Boating Safety Is For Life

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Boating Safety News

National Safe Boating Week

 May 17–23, 2014

National Safe Boating week is coming and there will be lots of activities to celebrate safe boating.  Do something to make boating safer for you and everyone.  Take a safe boating course,  get a Courtesy Vessel Safety Check from the USCG Auxiliary Or the US Power Squadron, teach your children safe boating practices.

This is also the kickoff for the North American Safe Boating Campaign. See 

In addition you can join  Operation Dry Water, a campaign to eliminate Boating Under the Influence. Take the pledge

Other organizations partner with the National Safe Boating Council and sponsor events'. Here is the Pennsylvania Fish And Boat Commission. Every state has events' through their state Boating Law Administrator. You can contact your BLA through the directory at

Many other organizations have event's during National Safe Boating Week.  Here is Sail America's events. 

Take part and have a safe boating season.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Boating Safety News

I am discontinuing the news portion of this blog. I will keep it open and make occasional posts on safe boating, or significant accidents, but I no longer have the time to devote to this Blog in the way I feel I should.  I have installed a news feed in the right hand column.  At the top is a list of key words. Click on a keyword to see the latest news on that subject.  Thank you to my followers and readers.  I am still available through my web site or by e-mail. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Boating Safety News

Spring Fitting Out

In the boating world there is an annual rite, spring fitting out. In most places in North America, boats are hauled out or put away for the winter, and then in the spring, brought out for the new boating season. But, for safe and trouble free boating, there are things that need to be done every year before you put that boat back in the water.  Some are obvious, like cleaning, painting, waxing, and generally making the boat look good. But there are others which are much more important, especially if you want a safe smooth running boat. At the end of this I will add some references to very complete lists of things to do during Spring Fitting Out. 

I will make a list and divide it into power boats and sailboats. Some items are common to both, but there are some which are specific to the type of boat.

Common items:
waxing (for fiberglass)

Go over the whole boat, inside and out, and make a to-do list of items that need fixing.
Inspect and test the entire electrical system. Replace any old or frayed wires, corroded connectors or fuses. (most electrical problems are due to bad or corroded connectors) Don't scrimp here. Good wiring and connectors are crucial to an electrical system's operation.

Charge and test batteries: Do this under load if possible. Replace old weak batteries. Clean the battery terminals.

Check and test to make sure all electrical and electronics work properly.

Checking safety equipment:

Inspect lifejackets/flotation devices for wear and tear, mold and mildew. Replace as needed.

Inspect fire extinguishers and have them tested.

Inspect anchors, chains and anchor lines. Anchors may need to be cleaned and painted. Anchor lines may need to be replaced. Do not scrimp. If lines are old and frayed, replace them. 

Check and test bilge pumps. Clean the bilge thoroughly

Check and test running lights. 

Visual distress signals should be examined. If they are beyond the use by day, replace them. Dispose of the old ones correctly, they are hazardous materials.

Underwater fittings: inspect sea cocks and other through hull fittings. Make sure all valves work. 
Disassemble them and lubricate. Check for blockages from barnacles, sea growth and other obstructions (Plastic bags on engine cooling water intakes. Growth inside the intake.)

Inspect and lubricate steering systems.

On stern drives, inspect the bellows and all rubber gaskets. There should be no holes and they should be flexible and pliant. Replace them even if they only appear bad.

Stoves and other appliances: Check to see they are working and, if they need routine maintenance. If they use propane or CNG check the entire system for leaks, corrosion, or other problems. Check the owner's manual that came with the appliance.

Motorboats: (this includes main engines and auxiliary generators)

Check all fluid levels.

Drain and replace engine oil.

If the engine has a closed cooling system, drain and replace coolant. 

If it is a stern drive or outboard, check the lower unit for correct fluid levels.

Replace the cooling water impeller. Do this on all engines. 

The following section on fuel systems is vital and can save your life. Many fires and explosions occur on the first time out in the spring because people did not pay enough attention to the fuel system on their boat.

