A collection of informative, engaging and entertaining mini-articles for you to read.
GET A FREE VESSEL CHECK
The Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadrons offer complimentary boat examinations to verify the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by state and federal regulations. They also offer virtual vessel exams.
KNOW THE NAUTICAL RULES OF THE ROAD
Maintain a proper lookout and be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids, all of which have been placed there to ensure your safety and the safety of the boats around you. To learn more, check out the USCG's navigation rules.
FILE A BOAT PLAN
Tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back. Float plans provide a starting point to help find you if something happens. Check out the Coast Guard Boating Safety App. You can file a float plan, request assistance, request a safety check, and report pollution and hazards to navigation all within the app.
BE PREPARED BEFORE SETTING OUT
Check that your equipment is in good working order. Review a pre-departure checklist to ensure you have everything you need in your boat, including a tool and first-aid kit. Always, file a float plan with the Coast Guard. Dress properly and bring an extra set of clothes in case you get wet. Don't forget sunscreen and know the signs of heat illness.
BOAT RAMP ETIQUETTE
Be respectful of others and minimize the time you spend on the ramp and dock. When loading, be prepared and ready to go. Load your coolers, fishing rods, wakeboards, etc. into the boat before you back the boat down the ramp. When coming in at the end of the day, keep your gear in the boat until it is hauled out and pulled aside unless you have something really heavy that can be loaded onto the dock.
Practice! Most of us are not used to backing up a trailer. Backing the boat down the ramp with a crowd watching can make things even more challenging. Find a place to practice after hours like a school or shopping mall parking lot to gain confidence. If you are having trouble, don’t force it. Ask for help. Boaters are friendly and we’ve all been in a similar situation at some point.
Make sure you're prepared
Experienced boaters run through a pre-launch checklist at home to make sure everything is in order. You don’t want to discover at the ramp that the boat won’t start or that the ignition keys have been misplaced.
One of California’s gems is the Channel Islands National Park. It consists of five islands: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara. The islands are a wonderful source of diving, fishing and sightseeing. The Coast Guard recommends a 40 foot boat for crossing to the Channel Islands. It is cold open ocean and can get quite rough, sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly. The Channel Islands are open year-round however the season you choose to visit will depend on which activity you are most interested in. For instance, there are generally more whales in the winter and spring, but hiking may be more pleasant in the summer. And if you’re thinking about staying in the area, the larger islands have good anchorages for staying and there are no fees for mooring.
FROM THE GALLEY
Chocolate-Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies
No bake cookies are a great treat to make on a boat. They’re easy, taste great and don’t take long to make.
Time: 10 minutes
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter OR margarine OR canola oil OR vegetable oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk OR evaporated milk OR prepared powdered milk OR soy milk OR water
2 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy or crunchy; optional)
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (instant or quick cooking are best, but you can use Old Fashioned) OR corn flakes OR Rice Krispies OR similar cereal
Mix all ingredients EXCEPT oatmeal in saucepan.
Bring to boil, stirring constantly.
Boil 3 minutes. Time it!
Remove from fire and stir in oatmeal.
For “cookies” – drop onto waxed paper or aluminum foil coated with Pam.
For “bars” – line a pan (I use an 7” frying pan) with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Put mixture into the pan and press it down. Cut into bars when cool.
You can eat them as soon as they’re cool enough to handle!
How do you get a good deal on the boat? When there is a sail on it.
"Yachts All Folks"