Vance Mfg Product Blogs

Get all your questions answered about some of our most popular products. We cover boating accessories to jack plates and more. Learn what you need for a well-equipped boat ready for anything.

10 Reasons You Need a Foot Throttle

10 Reasons You Need a Foot Throttle

10 Reasons You Need a Foot Throttle

Professional anglers and boating enthusiasts alike may have heard of a foot throttle. But what is it and what are some benefits of adding a boat foot throttle to your boat? A boat foot throttle is a pedal that is installed and mounted under the steering wheel of the boat, much like a gas pedal in a car, and it is used to control the throttle as opposed to the typical throttle control that is by your hand beside the wheel. If you've been thinking about installing one, you can read our compiled list of 10 boat throttle advantages.

1. It provides safety if you're flung from the boat.

Boats built for high speed or for trolling can have a hand throttle locked and engaged. While unlikely, if you're flung from the boat as you're moving, the foot throttle will not stay engaged. Your safety and the safety of those boating around you will be increased. Along with your safety jacket, your ability to get back to your boat in an event like this is necessary, especially if boating alone.

2. It's just like driving a car.

Using your foot throttle is just like driving a car. Using your foot to accelerate and control the throttle is natural and for many is second nature. This may be one of the biggest non-safety-related benefits of throttle control for boat control, as you're likely already very used to controlling the speed of your vehicle with your foot. Build on your many years of experience driving a car to make driving your boat more comfortable.

3. You have a free hand.

Do you need a boat foot throttle? Maybe. Maybe not. But having a free hand sure is nice, even if it is just to pass a friendly wave. Having a free hand may make it easier when docking or more fun when just cruising along with friends.

4. You're able to better use navigating accessories.

Using accessories for fish finding or GPS often requires the navigation of menus. For professional anglers or enthusiasts, it often means that one hand is moving through the menus of the accessory and is not able to be on the throttle. Or maybe you're not an enthusiast and just like to shuffle through your radio options. A foot throttle frees up a hand to allow you to safely navigate these functions while still maintaining complete throttle control.

5. It allows you to keep your hands on 10 and two.

Just as when driving a car, when driving a boat, it's recommended that you keep your hands on the wheel at 10 o'clock and two o'clock to maintain proper handling. This is especially true in rough waters or if a wave is hit at an odd angle. Controlling your boat, especially in rough waters, is key to your safety and the safety of those around you. You wouldn't expect a race car driver to use a hand throttle and easily maintain safe handling and performance. In high-performance boats, the foot throttle allows for safer and more deliberate handling.

6. It reduces unintentional bumping and throttling.

A hand throttle is normally at arm or elbow height, which may make it prone to bumping. A foot throttle can reduce unintentional bumping, which is an important benefit if there are others in the boat. Also, unintentionally bumping a hand throttle may cause someone to be flung from the boat.

7. The engine is idle if the throttle is not pressed.

Just as in a vehicle, the engine is idle and not providing thrust when not engaged with the throttle. This can make docking easier, as you can have both hands on the wheel and the throttle maintained or quickly changed as you approach the dock.

8. It causes less fatigue of the hands and wrist.

Using your foot to throttle reduces fatigue on your hand and wrist. Using your foot is natural, like when driving a car, and you do not need to maintain your hand or wrist in a position next to the wheel for long periods of time. This is especially true on longer runs that may need additional attention to the throttle.

9. It is interchangeable with the hand throttle.

Installing a foot throttle does not mean you can't use the hand throttle any longer. Especially in newer boats, if a foot throttle is an option, the hand throttle will have a button to remove control from the hand throttle to use the foot throttle. This allows you to use whichever you're comfortable with. Additionally, if more than one person is driving the boat, this allows each person to choose whatever they are most comfortable with.

10. It is easy to install and maintain.

Foot throttles are easy to install. You can install one in an afternoon or less. Or if you're not one who wants to install it, it can easily be installed by a professional. Maintenance is easy too, as it is usually only necessary to grease the pivot points of the throttle to ensure smooth operation.

Are you ready?

Now that you've seen the list of benefits of adding a boat foot throttle, you see that it increases safety and comfort. It gives you the ability to navigate your accessories and not worry about throttle control. It makes driving a boat more like driving a car and helps increase performance and handling. It's time to get out and experience the many benefits of using a foot throttle today. Check out our line of foot throttles for boats and enjoy all the advantages that come with owning one!

Discover how adding a foot throttle to your boat makes your life easier and safer!
Best Boat Accessories to Always Have Around

Best Boat Accessories to Always Have Around

Must-Have Boat Accessories

Boating is a great hobby, whether you're into fishing, hunting waterfowl or just going for a cruise. However, it can also be frustrating due to the care and maintenance needed to keep your boat running. Water, rust and corrosion are constant problems, tying ropes is a pain, and there's never enough light when you need it. Fortunately, there are accessories that help solve these problems, making your boat easier to care for and easier to use. That way, you can focus more of your time on having fun. Here are some must-have boat accessories you can use to improve your boating experience.

