Profesional boat detailer Brian Brown new to the area from Florida ready to use his experience and expertise from the very harsh Florida marine environment to work for you here in NW Arkansas.
Raptor is owned and operated by Brian & Sue Brown who have a passion for boats. Being successful in the service industry for 25 years has taught us the value of quality, commitment & dependability. We treat every boat with care as if it were ours and want the customer to be proud of their vessel. We are completely mobile, licensed, insured and certified. LIC# 03720506
Owner Brian Brown personally provides all services with a strong attention to detail. Quality work and a desire to satisfy every customer – no exceptions! We provide boat detailing service using only the highest quality, marine-grade products while keeping our services affordable.
$12/ft for boats up to 20 feet
$14/ft for boats over 20 feet and less than 30 ft
Restore your boat's gel coat to its original luster using Woody Wax high gloss compound and a high speed polisher.
Our services are designed for owners who desire worry free year round meticulous maintenance on a bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly plan at a discounted price. Our goal is to keep your boat protected from the elements and looking its best.
We keep you looking good between details
Ever had your boat trailer break down on the highway? Such an event can get ugly really quick — even make the local papers. I've been reassessing my own trailer maintenance program after a friend recently had one of his trailer tires fly loose at highway speed.
Trailer maintenance isn't so exciting, so let's get to the exciting part first. His tire and rim came loose on a quiet, straight, divided highway with only occasional passing big trucks. The tire took some crazy bounces, sometimes 12 feet in the air, before catching up with my friend's decelerating truck and boat. After all, the boat trailer was leaning far over and riding on a little steel wheel hub. Instead of crashing through their truck's back window, a fortunate low bounce took the tire under the trailer. The steel hub ran over its own tire and rim, damaging the steel rim in five places. Then the tire ejected sideways — not in a lethal manner across the highway, but off into dark woods.
As it turned out, his four new 2-inch lug nuts, recently painted to avoid corrosion, had somehow vanished — most likely with a little help from some joker at an isolated country boat ramp, where the locals seem to have issues with out-of-towners fishing their spots. A cursory check at the boat ramp would have prevented the entire episode: loose lug nuts could have been tightened. Those missing could have been borrowed from the other tire, or from a box of spare trailer parts.
A bigger, top-heavy boat might have flipped while leaning that far over, especially on a curve in the road. But their johnboat was small and light on a straight highway. The two anglers were actually able to lift boat and trailer a foot high and barely slide a handy milk crate under the trailer, allowing room for a car jack to operate properly. The tire was changed, but the buddy bearing had impacted the highway and vanished, splattering grease against the boat. Without a spare cap and no duct tape, they wrapped a Ziploc sandwich bag over the open, still-greasy bearings, and eased into the next town without loosing more grease. An auto parts store was open late that carried bearing protectors and spare lug nuts.
This was a wake-up call that boat owners should carry spare equipment with them. Even a well-maintained trailer can come apart if someone vandalizes it. My friend hadn't lost a lug nut in 30 years of boating, with nothing but good luck pulling boats up and down the highway. However, former luck won't stop a fiasco tomorrow. All you can do is employ regular trailer maintenance, cursory checks of the trailer before getting on the road, both at home and boat ramps, and carry a box of spare trailer parts.
Wheel hub that carries the bearings. Road surface still ground into the hub after tired and rim departed at highway speed. You can bet that pro tournament anglers carry plenty of spare parts for their boat trailers. These guys log more highway time in a season than some fishermen ever see. Florida pro angler Ron Klys competes in bass tournaments around the Southeast, pulling his rig up and down many an Interstate and country back road.
"I even carry a complete extra wheel hub, with greased bearings inside," says Klys. "Also a quality spare tire, 4-way jack, duct tape, extra bearing protectors, grease gun and extra grease, and a hammer to tap or pry. Also a few road flares and a flashlight, since we pull up and down many a dark road. (It should be noted that flares would have slowed passing traffic during my friend's recent mishap. Instead, cars were zipping by only five feet away without even changing lanes, while he changed the tire).
"Always carry extra fuses and light bulbs for the truck and trailer," continues Klys. "If the truck lights don't work, the trailer's won't either. If you run a tandem trailer axle, bring heavy duty tie straps to tie the second axle up, if all else fails. Give the wheel bearings a quick shot of grease before making a trip. When filling the truck with gas, I walk around and look for obvious dangers, and feel the trailer hubs for signs of heat. If anything is going to happen, those bearings will heat up first.