Check fuel lines, if they are hard, or very squishy, and have checks, cracks and splits, or if they are over five years old, replace them. This includes the entire fuel system, including fuel fill hose and vent hose, as well as the line from the tank to the engine. Use only USCG Type A1-15 or B1 - 15 hose as appropriate.  It will be labeled USCG TYPE A1-15 (or B1-15) SAE-J1527 ISO 7840. Replace the clamps using only 316L stainless steel clamps. Make sure the clamps are all 316L including the screw. Check with a magnet if necessary. 316L is non magnetic.  If you replace fuel lines you should also have the fuel system pressure tested.

Check fuel vent lines for blockages. If it has a flame arrester screen on the vent, clean it. 

If the engine is an outboard and uses portable fuel tanks, inspect the tanks and fuel hose, and especially the squeeze bulb. Replace as needed, but if over five years old replace the lines and bulb. 

Remove and clean the backfire flame arrester and replace it on the engine. Make sure it is on the engine before you run the engine.

Test the engine room blower to make sure it operates at full strength and check vent outlets for full flow of air. Make sure insects or varmints haven't set up home in the vent ducting. Check the ducting for holes. Replace as necessary. 

 Engine tuning

Replace spark plugs and points (if not electronic ignition) and tune up the engine. If you do this out of the water make sure you supply cooling water to the impeller. Check to make sure water is circulating through the engine (look at the outlet stream).

When the engine is running check to see if the alternator is putting out the correct voltage and amperes, and charging the batteries.

Inspect and/or replace anodes (often called zincs) that protect your stern drive and other underwater metal fittings. These actually come in zinc, aluminum and magnesium, depending on the type of water your boat is in, so make sure you get the right kind. Check the sterndrive manufacturer's instructions.

Inspect props, shafts and other underwater fittings. If props have bends, dings and other damage have them repaired or replaced.

Inspect all standing rigging (stays and shrouds). Look especially at turnbuckles, and other screw type connections in stainless steel wire. This is where corrosion occurs, but you can't see it without taking it apart. Replace as necessary and put it back together. Adjust the tensions.

Inspect all running rigging (halyards, sheets, etc.) and the sheaves they run through. Replace any frayed or worn lines or wire rope. These will break when it is least expected, and most needed, I guarantee it.

Inspect sails for rips, tears, worn seams, etc. Repair or replace as needed. 

If the boat has an auxiliary engine do the same as for a motorboat engines.

Inspect and/or replace anodes (often called zincs) that protect propellers and drive shaft and other underwater metal fittings. These actually come in zinc, aluminum and magnesium. depending on the type of water your boat is in, so make sure you get the right kind. 

Last but not least: Contact your local Coast Guard Auxiliary or U. S. Power Squadron vessel examiner and get a courtesy vessel safety check.

Sailing Magazine: A penny-pincher’s guide to fitting out:

Soundings: Start the new season with a proper fitting out;

Friday, April 4, 2014

Boating Safety And Accident News

Boating Safety News:

