Hey friends! Matt Spencer here - Starcraft Marine's resident boater. If you're a fan of Top Gear then you can consider me like their version of The Stig. Only I'm much more talkative and that fire suit gets pretty hot on a boat so I opt for shorts and a tee shirt. My job for this summer is to get out there and showcase boating in fun and unique ways that should inspire you to do the same! Throughout the summer my plan is to think outside the box and use my knowledge and love of Starcraft Marine's Pontoon Boats to come up with interesting and exciting content for you to enjoy when you're not out doing the same! Aside from this blog, you will also get to see me in video form with our weekly webisodes called #StarcraftSummerFun. Why the hashtag? Well this way you can follow along throughout the summer on our various social media platforms and you can be part of the fun as well by posting your own pictures and videos - I'd love to see them!
So let's get down to business. My boat for this summer is a 2015 Starcraft Marine MX 23 LP that is equipped with the Prestige Package. The "LP" stands for lounger port, meaning there are two captain's chairs on the port side of the boat and in the rear you will find two rear facing loungers - a hit during those sunset cruises. It's 23 feet long with a beam of 8 feet 6 inches. This is a perfect size of boat for the lake I am on, called Lake Simcoe, located in Central Ontario, Canada. Along with the Prestige Package the 23 LP is also equipped with the optional (and amazing) HMX Performance Package. This basically means that instead of two pontoons the boat now has three. And on those pontoons there is what's called "lifting Strakes" that look like fins welded to the pontoon. These create lift and get the boat out of the water more - just like a traditional bow rider boat. What this means is that I can now go faster and farther than ever before in a pontoon. Not only that but you should see how well this boat turns! Well you can by watching this week's Webisode.
Boat a boat is only as good as its motor and since Starcraft Marine has the best pontoon boats I needed the best motor. Powering this boat is a Yamaha F200 HP Outboard Motor which is just 50 hp shy of the boat's legal maximum of 250. That's right! 200 horsepower on a pontoon boat. That is all part of the HMX Performance Package because when you add a third pontoon you increase the bouyancy of the boat allowing you to put more power on it. This now means I can take people tubing, slalom skiing and even maybe barefooting? You will just have to wait and see.
But before we head out on the water and start having fun we want to make sure we are safe and that we have the required safety gear on the boat. Now since I live in Ontario, Canada I went to the Transport Canada Website and found this awesome PDF outlining everything I need. But if you live in the United States, you will want to consult with the US Coast Guard to determine their requirements. But you really should take it one more step and determine what safety gear you need based on the Province or state in which you live. That being said there are a few common things you need such as:
- One Life Jacket for every person on board
- A bailing Can or manual pump
- An anchor or paddle
Once again you're best to double check with where you live to figure out exactly what you need to get started. Usually not a requirement but smart to always do is to insure your boat as well. Some people like to cover their boat under their house insurance but that's not the best option. You want a true Marine Insurance policy that matches your needs from a company that understands boaters.
Finally I think the most important thing you need before you head out is a little sense of adventure. Don't be afraid to try new things, explore new lakes, make new friends and learn new water sports. Boating brings families and friends together (it's why you bought one!) So get out there and enjoy it, but be sure to check back here every week for a new Webisode and Blog giving you some fresh ideas about how you can have some #StarcraftSummerFun of your own. Don't forget to use the hashtag - I'll be looking to see your pictures!
Until then, I will see you out on the water!