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Coastal Navigation Course

This course will prepare you for the navigation portion of the U.S.C.G. captain’s license exam. It will also prepare you for the Coastal Navigation Standard Exam (ASA 105). And, it will show you how to get your boat to your favorite waterfront restaurant, safely and on time. The navigation course is a combination of a…

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West Virginia Boating Regulations

    West Virginia Boating Regulations This section contains information on West Virginia Boating Regulations that are in addition to the Federal Requirements covered in the Basic Boating Course. If you have not reviewed the course material, please do so now. All Federal Requirements in the basic boating course apply to West Virginia; this section lists West Virginia Boating Requirements that…

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OPERATING LAWS AND REGULATIONS

VERMONT BOATING SAFETY OPERATING LAWS AND REGULATIONS Howard Dean, M.D., Governor A. James Walton, Jr., Commissioner COLLECTED MANAGEMENT RULES FOR VERMONT LAKES, PONDS AND RESERVOIRS(1) APPENDIX A NAME LOCATION (TOWN) SURFACE AREA IN ACRES > 30 CONTIGUOUS ACRES(2) (Y/N) INTERNAL COMBUSTION MOTORS ALLOWED(3) (Y/N) MAXIMUM SPEED LIMIT(4) M.P.H. PERSONAL WATERCRAFT ALLOWED (Y/N) USE BY AIRCRAFT…

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Nebraska Boating Regulations

Nebraska Boating Regulations This section contains information on Nebraska Boating Regulations that are in addition to the Federal Requirements covered in the Basic Boating Course . If you have not reviewed the course material, please do so now. All Federal Requirements in the basic boating course apply to Nebraska; this section lists Nebraska Boating Requirements…

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Vermont Boating Regulations

Vermont Boating Regulations This section contains information on Vermont Boating Regulations that are in addition to the Federal Requirements covered in the Basic Boating Course. When it comes to Vermont boat registration as well as getting your Vermont boat license and Vermont boating laws, here’s what you need to know. Age Restrictions: Persons less than 16 years of age shall…

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What You Need to Know About the U.S.C.G. License Exam

All captains are mariners, but not all mariners are captains. If you want to become a USCG licensed captain, there is a testing process you can go through. You need to gain experience on a boat. When you feel you are ready, then it’s time to take an official U.S. Coast Guard license exam. When…

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Search MIC Database

  You may remember reading in a past tip that the first three letters of the Hull Identification Number are a three letter code that identifies the manufacturer. To decipher the code and determine the manufacturer of a boat, click on the link “USCG Manuf. ID Code (MIC)” and you will find a page similar…

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The History of Ship Figureheads

One of the most striking and prominent features on any old ship is the ship figurehead. A carved figure displayed prominently on the bow, these ornamental displays are iconic. Their origins stretch back further than some might think. And their meaning and purpose is multi-fold. These figureheads were symbolic, hence the name. But they were…

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Your Definitive Guide to Boat Safety Equipment

It’s a foolish sailor who heads out to sea with no safety gear on board. It’s also illegal to not have many basic safety items on hand as well. Save yourself the frustration and potential danger by making sure you have everything you need ahead of time. A lot of safety equipment required on a…

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What Does Buoyancy Mean for Boaters?

When you’re looking for life jackets and other PFDs you may run across pounds buoyancy. Floatation devices all have a buoyancy rating. Understanding what that means will allow you to choose the right PFD for you. Everyone on a boat should have access to a personal flotation device. One that fits and they know how…

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A Heavy Ship Moored

How do Boats Float?

A boat, or any other object designed to float, is based on a theory by a very old guy, even older than Capt. Matt. Though he is old and, by the way, dead, he was really a cool guy and his name was Archimedes (Ark-i’-meed-eez). His principle, cleverly named the Archimedes’ Principle, explains how things…

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Essential Spare Parts and Tool Checklist For Your Boat

Just as with your car, your boat needs to be maintained. There are things that may happen out on the water that will require repairs. Parts break, batteries die, things happen. Every boat needs to be equipped with a basic mechanic’s tool kit. In addition, you need to have a backup supply of spare parts….

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7 Best Satellite Phones for Marine Use

You can never be too safe at sea. A radio and a GPS device can help you out in an emergency. But if you want to ensure you’ve got an edge, consider a satellite phone. A normal cell phone is ideal on land. But cell service is spotty at best at sea. A high quality…

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What to Do When Your Boat Engine is Overheating

An overheating engine can be a real burden to deal with. Time and money may have to go into fixing it if you can’t figure out what’s wrong. Luckily, there are warning signs you can look for. Also, there are some tips and tricks that you can look into if you want to fix the…

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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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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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Weather Proverbs

Perhaps the most often quoted weather proverb among mariners is: Red sky in morning, Sailors take warning. Red sky at night, Sailors’ delight A red sky at night (when the sun is to the west) is caused by light passing through dust particles in the air to the west. Dust indicates dry weather and since…

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Life Jackets and PFDs Hanging Up

State Laws and Regulations for Wearing Life Jackets

By now we should all know how important wearing a personal flotation device is when you’re boating. But despite how long they’ve been available, there are still a lot of boaters who don’t make use of these life saving tools. Nearly half of all boaters in the UK don’t wear life jackets. In the US,…

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Nato Phonetic Alphabet Wall Painting

The Phonetic Alphabet

The phonetic alphabet is an essential skill for all radio operators. Whether you’re on sea, in the air, or on land, knowing how to communicate effectively could save your life. What Is The Phonetic Alphabet? It’s very important for sailors to properly understand and know how to use the phonetic alphabet. A phonetic alphabet is…

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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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How to Wire Boat Trailer Lights

When you first get a brand new boat trailer, things are great. It looks good, it’s reliable, and it works well. As time goes by, things begin to get a little sketchy. Used and old trailers are notorious for lighting problems. Sometimes even new ones can be difficult to wire with certain tow vehicles. Wiring…

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How to Prevent Boat Theft

In 2018 there are nearly 4,500 boats reported stolen in the US. That may seem insignificant compared to cars stolen, but it’s still a remarkably high number. Thousands of boats missing every single year. And only about one in 10 stolen boats are ever recovered. How does someone even get away with a boat? You…

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What You Need to Know About Chart Symbols

Learning to drive requires you to learn how to read a map sometimes. Learning how to sail means you need to know how to read charts. Of course, we have a lot of electronics that can do this job for us these days. If you’re ever stuck without power and you need to read a…

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The Basics of Boat Sound Signals

  There are several occasions on a boat when you need to use sound signals. In particular, when visibility is limited, boat sound signals are of the utmost importance. Other boaters need to be aware of where you are and what you’re doing at all times. Learning what these sound signals mean and how to…

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Easy Guide to Boat Slang

  These days a lot of slang terms come to us from the sea. Naval tradition, sailing, even piracy all created their own slang and lingo over the years. Many of the terms found their way into modern languages and are just everyday terms now. And some, as we’ll see, only seem like they have…

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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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The 3 Best Bilge Cleaners 2022

The bilge on a boat is one of the least respected parts of the craft, despite its importance. As boat owners, we know that we need to clean it regularly, but it happens much less frequently than it should. Consider that if the bilge pump stops working you risk sinking. It makes sense to keep…

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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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