Avalon & Tahoe Avalon Technical information

This manual as well as safety labels which may be posted on your boat use
the following safety alerts to draw your attention to special safety
instructions that should be followed.
DANGER – Immediate hazards which WILL result in severe personal injury or
WARNING – Hazards or unsafe practices which COULD result in severe
personal injury or death.
CAUTION – Hazards or unsafe practices which could result in minor injury or
property damage.
Dear Avalon or Tahoe Owner,
Thank you for choosing to purchase an Avalon or Tahoe
Pontoon Boat!
We are glad that you have become a part of the Avalon & Tahoe
family of boaters. If you are like most boat buyers, you probably
spent a great deal of time researching the market, learning about
different brands and debating different models. That fact that you
purchased an Avalon or Tahoe indicates that you value comfort,
contemporary styling, attention to detail and quality construction.
Proper use and care of your new boat are key factors in the level of
enjoyment you will experience. Please take the time to read and
review the material in this binder. In addition to many tips related
to maintenance and general usage, you will find a great deal of
information related to your safety and the safety of your
Our goal is not only to build the best boats possible, but to build
the safest. We hope that you feel we have achieved that goal once
you have had the chance to use and enjoy your new boat. We take
great pride in producing a product that will likely serve as the
platform for family and friends to gather, spend quality time
together and generate memories that will last a lifetime.
Thanks again for choosing Avalon & Tahoe. See you on the water.
Best Regards,
Jim Wolf
President & CEO
Avalon & Tahoe Mfg., Inc.
Getting Started
Boatman's Checklist
You and Your Boat
Drinking and driving
Required equipment
Additional safety info
Securing items
Mooring covers and trailering
Capacity and Tongue weight
Trailer check sheet
Loading and Capacities
Boarding and Stowage
Passenger Safety at Launch
Inspection and starting
Before starting the engine
Special warnings regarding operation
Waves and Wakes
Falling Overboard
Boarding the rear Ladder
24, 11 #8
17, 23
9, 24
Starting the engine and getting underway
Safety while underway
Navigation in adverse conditions
Fun with water sports
Specific Inboard/Outboard Information
High Performance Pontoons
Trouble Shooting - Operation
Proper Boat Use and Maintenance
Aluminum Hull
Saltwater Use and Preparation
Electrical System
Windshield and Clear Plastics
Hardware and fittings
Fire Protection
Storing your pontoon boat
Mooring cover installation
Technical Information, Suggestions and Warnings
Remote controls
Remote control troubleshooting
Fuel system
Ignition and Electrical system
Engine trim
For maximum enjoyment and safety, check each of these items
BEFORE you start your engine:
 DRAIN PLUG (Securely in place?)
 LIFE-SAVING DEVICES (One for every person on board?)
 STEERING SYSTEM (Working smoothly and properly?)
 FUEL SYSTEM (Adequate fuel? Leaks? Fumes?)
 BATTERY (Fully charged? Cable terminals clean and tight?)
 ENGINE (In neutral?)
 CAPACITY PLATE (Are you overloaded or overpowered?)
 WEATHER CONDITIONS (Safe to go out?)
 ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT (Lights, horn, pump, etc.?)
 EMERGENCY GEAR (Fire extinguisher, bailer, paddle, anchor &
line, signaling device, tool kit, etc.?)
NOTE: While this manual contains a wealth of information on safe and enjoyable
boating, it doesn't provide everything you need to know about it. Read the material
supplied by the manufacturer of your engine, since this manual doesn't supplant or
change applicable engine specifications, installation, operation or maintenance
instructions supplied by the manufacturer of any of your equipment, parts or
accessories. We also recommend reading the boating literature published by your
state boating agency and taking advantage of the free boating education classes
described on the last page of this booklet.
Congratulations on your purchase of a new Avalon or Tahoe pontoon boat!
You have made a considerable investment, and you probably didn't do it
without giving the purchase careful thought. The purpose of this manual is
to urge you to give the same careful thought to the way you operate and
maintain your boat.
Boat ownership carries with it responsibilities - to yourself, to your boating
companions and to the general public. Safe, common sense operation,
careful maintenance, and compliance with the law will not hamper your
boating pleasure. Rather, they will make boating more enjoyable for you
and your fellow waterways users.
This manual, as well as any literature supplied by the manufacturer for your
specific boat and engine, should be read thoroughly and kept handy for
ready reference.
Safety: Drinking & Driving
The most common and flagrant violation of good judgment by mariners
involves the use of alcohol or drugs. Each year about one-half of all boating
accidents involving fatalities result from the misuse of alcohol or drugs.
Regarding drinking and boat operation, the best answer is to abstain or plan
to have someone else (a "designated driver") get you home. Drinking by the
boat operator is dangerous because it impairs judgment, coordination, and
reaction time more severely than on land.
States are toughening their laws and penalties for problem boat owners.
Recent federal law defines boat operator intoxication as having more than
.08 percent blood alcohol concentration or merely "the general appearance
or behavior of intoxication." Never allow an obviously intoxicated person to
take the helm.
Boating is meant to be fun. But operators must have the good sense to
always be mentally alert and physically capable of boating in a safe manner.
The Preliminaries
REGISTRATION: Federal law requires that all motorboats be registered and
that all motor craft not documented by the U.S. Coast Guard display
registration numbers. In nearly all states, this means registration with the
designated state agency. In a few jurisdictions, the Coast Guard retains
registration authority. Your dealer will either supply registration forms or
tell you where they may be obtained. The registration agency will issue you
a certificate which must be carried aboard when the boat is in use.
INSURANCE: The boat owner is legally responsible for damages or injuries
he causes. In most states this is true, even if someone else is operating the
boat at the time of the accident. Common sense dictates that you carry
adequate personal liability and property damage insurance on your boat,
just as you would on an automobile. You should also protect your investment by insuring your boat against physical damage or theft.
EDUCATION: If you have never owned a boat before, an excellent introduction to the arts of boat handling and seamanship can be obtained
through the free courses conducted by volunteer organizations, such as the
U.S. Power Squadrons, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the American Red
Cross. Even if you are a veteran boatman, these courses will help sharpen
your boating skills, bring you up to date on current rules and regulations and
add to your enjoyment of the sport. See last page of this manual for
additional information.
ACCESSORY EQUIPMENT: U.S. Coast Guard regulations require certain
accessory equipment on each boat. This equipment varies according to
length and type of boat and type of propulsion. Other law enforcement
agencies - state, county and municipal - impose similar equipment
requirements on waters that do not fall under Coast Guard jurisdiction.
Some local laws require additional equipment. It is important to obtain
copies of your state and local laws.
For a more detailed description, obtain "Federal Requirements for
Recreational Boats" published by the Coast Guard, generally available at
boating retailers, or contact the Coast Guard directly (see last page of this
1. Personal Flotation Devices
(PFDs): PFDs must be Coast
Guard approved, in good and
serviceable condition, and of
the appropriate size for the
user. Though not required, the
Coast Guard emphasizes that
PFDs should be worn at all
times when the vessel is
underway. Throwable devices
must be immediately available
for use. Boats less than 16 feet
in length (including canoes and
kayaks of any length) must be
equipped with one Type I, II, III or V (see accompanying illustration for
examples of types) PFD for each person on board. Boats 16 feet and longer
must be equipped with one Type I, II, III or V plus one Type IV.
2. Visual Distress Signals: All boats 16 feet and more in length used on
coastal waters, the Great Lakes, territorial seas and those waters connected
to them must be equipped with visual distress signals.
Pyrotechnic signals must be Coast Guard approved, in serviceable condition,
readily accessible and marked with a date showing service life which must
not be expired. Approved pyrotechnic signals include red flares (hand-held
or aerial), orange smoke (hand-held or floating), and launchers for aerial red
meteors or parachute flares. Non-pyrotechnic visual distress signals include
an orange distress flag (for day use only) and an electric distress light (for
night use only).
3. Fire Extinguishers: These are required on boats if any of the following
conditions exist: inboard engines; closed compartments where portable fuel
tanks may be stored; double bottoms not sealed or filled; closed living
spaces; closed stowage compartments; permanently installed fuel tanks.
Approved extinguishers are classified by a letter and number symbol, either
B-1 or B-II (B designation to extinguish flammable liquids such as gasoline,
etc.), and are hand-portable. B-1 types dispense 1.25 gallons of foam, 4
pounds of carbon dioxide, 2 pounds of dry chemical or 2.5 pounds of Halon
extinguishing agents. B-II types dispense 2.5 gallons of foam, 15 pounds of
carbon dioxide, 10 pounds of dry chemical or 10 pounds of Halon
extinguishing agents. Fire extinguishers required: On boats less than 26 feet,
One B-1; on boats 26 feet to less than 40 feet, two B-1 or one B-II; on boats
40 to 65 feet, three B-1 or one B-II and one B-1.
4. Sound Signaling Devices: Regulations do not specifically require vessels
less than 12 meters (39.4 feet) to carry a whistle, horn or bell. However, the
navigation rules require sound signals to be made under certain
circumstances. Meeting, crossing and overtaking situations described in the
"Rules of the Road" section of this manual illustrate when sound signals are
required. Recreational vessels are also required to sound fog signals during
periods of reduced visibility. Vessels 12 meters or more in length are
required to carry a whistle or horn and a bell.
5. Navigation Lights: Recreational vessels are required to display navigation
lights between sunset and sunrise and other periods of reduced visibility
(fog, rain, haze, etc.). Navigation lights are intended to keep other vessels
informed of your presence and course. It is up to you to make sure they are
operational and turned on when required.
Additional Safety Information
Many boats have a factory installed lanyard actuated emergency stop
switch (kill switch). If so equipped, it is highly recommended that it be used
since it can prevent your boat from becoming a runaway. The lanyard
should be of sufficient length to avoid inadvertent activation. Accidental loss
of power can be hazardous particularly when docking or in heavy seas,
strong current or high winds.
The list of required safety equipment is short and covers only the bare
essentials. Additional recommended equipment on the next page will give
you an extra margin of safety and convenience.
Before you leave on a boat trip, advise a responsible person ashore of
where you plan to cruise and when you expect to arrive. Give him an adequate description of your boat. That person will then be able to tell the
authorities where to look and the type of boat to search for in case you fail
to arrive. Keep the person informed of any changes in your Float Plan and
advise him when you arrive to prevent false alarms about your safety.
Anchor and anchor line Spark plug wrench
Screw drivers
Tow line
2 Lightweight fenders
2 Mooring lines
Adjustable wrench
First aid kit
Electrician's tape
Oar or paddle
Lubricating oil
Signal flares
Sunburn lotion
Sea anchor (open waters)
Charts of the area
Parallel rulers
Spare battery
Spare bulbs
Extra drain plug
Shear pin (if applicable)
Spare propeller
Propeller nut and washer
Spark plugs
Flashlight batteries
For many boating enthusiasts, the voyage begins in the driveway, not at the
dock. The boat trailer is an important element of the boating package, and,
like the others, it must be checked and maintained.
The trailer should be a proper "match" for your boat’s weight and hull
design. Too little trailer capacity will be unsafe on the highway and could
cause abnormal tire wear. Too high a capacity trailer sprung for high loads
can damage light, particularly aluminum, boats.
During road transportation you must secure all items that might
dislodge and fly out of your boat. This includes tables, unhinged seat
cushions, tops, sundeck lids and any other item that can be affected
by wind. Stow items under seats or secure with rope. Be careful to
pad areas where rope touches cushions or rails.
