Hurricane Irma: Securing Your Boat

September 7th, 2017

Most boaters know their vessels should stripped of sails and anything else that’s removable and creates windage. Adding extra lines when a boat is in the water is also critical. Of course, there are several other things that boaters should prepare for that may not be quite as obvious. Our team at Shcrader Mattress is preparing for the worst, and you should too.

Here are some hurricane boat tips:

Strap Down Boats

Most people have seen in person, or images, of boats that were ashore during hurricanes. In many cases, jackstands used to support the hulls are rocked back and forth in sudden gusts. Over the course of a hurricane, and in the case of a stronger hurricane such as Irma, this heavy movement can literally move the jackstands out of position, making it more likely that the boat will be tipped over. While boats ashore tend to suffer less damage than boats left at docks, the extent of damage ashore can be just as significant.

In the past few hurricanes, a technique has emerged that promises to greatly reduce damage to boats stored ashore: Strap them down securely to some sort of secure anchor, such as eyes set in concrete or helical anchors drilled into the ground. With either type of anchor, straps with little or no stretch work best; ordinary nylon line stretches, which can buckle the leeward jackstands.

Marinas With Floating Docks And Tall Pilings

Often times, when marinas are ruined by a hurricane, they are rebuilt with floating docks that raise and fall during tides and storm surges. This allows for less stress on vessels and other elements. Many times, these floating docks can go unaffected during hurricanes, while other marinas with fixed docks see significant damages. If your marina has floating docks with tall pilings, it would be wise to strip your boat of all sails or anything that could create windage.

Storing Boats Ashore On High Ground

According to a study by MIT following Hurricane Gloria, boats stored ashore were far more likely to survive than boats stored in the water. Of course, some boats are especially vulnerable, especially small open boats with low freeboard that are likely to be swamped by heavy rains. Note, however, that “ashore” in some low-lying areas might be under five or six feet of water during a hurricane. It’s important that boats be stored on high ground — the higher the better — above the anticipated surge.

Helical Moorings

One of the more interesting innovations to come out of Hurricanes Bob and Gloria, which clobbered the New England coast 20 years ago, has been the development of the helical anchor, which is screwed into the bottom using specialized equipment and offers tremendous holding power, even when scope is reduced.

Dry-Stack Storage Facilities Built After Hurricane Andrew

Port Marina, a dry-stack facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has received a lot of publicity for its ability to stand up to winds of more than 140 miles per hour. So, too, have River Forest Yacht Centers in Stuart and LaBelle, Florida, whose dry-stack storage buildings are billed as offering boat owners “safe harbor during hurricane conditions.” At the same time these dry-stacks are being touted as one of the best solutions to reducing hurricane damage, other dry-stacks have been among the most visible hurricane casualties. In Hurricane Wilma alone, three large steel storage racks with thousands of boats were collapsed by the storm’s 115-mph winds. In Hurricane Ike, a dry-stack facility in Galveston, Texas, collapsed and burned. How old is old? In Florida, construction standards in most counties were upgraded after Hurricane Andrew, which means that newer racks — those built after 1992 — are far more likely to have been built with more (and heavier) structural supports.

Smaller Boat Hurricane Preparation

For smaller boats, especially lightweight boats, remove the boat from the trailer and partially fill it with water. This will make it less likely to become a projectile in hurricane force winds.You can also fill your canoe or kayak with water if the vessel can’t be stored inside.

Make Plans Before A Hurricane Warning Is Posted

If you pick up anything from this article, it is most important to make plans prior to the hurricane warning being posted. If you own a boat in a hurricane-prone area, such as here in South Florida, the first step in creating a plan is to review your dock contract for legal language that may require you to take certain steps or to leave the marina when a hurricane becomes evident. Ask your marina manager if they have a hurricane plan.

Most of all, we encourage everyone to evacuate or seek shelter during this monstrous storm heading our way.

Gag Grouper Fall Season Opens in Gulf 4-County Region

August 30th, 2017

The Gulf of Mexico gag grouper recreational season in state waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties will be open for harvest Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.

This new fall season was approved at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) July meeting and is in addition to the April 1 through June 30 season that already takes place off these four counties.

“Gag grouper management off the state of Florida is a prime example of how regional management can successfully provide fishing opportunities while continuing to promote conservation,” said Jessica McCawley, director of FWC’s Division of Marine Fisheries Management.

The season for all other Gulf state and federal waters is June 1 through Dec. 31.

