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Discussion Starter #1
Perhaps I should just make a new topic and not make my point sound as if I am pointing the finger at an individual here â?? as I am not.

It is my opinion that technology is a wonderful thing, but it can also be a dangerous thing. I have seen many boaters right here on Allcoast demonstrate what I will call Techonfidence. Perhaps I should patent the word! Techonfidence â?? in my words - is simply false confidence created by installing GPS, Radar, etc, onto oneâ??s vessel and instantly feeling â??safeâ??, thereby gaining the confidence to go farther out to sea than one would have without these electronics.

It has ALWAYS been my stern opinion that if you wouldnâ??t go there by chart and compass alone, but you would with GPS, you have no business going at all.

So for the sake of all NEW skippers who have the desire to get out on the ocean and chase tuna in their new boats, I just want to caution you and make some serious suggestions before you go.

1. Take at least ONE coast guard class. I suggest basic seamanship, small boat handling, etc.
2. Then talk yourself into taking one on NAVIGATION â?? learning chart reading and the basics of using a compass with the charts.
3. Take the time to plan some simple â?? in harbor excursions with waypoints on the chart and test yourself. Using a compass, a chart, a watch and speedometer, see how close you can get to arriving at your destination, then moving on to a second preplanned destination, then returning back to the starting point. A simple triangle is not as easy as you may think.

I do not want to suggest to anyone that they should not have a GPS, or radar, etc on board. In fact, they are GREAT things to have and are extremely useful. Especially when you DO break down so you can report your exact position to VA, or worse â?? the Coast Guard if needed. But DO NOT allow GPS, radar, etc, to give you false confidence to venture out farther than your ability and experience should allow. The plain and simple truth to MY situation is, the more experience Iâ??ve gotten over the years, the less I venture out in small craft. These days if I want to chase tuna 100 miles out â?? I buy a boat ticket.

Know this: There are two kinds of boaters:
Those who have had problems on the water,
and those who are about to.

What will you do when it happens to you? You better think about this and plan on it, because it WILL happen to you sooner or later. Be smart. Be safe. Most of all, be prepared.

I suggest we open this up to suggestions for new skippers, and what you would suggest to help them become better prepared for common problems and the not so common problems (like batteries going dead, running out of fuel, mechanical issues, emergency procedures, MOB, etc). Maybe we could eventually boil it all down and summarize these onto a pre-float checklist and maybe even some emergency procedures that could easily be laminated and kept on board.

Well???? What do you have to suggest?

JB
 

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I agree with all of this jb. I review my ditch bag annually and restock as necessary. Get my life raft reserviced. Check my EPIRB operation and battery condition. Sit on the boat and think of systems and their potential for failure. Do I have the tools/spares? Do I understand what I would do? If I blow a hose in my raw water intake system...do I have the appropriate materials and plan to save the boat? I go on other people's boats and ask if I can crawl around to see what they have that I don't etc. It's seemingly a small thing, but after a recent visit to a friend's boat, I concluded that I needed more flashlights at hand. You don't want to be searching for one when you are in the s$^t. Now I've got them placed just about everywhere I could need one instantly. Another oversight was not carrying bolt cutters for my all-chain rode - rectified after being prompted by posts on this board. Just two small examples of the never-ending exercise of being ready.

I'm not ready...and will never be ready for everthing but I'm working constantly to get there. I'm thinking of getting my 50/100 ton just for my own satisfaction and to force me to further educate myself.

When I was a kid, we made a serious mistake in judgement on our family boat...and it could have cost us big time. I try to remember that always.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yo MAN! Bolt cutters - what a thought. It's a GOOD one. How many flashlights do you now have on board, and where are they located? Waterproof? What about getting those shake-em up LED flash lights just in case the batteries go south? Anyone have one? Are they any good? Their idea sounds fantastic for boating - waterproof, sealed, never needs batteries . . .


JB
 

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Great post. Just went through the bag and all other items this past weekend. Also check out for expired aspirin and medical supplies on board. I noticed half the items in my one of two emergency kits expired last month. Sting sticks etc.

One question I have is how many guys on this board have life rings on board or some sort of lifesling? My bet is not many. Think about the worst case scenario. These could come in very handy if someone fell overboard. I have one on board ready to go.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/producte/10001/-1/10001/31718/0/0/lifesling%202/All_2/mode+matchallpartial/0/0

Bolt cutters are a great idea.

Say Rob you live in Calabasas?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here's one I learned a while back for inboard engines with RAW water cooling:

If you find your boat is taking on MORE water than you bilge pump can handle - you may very well be on your way to the bottom. One sure fire way to get an edge on the situation - IF you are certain you are in the process of going down and you have considerable water accumulated (like 5"+) - is the following:

Needed: Hack saw

Process - with the engine(s) running, cut the hose of the raw water intake of ONE engine just above the seacock/thruhull. Then turn OFF the seacock. While holding the hose under the bilge water - off to the side of the seacock - have someone rev the engine (unless you're Taurus - then just use a shoe string and tie the hose off to one side cuz the pressure COULD pull the hose back down onto the closed seacock, causing no water flow and an over heated engine to boot). This will remove a LOT of water and send it out the exhaust. If this is still not enough - do the other intake for double flow.

This should be used only as the LAST RESORT to keep the boat from sinking.

And if you are a REAL planner (or paranoid), you might just "T" off the intake hose with a hose and ball valve with the hose already laying in the bilge!


JB
 

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Life ring is required for boats 25' and up. I have always carried one.

Bolt cutters, yes that too. Not only for the chain, but have you ever buried a large Rapala hook in a body part while 80 miles out?

