VOLUME XVI, No. 3, JUNE/JULY 2011
The Safety Mindset
y love affair with the water started when I was a little girl and my
dad taught me how to swim on Lake Lucille in New City, New York,
where my grandparents had a summer home. From there I learned to
sail in Maine, on Lake Sebago, and have been drawn to the outdoors
and the boating life ever since.
Recent world events have reminded me of the force of Mother Nature and
her waters, which deserve not only our admiration, care, and enjoyment, but
also deep respect for the immense power they possess. Most of us who love
boating are avid weather watchers on the days approaching our boat trips. But
we all need more than a weather report to keep us safe out there. This special
safety issue, prepared by our BoatU.S. experts, is a collection of articles designed
to help us cope with the unexpected when it happens, and we all know it will
happen. Here are some highlights:
Communications: Since 1999, all permanently installed VHF
radios must have automated digital-selective calling capability (DSC).
Unfortunately, there’s no requirement for universal electrical connectors to easily link your DSC radio to your onboard GPS! The U.S.
Coast Guard estimates that as many as 90 percent of recreational
boats that have both permanently installed DSC radios and GPS on
board don’t have them properly connected.
When you call for assistance, this simple DSC connection ensures
you can instantly, accurately, and automatically inform the BoatU.S.
towing dispatch, or the Coast Guard should you be in a life-threatening emergency, exactly where you are. One last thing: Don’t forget
to download the free new BoatU.S. smartphone app (Learn more at
Boatus.com/towing/app) for ease of communication with friends, and
with BoatU.S. should you ever need us.
Visibility: In case the weather deteriorates unexpectedly, make sure other
boats can see you in all conditions. In advance, check your lights, and make
certain your boat can be picked up on radar. Fiberglass is a poor radar reflector
and the styling of many modern boats acts much like the radar-avoiding stealth
designs used by the military, so add a radar reflector to your boat.
Medical Emergencies: Refresh your onboard emergency medical kit; learn
how to handle the most common accidents that happen to boaters; and make
sure, every time you take people out on your boat, you show your crew how to
operate the engine, and the VHF, in case you’re incapacitated.
Having a deep love for boats and the water is only
half the battle in the quest for a safe and happy summer
on the water. As for me, my summer goal is simple —
I’m going to learn from the advice in this issue, then put
on my inflatable life jacket, my SPF30 sunscreen, and
spend way more time on the water than I did last year.
Stay safe, have fun, and I’ll see you out there!
CHAIRMAN & FOUNDER Richard Schwartz
PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER
Nancy S. Michelman
This month the
articles in our
by this visual
EXECU TIVE EDITOR Michael Vatalaro
MANAGING EDITOR Ann Dermody
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Ryck Lydecker
CONSUMER EDITOR Caroline Ajootian
ELECTRONICS EDITOR Lenny Rudow
John Adey, Bob Adriance, Don Casey,
Elaine Dickinson, Chris Landers, Tom Neale
PUBLIC AFFAIRS ASSOCIATE
PROOFREADER Regina Cruz
AR T DIRECTOR Carla Shamblen
Rick Kelvington, Marcus Floro
DIREC TOR OF ADVER TISING
ADVER TISING SALES
John Bratten, Advertising Sales Manager
William J. McVey, Jr.
PHONE: 212-316-0383 / 800-447-4766
880 S. Pickett St.
Alexandria, VA 22304
address change: 800-395-2628
President & Publisher
©BoatU. S. Magazine (ISSN 1090-1272) Published bimonthly by Boat Owners
Association of The United States, 880 South Pickett St., Alexandria, VA
22304 (six issues). Periodicals Postage Paid at Alexandria, VA. and at
additional mailing offices. Subscription is $6.00 annually to BoatU.S.
members. Contact BoatU.S. for permission to reprint articles, (703)
461-2864. POSTMASTER: Send Change of Address to BoatU.S.
Magazine , 880 South Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304 (2011).