Sunday, January 21, 2018

Cold Water Boating Basics

Cold Water Boating Basics

April 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

.  After a winter spent indoors, warmer days entice us onto the water. Though we’re eager to jump aboard, we must never throw caution to the wind. Safe boating is a year-round practice, but there are more precautions to take when water temperatures are chilly. It’ll be awhile before local waters climb above 60 degrees, […]

May the Sea Embrace You Tenderly

May the Sea Embrace You Tenderly

April 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Recently, an avid sailor friend of mine passed over the bar. Shortly thereafter, I received an invitation to gather on the late skipper’s boat with family and friends to celebrate his lifelong passion for boats and the sea. It turned out to be one of the most moving experiences of my life as we shared […]

Carbon Monoxide — the Silent Killer

Carbon Monoxide — the Silent Killer

October 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

. Although fall brings colder temperatures and chilled winds, hardy boaters still head out on their boats. Logic tells them to put up the covers to block some of autumn’s gusts, but that’s an invitation for a silent killer to come in. Carbon monoxide (CO) is called a silent killer because it is a completely […]

Laser Pointers as Weapons

Laser Pointers as Weapons

September 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

With increasing frequency, we hear news reports about pilots being harassed, even temporarily blinded, by lasers.  These lasers aren’t military-grade weapons but the kind of pointer that a teacher or speaker would use to highlight something projected on a screen in an auditorium.  Anyone can pick one up and play around with it for fun, […]

When Nature Calls

When Nature Calls

August 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

It goes without saying that privacy on a small open boat is nonexistent. That’s a problem when someone has to use the bathroom. What to do? “There’s nothing really practical that’s legal,” concedes Susan Shingledecker, vice president of BoatUS Foundation. “It’s a challenge.” The law is very clear. No untreated or raw human waste can […]

Ahoy, Skipper, Prepare To Be Boarded

Ahoy, Skipper, Prepare To Be Boarded

July 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

.   Unlike any other law enforcement arm, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) may board your boat at their discretion — they need no search warrant, no provocation, and no reason other than ensuring your boat is in full compliance with all applicable federal laws and regulations. Do you know what to do and say […]

How Small a Wave Can Capsize My Boat?

How Small a Wave Can Capsize My Boat?

July 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

News events all too frequently point to the need for boat captains to understand more about capsizing. It is a technically precise area — the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard live by and cite data on righting moments and centers of buoyancy and gravity. Despite the formula-heavy nature of the field, recreational boaters […]

Always Ready — To Play! The U.S. Coast Guard Cutters

Always Ready — To Play! The U.S. Coast Guard Cutters

May 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

. Hockey players will tell you that the game they love is rooted in their DNA.  It’s part of who they are.  The games, practices, road trips, locker rooms — all bring something different and special to their lives. This is true especially for the Cutters hockey team, which is composed of members of the […]

The School on the Water

The School on the Water

March 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

                        The view while crossing over the Throgs Neck Bridge is breathtaking. Included in the panorama is the school on the water — The State University of New York Maritime College (SUNY Maritime) — and its training ship, Empire State VI. There’s excitement at […]

Are Historic Ships Welcome in New York Harbor?

Are Historic Ships Welcome in New York Harbor?

March 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Last summer, visitors to the Intrepid Museum’s pier in Manhattan may have seen the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) sail training ship, USCG Eagle, wedged in an angle against a dock 145 feet shorter than the ship itself. Was the crew in a hurry to enjoy New York City’s sights after too much time at sea? […]

Boating Fun Calls for Plans A & B

Boating Fun Calls for Plans A & B

January 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

  Boating season is never long enough, and for many, time on the water is mostly limited to weekends, holidays, and days off from work. With time on the water so valuable, I get the most out of boating by having a Plan A and a Plan B so that I may adapt to changes […]

Pregnancy at Sea

Pregnancy at Sea

January 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Boating season is underway, and it seems like everyone wants to enjoy the waves, the sunshine, and the breezes.  However, there is one group that can’t just head out on a power or sail boat with abandon. Pregnant women must first pause to consider whether they should be boating this summer, and if they are […]

Accident Avoidance

January 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A recent BoatUS study on collisions at sea noted that most accidents happen for three reasons: (1) inattention (the U.S. Coast Guard calls that “situational awareness”), (2) blind spots (“failure to keep a good look-out” in USCG-speak), and (3) speed (which everyone recognizes as dangerous). Inattention may be failing to heed the weather. You go […]

Go Gently on the Waters

Go Gently on the Waters

October 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

                            On a peaceful, overcast morning in Hampton Bays, two rows of excited onlookers silently formed a path to the calm Long Island waters as the star of the hour peeked through a crate at her fans. I wondered, did she know […]

Don’t Venture Out Without a Float Plan

Don’t Venture Out Without a Float Plan

September 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Know what float plans and water have in common? Both are vital components of every boating day. A float plan, which is just the name for sharing the details of your boating plans with someone on land, isn’t only necessary before a multi-day adventure out in open water. Let’s imagine some of the unlucky situations […]

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

July 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

There’s something quite splendid about seeing Lady Liberty from your boat.  No matter your age, standing on the deck and looking up as the waves move gently beneath you is an awe-inspiring experience. When the weather’s balmy and the waters are placid, a reasonably-sized boat can make this sightseeing trip from most Long Island harbors […]

What’s a Vessel?

