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Tips Submission Page

If you have Tips related to bassboats, motors, trailers etc., this is the
place to share them.  Simply fill in the "Tips Form" and I'll add them.
Or check out the "Clever Tips & Tricks Forum"

Updated August 22/11

Drying Boat After Washing
An easy way to get your boat dry after you wash it is to use a leaf blower. It works much like the dryer at the car wash and it saves time and reduces the chance for water spots. As soon as I finish my wash and rinse I immediately start at the front top and work my way to the back. Once finished I can hit the remaining areas with a soft towe then follow up with BBS. A word of caution, if you use an electric blower make sure you have a GFCI on the cord and keep it out of any standing water. I have a battery powered blower, but I have used the electric from time to time. 
DaBayouBoudreaux - LA
Ring Free/ Blue Stabil
For those of you that use 'Ring Free' and 'Blue Stabil' when filling up, save an empty Stabil bottle (large size) and put Ring Free in it. Built in measuring on bottle makes adding Ring Free easier to add the right amount.
Skeeter0659 - OH
Storage Tip
When putting your boat up for the cold times (non fishing times) after you park your boat, take the strain off your tiedowns, now drop your motor down onto a 4 x 4 and a 2 x 4 stacked until the weight is off the boat. It has worked for me for years with no ill effects to either one. May add or remove wood as needed.
Kenny - KY
Lightning Detector
Keep an AM radio in the boat to use as a "lightning detector". You may not be able to see any visible signs of ominous weather, but the popping & crackling sounds are proof positive that there are impending storms. There's nothing like getting an early warning when high voltage is in the area.
It's also much less expensive than the $65. to $400. commercial detectors on the market that won't even give you the latest weather, sports scores or even political opinions. 
But then again, that might be a strike against it.
Cable Dog - MD
Spotlight Hood
Make a hood (like a camera lens) for your spotlight. Carefully cut the bottom out of thin, black plastic "throwaway" flower pot. Fit it over the front of your spotlight and tape it with black tape. It works great. I did this and it eliminates all the glare inside my white boat at night.
KCSteve - TN
Truck Keys.
I keep an extra set of truck keys in my boat, just in case I lock my keys in my truck while at the lake.
EtecRanger 205
Bounce Buster.
My Motorguide trolling motor did not have the bounce buster support rode like the newer ones so I made one with 3/4" dia. aluminum rod. Just drill the end and tap with 1/4-20 tap and drill hole in bracket on trolling motor to attach.  Before installing measure rod and cut for your application. Put a plastic cap on end where rod meets carpet.
JVbaits - IN
Ice Chest for the boat.
I run a 16 foot Tracker tin boat. It has plastic drop in storage bins for the rear storage.
I converted one to an ice chest. The drain holes I plugged with silicone. Then when I go out fishing I put 2 bags of ice cubes (bought at a gas station or corner store) in the bin and I put my bottles of water in there for a day of fishing. Water stays cold all day long. And when the ice melts it doesn't go into the bilge, since the holes are plugged.
MuskyTom - ON
Fishing in freezing weather.
When fishing in freezing weather, sometimes I get to the boat launch and find that the threads of my screw-in boat plug have been frozen solid with the water from the day before - making it impossible to screw in the plug. On more than one occasion I've had to pour my much needed coffee into the bilge of my boat to thaw the threads!
Mcbass - ME
Keeping mice away.
Another easy way to keep mice away is to use dryer sheets like Bounce. You can buy the cheap ones and just throw them around inside your boat.
Itdan - OH
Mirror tip.
Inside one of my compartment lids I have a mirror glued to the lid. I fish my myself mostly and this comes in handy. Sometimes I may get something in my eye, put on sunscreen or if I ever got a hook in my face this will surely help.
Slick Rick - LA
Trailer tip.
When you get your trailer redone, spray bedliner on the fenders and step plates. This will never rust and is slip proof.
Slick Rick - LA
Removing scratches in your gel coat.