The minimum size limit for gag grouper is 24 inches total length, and the daily bag limit is two fish per harvester within the four fish aggregate bag limit. Charter captains and crew have a zero bag limit.

Read More at FWC

We Are Keeping Everyone Effected by Hurricane Harvey in Our Hearts

August 26th, 2017

The entire team at Schrader Mattress is keeping everyone effected by Hurricane Harvey in our hearts.

Hurricane Harvey Information:

  • Hurricane Harvey, powered by the Gulf of Mexico’s warm waters, made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane at about 9:45 p.m. Friday, earlier than expected. It came ashore just northeast of Corpus Christi, Tex., packing 130 m.p.h. winds.
  • A single storm-related death was reported on Saturday in Rockport, Tex., but search and rescue operations were just getting under way.
  • While the extent of the devastation was not yet known, emergency officials reported heavy building damage in Port Aransas and in Rockport on Saturday, with shredded trees and blown-off roofs.
  • The system was downgraded to a tropical storm Saturday afternoon, and is expected to produce a “multi-day rainfall disaster” over the next five to six days, according to the National Hurricane Center.
  • Image result for hurricane harvey

How The Eclipse Effects Boating

August 15th, 2017

with the upcoming solar eclipse, many boaters are wondering if it will have any effect on their boating experience. As a result, we have gathered some information you may want to take note of before going on your boating adventure during the next eclipse.

DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN – While it may be difficult to not look at the sun while on your boat, it is extremely important not to. Looking directly at the sun during an eclipse can cause permanent damage to your eyes. Furthermore, it is also important not to take direct pictures of the sun either, as the sun can even ruin your camera.

Increased Tidal Range – When the sun, moon and the earth are aligned it forms an eclipse. When a new moon or solar eclipse and full moon lunar eclipse occur, this is the time of the highest tide, also referred to as spring tides. It is important for boaters to pay attention for additional debris during high tides, and shoaling in areas where low tides would occur.

Strong Thunderstorms – During a solar eclipse temperatures can drop up to 15 degrees. This sudden temperature change could create a thunderstorm if the cold air interacts with the warmer air.

Decreased Visibility – With decreased visibility, boaters should make sure to turn on their navigation lights and treat this situation the same as night boating, or boating in any other low visibility situation.

Pay Attention – It is very likely that people will be paying more attention to the sun than they will be to other boaters. It is very important to pay attention while driving your boat to avoid any type of accident.

How To Properly Wear Your Life Jacket

August 10th, 2017
After 60 years of making custom mattresses for boats, our team is well aware of the importance of safety. One way to stay safe is to always wear a life jacket while boating, it is the cool thing to do.

Boaters enjoy the feel of sun and spray. So it’s tempting to boat without wearing a life jacket especially on nice days. But modern life jackets are available in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Many are thin and flexible. Some are built right into fishing vests or hunter coats. Others are inflatable as compact as a scarf or fanny pack until they hit water, when they automatically fill with air.

There’s no excuse not to wear a life jacket on the water!

Here are some tips from none other than the US Coast Guard:

How to Choose the Right Life Jacket Brochure – PDF

Things to Know:

  • Certain life jackets are designed to keep your head above water and help you remain in a position which permits proper breathing.
  • To meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements, a boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard Approved life jacket for each person aboard. Boats 16 feet and over must have at least one Type IV throwable device as well.
  • All states have regulations regarding life jacket wear by children.
  • Adult-sized life jackets will not work for children. Special life jackets are available. To work correctly, a life jacket must be worn, fit snugly, and not allow the child’s chin or ears to slip through.
  • Life jackets should be tested for wear and buoyancy at least once each year. Waterlogged, faded, or leaky jackets should be discarded.
  • Life jackets must be properly stowed.
  • A life jacket especially a snug-fitting flotation coat or deck-suit style can help you survive in cold water.

How Do Life Jackets Save Lives?

  • When capsized in rough water.
  • When sinking in unexpectedly heavy sea conditions.
  • When thrown from the boat as a result of a collision.
  • When injured by rocks or submerged objects.
  • When unconscious from carbon monoxide fumes.
  • When tossed into freezing water.
  • When thrown off balance while fishing.
  • When unable to swim because of heavy or waterlogged clothing.

Lifejackets must be

  • Coast Guard approved,
  • in good and serviceable condition, and
  • the appropriate size for the intended user.


