Odds and ends of safe boating

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The amount of information that is available to recreational boaters today is incredible. From the Internet and magazines to trade shows and newsletters, good free information is out there on just about any subject.

This week I am, for lack of a better phrase, clearing out some items I have been holding on to for a few weeks, waiting for the appropriate time to highlight them in the column. This week we spotlight two issues that are as about as opposite as possible, but nonetheless directly related to safe boating – Coast Guard Boating Safety Circulars and a nautical trivia contest by BoatSafe.com

One of the best sources for information regarding a wide range of safe boating issues are The Coast Guard &uot;Boating Safety Circular.&uot; On occasion, the service publishes these items on the Safe Boating Web site at Coast Guard Headquar-ters. No passwords required.

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According to the site, http://www.uscgboating.org/recalls/circulars.htm, content of these circulars include: &uot;advisories about newly identified boating hazards, information on boat defects and recalls, rules and regulations for recreational boats, and other news and information of interest to the boating community. The publications are a valuable source of information on established or proposed regulations and standards as well as other safety topics.&uot;

A good example of the valuable information contained inside a circular all one has to do is look at the latest edition, number 84’s contents:

– Carbon Monoxide Brochure

– Belt Pack Inflatable PFD Tests (1)

– Belt Pack Inflatable PFD Tests (2)

– Factory Visit Program

– Recall Campaigns

– Final Rule: Country of Origin Codes and HINs

All good information, maybe not directly related to the type of boating everyone does, but still informative.

BoatSafe.com is running a nautical know-how contest, asking interested participants a few simple questions to win a T-shirt. So, if you think you are a salty maritime veteran or recent graduate of a Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Safety class and are ready to show your knowledge, here is your chance.

Go to www.boatsa-fe.com/nauticalknowhow/contest,

At this site you will find questions in boating handling, navigation, safety, marlinspike seamanship and anchoring. It’s free, fun and all done online. If you win, you get a free nautical know how T-shirt. What a nice way to end a test!

Until next week…Boat Safe… Boat Smart, and as the weather changes start thinking about cold weather boating, I’ll help you along with some tips in my next column.

Joe DiRenzo III is a retired Coast Guard officer and former cutter Commanding Officer. He is a Coast Guard civilian employee, who has written on port security and maritime terrorism. He has written the safe boating column for over four

and a half years.