Thursday, January 29, 2015

Winter Dock Safety

Despite the recent warm, sunny weather we've been experiencing, the Lake of the Ozarks is looking to get some snow this weekend.  From hypothermia to slippery docks, Winter can create many problems for dock owners here at the Lake of the Ozarks. Summerset Boat Lifts wants to make sure you are prepared for the Winter weather. has some great tips for Winter safety on water, docks and ice from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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Dock Safety 

Boat Docks have seen major damage from ice and heavy snow combinations in the past. The extra weight that these weather conditions bring can cause structures to collapse. However, you should not attempt to remove snow and ice from your docks during inclement weather. Docks can become very slick and you don't want to end up in the water accidentally. If you need to be on your dock during icy conditions, please wear a life jacket at all times. Also, use the buddy system to make sure you have help if you were to slip into the water. Remember to treat any damaged electric wires around the docks as if they were live. Any boats operating in areas where major dock damage has occurred, should operate at a no wake idle speed to prevent further damage to docks.

Water Safety 

If you're going to be around the Lake in cold weather, be extra careful. If your body is suddenly immersed in cold water, cold shock will occur. This is when the blood vessels constrict in order to conserve core body heat. This response can in turn cause a sudden increase in heart rate and blood pressure. In some cases, this can result in cardiac arrest. Cold shock can also cause involuntary gasping reflex, causing the person to inhale water and possibly drown. Hypothermia could also be a concern. The body loses heat 25 times faster in water than in air. In cold water, life jacket use becomes extremely important because hypothermia can cause the inability to perform the most basic tasks. If you find yourself in a situation where you take an unexpected plunge into cold water, it is important to get out of the water and into dry clothes as soon as possible. If the person is conscious, try giving them a warm drink. Hypothermia can be deadly even if you're wearing a PFD, so it's important to never be near the water alone in Winter. If no one knows you're in trouble, no one can help.

Ice Safety 

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While the Lake is known for recreation during the Summer, many cold water anglers come to the Lake during the winter too! Children are often attracted to frozen ponds for skating and playing. However, ice forming on lakes, rivers and ponds post a great risk due to the natural variables. It is impossible to judge the strength of ice by its appearance or daily temperature. With the major temperature fluctuations we experience during Missouri Winters, the construction of ice can be greatly affected. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind if you're participating in Winter recreation activities at the Lake of the Ozarks: 
  • Wait to walk out on the ice until there are at least four inches of clear, solid ice.
  • Measure ice thickness in several locations, starting in areas where you know the water is shallow. If the ice thickness is less than three inches, it is best to stay off the ice. Also, there is clear ice and white ice. White ice has air or snow within it and is weaker. This ice should be considered suspect for recreational use.
  • Stay off river ice. River currents quickly change ice thickness overnight or between different parts of the river. Currents can slow ice formation and cause existing ice to be much more fragile.
  • Never go onto ice alone. A buddy may be able to rescue you or go for help if you get into trouble. A companion can attempt a rescue by extending a pole or branch to the victim or throwing a rope or knotted clothing. Remember: If the ice could not support their weight, it will not support your weight.
  • Wear a life jacket. Life vests or float coats provide excellent flotation and protection from hypothermia. Wearing layered winter clothes can increase your chances of survival if you do go through the ice.
  • Take safety equipment with you. Include ice picks, ice staff, rope, and a small personal safety kit—a pocketknife, whistle, screwdrivers with string, and cell phone—in your pocket.
  • Avoid driving on ice. It is very difficult to see open holes in the ice and increases your chances of ending up in the water unexpectedly.

Never leave children unattended on or near ice covered bodies of water and make sure they understand that danger involved. Many ice victims start out trying to rescue someone else. Rather than going onto the ice to help someone, call for emergency services. You should extend a ladder, pole or rope to the victim with something that will float. If you find yourself in a position of needing rescued, stay calm. Face the direction you came from and spread your arms out on the unbroken ice. Kick your feet and try to pull yourself onto the ice. Once out of the water, don't attempt to stand. Lying on the ice will keep your weight distributed. Roll away from the spot you fell into and then carefully crawl back to solid land. 