  • Wearable lifejackets must be readily accessible.
  • You must be able to put them on in a reasonable amount of time in an emergency (vessel sinking, on fire, etc.).
  • They should not be stowed in plastic bags, in locked or closed compartments or have other gear stowed on top of them.
  • The best lifejacket is the one you will wear.
  • Though not required, a lifejacket should be worn at all times when the vessel is underway. A wearable lifejacket can save your life, but only if you wear it.
  • Throwable devices must be immediately available for use.

Inflatable Lifejackets

  • Inflatable lifejackets may be more comfortable to wear.
  • The best lifejacket is the one you will wear.
  • Inflatable lifejackets require the user to pay careful attention to the condition of the device.
  • Inflatable lifejackets must have a full cylinder and all status indicators on the inflator must be green, or the device is NOT serviceable, and does NOT satisfy the requirement to carry lifejackets.
  • Coast Guard Approved Inflatable lifejacket’s are authorized for use on recreational boats by person at least 16 years of age.

Child Lifejacket Requirements

Some states require that children wear lifejackets

  • applies to children of specific ages
  • applies to certain sizes of boats
  • applies to specific boating operations

Check with your state boating safety officials.

Child lifejacket approvals are based on the child’s weight. Check the “User Weight” on the label, or the approval statement that will read something like “Approved for use on recreational boats and uninspected commercial vessels not carrying passengers for hire, by persons weighing __ lbs”. They can be marked “less than 30”, “30 to 50”, “less than 50”, or “50 to 90”.

Lifejacket requirements for certain boating activities under state laws

The Coast Guard recommends and many states require wearing lifejackets:

  • For water skiing and other towed activities (use a lifejacket marked for water skiing).
  • While operating personal watercraft (PWC) (use a lifejacket marked for water skiing or PWC use).
  • During white water boating activities.
  • While sailboarding (under Federal law, sailboards are not “boats”).

Check with your state boating safety officials.

Federal law does not require lifejackets on racing shells, rowing sculls, racing canoes, and racing kayaks; state laws vary. Check with your state boating safety officials.

If you are boating in an area under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers, or a federal, state, or local park authority, other rules may apply.

Lifejacket Flotation

There are three basic kinds of lifejacket flotation in the five types of lifejackets with the following characteristics:

Inherently Buoyant (primarily Foam)

  • Adult, Youth, Child, and Infant sizes
  • For swimmers & non-swimmers
  • Wearable & throwable styles
  • Some designed for water sports
Minimum Buoyancy
Wearable Size Type Inherent Buoyancy (Foam)
Adult I
22 lb.
15.5 lb.
15.5 to 22 lb.
Youth II & III
11 lb.
11 to 15.5 lb.
Child and Infant II 7 lb.
Ring Buoy
IV 20 lb.
16.5 & 32 lb.


  • The most compact
  • Sizes only for adults
  • Only recommended for swimmers
  • Wearable styles only
  • Some with the best in-water performance
Minimum Buoyancy
Wearable Size Type Inherent Buoyancy
Adult I & II
34 lb.
22.5 lb.
22.5 to 34 lb.

Hybrid (Foam & Inflation)

  • Reliable
  • Adult, Youth, and Child sizes
  • For swimmers & non-swimmers
  • Wearable styles only
  • Some designed for water sports
Minimum Buoyancy
Wearable Size Type Inherent Buoyancy Inflated Total Buoyancy
Adult II & III
10 lb
7.5 lb.
22 lb.
22 lb.
Youth II & III
9 lb
7.5 lb.
15 lb.
15 lb.
Child II 7 lb. 12 lb.

Boating Safety Courses 2017

August 2nd, 2017

At Schrader Mattress, we are committed to making sure that everyone has fun on the water and is able to be safe.

Many boating safety courses are offered throughout the country, for all types of recreational boaters, and for boaters of all ages. Qualified volunteer organizations, such as the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron, and others sponsor many courses, and many state boating agencies also provide classes.

Courses cover many aspects of boating safety, from boat handling to reading the weather, and from a “Water ‘N Kids” class to courses for boaters who want to learn electronic navigation skills. The most popular basic courses generally have from 6 to 13 lessons to provide a foundation of operational and safety instruction.

American Boat Operators’ Course 
Offers online boating safety courses with online certification tests for a number of states.

Boat/U.S. Foundation Courseline
The Courseline is a searchable database of current boating safety courses around the nation.

