Print Page | Contact Us | Report Abuse | Sign In | Register
Boating Safety News
Blog Home All Blogs

Free Automated Radio Checks are Available Year Round

Posted By Gail Kulp, Friday, May 17, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Free Automated Radio Checks are Available Year Round

Your VHF radio is your go-to communication device on the water, so you’ll want to make sure it’s working properly before you leave the dock. As you get ready for boating season during this year’s National Safe Boating Week, consider taking advantage of Sea Tow’s free Automated Radio Check Service. You can use it to check your radio year-round!

Sea Tow provides this free service to boating communities throughout the nation. In fact, it’s available not only to Sea Tow members, but to all boaters as a public service. It helps prevent boaters from using VHF Channel 16 for radio checks, as this is the international channel designed for urgent issues and emergencies.

Instead, by providing non-urgent channels for automated checks, boaters can ensure their radios are functioning properly without clogging Channel 16.

It’s simple to ensure your radio is functioning properly through an automated check. Just follow these three steps:

  1. Turn your radio to the appropriate channel based on your community: 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, or 84.
  2. Conduct a radio check as normal.
  3. When you release the mic, the system will replay your transmission back to let you hear how you sound.

And that’s it! To find out which channel applies to your community, check out our list here.

We hope you’ll use the Sea Tow Automated Radio Check Service all year long before every boating trip. Our goal is to ensure boaters are equipped with an effective communication channel while they’re out on the water. After all, you never know when you’ll lose signal on your cell phone. Your radio is always going to be the trustworthy option and is designed specifically for communication out on the water.

In addition, we’d like to extend a special thanks to our friends at Shakespeare Marine, who help make Sea Tow’s Automated Radio Check Service possible. We’re sure you already know Shakespeare as a leader for all things related to marine antennae, and we’re thankful for their commitment to help fund and support this important public service.

 

Tags:  2018-19  Automated Radio Check  Boating Safety  Education  National Safe Boating Week  Sea Tow  Sea Tow Services International  Tow Bee 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

National Safe Boating Week 2019- Wear your Life Jacket to Work Day

Posted By Gail Kulp, Thursday, May 16, 2019
Updated: Friday, February 7, 2020

National Safe Boating Week 2019- Wear your Life Jacket to Work Day

Today, boaters all around the country are putting on their trusty life jackets and heading into work to help promote boating and life jacket safety.

So, grab your favorite life jacket and help kick off another National Safe Boating Week and encourage your co-workers to do the same! You can even help spread the message of fun and safe boating by bringing in extra life jackets for your co-workers who may not be avid boaters themselves. Snap some pics and share them on social media using the hashtags #LifeJacket2Work19 #BoatingSafety #BoatingSafetyWeek #VestFriends #NSBW19

At the Sea Tow Foundation, we want each and every trip out on the water to be as fun and safe as possible. Help us make this National Safe Boating Week the best one ever and Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day!

Tags:  2018-19  National Safe Boating Week  Tips  Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Tips for Cleaning Mold or Mildew off a Life Jacket

Posted By Gail Kulp, Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Tips for Cleaning Mold or Mildew off a Life Jacket

Spring is a great time to clean your life jackets before getting ready to use them. Sometimes life jackets get put away for the winter and haven’t had a chance to dry out completely which can cause mold or mildew to grow. And southern locations where it is hot and humid throughout most of the year may find life jackets with spots on them. While this doesn’t look very pretty, it does not mean that the life jacket needs to be thrown away. They just need a chance to be cleaned and dried completely before use.

The following tips from our friends at Onyx Outdoor can be used to clean a life jacket of mold or mildew so that it can be safely used again. Just make sure you have a couple of days of dry weather in your forecast before starting.

  1. Use water and mild soap along with a soft brush or clean cloth to scrub the areas where the stains are located.
  2. Rinse with clean water.
  3. If you still notice stains, you may need to repeat the process a few times.
  4. When the life jacket is completely clean, hang it up to dry out of direct sunlight and do not put it back in use or into a storage container until it is completely dry.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  2018-19  Americas Boating Club  Clean Life Jackets  Education  Life Jacket Drive  Life Jacket Loaner Partnership  Mildew  Mold  Sea Tow 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Sea Tow Foundation names North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council

Posted By Michael Wesolowski, Monday, April 8, 2019
Updated: Thursday, March 5, 2020

Sea Tow Foundation names North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council

 
The Sea Tow Foundation has organized a North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council to collaborate on current and future boating safety messaging, as well as future boating safety messages and initiatives primarily involving its popular Sober Skipper campaign.
 
