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National Weather Service

This place is really cool. You can get all kinds of weather information from one location. Once you click on the NWS Weather link you will be taken to the National Weather Service page that looks similar to the following representation. (We have also added an alternative weather link in case the NWS site is…

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Daily Tide and Current Predictions

How to Use Daily Tide and Current Predictions Here is great resource for boaters on the Internet. You can now check the tide schedule for just about any place in the country. Let’s say you are planning an afternoon cruise and a stop at a local restaurant on the Manatee Pocket (FL) just inside the…

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USCG Recall Database

The USCG Recall Database is not a searchable one, even though you may think so from the title. It may, however, be worth the effort to page through the table to see if you find anything unusual that could apply to a boat you’re about to purchase or one you already own. When you click…

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Local Notice to Mariners

The Local Notice to Mariners is a USCG publication which is issued by each district as shown in the map below. This publication lists changes in aides to navigation, chart changes, and other information that may be of interest to mariners. In order to keep your charts current, you should subscribe to the local notice…

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MAPFINDER REGION SELECTION

According to the The National Ocean Service : “The National Ocean Service’s (NOS) MapFinder is a one-stop World Wide Web service that provides direct Internet access to primary NOS imagery and data holdings for coastal photography, nautical charts, coastal survey maps, environmental sensitivity index maps, hydrographic surveys, water level stations, and geodetic control points. NOS…

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Interactive Marine Observations

The National Weather service, in cooperation with NOAA, has a site called Interactive Marine Observations . It provides marine weather information from many coastal areas of the US and other parts of the world. Marine weather information is gathered from several sources including offshore weather buoys, coastal weather reporting stations, and reports from commercial shipping…

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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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VESSEL SPARE PARTS LIST

Every vessel should have a basic mechanic’s tool kit onboard. This kit should include, at minimum, the following: TOOLS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Socket set – 3/8 drive (3/8″ – 13/16″) Open and box wrenches (3/16″ – 1″) Screw driver set – slotted & phillips Crescent wrenches – 8″…

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Possible Explanation of Weather Proverb

Thanks for addressing a possible answer to an often quoted , but perhaps less understood, weather proverb. The proverb is as follows: “When the bubbles of coffee collect in the center of the cup, expect fair weather. When they adhere to the cup, forming a ring, expect rain. If the bubbles separate without assuming any…

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Staying in Touch – Even Offshore

Cellular phones work great if you stay near-coastal. You can usually use them with no problem as long as you are within 5 miles of the US shoreline. However, if you want to venture further out, and still stay in touch, your only alternative until recently was a very expensive IMARSAT system. Now, staying in…

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Troubleshooting an Over-heating Engine

You have been offshore doing a little fishing, sitting stationary in a sargasso weed line. Both you and your fishing partner have noticed that each year it seems that more and more trash is accumulating in the weedlines. Styrofoam cups, plastic bags, and pieces of flotsam are strewn throughout. You have your limit of dolphin…

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Rules Quiz!

What sound signals should be given in the following situations? INT’L RULES The red boat, in a narrow channel, wants to overtake the blue boat on its port side. Rule 34 comes into play. The key to the answer is “narrow channel”. Under the International Rules if you wish to overtake a vessel on its…

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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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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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