My lifelong love affair with poop has perhaps gotten a tad out of control; not really. All healthy critters poop, “does a bear poop in the woods?” Yes, except in the “New Age” gated communities here in Southwest Florida. Just what happens to this poop, if you care to think about it? In my neighborhood you carry an old plastic bag from Publix and pick up your puppy poop and put it in your neighbors’ trash cans. Naughty, but I’m the only guy who looks at and thinks about poop, I guess.
Unlike an automobile, recreational boats have special safety needs when it comes to refueling. Stern drive or inboard powered boats have closed engine compartments where volatile gasoline vapors don’t easily dissipate, and older gasoline powered boats are the riskiest to refuel as their brittle fuel hoses can crack, leaving gas in the bilge after a fill-up. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has these ten tips to ensure a non-eventful refueling:
The USCG is asking for public comment related the removal of channel markers from Coot Bay to Little Shark River Entrance. The USCG is in the process of making a determination of transferring the markers to National Park Service ownership as well as considering complete removal of markers in the backcountry from Coot Bay to the mouth of the Little Shark River.
Florida has more people struck by lightning each year than any other state of the Union and more people are killed by lightning in Florida than any other state.
What can you do to increase the odds of your boat surviving a hurricane? Quite a bit, actually.
After every hurricane, starting with Alicia in 1983, Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatU.S.) has been evaluating what worked and what didn’t and sharing those lessons with boaters. The BoatU.S. Insurance claim files show that in most cases, boats are safer out of the water in hurricane conditions. When a hurricane watch is issued, BoatU.S. recommends that, if at all possible, you load your boat on its trailer and move it inland or have your boat hauled out. Whatever your current plan, there are five steps you should take before the next hurricane warning to give your boat the best chance of making it through the storm and to protect yourself if it doesn’t.
It’s over 70 years old, a thin magenta-colored line appearing on over 50 different navigational charts covering the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, snaking along the route of the Intracoastal Waterway. Now, thanks to NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey and a public-private partnership with Active Captain, an interactive cruising guidebook, NOAA will be updating the “magenta line” on all of its newly-issued navigational charts to help keep boaters in safe waters. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) submitted comments on the proposal to NOAA, who had initially proposed removing the line entirely. However, responding to BoatUS’ and other boaters’ comments, NOAA will tap into users of Active Captain to update the route in an on-going effort that will benefit the boating community.
There’s a lot to be said for owning small runabouts, center consoles or bow riders. While they are affordable, easy to store, and can keep everyone in the family happy, they have their limits, though, if you want to venture into coastal waters and big lakes. But these journeys can still be done, with the right ten pieces of equipment. Here’s what Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) recommends should be aboard every boat 20 feet or smaller:
Anytime is a good time to fix the important things, like having a fully working VHF radio on board. If you have a basic VHF, checking the connections for corrosion, inspecting the antenna and doing a simple radio check may be all that it takes. But if you have a newer Digital Selective Calling (DSC) VHF, this is the time to ensure its life-saving, one-button mayday feature is fully working. This allows anyone on the boat to simply press a button that gives rescuers near pinpoint location and identification information, greatly speeding rescue times.
It’s a cross between the CSI and Cold Case TV show crime dramas: taking a look back through the thousands of dusty, old settled boat insurance claims files to identify patterns that can teach today’s boaters how to avoid becoming a statistic. That’s exactly what the BoatUS Marine Insurance publication, Seaworthy, did in the recent feature, “Top Ten BoatUS Marine Insurance Program Claims,” which appears in the October 2013 issue.
I was recently reminded that southwest Florida is part of the Everglades. That means this is wild jungle-like country.