes fuel up to 24 months.

To learn more about optimizing your boat’s fuel efficiency and range, while protecting your boat’s fuel system and engine in the harshest marine environments, visit

Boating Safety Violations and Danger

Memorial Day week I jokingly mentioned sitting at a boat ramp over the weekend and watching the comedy show. Too many folks get a boat and don’t have a clue about backing a trailer. And they don’t go to an empty parking lot to train, they wait until they are at a busy boat ramp to cause problems for everyone else.

Some of those same folks on the water are no joking matter. Far too many people drive boats without a clue on safety rules and laws. And boat wrecks happen every year because of it.

Last year I got run out of a marked channel at Lake Guntersville by drivers not following the most basic rule of boating two different times in one day. Both were by boat ”captains” in an Alabama High School tournament.

I was running down the right sides of the narrow channels and they headed right toward me, forcing me to either go to my left and their right, violating the law, or run out into the grass. I chose the grass partly because if I went to their right and they suddenly changed course, I would have been the one in the wrong if we hit.

A picture of a bass boat that had obviously been hit on the port (left) side by another boat was posted on Facebook a week ago. I found out they were running about 40 MPH at night in a tournament when another boat in the tournament, coming across their path from the left, hit them.
Apparently, the young driver in the boat that hit the other bass boat either didn’t see them or didn’t know they had the right of way. To make it worse, they boat in the wrong did not have front running lights.

Front running lights tell you which way a boat is facing in the dark. There is a green light on the starboard (right) side and a red light on the port side. So if you see a red light the boat is going to your left and it has the right of way. The white light at the stern (rear) of the boat confirms this and is easier to see from a distance.

Red and green lights on a boat are like the traffic lights at an intersection. If you see the red light, the other boat has the right of way. A green light gives you right of way, but since so many people don’t know the rules it is best to avoid getting near another boat day or night.

At Lake Eufaula a couple of weeks ago I idled from the campground to the boat ramp in the dark on Saturday morning. A steady stream of boats in the BFL idled from the ramp on my left to the boat basin on my right to get ready for blast off. It took me about ten minutes to make the trip, and about 50 boats went by.

Boat after boat showed their green starboard light to me. Then one went by showing a red light on its starboard side, opposite of what it should be. Either it was installed wrong or someone working on the boat somehow got it changed backwards.

Imagine running down the lake in the dark and seeing a red and green light ahead. The lights tell you to go to the right, justly like in a car on the highway. But with lights reversed it would be confusing.

For years I would go to Clarks Hill during the summer and sleep all day and fish all night for a week at a time. I always enjoyed fishing at night when the air is cooler, the fish are feeding and there are few boats on the water as opposed to fishing on hot days when the fish don’t bite and the lake is crowded.

My bass clubs used to have night tournaments every July and August but several members are afraid to fish at night now due to idiots on the water.

I saw a good example of how dumb folks can be one night at Jackson. I was fishing a point near the dam in the dark when I barely made out a boat idling past about 100 yards out from me. As it went by a spotlight hit the two young girls in a tube 100 feet behind the boat, being pulled along. There were lights on the boat but not on the girls.

A game warden had seen them and put his spotlight on the girls. He stopped the boat and I heard him lecture the adults in the boat about the danger of what they were doing and that it was illegal. He said he would not give them a ticket but they must be safe.

The game warden left, the folks in the boat cranked up and merrily went on their way towing the two young girls in the tube behind the boat in the dark.

The closest I have ever come to hitting another boat happened just after dark at Clarks Hill. I was fishing up Little River, planning on fishing most of the night, when lightning in an approaching thunderstorm made me head to my mobile home at the boat club.

Going in, a small island sits about 100 yards off the bank just above Raysville Bridge. The water is deep enough out between the island and bank to run through there, and it saves a couple minutes off going around the island. Since the lightning was getting closer I was running about 45 MPH as I turned to go between the island and bank.

Suddenly a flashlight came on just feet ahead of me. Someone had paddled a boat out there and anchored to fish in the dark, without lights. I am sure I soaked the folks in the boat as I went by, I could not have been more than five feet from them.

Follow the laws and rules on the water and be safe out there.

Do Not Put E-15 Gas In Your Boat!!

Several new gas stations in our area carry the new E-15 15 percent Ethanol gas. DO NOT put it in your boat – or any other small engine.  It will ruin an outboard motor if you run E-15 in it.

    For years we looked for “white gas” to run in our small outboards.  It ran cleaner but was more expensive.  After I got my first big outboard, a 1974 70 HP Evinrude, I ran regular gas in all my outboards but then around 2010 E-10, ten percent ethanol gas, gas with alcohol in it, was mandated by the federal government.

