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Dos and Don’ts for Boating Safety and Social Distancing During COVID 19

Posted By Gail Kulp, Friday, March 27, 2020

Dos and Don’ts for Boating Safety and Social Distancing During COVID 19

Everyone’s life has changed as a result of the Coronavirus, but boating can still be a wonderful activity to participate in while practicing social distancing. The Sea Tow Foundation wants to encourage you to get out on the water and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, but we ask that you do it safely and legally. We’ve compiled a list of 10 Dos and Don’ts to help you plan a great day on the water.


1.       Do respect your state and local authorities. If a beach, boat ramp or marina is closed, please do not use it. If you don’t know the current regulations or restrictions for your boating area, you can contact your state boating agency and ask about access points and other important information. Your local Sea Tow captain can also be a great source of information as well.


2.       Don’t go boating if you or someone in your boating group is feeling sick or thinks they have been exposed to someone who is sick. Stay home and follow the CDC guidelines.


3.       Do go boating only with the people who are currently living with you. Do not invite your friends or extended family to join in during this time of social distancing.


4.       Don’t raft up with other boats while out on the water or spend time on the beach or at the dock in groups. Keep your boat and the people in your boat at least 6 feet away from other boats and people.


5.       Do continue to carry all of the required boating safety equipment including life jackets, flares, navigation lights, a horn or whistle, a first aid kit, and everything else on your pre-departure checklist.


6.       Don’t drink and boat. Continue to be or designate a Sober Skipper for all of your boating trips and remember that you can easily Take the Pledge to be the Sober Skipper on our website at


7.       Do pack your own lunch, drinks and snacks for your day on the water. Many restaurants and marina stores may not be open, so you want to make sure you have everything you need on board.


8.       Don’t forget to fuel up before going out on the boat. Fuel docks may not be in operation during this time, so you want to make sure your boat is fueled up and pay attention to the gas gauge during your trip so that you don’t run out.


9.       Do clean your boat after going out. This will not only prevent aquatic invasive species from hitchhiking on your boat, but also will ensure there is no trash or other items left lying around. Secure all valuables as well. With state and local regulations changing rapidly, you may not be able to easily return to your boat to take care of things later.


10.   Don’t forget to take photos of your day on the water and share them with us on social media @SeaTowFoundation on Facebook and Instagram.


Do you have any other tips to share? Let us know in the comments.

Tags:  Boating Safety  Coronavirus  COVID  Sober Skipper  Social Distancing 

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Sea Tow Foundation Launches Our Newly Redesigned Website

Posted By Gail Kulp, Thursday, March 12, 2020

Sea Tow Foundation Launches Our Newly Redesigned Website

We are excited to launch our newly redesigned website that is packed with information for recreational boaters to help keep family and friends safe on the water. The refreshed website also has resources for the marine industry to utilize in their promotions to reach out to their customers.

One of the amazing features of our new site, which is still found at, is that it is now completely functional and responsive on mobile and desktop versions allowing information to be easily found and shared related to our Life Jacket Loaner Program and our Sober Skipper program as well as plenty of other boating safety resources including our online shop, which now boasts plenty of printed materials and program supplies available for free or can be downloaded and printed at no charge at your home or office.

A favorite feature on our “Get Involved” page allows our supporters to interact with each other in ways we’ve never explored before which will provide an even greater value to the boating community nationwide, at no charge to them. Registration is free and you’ll not only receive access to our new newsletter, but also be able to join groups of dedicated people who are already working together to eliminate boating under the influence and reduce drowning incidents.

Our blog has been completely redesigned and is now easier to search for articles about boating safety classes, seasonal boating safety tips, being prepared for a day on the water, and so much more.

We hope you like the changes, and if you have any feedback, please let us know on Facebook and Instagram or click on the Contact Us link on our website.

Tags:  2019-20  boating safety  Life Jacket  Sea Tow  Sober Skipper  Website. 