What’s a Vessel?

June 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

You probably know that the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) makes and enforces rules that affect vessels of all types, not just power boats, sail boats, and paddle boats. The USCG considers paddleboards, kiteboards, and motorized tubes operated outside of very limited areas to be vessels. The USCG defines a vessel as a watercraft (or other […]

Anchoring Done Right

Anchoring Done Right

May 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

. Sometimes, the simplest thing can take on monumental proportions — if you get it wrong. Setting a proper anchor and retrieving it can make all the difference in the world when the wind starts to stiffen and all the other boaters around you look askance as you drag your anchor towards them. You can’t […]

Rockin’ Your Life Jacket

Rockin’ Your Life Jacket

May 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Who in your family wears a life jacket while boating? I’ve met some folks who think everybody should be wearing one. Ro Woodard, Boating Safety Educator for NY State Parks, let me know that in New York State, “Children under the age of 12 must wear a securely fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable life jacket […]

Don’t Let Bad Weather Take You by Storm

Don’t Let Bad Weather Take You by Storm

February 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

. Recreational boaters should never grow overconfident about their abilities to predict and overcome the weather. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) 2012 Recreational Boating Statistics ranked weather as ninth in its report, Top Ten Known Primary Contributing Factors of Boating Accidents; weather was found to be a contributing factor in a total of 221 recreational […]

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

February 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

There are some boating destinations that you should take the time to visit not just because they are close by, or only because you want to shake up your routine and go somewhere different.  A trip like visiting the Statue of Liberty in lower New York Harbor is one you should take because it is […]

Better Sleep Makes Better Boaters

Better Sleep Makes Better Boaters

January 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Imagine you’re out with a friend who’s had a few drinks. If he says to you, “Hey, let’s take the boat out!” you’d decline the offer.  What would your answer be, however, if that same friend was sober but had gotten very little sleep the night before? Many people think that their cognitive abilities remain […]

Look Out Below – And Above – and About!

Look Out Below – And Above – and About!

January 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

When I take young sailors out on the high seas, I usually challenge the group by asking, “If anybody can tell me where it is 50 degrees below zero within 10 miles of our location, I will give them this $20.00 bill.” It isn’t quite Captain Ahab nailing the gold coin to the mast for […]

Keep Your Head in an Emergency

Keep Your Head in an Emergency

January 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

No matter how prepared you are and no matter how carefully you boat, mishaps happen. What occurs after an accident, however, may make all the difference between a crummy day and a catastrophe. Independent of your circumstances and the nature of your emergency, the most important first action is to immediately notify the U.S. Coast […]

Safety First! Choose the Right Life Jacket

Safety First! Choose the Right Life Jacket

January 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

. Fun is on everyone’s minds while boating. However, before all the fun and games begin, we need to focus on safety and put on the right life jacket the moment we hop onto our vessels. Being out on the water is sometimes risky; it’s best if everyone takes precautions. According to the U.S. Coast […]

Water Safety Smarts

Water Safety Smarts

January 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

. Do you love to spend time out on the water? No matter how comfortable you feel out there, it is never smart to head out on a boat without knowing how to swim. We don’t want to scare anybody enough to stay inside, but many childhood deaths are due to drowning. The majority of […]

Protectors of Our Waters

Protectors of Our Waters

November 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Swimming Towards Important Life Skills

Swimming Towards Important Life Skills

November 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s a scene straight out of a nightmare — one moment, you’re in your home, at the beach, on a boat, and then the next, you’re in the water — and you don’t know how to swim. However, one person’s bad dream is another person’s reality when hurricane-propelled waters flood a home, a rogue wave […]

Frosty Boating

Frosty Boating

October 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

. Wear a Coat and a Life Jacket The crowds on the waters have disappeared, but so has the warm weather. Cold weather boating requires all the safety precautions of summer, along with the additional laws and precautions that crop up when the temperature drops. Even if there’s sunshine on your shoulders, never remove your […]

Keep a Safe Distance!

Keep a Safe Distance!

September 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

. New York Harbor and Long Island Sound are two of the most spectacular urban waterways in the world. Sail down the East River at night, and you will know what I mean. Once you are under way, free as a bird and with nothing but wind and water to guide you, it’s hard not […]

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