California Adventure

The first part of our extended vacation we spent in San Francisco. My wife and I both have family in the area. We took two days to see the most touristy attractions – Alcatraz, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf and more.

While we were on Alcatraz – which is actually a quite beautiful island despite its grim history – I kept finding myself staring out at the water watching the boats go by. The few days we were in town were unseasonably warm and sunny, so you could tell all the boaters were taking full advantage. Much to my wife’s annoyance, I stopped to talk with some boaters while we were walking around the marina. I wound up discussing the ins and outs of OptiMax oil with one guy. When you have a common interest like boating you can make friends anywhere!

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Friday Harbor

The county seat of the San Juan Islands is Friday Harbor. It has a rich maritime history and it remains an active commercial fishing port. The downtown area is quite pleasant with a plethora of shops, galleries, and restaurants. While I’m putting 2 stroke oil in my boat, my wife likes to take a walk in the local park or take in a summer series concert.

Kayaking and whale watching are also big in the area. Personally I have spotted the majestic creatures a half dozen times or so. Each sighting still takes my breath away.

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Good Weather & Good Food

This weekend we had unseasonably warm weather. With a little urging from my wife and kids, I got the boat ready with some Yamalube 2M oil, trailered it and headed out to the lake for an afternoon of fun. While my wife and kids took the boat for a spin, I stayed on shore and rustled up some food.

I set up my charcoal grill, got a nice burn going, and went about making my famous hamburgers. I loathe frozen patties and refuse to eat them. My burgers are made with fresh ground beef, chopped onions, eggs, and spices. I shape the patties and then char them to perfection before serving them on a sesame bun. Good weather deserves good food!

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Visiting Alaska

My father’s first cousin has lived most of his adult life in Alaska. Given that most of our family lives on the east coast, I was curious as to how this cousin wound up so far north. Apparently, he’d always been a bit of an adventurer and after visiting the frozen north decided that it would be an ideal place to live.

Since relocating to the Pacific Northwest, I’ve been meaning to pay this relative a visit. It’s not exactly a short trip, but it’s certainly less daunting than flying out from the east coast. I’ve spoken with my cousin a few times and we’ve worked out a few dates I can go visit him. He’s convinced me that there is plenty of good fishing to be done, so you know I’m hooked. Maybe I’ll bring along a case of Yamaha oil as a goodwill gesture.

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Yamaha YZ250F

When I’m not on the water, I like to tool around on my Yamaha YZ250F motocross dirt bike. It’s agile and easy to use. I feel confident when I’m going over dirt hills or racing around an outdoor track.

Motorcycle testing websites consistently comment on the YZ250F’s ease of use. Even when you’re airborne you can stay in full control. To make sure it stays that way, I perform routine maintenance, like replacing the oil with Yamaha 2S oil every few months.

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Arthur Foss

In 1989, 100 years after it was built, the Arthur Foss tugboat was declared a National Historic Landmark. It’s no wonder, given the Arthur Foss’ storied past. The little tugboat that could is one of the oldest wooden-hulled tugboats afloat in the U.S.

The Arthur Foss transported barges of gold seeking miners and supplies up the Inside Passage during the Alaska Gold Rush. In 1933 Arthur Foss was in an MGM movie called “Tugboat Annie.” During WWII Arthur Foss was the last vessel to get away before the Battle of Wake Island began. I may have mentioned some of these stories to the guys when I was shopping for Mercury 2 stroke premium outboard motor oil.

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The Duwamish Fireboat

For 75-years the Duwamish was one of the most important fireboats in the United States. The Duwamish was built in 1909 specifically for the Seattle Fire Department. On board were three American LaFrance steam piston pumps rated at 3,000 gallons per minute apiece. An upgrade in 1949 bumped the rated capacity to 22,800 gallons per minute. Only the L.A. Fire Department’s Warner Lawrence has exceeded the Duwamish (38,000 lpm), and that didn’t occur until 2003.

When volunteers are available, visitors can board the Duwamish, which is moored at South Lake Union Park in Seattle. The boat is used by the Sea Scouts (a part of the Boy Scouts of America) and maintained by the Puget Sound fireboat Foundation. This is another vessel I’ll tell my buddies about when I go get my Mercury 2 stroke oil.

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Only two members survive of the American mosquito fleet. One of the two, called Sabino, is housed at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut. Additionally, Sabino is a National Historic Landmark.

The wooden, coal-fired steamboat was built in 1908 at the W. Irving Adams shipyard in East Boothbay, Maine. The boat has served the entirety of its career as a ferry vessel. Even in its preserved status, patrons of the Mystic Seaport Museum can take a ferry ride on Sabino. Being a passenger aboard Sabino is a wonderful childhood memory of mine, but I much prefer my efficient Johnson outboard motor (filled with Johnson outboard oil) nowadays.

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What to Do When the Engine Dies?

As I mentioned yesterday, my friend James has been asking me for some pointers on his quest to becoming a more knowledgeable boat owner. Recently he asked me what he should look for when the engine dies while driving. There are few things more irritating than being stranded out on the water, so I understood where he was coming from.

When you get back to shore, I told him, take a look at the fuel pump. If the engine is not receiving fuel, or not receiving an adequate amount of fuel, then the engine will fail to work. If the fuel pump is not the cause, then take a listen to the injector. A clicking noise means it’s working; silence means it’s not. Finally, check for kinks in the fuel line house and check the levels of Evinrude Johnson 2 stroke outboard oil.

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Trout Town USA

Ok, so the next place on my list of top trout fishing locations isn’t actually named Trout Town USA. Given all the attention it gets for its trout fishing, Roscoe, NY might as well be renamed. The rivers that run down through the Catskill Mountains are teeming with trout.

The Beaverkill and Willowemoc flow through town and are storied throughout angling history. Nearby East and West branches of the Delaware River also offer incredible brown and rainbow trout fishing. I typically go for dry fly-fishing in these areas, but I know a few people who like to take their outboards out lubed up with 2 stroke oil.


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Lake St. Clair

It should come as no surprise that Michigan is a renowned fishing destination. After all, the state borders the great Lakes. Nestled between Lake Erie and Lake Huron is Lake St. Clair. In my opinion, Lake St. Clair is one of Michigan’s best kept secrets.

St. Clair boasts a fishery stock full of muskie, walleye, perch, crappie, and smallmouth bass. What is most incredible about the lake is that it’s only 11 feet deep on average. Muskies in this lake are frequently over 15 pounds – a rarity – and have been known to weigh over 30 pounds and measure 50 inches in length. If that doesn’t make you want to take your outboard motor with Yamalube 2W oil on an adventure to Lake St. Clair, then I don’t know what will.

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Yamaha PW80

Yamaha is well known for making quality motorcycle and outboard engines. The Yamaha PW80 is a prime example. Typically used in trail midsize trail motorcycles, the PW80 is suitable for tackling bumps and jumps with ease. New riders prefer the PW80 because it is lightweight and easy to handle.

To go into more engine detail, the PW80 runs on unleaded fuel and is a single-cylinder two-stroke. The engine is air-cooled and requires Yamaha 2S oil (or the equivalent). The transmission is a manual three speed operated by foot. All in all, it’s a solid engine that I would recommend to others, particularly motorcycling newcomers.

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