Do not use rubbing compound or polishing compound. They are good to break a heavy scratch down but they also leave more smaller scratches or swirl marks that you can still see at all angles.  Try using Brasso metal polish.  It not only cleans and shines but completely removes all lines and rubbing marks, leaving the surface smooth and mirror shiny. It looks like it was when brand new!  A lot of depth to the finish.  Follow up with your Quick spray wax and you have a new shiny boat.
John - OH
Removing Water Lines
I use dryer sheets (WalMart brand) to get water lines off my hull. Mr.Clean Magic Erasers work great too - they are just more expensive.  They also work great for getting mildew off your seats - just be careful, if you use too much elbow grease the color may come off too!
Warfrat - FL
Battery Tips
For long deep cycle battery life, match the charger to the battery type, maintain the correct electrolyte levels with distilled water, recharge ASAP, and float charge the battery while not in use to prevent sulfation.  For more tips, please see the Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ on
Bill Darden
New idea for Rod Storage
Well, for those of us like me that have to put our boats away every year, we are very pressed for rod storage space during the "off season". How about this?  BassPro Shops sells cheap rod holders that will hold up to 6 combos for 10 bucks apiece (Item #21-542-962-00).
Why not buy enough of these to hold all your rods and mount them in your closet behind the clothes....that way they are both safe AND out of the way.
BasserJim - PA
Tip for Cleaning Oxidize Gelcoat
I have a motorhome that is all fiberglass, as well as the cowl on my outboard that is very old.
I was looking at all the products out there that could clean the oxidation to prep the surface for wax.  I used Oxiclean in water with a brush or rag.  Just like washing a car. You wipe it on, then rinse it off.  If the oxidation is very thick, you may have to use a wet cloth to wipe it off.  Beats the heck out of buffing.
Sanannbassman - FL
Cheap & Effective Plug Knockers
Buy some #5 "fast lock snaps" ($1.79 at BassPro Shops).  Save the spark plugs from your auto tuneups (or get some from your mechanic).  Slip the spark plug anode through the clip and close the gap by tapping it with a small hammer.  When you get hung up, get directly over your lure, clip one of these on your line and drop to the lure.  Raise and lower your rod tip to "bump" the lure with the spark plug.  I have used as many as 3 at one time to save a $6-$7 lure.  Even if you lose all 3 you are only out about 40 cents.
You can make 15 of these for the $1.79....about 12 cents each!  Now that is cheap!
Astro Bubba - GA
Locating Hitch Ball 
I've had trouble lining up my hitch ball with my trailer. Even though I have an Explorer and open the rear hatch, I could still not line up properly.  I take one of the expandable "magnet on a stick" and put it on top of the ball.  When I back up, I keep the stick in line with the trailer tongue and when the stick tilts, I know that I have the ball in exactly the right position.
Go to the back of the SUV and hook up!  No more pushing, shoving or trying to move a 3000 pound boat trailer.
Astro Bubba - GA
Bow Mount TM Install (Tip of the month for December '04)
I took a 3/4" piece of marine plywood, marked and drilled my holes to match the trolling motor base.  I placed it under my deck for fitment to see that no corners need to be clipped or rounded etc.  Once fitment was proper, I took threaded "T" nuts and drove them into the holes where the bolts will come through.  I then dipped it into polyurethane several times to completely seal it. (Let it dry before each dipping). Also, I plugged the threaded portion of the T nuts so they didn't fill up.
Once it was all dry, I smeared a healthy dose of silicone adhesive all over the face, or the part that would be resting under the fiberglass deck.  Have your trolling motor in place and put the bolts down through and tighten them into the threaded T nuts. This will suck the plywood and the silicone adhesive tight to the underside of the deck.  Let it dry for 24 hours.
