Blog June 2015

SUMMER BOATING BASICS

Posted On: June 29, 2015

Okay, so now that Summer is here, and the holiday weekend is rapidly approaching, the waters tend to get busy so let’s remember some basics of having a safe summer boating season.

Below are some quick tips on boating responsibly in the great outdoors. 

TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY

Travel responsibly on designated waterways and launch your watercraft in designated areas.

  • Travel only in areas open to your type of boat.
  • Carry a Coast Guard approved life vest (PFD) for each person on board.
  • Always operate your boat at a safe speed.
  • Always have a designated lookout to keep an eye out for other boaters, objects and swimmers.
  • Never jump a wake. If crossing a wake, cross at low speeds and keep a close lookout for skiers and towables.
  • Comply with all signs and respect barriers. This includes speed limits, no-wake zones and underwater obstructions, etc.
  • Make every effort to always go boating with a partner.
  • Make certain your trailer is in proper working order and that your lights work and your boat is secure on the trailer before you travel to your destination.
  • When trailering your boat, balance your load including items stowed inside your boat.
  • Don’t mix boating with alcohol or drugs.
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WAVE OF CONTROVERSY

Posted On: June 25, 2015

 


   

What About Your Boat's Wake?

You can save a lot of aggravation, some money and avoid being the recipient of some not so nice gestures from other boaters by using a little common sense and courtesy. This means coming completely off plane when you enter a no-wake zone or any area where your wake could compromise the safety of other boats. All too often the skippers react to a no-wake sign by slowing the boat slightly and then plowing through with the boat's bow up in the air and the stern dug down into the water. Instead of reducing the size of the boat's wake, this token reduction in speed — not quite on plane — increases the size of the wake.

No wake means NO WAKE. The first rule is to slow down so that the boat is level (without using trim tabs) and the size of the wake is negligible. Look back at the wake you're creating. You can help to reduce the size of your boat's wake by positioning passengers toward the center of the boat to keep it level. Too much weight aft lowers the stern and increases the size of the wake. Finally, keep an eye on your depth sounder; shallow water increases the impact of your boat's wake.

Damaging wakes can also be caused when a skipper waits too long to pull back on the throttle. A good example is the young skipper in New Jersey who was tying up at a marina gas dock when he encountered someone who was "cursing and accusing me of not having any respect." Words were exchanged, gestures were made. The young skipper's cruiser, it seems, had created a large wake that bashed several boats at the marina against pilings and finger piers. He had "slowed" just before reaching the gas dock, so he reasoned that the damage must have been caused by "some other boat's wake."

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YOU WANT TO MAJOR IN WHAT?

Posted On: June 23, 2015

                                            Hmmm...... Not so sure how to view this one

BOSTON (AP) — Emerson College in Boston will soon offer a degree in making people laugh.The communications and arts school announced that starting in September 2016, it will become the first college to offer a four-year bachelor of fine arts in comedic arts degree. The degree will be grounded in the history and theory of comedy with practical learning and a focus on preparing students for careers in comedy performance, writing and production.

The degree is in response to what Emerson calls the "marked rise of comedy's impact on American culture and its global influence."

Emerson's alumni already famous in the comedy world include Jay Leno, Denis Leary, Steven Wright and producer Norman Lear

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WHO INSPIRES YOU?

Posted On: June 18, 2015

                
                                   

I was thinking of things important to me, and influences that I have noticed all too casually.

Robin Williams

We all know who Robin Williams was.  A brilliant comedian, superb actor, and a fast wit that this world had not seen or may never again see.

But he proved he was so much more than that. In 1973 Williams was accepted to the Julliard School. One of select few to get a scholarship, and get accepted into the advanced program.  One of the other students accepted was Christopher Reeves.  Robin Williams and Christopher Reeves became friends.  Williams and Reeve remained close friends until Reeve's death in 2004, following his having become a quadriplegic after a horse-riding accident  Zak, Williams' son, said they were like brothers in their friendship. Williams paid many of Reeve's medical bills and gave financial support to his family               

His on-stage energy and improvisational skill are legendary and became a model for a new generation of stand-up comedians. Many comedians valued the way he worked highly personal issues into his comedy routines, especially his honesty about drug and alcohol addiction, along with depression. According to media scholar Derek A. Burrill, because of the openness with which Williams spoke about his own life, "probably the most important contribution he made to pop culture,  was Robin Williams the person.”

