MORNING DEW TRAGEDY REVEALS
USCG GAPS The 1997 sinking of the
sailboat Morning Dew after striking a
Charleston, SC, jetty and loss of her four
crew, prompts a NTSB investigation that
reveals deficiencies in the Coast Guard’s
abilities to direction-find radio distress
calls. The resulting upgraded system,
called Rescue 21, is subsequently rolled
out in stages around the country.
CARBON FIBER COMES TO STAY
In 1994, carbon-fiber masts are allowed
on racing sailboats. Strength-for-strength,
almost half the weight of a similar aluminum mast, the reduced rig weight means
keels can be lighter, producing faster
boats. In ensuing years, carbon fiber will
be used extensively in high-tech sails
and as a component in boat construction.
NO MORE STINKY FUMES
In 1995, common-rail diesels become
available for the recreational boating
market, offering better fuel economy and
improved emissions over older technology
(where more fuel had been injected into
the engine than could be burned,
creating soot in the exhaust).
a couple of years
GPS infrastructure becomes fully
operational in 1995,
navigation. Meanwhile, the Magellan, one of the first
recreational-boat-user GPS units, is the
size of a brick, using
eight AA batteries.
>>1992 BoatU.S. leads
the successful fight to
repeal the Federal Boat
“User Fee” tax, saving
boaters $600 million.
>>1992 The BoatU.S.
Inflatable Life Jacket
Study for the USCG
leads to USCG approval of inflatables.
establishes the nonprofit Clean Water
Trust to develop environmental stewardship
info for boaters, and
works with states to
create Clean Marina
EPIRBs available for
low-cost weekly rentals. The program will
go on to save 71 lives
successfully works to
repeal the 20. 1 cents/
gallon Boat Diesel
Fuel Tax of 1993.
Foundation offers the
first free online boating-safety courses in
the U.S. By 2016, more
than one million boaters will have enrolled
in the course.
works to eliminate the
domestic VHF marine
radio license requirement, saving boaters
the $160 fee.
A 13-foot Boston
Whaler now costs
$7,910 ($11,696 in
2016 dollars); a
gallon of gasoline,
$1.19 ($1.74); a
VHF, $270 ($399);
is income $35,365/
wins first place
and a record
the 1997 Forrest
Wood Open, a
hoists a $1 million grand-prize
check for winning
the Forrest Wood
Cup in 2007.
ANDREW DELIVERS DOUBLE PUNCH After crossing the
Bahamas, Hurricane Andrew hits South Florida on August 24,
1992, devastating Miami-Dade County, producing a 17-foot
storm surge and wind gusts of 164 mph. It continues west into the
Gulf of Mexico, turns north, and on August 26 makes landfall on the
Louisiana coast as a Category 3. Death toll is 26. Damage in the U.S.
is $26.5 billion. Boat-related damage is estimated at $500 million.
“STORM OF THE CENTURY” STRIKES Forming over the Gulf
of Mexico on March 12, 1993, its strength and massive size
are what make it stupendous, stretching at one point from
Canada to Central America, producing widespread tornadoes
and a 12-foot storm surge. A 200-foot freighter sinks 70 miles
off Fort Myers, FL; seven crew perish. The USCG rescues 235
people from more than 100 boats across the Gulf of Mexico.