Discover the fascinating world of boating at ‘Discover Boating’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 3, 2005

Happy July 4th weekend, readers! This is one of my favorite holidays. The patriotic theme, the fireworks, baseball and all things American – can it get any better? Everyone should take a moment, especially tomorrow, to reflect how lucky we are to live in the greatest country in the world.

This week’s column highlights a new resource I stumbled upon while surfing the web recently.

There are some many great boating safety sites out there, run by the Coast Guard, individual states and trade groups that you would think the field was saturated.

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Actually, I found that this newest site offers some unique resources that the other Internet addresses do not.

Provided by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the &uot;Discovering Boating&uot; Web site is a treasure of good information at

Besides its colorful presentation, easy to follow links and menus there are four great reasons why seasoned Suffolk boaters and novices alike should take a few minutes and visit.

First and foremost I really love the wide variety of articles that you can review. Everything from the Boat Owner’s Guide to hurricanes, to recommendations on how to reduce fuel use, to even recommendations on how to handle and stow mooring lines.

There is an appropriate article for every level of boater – even pet enthusiasts have an article posted describing how to take pets aboard and ensure their safety.

Second, you can quickly sign up for the association’s boating electronic newsletter, The Lighthouse.

Chock full of good information the newsletter delivers the kind of information every boater should have.

Third, the site provides an interactive opportunity to ask questions from experts. Dubbed &uot;Ask The Boat Guy,&uot; readers can submit questions and get answers to boating questions such as is it better to buy a boat new or used?

I learned a few things just reading through the Boat Guy’s answers.

Fourth and finally, especially for those contemplating a boat purchase, the site’s &uot;Best Practices In Customer Satisfac-tion&uot; section gives the reader a listing of engine and boat manufacturers who have been &uot;recognized for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction (as rated by 2004 new boat owners).&uot; (The specific individual link for this section is also available through:

The &uot;Discover Boating&uot; Web site provides boat owners, marina operators, and those associated with the recreational boating industry a great deal of information at your finger tips, and best of all IT IS FREE!

Until next week…..Boat Safe….Boat Smart and HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!

Joe DiRenzo, a Suffolk resident, is a member of the U.S. Coast Guard. Reach him at