Boating Safety Is For Life

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Boating Safety News

  Still time to take a boating safety course before the start of the boating season
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer classes in About Boating Safely at two locations - the Rocky Hill Town Hall, 761 Old Main St., and the U.S. ...

Teen's ordeal makes case for boating safety courses
Tampa area resident Matt Mainzer, 15, kept his cool when his flats boat started to sink. He says taking a boating safety education course gave him the ...
Search, rescue drills highlight boater safety
The Coast Guard Auxiliaries also offer free boat safety checks year-round at several locations along the St. Johns River. For more information, go to ...
Chesterfield Township Fire Department to host child safety event
State law requires sheriff's departments to provide a comprehensive boating safety program that also includes instruction to young boat operators.
  U.S. Coast Guard Warning Public About Prank Calls
The Coast Guard in northern New England is warning people that making a fake distress call is a serious crime and takes away valuable resources for ...
  NY Sea Grant Offers Clean and Safe Boating Tips for 2015 The boat is equipped with a propane engine and traveling to boat shows, events, and venues throughout Upstate New York educating the public ..
  Boating safety helps prevent waterway injuries While having all the proper safety gear — signaling devices and fire ... A boat on waters of the state must carry one U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, .
  Boating tip: Be safe and skilled
For a summary of Florida's available courses, go to Included is contact information for Treasure ...
  Free boat safety checks
Free Vessel Safety Checks will be offered by the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at several locations between now and mid-May. Any boater interested in ...

Friday, April 24, 2015

Boating Safety News

Campaign promotes boating education
NDOW has also released a podcast on that talks in great detail about boating safety and education in Nevada. “An informed boat ..

Safe boating vital for lake anglers
With the opening of the annual lowland lake fishing season only a couple of weeks away, it would be prudent for anglers to start thinking about the ...
Course discusses boating safely Boating season is near and a class taught by members of the U.S. Coast Guard will cover boat safety and the Connecticut and New York requirements ..
  Reminder to Boaters to Follow Protocol on the Water and Avoid Accidents
The bilge is part of the boat that some owners fail to clean, but if not properly ... "It's very important to actually do a safety check at home. make sure all ...
U.S. Coast Guard & Ottawa County Marine Sheriff's Dept. gives free boat inspections
Several boaters took advantage of the generous opportunity Saturday ... It was all apart of an effort to check people's safety equipment on board, with ...
  Boat safety course recommended before hitting the water
In Washington anyone born in 1955 or later must have a boating safety card to operate a boat with a engine of 15 horsepower or greater.
Boat-safety bill advances to state House
HARTFORD -- Motorboat operators would have to be at least 16 and complete a course in safe towing under legislation approved by the Judiciary ...
  The Best Things in Life Are Free, Including BoatUS' Online Boating Safety Courses
For boaters, the best things in life are free – the serenity of open water, a breeze filling a sail, or a fishing hole that beckons. And best yet, even the ...
   Free boater safety course offered in May.
Registrants must attend both sessions of the two-day course in order to be eligible for a boating safety card. The course is free, but the certificate is not.
  Boating Education
At the very least, a dealer should know who in the community conducts classes in boating skills and safety, where there are adult education courses, ...
  Boat operators get 200 free life jackets
No fewer than 200 life jackets have been distributed to boat operators to boost their business and enhance waterways safety in Lagos State.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Boating Safety News

Boating safety class scheduled April 25 in Vancouver
Registration is open for a boating safety class beginning at 8:30 a.m. April 25 at the Clark County Public Works Maintenance and Operations ...
Safe boating course set for Saturday
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will run the all-day session Saturday that will satisfy the educational requirements for both the Safe Boating Certificate ...
Class covers boat safety
This nugget and much more about trailering, docking and anchoring, boat handling, equipment, dealing with emergencies, and many more subjects ...
  April 20-26 marks Delaware Boating Safety Week
During the week of April 20-26, the Delaware Office of Boating Safety and Education joins the National Association of State Boating Law ...
Missouri State Highway Patrol offers free boat safety courses
OSAGE BEACH - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is offering free boat safety certification courses this spring in support of "The Drive to ZERO ...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Boating Safety News

I posted this last year but it's Spring again so here's a re-post.

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;

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Boating Safety News

Nebraska Boating Safety courses offered in York
YORK -- Two Nebraska Boating Safety courses will be offered in York this spring. You may obtain your Nebraska Boating Safety certification through .

