It’s too easy for me to have a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) inspection conducted aboard my boat, Breakaway. Barbara Bedell, a certified United States Coast Guard Auxiliary VSC Vessel Examiner, lives in the house right beside my dock. Each year, Barbara simply strolls down in some spare moment, clipboard in hand, and takes me through the drill.
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The Internet is great for a lot of things, like finding videos of cats chasing sunbeams or someone’s pants falling down at a wedding. But it’s also been a boon to boaters and how they use their boats. The new big thing in the digital realm is peer-to-peer sharing (basically, renting). Most Internet-savvy people trace the concept back to renting real estate through a site like airbnb.com. What Airbnb does is allow people to directly offer up their property, or space in their home, for rental to the Airbnb community. Well, if people are doing that with their vacation homes, mother-in-law apartments or even the spare futon in their basement, why wouldn’t they want to do that with their boats?
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It’s essential to good seamanship that you communicate with your crew effectively. The ability to instantly convey meaning and intent may mean the difference between a textbook maneuver that’s hardly worth the mention and one that becomes regrettably memorable due to personal injury or damage to the boat. Let’s take a look at some situations to further illustrate the point.
Fueling accidents account for many marina spills. Avoid distractions such as taking calls (a safety hazard itself) while fueling your boat.