Launched in 2015 through a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund, as administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, the program encourages boaters to be sober or to designate a sober skipper.
 
It now has partnerships with more than 130 organizations in 32 states.
 
"The Sea Tow Foundation is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between the non-profit recreational boating safety community and the for-profit boating industry with the launch of the Sober Skipper Advisory Council,” said Executive Director Gail R. Kulp in a statement. “The highly qualified group of individuals that were nominated and subsequently appointed to serve on this inaugural council bring extremely valuable insight and unique perspectives which will help us to strengthen industry messaging, awareness and adoption of boating safety initiatives.”
 
 
Members of the inaugural Sea Tow Foundation North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council include: David Connolly, Partner, TH Connolly & Sons Inc.; David Dickerson, VP State Government Relations, NMMA; Jim Emmons, Non-Profit Outreach Grants Director, Water Sports Foundation, Inc.; Kevin Falvey, Editorial Director, Boating Magazine/Bonnier; Mike Hankins, Operations Director, Crevalle Boats; Will Higgins, Public Policy Manager, MRAA; John Jost, Director of Marine Solutions, Ken Cook Co.; Captain Keith Lake, Delivery Captain, MarineMax; Dave Marlow, Director, Product Integrity/Government Affairs, Brunswick Corporation; Captain Frank Stoeber, Team Development Manager, Regal Boats; Nic Thomas, Corporate Director of Dock Operations, Freedom Boat Club; Stephanie Vatalaro, Senior VP Marketing & Communications, RBFF; and Annamarie Worrell, Boat Club & Marketing Manager, Emerald Coast Marine Group.
 
The group’s executive committee includes Gail R. Kulp, Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director; Michael Wesolowski, Sea Tow Foundation Director of External Relations; Kristen Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow Foundation Board President; and Wanda Kenton Smith, President, Kenton Smith Marketing.
 
“Our executive committee was extremely pleased by the high level of interest and the positive response when we announced plans a few months ago to establish this council,” said Kulp. “While our new council membership represents broad segments of the boating industry, everyone involved shares a strong passion for and commitment to boating safety. Our executive committee is very excited to get underway and to collaborate with these industry stakeholders in this important effort.” 
 

Tags:  NASSAC  Sober Skipper  Trade Only Today 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Sea Tow Foundation appoints 13 members to serve on inaugural North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council

Posted By Michael Wesolowski, Thursday, April 4, 2019
Updated: Thursday, March 5, 2020

Sea Tow Foundation appoints 13 members to serve on inaugural North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council

 
 
The Sea Tow Foundation selected 13 marine industry stakeholders to serve on its newly launched North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council, with the goal to collaborate on current and future boating safety messages including its popular Sober Skipper campaign.
 
"The Sea Tow Foundation is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between the non-profit recreational boating safety community and the for-profit boating industry with the launch of the Sober Skipper Advisory Council,” said Executive Director Gail R. Kulp. “The highly qualified group of individuals that were nominated and subsequently appointed to serve on this inaugural council bring extremely valuable insight and unique perspectives which will help us to strengthen industry messaging, awareness and adoption of boating safety initiatives.”
 
Members of the inaugural Sea Tow Foundation North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council will serve a two-year term. Appointees in alphabetical order include:
• David Connolly, Partner, TH Connolly & Sons Inc.
• David Dickerson, VP State Government Relations, NMMA
• Jim Emmons, Non-Profit Outreach Grants Director, Water Sports Foundation, Inc.
• Kevin Falvey, Editorial Director, Boating Magazine/Bonnier
• Mike Hankins, Operations Director, Crevalle Boats
• Will Higgins, Public Policy Manager, MRAA
• John Jost, Director of Marine Solutions, Ken Cook Co.
• Captain Keith Lake, Delivery Captain, MarineMax
• Dave Marlow, Director, Product Integrity/Government Affairs, Brunswick Corporation
• Captain Frank Stoeber, Team Development Manager, Regal Boats
• Nic Thomas, Corporate Director of Dock Operations, Freedom Boat Club
• Stephanie Vatalaro, Senior VP Marketing & Communications, RBFF
• Annamarie Worrell, Boat Club & Marketing Manager, Emerald Coast Marine Group

In addition, an executive committee of four will direct and facilitate advisory council efforts including Gail R. Kulp, Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director; Michael Wesolowski. Sea Tow Foundation Director of External Relations; Kristen Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow Foundation Board President; and Wanda Kenton Smith, President, Kenton Smith Marketing.