  Boating safety classes
1, 1989 is required to complete a boating safety course to legally operate a motor boat or personal watercraft on Wisconsin waters. According to the ...
Boat inspections offered
RACINE — The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCG) is offering free boat inspections and vessel safety checks (VSC) from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, ...
Boaters urged to be careful near dams
The DNR and Governor Scott Walker declared this week Dam Safety Awareness Week. Anglers are urged to always stay outside the buoy lines and ...
  Boating safely course
The course covers all subjects required for the mandatory New Jersey Boating Safety Certificate needed by all powerboat operators in New Jersey.
  PPL offers boater safety courses Boaters born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, also need this certificate. PPL will be offering two boating safety classes this year. Join us on either Saturday,

Friday, April 10, 2015

Boating Safety News

Earn personal watercraft certificate at boating safety class
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will present an eight-hour boating safety class May 2 and June 6 for anyone interested in receiving one.
Boating Safety Certification Class Scheduled April 18 U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 712 Station Barnegat Light, offers a one-day boating safety certificate course on Saturday, April 18, from 8:30 a.m.

Boating safety courses offered at West Point
This course meets Georgia's law that requires completion of a safe boating course for persons born after January 1, 1998 who wish to operate a ...
Three Boating Tips Just For Springtime
Across America at boat launch ramps, the familiar growl of boat motors ... When it comes to safety, Boat Owners Association of The United States ...
  Boating safety class April 18 The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks will be conducting a Boating Safety Education Class on Saturday, April 18, at the MSU ..
  Boater safety classes to be held before summer | News briefs The local United States Coast guard Auxiliary Eastside Flotilla 22 will present three one-day classes on boating rules and safety. Washington state law .
Boating Group: Help Us Build a Better Life Jacket
And they can be expensive. But the BoatUS Foundation, the safety-focused arm of the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS), wants ...
Boat safety course returns to West Milford
NJ Boating Safety Classes is hosting a "Boat NJ" course in West Milford on April 11. The one-day instructional course, which will be held at the Upper ...
  Boating safety course to be held in May, and other news in brief
The Marshfield Harbormaster's Department and the Massachusetts Environmental Police will host a boating safety course in Marshfield this May.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Boating Safety News

USCG AUX seminar promotes Vessel Safety Checks
Thursday night, the Duluth AUX Flotilla held a seminar for boaters to tout free Vessel Safety Checks before the 2015 boating season starts. "We give ...
  Boating safety course slated for April 20, 22 in Somerset A "Boat NJ" course will be offered by NJ Boating Safety Classes in Somerset on April 20 and 22. The class will be held at the Willow Creek ..

Coast Guard seeks input on boat safety rules

April 3rd 1:12 pm | Laine Welch Print this article   Email this article   Create a Shortlink for this article
Volunteers are needed to help craft new safety rules that are being written for older boats — which includes the bulk of Alaska's fishing vessels.
Called the Alternate Compliance Safety Program (ACSP), it is part of the 2010 U.S. Coast Guard Authorization Act and is aimed at vessels that will be 25 years old by 2020, are greater than 50 feet in length, and operate beyond three nautical miles. 
The program will include most of Alaska's fishing fleet — a 2014 maritime study by the Juneau-based McDowell Group shows that the majority of Alaska's boats were built between 1970 and 1989.

Boat safety checks at Portland festival
RNLI volunteers are offering a new sea safety scheme for all leisure boat owners and will be providing their services at this year's Portland Fish and ...
Marion Sheriff's Office to offer free boat inspections Marion County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol Team will be offering free boat inspections 10 ... Boat owners should be prepared to show the following:

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Boating Safety News

Boating safety class required to drive boats
The United States Coast guard Auxiliary Eastside Flotilla 22 will present three one-day classes on boating rules and safety. Washington state law now ...
  Boating group seeks input on building a better life jacket
Despite ubiquitous safety recommendations, the wear rates for adult boaters — excluding those in so-called “personal watercrafts” — fell to 9.1 ...

Boating Safety News

Sailor who survived 66 days at sea: How ordeal could have been prevented

Louis Jordan returned to North Carolina Thursday after an initial rescue mission had failed to find him.

Christian Science Monitor

Flares, a cell phone, and a VHF radio couldn’t spare Louis Jordan the harrowing 66 days he spent lost at sea aboard his dismasted wooden sailboat, some 200 miles off the shores of North Carolina. The US Coast Guard has advice for other boaters about equipment and planning that could help prevent similar future disasters.

