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Preventive Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance Keeping your boat in good working order is just as much a part of the boating experience as the boating itself. Almost all elements of safety revolve around the fact that the boat has been maintained and all its parts and systems are able to perform as they were designed. Negligence in this…

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Aids To Navigation

Chapter VI – Operations Section 3 – Aids To Navigation Aids To Navigation In order to find our way safely from place to place on the water we must depend on road signs just as we do on land. The aids to navigation are the road signs of the water. Learning to understand them requires…

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Ventilation

Chapter IV – Legal Requirements Section 2d – Required Equipment Ventilation All vessels built after April 25, 1940 and which use gasoline for electrical generation, mechanical power or propulsion are required to be equipped with a ventilation system. The ventilation system may be either natural or powered: A natural ventilation system consists of at least two ventilator…

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Sound Producing Devices

Chapter IV – Legal Requirements Section 2e – Required Equipment Sound Producing Devices The navigation rules require sound signals to be made under certain circumstances. Meeting, crossing and overtaking situations described in the Navigation Rules section are examples of when sound signals are required. Recreational vessels are also required to sound signals during periods of…

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Required Equipment

Chapter IV – Legal Requirements Section 2a – Required Equipment Required Equipment All boats are required to carry certain equipment. Most items must be approved by the U. S. Coast Guard and kept in good condition and used only for their designated purpose. The following table lists Federal minimums, check your state regulations for any…

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Registration And Numbering

Chapter IV – Legal Requirements Section 1 – Registration Legal Requirements Registration And Numbering All motorized vessels must be registered and, depending upon State requirements, titled when operating on state waters. If a vessel does not have a motor it may still have to be registered depending on the State. Each state registration and titling…

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Recommended Equipment

Chapter IV – Legal Requirements Section 3 – Recommended Equipment Recommended Equipment In addition to all the equipment that the U. S. Coast Guard requires, certain equipment and supplies just make common sense to have. The following are items that should be carried aboard: VHF Radio Anchor and ground tackle Bilge Pump and or bailer…

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Pollution Regulations

Chapter IV – Legal Requirements Section 2f – Pollution Pollution Regulations Many might think that environmental regulations to protect the waters from pollution were enacted in recent years. In actuality the “Refuse Act of 1899” was designed to prohibit throwing, discharging or depositing any refuse matter of any kind (including trash, garbage, oil and other…

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Navigation Lights

Chapter IV – Legal Requirements Section 2b – Required Equipment Navigation Lights Specific lighting configurations are required for vessels operating between sunset and sunrise or in times of restricted visibility. Do not assume that your boat came from the factory or showroom with all the proper equipment. It’s your responsibility to make sure your vessel…

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Fire Extinguishers

Chapter IV – Legal Requirements Section 2c – Required Equipment Fire Extinguishers Next in line after PFDs, fire extinguishers are a very important safety item. Although not all motorboats are required to carry a fire extinguisher, it is highly recommended that you do. There are numerous types and sizes of extinguishers but each one has…

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Water Sports

Many people who operate boats do not consider themselves “boaters,” because boating is only incidental to their major activity. In fact, everyone who is in a boat is a boater, whether the reason is to fish, hunt, or just drift around. Hunting and Fishing A number of hunters and fishermen drown each year, simply because…

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Personal Watercraft

Chapter VII – Getting Underway Section 6 – Personal Watercraft Personal Watercraft A Personal Watercraft (PWC) is defined as a vessel which uses an inboard motor powering a water jet pump as the primary source of motive power, and which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel,…

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Undocking Plan

Chapter VII – Getting Underway Section 2 – Docking & Undocking Plans Undocking Plan Prior to getting underway, you should implement an undocking plan with the help of your passengers. You should consider the traffic in the area, the direction of wind and current and the depth of the water. Do not assume that everyone…

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Anchoring

Chapter VII – Getting Underway Section 4 – Anchoring Anchoring At some point in your boating career you will probably want to anchor. You may want to stop and fish, swim, have lunch or stay overnight. A second reason to drop anchor may be to control the boat if bad weather is blowing you ashore…

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Accidents

Chapter VIII – AccidentsSection 1 – Fatal Vs. Non-Fatal Accidents Believe it or not, most boating accidents occur when the weather is calm and clear and winds are light. Fatal Vs Non-Fatal Most fatal accidents are caused by persons falling overboard or the boat capsizing and the victims drowning because they were not wearing PFDs….