“Our executive committee was extremely pleased by the high level of interest and the positive response when we announced plans a few months ago to establish this council and extended the nationwide call for nominations,” said Kulp. “While our new council membership represents broad segments of the boating industry, everyone involved shares a strong passion for and commitment to boating safety. Our executive committee is very excited to get underway and to collaborate with these industry stakeholders in this important effort.”
 

Tags:  Boating Industry  Brunswick  Crevalle Boats  Emerald Coast Marine Group  Freedom Boat Club  Ken Cook  Kenton Smith Marketing  MarineMax  MRAA  NASSAC  RBFF  Regal Boats  Sea Tow  Sober Skipper  TH Connolly & Sons 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

4 Spring Boating Safety Tips from a Sea Tow Captain

Posted By Gail Kulp, Sunday, March 17, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

4 Spring Boating Safety Tips from a Sea Tow Captain

With boating season upon us, it’s important to review safety standards before your maiden voyage of the year. The Sea Tow Foundation sat down with Capt. Mike DeGenaro of Sea Tow Charlotte Harbor to learn some tips to help prepare boaters for the water this spring.

“As spring fever sets in, we have a lot of boaters heading out on the water. For some, it’s been over a year since their last cruise and others have been boating on lakes and smaller bodies of water out of state,” said Capt. Mike. “It’s important to make sure that they know a few safety tips to guarantee they have a much better boating experience, no matter where they splash.”

  1. Always check the weather before heading out on the water. With the touch of a button, a marine forecast can be read on a smartphone. It’s important to realize the weather can easily change in a short amount of time. “This is even more serious when you’re in a small boat,” Capt. Mike cautioned. “Small boats are easily tossed around in wind and waves and can be easily swamped. When checking the forecast, look to see if a wind or small craft advisory is posted for the afternoon and plan your boating trip accordingly.”
  1. Have a way to call for help. “Cell phones may work well on land but should not be relied on out on the water where signals can be weak or non-existent,” Capt. Mike said. “VHF radios are the best option for a boater to call for help because they work even after getting wet and rescuers can put out a call to other boaters in your area to get you help even faster.”
  1. Know the area where you are boating and know how to communicate your location. “Telling a rescuer that you can see the blinking lights of a radio tower doesn’t help them find you when there are several identical towers in the same area that can all be seen for miles in any direction,” Capt. Mike noted. “What does help is knowing which boat ramp you left from, where you were heading and which marina you recently passed. This information will help rescuers find you.” A bonus is knowing how to read your instruments to give your exact latitude and longitude. This gives a precise location to rescuers and will save a lot of time, especially in a medical emergency.
  1. Always carry a life jacket, an anchor and signal lights. Even if you don’t plan to be boating after dark, you always need to be prepared with lights and signals and your life jacket should be on as soon as you notice trouble. “Don’t let your boat drift into shallow water or be pulled out to sea by the tide,” said Capt. Mike. “Put on your life jacket, set your anchor down and use your lights to signal for help so that rescuers can find you.”

Boaters uses the Sea Tow app to determine their position.

With a few simple precautions, you can enjoy a wonderful day of boating. Knowing you have a local Sea Tow Captain standing-by also gives you added Peace of Mind on the Water ™. Following these four tips and knowing basic boating safety will ensure a proper reaction in the event a situation that requires a call for help arises.

 

 

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  2018-19  Education  LIfe Jacket  Sea Tow Charlotte Harbor  Tow Bee Boating Safety Tips  VHF Radio  Weather 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Tips for Towing a Boat with an RV

Posted By Gail Kulp, Friday, January 25, 2019
Updated: Friday, February 7, 2020

Tips for Towing a Boat with an RV

More people than ever are towing boat trailers behind their RVs (Recreational Vehicles) and travel trailers. However, towing a boat from the back of an RV generally is more complicated than towing behind a car, SUV or pickup. In the towing world, a Class-A motorhome towing a boat trailer would be known as a double-tow; while towing a boat trailer with a truck towing a fifth-wheel is known as a triple-tow.

Overall, a double-tow setup is easier to operate than a triple-tow. According to Brett Becker, the publisher of the Online Towing Guide, a triple-tow configuration is a serious undertaking.

“If somebody wants to take on triple-towing, I suggest over-engineering everything and siding with caution at every step,” Becker explained. “Two trailers and a tow vehicle is a lot of mass and energy. Take it seriously and do it properly, or don’t do it at all.”

The rules and regulations for double- and triple-towing vary by state and are constantly changing. Before towing, RV’ers should check the Department of Motor Vehicles website for each state they will be passing through for the latest regulations.