Offers online boating safety courses with online certification tests for a number of states. 
Offers online boating safety courses with online certification tests for a number of states.

Offers an online Basic Boating Certification Course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, and a Coastal Navigation Course.

Commander Bob
An award-winning website that advances boating education

PWC Safety School
Offers online courses and certification for PWC operators in several states

Safe Boating America
Safe Boating America classes meet the State Educational Requirements for operating a Boat or PWC and also meet the requirements for a Youth Operator.

State Courses
Many states offer boating safety courses. The National Association of State Boating Boating Law Administrators’ online Directory provides contact information for state boating agencies.

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
Local flotillas offer a variety of safety classes, including basic/introductory boating courses and safety courses, navigation, sailing and personal watercraft safety, among others.

U.S. Sailing
Programs offer instruction in small and large sailboats, windsurfers, and powerboats. All levels of instruction are available around the country for beginner to advanced skills. Information on courses and instruction is available on the web.

United States Power Squadron
“America’s Boating Course 3rd Edition” the most comprehensive boating safety
course available. It includes a course book, a narrated student CD and a
digital charting DVD. ABC 3 is available as a classroom, home study or
online course.

American Canoe Association
Comprehensive resource to find skills courses, assessments, and instructor certification courses for kayak, canoe, raft, safety & rescue, and adaptive paddling.

In addition, if you are interested in a custom boat mattress, we encourage you to contact our team at Schrader Mattress today.

Upcoming Florida Fishing Contests

July 22nd, 2017

At Schrader Mattress, we are huge fishing fans and are proud to announce upcoming fishing events throughout the state of Florida. Below users can find the date, event title, location, and even help contribute to each fishing contest.

If you are seriously into fishing, we offer custom boat mattresses for all types of boats, including fishing boats.

Date Fishing Contest City / Location / Bodies of Water
Jul 25, 2017
Tuesday Night Tournaments Tarpon Springs, FL Anderson Park Lake Tarpon
Jul 29, 2017
BASS Nation NE Pro/Am Q #4 Eureka, FL Kenwood Landing Rodman Reservoir
Jul 29, 2017
Kayak Wars freshwater 28 species, saltwater 30 species statewide, FL all legal waters
Jul 29, 2017
Key West Fishing Tournament all legal Key West, FL
Jul 29, 2017
Media Bass – FL Indv North bass Santa Rosa Beach, FL Choctawhatchee River
Jul 29, 2017
Palm Bay Bassmasters bass Kissimmee, FL Lake Cypress Kissimmee
Jul 29, 2017
River Bassin Tournament Trail – Online Tournament guadalupe, Largemouth, shoal, smallmouth, spotted, suwannee bass statewide, FL all legal waters
Jul 29, 2017
Roland Martin Marine Series Okeechobee, FL Lake Okeechobee
Jul 29, 2017
Tampa Bay Bassmasters St Johns, FL Crystal Cove Marina St Johns River
Jul 29, 2017
Team Trail Southport, FL Deerpoint Lake
Jul 29, 2017
West Palm Beach Fishing Club Summer Fishing Contest West Palm Beach, FL sailfish
Jul 30, 2017
BASS Nation NE Team Q #3 Eureka, FL Kenwood Landing Rodman Reservoir
Aug 1, 2017
Sarasota Slam Blue Marlin, dolphin, grouper, redfish, sailfish, snapper, Spearfish, swordfish, trout, tuna, wahoo, White Marlin Sarasota, FL Marina Jack Gulf of Mexico
Aug 1, 2017
Tuesday Night Tournaments Tarpon Springs, FL Anderson Park Lake Tarpon
Aug 5, 2017
American Bass Anglers bass Kissimmee, FL Southport Lake Toho
Aug 5, 2017
Bass Capital BassMasters St Johns, FL Astor St Johns River
Aug 5, 2017
C-Quarters Kingfish Shootout King fish, Spanish Mackerel Carrabelle, FL C-Quarters Marina Salt waters of North Florida
Aug 5, 2017
Florida Trails Bassmasters bass Kissimmee, FL Lake Cypress
Aug 5, 2017
Jr. Bassmaster Challenge bass Hernando, FL Lake Hernando
Aug 5, 2017
Kayak Wars freshwater 28 species, saltwater 30 species statewide, FL all legal waters
Aug 5, 2017
Key West Fishing Tournament all legal Key West, FL
Aug 5, 2017
River Bassin Tournament Trail – Online Tournament guadalupe, Largemouth, shoal, smallmouth, spotted, suwannee bass statewide, FL all legal waters
Aug 5, 2017
Tampa Bay Jr. Bassmasters Winterhaven, FL Winter Haven Chain
Aug 5, 2017
West Palm Beach Fishing Club Summer Fishing Contest West Palm Beach, FL sailfish
Aug 5, 2017
Xtreme Bass Series redfish Winterhaven, FL New Shipp Ramp Winter Haven Chain