Once dry, you will find that you will never have to go under the deck again to grab a nut to remove your trolling motor.  The plywood is securely attached to the underside of the deck and the holes are all lined up each time you remove and re-attach your TM.  It also adds lightweight but sturdy reinforcement to the fiberglass deck.   If you are worried about your bolts loosening up, try using a little dab of Loc-Tite (Blue), it is a removable thread locker and will hold thos bolts tight until you are ready to remove them.
Crankb8 - WI
Spare Keys for Boat:
Either get another ignition key made or one of the extra ones that came with the boat, take a wire tie and look up under your console, find a place that is not visible easily (steering cable works well) and run the wire tie through the hole in the key and loop the wire tie around or through whatever it is you are going to tie to, and pull it tight enough to keep it from clanking around.  Cut off the extra and bingo, you always have a spare around....in case you leave home without it.
Bassinator - KY
Compartment Tip:
To keep compartments from getting that musty smell or help with other smells (gas fumes) go get some Aeromatic Cedar blocks made for closets or dressers and put one in each locker.
Especially good when storing over the winter.
Bassinator - KY
Trolling Motor Removal:
How to get at those hard to reach nuts in the bow.
Get a piece of 1/2" plastic conduit, about 3 feet long. With most 3/8 ratchets the handle is small enough that with a little persuasion with a hammer you can drive it into the end of the conduit.
This will give you the reach for the nuts. If you need a box end wrench for the front ones as I did, take a hacksaw and notch the other end of the pipe, put the open end in the pipe and use a hose clamp to secure it. This was a heck of a lot easier than twisting all up in the rod locker trying to reach them.  I could take some pics if you're unsure.  Peter Illar......
Bassmasterp - PA
Compartment Tip:
If you have an aluminum boat or aluminum compartments/lids, this is a good trick.
Spray the undersides of livewell and other lids with 3M aerosol rubber undercoating available at auto supply houses.  It is tough as nails and will improve the appearance and provide noise and heat insulation.
Wiring Tip:
Used green multi-purpose clothesline rope (15.24 MTS) in place of steel fish tape, or in some instances, a coat hanger to install and re-route cables/wiring thru those hard-to-reach locations of my 20 ft fiberglass bass boat.  The plastic coating on the multi-purpose wire protected existing wiring/cables and my boat's finish. You can buy 50 feet of the 15.24 MTS for less than $5.00 at any hardware store.  It can be cut to length, rolls up easily and probably has a 100 other uses.  I hope this might save someone some time, money and effort.
Trolling Motor Tip:
Be prepared for a broken Motorguide puller rope. Pre-cut nylon rope, fusing ends for smooth fit with heat or fire. Cut 2 inch length of No.18 gauge solid copper wire. Insert wire near one end of rope. Wrap copper wire back on rope and store in boat.  Next time you experience a broken rope, fasten new rop to broken rope using the copper wire to hold the two ends together.
With needle nose pliers, pull old rope through eyelet to bring new rope into place.
Tie off end to pull latch and handle.  Replacement time is less than 5 minutes.
HumminbirdII - NC
TM Pedal Tip:
For those of you  who don't like the idea of drilling into the deck or like to move the trolling motor pedal around.  All I did was put down a strip of one inch Velcro.  I replace it after each season and have not had an issue of it coming free in 3-6 foot chop.
Mtnmanmac - NH
Culling Board Idea:
Attached are three photos that show how the culling board is mounted inside storage compartment.  This works best with boats that have a support brace on the inside of the storage compartment lid.  Note: Not all boats have this support brace, i.e., Skeeters.
Here is what you need:
Screws....2" hinge.....dry erase board w/marker.....bottom latch.
Installation should be self-explanatory.  
Usage: Open compartment, release bottom latch...the culling board swings free on hinge.
To close, move board flush against locker and slide bottom latch to secure board flush to compartment.       Photo 1             Photo 2             Photo 3
SOCB Prez - CA
TM Mounting:
When mounting your trolling motor, take a rubber tied down and cut it into 2" pieces and poke a hole in each piece.  Put between the bracket and the boat at every bolt to cut down noise transmission, vibration and wear to the gelcoat.
