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Preparing Your Boat for the Season Pre-Season Checklist

Preparing Your Boat for the Season Pre-Season Checklist In order to assure a safe and uneventful season make sure that you go through the list below and make a note of any discrepancies that need attention. Because there are so many variables depending on the size and type of boat you have, we have categorized…

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Nathan’s, Believe It Or Not, Kite Boat

Nathan’s, Believe It Or Not, Kite Boat I have been having an ongoing conversation with one of the Boatsafe students over the past few weeks. He has an unusual idea, but thought it sounded fun and interesting. I think almost everyone, at one time or another, has been fascinated by kites. Following is some of…

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Nautical Mnemonics

Nautical Mnemonics The following rules of the road memory aides come at the request of a boatsafe.com reader from Israel. Thanks for the request Yuval! The following table gives neumonics for several lighting configurations. You might also want to memorize the poem below. I have no idea where I got this or who the author…

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Hurricane Preparation Checklist

Hurricane Preparation Checklist Here is a list of the many things to consider before, during and after a hurricane. Some of the safety rules will make things easier for you during a hurricane. All are important and could help save your life and the lives of others. If local authorities recommend evacuation, you should leave!…

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Passenger/Crew Orientation

Passenger/Crew Orientation Capt. Matt, I think the course is great! I really enjoyed it – in fact, IÂ’m going to recommend it to the people I most often take out on my boat in the summer, because I think itÂ’s really important for the crew to be informed as to what to do if the…

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Low-head dams: A not-so clear and present danger

Low-head dams: A not-so clear and present danger by Virgil Chambers, Executive Director, National Safe Boating Council Rivers can be treacherous, not only because of the tremendous power they possess, through the movement of flowing water, but because of structures they flow over, around and through. Hazards like “strainers,” fallen trees and debris collecting between…

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The Life Expectancy of the Marine Engine

The Life Expectancy of the Marine Engine The average marine gasoline engine runs for 1,500 hours before needing a major overhaul. The average marine diesel engine will run for more than three times that long and log an average 5,000 hours under the same conditions. The number of hours that a marine engine runs is…

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Watch Schedules and Ship’s Bells

Watch Schedules and Ship’s Bells As early as the 15th Century, a bell was used to sound the time onboard a ship. (Time, in those days, was kept with an hourglass. See The History of Navigation ) The bell was rung every half hour of the 4 hour watch. A 24 hour day was divided into…

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Cone of Protection from Lightning – Faraday’s Cage

Cone of Protection from Lightning – Faraday’s Cage This spring seems to have brought the most extreme weather in history. With heavy thunderstorms you will often find lightning. Lightning on the water can bring life-threatening circumstances. For your safety and the safety of others boating with you we have updated and are republishing this article…

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U.S. COAST GUARD MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR RECREATIONAL BOATS

U.S. COAST GUARD MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR RECREATIONAL BOATS EQUIPMENT Boats less than 16ft/4.9m 16 to less than 26 ft/7.9m 26 to less than 40 ft/12.2m 40 to not more than 65 ft/19.8m Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) One approved Type I, II, III or V (must be worn) PFD for each person on board or being…

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It’s Almost That Time Again Winterizing Your Boat

BRRR – It’s Almost That Time Again Winterizing Your Boat Unfortunately, the boating season is winding down in many parts of the country and it is time to start thinking about protecting your valuable recreational asset. Winterizing a boat reminds me of the old commercial that says “pay me now or pay me later.” The…

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Marine Radio Information for Boaters

Marine Radio Information for Boaters We had a lot of response when we asked the question; “what courses would you like to see?” One suggestion was a course on radio procedure. While we have future plans for a course on radio licensing, we felt that some frequently asked questions about radios might be in order….

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Boat Safe this Spring or Fall – Avoid Hypothermia

Boat Safe this Spring or Fall – Avoid 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. Although the possibility of drowning from falling into the water is…

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Boating Tips and Articles

Boating Tips and Articles Anchoring Steps to Smooth Anchoring Anchoring Tips – by Bill Wallace Boat Operation & Handling Tilt? Trim? What Those Trim Tabs Do Tilt & Trim for Outboards and I/Os Boat Docking – An Introduction by Charles Low Docking Broadside to Wind by Charles T. Low Station Keeping by Charles Low Boat…

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PFD Basics

PFD Basics How Many PFDs Do I Need? You must have at least one, U.S. Coast Guard approved, wearable PFD for each person onboard, and it must be the appropriate size. If your boat is 16 feet or longer (generally excluding canoes and kayaks but check your state’s regulations) you must also have one throwable…

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What do Mark Twain and your depth sounder have in common?

What do Mark Twain and your depth sounder have in common? A recent trip to Disney World in Florida and a subsequent ride on a paddle wheeler reminded me of something I had long forgotten. Thought some of you might be interested in how depth was measured in the “Ol days.” Actually, lead lines are…

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Understanding and Utilizing the Secrets of Waves

Understanding and Utilizing the Secrets of Waves INTRODUCTION Any time you picture a body of water larger than a puddle, one of the first things that comes to mind are the rolling waves, or the surf lapping at the shore. Well, at least that’s what happens with me… But waves are much more than tranquil…

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International Code Flags or Signaling Flags

International Code Flags or Signaling Flags Although you may never see them displayed except at fleet parades, around naval installations, and areas with heavy international shipping traffic, International code flags are used to signal between two ships or between ship and shore. Also called signaling flags, they are a set of flags of different colors,…

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What is the Meaning of SOS?

What is the Meaning of SOS? Harmony asks “Do the letters in the term SOS represent three words? If so could you let me know what they are?” Thanks to Neal McEwen for allowing us to use information from his article “SOS”, “CQD” and the History of Maritime Distress Calls . There is much mystery…

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Everyday Phrases and their Nautical Origins

Everyday Phrases and their Nautical Origins A-K   Admiral An admiral is a senior ranking officer in the US Navy, and the word signifies a commander of a fleet, or part of a fleet, in all maritime nations. From the Arabic word amir meaning prince or leader. Adrift Not moored, at the will of the…

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Boating Basics Glossary of Terms

Boating Basics Glossary of Terms A  ABAFT – Toward the rear (stern) of the boat. Behind. ABEAM – At right angles to the keel of the boat, but not on the boat. ABOARD – On or within the boat. ABOVE DECK – On the deck (not over it – see ALOFT) ABREAST – Side by…

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Hull ID Numbers

Hull ID Numbers Play the Numbers Game (What’s a HIN?) Did you ever wonder what that strange series of letters and numbers on the transom of your boat are. Well, if you have taken the Nautical Know How course you know they are Hull Identification Numbers (HIN) and that they are required. But, what do they mean?…

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Ceremony for Renaming Your Boat

Ceremony for Renaming Your Boat Everyone knows that renaming your boat will bring nothing but bad luck and make your boating experience something that you will want to forget. But what happens when, after months of searching, you find your dreamboat with a name that you just cannot live with. For example, my first love…

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