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Cold Water Immersion and Hypothermia

Chapter VIII – Accidents Section 5 – Hypothermia Cold Water Immersion and Hypothermia Even when the weather is warm, do not forget that in many areas the water can be very, very cold. A sudden unexpected wake or other “unbalancing event” can land you in the frigid water. Your body can cool down 25 times…

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First Aid

Chapter VIII – Accidents Section 7 – First Aid First Aid Every boater should take an American Red Cross or other approved first aid course. It is not only important for your own personal safety but for your passengers and other boaters you may encounter who need first aid assistance. You should also equip your…

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Fires On Board

Chapter VIII – Accidents Section 6 – Fires On Board Fires On Board An onboard fire is a serious event. If the fire cannot be controlled where does one go except in the water? The fire triangle consists of fuel, oxygen and heat. All three must be present to start a fire and the removal…

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Assistance From Shore

Chapter VIII – Accidents Section 4 – Assistance From Shore Assistance From Shore Every year people drown within a short distance of the shore. When some trauma happens, such as stepping off an underwater shelf the surprise itself can cause a drowning response. The victim, even if they can swim, suddenly can not shout for…

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Running Lights

If you’ve been on the water at night, you already know how different things look. Test your recognition of running lights at night with this simulation.

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boating course

  You’re operating at night when you see a white light flashing this pattern: a short flash and brief dark interval, then a longer flash and a longer interval of darkness, repeated every 8 seconds. What is it?   The answer is: the white light is sending the morse code equivalent of the letter “A”…

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Take a Boating Safety Course Online

Take a Boating Safety Course Online Be a safer boater! Take the Online Boating Safety Course – all of the information is free. Click here to check it out. Coastal Navigation Course Combination home study text/workbook, chart work and online information. View details of the Coastal Navigation Course. We are very pleased to announce that this course…

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United States Coast Guard – Exploring Its History During the Month of its Birth

The United States Coast Guard celebrated its 208th birthday on August 4th, 1998. The U.S. Coast Guard’s origins go back to 1790 when our countries first Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton was having difficulty paying off our nations war debt from the American Revolution. Alexander Hamilton proposed that Congress appropriate funds to build ten cutters…

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National Safe Boating Week Reminders

The Do’s and Don’ts of Boating Safety Following these simple doÂ’s and donÂ’ts of boating safety will help you chart a safe course towards the fun and excitement of recreational boating: DO wear a life jacket. Life Jackets. They Float. You DonÂ’t. DONÂ’T mix alcohol and boating. DO observe the nautical rules-of-the-road. DONÂ’T stand in…

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Legislation of interest to recreational boaters

Florida More No-PWC Zones Sought in Florida Keys Less than two months after personal watercraft (PWCs) were banned from 11 shoreline areas of the Florida Keys, local residents are petitioning to add 12 more zones. The 11 areas approved by the Monroe County Commission in June won’t take effect until the county can mark the…

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Will Y2K Effect Your GPS and When? At the Millinium Or Sooner!

The GPS Joint Program Office has determined that all generations of GPS satellites are unaffected by the Year 2000 (Y2K) and GPS End-of-Week (EOW) Rollover Issues. However, the Civilian GPS users may need to verify that their receivers and applications will work properly through these events. GPS has two “rollover” issues The Year 2000 “Millennium”…

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MILDEW REMOVAL AND CONTROL

Unfortunately mildew is a common problem on boats. Commercial mildew removers are expensive and have a limited life in storage. Apart from the obvious of keeping dry and ventilation, here are a couple of tips for combating mildew. REMOVAL You will need to purchase some concentrate. I use AQUA CHEM spa care SHOCK TREATMENT. It…

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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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Boating Safety Links

NWS Weather Always check the weather before leaving the dock and keep a “weather eye” when on the water. Alternate Marine Weather If the NWS site is down, you can use this alternate weather link above. NWS Marine Observations If you’re planning a trip offshore, check the marine observations. Tides Tide predictions from NOAA. USCG…

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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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