    Starting in 2004, I was running a 2004 225 Yamaha fuel injected motor.  It locked up om 2011 during a
West Point tournament.  I was lucky, Yamaha repaired the motor for free even though it was two years out of warranty. They got me as a customer for life from that service! I am now convinced ethanol gas broke my motor.

    When 2004 motors were made, ethanol gas was not popular and my owner’s manual said nothing about using it, so I ran it.  Apparently, Yamaha stood behind many of their motors during that time although it was not their fault!

    Now, as E-15 becomes popular and may be mandated by the federal government, we may have to seek out non-ethanol gas for our outboards. It is more expensive, of course, and harder to find, but may be the only way to keep running outboards.

I understand every small motor, from chainsaws and lawnmowers to four wheelers and generators, may have the same problem.

WARNING – 15% Ethanol Gas Will Ruin Your Boat Motor – Don’t Get Confused

Confusing and Ineffective Fuel Pump Warning Labels a Risk for Boaters

from The Fishing Wire

SPRINGFIELD, Va. – Efforts by the ethanol industry to create a new federal rule that would weaken or eliminate important warning labels designed to prevent boaters and consumers from misfueling with prohibited higher-ethanol fuels at roadside gas pumps has Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) concerned. The national recreational boating advocacy, services and safety group recently co-signed a letter to EPA Administrator Elizabeth Dermott addressing the proposed “E15 Fuel Dispenser Labeling and Compatibility With Underground Storage Tanks” legislation (EPA-HW-OAR-202-0448) and urging the federal regulator to side with consumers on its Misfueling Mitigation Program (MMP) to ensure transparency in the sale of fuel to consumers.

“Ethanol manufacturers are pushing to blend more ethanol into the nation’s fuel supply. To accomplish that, consumers are not being fully informed at the roadside pump about the type of fuel going into their boats’ gas tanks,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy. “New marketing schemes to brand these prohibited 15% ethanol fuels as ‘regular 88,’ promoting them as a low-cost alternative and, at the same time, attempting to drive federal rulemaking efforts to reduce and weaken warning labels at the pump is an anti-consumer one-two-three punch that should not be tolerated.”

The proposed rulemaking provides no new data on a theoretical basis to support the proposals to either decrease the stringency of the existing E15 warning label or eliminate it altogether. A 2020 Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) poll shows that only about one in five consumers know that “regular 88” — or 88 octane fuel — has more ethanol (15%) in it than 87 octane (10% ethanol) fuel.

Use of ethanol fuel blends with more than 10% ethanol, such as “regular 88,” in recreational boat engines, motorcycles, off-road vehicles and power equipment is prohibited by federal law. E15 fuels have been proven to damage engines and fuel systems, and its use in a marine engine voids the warranty.

Consumers have indicated the need for a better, more effective higher-blend ethanol fuel warning label design as well as more prominent placement of the warning label on the pump. A recent national poll shows that just 18.25% of consumers think the current E15 label used at gas pumps across the country is very effective for warning that E15 is hazardous to certain types of engines.

EPA has also worked to broaden the availability of E15 fuel in the U.S., including most recently with the 2019 repeal of summertime restrictions on its sale. These restrictions were originally implemented years ago to address concerns over the higher ethanol fuel’s contribution to ground level ozone (smog) on hot days.

“Visit a local gas station dispensing higher ethanol fuels and look for the warning label on the pump,” added Kennedy. “It’s often hidden or buried along with a mountain of promotional signage. EPA should help consumers make the right fuel choice, and efforts to weaken the Misfueling Mitigation Program, such as stripping away label elements that indicate a warning message or exclude mention of 15% ethanol altogether, only accommodate the interests of ethanol producers and harm boaters.”

Boat Trailer Steps

picture of my boat steps

    My first bass boat was a 1974 16-foot Arrowglass with a 70 horsepower Evinrude motor on it. It sat on a single axle trailer and I pulled it for the first three years with my Cutlass Supreme Convertible before buying my first van in 1977.

    With the car, I could back the boat into the water, slide across the trunk and stand on the trailer tongue to unhook he winch. As I pushed the boat back off the trailer I would hop on the front deck.

    The van was as little more difficult.  If I had to back in until the back tires were in the water I would hang on to the rain gutter, step up on the tire then swing around to the bumper. Then I could get on the trailer tongue. I did that through three different vans until I got a pickup.