Mooring or seat covers are intended to decrease your boat's exposure to
rain, dirt and sun. They are not intended to be a transport cover. Transporting your boat with the mooring or seat covers on will damage the covers!
Failure to follow these instructions could cause damage to your boat or
damage to vehicles behind you.
Use U-Bolt to pull boat onto the trailer.
Top Position Recommendations for All Models
Check the metal or plastic certification label attached by the manufacturer
to the left forward side of your trailer. It may show the maximum load
carrying capacity of the trailer. It is required to show the Gross Vehicle
Weight Rating (GVWR) which is the load-carrying capacity plus the weight of
the trailer itself. Be sure that the total weight or your boat engine, gear and
trailer do not exceed the GVWR.
Too much or too little tongue weight will cause difficult steering and tow
vehicle sway. A rough rule of thumb is 5% to 10% of boat and trailer weight
should be on the trailer tongue.
Improper trailer setup can cause hull damage, and, in some cases, could void
your boat warranty.
Most of the weight of your boat and engine is at the transom (stern)
supports which must be positioned so that the boat's transom rests directly
on them. If the boat overhangs these supports the hull can be deformed and
performance drastically affected.
An aluminum boat should have long, straight longitudinal bunkers or a long
series of closely spaced rollers to spread support to several of the boats
cross ribs. Single rollers between cross ribs must be avoided. Roller heights
must be adjusted so that boat weight is evenly distributed on them. One
roller set higher than the rest can cause a "hook" in the boat bottom.
Side supports should run parallel to the keel and support the aft 1/3 of the
hull, extending beyond the transom. If center supports are used, they
should not exert any great pressure on the hull where flexing may take
place. Side supports need only be tight enough to keep the boat centered.
Make sure that the boat is securely fastened to prevent movement between
boat and trailer. Do not overload your trailer by putting camping gear or other
heavy equipment in the boat.
Before towing your boat, close and secure all hatches, doors, and port
lights; store equipment securely; take down and carefully secure all canvas.
Tops, side curtains, and aft curtains can be damaged while towing in the
raised position. When rounding turns on highways or streets, do not cut
corners. Also, go slow over railroad tracks.
Insuring that your boat is held securely in place on the trailer's hull supports,
especially when underway, is extremely important. If it is not firmly and
properly secured, your boat can be damaged as it bounces against the hull
supports -or it may slide or falloff the trailer while being towed. Depending
upon your boat model, all the necessary tie-downs for holding boats on
trailers may not be provided by the trailer manufacturer. Regardless of your
trailer's make or model, there are two key areas to consider:
1. Bow Tie-Downs: A bow stop to hold the front of your boat in place is
located on the winch stand. It should be positioned so that the winch line
pulls the boat bow forward against the bow stop. A separate tie-down
should then be attached to hold the boat down to the trailer (see
illustration). Besides keeping your boat from sliding off to the rear if the
winch releases, in conjunction with the winch stand it must keep the boat
on the trailer during quick stops or minor collisions. Be certain that the lines
do not pass over any edge that will cause chafing.
2. Rear Tie-Downs: As noted previously, it is very important to be sure that
the transom of your boat is resting fully and securely on the supports
provided at the rear end of the trailer, and that it remains in place when
parked or underway. Special rear tie-downs are available for this purpose.
Check often to be sure the rear tie-downs are securely locked in place and
that they are tight enough to prevent any movement of the boat. Check by
rocking the boat on the trailer. If it does not remain firmly in place on the
supports, tie-downs should be tightened or re-rigged. The strength of rear
tie-downs should at least equal the trailer's empty weight.
PLEASE NOTE: Trailer laws covering such things as brakes, lights, safety
chains, licenses, etc., will vary from state to state. Be sure that your trailer is
in full compliance with your state laws. Your trailer dealer usually can help
you in this regard. If not, contact your nearest state motor vehicle
department office for full information.
Trailering Checklist
Before towing your boat on its trailer check to be sure:
• Coupler, hitch and hitch ball are of the same size.
• Coupler and safety chains are safely secured to hitch.
• Check all fasteners for proper tightness.
• Boat is securely tied down to trailer. (Winch line is not a tie down)
• Wheel lug nuts are properly tightened.
• Wheel bearings are properly adjusted and maintained.
• Load is within maximum load carrying capacity.
• Tires are properly inflated.
• All trailer lighting is working properly.
• Trailer brakes are properly adjusted and working.
• Mooring cover is off.
• Loose items are secured.
Extra Gear - If you are carrying baggage, extra gear or equipment in the
boat, is it secured to prevent movement or loss on the highway?
Engine - Outboard motors should be tied in place so they will not tilt or turn
due to road shock. Do not rely on the boat's steering system for this
purpose. Continuous road shocks may fatigue the boat steering system. Tilt
lower unit up if necessary for road clearance. The use of a motor support
bracket is highly recommended to reduce long term stress on the motor
Every trailer boater develops his own favorite launching technique. Until
you do, here are a few helpful tips:
1. Check the ramp first - Whether you’re launching from an unimproved or
a surfaced ramp, check it out before starting your launching procedure. How
steep is it? Is the surface firm enough to support the weight of trailer rig and
tow vehicle? Is it wide enough? How deep is the water at the end of the
ramp? Some surfaced ramps become very slippery when wet - do you have
wheel chocks to prevent your rig from sliding down the ramp?
2. Back trailer to the ramp - Have someone stand to one side of the ramp to
direct you. Backing up a trailer can be tricky. A good way to simplify the
procedure is to grasp the steering wheel with one hand at its lowest point
(at 6 o'clock). When you want the trailer to go right, move your hand on the
wheel to the right: to make the trailer go left, move your hand to the left.
Stop when the rear of the trailer is a few feet from the water's edge; put
your gear shift in "Park," set the parking brake and place chocks under the
front wheels of the tow vehicle. (Caution: The lower ends of ramps are often
wet and slippery.)
3. Prepare for launching - Attach a bow line to your boat and detach trailer
tie-downs. If your boat is an outboard or stern drive, tilt up the lower unit. If
your trailer has a tilt bed, then release tilting mechanism.
To avoid flooding and swamping your boat, before launching be sure the hull
drain plug is in place and tight.
4. Launching - Remove wheel chocks, release brake and back trailer to the
water. If at all possible, avoid submerging trailer wheels. Reset parking
brake, gear shift and wheel chocks. Unlock winch and push boat slowly but
firmly off the trailer into the water. Be sure you (or your partner) have a
firm hold on the bow line.
5. Final Steps - Detach winch hook and line from the boat, crank it back up
and lock it in place. Using the bow line, walk the boat to the loading site,
away from the ramp. Remove wheel chocks and park your car and trailer
where they will not obstruct access to the ramp.
To load the boat on the trailer, simply reverse the above procedure. Before
loading, clean any dirt or sand off rollers or bunks. Sand on bunks or rollers
can abrade the boat's bottom while trailering.
To avoid injury if the winch line or hook gives way, stand to one side when
winching the boat onto your trailer.
Loading and Capacities
(See checklist on page 1)
Do not exceed these capacity ratings. An overpowered boat can become
unstable, sometimes resulting in a loss of control or capsizing.
POWERING AND LOADING: Boats under 20 feet in length, built since 1972,
are required to have a capacity plate. On outboard boats, the plate must
show maximum recommended horsepower for the outboard motor. If the
available, usable passenger seats are less than the indicated capacity,
reduce your passenger load accordingly.
An overloaded boat can become sluggish and hard to handle. Overloading
can also reduce freeboard and increase the danger of flooding or swamping,
particularly in rough water. In adverse weather reduce the load capacity. A
boat's capacity ratings are based upon normal conditions. In addition,
overloading is illegal under most state laws and could get you a ticket. Some
boat warranties are void if the owner exceeds the recommended capacity
BOARDING: Never jump into a
boat from the dock. And do not
board a boat with your arms
full of gear. Instead, leave the
gear on the edge of the dock,
board the boat as close to the
centerline as possible, and
begin taking the gear aboard
after you yourself are aboard.
STOWAGE: Once you, your
passengers and your gear are
aboard, it's time to stow things
away. Again, use common
sense. The necessary safety
equipment, for example, should be placed where it is readily accessible: The
fire extinguisher mounted on a bracket in the cockpit within easy reach in
case of emergency. The items you don't need immediately should be
stowed where they won't get in the way. Items like distress flares, matches
and perishable foods should be kept in waterproof containers or bags and
kept where they are least likely to get wet. Fishing tackle, water ski equipment, diving gear, etc. should be kept out of the way until needed.
PASSENGER INSTRUCTIONS: You are responsible for the safety of your
passengers, as well as their behavior while aboard.
1. Wearing of PFDs: It is a U.S. Coast Guard regulation that each person on
board has available a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). It is also the
obligation of the boat owner to instruct each passenger on the proper wearing of PFDs. It is strongly advised that all occupants wear these devices.
Small children and non-swimmers should wear PFDs at all times.
2. Proper Seating: The operator of the boat is responsible for the safety of
his passengers as well as his own personal safety. He should insure that he
and his passengers are securely seated in appropriate seating locations
before starting. The operator should not allow sitting on seat backs, gunnels, bows, transoms or on fishing seats above idle speed, or in any location
with feet dangling over the side. In many states incorrect seating is illegal.
Proper seating also correlates to proper weight distribution: have
passengers seated to balance the load.
3. Proper Visibility: The operator of the boat is responsible by law to
“maintain a proper lookout by sight (and hearing).” He must insist that he
has an unobstructed view particularly to the front. No passengers load or
fishing seats should block his view when operating above idle speed.
4. Back-up operator: At least one other person should be instructed in the
operation of the boat in case the operator is suddenly incapacitated.
Before Starting the Engine
1. Follow the checklist on Page 1.
2. Inspect engine area once again, checking for water or fuel leaks, tight
hose connections and engine crankcase oil level (if applicable).
3. If your boat is an inboard/outboard operate bilge blower for at least four
minutes to expel any gasoline vapors. It's also good practice to leave the
blower running when the engine is running.
4. If your boat is an inboard/outboard operate bilge pump (if applicable)
until flow stops.
5. Lower outdrive or outboard motor into down position. Running either
unit in the up position may cause damage.6. Make sure the gearshift control
is in the neutral position.
1. Start engine according to manufacturer's instructions.
2. Allow engine to warm up at idle and check all gauges.
3. Release mooring lines and push boat away from dock as you put engine in
gear. Remember: extra caution and slow speeds lessen your chances of
colliding with seawalls, pilings and other craft.
4. After leaving dock, secure and store any fenders or mooring lines.
5. Weight distribution: Correct weight distribution is a must. If too much
weight is placed forward or shifts, it might affect the safety of the passengers and gear. Keep the boat in proper trim and freeboard.
6. The motor angle adjustment is important. The vertical angle of the lower
unit (long shaft) in relationship to the transom must be adjusted properly to
obtain best performance from the motor and boat. The correct angle can
only be determined by observing how the boat operates at full throttle. The
angle adjustment should be made when trim and load distribution changes.
Moving the lower unit out away from the transom will force the stern of the
boat down and bow up. At full throttle the front bottom of the nose cone
should raise and cut through the water.
