Powerboating Know how
Sportfishing Magazine, June 9 2008--
boaters facing record high fuel prices this summer Boat Owners
Association of The United States (BoatU.S.) has a few tips that could
help stretch their fuel dollars:
1. Leave the
extra 'junk' home: Don't load the boat up with weight you don't need.
Do a little spring cleaning - unused equipment that has been collecting
mildew in the bottom of lockers for years should be taken home.
2. Water weight: At 8.33 pounds per gallon, why keep the water in the tank topped off if you're only going out for the afternoon?
3. Tune her up: An engine tune-up is an excellent investment and should easily pay for itself over the summer.
Tune your prop: If your boat goes 30 mph with a like-new prop and only
27 mph with a prop that's dinged and out of pitch, that's a 10% loss in
fuel economy, or, you're wasting one out of every ten gallons you put
in your tank.
5. Paint the boat's bottom: When
boating in salt or brackish waters a fouled bottom is like a dull
knife. It takes a lot more fuel to push your boat through the water.
Keep the boat in trim: Using trim tabs or distributing weight evenly
will help move your boat through the water with less effort - and less
Motorboating Magazine, May 2008-- "There is a point at which a boat's hull configuration and its
propulsion system come into harmony to achieve the most fuel-efficient
cruising speed. Every combination of hull and power is different, so
finding your magic number takes a little experimentation and one
critical tool - a fuel flow computer. However, once you find that
"sweet spot", you'll know your vessel is delivering the most miles from
the fewest gallons. Many of the latest propulsion systems -
diesel, outboard and stern-drive engines - come with a fuel flow
computer as part of the instrumentation package. If your boat doesn't
have one, you can buy and install a fuel flow system (see sidebar
below). All of these systems are capable of tracking gallons per hour
and some can be wired to a GPS through a NMEA 2000 interface to display
miles per gallon, the most important number for determining your exact
operating costs. Read More
Trade Only Today, May 17 2008-- Boating fatalities fell in 2007, dropping to the lowest level since 2004 and the third lowest since the U.S. Coast Guard began collecting recreational boating statistics, according to the latest figures released by the Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division. The count dropped from 710 in 2006 to 688 in 2007. "We hope that this is a result of more boaters adopting responsible boating behaviors, such as making sure that everyone on board is wearing properly-fitting Coast Guard-approved life jackets at all times," said Rear Adm. James Watson, director of prevention policy. While fatalities decreased, however, other measures — including injuries, number of accidents and property damage — rose significantly. Injuries rose from 3,474 in 2006 to 3,686 in 2007. Reported recreational boating accidents, which reached 4,967 in 2006, climbed to 5,223. Property damage, which was a record $43,670,424 in 2006, climbed to $53,288,858 last year. Top causes for all accidents remain fairly consistent with previous years. Operator inattention, careless/reckless operation, passenger/skier behavior, excessive speed, and alcohol use rank as the top five contributing factors.
ABC News (AUS), May 19 2008-- Work is progressing in northern Tasmania on a computer simulator that behaves like a small boat. Pivot Marine at Legana has received a $1 million Federal Government grant to produce boat simulators, so that new boat owners can learn about the hazards of the water. The program designer, Dr Jeffrey Hawkins says he is still refining the software but hopes to have simulators on the market in three years. "In the end we're going to have a simulator which is ideal for people in small boats, so they can learn the skills before they get out on the water," he said. "They can learn about how to manoeuvre the vessel before they actually have to do it." Marine and Safety Tasmania hopes to one day use computer simulators to help test for a boat licence. Read More
One of the most important steps a prudent mariner can take in the event of a general problem or an emergency is to anchor his vessel. Anchoring provides a stable vessel and a fixed position, both of which are a tremendous asset when trouble hits while underway.
In most situations when you call Safe/Sea for assistance, the Safe/Sea Dispatcher will ask you to anchor your vessel. This request is not just to promote good seamanship; it could keep you out of a lot of trouble! Setting that anchor could be the only thing that keeps you and your boat from drifting onto the beach or up onto the rocks!! Imagine you are cruising a few hundred yards south of Warwick Light on a nice summer day, when suddenly, your engines stop and you have no means of maneuvering the boat.
Navigating at night can be an enjoyable part of
your recreational boating experience. It can also be a very dangerous
part if not approached properly.
navigation requires skill and concentration and should not be taken
lightly. Many things change on the water after daylight. While on your
boat at night, your depth perception decreases and distances and sizes
of shores and navigational aids can look different. Waves become harder
to see and judge and reflections in your boat's windshield can be
Your night vision can be
drastically reduced by bridge and city lights as well as lighted buoys
that are close aboard. All of these factors should be taken into
consideration when navigating your vessel at night.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 28 2008-- As boating season approaches, the Bush administration wants to enlist
the country's 80 million recreational boaters to help reduce the
chances a small boat could deliver a nuclear or radiological bomb along
the country's 95,000 miles of coastline and inland waterways. According to a Wednesday intelligence assessment obtained by the
Associated Press: "The use of a small boat as a weapon is likely to
remain al-Qaeda's weapon of choice in the maritime environment, given
its ease in arming and deploying, low cost, and record of success."
While the United States has so far been spared this type of strike in
its own waters, terrorists have used small boats to attack in other
countries. The millions of humble dinghies, fishing boats, and smaller cargo ships
that ply America's waterways are not nationally regulated as they buzz
around ports, oil tankers, power plants, and other potential terrorist
www.domesticfuel.com, April 19 2008-- A commercial launch company in Massachusetts will run some of its boats this summer on biodiesel. This story in the Salem News
(Beverly, Mass.) says that after testing biodiesel on a partner
company’s research boat, Mid-Harbor Launch Service will run a few of
its boats vessel on the green fuel to test the viability of the product:
Mid-Harbor Launch plans to begin using a mixture called B20, and
possibly higher mixes, on three or four of its new launches for the
upcoming boating season.
The fuel will be delivered in early May to Mid-Harbor’s
500-gallon capacity work boat, Loftus said, and the launches will be
fueled from there.
Upon delivery, it will be the first commercial marine use on the
North Shore, according to Ed Burke, chairman of the board at Dennis K.
Burke Inc., the first major fuel distributor in the Boston area to
offer B20 and B5 biodiesel blends.
Sea Magazine, April 2004-- While you might think that
handling a boat with just one engine would be easier than maneuvering a boat
with twin powerplants, that is not the case. While it is possible to walk a
twin-screw vessel sideways by setting the rudder and then alternating the
direction of the engines, it is not possible to do so with a single-screw
vessel. Single-screw boat handling can initially be far more challenging than
twin-screw boat handling -- but if you know the techniques for close-in maneuvering,
it will soon become second nature. The docking and close-quarters boat handling
techniques described here will take time to master. You`ll want to practice
docking and clearing a few times in no-wind situations, until you can master
the coordination of the helm, engines and lines. Remember: When you are
motoring at dead slow speed, you can shift in and out of gear regularly, to
move at an even slower speed than dead slow. Work the shift, not the throttle. Read
Boating World, October 16 2007-- Ordinarily, there's
nothing like a boat to bring a family together. The promise of fresh air and fun on the water is a
powerful lure, but the responsibilities and hard work that make all the fun a reality are often
unfairly and disproportionately divided. There are far more benefits to be enjoyed if the whole
family gets involved. Read More