Archive for the ‘Waterway Safety’ Category
I feel that the WaveRunner gets neglected when it comes to watercraft. You see people with all different types of boats or on jet skis and things like that, but I rarely ever see a WaveRunner where I live. Which is too bad, because riding around on a WaveRunner is so much fun! It’s probably my favorite thing to do on the water.
I for one, use my WaveRunner far more often than I use my boat. I enjoy going out on my WaveRunner as often as possible. For that reason, I always make sure to stock up on WaveRunner oil, also known as Yamalube 2W, so that I can make sure to keep it maintained properly and keep my personal watercraft in excellent shape.
If all the used oil from people in the United States alone who changed their own oil were re-used and recycled, there would be enough motor oil from that population alone to power 50 million automobiles each year. The used oil from just one oil change can contaminate 1 million gallons of fresh water-a year’s supply of drinking water for fifty people.
During normal use of marine engine oil, impurities such as dirt, toxic chemicals, and heavy metal scrapings can mix in with the oil, causing it not to perform as well as it once did. Used oil must be replaced periodically to help machines run their smoothest. Used motor oil is slow to degrade, adheres to everything from bird feathers to beach sand, and is a major contaminant in waterways and is a potential pollutant of drinking water sources. On average, 4 million people reuse motor oil for other equipment or take it to a facility with recycling capabilities. Used motor oil from automobiles, motorcycles, farm equipment, and landscaping equipment, as well as boats, can be recycled. Recycled used motor oil can be reinvented as new oil, processed into fuel oils, and serve as raw materials for the petroleum industry. One gallon of used motor oil produces the same 2.5 quarts of lubricating oil as 42 gallons of crude oil can.
The Labor Day holiday weekend can be an excellent time to enjoy boating recreation close to home as weather forecasts permit. There are so many festivals and special events going on all over America, but a quick bit of rest and relaxation on the water may appeal to you much more. However, according to AAA spokespeople, projected Labor Day travel is down 1% from last year among Americans. This may be due to the prices of fuel and automobile oil as well as boat motor oil. Impending expenses for school clothing and supplies many families with children must absorb can also be a deciding factor when choosing to stay home for Labor Day Weekend.
If you do choose to participate in recreational boating this Labor Day weekend, please follow basic rules of safety on the waterways. Wear a lifejacket that fits properly, avoid alcohol consumption when on the boat, keep a lookout for people and objects in the water, familiarize yourself with water routes and conditions before you travel, and follow the boating “rules of the road”. Most boating fatalities occur each summer during Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day holidays. Operator inattention has been said to be the leading cause of boating accidents, followed by alcohol-related fatalities. One wise precaution is assignation of a designated driver while boating, but passengers who are intoxicated can also cause safety hazards by falling overboard, swimming too close to boat propellers, and having other mishaps. Not wearing a life jacket is also a common component of fatal boating accidents. The new lightweight, compact fishing vests on the market are much more comfortable than the bulkier, more traditional life vests, having been innovatively designed to serve multiple purposes and are added incentive for anglers to wear them at all times while on the water.
The nonprofit organization Tread Lightly! offers guidance for outdoor ethics, encompassing all types of outdoor recreation. It goes without saying that they have some valuable insights about responsible motorized boating. Before beginning your excursion, make certain your trailer is in working order, all signal lights are operable, and that the boat is secure. When trailering your boat, carefully balance the entire load, including the boat itself and any items that may be stowed inside, including outboard motor oil.
Travel and launch your boat only in designated waterways open to your specific type of boat. Carry a Coast-Guard approved life vest for each person on board.
Operate your boat at a safe speed, complying with all signs and barriers, including speed limits, no-wake zones, underwater obstructions, and the like. Never go boating alone if you can avoid it–assign a designated lookout scoping the water for other boaters, objects, and swimmers. Cross any wakes at slow speeds, staying aware of skiers and towables-never jump a wake.
Not everyone can afford to rent space at their local marina and so some people find it more prudent to store their boats at home and simply use their car to move their boats from their house to the water. Here are some tips on how to trailer a boat with ease:
Plan each step of your boat launch, before you leave your driveway. Who is with you, family and/or friends? If so, spend some time with them so they know exactly what will happen at the boat ramp, and what is required of each of them. It is a great idea to perform this in an out of the way place (not on the ramp itself), so your tires and bearings cool down before entering the water.
