It's that time of year again...boat shows have started and hopefully, spring will arrive early.  The Kansas City (Overland Park) Boat Show is this week-end (1/25/14).  The weather has been so cold and blustry that I think most everyone is welcoming the thought of boating and warm weather.  The Bass Masters Classic is in Birmingham, Alabama again February 21-23.  Birmingham is my favorite place for the Classic.After the Classic is the St. Louis Boat Show Feb. 26-March 2.  I will be working with Nameoki Village Marine at this show.  There's something about a boat show to get my juices flowing looking forward to spring.

I am especially excited this year because I have a couple of new ideas for boat fenders. I like to bounce my ideas off people to see what they think.  Their input gives me valuable feedback on what's positive about the fender along with the negative.  One of the boats I'm interested in is the mid-console coastal fishing boat.  I have been developing a boat fender especially for this boat.  A friend of mine recently bought a mid-coastal and got me thinking about making a fender for it.  I have several different prototypes I'm going to try.  Boat shows are the perfect place to try them out.  If the fenders fit and look good, I know I can get  them to perform. 

Let's get back to the weather!!!. So far, it's been a rough winter. I was looking at my firewood supply, and judging by it, this winter is much worse than the last several.  The so-called polar vortex keeps sending thse clippers from the North.  Our weather pattern has been warm for a couple of days then frigidly cold.  Anyway, there's nothing we can do to control the weather--just keep positive thoughts about the coming spring.  Boat shows are good for the positive thoughts!

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Pontoon Fender Invention

    I have been asked, more than once, "How did you think of the pontoon fender?"  So, I thought I'd give a brief history of AKUA's pontoon fender and how it was developed. 

    My area of expertise is fishing boats and providing protection for them.   In the early 2000's (and before), I noticed how many pontoon boats were running with their fenders blowing in the wind.  One of my pet peeves:  seeing any boat with fenders hanging over the side of the boat flying in the breeze while away from the dock. (See my blog on 'What to Look For")  That "messiness" inspired me to develop a fender specifically for pontoon boats.

    Lowe Boats, a pontoon boat company, happened to be right down the road less than 2 hours from where I live.  I had developed a prototype of my idea for a pontoon fender and took it down to Lowe for their review.  They liked my idea and said I was on the right track.  Lowe's advice: the fender must fit on the top rail of the pontoon and extend down to the decking area allowing the fender "to bridge" from the top down to protect the delicated corrugated fence that goes around pontoon boats.  The fender needed to be sturdy enough to prevent any contact against the fence.  With that advice in mind, I created the "fence saver" pontoon fender.  Unlike conventional fenders the fence saver gives protection and looks good even when left on the pontoon and the pontoon is away from the dock.  To see what I mean, take a look at the product information and picture on this website. 

     I am pleased to say that the AKUA pontoon fender works as good as it looks. What started out as a way to solve a pet peeve has given many pontoon owners protection for a delicate area of their boat.  I am proud to be a part of providing protection to pontoon boat owners.

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Made in the USA

The last "part" to be attached to an AKUA boat fender is the "Made in the USA" decal. And, of that, I am most proud.  "Made in the USA" is something I look for when shopping for a product--now more than I used to.  To me it means quality and support of manufacturers in the USA.  At this time, it is difficult to find a product that can make that claim even though the criteria that must be met to be able to say "Made in the USA" is that the "Made in the USA" product components comprise only 60-70% of the total components. I am proud to say that the  AKUA Marine fender is made in the USA with USA made components.

Let me tell you about our manufacturing procedure:

1.)  AKUA fenders are molded of high density polyethelene. The molding is done in New Jersey.

2.)  The closed cell foam with adhesive backing used to pad the fender is from Minnesota.

3.)  Suction cups are made in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. I have tested suction cups manufactured in China.  The suction cups from Pennsylvania hold better on your boat.

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Reasons to Shop AKUA Marine Products

Are you still trying to think of something different to buy for the sportsman/woman in your circle of family and friends?  Are you starting to panic because there is a big blank beside their name on your list?  Have you walked around your local mall or big box store only to come back to your car empty-handed?  Well, while you're reading this blog, an answer to your problem might be on its way.

Order two AKUA Boat Fenders!  AKUA Boat Fenders are unique. The AKUA fender is a fender that was designed by a boater who did not want even one little scratch on his prize possession. The fenders not only keep the boat away from docks and other boats, they can protect your boat if it gets hit on top of the gunnell.  The fenders are easy to put on and easy to take off. Holding the fender and actually seeing it will make a believer out of the boating enthusiast.  At first glance, they know the fender will work.

You will not find AKUA boat fenders in stores; you purchase them right from the website.  The AKUA boat fender will solve your problem; it's a unique gift that works! 

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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January-February-March is the time of the year to catch your local boat shows. 

The St. Louis Boat Show was February 8-12.  I look forward to this show every year.  This year the number of boats and vendors was much larger than last.  I hope this is a sign the economy is getting better.  I talked to a dealer from Nameoki Marine out of Granite City, Illinois, and he said that they sold 24 boats this year compared to 7 last year.  The crowd attending on Saturday reminded me of the crowds in the late 1990's.  It was so crowded at times you had to turn sideways to get through. 

I love to look at the new boats; it doesn't matter if they are fishing boats or the larger pleasure boats.  Boats have really improved the last couple of years--more neat gadgets to better fuel economy. I was impressed with the new pontoon boats. The new ones are like small floating cabins.

I was invited to attend Nameoki's open house the next weekend, and again, turnout was good--lots of interest shown in bass boats.  I loved this open house because of the fishing stories people are already telling.  With the weather being unusually mild, people are already catching lots of fish--even crappie. 

My wife and I just returned from the Bass Master's Classic in Shreveport, Louisiana; and, as in St. Louis and Granite City, the attendance was outstanding.  I love the Classic; it really gets my juices flowin, and I'm excited about another boating and fishing season. 

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