Service your winches and rinse blocks with fresh water On Deck Give each winch a quick spin. If they’re not turning freely, now is the time to strip and clean them. Windlass issues are almost always down to poor connections. Inspect these closely, especially at the foot switches, and if necessary take the connections apart, clean them, apply some petroleum jelly or dielectric grease and reassemble.
If the weather is less than ideal, take some extra measures to ensure everyone’s comfort on your cruise. Keeping comfortable and calm is a part of staying safe on the water. Remember to where a lifejacket, and PSB.
- Check the weather
- Prep Your Crew
- Get Tuned
- Check Your Canvas
- Play the Sheets
- Keep it Calm
- Head Up or Run
- Tend to the Stick
Source: Keeping Control in Heavy Air
Boating accidents. We all like to think they cannot happen to us. However, while the odds of a boating emergency are slim, particularly for those who follow the proper safety protocol, even the most diligent and careful boater can find himself or herself in an emergency. The difference between your boating accident being an inconvenience and a disaster is the difference between coming prepared and failing to do what is necessary to prepare. So what can you do to prepare your boat and your crew for the worst? Below are a few tips on preparing your boat for an accident—before and after you have left the dock.
- Have your boat inspected regularly. If you have the proper knowledge to check all of the different aspects of your boat to ensure safety, do so on a regular basis. If not, it is possible to take advantage of boat inspections given free by the US Coast Guard.
- Have lifejackets—and wear them. Many people keep their vessels stocked with a good number of lifejackets—which is of course, at least as many as there are people on the boat. However, some people make the mistake of not putting them on until an emergency occurs. This can be a problem because many accidents happen too fast to anticipate.
- Tell someone, preferably a trusted adult friend or the crew at the local marina, where you will be going and when you plan to return. This will help people realize much sooner if you have become stranded or cannot return to shore for some other reason.
- Bring some kind of signaling beacon in order to help signal help if you are in need of it. This will help the authorities locate you and rescue you if an emergency occurs.
Looking for high-tech, state of the art boating safety technology? Visit BeaconWatch today to learn more!
For most of the northern hemisphere, the beginning of August marks the point in which temperatures slowly begin to fall. Of course, depending on where you live, you may still continue to enjoy warm weather and sunny days for weeks–or even months–to come. But for most, at some point or another, the weather will eventually change, bringing with it cool days, changing colors, and radically different water conditions.
Despite these changes, millions of people will continue boating both professionally and recreationally. Cold weather boating a fascinating and beautiful experience, but it does require great care and thorough preparations. Moreover, it is also advisable to learn about the potential effects that cold water swimming can have.
Cold water swimming offers health benefits
First off, it is worth noting that a growing alternative health trend–covered extensively in sources such as The Guardian, asserts the physical (and, for some, the psychological) benefits of deliberate cold water swimming. Though the evidence is still inconclusive, proponents of cold water swimming argue that cold water swimming:
- Stimulates the immune system.
- Triggers endorphin production
- Improve circulation of blood.
- Exfoliates skin, helps remove impurities, and fight cellulitis.
- Improve libido.
- Burn calories fast.
The two important disclaimers that must be made: cold water swimming is not for those with heart troubles–and, once again, it must be carefully and deliberately undertaken! Here are a few basic safety rules for those who decide to venture into the world of cold water swimming.
Unexpected Falls Can Be Deadly
Because of the growing popularity of cold water swimming, it bears repeating that unexpected falls into cold water can be deadly. They can result in the victim falling into a state of shock, heart failure, stroke, hypothermia, and drowning. Should a fall occur, getting the victim out of the cold water is the first priority—the faster this is done, the higher the survival rate.
Safety Always Comes First
Whether taking a cold water swim or simply boating over cold water, the need for safety measures is heightened by low temperatures. An emergency locator beacon can aid in rapid response regardless of the situation—and can mean the difference between life and death. To learn more about emergency locator beacons, visit Beacon Watch online today.
Winterizing your recreational boat correctly is certainly one of the least enjoyable aspects of owning a boat. But it is also one of the most important. With a relatively small investment of time and money, you can insure that your boat will be functioning perfectly when springtime rolls back around. Winterization is important financially (as it saves you from making potentially costly repairs), and it is also an important element of boating safety. (After all, should something go wrong over the course of the winter, there is a chance you may not realize it until the next time you are out on the water!)
Proper winterization involves a number of distinct steps that ultimately depend upon what kind of boat you have. If you are completely new to the process, we reccomend that you check out a comprehensive guide to winterization, such as this excellent resource offered by DiscoverBoating.com.
Regardless of your experience level, however, everyone makes mistakes sometimes. A mistake in winterization can lead to a potentially dangerous situation out on the water, though–which is why it’s important to keep these frequently overlooked steps in mind.
- Perform a deep clean and diagnostic examination. Taking the time to deep clean your boat at the end of boating season is an enormous favor that your future self will really appreciate come springtime. But it is also an important safety precaution–it allows you the chance to double-check for any potential problems that have arisen over the past months.
- Fill Gas Tank. This prevents condensation from leaving water in the tank. Some boaters claim that they would rather deal with the water problem than waste an entire tank of gas–however, this is ultimately short sighted. (And, with gasoline stabilizer, it is possible to prevent your gasoline from expiring anyway.)
- Always Leave the Boat Covered. This step is frequently overlooked by those who are storing their boats in an indoor garage. Because boating upholstery can potentially cost thousands to replace, however, (and because the unexpected does happen from time to time,) the small investment of a cover is always worth it.
Always Committed to Boating Safety.
Boating safety is an ongoing commitment that requires level-headedness, careful maintenance, and an investment in safety equipment. To learn more about the latest and greatest in boating safety equipment, visit Beacon Watch online today.
Because no boat is entirely trustworthy—think of the Titanic—even if you are the greatest boater in the world, you may one day need to be able to survive in the water without it. This is why one of the most important aspects of boating safety actually has nothing to do with boats. Swimming is one of the most crucial skills to a safe boater, and, of all of the different methods of staying afloat, treading water may be the most useful to a boater. This is because rather than trying to swim to the shore, the passenger of a capsized boat is typically simply waiting where he or she is in order to be rescued. Below are 5 steps on how to tread water efficiently and correctly.
- Do not try to swim. When swimming, you turn your body horizontally in the water and kick your legs. However, when treading water, you keep your body upright and use both your arms and legs.
- Move your arms horizontally, and your legs back and forth in a circular motion.
- Do not panic. Additionally, continue breathing normally. Panicking and hyperventilating can only waste your energy and make it more difficult to actually stay above the water.
- Lie on your back if you are having trouble staying afloat in the normal position. This will also become difficult after a while, but it uses different muscles and different technique than regular water treading, so it may help you rest and stay afloat longer.
- Use anything around you to stay afloat. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you happen to see any floating debris—wood, garbage, etc—in the water, do not hesitate to grab onto it.
Looking for more ways to stay safe while boating? Check out BeaconWatch today for state of the art boating safety solutions.