LED Lighting

You're not always going to be able to use your boat when it's bright and sunny out, which is why you need lighting for visibility. While halogen lights used to be common, manufacturers have moved over to LED lights, thanks to their low power draw, compact size and durability. We partnered with Southern Lite to offer their Gen 3 Boat Lite because it's designed to withstand the most rigorous use. This light bar provides a 220-degree arc of light with no gaps, giving you the visibility you need, whether you're in open water or hugging marshy shorelines. While this is a must-have for duck boats, it's also a great upgrade for any other type of boat.

Hatch Springs

Having a hatch or lid close on you is annoying when you're trying to access cargo or work on your boat. It's even worse when you think you have the hatch closed but water is getting in. Hatch springs solve both problems. They're under tension with the lid shut, pulling it open automatically when you release the latches. This keeps the hatch open when you need access and makes it easy to tell when it's not locked down. Unlike gas struts, these springs won't leak and wear out.

Motor Flusher

Outboard motors need a constant supply of water for their cooling systems, which is a problem when your boat is on a trailer or in a dry dock. A motor flusher channels water from a garden hose to the pump inlet on your engine, feeding the cooling system. This lets you keep the engine cool while adjusting the idle and doing other repairs out of the water. It's also handy for flushing salt and deposits out of the engine before storing.

Transom Saver

When you're towing your boat, the outboard is free to move around as you go over bumps. This bouncing and vibration is hard on your transom and your steering hydraulics. A motor support lifts the tail shaft, taking the stress off of the transom while your boat is towed. Both over-the-roller and bolt-on designs attach between the tail shaft and the trailer, stabilizing the engine.

Quick Cleats

Do you hate having to tie knots every time you moor your boat? With quick cleats, you don't have to. The cleat has a channel for the rope that is covered by a spring-loaded cover. Just slide the cover, place the rope in the cleat and release the cover. The rope is now locked in place. When you're ready to leave, just tilt the cover back to remove the rope. Quick Cleat makes models for ¼- to ⅜-inch rope and ⅜- to ½-inch rope, with several options for finishes and mounting.

If you fish competitively, this is one of the best fishing boat accessories you can add. It makes docking and undocking faster, giving you more time to get to your fishing spot.

Water Displacer

"Which boat supplies should I always have?" While other items on this list make boating easier, nothing is as important as protecting your boat from rust and corrosion. This requires constant vigilance against water; leave a component soaked for too long, and it can freeze solid and stop working. A water displacer pushes water away before it has time to react with metal. Unlike other water displacers, Strike-Hold leaves a protective film after application, delivering long-term protection. It's also safe to use on electronics, preventing corrosion on contacts. Keeping a can or spray bottle with your boat lets you stop corrosion before it starts. Apply a layer of this spray on rust-prone components before storage, and you won't have to worry about corrosion-related problems the next time you get your boat out. This makes it one of the top boat supplies you should have on hand.

Drain Plug

Obviously, you need to replace your boat's drain plug now and then to keep the hull sealed. However, there are options that can make sealing your boat easier. Shoreline Marine's 1-inch/25-mm plug uses stainless steel construction with a large T-handle built into the top. This lets you install and remove the plug without needing a wrench. Unlike flip-top plugs, this design lets you adjust the tension, so you can compensate for wear and tear on the seal for a tight fit.

Part of keeping your boat well-equipped is having key accessories always nearby. Check out our list of the best boat accessories you need to be ready for anything that comes your way!

The Benefits of Power Poles

The Benefits of Power Poles

Why You Need Power Poles

There's a reason power poles are so common on boats used by guides and tournament anglers: They help them catch more fish. Likewise, you'll find plenty of boats outfitted for waterfowl hunting that have these anchors too. Why does this type of anchor give them an advantage, and what can it do for you?

How Does a Power Pole Work?

When you find a fishing spot, you need to drop anchor fast to get into position. However, you also don't want to spook the fish and waterfowl in the area. That's where a power pole comes in handy. It can drop into the water quickly with minimal splashing.

Our poles mount to the transom, and most of them use a cantilever system connected to a hydraulic cylinder. Turning on the system activates an electric motor that pumps fluid into the cylinder, dropping the pole into the water. Our Micro Spike anchors have an electric motor that acts directly on the pole, dropping it straight down into the water.

Since the system is electrically powered, all you need to do to drop the pole is push a switch. Depending on your setup, you can drop the anchor with a foot-operated switch, a key fob or your smartphone using our C-Monster app. Since you can activate the anchor from anywhere in your boat, you can be in position with your fishing rod or rifle when you stop.

Speed and silence aren't the only reasons to choose a power pole. Before its invention, most anglers relied on push pole anchors. In principle, they work similarly to power poles. However, push holes have to be dropped manually, and they don't immediately stop the boat. They're also only able to stop small vessels. A power pole allows for the same silent anchoring with a larger, faster boat. This means you can make accurate stops in a boat that can get to the next spot faster if the fish aren't biting. This can be a major advantage for competitive fishing.

Where Can I Use a Power Pole?