Make sure you’ve prepared the boat before you head down the ramp, by removing the tie-downs, placing lines in the appropriate places, and double-checking your sea-cock and drain plug. Make sure everyone knows exactly where they will walk the boat, and remember to secure the boat to the dock, so it doesn’t float away.
Every step of the way, you need to be ever mindful of safety. Remember the safety chain (making sure it’s either secured when trailering or unsecured at the bottom of the launch ramp, as determined by what you are doing). And don’t let anyone get behind the boat and trailer, or between the boat and the dock.
Before you leave home, make sure you check your tires and hubs/bearings. Make sure they are greased, filled and in good working condition. Also make sure to check your lights, your breaks and for outboard oil leaks. Remember, a safe trip is the best trip.
The summer vacation season began two weeks ago and the official start date for summer is another week away. The prime time for boating is now and if you’ve already cleaned your boat and changed your marine engine oil, you should go over a checklist of some of the safety precautions you need to know about:
Required by Law:
• Approved wearable flotation device for each person readily accessible
• Additional throwable flotation device on boats over 16 feet
• Persons 12 and under must wear a personal flotation device while underway
• Fire extinguisher if fuel tank or engine is enclosed
• Running lights after sunset or during restricted visibility
• State registration card on board
• Registration number and validation sticker displayed
• Do not operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• Observe navigation rules
• Do not overload boat
• Sound signaling device
• Do not occupy ramp until boat is ready to launch
• Notify others of your schedule
• Obtain weather forecasts
• Navigation charts
• Bail bucket
• Anchor and line
• Secure boat to trailer after loading
• Trailer lights
• Reduce speed at night
• Check for gasoline fumes
• Motor kill switch
• 170 degree wide-angle rear view mirror
Wear Your Personal Flotation Device
• 80% of drowning victims in boating accidents were not wearing a personal flotation device.
One of the most overlooked problems that boat owners have is leakage. Whether your vessel is leaking outboard motor oil or water into the interior, this is a serious problem. Leakage can cause some severe problems if not detected quickly. If an issue like leaks is ignored, it can cost you thousands of dollars if your boat is assessed. Depending on where and what is leaking, repair can range from something that you can do yourself to calling a professional. The key is to catch it before it becomes an expensive problem.
As mentioned in an earlier post, the summer boating season is ready to start and you’ll no doubt have filled your boat with marine engine oil and anticipation to hit the waters. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind before you take her out on the water:
• Be weather wise. Sudden wind shifts, lightning flashes and choppy water all can mean a storm is brewing. Bring a portable radio to check weather reports.
• Bring extra gear you may need; a flashlight, extra batteries, matches, a map of where you are, flares, sun tan lotion, first aid kit, and extra sunglasses. Put those that need to be protected in a watertight pouch or a container that floats.
• Tell someone where you’re going, who is with you, and how long you’ll be away. Then check your boat, equipment, boat balance, engine and fuel supply before leaving.
• Learn to swim. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. This includes anyone participating in any boating activity.
• Alcohol and boating don’t mix. Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance, and coordination — over 50 percent of drownings result from boating incidents involving alcohol. For the same reasons it is dangerous to operate an automobile while under the influence of alcohol, people should not operate a boat while drinking alcohol.
In addition to cleaning your boat and changing out your outboard motor oil, there are some other little things you can do to prepare for a summer of taking your vessel out on the water.
• Update your first aid kit
• Make sure lifejackets are in working order
• Replace batteries on GPS
• Inspect engine
• Make sure you have a cell phone charger for your boat
A message from the US Coast Guard and Discount Outboard Motor Oil
America’s Waterway Watch (AWW), a combined effort of the Coast Guard and its Reserve and Auxiliary components, continues to grow, enlisting the active participation of those who live, work or play around America’s waterfront areas. Coast Guard Reserve personnel concentrate on connecting with businesses and government agencies, while Auxiliarists focus on building AWW awareness among the recreational boating public.
If you are a tow boat operator, a recreational boater, a fisherman, a marina operator, or otherwise live, work or engage in recreational activities around America’s waterways, the United States Coast Guard wants your help in keeping these areas safe and secure. You can do this by participating in its America’s Waterway Watch (AWW) program, a nationwide initiative similar to the well known and successful Neighborhood Watch program that asks community members to report suspicious activities to local law enforcement agencies.
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