Smalliefisher - AL
Compartment Latches:
If you own a boat that the latches are hard to pop out of their grooves to open a compartment when your hands are wet, then get an old strap from a duffle bag and cut into 5-6" pieces, double up and make a loop, drill a hole even with the latch but on the lip of the door that folds down, and screw the strap in place.  Now, if you're like me, I open all my compartments (except the back one) first thing in the morning.  So from then on, all I have to do is grab the looped strap and pull.  No more popping up, then twisting, then pulling.
I hope this helps someone as it did me.
Chad202 - LA 
TM Mounting:
I have noticed that when a lot of people mount their trolling motor, they just use a long bolt and nuts/washers.  Doing it that way will cause your boat to act like a big speaker and will transmit all the sound from the trolling motor into the water thru the boat's hull.  To stop this I installed a set of isolators for my trolling motor; they dampen the sound and will help put more fish in your livewell, by not spooking as many fish.  They only cost about $10 to $15 depending where you get them.
White Ally02 - TN
Bearing Buddy Tip:
Make sure to properly fill your Bearing Buddies to help reduce the chance of problems during your next trip.  Overfilling them can be as bad or worse than underfilling them.  Overfilling them can cause more than just a mess on your rims.  If enough grease is put into them, the rear wheel seal can blow out.  This does two things; it lets grease out and lets water in.  With grease being dumped out the back side, you may not notice a problem until you hear your bearings whining as you go down the road.  By then it's too late.
Also, when it comes time to put the trailer in the water, the cold water on the hot bearings is a recipe to have water sucked into the bearings, again ruining the grease in the bearings just aggravating the problem.  You should check your bearings a minimum of once a year, more often if you put a lot of miles on your trailer.  If you see a milky color to the grease, pull the bearings and inspect them.  Also replace the seal.
Good luck and good boating!
Lundman - WI
Kill Switch:
This may seem overly simple but it amazes me how many times I have seen people trying to kill their start batteries because they have not checked their kill switch before trying to start the motor.  For Mercury outboards this seems to be a real problem as sometimes the little red switch is not all the way closed around the lanyard.
I work at a Mercury dealer and I would say 1 out of 10 times that we get a "no-start" condition with a Mercury, it is from teh kill switch not being fully up.  I try to remember each time I get in the boat to manually flip the switch up.  
Next, when getting ready to drop the boat into the drink, double check your bilge drain plugs. I have dropped my boat in the water more than one time after forgetting to put the plug in.
Needless to say, I started to get wet feet a few minutes later even with the bilge pump running overtime trying to keep up with the flood of water through the transom.  None of you have that that have you?
Lundman - WI
Jackplate Cleaning:
To keep your aluminum jackplate looking new, use Eagle One Etching Mag Cleaner.
No scrubbing necessary, just spray on and rinse off.  No elbow grease needed.
Warning, do not use on aluminum that has a clear coat.
Tim - AL       Before and After Photos
Trailer Protection:
To keep your trailer from rusting, I spray mine with WD-40 before I put it into storage. You can also do this several times a year if you fish in brackish water.
Mike - MN
Electronics Case:
Looking for a good, inexpensive, padded carrying case for your depth finder/GPS unit?
Drop by any big-box retailer, head for the Baby Care section and pick up a zippered, multi
compartment diaper bag that will accomodate and protect your electronics for usually less than $20.
Whitecap - TX
Battery Tips
A lot of people are misinformed about batteries, like "memory" and length of charge or reserve capacity.  I recommend ALL bass fishermen to read the FAQ here for educated battery purchases.... 
X19 - MI
I do a lot of night fishing and I had trouble seeing from the glare of my dash gauges.
I went to the local auto parts store and replaced all the clear bulbs in the gauges with amber bulbs.  This reduced the glare and now I see fine while running down the lake.  You can even get red or blue bulbs if you prefer.