The biggest power pole we make is 10 feet long. This keeps forces on the transom under control while ensuring a fast, silent drop. The pole is made from flexible materials, so it can withstand bumps when dragging against the lake bed. Dropping in shallow water improves the performance of the anchor, because it can penetrate deeper in the mud to keep your boat in place. Penetrating a foot or so in the mud should be more than enough to hold your boat.

A single power pole anchor can hold up to 4,500 lbs, or a boat up to 28 feet long. You can also use two poles, increasing the anchor strength while providing two points of contact. This keeps the bow from being moved by wind and waves. You can minimize motion with a single pole by lining the boat up with the direction of the wind and current.

How Does a Power Pole Compare to a GPS Locking Trolling Motor?

A trolling motor constantly fights against wind and currents to keep your boat in position. This disturbs the water, which can scare off fish. The movement of the prop also pushes up mud on the lake bottom, mucking up the water. Use the motor for too long, and you could find yourself with a drained battery.

With a power pole, you only need enough power to drop it in the water. From there, your boat stays put for as long as you need it to. It's not actively fighting the boat's movement, so there's no disturbance aside from the drop. Even then, the effect on the water is minimal.

A trolling motor lets you keep your boat in place in areas where a power pole can't reach. However, most fishing and waterfowl hunting happens in shallow waters. This makes a power pole the sensible solution for stopping your boat.

Power Pole: Giving You a Competitive Edge

It's easy to see why power poles are so popular in the professional hunting and fishing community. They cause less water disturbance, they're easier to deploy than competing anchoring methods, and they work on larger boats. A simple design and low battery use makes them easy to maintain, giving you an advantage without becoming a headache.

Power Poles can give you the competitive edge you've been missing in your hunting or fishing game. Learn how adding Power Poles could be the best thing you ever did for yourself.

Vance Mfg Product Coating Options

Vance Mfg Product Coating Options

Vance Manufacturing's Coating Options

Information and Comparison

One question we often receive is, "What is the difference between the different coatings that you offer?" This question is important, and selecting the correct option could make a big difference for your product for years to come. When you're researching and deciding on aluminum coatings for Vance jack plates, Vance kick-up plates, Vance hydraulic kick-up plates, Vance hydraulic jack plates, Vance drop-down plates, Vance foot throttles and other Vance Manufacturing products and accessories, use the guide below to help. These options are almost always in stock and ready to ship to your door.

Raw Aluminum/No Coating

The Raw Aluminum option for Vance Manufacturing products is just as stated; no coating or corrosion-resistant coatings are applied. This is the most basic option we offer and is great for situations when you're on a budget, you don't desire color/coatings and you will always be using your Vance product in a freshwater environment. This option does not have an upcharge.

  • No coating and no protection against elements
  • Aluminum is sometimes dull to shiny in color
  • Best for people on a strict budget and for use in freshwater applications
  • Not recommended for saltwater or brackish water applications
  • Will oxidize in saltwater and break down

Clear Anodize Coating

The Clear Anodize option for Vance Manufacturing products is a good corrosion-resistant inhibitor for saltwater and brackish water applications. This is an aircraft-grade coating used to prevent the corrosion and breakdown of materials in a corrosive environment. When Clear Anodize is chosen, the color is similar to a clear coat and sometimes leaves a hint of a golden color for visual purposes. This option does have an upcharge on most Vance Manufacturing items.

  • Good salt water corrosion resistance
  • Does not scratch or chip off
  • Aluminum Clear Coat Color has a slight gold tint
  • Recommended for offshore and brackish water unless black color is desired look below
  • Coating applied in tank while pieces are disassembled to entire surface is coated

Hard Black Anodizing

The Hard Black Anodizing option for Vance Manufacturing products is an excellent corrosion resistant inhibitor for salt water and brackish water applications. This is an aircraft grade coating used to prevent and elongate the corrosion breakdown of the materials in a corrosive environment. When Hard Black Anodize is chosen, the color is similar to a Black Paint job or Black Powder Coating. This is a favorite for duck hunters and offshore fishermen! This option does have an up charge on most Vance Manufacturing items.

  • Excellent salt water corrosion resistance
  • Black Color, extremely durable
  • Preferred by duck hunters and offshore fishermen
  • Does not scratch or chip off
  • Coating applied in tank while pieces are disassembled to entire surface is coated

Black Powder Coating

The Black Powder Coating option for Vance Manufacturing products offers zero to little corrosion resistance for salt water and brackish water applications. This is a sprayed on coating and we prep the material's surface using alodine. This will help harden the surface and prevent chipping and breakdown of the powder coating. When Black Powder Coating is chosen, the color is similar to a Black Paint Job with semi gloss to gloss look. This option does have an up charge on most Vance Manufacturing items.

  • No Salt Water Corrosion Resistance
  • Black Color, Glossy finish
  • Susceptible to scratches and chipping
  • Not recommended for salt or brackish water
  • Alodining on our material helps to elongate the coating life
Learn more about the different coating options available for our Vance Mfg jack plates and the different features of each option.