Summerset Boat Lifts is here to make your Lake activities safe and enjoyable any time of the year. For all your Lake of the Ozarks boat lift needs, contact us at 573-348-5073. We're proud to offer the Galva-Hoist product line of floating boat lifts, designed to withstand the roughest waters at the Lake of the Ozarks. From sales to installation and service, our employees are ready to help. We want to earn your trust and your business!

1165 Jeffries Road Osage Beach, MO  65065

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Monday, January 19, 2015

6 Tips for Attending a Boat Show

The Overland Park Boat Show is this weekend and Summerset Boat Lifts is here to help you prepare!  Last week we discussed tips for purchasing a boat. Whether you're shopping at your local boat dealer or at a boat show, those tips will help you purchase the right boat for you. However, boat shows can be a little overwhelming. In addition to thinking about what type of boat you should get ahead of time, you should also think about the boat show experience and what you can do to get ready to attend. Here are 6 tips for attending a boat show.

1. Have a General Idea of What You're Looking For. 

Boat Shows are packed with various vendors, and not just those selling boats. In order to wade through the chaos, have an idea of what type of boat you're looking for. Are there any special features you want? How much can you afford? Check out last week's blog on Tips for Buying a Boat to help you decide what you'll want to look for when you arrive at the Overland Park Boat Show. Knowing the details ahead of time will help you compare options with careful consideration. Otherwise, the show can get very overwhelming, fast!

2. Check Out the Show Guide Before Arriving. 

Many boat shows will have their complete show guide listed online so you can read it before arriving. The Overland Park Boat Show has all the exhibitors and vendors listed on the website for you to check out. Go through the list and pick out who you want to talk to based on the decision you made for boat options. With so many things going on, you can get easily distracted. With a plan in place, you can stay focused and ensure that you don't miss any of the exhibitors or venders that you really wanted to talk to!

3. Spend Time Talking with Dealers. 

As we mentioned in our previous blog, you're not only buying the boat, you're also buying the service. You want to choose a dealer that is easy to work with and has your best interest in mind. Some dealers can be very committed to customer service, while others are large enough to offer nice discounts. Some will offer continued service, while others may not.

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4. Plan for the Show to Take Up the Entire Day. 

With so much to see, you're going to need to leave yourself plenty of time to not only look at everything you want to, but also to process it. Use the first half of the day to tour the boats and take notes as you go. When it's time for lunch, go somewhere quiet and review everything that you've looked at. Boats have a tendency to blend together when you look at a buch all at once. By taking time to process what you've seen, you'll end up remembering something you want to take a second look at. In addition to taking notes, try to take some pictures. These will be helpful when you and your spouse are arguing over which feature was on what boat!

5. Speak to the Dealers a Second Time. 

Once you have narrowed down your choices, go speak to the dealers again. This time you'll want to ask specific questions about discounts, rebates, warranties, delivery dates, service, training and other value-added services. Ask each of your top choices to give you a final deal, while being open and honest about which other boats you're considering. If any of them have a positive reaction to what you're considering instead of theirs, ask them why. Is the other model built stronger? Does it have a better long-term reputation? These are questions you want answered before making such a big decision.

6. Make Some Calculations. 

Be sure to think about everything involved with purchasing a boat before you make a decision. Talk to other vendors such as a boat lift dealer at the Lake of the Ozarks. You need to consider the cost of a lift, dock, winter storage and accessories when deciding if you can afford a particular option. You'll also want to factor in maintenance and the amount you'll spend on fuel. When you are finally content with the choices you've made and the amount of money you can afford to spend, go back to the dealer and make a deal!

Be sure to stop by and see Summerset Boat Lifts at the Overland Park Boat Show this weekend! Doors open at 5 PM this Thursday, January 22. Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 & under. For more information on this spectacular event, contact the Lake of the Ozarks Marine Dealers Association at 573-480-2300 or visit

1165 Jeffries Road Osage Beach, MO  65065

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Friday, January 16, 2015

7 Tips for Buying a Boat

Boat Show Season is here! If you've been considering purchasing a boat for the upcoming season, now is the time to do it. Boat Shows are a great place to see many different types of boats all at once and compare them. If you've never purchased a boat before, the task can seem overwhelming. Summerset Boat Lifts has put together this list of 7 things to consider when purchasing a boat!