Johnny Ray - KY
Trailering Tip:
If you are going to be towing your glass boat with a cover for a very long distance, put a strip of clear plastic (Saran Wrap) or any type of cling wrap on the boat anywhere the cover will touch the glass for protection of the gelcoat.
Opti225 - TN
Trailer Plate:  
Mount your license plate to your boat trailer with a stainless steel hinge.  The plate will move instead of bending.  The stainless hinge will not rust and will safely secure your license plate to the trailer.
Strokertom - FL
Lowrance Tip:
To keep your new Lowrance dust cover from blowing off, secure it with two rubber bands around it and the unit.  This will keep it in place while you tow your boat.
Scotch Guard carpet: 
Take wide masking tape and tape off glass, then spray carpet soaking wet, then let air/sun dry.  Will last most of the year with heavy use.  Once carpet loses the effect do it again.
Murrayrat - SC
Trailer Plate:  
Instead of having your trailer's licence plate get bent out of shape from bumping and dragging it, attach it to the trailer with a couple of black cable ties instead of bolts, that way it'll swing and not get crunched.
Bj Binette - ON
Thru Hull Transducer:
 If you are going to mount a thru-hull transducer in your boat, try using Gel-Paste (very viscous gel-coat) instead of "5 minute epoxy".  The gel-paste is very neat to use and bubbles aren't produced near as much as epoxy.  The epoxy can very easily get bubbles in it, even if you are careful and fold it instead of stirring it.
Also, with the gel-paste, you won't need to use plumbers putty or something of the sort to keep it in place as with the epoxy.  The gel-paste can even be spread up the sides of the transducer to give it an even more solid mount (looks neat and smooth also).  It only takes about 10-15 minutes to cure.  The gel-paste is more expensive than 2 tubes of epoxy, but I believe it is well worth it.
You can even get the gel-paste colored or buy pigments to have it match the hull if you like.
My end result was a transducer mount that was basically a part of the hull with great resolution on my graph.  Good luck!
Coastal Champ - FL
Bow Trim Switch Guard:  
For Triton TR21.  Made of brass wire.  Keeps it from being hit by objects (covers, rods, some toes, etc.)  Same can be made for accessory switch also.
Get the ol' iron out and go to work!
Jim Hall - TN        PHOTO
Livewell Liner:
Line the bottom of your livewells with a piece of white plastic or rubber, like a cut up tub mat or something. This way you can easily see the fish in the livewell with the white background.
BjBnet - ON
Squeeky Triton Trailer?  
Buy some Supertech White Grease from Wal-Mart. (Spray can).
When you launch, your boat, spray the hinges on the leaf springs good with this spray grease. 
It will take a few times but it will stop the squeeking.
Ricky T - SC
Saving your Transom:
I have owned 5 different fiberglass boats and have found this problem with almost every one of them.  When the factory puts the top half of your boat together with the bottom half, they usually place a plastic cover strip over the splashwell or transom area.
It is normally held in place with 3 or 4 screws.  You should take this stip off and inspect this area for leaky areas between the top and bottom halves of your boat.  If this area is not sealed well, it lets water directly into the wood or material in your transom, which over time will cause weakness and rotting of your transom.  A little time and silicone well spent.......
Andy - TX
Deck Extension:
I noticed several people looking for deck extensions for their boats.  I needed one for my 201. Any local sheet metal/air conditioning shop can bend aluminum and custom fit.  Then you cover with matching carpet. Mine cost $105. total!
KHbassmaster - AL 
Bullet Rod Holder....
For a really slick idea for a home made rod holder for your Bullet, check out the photos & instructions that Jerry Haynes from KY has come up with.
Transom Saver Tip:
If you have to store your motor in the down position, like in a garage where space is limited, take a second transom saver and measure it with the motor down and cut it down short enough to fit. Trim down the motor just like when trailering and you can store the motor without putting constant pressure on your power trim.  With a 500 pound motor that's a lot of pressure.