7. Meeting Head-On: Keep to right.
8. Approaching Waves and Wakes: When approaching a wave or wake in
excess of 2', slow down and turn your boat to a 45° angle to the wave or
wake. Failure to do so may result in water crossing the deck and damaging
the walls. See warning on page 24.
9. Docking Safely: It is important that the helmsman understand the operating characteristics of a pontoon boat, especially if accustomed to handling conventional power boats. Because of this characteristic, when
propulsion is stopped, the momentum carries the boat farther than in the
case of conventional craft. The operator should, therefore, take this into
account when approaching a dock or other mooring point. After docking, to
assist in tying down the pontoon boat, convenient mooring eyes are
provided at both ends of the pontoon.
Suggestions for your Safety
When your boat is in motion, all passengers should be within the enclosed
area of the deck, and the gates should be securely latched. Never permit
passengers to ride on the forward open deck area while cruising. This open
area of the deck should only be occupied when the boat is stopped or at
anchor, as for swimming, diving, fishing, or at dock. Sitting on the aft sun
deck when boat is in motion is an extremely dangerous practice and should
not be permitted.
SPECIAL NOTE ON ALL FISHING MODELS - The low bow railings and opening
do not provide adequate protection. All persons should stay in the area of
the boat enclosed by high railing when underway. By sitting in this area
when boat is in motion correct weight distribution is maintained. It is also
unsafe to sit in the fishing chairs while the boat is in motion. Disregard of
this warning may result in personal injury.
entry gate or ladder while the motor is running. Always turn your engine off
anytime there is a person swimming near the boat. The engine must be off
before anyone exits or enters the rear entry gate. Persons entering or
exiting the boat via the rear entry gate should never step on the motor pod.
Never operate your boat while anyone is standing on the rear entry
platform outside the gate. Failure to pay attention to these warnings can
result in bodily injury or death.
BEFORE FUELING: Do not smoke; extinguish open flames; do not use
electrical switches; stop all engines, motors, fans and other devices likely to
cause sparks; put out lights and stove flames, close all doors, hatches,
windows and other compartments; have all passengers go ashore; avoid
fueling at night, except under well lighted conditions.
DURING FUELING: Keep nozzle of fuel hose or can in contact with fuel
opening to guard against possible static spark. To avoid fuel back splash,
start filling SLOWLY so that the air in the tank has time to escape through
the vents. After a short moment filling speed can be safely increased. Do
not fill to capacity; allow room for expansion. Portable fuel tanks should be
removed from boat and filled on the dock; outboard motor fuel should be
mixed with oil according to engine manufacturer's instructions; the portable
fuel tank cap and vent should be tightly closed when tank is full; after tank is
full and returned to the proper position in the boat, the tank vent should
only be opened when fuel line is connected to the outboard motor. Wipe
any spilled fuel from portable tank before bringing aboard. NOTE: Vapor
from spilled fuel is heavier than air and will flow to the lowest part of the
boat. Ventilate before starting engine.
AFTER FUELING: Close fill opening; wipe up any spilled fuel; open all ports,
windows, doors and hatches; operate bilge blower at least four minutes,
make sure there is no odor of gas in the fuel or engine compartment (use
your nose).
If you can still smell fumes continue operating the blower. Check gas fill,
hoses, bilge and lower engine compartment for leaks or gas accumulation if
odors persist. Do not start engine until source of fumes is found and
corrected. After starting engine and before lighting any galley fire or stove
flame check for fumes again. NOTE: Know your boat's fuel capacity and
cruising radius; on extended cruises, check with local sources about the
availability of fuel along your route; carry additional fuel only in approved
containers and stow securely.
Leaking fuel is a fire and explosion hazard. Inspect system regularly. Examine fuel
system for leaks or corrosion at least annually.
Rules of the Road
The nautical Rules of the Road dictate who has the right-of-way in crowded
anchorages and when boats meet in open water.
1. Sailboats have right-of-way over powerboats in nearly all cases. Stay clear
of these craft and do not create a wake which may cause them trouble.
2. In narrow channels, powerboats fewer than 65 feet in length cannot hamper the operation of large vessels which cannot navigate outside the channel. In general, keep your distance from all commercial vessels and other
large craft; you can maneuver more easily than they can.
3. In overtaking situations, the boat being passed has right-of-way, and the
passing boat is required to stay clear.
4. Meeting head-on -keep to right.
5. Crossing: Boat on the right has right-of-way. Slow down and permit it to
Channel Buoy Guide (Federal)
For the most current information, request the U.S. Coast Guard U.S. Aids to Navigation; write to
Commandant (G-NSR-1/14), U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, D.C. 20593; or call the Coast Guard's Boating
Safety Hotline toll-free at 800-368-5647.
WHISTLE SIGNALS - The diagrams below describe the whistle signals and
actions to be taken by recreational vessels in a crossing, meeting and
overtaking situation. These are basic examples.
NAVIGATION AIDS - Navigation aids are the signposts of the waterways.
Shown below are the usual buoys and markers you will encounter. Make
sure you are familiar with these and any other specialized markers used in
your area.
WEATHER - Boating for
pleasure can become a chore
when the weather turns bad.
The best advice for boatmen
in bad weather is Stay Home!
Check the weather forecast
on your local radio station
information is also provided
in most areas by the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration at 162 MHz
(FM). It is also a good idea to
bring a portable radio along
with you to check the
Storm signal flags are being
phased out by some Coast
Guard stations, yacht clubs
and launching facilities. But
when in use, they indicate
high wind and possibly
hazardous wave conditions.
Adverse Conditions
IN A STORM: If you are forced to operate your boat under stormy conditions, a few common sense precautions should be followed:
1. Wear PFD's.
2. Secure any loose gear.
3. Reduce speed
4. Seat your crew where they can help and where their weight will best keep
the boat stable. In small boats it is advisable for passengers to keep their
weight as low in the boat as possible.
5. Head for the harbor or place of refuge you can reach most easily. If this
requires running into wind and waves, cross wave tops at an angle and slow
down to avoid taking waves over the bow. If wind and waves are coming
from astern adjust power to prevent the boat from plowing into the wave
ahead and to keep the waves behind from breaking over the stern.
6. If you lose power and must ride out the storm, tilt the outboard or stern
drive up to reduce drag and rig a sea anchor off the bow to keep the boat
headed into the waves. Sea anchors are commercially available and recommended especially in open water. A bucket, or even a plastic ice chest,
can serve as an emergency sea anchor.
7. Avoid boating if electrical storms are predicted.
IN FOG (or mist, snowstorm or heavy rain): Again, it is best to avoid
operating in such weather, especially if your boat is not equipped with radar
or other electronic navigational aids. A compass and chart will give you an
idea of the direction you’re heading, but provide no information on your
boat's speed or distance from shore.
If you are in fog, you are required, while under way, to emit a 5-second blast
from your horn or whistle once a minute. You must also listen for the fog
signals from other vessels and from navigation aids.
In situations like these, all hands must act as lookouts to prevent collisions.
Again, keep your speed low.
IN COLD WEATHER: Cold weather is often accompanied by cold water and
high winds, and all of them can be unpleasant. Avoid bulky clothing, which
may inhibit your movement; instead, wear several layers of lighter clothing
and include a vest-type PFD among the layers for good insulation and
protection against falls overboard. Avoid operating in cold weather unless
your boat has a cabin, storm canvas or similar protection against the wind
and icy spray.
The wind and spray could cause frostbite or hypothermia (extreme loss of
body temperature). Freezing spray can also cause problems with your boat jammed control cables, frozen windshield wipers, etc.
Falls overboard are doubly dangerous in cold water. PFD's should be worn at all
times, and anyone who falls overboard should be retrieved as fast as possible to
prevent hypothermia.
IN SHALLOW WATER: Operating in water too shallow for your boat presents
a number of hazards, chiefly to the propulsion system and hull. "Shallow
water" here means water generally too shallow for the boat, but also can
apply to deep water which contains stump fields, sand bars or other
unmarked underwater obstructions. Striking any of these at high speed
could, of course, cause serious injuries to you or your passengers.
Outboards are built to kick upward in these situations which could cause an
engine over-speed problem if the ignition is not shut off quickly. If you strike
anything, at any speed, you run the risk of rupturing the hull, damaging the
propeller, propeller shaft, struts or rudder. Even if you do not strike the
bottom or an obstruction, you run the risk of clogging your engine's cooling
water intakes with sand, aquatic weeds or debris. If you are unfamiliar with
the water, obtain a chart or ask local boatmen about depth conditions. Go
slowly, and keep a bow lookout when operating in shoal waters.
AT NIGHT: Nighttime operation is not necessarily hazardous, but it does
present you with a number of problems: Vision is restricted and could be
completely obscured in bad weather or fog; floating debris and fixed obstructions or even large waves can be hard to spot; your night vision can be
ruined by sudden exposure to a bright light. If you operate at night,
1. Your navigation lights must be working to warn other boats of your
presence and course. Observe the meeting and passing rules. If the bow
light of another boat shows red, you must yield; if the bow light shows
green only, you have right-of-way, but use common sense and keep clear.
Slow down even if you have the right-of-way.
2. Onshore lights can be helpful, but not always. Glare can destroy night
vision, and these lights can sometimes make lighted and reflective navigational lights and the lights of other boats difficult to pick out.
3. High speed operation must be avoided at night. The consequences of any
collision are more severe at high speed.
4. Keep a sharp lookout. Have a crew member assist you in watching for
other boats, possible hazards and navigation features.
5. Protect your night vision. Avoid staring at bright lights ashore and on your
WATER SKIING: You are responsible for the safety -and conduct -of a water
skier, just as you are for passengers in your boat. Find out the skier's level of
experience before you start, and avoid any maneuvers which may cause
problems for the skier. Likewise, instruct the skier to avoid dangerous antics
while being towed. Skiers should wear a ski vest, or a vest type PFD,
preferably in a bright color. Do not ski in congested areas where there is a
danger of a downed skier being run down by another boat. Avoid skiing
near swimming areas, piers and underwater hazards.
It takes three people to water ski -the boat operator, the skier and a
backward-facing observer. The observer is required by law in most states
and is the safest means of protecting both the boat and skier. The
observer's job is to relay all signals from the skier (see figure below) to the
operator and to inform the operator immediately if the skier falls.
When engaging in water skiing or similar activities the boat operator should
always keep a fallen or down skier on the operator's side of the boat while
returning to attend to the skier. The operator should never back up to the
skier or anyone in the water.
The engine must be turned off when anyone is in the water near the stern (near
the propeller), including when passengers are boarding from or de-boarding into
the water. Shifting to neutral is not sufficient.
A boat operator should never drive his boat directly behind a water skier. At
25 miles per hour the boat will overtake a fallen skier who was 200 feet in
front in 5 seconds.
Courtesy and consideration for others is essential in water skiing. When
skiing make sure your wake is not causing problems for fishermen and other
CTS/HPP MODELS: Your boat is designed to give you quick acceleration with
a minimum of time spent in the bow-up transitional planeing off condition.
Planeing your boat is most easily accomplished by trimming the engine fully
"under" or "in." Moderate to maximum throttle may be required depending
on the engine height and propeller. However, once on plane the engine
should be trimmed out a little to avoid a bow down condition called
"plowing." Plowing can cause "bow steering" or "over-steering" and
inefficiently consumes horsepower. In this condition, if attempting to turn
or encountering a diagonal moderate wake, a more abrupt turn than
intended may result.