4th Annual Lakeland Boat Show

July 12th, 2017
  • Date: 
July 14, 2017 – July 16, 2017
  • Location:

RP Funding Center in Lakeland

  • Admission:
$5. Kids 12 and younger get in free.
Adult tickets are two-for-one the first day courtesy of 97 Country radio.
  • FREE Parking
The fourth annual Lakeland Boat Show will take place between July 14-16 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Florida.
The event will include over 110 new boat models, while boat dealers from around the area including; Polk County, Venice, Sarasota, Clermont, Tampa, Dunedin and Clearwater to attend this event.
Fishing and boating gear is available to those looking for new and top notch lures, rods, fishing accessories, and other valuable boating gear.
The hands-on Captain Joe Fishing School will have a variety of seminars including rigging demonstrations for those interested in learning more about their favorite hobby or sport.
If you are interested in purchasing a custom boat mattress for your new or existing boat, we encourage you to complete the contact form or call us today!
Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the first two days and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the last day. For information, check

West Palm Beach Summer Fishing Contest

July 8th, 2017

Unlike the Club’s Winter Fishing Contest, which is based on points, the Summer Fishing Contest is based upon the weight of individual fish. Awards for twenty-one different species of fish in multiple tackle categories are presented. For the inshore and offshore awards, the heaviest eligible fish caught on the specified tackle will be judged the winner. For the release awards (blue marlin, bonefish, sailfish & tarpon) the winner will be that person who accumulates the most release points. The inshore and offshore champions will be those anglers with the highest number of winning fish in each respective category. However, this must include at least two winning fish in at least two of the three casting divisions (artificial lures only, Fly, Spin or Plug). The afoot awards will be awarded to those anglers who have a outstanding catch without the use of a boat in any way. Please make a notation on the affidavit in the location block that the catch was made afoot.

The designation of a fish as either inshore or offshore is not meant to be restrictive. An eligible fish may be entered regardless of catch location within the contest boundaries. Special Ultra-Light Tackle awards are presented to those members catching heaviest largemouth bass, snook, trout, redfish and jack crevalle using 4 lb. test line or lighter with artificial lures.

Fishing Contest Rules

Original Article Provided by the West Palm Beach Fishing Club

If you are a serious fisherman, or would like to sleep in comfort during long fishing trips, we create custom boat mattresses for fishing boats and all other types of boats. We encourage you to contact us today for more information about how we can create a custom mattress for your vessel.


June 20th, 2017

West Palm Beach Summer Boat Show June 23rd – 25th, 2017 at the South Florida Fair. 100,000 square feet showcasing power boats up to 40′ including center consoles, walk-arounds, cruisers, deck boats, pontoons, bass, personal water craft and accessories. Insurance and financing will be available on site; trades are accepted. Show hours are Friday 12pm to 7pm, Saturday 11am to 7pm, Sunday 11am to 5pm. Admission for adults is $8. Children are free! Parking is also free!



From I-95 South: Exit at Southern Boulevard. Exit #68. Go west approximately 7 miles. Turn right on Fairgrounds Rd. Enter Gate 12 to main Expo entrance.

From I-95 North:Exit at Belvedere Rd. Exit #69. Go west approximately 7 miles to Sansbury’s Way. Turn left on Sansbury’s Way. Go south for about 1/3 mile. Enter Gate 3 on Sansbury’s Way to main Expo entrance.

From Turnpike South: Exit #97, Southern Blvd. in West Palm Beach. Go west 1.5 miles. Turn right on Fairgrounds Rd. Enter Gate 12 to main Expo entrance.

From Turnpike North: Exit #99, Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach. Go west 1.5 miles. Turn left on Sansbury’s Way and go south approximately 1 mile. Enter Gate 3 on Sansbury’s Way to main Expo entrance.

South Florida Fair  9067 Southern Boulevard West Palm Beach, Florida 33411


Complimentary parking will be available on location.