Ricky - SC
Trailering Tip:
To ensure that your "S" hooks from your trailer chains or cables don't come off of your hitch,
attach the hooks and then wrap a cable tie around them and snug it tight. This way you can
know that the hooks can't bounce off.  I've found that they hold very well, even to the point of
having to be cut off to get them off the hooks.
Al from Canada                
Seat Step:
On my X56 Xpress everyone uses the bench seat as a step to the rear deck.  Not wanting the seat damaged, I removed it.  I then mounted two swivel bases (just like the ones on the front and rear decks) on the seat base. I then removed the springs from the stock pedestal chairs and put them in the new mounts.  This modification works very well, now I have a step between the seats to access the rear deck.  I also have swivel seating for the driver and passenger.
If mounted correctly they swivel 360* which can be pretty comfortable on those lazy days catfishing trips.  The pedestal chairs now can be utilized in any location and the modification looks good too.  The bench seat can be reinstalled to bring it back to stock with very little effort.
RonX56 - DE
Trailer Tip:
You ever see the fellow that pulled his boat up on his trailer and stepped off the bow to the trailer?  Oh oh, he just waxed it!  In the water with a shin bump, or two even.  Here is a real good fix that I tried and it has held up for 2 years now.  Buy a set of the VentShade rocker panel guards for any vehicle at an automotive supply store.  They have universal mount also. They apply with doublesided tape.  They are just the right width for your trailer frame.
Place them in the location where you normally step out onto the trailer.  They even look like they were supposed to be there.
Bassaholicpa - PA
Trailer Tip:
Be careful with Fulton trailer winches.  While loading at Bob Sandlin, the gear release lever became stuck in the engaged position.  While exerting pressure on the lever to release, two teeth broke off the small cog!  The front of the boat wasn't all the way on the roller either.  Therefore, the best attempt to get the boat forward and tied down with rope was made, and a high level of dissatisfaction with Fulton winch products arose.  One of the teeth was visible in the water on the ramp.  When I examined it, it appeared there were two metals used in the production of the cog.  The outside coating is silver, while the inner metal used bore a strong resemblance to copper!!  When we got home, I went to the BPS catalog and found the same Fulton custom look winch and an Attwood brand winch.  One of the ads boasts of 1/4" steel cogs, or gears, and it wasn't the Fulton!  (Update 5/30....."Fulton came through with a new gear for the broken winch.  The company has world class customer service, and I will take good care of the winch and use it properly.)
Bryan1 - TX
Keeping Mice Out:
Boats or campers put in storage over winter can become victimized by mice looking for cover and nesting material, meaning your upholstery and sometimes even to the point of eating insulation off wires! No one wants nesting mice in a bassboat or camper; it makes a horrible stink and just plain damages goods.  The solution? Spearmint Oil !! Yes, spearmint oil, the kind candy makers use and often sold in pharmacies or by confectioner supply stores.  This is an old farm trick to keep mice out of harvest machinery at the end of the season when it is covered with grain.
Into every compartment, put a couple of drops of spearmint oil on the floor or in an upside down plastic coffee can lid.  This will keep mice away for one storage season and leave your rig smelling pretty good too !
Darryl - IL
Hull Cleaner:
Why spend money on those expensive hull cleaners when you probably have ingredients at home to do a great job.  I use a 1 qt. squirt bottle, add 1/4 cup of vinegar, 2 table spoons Dawn dishwashing detergent, fill with water.  Spray this on your hull and wipe off with a cotton cloth.
Works wonders on grease, grime, water lines or spots and plain ole dirt.  Also an easy short term polish job is done with plain ole PLEDGE furniture wax.  Spray it on, wipe it off.
Makes your boat look brand new!
Pete - CO
Backing a trailer:
Ever see a "man" trying to teach anyone (wife or child) how to back up a bassboat trailer?