Avoid possible serious injury or death. Adjust engine to an intermediate trim
position as soon as boat is on plane to avoid possible ejection due to boat spinout. Do not attempt to turn boat when engine is trimmed extremely under or in.
Safe Operating Speed
The maneuvering speed of your boat is the maximum speed at which you
can make sudden turns without risking loss of control. This speed obviously
varies depending on wind and waves. Some boats display a warning advising
that maneuverability above a given speed is limited. This posted speed is
based on standardized industry tests on calm water. There are minimum
safe speeds for certain conditions as well, such as to maintain headway in a
crosswind or to keep the bow up so waves don't break over it. A little
prudent experimentation noting the safe speeds under various conditions
will serve you well in the future. When encountering rough water or any
adverse condition, adjust your speed to the safe speed you have
predetermined. Beware of swimmers, divers, submerged obstacles and
other boats while operating your boat. Always obey the boating laws of a
given area.
Avoid prolonged high-speed operation in rough or choppy water. It's like driving a
speeding car over rough, rocky roads - uncomfortable and eventually damaging to the
vehicle. The intense pounding and vibration could cause loosening or breakage of
components and can even result in stress and major damage to the hull itself.
FISHING: Hot fishing, such as a spawning run, always creates excitement
and usually attracts swarms of fishermen. Enjoy it, but don't get carried
away. Remember, you're a boat skipper first and a fisherman second, when
it comes to responsibilities.
When fishing boats are clustered and the fish are hitting, you may find it
difficult to follow the Rules of the Road strictly, especially since operating at
a slow trolling speed slows the boat's response to the helm. Common sense
in these situations is essential; do not try to assert your right-of-way, just
make sure you keep clear. Courtesy is also important to prevent tangled or
cut lines. Remember that a fishing line could become wrapped around your
propeller shaft and damage the engine. Have a sufficient crew aboard to
insure that the helm will always be manned. Never leave the helm
unattended when the boat is in use. Stow any fishing gear you are not using
to prevent breakage or tripping. Never anchor in a channel or tie up to a
navigation aid. Both are illegal.
SWIMMING AND DIVING: Before going over the side for swimming or scuba
diving, make sure the boat is securely anchored to prevent its being carried
away by wind or current. Turn the engine off and, if children are remaining
aboard, remove the ignition key. In fact, it is wise to keep a responsible
person aboard.
Navigation Rules require vessels restricted in ability to maneuver to display
appropriate day shapes (warnings). To meet this requirement, recreational
vessels engaged in diving activities may exhibit a rigid replica of the
international code flag "A" (blue and white) not less than one meter in
height. This requirement does not affect the use of the red and white diver's
flag which may be required by state or local law to mark the diver's location
under water.
To avoid injury from the sharp propeller, the lower unit of the outboard or stern
drive should not be used as a boarding aid. The engine must be turned off when
anyone is in the water near the stern (near the propeller) including when
passengers are boarding from or de-boarding into the water.
Make sure everyone understands proper re-boarding procedures. Rig a
ladder or other means of climbing onboard unaided. The boarding ladder
should be placed as far from the outboard motor or stern drive lower unit as
practicable to avoid foot injuries in case you slip.
Never dive from the roof of your boat. Impact with objects underwater can
cause injury or death.
The weight of your anchor and diameter of anchor line should be governed
by the size and weight of your boat. Get advice from your dealer or
knowledgeable boat owners.
Anchoring and anchoring tips:
1. Keep anchor and line secured to deck mount or below deck to prevent
damage from sudden shifting.
2. Before using, make sure the anchor line is secured to the boat -to a bow
eye, cleat or Samson post forward, never to a light fixture, rail or railing
3. When dropping anchor, make sure your feet do not become entangled in
the line.
4. Make sure the anchor is holding. If you think it's plowing or dragging
across the bottom, take a sighting on several landmarks to make sure before
you start all over.
5. Release the anchor by driving the boat slowly to the point where the
anchor line becomes vertical. It should release once you pass that point.
6. Two or more anchors should be used if you're anchoring overnight or for
extended periods of time. Select a spot that is protected from the weather.
Make sure there is sufficient room for your boat to swing in a full circle to
prevent damage in case of wind shift.
7. Make sure you have enough anchor line for the water you're in. The line
should be 7 times as long as the water is deep under normal conditions, and
10 times the water depth in a storm.
If you keep your boat docked for extended periods of time, make sure
bumpers or fenders are properly placed to prevent damage to the hull. Allowance should be made for waves and tide fluctuations. A cockpit cover
will protect the interior of your boat from rain and dust.
With a smaller boat, the easiest way to get away from the dock is to push
off with your hands or a short pole. Otherwise, operate your boat at slow
speeds and proceed with caution. The engine operates from the stern. By
turning the steering wheel right, the stern will move to the left. Turn the
wheel left, the stern will swing right. To the inexperienced driver, this will be
a surprising, new experience. If you want to back up your boat, turn the
wheel right and the stern will swing right.
Once away from the dock, practice docking procedures to gain experience
and confidence. Procedures are listed below:
1. Practice docking in open water using an imaginary dock.
2. Practice stopping. There are three steps listed below to help you:
a. Reduce boat speed while approaching the dock.
b. Shift boat into neutral. At this point the boat should almost be
c. Shift boat into reverse. This will stop the boat.
3. In close quarters or congested areas, all maneuvering should be at slow
speeds. Proceed with caution.
If you're returning the
boat to its trailer, it's a good idea to hose down the hull and lower unit with
fresh water after use to keep them free of dirt and grime. This is especially
important after use in salt water.
If you keep the boat at a dock, make sure you have placed the fenders
properly to avoid hull damage. Allow slack in mooring lines for wave and
tide fluctuations. A cockpit cover will help keep the boat clean and dry.
Most distress calls aren't true emergencies. In most cases, the boat is
disabled for one reason or another, but there is no immediate danger of
death or serious injury and the situation is more of an inconvenience than a
true emergency. Nevertheless, emergencies can occur, and you should
know how to cope with them whether they occur aboard your boat or
someone else's.
If you observe another boat in distress, assume it is a true emergency,
proceed to the scene and render assistance. Note: Federal Law requires
boat operators involved in accidents to offer aid to others in the accident
and in emergencies. This law's "Good Samaritan II clause also absolves you
from civil liability in the event that your assistance causes injury or property
ACCIDENT REPORTS: Boat operators are required by law to file a Boating
Accident Report with their state boating law enforcement agency when
their boat is involved in certain boating accidents. A boating accident must
be reported if (1) there is loss of life or probable loss of life or (2) there is
personal injury requiring medical treatment beyond first aid or (3) there is
damage to boats or other property where the damage value exceeds
$500.00 or (4) there is complete loss of the boat. Seek further assistance
from local law enforcement personnel.
MAN OVERBOARD: Follow these procedures if someone in your boat falls
1. Turn the steering wheel to move the propeller away from the person (see
"Docking" section).
2. Circle around quickly, approaching into the wind and waves. Turn off the
engine when the person is alongside, and throw him a cushion ring buoy
with a line attached or extend a paddle or boat hook within his reach. Don't
hit him with the ring buoy.
3. Assist the person back aboard.
4. Do not dive over the side after an unconscious person or non-swimmer
unless you are trained in lifesaving techniques. A panicky victim can drown
his Would-be rescuer. If the victim has sunk out of sight, probe gently
beneath the surface with a paddle or boat hook. Do not risk restarting the
engine until you have drifted clear of the victim's suspected location.
FIRE AND EXPLOSION: Most boat fires involve flammable liquids, such as
gasoline. Use your Coast Guard approved dry chemical or carbon dioxide
type extinguisher. Read the directions for use on the extinguisher and
memorize them, so you'll be prepared to use it quickly if the need arises.
The biggest decision involved in a boat fire is deciding whether to abandon
ship or stay aboard and attempt to extinguish it. It's an easy decision if all
that's involved is a galley stove, a trash container, smoldering upholstery or
an electrical fire. If, however, the fire involves the fuel system, the danger of
explosion is increased. If it is necessary to abandon ship, make sure all
passengers wear a PFD (if there's time) or take it with them before going
over the side.
A gasoline vapor explosion may, or may not, be followed immediately by
fire; but the danger is there. If you do abandon ship, keep well clear of the
burning boat and advise all others to do the same: burning fuel can spread
out over the surface of the water nearby.
CAPSIZING: If your boat capsizes, even if it floats in an upside-down position, stay with it. You and your passengers may be able to right the boat. If
the boat is level but inverted, attach lines to one gunwale, pass them over
the keel and use them to pull the boat over from the other side. If this
doesn't work, hold onto whatever you can. The boat hull is much easier for
rescuers to spot than a human head sticking out of the water. Do not attempt to swim ashore; it may be further than it looks.
SWAMPING OR FLOODING: A swamped or flooded boat could become
unstable and capsize. If the flooding is caused by a hole in the hull, attempt
to plug the hold with anything handy -rags, clothing, canvas, etc. Bailing,
with buckets or any available containers is important. If the flooding is
caused by wave action through the outboard motor well, attempt to turn
the boat into the waves; also shift weight forward.
A pontoon can take water over the bow if improperly loaded, weight is not
distributed evenly, it is driven into a large wave at high speed, or if decelerated
abruptly. Also see page 11 #8.
COLLISIONS: If you are involved in a collision with another boat, or with any
fixed object (pier, sandbar, reef, bridge, etc.) your first job is to check for
injuries and render first aid, if necessary. Before proceeding, check out your
boat thoroughly: Inspect below decks for leakage and attempt to plug any
holes you find; check steering cables for possible jamming, raise outboard
motor or stern drive unit and inspect for possible propeller or lower unit
damage. After proceeding carefully to port, have the boat removed from
the water, so that you can make a thorough inspection for damage.
TOWING AND BEING TOWED: If wind and waves are high, it may not be
easy to extend the tow line from one boat to another without risking a collision. In these cases, use a light throwing line with some sort of weight on
one end and with the heavier towing line secured to it. Another idea is to
use a fishing rod: Attach a heavy sinker to the end of the line; wrap the
sinker in cloth to prevent damage; cast the sinker over the other boat and
reel in until the occupants of the other boat get hold of the sinker; cut the
fishing line off at the reel and splice the towing line to it; instruct the
occupants of the other boat to haul the towing line aboard.
DISTRESS SIGNALS – DAYTIME: Simultaneously raising and lowering arms
(least visible); fluorescent orange panel or flag; orange smoke flare; mirror,
preferably signaling type; dye markers, SOS on horn, whistle or bell.
AT NIGHT: Flares (common railroad type is least effective, parachute flares
fired from a gun are most effective); rockets; emergency strobe light; flashlight or lantern.
*Conserve your distress signals. Do not use them until you sight another boat or hear and see
ANYTIME: If your boat is equipped with a marine radio, use proper "Mayday" calling procedure on channel 16. If you have a CB radio, ask anyone
who answers to notify the Coast Guard or other rescue service.
FIRST AID: You should be familiar with elementary first aid to deal with
problems that may occur while you are far from help. Fish hook accidents
and minor cuts and abrasions are the most common on board a boat, but
you should learn the proper procedures and be ready to deal with the truly
serious problems that could arise: Drowning (mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation); bleeding (pressure and elevation techniques); hypothermia
(techniques for warming the victim); and burns (treatment depends on
REMEMBER: There's a way of handling nearly every emergency -if you don't
panic in those first crucial seconds. If you've learned your boating lessons
and safety procedures well, you'll have the confidence and the ability to
cope with an emergency, should one arise.
