Author Archives: Kevin Gruys

Becoming a Pilot is Life-Changing

Becoming a Pilot Changes Your Life

If you’re a pilot, you already know about the rush you get every time you take off, the in-flight euphoria, and the excitement and thrill of achieving the perfect landing. But has becoming a pilot changed you, in other aspects of your life? Since going through flight school, are you more patient with others or able to focus more at work? In this great essay by Andrew Hartley of, read about the skills and values you may have gotten out of flight training and applied to other aspects of your life – perhaps without even noticing!

Terrafugia Transition Flying Car: First Public Demonstrations

Were you at AirVenture 2013? If so, you may have seen the Terrafugia Transition Flying Car make its first public demonstrations! A video was created using footage from a couple on-board cameras, and some on the ground. Watch as this street-legal car becomes an airplane in a matter of seconds, and then takes flight!

Looking to insure your new plane? Get an aircraft insurance quote today!

Fall Boating: Why You Should Try It

Fall Baoting

As the first official day of fall approaches, depending on where you live, you might be debating about taking your boat out of the water and getting it winterized. We’ve found a couple pretty compelling reasons as to why you should enjoy it for just another couple weeks into the cooler fall season. We’ll give you some reasons to embrace fall boating, but the decision is up to you!

  • Fall foliage. Oftentimes, shorelines are popping with fall color: reds, yellows, and oranges. The water is often the best view you can get of beautiful shoreline foliage. In some northern states, people even pay for trips out onto the water just to see the foliage! Duluth’s Vista Fleet, for instance, offers fall foliage tours on Lake Superior.
  • Less traffic. During the summer, everyone and their brother is out on the water, including tourists and out-of-towners. In the fall, some won’t go out in the cooler temperatures, and tourism to the waterfront is often abated. More space and peace and quiet for you to enjoy!
  • Cooler weather. What? Isn’t that a con to boating in the fall? Not if you embrace it! Cooler weather out on the boat can make the perfect ambiance for things like snuggling up to someone special, sipping coffee or hot chocolate, and bringing a hot lunch. Just make sure to wear appropriate clothing.

Well, there it is! Did we convince you? If you do decide to try some fall boating, just remember to watch the weather. Fall storms can come on quickly, and have a tendency to include stronger winds. Also, read this article on fall boating safety from

If you’re looking to insure your boat so that you can take part in fall boating, request a boat insurance quote today!

The 9/11 Band of Boats

Have you seen this story of how boat captains and crew members came to the rescue of so many people on the island of Manhattan on September 11, 2001? On this twelfth anniversary of the attack, watch the harrowing story of how boats played a roll in the rescue of many. To read the story, visit

Top Boat Maintenance Resources

When you’re a boat owner, you know it’s important to protect your investment by maintaining your boat. Comprehensive boat maintenance means much more that just cleaning it, however. Especially if you’re a first-time boat owner and you’re looking around the web at boat maintenance tips and articles, it can get overwhelming. There are a lot of articles and tips out there! So, we’ve found 3 of the best resources out there for boat owners concerning taking care of their investments.

Boat Maintenance & Cleaning Tips

Discover Boating: Boat Maintenance Tips & Safety Rules

From a general maintenance overview to a semi-annual checklist and a winterizing section, Discover Boating has a pretty comprehensive section about boat upkeep and maintenance. A part we liked:

You should also remove the propeller several times during the season to make sure discarded fishing line hasn’t become wrapped around the propeller shaft. If it has, have your dealer inspect the gear case, because fishing line can cause gear case leaks and gear case service is NOT a do-it-yourself job.

Bass Pro Shops: Cleaning Your Boat from Top to Bottom

While this article is specifically geared toward simple fishing boats, it can be applied to many larger boats as well. The list is very comprehensive, and tells you how to clean everything from livewells to consoles to the hull and your trailer. Of course, since it’s from Bass Pro Shops, it recommends various Bass Pro Shop cleaning products.  A part we liked:

For graphs or electronic gauges, a water-vinegar solution used in conjunction with a soft cloth will keep them fresh and clean. Wiping in a circular motion on electronic screens can leave grit marks or fine scratches, so pay close attention to work the cloth in one side-to-side direction only.

Boating Magazine: Top Boat Maintenance Tips

We really like this one for the pictures. For instance, it shoes you a pictures\ of rusted fasteners instead of just telling you to replace rusted fasteners. It shows you pictures of various problems, so that you can decide if you should be replacing parts without just guessing. A part we liked:

Batteries must withstand a force of 90 pounds, or twice their weight, without moving more than one inch in any direction, according to the American Boat and Yacht Council. Eschew strap hold-downs in favor of those using threaded rods and locknuts.

National MU-2 Fly-In in Green Bay a Success

On Friday and Saturday, July 26th and 27th, Jet Air Group in Green Bay hosted an MU-2 Fly-In. It was a two-day event where Mitsubishi MU-2 aircraft from all over the US and beyond were on Jet Air Group’s ramp, ready to be touched and toured by visitors. Attendees included owners, operators, and their guests, and the event featured seminars and social events.

Aircraft Marine Insurance President Kevin Gruys was able to attend the event, and get up close and personal with the aircraft. Check out these pictures of him and the MU-2’s!

MU-2 Fly-In  MU-2 Fly-In

MU-2 Fly-In

Boatgating: A New Alternative to Tailgating


As the fall season approaches a little bit quicker than some of us would like. it’s time to start thinking about the best part of fall: football season. If you’re a football fan, you’re familiar with pre-game excitement and get-togethers. Are you a tailgater? Do you have access to a boat? If so, you might just have to try the new craze that’s sweeping the nation: boatgating.

According to Discover Boating, more and more Americans are taking to the water: “Of the 232.3 million adults in the US in 2012, 37.8%, or 88 million, went boating—the largest number on record by the National Marine Manufacturers Association.” So, maybe it’s time for us to all try boatgating!

Discover Boating has created a list of the best stadiums for boatgating in the U.S. Find it here:


Carbon Monoxide is an Invisible Boating Danger

A scary story out of Minneapolis, MN reminds us of the boating safety tips that we should all keep in mind, beyond just wearing a life vest and driving carefully and uninhibited. In this story by CBS Minnesota, David Schuester, father to his young daughter, Sierra, explains how his daughter became poisoned by carbon monoxide, even though they were on an open-air boat. Watch the video below, or read the full story here.

A Different Kind of Flight

At Aircraft & Marine Insurance, we insure all sorts of airplanes, boats and more. What don’t we insure? Airplane *suits*. But boy, this is awesome, isn’t it? Watch as this man flies down a mountain at 155 miles per hour…without being in a plane.

A Creative Public Service Announcement

The words “public service announcement” probably don’t make you feel very excited. That’s why the Safe Boating Campaign got creative about their life jacket campaign, and we like it! Nothing like a little humor to remind you to be safe on the water.

What do you think?