    With the pickup I often have to climb into the bed, step over the tailgate onto the bumper then onto the trailer tongue.  It has gotten harder and harder to do this then crawl rather than hop up onto the boat deck as the boat slides off the trailer.

    My current Skeeter came with a flat tool boat on the trailer tongue, about 18 inches square and a great place to stand while unhooking the winch. It had one step to the side of the front of the trailer by the boat and that made it a lot easier to get in and out of the front of the boat.

    Recently, boat manufacturers have been putting steps on their trailers. Some have three or four steps, and some have a pole to hang onto beside them. I wanted a set like that but the ones I priced were just too high, many over $400 and that did not include shipping or installation.

    A month or so ago at a tournament at West Point, Donald Wells gave me some business cards for James Hewitt and his Boat Steps. James lives in LaGrange and will come to the boat ramp and install the steps he makes for $250, a great price.  Two guys in the Sportsman Club had him install steps on their boats last month. They were very pleased so last week I called James and he met me after the Flint River tournament weigh-in last Sunday and put steps on my boat trailer in just a few minutes.

    The three steps and pole allow me to hold on and ease up and onto the front deck without much trouble.  I have seen a 300-pound guy use the steps and they flexed very little. The steps are well made, welded and heavy steel. 

    If you are interested in steps for your boat you can contact James at 706-668-3459 cell or 770-854-8713 home.  I put a picture of his steps installed on my boat on my website at

If Its Got Tires…

There is a saying that goes something like “if it has tires you will have trouble with it.”  That is especially true if you dunk the tires under water often. Boat trailer tires are notorious for causing problems.

    For many years maintenance was fairly simple. You checked and repacked your bearings every year and kept a watch on them during trips. Even with that care you could have problems.  Before he passed away, Jack “
Zero” Ridgeway took care of me and my boat trailer.  It is hard to find a good reliable place to work on boat trailer tires.

    One time when I was leaving for Lake Martin, a 125 mile trip each way, I noticed one of my tires wobbled a little. I stopped at Zero’s shop and he changed the bearings and got me on the way in a few minutes.

    Twice I have had to replace one of the axles on my EZLoader Skeeter Trailers.  One time I hit a curb trying to get out on a busy highway and bent the spindle on one tire.  I was wearing out a tire every 400 miles on that spindle, so it was very cost effective to replace it.

    Another time I was backing in at Lake Lanier and someone hollered at me that I was losing a tire. I got out and one tire was at an angle.  It fell off with a little tug. I had to get a flatbed wrecker to bring my boat home to Zero to fix. Somehow that tire hung on all the way up the 5 different interstate highways at 70 plus MPH and waited until I was on the ramp to fall off!

    My newer trailer has oil bath bearings, not the old kind you kept grease in. These hold oil and are supposed to be long lasting.  I never noticed a problem with that tire before it fell off, but it was bad enough to ruin that spindle.

    Last week I noticed one of my tires and rims had oil all over it, not a good sign.  I really did not know what to do, just that something had to be done. Luckily, I was referred to Mike’s Trailer Hitches and Accessories at 3418 North Expressway.  I took my boat to him and he checked, the cap was leaking a little and he filled it back up with oil and ordered me a new cap.

Service was friendly and helpful and its nice finding someone to work on wheel bearings on boat trailers.  I hope I don’t go there much, but when I need work done I know where to go!



Remember to Clean, Drain and Dry Vessels Used in Other States

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (April 20, 2021) – With zebra mussels found on a boat in the Lake Lanier area, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is urging boat owners to CLEAN, DRAIN and DRY their boats, and be aware of the potential for transferring these invasive mussels from waters in other states.

Owners of a boat taken to Lanier after being used on the Tennessee River near Chattanooga, Tenn., recently spotted zebra mussels on the boat and called DNR.

Staff from the agency’s Wildlife Resources Division removed about 1 gallon of dead mussels from the boat and worked with the owners to ensure the vessel was drained, properly cleaned and thoroughly dried. DNR commended the owners for recognizing the issue and taking the necessary steps to report it.

Zebra mussels, a species native to eastern Europe that has spread to many U.S. waters, including the Tennessee River, pose a significant risk to Georgia. If established here they could spur major ecological and economic damage. Zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species can cause millions of dollars in damage to boats and water intake pipes, while undermining native mussels and other aquatic species. 

There is no known established population in Georgia. However, in March zebra mussels were found in Georgia pet stores attached to moss ball plants being sold for aquariums.

For more information on these aquatic invaders and how to report them, as well as how to properly CLEAN, DRAIN and DRY vessels, visit