Blog April 2022

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TRAILER YOUR BOAT TO THE WATER

Posted On: April 26, 2022


Well it's inevitable as the boating season gets underway, you will hear about some  incidents of boat ramp adventures.

Here's an article previously published but still timely about getting that boat in the water safely.

By Michael Vatalaro
Published in the Spring Edition of Boat USA Trailering

It's as simple as 1, 2, 3, 4. But there's a knack and an order to getting it right.

1. Set The Stage

Before you even think about backing down the ramp, take 10 minutes in the staging area to load all the gear into the boat, attach lines to the bow and stern cleats, check that the plug is in, remove the rear tie-downs, put the key in the ignition, and unplug the trailer lights.

If you have surge brakes, unplugging the trailer lights will also de-power the circuit that prevents your trailer brakes from locking up when you reverse. You'll need to use the manual brake lockout to prevent this. Also, if you know the ramp well, you can lower the motor or outdrive now, if you're sure it won't hit bottom.

2. Back It Up

Back down the ramp till the stern of the boat floats. If you can't tell when the stern is floating, have a crew member positioned on the dock beside the ramp signal you when to stop. Put the vehicle in park and engage the parking brake, but leave it running. If you have trouble backing straight, place your driving hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. That way, whichever direction you move your hand, the trailer will turn in that direction.

3. Unhook The Bow

Depending on how steep the ramp is or how athletic you're feeling, you may be able to scramble along the bumper or step up onto the tongue of the trailer and not get your feet wet. But it's advisable to wear water-friendly shoes or rubber boots so you can wade in to reach the bow eye and winch handle. Many boat ramps are slick with algae during summer months, so don't be surprised if your feet start to slide.

Once you can reach the bow eye and handle, unhook the safety chain, then back the winch off to get enough slack to release the bow strap as well. Pass the line on the bow cleat to a crew-member on the dock, then push the bow of the boat up and off the trailer. If you've backed down far enough, this should be relatively easy, and the boat should float gently off.

4. Nice Going!

Now, Keep It Moving: While you head back to the driver's seat to park the tow vehicle, make sure the crew is walking the boat down to the far end of the dock to free up the ramp for the next boater.

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THE CURSE OF APRIL 20?

Posted On: April 20, 2022


April 20 - Not the best of days for humanity

Oddly enough, April 20, or 4/20, is "celebrated" by pot smokers around the country. Across the nation, teenagers and college students, and cannabis loving people everywhere  earnestly get baked, extolling their love of cannabis - one of whose qualities is the erosion of memory.

But sadly  April 20 has supplied everyone with some things they may not want to remember.

April 20, 1978, saw the infamous "interception" of Korean Air Lines flight 902 (on a Paris-Anchorage-Seoul route) by Soviet jets, in a narrowly-avoided aviation disaster. After straying into Soviet airspace over Murmansk, not far from the border with Finland in Russia's far north, the Boeing 707 was fired upon by Soviet Su-15 jets. Two people were killed, but the jet made an emergency landing, saving the rest of the 107 people on board. For many, though, this was a sign that the Soviet Union remained a violent and defensive empire

On April 20, two Colorado teenagers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, entered the grounds of their high school, where they were seniors and started firing, first in the cafeteria and eventually in the library, where most of their killing took place. The Columbine massacre of April 20, 1999, would leave 13 dead and the nation's psyche forever altered with the inaccurate but indelible image of the Trench Coat Mafia.

Deepwater Horizon, the BP oil rig stationed (not all that securely, it would turn out) in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, exploded on April 20, 2010, killing 11 and altering the lives of millions in the region. For months, the world was treated with images of black plumes, dark waters and oil-covered wild life. Just this week, scientists found that Gulf fish still bear traces of contamination.

And in 2016, while reporting from Libya, the photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were killed by a mortar shell in Misrata. Their deaths struck a particular cord in New York, where they were members of a tightly-knit photo community based mostly in Brooklyn.

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EASTER BEGINNINGS

Posted On: April 12, 2022

The Easter bunny is often considered a part of Easter because of the notable ability of bunnies to proliferate. However, there are roots back to the actual name of Easter. A goddess of fertility, Eostre, (who may have been one of the inspirations for the name Easter) is said to have been accompanied by a hare. Although many sources debate this connection. The tradition of the bunny was brought to the U.S. by German settlers to Pennsylvania.

Hot cross buns and other breads marked with an X to symbolize the cross are a tradition on many Easter tables. Different sweet breads are also used all over the world. Try these: Choreg (Armenia), Paska (Ukraine), Babka (Poland), Tsoureki (Greece). Also try a traditional Italian Easter Bread (shown above) with eggs baked right in. These bread are conspicuously risen breads which may also show a desire for Easter traditions to be different from Passover which includes unleavened breads.

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FIRE EXTINGUISHING 101

Posted On: April 05, 2022


Know how to use a fire extinguisher before you are in a situation where you have to use it.

Suddenly, you are faced with an on board flame. What happens next can make all the difference.

Fire extinguishers are labeled according to the type of fire on which they may be used. Fires involving wood or cloth, flammable liquids, electrical current or a combination of those will each react differently to extinguishers. Using the wrong type of extinguisher on a particular type of fire could be dangerous and make matters even worse. In the heat of the moment reading the directions on the extinguisher is an after-thought.

Remember the P-A-S-S word!

  • Pull the pin at the top of the cylinder
  • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
  • Squeeze or press the handle
  • Sweep the contents from side to side at the base of the fire until it goes out
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