Robin did a lot for people that most of us never knew. When most stars have elaborate lists of things they need, Robin had a unique request. He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work. I’m confident that on his own time and with his own money, he was working with these people in need, but he’d also decided to use his pull as an entertainer to make sure that production companies and event planners also learned the value of giving people a chance to work their way back.

He was a great multiplier of his impact. Let’s hope that his impact lives on without him. Thanks, Robin Williams- not just for laughs, but also for a setting a cool example.

 

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BEWARE THE SILENT DANGER

Posted On: June 11, 2015

Beware of Carbon Monoxide

Dangerous Gases

If you are on a boat, you are exposed to potential danger...

Carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream though the lungs by breathing in this dangerous gas. Exposure in a well ventilated environment is generally not a problem. Brief exposure in a more confined environment can cause sickness and prolonged exposure to higher concentrations can kill you. Since symptoms of carbon monoxide mimic seasickness or alcohol intoxication it is sometimes overlooked as nothing serious and those affected never receive the medical attention they need.

Tip: Maintain fresh air circulation throughout the boat at all times and maintain your vessel to assure peak engine performance. An improperly tuned engine is more likely to produce elevated levels of CO.

To avoid CO you should know the areas of where CO can accumulate such as inadequately ventilated canvas enclosures and engine compartments. If you are tied to a dock be certain exhaust ports aren’t blocked which can force exhaust back into the boat and if you are rafted to another boat be certain exhaust from one boat doesn’t enter the other.

Beware of Carbon Monoxide

  • Make sure you know where all exhaust outlets are and they are not blocked
  • Confirm that water flows from the exhaust outlet when motors or generators are running
  • Educate all passengers about the symptoms of CO poisoning and where CO may accumulate
  • Test the operation of each CO detector for proper functioning by pressing the test button
  • Open hatches or canvas enclosures if CO accumulation is suspected
  • When rafted to another boat be certain that exhaust flows freely into open air
  • Avoid swim platforms or swimming around or near a boat when the engine is running
  • Periodically examine the exhaust fixtures on your boat to be certain of proper performance
  • Always maintain your boat to peak performance to reduce the risk of CO production

 

 

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ARE YOU SEA WORTHY?

Posted On: June 04, 2015

WAVE BASICS

No matter what boat — power or sail — you frequent, you have to be prepared to take on waves.

The first and best tactic is to stay out of large waves, with "large" being relative to the boat's size, shape, power, ballast, and structure. Tactics to avoid large waves include staying in the lee of a windward shore for as long as possible, traveling with wind and current running together, timing the entrance and exit to inlets and rivers so that the current is running with the wind and waves, waiting until slack tide before navigating strong inlets or rivers, or simply staying in port until conditions improve.

Second, don't take waves on the beam. If possible take them on the bow, or it may sometimes be better to take them directly astern or at an angle to the stern rather than the beam. Usually, when heading into waves, it's better to meet them at an angle off the bow to minimize pounding, hobby horsing, and burying the bow. If taking waves astern, it's extremely important to avoid losing directional control as the wave overtakes you. This may require a high level of seamanship skills. If you must change course, watch the waves carefully; time the move when you see a group of smaller waves or a long trough that you can turn in before the next wave comes.

When heading into waves, try to take them at an angle off the bow to minimize pounding.

Third, don't get caught in breaking waves. Breaking waves can occur when the wind is opposing a strong current, when waves are passing over a shallow bar, when they are ricocheting off a shore or rocks, when they reach a height too tall to sustain themselves and when they are leaving deep water and meeting shallow ground. Do everything you can to avoid areas where breaking waves might form.

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