1. Decide on the Right Type of Boat. 

With so many different types of boats, how do you know which one is right for you?  The best way to decide is not by how the boat looks, but by what you are going to use the boat for. Cruising boats, such as deck boats or pontoons, are used for entertaining guests while delivering good performance. Some cruisers are made for daytime only, while others offer cabins for overnightting capabilities. Fishing boats have open cockpits in the back to maximize deck space for fishing. As a result, there is less seating and these boats are not meant for entertaining a crowd. If you want to wakeboard, waterski or tube, then a sport boat or ski boat is what you need. Make your decision on the type of boat that fits with your primary use.

2. Choose Between New or Used. 

New and used boats both have their pros and cons. New boats are unblemished and should provide you with trouble-free operation right from the start, as well as warranty coverage. The downside of course, is that these boats are a bit pricier than a similar used version. Used boats on the otherhand, may or may not still be under warranty. With used boats, you are taking a risk on the overall quality of the boat. You don't know the history, its maintenance or whether it's been in an accident or suffered damage.

3. Pick Who You Want to Buy From. 

While buying from a private seller may seem like the best option financially, you are unlikely to get a warranty and you have to take the sellers word for the condition of the boat. If you choose to buy from a dealer, you'll be offered a warrantly that will protect you against unexpected repair costs. Dealers need to protect their reputation, therefore they're less likely to sell you a piece of crap. However, make sure to do your research on the dealer before you make a decision.  Talk to others that have bought from the particular dealer you're considering. Ask for client testimonials and credentials. You want to make sure you are buying from a reputable company.

4. Inspect the Boat Thouroughly. 

Whether you've decided to buy new or used, you should always thoroughly inspect the boat before purchasing it. You wouldn't buy a house or car without an inspection, so why should a boat be any different? A professional marine surveyor will be able to provide a full, objective report on the boat. The survey will reveal any anomalies with the boat and let you know whether or not you are getting a good boat at a good value.

5. Consider the Warranties Available. 

Consider the warranties on each of the boats you have in consideration. Warranties are a valuable and important factor that should influence your decision. Some warranties are transferrable, which is important if you decide to re-sell your boat. Find out what specifically the warranty includes and covers, as well as the service you'll recieve if something does fail. A good way to determine the quality of service is to ask for references or client testimonials. If you're purchasing a used boat, make sure to have it surveyed first because you won't have that warranty to fall back on if/when something goes wrong.

6. Determine Costs of Ownership. 

For many, the cost of owning a boat is nothing compared to the benefits of ownership. However, you want to make sure you're aware of all the costs associated with owning a boat before you make the purchase. In addition to just the fiberglass, you will need to pay for insurance, maintenance and storage. You will need to add in these extra expenses, such as the cost of your Lake of the Ozarks boat lift, when you are determining the cost of boat ownership.

7. Know How to Drive the Boat.  

The way a boat handles and the way it feels on the water is another very important consideration. Taking your prospective boat out on a test drive is a great way to make sure you're getting what you want. Operating a powerboat is not like driving a car. Driving a boat is not difficult, but like anything else it is a skill you will need to learn. Knowing how to handle wind, waves, tides, currents, weather, and other boat traffic are all key to a safe boating experience. Many states even require you to take at least a boating safety course.

While buying a boat may be easier than buying a home, it's still the 2nd largest investment most people make, so you should consider your options carefully. Once you've decided on a boat, you're going to need a boat lift at the Lake of the Ozarks! Summerset Boat Lifts specializes in Galva-Hoist floating boat lifts, engineered at the Lake for the Lake, Lake of the Ozarks. Be sure to come see us at the Overland Park Boat Show January 22-25!

1165 Jeffries Road Osage Beach, MO  65065

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