Exhaust and Cooling
Check the engine compartment of a stern drive powered boat periodically
for exhaust fumes, which could mean you have an exhaust leak. Check
manifolds, hoses and connections, too.
Accumulation of water in the bilges could be caused by a break in the
cooling system, leakage around flanges in through-hull fittings, or -on stern
drives -from leakage caused by a damaged exhaust bellows or rubber boot.
If your boat is an inboard/outboard operate bilge blower for at least four
minutes to expel any gasoline vapors. It's also good practice to leave the blower
running when the engine is running.
During off-season lay-up, the cooling system should be drained accordingly
to manufacturer instructions, to avoid engine damage from freezing
If your boat performance isn't what you're expecting, try this troubleshooting guide. NOTE: These are the most common problem areas affecting
1. Improper outboard motor tilt angle or transom height.
2. Incorrect propeller selection.
3. Improper load distribution.
4. Marine growth on hull or lower unit.
1. Incorrect propel l er s el ecti on
2. Loa d too fa r forwa rd
Poor s peed- l i ght l oa d
3. Engi ne ma l functi on
4. Motor tri m too fa r i n
5. Ma ri ne growth on hul l or l ower uni t
1. Under powered
2. Engi ne ma l functi on
Poor s peed- hea vy l oa d
3. Incorrect propel l er s el ecti on
4. Motor tri m too fa r out
5. Ma ri ne growth on hul l or l ower uni t
1. Motor tri m too fa r out
2. Incorrect propel l er s el ecti on
Sl ow to pl a ne- hea vy l oa d
3. Too much l oa d i n s tern
4. Ma ri ne growth on hul l or l ower uni t
1. Ma ri ne growth on hul l or l ower uni t
Speed l os s
2. Weeds on propel l er
3. Da ma ged propel l er
1. Too much l oa d i n s tern
Ha rd ri de i n rough wa ter
2. Motor tri m too fa r out
3. Poor s peed ma na gement
1. Loa d too fa r forwa rd
Runs wet through wa ter
2. Motor tri m too fa r i n
3. Overl oa ded
1. Loa d not evenl y di s tri buted l oa ded
Li s ts on s tra i ght When hea vi l y l oa ded
2. Motor tri m too fa r i n
1. Loos e s teeri ng l i ghtl y l oa ded
Li s ts or rol l s on s tra i ght when l i ghtl y l oa ded 2. Motor tri m too fa r i n
3. Loa d too fa r forwa rd
Nos e hea vy-ca tches on wa ves a nd i n turns
1. Motor tri m too fa r i n a nd i n turns
2. Loa d too fa r forwa rd
1. Motor tri m too fa r out
Porpoi s es on s tra i ght run.
2. Too much l oa d i n s tern
1. Overl oa ded, i mproper wei ght di s tri buti on
2. Loa d too fa r forwa rd
Ba nks too much i n turns
3. Motor tri m too fa r i n
4. Overpowered
1. Incorrect propel l er s el ecti on
2. Motor too hi gh on tra ns om
3. Motor tri m too fa r out
Exces s i ve Ca vi ta ti on
4. Overpowered
5. Loa d too fa r forwa rd
6. Weeds on propel l er
Properly used and maintained, your boat will give you years of service and
keep boating the way it was meant to be - fun. By keeping the boat and its
components "Ship Shape," you'll be doing more than protecting your
investment and impressing your neighbors, you'll also be insuring solid
performance on the water.
The first step in insuring proper performance is keeping the boat clean,
particularly below the water line, where a buildup of scum, algae or other
marine growth can rob you of hull performance and boost fuel costs. If you
remove the boat from the water each time you use it, hose down the
bottom and sides with fresh water to minimize any build-up. For more
extensive cleaning, the procedures for fiberglass and aluminum boats differ
somewhat. Follow the appropriate directions in this section.
Aluminum Hulls
CLEANING: Natural aluminum portions of most aluminum boats are treated
with a clear protective coating to reduce natural oxidation. An occasional
rinse with clear water or mild detergent will keep these portions of the boat
clean. On painted aluminum surfaces, use only clear water until the paint is
properly cured (several weeks after painting). After curing, use water and
mild detergent for cleaning and protect the surface with a liquid cleaner or
wax. Do not use harsh chemical cleaners or abrasives.
Remove stains or light corrosion with a fine rubbing compound, buffing or
the use of many types of metal polishes. Removal of algae, scum or other
marine growth will be easier if you get at it before it has a chance to dry out.
In the case of fiberglass hulls, antifouling bottom paint is recommended in
areas where marine growth is a problem.
PAINTING: When repainting an aluminum boat, exercise caution in preparing the surface and follow the paint manufacturer's instructions
carefully. Paints containing copper should not be used on aluminum boats.
REPAIRS: Minor dents can be knocked out with a rubber mallet or automotive body tools. Punctures, skin fractures, loose rivets and bent or broken
reinforcing members should be repaired by your dealer or someone with
the proper experience and equipment.
CORROSION: Modern aluminum boat building techniques minimize corrosion problems. But galvanic corrosion or electrolysis can still occur when
two dissimilar metals, such as brass and aluminum, are in contact, or electrically connected and wetted by a common electrolyte, like contaminated
water. This can force an electrical current to flow and cause one of the
metals to be attacked or corroded. In general, the more salty the water, the
more rapid the attack. To minimize the corrosion problem, use a good quality caulking compound when mounting non-aluminum fixtures and
hardware to aluminum. An aluminum boat should never be used as the
ground wire for electrical circuiting. Electrical equipment should be
completely insulated from the aluminum boat to eliminate electrolytic
Salt Water Use
Your Pontoon can be used in saltwater with the following preparation and
1. If you plan to use your boat in saltwater you must have all portions of the
boat that will be submerged painted with an approved aluminum antifouling paint. This service is provided by your dealer or by someone recommended by your dealer. There is an extra charge for this service.
2. In some cases you may need to have zinc anodes added to your boat to
prevent electrolysis. Electrolysis is a deterioration of the metal caused by
stray electrical current interacting with the saltwater. Ask your dealer
whether he recommends zinc anodes. There is an extra charge for this
3. If you trailer your boat on a trailer that carries the boat on bunks
ANTIFOULING PAINT on the bottom of the pontoons must be applied to be
sure that the pontoons have a barrier between them and the bunks. The
application of anti-fouling paint is a service provided by your dealer or by
someone recommended by your dealer. There is an extra charge for this
1. After each use the entire boat must be washed down with freshwater to
remove salt deposits. Allow the boat to dry before covering it with the
mooring or seat covers.
2. Cover your boat WHEN DRY with seat covers or a mooring cover to keep
salt and dirt off of your boat. Since most salt water areas are very humid
and hot it is imperative that the boat be dry before it is covered. If you cover
it wet you WILL see mildew develop.
3. If you Trailer you MUST flush the saltwater from in between the bunks
and the pontoons. This does not prevent corrosion if no antifouling paint is
4. A yearly inspection for corrosion or deterioration of the electrical
connections is recommended. Avalon & Tahoe does NOT warrant saltwater
Some dealers add additional saltwater resistant materials to our boats to
make them even better suited for saltwater use. These specially equipped
models may have a sticker called "Saltwater Series." However this does
not make them saltwater proof nor keep salt water from affecting them to
some degree. Even these models must have all of the above described
preparation and maintenance to minimize the effects of salt water.
Electrical System
Your boat's electrical system is a 12-volt, direct current type, quite similar to
that in an automobile. On a new boat, the system is wired to handle the
factory installed electrical equipment, and critical circuits are protected by a
fuse system. Each fuse has a maximum amperage rating for a full accessory
load, including factory equipment -DO NOT EXCEED THIS RATING. Always
carry spare fuses of the proper rating.
If you or your dealer is installing additional electrical equipment, such as
bilge pump, depth sounder, marine radio, radio direction finder, etc., it may
be necessary to wire a separate fused circuit directly to the battery.
An error in rewiring or circuiting could cause fire and damage to the
alternator, regulator or other expensive components. Installation of
additional instruments or electrical service repairs should be done by your
dealer or some other qualified service representative.
STEREO SWITCH: If your boat is equipped with the music on/off dash switch
you must turn the switch marked with the music icon to the ON position in
order for your stereo to operate. Turn the music switch to the OFF position
when you are through using your boat. Some stereo models have active
components that may drain the battery even if the switch on the stereo is
off. Please refer to your stereo owner's manual for information on full
stereo operation.
Your boat's seats and other upholstery should be kept as clean as the
exterior finish. To prevent replacing your upholstery, we recommend the
following: Regular washing with mild detergent and warm water or vinyl
cleaners is sufficient to keep the cushion and vinyl coverings in good
condition. Keep the cushion from becoming soaked and dry thoroughly
after washing to prevent mildew accumulations when the boat is covered.
Prop up the cushions in the boat when it is covered to take advantage of air
circulation. Spray with a mildew repellent. While your vinyl is made to
withstand the elements, it is important to care for it by keeping it clean at
all times. Many substances may stain your vinyl if left untouched over a
period of time. Remember to remove any contaminant and clean vinyl
immediately. Our vinyl is made to withstand the effects of sun, heat, acid
rain and soiling, under normal conditions. Please consult the following
cleaning recommendations before cleaning your upholstery: Certain
household cleaners, powdered abrasives, steel wool, and industrial cleaners
can cause damage and discoloration. These are not recommended for use.
Dry cleaning fluids and lacquer solvents should not be used as they will
remove the printed pattern and gloss. Waxes are not recommended
because many contain dyes and solvents that can permanently damage the
protective coating. In some instances, consumers have reported the
appearance of a pink stain on vinyl that is resistant to various cleaning
methods. Our lab tests indicate that the pink stain has been present in the
past, but it becomes more visible to the naked eye whenever the whitestwhite vinyl is used. This is true regardless of manufacturer or vendor.
Avalon & Tahoe has chosen a white that reduces the appearance of the pink
stain but retains as much of the lightest white we can use. Although there
can be other causes for pink staining on vinyl, most pink stains are caused
by dyes produced by micro-organisms. These dyes are metabolic products
of the micro-organisms, otherwise known as a form of fungi. It is virtually
impossible for consumers to avoid these micro-organisms as they exist in
the atmosphere. It is also more prevalent in high-humidity areas. Rain can
cleanse the air with the result that the micro-organisms are deposited on
items such as marine vinyl. While the vinyl is treated to resist the growth of
micro-organisms meaning the vinyl is not a food source, the stain results
from failure to properly clean and maintain the vinyl. This means that after
use, the upholstery must be cleaned with a soft brush and warm soapy
water, followed by a thorough rinse with clean water. If this procedure is
not followed, the micro-organisms can find the marine vinyl to be a suitable
host site. This situation is worsened if the boat is stored without proper
ventilation or if the boat cover is put on while the vinyl is still wet, creating a
situation in which all forms of fungi (mold and mildew) thrive. The organism
causing the pink stain has been identified by the Burlington Scientific
Corporation as Streptoverticillium reticulum, although there are other
strains of organisms that can cause stains. Failure to follow these
instructions regarding the proper care of upholstery can cause your
warranty to be voided. We cannot guarantee that the cleaning methods
will work. Stains from any external source are unlikely to be covered by
Mild soap and water will keep your seats clean and pliable. Wet vinyl will
promote mildewing. Keep vinyl dry and clean. Remove seats and wipe dry
after use to insure that there is no moisture between the seat cushions.