Extra hose clamps, hoses, fuel line, fuel separators, spool of wire, fuses, zip ties, wood plugs (even in a whaler!), oil, outboard oil ( I have saved people big time @ 70 miles with an oil drop), anti-freeze, transmission fluid, hydraulic fluid, torque wrench, flywheel holder, JB Weld or equivalent, amp meter, etc., etc.

The list is extensive for just spares, let alone tools, manuals, ditch bag, medical kit, and knowledge regarding all of it!

You need a bigger boat just to be safe out there and carry all the supplies you might need!!!

No wonder some guys just like to ride along and go home after the trip without the boat worries!!
 

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Hi there jb4lcm,

Yep .... I saw the ad on TV, went to their website and got 3 different sizes for less than $40 and that includes shipping. They work ... they work ... they work!

Beat mine around pretty good and so far .. so good! I believe there are two different companies selling the same thing.



tsurikichi
 

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Yes you are correct Rory!

"Life ring is required for boats 25' and up."

My bet is not many have them in the 25' class.
 

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I don't leave without it

Acouple years ago I got back into the PB thing after almost ten years since my last boat. The first overnighter to Catalina we ran the batteries down completely with the frig and bait pump. We didn't even have enough juice to call VA (which we did have!). Harbor Patrol called VA for us and we got a jump and a lesson was learned!
1. Know your Electrical system (capacity and draws)
2. I now carry one of those portable jump starters
3. I also now carry a hand held VHF w/xtra batteries

Posts like this are a great way of becoming safer on the water for all of us. I learn more everytime I log on. Thank you
 

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RE: I don't leave without it

Scott, I'll bet your starting battery/s are now isolated from the house after that incident!
 

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Thanks for the reminders John. The free courses I get from the Coast Guard is one of the reasons I joined the C.G. Aux. I've taken all the courses for Aux Ops and I'm a qualified Coxswain and my boat is a C.G. Facility.

Everything you say is very true. Another way to learn your boat and near shore navigation is to engage in Predicted Log Racing. It is like a road rally on the water. The only instruments allowed are your compass Radar for range and bearing only,and the tachometers. The rest is all charting and knowing about set and drift, dead reckoning and knowing your boats characteristics.
 

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JB - I've probably got 12 flashlights on the boat now plus a head lamp plus a hanging floro work light. I have flashlights hung in the entrance to the engine room, lazarette etc. so I can grab them on the way down plus ear muffs are also placed to grab so I can now blow out my ears when down there.

JB - You are right on the crash pump concept but as you say...only in the most dire of situations. But, I've heard of more than one boat being saved that way. My boat actually has an emergency crash valve built in so I can turn off the throughhull and turn a valve at a T which will then have the starboard motor draw water from the bilge. The builder did it...but I like having it. I was probably going to do it on my Skipjack had I kept it.

Tim - I have that exact life sling on board - not the cheapest option but very easy to stow (obviously within quick reach). I'm in Calabasas but I slip my boat down south in HH.
 

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RE: I don't leave without it

Bill, Yes they are (although I have stepped up to a slip boat since that incident). Four 6 volts for the house and two 4D's for the engines.
 

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RE: I don't leave without it

All great ideas! Although I have been meaning to "T" off one of my intake hoses for alternate bilge pumping...I've yet to do it. High water alarm, nope not yet. I will add that everyone should enter the sailboat section at the boating store of your choice and get some "rigging tape". This stuff will stick to anything and can fix (temporary) hose leaks, hold things together, etc.....also, does anyone have one of the new throw rings...frisbee type and just approved by the USCG? I'd be interested in your opinion on these.
 

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RE: I don't leave without it

Scott, Good set up there!
Mike, Get that high water alarm! I sleep much better knowing that it is there!! Cost's practically nothing, and ties into your buzzers or bells!
As for the old intake hose trick, back in the old days, the east coast longliners that stayed out longer than they should, told stories of running out of fuel, sticking their fuel lines in the bilge to get them home......obviously Detroits!
 

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I have minimized my night runs as much as possible, I started in the whaler days running all hours. Now, much wiser, I will leave the afternoon before and sleep with the fishes. Whole lot easier navigating in daylight than night without instruments.

Most of my trips are 2 dayers anymore.

Also have a doughnut! eperp, 2 radios, sideband, raft and yak on board. Oh and a nurse! LOL

Good ideas!
 

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Actually, I prefer night runs....probably because of my speed limits....I can leave the slip at 7-8pm, pick up bait on a friday night, then run to the Fly and be on the spot at greylight....troll/fish all day, then once it get's dark, "Run home", make dinner, clean fish, take hot showers, watch movies, ect ect, and be at the slip first light! We have a Furuno 4kw open array, so fully Technoconfident!
 

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JB,

Thanks for the timely post. Even an experienced boater like me needs a nudge to take stock. Your post and the great replies reminded me that I have some important safety details to take care of, including finally buying an EPIRB. They are now small and GPS equipped, just what I have waited for so time to just buy one. Rigging Tape someone recommended. Used it years ago and forgot about it and just have duct tape aboard, but yes rigging tape is better. And changing the brushes in my radar, and on and on. Thanks JB and everyone for the kick in the pants.

Fish the Tides - Freddie
 

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I started out with no electronics when I got my rubber ducky 3 years ago. I studied about safe boating and navigation before I went out. A whole year went by without any problems goin to Catalina, 302,188,Coronados,todo Santos. Then we were out towards the 238 about 30 miles offshore when a solid FOG bank came in. It took awhile to get back in, but we made it 1/2 way between La bufadora and Punta Banda-only a mile or so off course. I was sure glad I knew how to get back !! Know i,m spoiled with electronics !!! So easy with a chartplotter.
 
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