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About Chris

Early days of fishing and wakeboarding boats. These days a little more relaxing and sailing time, mostly on catamarans. Still too poor be a yacht man.

Articles by Chris

Glossary of GPS Terms

  – A – Absolute Positioning Positioning mode in which a position is identified with respect to a well-defined coordinate system, commonly a geocentric system (i.e., a system whose point of origin coincides with the center of mass of the earth). Almanac A data file that contains orbit information on all satellites, clock corrections, and…

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GPS Manufacturers

Manufacturer Name Address Points of Contact Phone Number Fax Number Web Address 3S Navigation 23141 Plaza Point Dr. Laguna Hills, Ca 92653 1-714-830-3777 www.3snavigation.com Allen Osburne Associates 756-J Lakefield Road NWest Lake Village, CA 91361 Dr. Robert Snow 1-805-495-8420 1-805-373-6067 www.aoa-gps.com Apelco Marine Electronics 46 River Road Hudson, NH 03051 1-603-881-9605 1-603-881-4756 Arbiter Systems, Inc….

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Through-hull Fittings

Every through-hull fitting in your boat is a potential hole that could sink you in a matter of minutes. Although they are out of sight and, at times, difficult to get at, through-hulls need careful routine checking, at minimum every three months. Many through-hulls such as engine-cooling intakes and sink or cockpit drains, tend to…

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Sun Burns and Sun Screens

“Sea Doc Tips” Sea Doc Tips is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for your doctor. I will focus on “preventive” medicine so that you stay healthy and safe, but I will include some helpful tips if your are beyond “prevention” when you read this. Since you shouldn’t take advice from…

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Changes to the Nav Rules

Changes include the following: Inland Rules: NEW: (changes or noted in red) OLD: Rule 9 (e) (i) – In a narrow channel or fairway when overtaking , the power-driven vessel intending to overtake another power-driven vessel shall indicate her intention by sounding the appropriate signal prescribed in Rule 34(c) and take steps to permit safe…

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Lights and Dayshapes

Anchored Towing Astern – Tow over 200 meters (200 meters or less – two masthead lights) Fishing other than Trawling Vessel Aground Restricted in Ability to Maneuver Not Under Command Constrained by Draft Tow over 200 meters – Restricted in Ability to Maneuver Vessel Engaged in Trawling

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Be Prepared – Charter Check List

Extra Items to Take On Your Charter Charter companies do provide the basics. But often, small items like navigation instruments, toolboxes and flashlights may not be checked due to the quick turn-around of the chartered boat. The items may not be missing, they may just be damaged, rusted, or neglected to the point that they…

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When You Radio for Help on the Water

One area of concern which I am constantly having to clarify for the boating public is why the U.S. Coast Guard can not always come to the mariner’s aid in every situation. This article is going to attempt to answer most of your questions concerning the Coast Guard’s Maritime Search and Rescue Assistance Policy (MSAP)….

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Weather Proverbs

We have been attempting to forecast the weather since the beginning of recorded history. Long before the invention of radar and other meteorological tools, people relied upon “natural” clues to approaching weather. Many of these have a scientific basis and it can be explained why they “work,” others have no such basis but often prove…

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PFD Wearing Requirements State Boating Regulations

Alabama Within 800 ft below dams. PWC operators and water skiers. Children under 8 years of age. Alaska Under 13 while water skiing or on open deck. American Samoa All on board while boat is underway. PWC and water skiers. Arizona Children 12 and under when vessel is underway. PWC and water skiers. Arkansas Age…

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The Phonetic Alphabet

The phonetic alphabet should be used for radio transmissions in plain language or in code.   A – Alpha H – Hotel O – Oscar V – Victor B – Bravo I – India P – Papa W – Whiskey C – Charlie J – Juliet Q – Quebec X – X-ray D – Delta…

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Where The Buoys Are

Effective July 20, 1998, the The United States Coast Guard commences a five year phased-in merger of the Uniform State Waterway Marking System with the United States Aids to Navigation System. This merger eliminates distinctions between the two systems and creates safer, less confusing waterways. The Uniform State Waterways Marking System (USWMS) prescribes regulatory markers…

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Lighting Tips for Trailers

One of the most aggravating aspects of trailering boats is the total unreliability of trailer lights. IÂ’ve never owned a boat trailer that didnÂ’t eventually have light problems. These usually start with little irritants that take a few minutes to repair and end up with the entire wiring system being ripped out and replaced, often…

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Boat Ownership – Keeping It Yours

Across the nation, as recreational boating continues to gain popularity, more and more boats, trailers, equipment, electronics and personal items are stolen each year. Most of these crimes are committed by amateurs who, when tempted with an easy opportunity, can’t resist the temptation. Remember the old adage that locks are just a means of keeping…

