Blog September 2015


Posted On: September 14, 2015

Don’t Be The Worst Marina Guest

I travel more than my fair share, and whether I'm at my dock or visiting a new port, these common sense tips will go a long way to keeping the peace.

Okay, so it’s nearing the end of summer cruising season, and boaters are looking to fit in one more trip away from home. A new port or marina means boaters should recognize that they have responsibilities as marina guests. Ignoring these responsibilities and you risk earning the ire of the locals and the scorn of management. Worst case you will be asked to leave.

What will get you in trouble?

Here you go:

You’re approaching the gate to your dock, and there they are. Workmen with toolboxes, families with ice chests and water toys, and other seemingly nice people waiting for someone with a key to let them in the marina. It’s awkward, annoying, and a pain. What do you do? You should tell the stranger where to find the marina office. Allowing strangers access is bad idea.

At the marina dock, keep the music volume reasonable, honor the marina’s posted quiet hours, and invite your neighbors to come aboard and make friends.

Poop ! That’s right – your dog’s poop is bad stuff. Just like oil, grease and other toxic chemicals, you don’t want bad bacteria leaching into the water we swim in. Don’t be the shunned as the “poopie” boater – clean up after Fido.

And finally, It goes without saying that being considerate of others, like not hogging dock carts, keeping docks clear, and following the safety rules will make you a welcome guest




Posted On: September 03, 2015

Survey Shows 91% of Boaters Want Ethanol-Free Gas

I Came upon this compelling article about boat fuel in Sept. 1 BoatUSA*
What are your feelings?

ALEXANDRIA, Va. September 1, 2015 – As boaters head into the Labor Day weekend and fill up their boat’s gas tank for one last hurrah of the season, a vast majority say they want ethanol-free gas, but only about half surveyed by the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) say it is available to them at marinas and gas stations. This means that boaters are filling up with a gasoline mixture of 10 percent ethanol, or E10 fuel. While the federal government says this fuel is safe for boats – and is even looking to mandate higher use of corn-based ethanol fuel offered at gas retailers across the country – boaters are wary.

The recent informal survey sent to members of BoatUS reveal recreational boaters’ frustrations with using E10 fuel. 91% said they want ethanol-free gas for their boat and more than half of the respondents have had to replace or repair their boat engine or fuel system parts due to suspected ethanol damage. The average price tag for those experiencing damage: $1,000.

“Our members said that they fill up their boat(s) in a combination of ways, with about half of them using a fuel dock, about 40% filling up at a gas station, and 35% using portable gas cans,” said BoatUS Government Affairs Senior Program Manager David Kennedy. "We need to make sure that no matter how they get their gas, boaters have a fuel that works in their marine engine. Signed into law in 2005, the Renewable Fuel Standard requires an increasing amount of biofuels such as corn ethanol to be blended into the gasoline supply. When it was written, the RFS assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to grow.

Since 2005, however, gasoline usage has actually declined steadily which today forces more ethanol into each gallon of gas. To keep up with the RFS mandate, in 2010 the EPA permitted E15 (fuel containing up to 15% ethanol) into the marketplace. Even though E15 is prohibited for use in marine engines, snowmobiles, motorcycles, lawnmowers, and any vehicle made before 2001, it can now be found in 24 states.

*    BoatUS is the nation¹s largest organization of recreational boaters with over a half million members. They say they are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights.




Posted On: September 01, 2015


According to 2013 statistics, the U.S. Coast Guard reports that collision with another vessel, flooding, collision with a fixed objects, grounding, and skier mishap are the top five types of boating accidents.

The  Top 10 contributing factors to accidents are operator inattention, improper lookout, inexperience of the operator, speeding, machinery failure, alcohol use, violation of navigation rules, force of waves, hazardous waters, and weather.

How many of these accidents are because pleasure boaters don’t possess the necessary knowledge and training?

Though not mandatory, a course or courses , which includes personal survival techniques, personal safety and social responsibility, first aid and CPR, and basic firefighting would be a huge tool in lowering that statistic and making the waters safer.

A personal survival technique course involving both classroom and practice in the water  would be hugely effective. Some basic knowledge on how to abandon a ship, what to do if involved in a rescue, and swimming techniques with life jackets and immersion suits on could save lives. Also, knowing how to turn over a life raft and how to get in and out of one, should be mandatory.

A personal safety and responsibility course focused on emergency procedures, who is responsible for what on board, marine pollution, and courtesy aboard all should be basic mandates before you ever leave port. A first aid and CPR course would teach how to resuscitate someone, what to do in an event of allergic reactions, heart attacks, strokes, broken bones, and other casualty events.

Some Basic firefighting knowledge including what types of fires there are and what to use and do to put out those fires is highly beneficial. Practice wearing real gear to maneuver a hose or fire extinguisher, and putting out fires in a timely basis. Lastly, learn techniques on how to save a person in a smoky part of the boat.

I recommend that all boaters take courses that involve both operation and education about all the responsibilities ownership involves. It is crucial to know what to do to avoid accidents; equally important is knowing what to do in the event of an emergency away from the shore.

 Put safety first, even if the law doesn’t require you to.