Here are a few more tips for towing a boat from an RV offered by Sea Tow Services International, the nation’s leading provider of on-water assistance.

 

Verify tow capacity – Make sure that your RV has enough towing capacity to pull your boat and that your hitch can take the load, especially if you need to use a hitch extender. Also be sure to grease the trailer bearings thoroughly. You won’t know if they’re overheating, because you can’t see them.

Be sure you are insured – Make sure your policy covers you for double and triple tows! In addition to having good collision insurance, it makes sense to insure yourself for liability situations, as well. If, for whatever reason, your boat comes uncoupled and takes out three other cars, you want to have the coverage you need.

Inspect your brakes and leave braking room –Ensure the brakes are working on each trailer being towed. This is especially true for a triple-tow situation. Panic-stopping with two trailers in tow does not work well. If you follow too closely and have to jump on the brakes to keep from hitting something in front of you, odds are good your trailers aren’t going to stay in a straight line. Lastly, confirm your trailer lights work and are visible to those around and behind you.

Make wide turns –Ensure there’s enough clearance between your boat and your RV when you turn tightly. In tight turns, the corners of the boat may rub against the corners of your RV, which is bad all around, so make turns as wide as road conditions permit.

See behind you –Find a way to be able to watch your boat under tow, either directly via a wireless web cam, or virtually via wireless tire pressure sensors, or both. If you can’t see the rig you’re towing, it’s imperative to put pressure and temperature sensors on the trailer tires, or you won’t know that your trailer is dragging down the road on a rim instead of an inflated tire.

Practice at the boat ramp –You can’t see behind as well from an RV. And, you don’t want it to wind up in the water. Your best bet is to find a good local freshwater launch ramp and practice as many times as it takes to figure out a routine that works for you and your rig. When you are backing up, go slowly, and station somebody outside the RV to watch and shout in case of trouble. Keep your windows down and your sound system off so you can hear.

Make frequent inspections – Always perform a complete walk-around inspection of your RV, boat and trailer before you pull onto the road. Then, stop at the first rest area and do another walk-around to find and fix problems, especially with tires, hitches, and boat covers. Keep up the inspections throughout the trip and you will prevent any problems before they start.

The Sea Tow Foundation also reminds boaters to take a boating safety class to learn more tips like these. This article was originally published on the Sea Tow Blog and has been reprinted here with permission.  For more information on Sea Tow or to subscribe to their blog, please visit them at www.seatow.com.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  2018-19  RV  Tips  Towing a Boat  Trailer 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

How to Avoid Common Boating Mistakes

Posted By Gail Kulp, Sunday, January 6, 2019
Updated: Friday, February 7, 2020

How to Avoid Common Boating Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, even the most seasoned boaters. They don't have to be the end to a great day on the water. With these tips from the Sea Tow® captains, you can be back on the water in no time!

Shifter in Neutral?
Sea Tow Captains ask the operator of a stalled boat a very simple question: Is the boat’s engine in neutral when they try to start it? “It can be something as simple as the boat being in gear or the safety lanyard not connected,” explained Capt. Ryan Bayley, owner of Sea Tow Great South Bay in Oakdale, N.Y. “With kids running around and people going back and forth on board, the shifter and the safety lanyard are often the cause of a boat not starting.”

Out of Fuel?
Boaters don’t always top off their fuel tanks—and that can lead to confusion over how much gas or diesel actually is in the tank. “The gas gauge is notoriously unreliable on a boat,” said Capt. Gary O’Reilly, owner of Sea Tow North Chesapeake out of Galena, M.D. “The gauge says half and before they know it, they are out of fuel.”

Keeping a fuel log will help you keep tabs on your boat’s fuel level. By knowing the capacity of your fuel tank, how many hours the engine has been run and the average number of gallons you burn per hour, you can get a rough idea of how much fuel is left or how many hours you may continue to run until empty. And always remember the golden rule for how much fuel you should have and how far you should go: Use 1/3 of your fuel for your trip out and 1/3 for your trip in, while keeping 1/3 in reserve for the unknown.

Be Weather-Wise
Knowing the current weather conditions and the forecast for your boating area can help you avoid problems when bad weather threatens, either by altering the float plan, bringing along extra gear, or postponing your outing. “It might be warm and calm at your port but blowing hard where you are going,” said Capt. Bayley. “Once you get everyone down to the boat, it’s harder to call off the trip. Make sure you’ve done the research on the weather so you can make a good decision in advance.”

