DAVID FARBER, store manager of the beloved local emporium Fisheries Supply, chats buzz-worthy new products and prepping your boat for the season ahead.
The arrival of March hopefully means some nicer days are on the horizon, and thus more time spent back out on the water. What are a few of the essential supplies you think boaters should stock up on for spring?
Take this time to check over your boat for any needed spares on the boat like filters, impellers, etc. You don’t want to be kept off the water because of a little part that you don’t have! Also, make sure you check your batteries and bilge pumps after the winter. This is the time of the year that both can take the hardest beating. As a back-up, I think that every boat with an engine should have a jump starter onboard like the ones from Noco.
Spring also seems like a great time to check on safety supplies like on-board fire extinguishers, beacons, and ditch bags. For the latter, what are some of the items that boaters could think to include in the colder spring months?
Think about staying warm. Emergency blankets are important to have in your safety bag. I would also keep spare clothes onboard in case someone ends up being pulled from the water; you want to make sure you can get them in dry clothes as soon as possible. Additionally, as people rely on their phones more and more for safety, make sure you have a drybag for your phone that you can slip it into and still use. I also try to carry a backup battery to recharge devices. Fisheries Supply is carrying Powerbanks from Biolite that can use to recharge your phones several times.
There have been quite a few advancements in alternative power sources in the past couple of years, and as we all know redundancy on board is a good thing. What are a few of your favorite alternative back-up options?
Solar has really taken off for all boats, power and sail. Boaters now want to sit at anchor and not have to listen to the noise of a generator. The key is setting up the system correctly for each boat. It can really vary depending on what mounting options are available on your vessel.
Also, not all panels and charge controllers are made alike. Panel wattages can be deceiving, for example, you may have two 100-watt panels from different manufactures and one maybe less efficient than the other by as much as 10%. Go for a quality brand like Sun Power for maximum bang for your buck. In addition, the charge controller can make a significant difference. Victron makes one of the best MPPT (charge) controllers on the market and you will always get more out of your panels. (MPPT is an acronym for maximum power point tracking.)
What are a few of your current favorite new products in the store? Anything that you feel is especially noteworthy, new, or different?
I think the last two years have been about making your boat your way to escape. People are looking to make their boats as comfortable as possible and are upgrading their systems across the board, especially their electrical systems….2022 is also the year of the connected boat. There are so many ways to view what is going on with your boats systems and ways to integrate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that are now built into devices across the boat. It seems novel at first, but once you start to use the information you can extend your time out on the water and the life of your systems.
ABOUT THE EXPERT: We have a team that is truly interested in boating. A large percentage of our staff are boat owners and several live aboard. I often feel that Fisheries Supply is the center of our boating community and I always love to see when customers are in our store, and they run into someone that they have not seen in years. Founded in 1928, Fisheries has stood the test of time because we are here for that community. We truly want more people out on the water using their boats, and we realize that this encompasses everyone: the boat builders, boat yards, mobile repair specialists, do-it-yourselfers, and the person that just wants to be out on the water.
>> For more information on Fisheries Supply, and to stock up on essentials for spring boating, visit their store in the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle, or go to: fisheriessupply.com