Intrepid CY volunteers dive in to test the latest PFDs – and find that comfort and style make them more wearable than ever. Is it just my imagination – or are more boaters wearing PFDs more of the time today than they used to? It has been reassuring over the past few years to see life jackets, inflatables, floater garments and similar life-saving gear being worn regularly in settings where the sight would have been rare a decade or two ago.
The golden thread that links the aftermath most offshore and distance sailing accidents is the absence of formal safety and survival training. Despite the overwhelming body of evidence that supports that conclusion, North American sailors have been slow to embrace the idea that taking a course and learning how to right a capsized liferaft, proper tether and harness discipline, or how to retrieve a crew overboard from the water is just as important as investing time to teach how to tack without losing boat lengths. For racers it boils down to this: you cannot place if you don’t finish.
While the Office of Boating Safety, Transport Canada surprisingly does not list binoculars as part of its mandatory safety equipment, we would suggest that having a good pair on board just makes good sense. Binoculars designed specifically for marine use are traditionally stronger in structure and are, of course, waterproof – or should be. In fact, some models even float. Today, we are going to highlight the key criteria for selecting a pair of binoculars as well as share a few neat features and accessories.
Even if you were born on board a boat, there’s probably more knowledge and skills you could gain to help you have more fun next summer. Whatever your interest might be, whether you are a novice hoping to get started or you’re already an expert, there are many learning resources available. At Canadian Yachting magazine, one of our most important partnerships is with the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS). If you’re new to boating and don’t know about CPS, they are a national organization, operating in both official languages and they are all about boating knowledge.
Capsizings resulted in many recreational boating deaths and injuries in 2010. Practice good seamanship to reduce your risk of capsizing, but if it happens know what to do to ensure that everyone on board gets back safely.
If you and your passengers are not wearing life jackets when the boat capsized, try to retrieve any equipment or gear, such as coolers or seat cushions, and improvise flotation. Never attempt to re-enter a capsized vessel. Then consider the most appropriate means to summon help.
This past May, Coast Guard surface and air crews conducted an all-night search of the Great Peconic Bay area of Long Island, NY, for a possible missing kite surfer after gear was found floating in the water. The search was suspended after news reports prompted the owner to call to say he was safe. Coast Guard patrols often encounter abandoned and adrift boats and gear. If there is even a small chance a person is in the water, the Coast Guard undertakes search and rescue efforts. If you should find yourself in trouble, here are five actions you can take to increase the chances Search and Rescue will get to you in time.
So, who’s afraid of the dark? Well, some boaters should be. We were surprised to walk down the docks at one of Georgian Bay's popular marinas and found that as many as one boat in five didn't have a bow mounted spot.
How often have you seen the weather settle down, the clouds part and the winds die down to give you an evening of beautiful, calm, sunset cruising conditions?
Where I live, it's pretty common.