NOTE: Mildew is not a warranted item.
Do not use solvents, bleach, Armor All, 409 or any other harsh cleaner on
vinyl. They can cause permanent damage. Use cleaners made especially for
The ultra-violet rays of the sun and ozone in the atmosphere (particularly in
windborne spray) can cause cracking and "aging" of upholstery. While some
vinyl seats have been chemically-treated to retard these problems, the best
countermeasures are keeping the boat covered and shaded when not in
use. NOTE: Uncovered and neglected upholstery will not be warranted.
Windshields and Clear Plastics
Plastic windows and windshields should be flushed with clear water; after
abrasive dirt is removed, use a plastic window liquid cleaner. Do not use
window cleaner such as Windex. NOTE: Do not wipe dirt from a dry plastic
windshield, and do not use an abrasive cleaner, because the plastic can
become permanently scratched or dulled.
Vibration may loosen your windshield; to prevent breakage, check the
mounting bolts periodically for a tight fit. If leaks occur, identify the leak
area, dry it thoroughly and coat the area with a live rubber sealant. After
the sealant dries, check the area by sprinkling with a hose. Repeat the
process until the leak is eliminated.
Hardware and Fittings
Deck hardware, such as cleats, chocks, rails, stanchions, etc., should be
cleaned periodically with a good chrome cleaner and polished with paste
wax to preserve luster and prevent corrosion. In salt water areas, flush
hardware with fresh water and spray hardware, at least monthly, with a
marine corrosion inhibitor, available from your dealer.
Broken or damaged hardware should be replaced by bolting through deck or
gunwale with a reinforcing block beneath.
Deck hardware should be used only for its intended purpose. Stanchions, for
example, are intended only to support railings and should not be used for
tying off fenders, mooring lines or water ski tow ropes. Do not use a mooring cleat for a water ski rope if obstructions prevent the rope from swinging
in a proper arc. Failure to use bow chocks for an anchor line could damage
other hardware or the superstructure in the event of a sudden surge.
Ozone and sunlight eventually cause hardening and loss of elasticity in the
rubber components aboard your boat -grommets, fuel hoses, stern drive
boot, etc. Inspect these components frequently and replace if you detect
signs of hardening or surface cracking. Leakage, particularly in the stern
drive area, could cause below-deck flooding.
Fire Protection
Charcoal grills can be dangerous aboard a boat. They can tip over and spill
hot coals or flaming starter fluid if the boat is hit by a sudden wave. On
inboard and stern drive boats, a charcoal grill placed aft, near fuel tank
vents could cause a vapor explosion.
Never use gasoline-type camp stoves aboard a boat. Any gasoline spills could
drain unnoticed into the bilges and create a danger of vapor explosion.
Storing your Pontoon Boat
Mooring during the summer months -The best way to moor your boat is
under a boat house or storage roof. A mooring cover is available on most
models to help reduce the effects of sun & dirt. Your mooring cover can
repel most water but will collect water during heavy downpours. It is important that collected water be removed after a rain to help prevent tearing
and staining. Your mooring cover can be damaged by high winds. Although
storms are unpredictable proper precautions must be taken to prevent
damage when possible. Wind and rain damage are not covered by your
warranty. If you desire a canvas cover that will also be able to withstand
heavy loads, contact your dealer to get information on a custom storage
cover that can be made by a local canvas maker.
If you store your boat by lifting with cables, you must use the lifting eyes on
the boat. Separate pop-up cleats are not able to support the boat. Be sure
you have a spacer bar to prevent the cables from damaging your walls.
Storage during the winter months -Your mooring cover cannot be used for
storage during the winter months. Your cover is intended to help reduce the
effects of sun and dirt. It cannot withstand a snow load. Storage should be
indoors or under plastic shrink wrap if stored outdoors. While stored you
must periodically check for accumulation of ice in the shrink wrap. Pressure
from the weight of the ice can damage your wall railings and other
Storage of the boat should be on flat ground or on blocks under the bottom
keels. Each block should
be at least 4 feet long and
run fore and aft at each
supported a minimum of
3 support points spaced
evenly along the pontoon.
It is also recommended
that the rear drain plugs
be removed during storage. This reduces interior
dropping temperatures.
Extreme drops in inside
air pressure can cause a
vacuum that can damage
your pontoons.
1. Locate the two sewn-in tags on one end of the mooring cover (Figure 1)
or playpen cover (Figure 2) that has the material, boat type, date,
seamstress or tailor name imprinted & the Do Not Transport warning. This is
the front of the cover.
2. Lay out your mooring cover on your pontoon boat with the two tags at
the front of the boat.
3. Start snapping on your mooring cover onto the built-in snaps located at
the outside-top of the walls. We recommend starting at one of the rear
corners of the boat. Make sure you line up the snaps correctly; you’ll know
right away if you missed a snap. Velcro any boots around the Bimini top
frame as you come to them.
4. Once you have completed snapping your mooring cover on, ready the
poles for installation inside the boat.
5. The poles fit into the sewn-in vents that are located along the center of
the mooring cover. The first few vents are for the standard straight poles.
6. Once you reach the rear sundeck area (if applicable) install your S-shape
pole. This pole is designed to fit around the sundeck. The snap is located on
the floor near the rear bench (See figures 3-6).
7. You are now ready to store your boat.
Mooring Cover (Figure 1)
Playpen Cover (Figure 2)
S-Pole (Figure 3)
S-Pole (Fig. 5)
S-Pole Snap Location (fig. 4)
Pole (Fig. 6)
The remote control is manufactured by the motor company. Please read
your motor owner’s manual for specific information on operations of your
The remote control head is mounted at the helm station of your boat. Single
lever controls integrate the throttle and gear shift into a single hand lever.
NOTE: When shifting
from forward to reverse,
or reverse to forward,
pause at neutral and
allow the engine to
return to idle (500-600
RPM) to avoid damage to
the mechanism. Except
in emergency, avoid
shifting into reverse
when the boat has
If the remote control
system jams at any time,
turn off the ignition
switch immediately. Stiff,
jerky or hard-operating control levers are an indication of trouble in the
control system. Don't force or continue to use a malfunctioning control
system -you could cause further damage. See your dealer.
Do not allow persons to stand or step on control cables leading to outboard
motors. This could bend cables and cause loss of control.
MAINTENANCE: The remote control head should be kept clean and free of
corrosion; check for loose mounting screws or other parts and tighten if
necessary. Check cable conduit for cracks or abrasions and kinked or bent
cable; replace damaged cable (See your dealer). Check cable ends and
connection fittings for corrosion, loose brackets, and loose, worn or damaged fittings. Replace worn or corroded parts. Cable ends, fittings and control mechanism may be sprayed with a moisture-displacing lubricant. If your
boat has "quick disconnect" fittings, be sure to inspect their springs for corrosion.
I/O Stern-drive Models
Avalon & Tahoe Mfg., Inc. is proud to offer stern-drive models. Our sterndrive system features many unique standards, including one marine battery,
power trim and tilt, electronic ignition, stainless steel propeller, complete
bilge and blower system. Performance on the stern-drive system may vary
depending on altitude, daytime temperatures, as well as weather conditions
and weight distribution of the pontoon boat. All these factors could
ultimately affect the performance of the pontoon boat. Optional propellers,
which can be purchased, and the correct trim angle will also affect the performance of the vessel. When purchasing a pontoon boat with a stern-drive
unit, one should refer to the owner's manual supplied by the engine manufacturer, which will feature maintenance and break-in period for the new
stern-drive engine and winter storage preparation, as well as warranty information for the stern-drive engine.
The bilge pump is automatically activated by a float switch in the motor
pod. The float switch is wired directly to the battery. When the float switch
is activated this will also activate the bilge pump which will remove the
water from the motor pod of the pontoon boat. If water intrusion due to
leak or rain causes the bilge pump to run constantly, the battery will lose its
charge. If this happens you should have the boat inspected for leaks and/or
take precautions to limit rain exposure. The bilge pump is self-priming and
water lubricated. The bilge pump can be activated by a manual switch on
the instrument panel. Do not operate the bilge pump if fuel fumes are
present. Owner should check the bilge pumps operation before each trip.
STERNDRIVE Trouble Shooting
Consult your dealer about repair or replacement of remote control components.
Improperly installed components could cause an accident or breakdown.
NOTE: On outboards, make sure the push-pull cables are free to move with
the engine through its full steering range. Don't trail with engine bouncing
on the tilt lock. Brace the engine with something sturdy.
1. Neutral start switch not properly adjusted
Engine starter does not
engage when lever is in
neutral position
2. Neutral start switch malfunctioning or stuck
3. Dead battery or loose electrical connection
4. Safety switch lanyard is not connected
1. Control cable(s) are crushed, kinked or bent
2. Cable(s) are corroded at ends or are clogged
internally with dirt and grime
Control becomes stiff or
unusually hard operating,
jerky and erratic
3. Engine shift or throttle linkage not working
4. Remote control mechanism is defective, faulty
or has been damaged internally
5. Foreign objects interfering with throttle or
shift mechanism at either control head or engine
1. Cable ends and connection fittings are not
properly secured at the engine or control head
Throttle and shift does not
respond properly to control
hand lever.
2. Wear in the control mechanism or excessive
backlash caused by too many bends in the pushpull cable(s) conduit
3. Control system not properly adjusted
4. Throttle and shift linkage on engine
Engine starter engages when
remote control hand lever is
in forward or reverse
1. Neutral start switch not properly adjusted
2. Neutral start switch malfunctioning or stuck in
"closed" position
3. Faulty wiring
Steering System
It's important that you get the "feel" of your boat's steering system. Turn
the steering wheel from full left to full right, and make sure the motor steering arm is turning accordingly. The system should operate freely and
smoothly throughout its entire range. The cable out-put end and its fittings
should be kept clear of fuel lines, control cables, electrical wiring or onboard
gear when the motor or stern drive unit is moved through its full steering
cycle in both running and full tilt positions.
In addition, it is wise to check for the presence of "Self Locking" nuts that
are used to fasten the "steering link rod" between the steering cable(s) and
the engine. These nuts must never be replaced by common or non-selflocking nuts which can vibrate off. Have your dealer give your steering
system a more thorough check at least once a year. He should check for
proper lubrication, any unusual backlash, or any unusual component wear.
Steering Torque
Under certain engine trim positions and/or bow-up boat attitude, such as
when getting on plane, there can be a noticeable pull on the steering wheel,
often referred to as "steering torque." This may only be a temporary situation such as when planeing off, or it may be eliminated or reduced by
changing your engine trim so that the propeller shaft is more parallel to the
water surface. Adjustment of the engine trim tab will help under some
conditions. See engine owner's manual for a more detailed explanation.
Under any circumstances, the operator should always keep a firm grip on
the steering wheel.
HYDRAULIC STEERING: Many models are equipped with hydraulic steering.
This steering helps minimize torque and improve ease of steering. Hydraulic
steering requires annual inspection for proper fluid levels. Any hydraulic
steering related problem should be repaired by an authorized dealer.
