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Author Topic: BOAT SAFETY CHECKS  (Read 6299 times)

spetro

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BOAT SAFETY CHECKS
« on: December 10, 2005, 07:27:20 AM »

Vessel safety checks......Why do you need one?

Well in my experience with the CGA I've completed and assisted with over 100+ boat safety checks.  The CGA provides these checks free of charge.  You can request one at http://safetyseal.net/what_is_vsc.asp

There is a check list that you can see before you request the VSC.  If you pass a CGA VSC you will be awarded a decal and paperwork.  Provide the paperwork to your insurance company for a possible reduction on your rates.

What does the decal do?  The decal alerts your local police, game warden, or any other agency that may provide you a BIG FAT ticket for not having the required safety equipment or registration, that you have passed an inspection.  Chances are they'll leave you be and move on to the next boat.

What happens if you fail the inspection? The CGA does not write tickets. Your CGA-VE will alert you of items that need correcting......once the problem is corrected, call your VE and he or she will pass you.

What is the most common thing that will fail you?  The most common thing that causes boats to fail is registration problems and registration lettering an numbers placement on their boat. ( Your letters and numbers must have a separation space).

What happens if I get pulled over by the game warden?  If any of the safety factors mentioned in the VSC check list is sub standard, you will be ripe for a ticket.  Tickets range from $25.00 to $500.00....depending on your location.

If you want.....any UB member can email me directly to help in making sure you pass a VSC.

Fifteen reasons why you would flunk a VSC
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http://www.safetyseal.net/vsc_stats.asp

« Last Edit: April 18, 2006, 08:48:49 AM by spetro »
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Ouachita

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Re: BOAT SAFETY CHECKS
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2005, 08:00:40 AM »

I often work boat patrol on Lake Ouachita and sometimes assist on other waterways. Pairs of us each do about 200 inspections a year on the water mostly around holidays, plus each ranger might average 1000 per year at the ramps. The Corps' main interest is simply prevention of loss on project waters, be that life, health or property. We use the CG check list items plus enforce our own regulations. I look for glass on board, authorized to open coolers and compartments. I make sure the cut-off lanyard is present and complete with clip and that the switch flips when the lanyard is pulled. I check for the presence of gasoline and oil fumes or visible spills. On any vessel like a canoe or kayak that can roll or otherwise dump contents we require an attached mesh trash bag and lockable cooler. No operator arriving under the influence of alcohol or other inhibitor is allowed to launch. We also inspect trailers and boats for exotic organisms. I check boats for a transom plug before backing down a ramp and won't allow a tow vehicle leaking gas or oil or any other hazardous substance to stop at a ramp. If we see a trail of oil leading to a vehicle dripping oil it gets towed. When a boat with inboard or stern drive backs down the ramp and water pours out the transom boot I won't allow the boat to be launched. NOBODY has become upset over that! As a courtesy I point out other mechanical or structural problems, then if closer inspection reveals a hazard to life or property, the boat is not launched. All that and much more serves to insure boat and boaters are water ready.

We go beyond all that if boaters will spare the time. We instruct children about the importance of wearing PFDs, with parents standing behind raising a thumb high, nodding YES, THANKYOU, etc, because some have problems making their children comply. When a uniformed ranger tells them they listen. No child in my care will remain or return to the water if they resist safety. They can stay at a care center in town instead. I always offer fishing tips, tackle box inventory and assessment, advice on matching reel & line to rods, and work out most gripes about fish finders and GPS. I also carry an assortment of nuts, bolts, screws, other supplies, tools for use by boaters on the ramp. I couldn't guess how many tires I've changed for the ladies, the disabled and elderly. We carry plenty of ice on hot days for treatment of heat exhaustion, and plastic bags for severed body parts to go on ice, in addition to a good supply of first aid supplies. I like to see a first aid kit on board a boat, and ask whether folks know what's inside and can use that. On hot days I remind folks about heat exhaustion/stroke signs, and in winter we remind folks about hypothermia.

That's some of what happens for us on the ramps. It might appear we just hang around looking like a Smokey with that straw hat and black boots, but we are there for your safety and total enjoyment. As you pass by your equipment is being scanned for obvious problems, and if we approach it's because we are concerned about possible deficiencies.

Jim
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AB

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Re: BOAT SAFETY CHECKS
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2005, 01:10:00 PM »

I had my boat inspected by the coasties!  Found some issues with it that were corrected and I passed, getting my sticker!  You shoulda seen the look on Spetro's face when his buds were inspecting my rig and I was crawling under the dash with a voltage tester trying to figure out why my bow light wouldn't come on. :roll2:

Very painless process and I'll do it again on my next rig.
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spetro

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Re: BOAT SAFETY CHECKS
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2005, 01:24:47 PM »

Yea....ya got me on that one AB.  I was sweating bullets ~sweat ~sweat ~sweat
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Ouachita

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Re: BOAT SAFETY CHECKS
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2005, 02:34:45 PM »

Did ya know over 80% of all recreational boating accidents with a fatality involved operators who hadn't taken a boater education course? Something to think about. Once you've been through it you will notice all sorts of hazards and the right thing to do where before it seemed there were lots of options. It's like 4 motorists arriving at a cross section at once, only one licensed and knowing the rule about who moves across first. There he sits, not knowing the others don't have clue, the others sizing up each other's vehicles as to potential horsepower and ability to beat the others across. They decide. All cross at once. Now is that fair to the licensed operator who had a right to go first?  :shocking: Well, if you're trained you'll more likely be able to judge how knowledgeable the other boater is by his approach and you'll take steps to let the ignorant go on without sinking both of you.

Jim
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spetro

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Re: BOAT SAFETY CHECKS
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2005, 02:48:57 PM »

Jim...I love your enthusiasm. Its going to be a long winter.  UB members that will take the courses will pick this stuff up on there own time frame.

But as for your 4 way stop analogy.......

Encountering Other Vessels

There are rules that every operator must follow when encountering other vessels. Two terms help explain these rules:

Give-Way Vessel: The vessel that is required to take early and substantial action to keep well away from other vessels by stopping, slowing down or changing course. Avoid crossing in front of other vessels. Any change of course and/or speed should be large enough to be readily apparent to another vessel. (A series of small changes should be avoided.)


Stand-On Vessel: The vessel that must maintain its course and speed unless it becomes apparent that the give-way vessel is not taking appropriate action. If you must take action, do not turn toward the give-way vessel or cross in front of it.
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