A couple hours dedicated to insuring the preparedness of both boat and trailer is a wise investment in time, one likely to pay dividends in hassle-free sport throughout the season.
A boat is highly dependent on its electrical system. Any pre-season preparation should make certain the batteries powering this system are in top notch shape, which includes clean terminals and connections. Working with marine batteries carries the risk of exposure to acid. Protect yourself by wearing safety glasses and rubber gloves. Also, if you use an onboard battery charger make sure it is unplugged before proceeding.
Disconnect the negative (--) terminal first, then the positive side (+). In marine applications, it's common to have multiple leads on each battery post. After they've been removed from the post, I like to keep track of them by stringing them together with a wire tie, using a black tie for connectors from the negative post, and a white one for ones removed from the positive side. Use a small wire brush to clean the battery posts and the connectors. Contact cleaner spray, or a solution of water and baking soda, helps the process. Coat the posts with white lithium grease to prevent corrosion.
It's not a bad idea to fire up the motor before making the first trip of the year. "Earmuffs" — muff-shaped flush adapters — allow you to supply water to the engine's cooling system through a garden hose. If you properly winterized the engine last season before storage, it might produce some excess smoke during the initial ignition period as it burns off the extra lubrication. The outboard's lower unit lubricant should be replaced annually, so do it now. It's a simple process well described in your owner's manual.
Move on to check the function of the boat's navigation lights. If there's a problem, it might be with the bulb. In the case of "stowable" lights corrosion on terminals can cause a failure. Or the lighting system's might have blown a fuse, or tripped the circuit breaker. Fuse holders and circuit breakers are usually located in or near the switch panel.
Inventory the boat's safety equipment, making sure that it's there and in working order. This includes personal flotation devices, cushions, fire extinguisher and sound device. You should also carry a functional flashlight, and an anchor and rope. If big waters like the Great Lakes are part of your beat, be sure you have the added safety equipment necessary on such U.S. Coast Guard regulated waters, including up-to-date flares.
This is also a good time to check your boat registration, making sure your tags are current and that your registration card is in your wallet.
Accepting an invitation to join a friend on his or her boat for a day of fishing is a privilege. As with many potential relationships, your conduct during the outing will have a lot to do with being asked again. This compilation of dos and don'ts should help ensure that second date.
Always kick in for your share of the fuel - for both boat and tow vehicle - when fishing as a guest.
With the high cost of fuel, this should be a no-brainer. Sadly, this doesn't always seem to be the case.
As a rider, if you agree to accompany someone for a trip, understand that's it your ethical obligation to pay your share of the fuel. We all know what gas costs — a shocking reminder reinforced each time we fill up. Do a little simple math in your head during the day to arrive at a liberal estimate of what the tow vehicle and boat motor used that day, and then leave the boater with half that amount. At day's end — or when at the pump — don't ask the awkward question, "Can I give you something for gas?" That matter should have been answered when you said yes to the trip.
A day on the water will produce the inevitable collection of empty water bottles, balls of twisted fishing line, sandwich wrappers and pile of torn plastic baits. The boater has enough to do at the end of the day tending to things like re-organizing the boat and charging the batteries. Add picking up your trash to the list and you might have spent your last day on that particular boat. The same goes with the tow vehicle. Take with you empty containers that held food and drink consumed on the way home from the lake.
With the understanding that things can happen, such instances are the exception. More commonly lateness is simply a matter of poor planning or, worse yet, poor manners — an implication that says, "My time is more valuable than your time." Want to make your boater happy? Have your tackle and duffle neatly organized and ready to be stowed when he pulls up to the meeting spot. Want to make him unhappy? Make him wait, pondering the question, "How can I ready the boat, couple the trailer to the vehicle, and be on time when my rider can't?!"
Smartphones can be a tremendous asset to anglers. Given a decent signal you can monitor the weather, check solunar periods, and even access web sites to see if that big crappie you caught is a new state record. As a rider, what you don't want to do with a smartphone is email, text or call other fishing buddies for advice on where and how you should be fishing that day. Chances are your boater has a pretty good idea of how he wants to approach the day's fishing, and such unsolicited advice isn't going to be well -taken. If you want to know how your buddies would fish that day, go with them.