MAINTENANCE: The moving metal parts of the steering system must be
cleaned and lubricated with a good grade of marine grease to insure smooth
operation. In fresh water use, this should be done every three months; in
salt water, do it at least every month and before putting boat in off-season
storage. All fittings and cable conduit should be inspected for corrosion or
damage and replaced if necessary. The steering wheel should be inspected
for looseness and tightened, if necessary. Replace the steering wheel if
there are any cracks around hub
or base of spokes. In cable-andpulley systems, make sure cable is
in pulley grooves, the cable
covering is not damaged, and
cable has proper tension.
A steering cable with evidence of damaged, bent or frayed parts should be
replaced. Failure to do so can lead to sudden loss of steering and control of the
Repairs to steering system should be done by an authorized dealer only.
Improper repair of steering systems can result in a loss of control resulting in
injury or death.
Trouble Shooting
Push-Pull Cable Steering
1. Corrosive deposits at cable output end,
operating, jerky or erratic. either inside cable
sleeve or inside motor tilt tube
2. Crushed or kinked cable conduit
3. Bent cable ram at output end
4. Friction device at helm over tightened.
5. Ball and socket at the link arm is not rotating
Steering stiff or unusually
hard operating, jerky or
6. Internal corrosion or damage to cable
7. Engine and boat not "trimmed out" properly
8. Engine trim tab loose, damaged or incorrectly
9. Transom bracket improperly mounted, bent or
distorted (motor mounted systems only)
10. Bent or distorted engine link may be
interfering with engine (motor mounted systems
11. Improper hydraulic fluid level
1. Cable transom bracket loose or cable excessive
free steering wheel end fittings loose or badly
Steering sloppy and has
excessive free steering wheel
2. Worn or loose fasteners in helm unit or drive
3. Worn push-pull cable
4. Improper hydraulic fluid level
5. Steering wheel loose on helm
1. Corrosive buildup at output end of cable
WARNING: If the system does not free easily,
replace the steering cable
Steering system won’t turn.
2. System badly damaged at the helm or cable
output end
3. Ball and socket at the link arm is not rotating
Fuel System
Each time you fuel up; inspect the fuel lines, connections and fuel tanks for
tightness, signs of leaks and deterioration. At least annually, conduct a more
thorough inspection of fuel system components, especially those hidden
from a routine inspection. Replace any deteriorated components.
Portable fuel tanks should also be inspected frequently for leakage, along
seams and at engine and tank connections. Portable tanks should be placed
flat on the deck to prevent movement and should not be rested on or
against fuel lines.
Do not attempt to repair a leaking fuel tank or hose - replace it.
Keep your fuel tanks full during storage or periods of infrequent use to
prevent condensation of water vapor and subsequent engine malfunction, if
you are sure your fuel does not contain alcohol. But alcohol-containing fuel
particularly absorbs humidity and it will separate from the fuel as the temperature drops during winter months, causing corrosion. Fuel tanks should
be empty during storage if your fuel contains alcohol.
Leaking gasoline is a fire and explosion hazard. The fume-exhausting action
of the bilge blower and the natural ventilation which takes place when your
boat is under way will remove the fumes, providing there is no leak of fuel
to constantly replace them. But under certain wind conditions, fumes may
tend to stay in the boat longer, even when the blower is running. It's a good
idea to open up all hatches to allow compartments to air out before starting
and keep them open until the boat is underway.
Do not paint aluminum fuel tanks with antifoulants containing copper.
Severe damage can result from galvanic action.
Outboard 2-cycle engines should use either TC-W II® or TC-W3™ NMMA certified oils. This applies to Personal Watercraft also. Check owner's
manual for specific manufacturer recommendations.
Ignition System
NOTE: Do not attempt to connect or disconnect any part of the electrical
circuit while the engine is running.
Battery electrolyte is a corrosive acid and should be handled with care. If
electrolyte is spilled on any part of the body, flush immediately with water.
BATTERY: Inspect your battery frequently for specific gravity (state of
charge); individual cell water level, cleanliness and clean, tight connections.
It is important that you make battery connections correctly. The negative
battery cable must be attached to the negative (-) terminal on the battery
and the positive cable must be attached to the positive (+) terminal. Reversing these connections may cause immediate damage to the transistorized
regulating unit.
NOTE: If battery discharges for no apparent reason, check for any switches
that may have been left on, especially the stereo switch.
Engine Trim
The word "trim" is all-important in boat performance. Trim refers, not just
to the proper distribution of weight within the boat, but, in outboards and
stern drives, to the "in and out" angle of the lower unit. An outboard or
stern drive lower unit tilted too far in (forward) will cause the bow to nose
downward. If tilted too far out (aft), the motor or drive unit will push the
bow upward. Adjust the motor or drive unit so the propeller shaft is parallel
with the water surface when the boat is in its normal running attitude at full
Many stern drive and outboard engines are equipped with power trim
which is operated by a switch near the helm or in the throttle control. Activating this switch allows you to change the angle of your engine by depressing the desired button. For a list of characteristics resulting from trimming
your engine "under," "down" or "in," or trimming "up" or "out," see your
engine owner's manual.
Your engine should be equipped with a propeller that performs satisfactorily
under average conditions. There is no "best" propeller for your boat. These
are only props that work better than others in certain applications. If you
alternate between high speed operation and general cruising, you may want
to carry two or more propellers.
An accurate tachometer is important in choosing the best prop for your
boat. When operating your boat at full throttle under normal load
conditions, the engine RPM is the controlling factor in determining the
correct propeller blade pitch. To obtain peak performance, the engine RPM
at full throttle should be in the full throttle operating range specified by the
engine manufacturer. If engine RPM is below that range, install a prop of
reduced pitch to increase engine RPM. If engine RPM is above the
recommended range, install a prop of increased pitch.
VENTILATION: Ventilation occurs when air from the water's surface or
exhaust gases from the exhaust outlet are drawn into propeller blades. The
normal water load is reduced and the propeller over-revs, losing much of its
thrust. However, as the propeller momentarily over-revs, this brings on
massive cavitation (see below), which can further "unload" the propeller
and stop all forward thrust. It continues until the propeller is slowed down
enough to allow the bubbles to surface. This action most often occurs in
turns, particularly when trying to plane in a sharp turn or with an excessively
trimmed-out engine or drive unit. With Pontoon boats ventilation can be
caused by an improperly loaded boat. If all passengers are in the front bow
benches ventilation can happen. Passengers should be situated evenly
throughout the boat. Passengers should not sit in front recliner chairs or
front fishing chairs while the boat is underway. Not only can this cause
ventilation, but the lower walls cause this activity to be unsafe. Boats that
have rear fishing chairs are particularly susceptible to ventilation if passengers are not situated evenly throughout the boat. Ventilation can also occur
if the propeller's pitch
causes the engine to
operate above or below its
suggested RPM range.
upon water temperature,
when the pressure on the
leading edge of a propeller
blade drops enough, water vapor bubbles are created by "boiling." As the
water vapor moves downstream into higher pressure, it collapses back into
liquid releasing energy that chips away at the blades, causing a "cavitation
burn" or erosion of the metal. Initial cause of the low pressure may be nicks
in the leading edge, too much cup, improper polishing, etc. If cavitation is
caused by a damaged propeller, have it reconditioned or replaced.
ENGINE OVERSPEED: This can occur when a propeller of too Iowa pitch is
used or engine is set at wrong tilt angle or height on transom. Overspeeding can cause damage to the powerplant in the form of broken
connecting rods, crank shafts and valve train components (in four-cycle
engines). Broken parts can be thrown from the engine at high velocity and
cause injury or damage. A tachometer should be used to monitor engine
speed and to avoid "over-revving." If you're using a low-pitch propeller for
better load carrying or water skiing performance, be careful when operating
under light load conditions to avoid over-speeding the engine.
INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE: At least once a year, more often if you
use your boat extensively, remove the propeller from your outboard or 1-0
and inspect shaft seal for possible damage from mono-filament fishing line
and, on certain older models, drive pin hole for possible burrs. Clean and
lubricate the shaft according to engine manufacturer instructions. Replace
drive pin if bent or worn. Replace the prop using a new cotter pin or tab lock
washer. Follow manufacturer instructions for care and maintenance of gear
Warranties: Boat, powerplant and some components carry warranties.
These warranties cover only what they specifically say they cover. In general
they apply only to repair or replacement of defective parts. Normal wear
and tear, routine maintenance and servicing, and damage caused by
negligence, misuse or modification are usually excluded. Contact your
dealer for more information regarding the warranty submission process.
Avalon & Tahoe Mfg., Inc. is not responsible for consequential damages
from improper storage, controls, motors, batteries and other accessories or
other equipment or component parts thereof warranted by parties other
than Avalon & Tahoe Mfg., Inc.
NOTE: It's important that you read and understand these warranties. They
may contain provisions which require you to take certain steps to keep the
warranty valid. Protect yourself by filling out all warranty forms and returning them to the manufacturer. This is essential, not only to activate the
warranty, but to get your name on file in case of a recall program.
Manufacturer Obligations
The manufacturer is obliged to follow U.S. Coast Guard instructions regarding product recall and repair, in the case of certain defects or standards
compliance problems. The manufacturer will be unable to notify you unless
you have returned the warranty forms.
Dealer Responsibilities
Your dealer is responsible for rigging your boat in accord with manufacturer
instructions for the items which he installs. To protect yourself on the
warranty, make sure the dealer uses factory-recommended or compatible
components and parts when repairing or servicing your boat or engine.
Use parts recommended by the engine manufacturer. Incorrect parts can be
dangerous in some cases and could void your powerplant warranty. Marine
engine electrical parts have been designed to prevent ignition of flammable
fumes-do not substitute automotive parts.
Avalon & Tahoe Mfg., Inc. (hereinafter “A&T”), makes this limited warranty:
The original retail purchaser (hereinafter “Owner”) who has purchased an A&T
manufactured boat from an authorized A&T dealer. This warranty is not
This limited warranty covers significant defects in materials and workmanship
supplied by or performed by A&T. This limited warranty provides coverage for the
A&T manufactured pontoon boat, as well as electronics and other accessories
manufactured by others, but installed by A&T prior to shipment to your A&T dealer.
This warranty does not cover electronics or accessories manufactured by others and
installed by your A&T dealer, you or anyone else. For products including, but not
limited to, electronics originally manufactured by others but installed by A&T, the
warranty from the component manufacturer shall be the primary warranty coverage
for its duration and this warranty will only apply to the time period, if any, after
expiration of the component manufacturer's warranty. Applicable warranties may
be found in the product owner's packet, or by contacting the component
manufacture's Customer Service Department or website. Engines, stern drives,
engine control systems, propellers, batteries and trailers are excluded from this
warranty. The sole and exclusive warranty for all such excluded components is
from the manufacturer of those components.
Commercial Warranty. The limited warranty for boats used for competition, hire,
governmental, rental, time share, military or any other commercial use is 90 days
from date of purchase.
Personal Use Warranty. The following limited warranty is made for boats purchased
by individual(s) for normal personal recreational use.
A. Pontoons and structural components. Lifetime parts, ten (10) years labor.
Subject to the other terms and conditions of this warranty, this warranty covers
structural failure of pontoons, gates, channels, seat frames, motor mounts, railings,
wood decks and wood components caused by defects in material and or
workmanship under normal personal non-commercial use.