Pretty ugly isn't it?  Yes it is, especially when the dolt starts yelling and cursing.  Well don't do that, do this:  Remember, learning the trailer goes opposite to the turning of the steering wheel of the tow vehicle is VERY difficult!!  Always remember that !! It is hard!!  Also, that notion of putting your hand at the bottom, center of the steering wheel and turning the direction you want the trailer to go is just plain confusing.  Here's what I do even though it looks stupid; it works.  With your trainee at the steering wheel, stand behind and to the side of the tow vehicle where the driver can clearly see you.  Now here is where it gets good!  Put your hands in the air and pretend you are holding the steering wheel.  As the trainee rolls the trailer backward at idle with foot on the brake, YOU turn your imaginary wheel in the air so the trainee can copy your movements/motions.!
Go slow, be patient, keep your tongue.  Just ask the driver to copy your motions.  It will pay off.  You might find it best to practice this exercise in a big parking lot to allow room for error.
But, don't be afraid to "coach" this way at the ramp.  ENABLE others; don't disable them with bad teaching and poor temperament.  Pass it on !! 
Darryl - IL
Teaching another how to use trim underway:
Learning how to use engine trim can be a difficult process for someone not knowledgeable or unpracticed.  In teaching my sons, the best way I have found is to teach them the "neutral steering" concept.
This means: after holeshot with the hull flat on the water and speed held constant, trim up bit by bit while "feeling" for torque pressure in the steering wheel by gently rocking it to the left and back to the right in tiny increments.  Trim up until the pressure you feel left and right is the same then STOP!!  Leave it there and run the throttle anyway you want.  This will enable a significant other or child or novice to learn quickly how to enjoy these rockets we call "bassboats." SHARE THE EXPERIENCE!!  Pass it on to others !!
Darryl - IL
Cleaning Tips: 
If you cruise any of the bass boards, you'll see owners asking lots of questions on cleaning scum lines off their hulls, mildew off upholstery and boat covers, and grease/grime/gunk off carpet. Two products that I heartily recommend:
Tri-Sodium Phosphate powder, better known as TSP powder, and Carbosol, a type of dry cleaning solution, both found at the hardware/paint store.
A solution of TSP powder and water melts away scum line and mildew harmlessly; wash and rinse.
Carbosol will remove grease and grime from carpet when applied to a clean cloth and then blotting.  Saturate your cloth but not the carpet, blot and gently rub the affected area.  No rinsing needed as it evaporates quickly like dry cleaning fluid; just don't smoke around it!
This will clean some mighty tough stains off carpet without saturating or soaking or blasting away with a pressure wand at the car wash!!
Darryl - IL
Transmission Cooler: 
If the vehicle you pull your boat with has an automatic and doesn't have a transmission cooler on it, think about putting one on to keep the transmission fluid temps down while towing and extending the overall life of the fluid and transmission.  Prices range from $25. to $50 for a good size one at auto parts stores....not too hard to install, cheap insurance against maybe having transmission problems....
Terry H - TN
Fishing Rod Tip:
To keep my fishin rods from sliding around in the back of my pick-up....take a 2x4 cut to fit in the slots across the back of the bed.  Cut notches in the wood every 6" or so, wide enough to rest the butt ends of your road.  Cut another 2x4 and slide it on top of the bottom one to secure them in place.  Stretch a bungie cord across the front of the bed and slide the rod tips under it. If you have a short bed pick-up it won't hold 7' rods...just cut the grooves on an angle, that will give you the extra inches to accomodate those 7 footers.  Now you can take those turns on two wheels and your rods will stay put..<>rob<>..
Bass-ackwards - FL
Tilt Switch Tip:
For older boats with no tilt switch on motor, tie into closest tilt switch with length of extension cord.  It is usually 12-14 ga. and will do fine.  Get a momentary-on switch (20 amp) from local hardware store, find spot on motor to mount it, drill hole in outer casing to fit.  Run cable to nearest tilt switch.  
Wiring usually consists of up, down & power.  This will correspond with your 3 wires in the extension cord.