Battery Switch Savvy
“Knowing how your battery charger works, and whether to have the switch on 1, 2 or “All” (or “Both”) is a big deal,” said Capt. O’Reilly. “A lot of people think “All” is the place to be, and then they run down their batteries and can’t start the boat.”

Boaters should start off with two fully charged batteries, then choose one of the two available battery switch positions for running, either 1 or 2. Only use the “All” or "Both" position if it is an emergency when both batteries are discharged to the point that neither of them alone will crank the engine over but two can do it together. How do you know which battery switch setting to use? One way is by alternating their use, using 1 for odd-numbered days and 2 for even-numbered days.

The Sea Tow Foundation also reminds boaters to make sure that they keep boating safe and fun for everyone by always designing a Sober Skipper before every boating trip. For more information on Sea Tow or to subscribe to their blog, please visit them at www.seatow.com.

Tags:  Education  Fuel  Sea Tow Great South Bay  Sea Tow Northern Chesapeake  Sober Skipper  Tips  Weather 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Winter is a Great Time to Take a Boating Safety Course

Posted By Gail Kulp, Friday, January 4, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Winter is a Great Time to Take a Boating Safety Course

As the days get colder, it seems like the summer will never get here. Although your boat and gear may be stored away for the winter, you shouldn’t let your skills and knowledge get put away, too. Many states make changes to boating laws and regulations over the winter months, so it is good to get a refresher now that the New Year is here. A boating safety course will make sure that you know everything you can about being a safe boater including the legal requirements before inviting friends and family out on your boat in a few months when it warms up again.

You can find classroom courses that are offered locally in your area in the evenings or on weekends or you can take a class online from your home or office.  Courses are offered by state boating agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, America’s Boating Club and many companies and organizations. Regardless of how the course is presented, the test will include questions on life jackets, fire safety, anchoring procedures, the Navigation Rules, emergency situations, and state-specific information that boaters should know to be safe on the water in their state. If you boat in multiple states, it may be good to take a course in each of those states to be certified and up to speed on the rules in each state.

As an added incentive to get this training, boating insurance companies frequently offer discounts to boaters who successfully complete an approved boating safety course. Check with your insurance company for a list of courses or you can visit the U.S. Coast Guard’s website to find a list of approved courses.

 

Tags:  2018-19  Americas Boating Club  Boating Safety  Education  Tow Bee Boating Safety Tips  US Coast Guard  US Coast Guard Auxiliary  US Power Squadrons 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Your Clothes Can Save Your Life

Posted By Gail Kulp, Monday, December 17, 2018
Updated: Friday, February 7, 2020

Your Clothes Can Save Your Life

Falling overboard can be scary. Although the best advice is to wear your life jacket at all times, we all know that it isn’t always done. If you find yourself overboard with no life jacket in sight, you do have other options which can work in a true emergency. Here are 5 tips from the Sea Tow Foundation of ways that your clothes can save your life.

  1. A piece of clothing can be used to reach out to a person in the water to pull him back onto the boat. Reaching out to a person is the first step in the “reach, throw, row, but don’t go” steps for rescuing someone in the water.
  2. Keep your clothes on to conserve body heat. Obviously, this depends on the temperature of the air and water where you are boating as well as the type of clothing that you are wearing. However, a shirt can act like a wetsuit top and help you trap heat inside against your core. Clothing can also block the harmful sun’s rays and prevent painful sunburn.
  3. Use your clothes to help your float. Take off your pants and tie the legs together using an overhand knot. To fill them with air, lift them over your head behind you and quickly bring your arms and the pants forward toward the water. They will fill with air and can be used as a buoy or float aid. Jeans are especially good, but it will work with other fabrics as well.
  4. Take off your shoes. It is difficult to tread water and stay afloat with weights strapped to your feet. If your shoes float, you can put them under your armpits to help with flotation. If they are heavy, they may sink, but it is better to lose a pair of shoes than your life.
  5. If you can find something floating in the water like a cooler or a piece of debris, you can climb onto it and use your clothing items as a paddle or sail to help propel you along in the water.

Practicing these techniques in a pool is a good idea before going out on a boat. And, again, the best advice is to always wear your life jacket. Having one on onboard is required, but getting to it and putting it on with little to no notice can be impossible. And with more comfortable life jackets on the market, there is no excuse not to wear one every time you on on or around water. If you need to borrow a life jacket for your boating trip, you can find a Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Station near you at http://www.boatingsafety.com/map/.

Tags:  2018-19  Clothes  Swim with Clothes  Tips 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 4 of 6
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6