B. Carpet and upholstery vinyl. Three (3) years parts and labor, plus two (2) years
parts only. Product is warranted from failure due to significant fading, peeling or
cracking. This warranty shall include replacement materials and/or labor, based
upon an inspection by a qualified A&T representative. Excessive deterioration
caused by overexposure to the sun, as a result of failure to properly cover the boat
while not in use, is excluded from this warranty. Damage caused by rips, tears, snags
and unraveling or other abuse is not covered under this warranty. Seat stains or
discoloration from ink, drinks, pollen, leaves, micro-organisms, bacteria, fungus,
mold, etc., are excluded from coverage under this warranty. Damage due to lack of
maintenance and/or the use of improper cleaning agents voids this warranty.
C. Mooring Cover and Bimini top fabric warranty. Three (3) years parts and labor,
plus two (2) years parts only. These components are warranted against excessive
loss of color or strength under normal exposure conditions. Damage caused by
trailering, storms, rips, tears, snags and unraveling or other abuse is not covered
under this warranty. Stains or discoloration from ink, drinks, pollen, leaves, microorganisms, bacteria, fungus, mold, etc., are excluded from coverage under this
warranty. Damage due to lack of maintenance and/or the use of improper cleaning
agents voids this warranty.
D. Electronics and other non-A&T manufactured components. Three (3) years parts
and labor, plus two (2) years parts only. Covers radios, gauges and depth finders
not manufactured by A&T, but which were factory installed. Excludes damage from
salt or excessive exposure to water.
E. Other Components. Three (3) years parts and labor, plus two (2) years parts only.
Any other components manufactured or supplied by A&T and not excluded from this
The original owner is required to register his/her boat by completing and returning
A&T Warranty Registration Form, Ver. 1.0, within thirty (30) days of delivery of the
boat, by mail or through an authorized A&T dealer. The owner must provide proof
of purchase, including date of purchase, name of the authorized A&T dealer and
boat serial number when registering the boat. Proper maintenance, storage and
cleaning of the A&T products and components are the responsibility of the owner.
Failure of any product or component caused by improper cleaning procedures,
damage from accidents, damage from storms or other Acts of God, negligence or
faulty maintenance procedures is expressly excluded from the warranty. Failure to
properly register your boat within thirty (30) days of purchase will limit all warranty
periods to ninety (90) days.
To obtain warranty service, take your boat to the A&T dealer where you originally
purchased your product, or another authorized A&T dealer, or another warranty
service facility designated by A&T, and have a warranty claim submitted to A&T. If
you or your dealer have moved, or if you desire to change dealers, contact A&T
Warranty Service Dept., 903 Michigan Ave., Alma, Michigan, 48801, Phone: (989)
463-2112, Fax: (989) 463-8226 for the name of an A&T dealer near you. Your claim
must be made in writing and submitted within thirty (30) days of the discovery of the
defect and also within the warranty period. Failure to timely submit a claim in
writing, waives the claim. You must provide proof of current ownership when
making a claim.
The A&T dealer where you originally purchased your boat can usually perform
warranty work for you. If that A&T dealer cannot perform the service work, they
should call A&T’s Warranty Service Department for assistance. If you are unable to
visit your original A&T dealer, contact A&T, 903 Michigan Ave., Alma, Michigan,
48801, for the name and location of an A&T dealer near you. In some instances,
A&T may require that the boat or certain parts be returned to the A&T
manufacturing facility for warranty service. Costs incurred for transporting the boat
and/or parts to and from A&T and/or dealer are the responsibility of the owner.
If you are unable to resolve a disagreement with your dealer regarding your right to
pursue warranty coverage for a needed repair, contact the A&T Warranty Service
Department. If a dispute about warranty service arises between A&T and you, the
disagreement will be resolved through binding arbitration under the United States
Federal Arbitration Act, as amended. This mandatory arbitration provision shall
apply to any and all disputes arising out of your purchase and use of an A&T product,
including all tort claims, statutory claims, contract theories and this express limited
warranty. The locale for any in-person arbitration hearing shall be in Ingham County,
Michigan, or any county adjacent thereto. We will consent to your attending by
phone, video conference or other means that does not require your physical
attendance, should you choose not to attend in-person. The expenses of any
arbitration will be split evenly between you and A&T.
Damage caused by abuse, misuse, unreasonable use, overpowering, neglect of
others, waves, failure to observe proper maintenance and operating practices,
failure to comply to the safety regulations listed in your operator's manual, failure to
trim boat properly or slow down in rough water, overloading, immersion in water,
electrolysis, salt water corrosion, rust, towing behind other boats, improper trailers
or trailering, improper use or stress on components or parts, attempted disassembly
without A&T authorization, accidents, acid rain, natural disasters or Acts of God, or
normal wear and tear or normal fading of fabrics and carpeting are not covered by
this warranty. Replacement parts provided under terms of the warranty will,
whenever possible, match original equipment (but is not guaranteed). When
necessary, A&T will substitute parts of comparable function and value. A&T will not
be responsible for any sums exceeding the cost of defective part or product to the
original purchaser. A&T reserves the right to make changes, without notice, to the
design or material of the product without incurring any obligation to incorporate
such changes for products previously manufactured by A&T.
The purchaser shall be fully responsible for, and shall pay for, transporting the
pontoon boat for inspection and repair of the alleged defect and to include, but not
limited to, paying the cost of transporting the pontoon boat to and from the factory,
dealer, supplier or service provider. If purchaser causes the inspection to occur at
the site of the pontoon boat, then purchaser shall be fully responsible for, and shall
pay for, the inspection by the servicing dealer.
This warranty will not be extended to non-factory installed items, including, but not
limited to, protective bottom paint, engines and the installation of its components or
additional time for adjustments or final assembly for delivery.
A&T will not be responsible nor liable for any damages of any kind caused or
contributed to by use of any boat loaded in excess of the load capacities or equipped
with horse power exceeding the U.S. Coast Guard Maximum Capacity limits shown
on the capacity plate of the boat.
Any modification, alteration or repair performed by unauthorized personnel will
invalidate all or part of the A&T warranties. Corrosion due to using non-marine grade
screws and fasteners to add, replace or repair any items will not be covered by
This warranty is voided for any boat or component that has been declared a total
loss or total constructive loss or which bears a “salvage” or similar title.
Consequential, indirect, incidental damages, mental anguish or distress, damage to
property or injury to persons, loss of property, loss of time or inconvenience, loss
of earnings, loss of use and enjoyment, towing expenses, haul out or launching
expenses, de-rigging or re-rigging charges, gasoline, mileage, A&T dealer or nonA&T dealer service calls, charges, transportation, telephone, loading expenses or
any similar cost not mentioned above are all excluded from coverage and waived
by the Owner. This warranty is expressly limited to the cost of repair and/or
replacement of the damaged or defective part or parts, as the case may be, at the
exclusive option of A&T and A&T shall not be responsible for any other damages
whatsoever. A&T’s maximum liability for any alleged breach of this warranty shall
not exceed what the fair market value of your boat, excluding motor, controls,
electronics and trailer, would be without the alleged defect.
This written statement of limited warranty represents the entire warranty
authorized and offered by A&T. There are no warranties or representations beyond
those expressed in this written document. This warranty cannot be amended by any
dealership, salesperson or other agent. This warranty is the sole and exclusive
warranty; all other warranties, whether express or implied, including the IMPLIED
products sold outside the continental United States or Canada. The repair or
replacement obligations of A&T, under this limited warranty, are the sole and
exclusive remedies for any economic losses claimed or incurred by the Owner.
Some states or provinces may have “lemon” laws which permit owners to obtain a
replacement unit or a refund of the purchase price under certain circumstances. The
provisions of these laws vary from state to state. To the extent allowed by state law,
A&T requires that you first provide us with written notification of any service
difficulty you have experienced with the A&T pontoon or sport boat, so that we have
an opportunity to make any needed repairs, before you are eligible for the remedies
provided by these laws. Your written notification should be sent to the A&T
Warranty Service Dept. Manager at the address above. Always include your Hull
Identification Number, found on the starboard aft riser of the pontoon.
Any action for an alleged breach of this warranty must be brought within one (1)
year of the alleged breach. Any claims asserted after this time period shall be
deemed waived.
To the extent any provisions of this limited warranty are inconsistent with the law of
the state or province where you purchased your boat, any such provisions will be
deemed stricken from this warranty and the other provisions shall remain in full
force and effect.
Revised January, 2010
More about Boating
EDUCATION: Boating becomes more fun as you learn more about it. A good
place to start is at one of the many free boating education classes offered
throughout the country.
Boating courses are offered at thousands of locations across the U.S.
Instruction is free by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Power squadrons, but
there is a small fee for books and materials. To find the course nearest your
home call toll free: 1-800-336-BOAT (In VA, 1-800-245-BOAT)
The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers several courses: basic skills and seamanship, sailing and coastal navigation. To contact this group directly contact U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Commandant (G-NAB), 2100 Second St. SW,
Washington, DC 20593; 202/267-0972.
U.S. Power Squadrons offer two courses, one on general boating, another
on basic sailing. USPS is headquartered at 1504 Blue Ridge Rd.,
P.O. Box 30423, Raleigh, NC 27622; 919/821-0281.
Local chapters of the American Red Cross offer instruction in canoeing,
outboard boating, rowing and sailing for both children and adults. National
headquarters are 17th & D Sts. NW, Washington, DC 20006; 202/639-3686.
Many state boating offices have boating safety textbooks available, including information on state and local boating regulations. Located in state
capitols, these agencies are often part of departments of natural resources,
conservation, wildlife, parks or law enforcement bureaus.
The U.S. Coast Guard maintains a toll free Boating Safety Hotline to answer
consumer questions about boating safety recall information, to report
possible safety defects in boats, and for answers to boat safety questions:
CHARTS & MAPS: The National Ocean Service (NOS), a division of the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is the principal
government chart agency for U.S. waters. NOS distributes free chart
catalogs covering the four U.S. recreational boating areas (No.1 Atlantic &
Gulf Coasts, NO.2 Pacific Coast Inc. Hawaii, NO.3 Alaska, NO.4 Great Lakes
and adjacent waterways). Catalogs will tell you which chart(s) you need and
include ordering instructions. Contact NOAA/NOS, Distribution Branch,
(N/CG33), Riverdale, MD 20737; 301/436-6990.
In addition, many federal agencies publish recreational maps, including the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior (U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Forest Service, others), and the
Tennessee Valley Authority. State tourism offices are also good sources of
information on boating and fishing sites and public access boat launching
SERIAL NUMBER: ________________________________________________________________________
MODEL: ___________________ COLOR: ___________________ LENGTH: ______________________
DIAMETER OF TUBE: ___________________________ WIDTH: ________________________________
SOLD TO: _______________________________________________________________________________
ADDRESS: ______________________________________________________________________________
CITY: _______________________________________ STATE: ___________ ZIP: __________________
MOTOR: ____________________________ HP: _______________ PROPELLER SIZE: ______________
DEALER: ____________________________________ DATE OF PURCHASE: _______________________
Additional Boating Links
U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Resource Center:
Discover Boating® Owning & Operating Tips:
National Safe Boating Council:
Campaign for safe boating:
Boating Safety Courses:
Coast Guard Boating Safety - YouTube:
About Boating Safely:
Federal Boating Safety Laws - About.com:
United States Coast Guard:
ALMA, MI 48801
TOLL FREE: 800.334.2913 FAX: 989.463.8226
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