It basically puts power from the center pole to one of the other wires for up/down on the DC motor.  It receives a ground via the casing on the tilt motor.
Dyna2 - GA
Tiedown Tip:
Most of us like to trailer our boats with the bow and transom tie-downs tightened firmly.  I know I always do.  However, once you have returned home and parked your rig, you should loosen all of your tie-downs in order to take the stress off of the rings in the boat and the tension off of the straps.  Just think of the pressure on the boat if you leave the straps tightened all the way while your boat is parked for weeks or months at a time.  Just remember to tighten them before you trailer again.
Temperature warning light:
 When you are running fast, you may not be able to hear the temperature buzzer.  I installed an automotive warning light in the dash of my Allison to get my attention.  The light that I bought only requires a 1/2" hole.  The sending wire is already in the engine wiring harness on Mercury motors.  The wire is Tan with a Blue stripe.  You only need to make a Purple jumper wire coming from the temp gauge (or other gauge) 12V power supply.  Connect the Purple wire to one side of the light and the Tan/Blue wire to the other side of the light.  Then should your temp buzzer go off, the light will also come on, possibly getting your attention sooner.
HBR2003 - AL
Don't buy batteries based on brand, get the most reserve capacity you can fit in your boat. I use floor scrubber batteries made by Trojan and never run low....even 5 years later.  Trojan makes a 5SHP w/275 reserve minutes.  Compare to 160-180 reserve like most have.  Even their marine batteries are rated up to 225 reserve min.  That will be a cheap investment considering that is the heart of your boat.  "Ya can't catch em at 70 mph".
MikeX19 - MI    
Storage Tip:
At season's end and rig is being prepared for winter storage, I put a coat of Turtle Wax Extreme on the outboard, trailer and chrome wheels.  I let it dry and let stay until spring. It will not harden due to the Trilicone in the wax. When time comes to remove coating, use an old bath towel to buff.
Bass Hawk - NJ      
I hate those big clips on the end of your battery charger...cut them off and wire a heavy duty male plug to the charger side...on the batteries wire a female plug.  Just plug it to charge...and no more sparks either.
Bass-ackwards - FL
Dock Tip:
When you tie up your boat at the dock, try a bungie.  There is almost always a place to hook it and if it's choppy or a boat goes by, the boat moves instead of jerking tight..it works. Phriedchikn - SC
Trolling motor prop pin:
How many times have you take your prop off and the pin has fallen out? Put a little silicone glue on it to hold it in place; if you ever need to remove it, it will pull right out.....
Terry Hill - TN
Trailer Security:
Take an old or worn out trailer hitch ball and cut off the threaded part.  When you're not hitched to your trailer, lock the ball into the hitch and prevent theft of your rig at home or when you have to leave it in the motel parking lot during "away" tourneys.
Kevin Windham - GA

Mounting Lowrance Temp sensors on a transom:
Todd Morgan should get credit for this one..instead of drilling 2 holes in your transom to mount them, loosen your motor (or jackplate if you have one), just slightly, then put some silicone on the back side and the lip (where the screws go) and slide it between the motor (or jackplate) and the transom then retighten the bolts. I have 2 mounted this way on my boat for over a year with no problems at all, best of all, no extra holes in my transom.........
Terry Hill - TN

Mounting surface temp sensors:
I hate drilling holes in the transom to mount surface temp sensors, so I mount them below the water line on my jackplate.  No holes to seal and it sure won't cause a leak.
Ben H - TN
The first Tip is from Terry Hill of Tennessee who suggested this page. 
In Terry's e-mail to me, he referenced "locking hitch pins", (this relates to my "incident" on Interstate 90 in Penn., back in May when my Triton TR21 came unhitched from my truck).  Seems like someone had removed the safety clip from my drawbar when I had stopped for gas earlier.  I would strongly suggest that everyone buy a locking pin for your hitch, or at the very least, check the pin every time that you stop.    Thanks Terry!