Power boating skills course April 19
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft is conducting a Power Boating Basics Course that provides novice and untrained ...
Boating courses offered Saturday in Conroe area
A one day boat-operation and safety course sponsored by the Houston Sail and Power Squadron will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday inside ...
Power boating skills course April 19
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft is conducting a Power Boating Basics Course that provides novice and untrained ...
  Safe boating courses
The Smith Mountain Lake Sail and Power Squadron has started its 2014 roster of public safe boating courses, “America's Boating Course, 3rd Edition”.
Boating Safety Course at PPL's Montour Preserve (April 5, 2014) Boating Safety Course at PPL's Montour Preserve (April 5, 2014). in. Arts. Event Date: 4/5/2014. Boating Safety Course Saturday, April 5 9 a.m. to 5 
GEICO Provides 10 Tips for a Safe Season With spring weather approaching, GEICO Insurance Agency recommended safety tips to ensure that you and your guests have a safe time this boating ..
  Boating courses offered Saturday in Conroe area
The course (and certificate) are required of all boaters born after Sept. 1, 1993, who wish to operate a boat on Texas waterways. “This class is of the ...
Safe boating classes scheduled
Many boat insurance companies will offer discounts on boating insurance to boaters who successfully complete About Boating Safely. This course ...
  G&F offering free watercraft inspection training (Casper, Wyo.) – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is offering a watercraft inspection training course for members of the public April 10 in ..
PARIS TN: Youth boating safety program scheduled for summer
Henry County students enjoy learning to canoe and kayak during the Spirit of America youth boating and water safety program in 2013. Front row ...
  Boating safety education course offered
LOGAN – The Ohio Boating Education Course will be offered Saturday, April 12 at the Scioto County Field Office, Franklin Furnace, according to the ...
New boating law beginning May 1
Livingston County Sheriff's Office will be holding five training dates. The course will be free of charge, but students will still need to pay for a boating ...
Safe boating classes scheduled
MADEIRA BEACH – The About Boating Safely Class will be offered Saturday, April 5, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11-3 ...
  Basic steps for a safe boating trip
As the waters in the Tampa Bay area and offshore warm, fishing begins to kick into high gear, and often this includes boating both inshore and ...
National Boating Safety Advisory Council discusses PFD relabeling; NMMA members at forefront of ... The National Boating Safety Advisory Council's (NBSAC) Prevention through People subcommittee held a conference call on April 2, 2014 to discuss ..
Boating Fatalities and Missing:
  Caribbean yacht death Briton 'had blast injuries'
A dead Briton found near his burning yacht had injuries consistent with an explosion, authorities on the eastern Caribbean island of St Vincent say.
  Rescuers look for possible victims after grounded sailboat found at Solimar Beach
Rescuers Wednesday are looking for possible victims after a sailboat was found grounded along Pacific Coast Highway at Solimar Beach. The boat ...
  Nanaimo boat accident leaves one man dead
A man airlifted to hospital unconscious after the boat in which he was fishing capsized Tuesday has now died. Nainaimo firefighters pulled two elderly ...
Two drown when boat capsizes Search and rescue teams spent four days looking for the second drowning victim after a small fishing boat capsized on March 28. Beacon photo by ..

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Boating Safety And Accident News

  British sailor Andrew Taylor knocked off yacht by 70ft wave is rescued alive after spending 90 ...
A British man has told of the terrifying moment he was washed overboard from a yacht in the middle of the Pacific Ocean - then watched in horror as it ...

Boating Safety News:

SHERIFF'S TIPS: Paddlers and Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permits
... 10 feet long and longer are required to purchase an Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention (AIS) permit and carry it when operating the watercraft.
Boating Education Class Set For May 10 at ASUN
Arkansas State University-Newport will host an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Boating Education course Saturday, May 10 from 8 a.m. until 3 ..
Grants available to enhance public recreational boating
The Maine Legislature established the Boating Facilities Fund in 1963, which is administered by the Bureau of Parks and Lands, Department of ...
  Coast Guard's plans worry Sussex boaters
The U.S. Coast Guard sent out a notice to mariners stating plans to remove 18 navigational markers in the Ocean View creeks. The notice instructs the ...
Who is responsible for the irresponsible boater?
There are obvious violations such as alcohol use that bring serious criminal charges to a boater involved in a crash. In other cases fault on the water is ...
  Boater safety class, required for some, coming to Osage Beach
Captain Gregory D. Kindle, commanding officer of Troop F, Jefferson City, announces a boater safety certification course being offered to the public on ...
Boating Fatalities And Missing:
Missing boaters found, one hospitalized and one dead
By Sunday, several agencies had launched a search for the couple after finding out they had talked about boating on Saturday, according to ...
Boat found in search for missing angler
A SEARCH team has found the boat missing Armagh angler Daryl Burke was fishing on when it sank in turbulent weather almost two weeks ago.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Boating Safety And Accident News

Boating Safety News:

Boater safety course offered
Boater certification is required by law for anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1989. Individuals must be 16 or older to operate a motorboat, according to a ...
Boating tip: Become a conscientious boater
Advance purchase of book before the class is recommended if a student is a new boater or wants to study before class. Advance reservations are ...
  GEICO offers top 10 tips for a safe boating season
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It snowed again this week in parts of the country but most boaters don't mind because it's never a bad weather ...
City offers kayak lessons
Learn how fun and easy it is to kayak on Lake Pleasant through some introductory kayak classes being offered through the city of Peoria. The Discover ...
Law enforcement pushing boating safety in Englewood
ENGLEWOOD,FL-The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol Unit will be offering a Safe Boaters class next month that is free to the public.
  Todd Miner, Experienced Accident Attorney in Orlando, Shares a Guide to Florida Boating Laws in ...
Orlando auto and boating accident attorney, Todd Miner, discusses Florida's boating laws. He advises all boaters to read the laws and know them ...
  Magnuson-Stevens reform advocates visit Capitol Hill
Congressional staff, members of the foundation's board and representatives of the recreational fishing and boating communities filled the room.
  Coast Guard Auxiliary to offer 'Weekend Navigator' class
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary's Marblehead Flotilla will offer a five-week course, “Weekend Navigator,” from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays from April ...
Coast Guard Auxiliary Announces Vessel Safety Check Schedule
A Vessel Safety Check is a voluntary examination of the safety equipment carried or installed on your boat, Jet Ski or paddle craft. This free service ...
  Free boater safety classes offered
As springtime draws near, boaters will be enjoying some free time on area rivers. To ensure a safe boating season, free safety classes were offered.
Rescued boaters urge need for cold water, hypothermic training
Emergency responders with the Montgomery Fire Department and EMS started monitoring Lea and his fellow boaters' movement in the water from the ..
Boating Fatalities and Missing:
  Boat capsizes in Buckeye Lake; at least one in water
BUCKEYE LAKE — One person has been pulled from Buckeye Lake, while another is still missing, after a boat capsized at about 12:30 p.m. today.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Boating Safety and Accident News

Boating Safety News:

New Boating Rules Aim To Fight Zebra Mussels
With warmer weather on the way, you may be hoping to spend some time on our gorgeous lakes here in Central Texas. But boaters now have some ...
  Maryland Safe Boating course to be offered at library
CHESTERTOWN — The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will host a Maryland Safe Boating course at the Kent County Public Library from 9 a.m. to 12:30 ...
Boating safety classes scheduled in Sun Prairie, Verona, Stoughton, McFarland
Participants in Dane County's boating safety courses will receive a certificate and eventually this card upon successful completion of the course.
  Boating and water safety course set for April 12 at Muddy Run Park
The U. S. Coast Guard auxiliary flotilla 14-01 of Lancaster will be presenting a Pa. Basic Boating course from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the ...
  At the Helm: Would your boat pass inspection? If asked if your boat would pass inspection you would probably be thinking ... In all fairness to the recreational boat building industry, there are some ..
I posted the above out of concern for a free exchange of opinions and ideas .  However I strongly disagree with the author opinions. 
"Unfortunately, on the day of the inspection I was very disappointed, because all that jerk checked was if the hull identification number was properly placed on the hull; the Coast Guard Maximum Capacities Placard was the correct size and style, and that my manufacturing log book of whom boats were sold to was up to date. He never checked, nor wanted to inspect anything else!"
Having worked closely with the US Coast Guard program for factory visits I strongly disagree. In the first place they are not inspections.  They are factory visits.  The entire purpose is to help the manufacturer comply.  The civilian contract employees have no enforcement authority whatsoever and  they are not marine surveyors. They can only report to the Coast Guard what they find. Also they can only look at those things that are required by some Federal regulation, If the boat is only required by law to have a Hull Identification number then that is all they are allowed to look for. If the boat has to meet fuel system or electrical systems then they look at those things and only the things required by law.  They are not allowed to look for things that are not covered by a law, such as hull construction. Calling the contractor a jerk is beyond rude, it is just plain insulting, and he is dead wrong about the Coast Guard testing for flotation and capacity. I used to run the program. Boats are purchased or volunteered by a manufacturer to be tested.  But the Coast Guard does not waste taxpayer money on boats they know will pass. They look for boats that may fail. This does not include of course new models volunteered r testing by a manufacturer.  The whole point is get boats corrected before they are sold to the public. or to find boats being sold that need to be corrected. If he thinks the standards are too lax then he should contact his Senator or Representative and get the law changed. 

Boating Fatalities and Missing:
Still no trace of Chesco woman, York man last seen boating on Susquehanna
Police are searching the Susquehanna River for Elizabeth Ann Dorsaneo of Thorndale, Chester County, and her boyfriend, a York County man whose ...
  Up to 90 people still searching for man missing after boating accident THE SEARCH FOR missing fisherman Darryl Burke is continuing almost a week after the boat he was on capsized on Lough Ree. The RNLI told ..
Missing boater found dead on SW AR lake
Missing boater found dead on SW AR lake. Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 2:39 PM EDT. Updated: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 2:39 PM EDT.