FIGHT FATIGUE BY
WHEN THE BEACH BOYS CROONED ABOUT GOOD VIBRATIONS, they weren’t talking about the constant,
subtle shaking endured by boaters aboard
most powerboats. The reassuring thrum of a
big diesel may be pleasing to your ears, but
the constant shaking of the deck, helm, and
captain’s chair wears on joints and contributes
to fatigue. Fortunately, it’s easy to outfit your
boat with vibration-dampening gear that will
help keep you from feeling totally worn out at
the end of a long day on the water.
56 | BoatU.S. Magazine FEBRUARY | MARCH 2015
SNEAK PREVIEW! – Boating With Kids
While it’s important to keep boating as long as possible, at the other end of the scale it’s
just as important to get the young ‘uns comfortable and safe on the water at an early age.
Look for our great feature on boating with kids in the next issue of BoatU.S. Magazine.
If you stand at the helm frequently, the easiest fix is to purchase
an anti-fatigue mat, usually gel-filled, or made of EVA, a closed-cell
foam similar to what’s found in flip-flops. Brands include Stream
Machine, Sea Dek, Footcush, Sea Shock, and Aqua Shox. These can
also be used in other places where you or your crew stand for long
periods, such as the galley.
such as when stepping forward on a pitching deck. Add the need for body strength
when tugging a line with a snagged anchor,
and it’s clear that the effects of aging at the
helm of a boat are not without challenge.
But thankfully there are solutions, such as
those offered by Banana River Sail and Power
Squadron in Satellite Beach, Florida.
“I have a firm belief,” says Earl Gillespie,
the squadron’s commander, “that we have a
lot of boaters leaving boating because they
may have tripped or had a near-accident.
They don’t need to quit. They need to com-
pensate and do things a little differently.”
Last winter, the Banana River squadron
hosted what it believes to be Florida’s first
safe-boating class for seniors. Expectations
were modest. A small article in a local news-
paper and online promotion attracted 15
people. Some participants had owned larger
vessels in their younger years, and all but one
couple came from powerboating rather than
sailing. Their reasons for attending varied,
but no one said they had come specifically
because of a mishap.
“My suspicion is that people don’t often
think that way,” says Bill Veit, the squadron’s education officer. “We think we’re fine, PH