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Chart Symbols

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Sound Signals

Vessels are required to produce sound signals under conditions of restricted visibility. 1 Prolonged Blast 1 Short Blast 1 Stroke on the Bell Vessel: Time Interval: Sound Signal: 1. Power driven vessel making way Every Two Minutes 2. Vessel not under command, restricted in ability to maneuver, a vessel constrained by her draft, a sailing…

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Easy Guide to Talking Salty

Amidships – condition of being surrounded by boats. Anchor – a device designed to bring up mud samples from the bottom at inopportune or unexpected times. Anchor Light – a small light used to discharge the battery before daylight. Berth – a little addition to the crew. Boom – sometimes the result of a surprise…

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Choosing and Using the Correct PFD

As we prepare for the boating season, it is important to be mindful of the required equipment, specifically PFDs. If you’ve taken the Nautical Know How boating safety course you know the requirements and the different types of PFDs (if you haven’t taken the course you should review this chapter). But can you answer the…

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The “Aids To Navigation” Merger

(This article originally appeared in 2002, however, some areas of the country may not yet be in compliance. For those of you in such areas, we are leaving this article up.) A phase-in period of the Uniform State Waterway Marking System (USWMS) (found on most lakes and rivers) with the United States Aids to Navigation…

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Battle of the Bilge

History: Rubbish talk amoung sailors was referred to as bilge. Legend has it that some unknown sailor was sent to inspect the deepest, darkest, part of the ship where water and residue collect. After a brief time in this black hole, the sailor was convinced that this area was also rubbish. From that day on,…

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The Rules of the Road International Regulations for Avoiding Collisions at Sea

Part A – General Rule 1 Application (a) These Rules shall apply to all vessels upon the high seas and in all waters connected therewith navigable by seagoing vessels. (b) Nothing in these Rules shall interfere in the operation of special rules made by an appropriate authority for roadsteads, harbors, rivers, lakes or inland waterways…

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Identifying Regulatory Markers

Regulatory or informational markers are used to advise you of situations, dangers, or directions. They may indicate shoals, swim areas, speed zones, etc. They can be easily identified by the orange bands on the top and bottom of each buoy. Controlled Area : Type of control is indicated in the circle, such as slow, no…

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Ramp Courtesy

Those of you who have a slip are very fortunate indeed. Your boat is always ready to go, and in the water. But for the rest of us, who have to dry sail, we have to tow our boats to the water, and launch and recover them for every outing. Nothing ruins a day afloat…

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Caution for Pontoon Boaters

I have never seen any formal precautions regarding the possibility of larger pontoon boats pitchpoling and rolling over, either from the manufacturer or any boating safety organization. The following experience actually happened to me and I hope others may benefit from my experience. Several years ago I was aboard a 28 foot pontoon boat of…

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Technology Update – Digital Selective Calling Radios

Digital Selective Calling (DSC) radio is the latest in marine radio technology. Digital Selective Calling is part of a global upgrade in maritime distress communications. Satellite and digital technology used for several years on commercial ships is now available to the recreational boater. DSC radios allow boaters to make ship-to-ship private calls and the DSC…

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Engine Cooling Systems Explained

Our last contest consisted of selecting the order of things to check to troubleshoot an overheating engine with a “raw water” cooling system. A few of our viewers asked me to explain just what a raw water system was and how it worked. Raw water refers to the water that the boat is floating in….

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Sailing – Monohull Vs Multihull

They’ve Come a Long Way Baby   A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to hold an American Sailing Association (ASA) clinic to certify some students for the ASA 114 level which is the Cruising Catamaran level. This advanced cruising standard is for individuals with cruising experience. Successful completion of the clinic qualifies the…

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Cell Phone vs. VHF Radio

The Coast Guard does not advocate cell phones as a substitute for the regular maritime radio distress and safety systems recognized by the Federal Communications Commission and the International Radio Regulations — particularly VHF maritime radio. However, cell phones can have a place on board as an added measure of safety. CELL PHONE LIMITATIONS IN…

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Boating Regulations by State Boating Education Requirements

State Boating Laws Boating Education Regulations Reciprocity– accepts boating safety certificates from other states and/or NASBLA-approved courses. Alabama Minimum age to operate 12. Boating license required – proctored exam required to obtain license. Non-residents may operate up to 45 days without a license. Alaska No mandatory boating education requirements. N/A Arizona No mandatory boating education…

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Marine Battery Primer

Most marine batteries onboard boats today are of the lead-acid type.           This type of battery has been used for many decades. The major reason that the popularity of this type battery has continued is relatively low cost to purchase and maintain. The disadvantages of lead-acid batteries are the weight, the…

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