Mr. Jordan disappeared after leaving for a fishing trip on January 29, and wasn't seen again until the German-flagged cargo ship Houston Express spotted him drifting off the coast, aboard his disabled 35-foot 1965 wooden Alberg sloop, “Angel,” and took him aboard.
The United States Coast Guard 5th District Command Center in Portsmouth, North Carolina, was notified at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, launched from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, met the Houston Express, hoisted the man and transported him to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia, arriving at approximately 7:30 p.m., according to USCG Public Affairs Officer Lt. Krystyn Pecora in an interview.

While initial reports painted a picture of Jordan having survived atop the hull of the overturned vessel, in frigid waters, Pecora said after the sailboat flipped over and dismasted, it then righted and the sailor was able to live inside the protected cabin.

“Had there been a vessel-mounted hydrostatically activated EPIRB on board, it would have immediately initiated the [Search And Rescue satellite] system when the boat was knocked down. We would have received a report within minutes,” says USCG Cmdr. Tim Eason in an interview.
“I'm not saying he wasn't safety conscious. He did have safety gear on board, but the VHF antenna snapped when the boat rolled over. The cell phone didn't work and the flares were never seen. If he’d filed a float plan and had an EPIRB on board it could have dramatically lessened the ordeal," Commander Eason added.

An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, or EPIRB, is used to alert search and rescue services by transmitting a coded message on the 406 MHz distress frequency via satellite and earth stations to the nearest rescue co-ordination center. These devices can be affixed to the vessel or handheld.

Commander Eason says most sailors in the MId-Atlantic region carry an EPIRB aboard at all times. “I recommend an EPIRB with an embedded GPS for best results so we don’t have to take the valuable time to triangulate positions. It may seem like overkill, but what I do on my boat is have one mounted on the vessel and one hand held that I can activate.”

The USCG offers a “Take me fishing” boating safety checklist online which includes information on free vessel safety checks that can be requested by boaters.

For those venturing out on sail, power, or even kayaks with or without a locator beacon or other tracking communication device, the USCG recommends filing a “float plan” containing all the information rescuers would need to locate you in an emergency, including where the boater planned to be and at what approximate times. Included with the downloadable form is a checklist for worried loved ones for what to do when the boater goes missing.

In the absence of a float plan or tracking beacon, Jordan’s family, friends, and potential rescuers had only one plan on which to fall back, said Jeff Weeks, manager at the Bucksport Plantation Marina in Conway, South Carolina, where Mr. Jordan occasionally worked and kept his sailboat, “All anyone could do was pray. I know his family was praying and we were praying," Mr. Weeks told the Monitor.
“Every day, day-after-day, it was the situation of waiting and hoping to see that mast glide back into the slip here [...] I don’t know if he had any electronics at all on the boat. I doubt it. Not everyone does.”

Weeks added, “Not long after he left, there was a bad nor’easter hit here and it probably had about 20 to 25 foot swells that could have easily overturned that boat. To be honest, in my mind, it seemed very unlikely we would ever see him alive again.”

In a recording of Jordan’s first phone contact with his father after the rescue he says, “I couldn’t fix it. I couldn’t sail my boat back. I’m so sorry. It’s such a big loss.”
His father responds in the recording, “Hey son you’re alright, son, I’m so glad you’re alive. We prayed and prayed and we hoped that you were still alive. So, that’s all that matters.”
“Frankly, here on Holy Thursday, with a boat named ‘Angel,’ we couldn’t ask for a better outcome,” Commander Eason told the Monitor. “The message for boaters to take away from this is that hands-down, an EPIRB takes the ‘search’ out of ‘search and rescue.”

Friday, April 3, 2015

Boating Safety News

Free boat safety course scheduled
JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton County Sheriff's Office will be offering the state safe boating course from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 18, at the Fulton County ..

  Boat Virginia Safety Course
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 87 (Lake Anna) is offering the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' Boat Virginia Safety Course ..

  Coast Guard will offer boating safety course in Cottondale in April
6-9 p.m. at Hide-A-Way Harbor Boat Sales, 5335 Skyland Blvd. E., Cottondale. Cost is $20 and includes textbook. Attendance at both classes is ..

Boating course planned in Lake Hopatcong
LAKE HOPATCONG — A Boating safety First course will be held on Saturday, April 11, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Lake Forest Yacht Club in Lake ..