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Spring Break Boating Safety Tips

Posted By Gail Kulp, Monday, March 9, 2020

Spring Break Boating Safety Tips

Spring is here which means it is time for that epic spring break trip that you’ve had planned for months! Warm weather, sunny skies, and fun with friends or family members on the boat are just days away, but before you pack those bags and head out on your spring break trip, the Sea Tow Foundation has some tips to help you have a safe AND fun spring break trip.

1.    Take a Boating Safety Class Now. Many states or other countries require a boating license or for the boater to at least take a boating safety class before renting a boat or putting your boat in their waters. Whether you’re a new boat owner or have years of experience, you’ll pick up some pointers and boost your marine confidence as well as satisfy requirements for boaters in that particular location. Courses are offered online or in person through our friends at the USCG Auxiliary or the America’s Boating Club.

2.    Ask for Advice. Spring break trips often involve traveling to new and exciting destinations. If you are unfamiliar with the bay, lake, river or ocean you’re headed to—especially on vacation—it’s smart to talk to locals. Sea Tow captains in the area will happily share water conditions, current patterns, routes and (bonus!) wildlife watching tips.

3.    Pack the sunscreen. If you’re not used to the sun and warmer temperatures or with being outdoors for a good portion of the day, you will soon by surprised by a nasty sunburn. Put on some sunscreen and don’t forget a hat and sunglasses, too.

4.    Reserve now. If you are planning to rent a boat during spring break, make sure you’ve got the rental confirmed well in advance of your trip and reach out to the company ahead of time to see if you need to bring anything for the boat with you. They should provide you with an orientation to your rental boat as well as all of the safety equipment required. If you are taking your own boat on spring break, make sure your boat trailer is ready to roll and that you know the boat ramp locations as well as where you can park your vehicle and trailer while you’re out on the water.

5.    Once you get to your trip, follow the ABCD rule.


a.    Always Wear Life Jackets. Every passenger should wear a properly fitted U.S Coast Guard (USCG)-approved life jacket. And remember that adult-size life jackets aren’t meant for children. If you’ve forgotten to pack your own or need extras, you can always stop by a Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Station to borrow them for the day.

b.    Bring along safety gear. Emergency preparation = peace of mind. No matter the size of your boat, these are the absolute essentials to keep on board:

  •                         Marine VHF radio
  •                         First aid kit
  •                         Fire extinguisher
  •                         Tool kit
  •                         Flashlight and extra batteries
  •                         Duct tape
  •                         Bucket
  •                         Waterproof whistle or horn
  •                         Lines
  •                        Signaling mirror

c.     Check—and Recheck—the Weather. Choppy waters can’t always be predicted. If conditions aren’t favorable, don’t chance it. There are many apps and websites that help you know the conditions before you go. One of our favorite tide and weather apps can be found at

d.    Designate a Sober Skipper. Never, ever operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The wind, sun and boat vibration all contribute to increased impairment, even after a single beer. Responsible boaters carry plenty of water, non-alcoholic drinks and food on board. To learn more check out our  Sober Skipper program.

6.    Share Your Trip to Social. Did your spring break boating trip really happen if you didn’t document it? Be sure to tag us in all your photos and adventures on Instagram (@seatowfoundation) and Facebook (@SeaTowFoundation)


Have a fantastically fun and super safe spring break!


Tags:  2019-20  Boating Safety Course  Fire Extinguisher  Float Plan  Life Jacket  Sober Skipper  spring break  Weather 

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5 New Year’s Boating Resolutions for a Safe and Fun 2020

Posted By Gail Kulp, Thursday, December 26, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, January 22, 2020

5 New Year’s Boating Resolutions for a Safe and Fun 2020

With the holidays behind us, it’s officially time to turn over a new leaf in the new year. That’s right, 2020 is finally here.

They say hindsight is 20/20, but now is your chance to give 2020 some foresight, too. If you’re looking for some boating-related New Year’s resolutions, look no further than the list below:

Spend more time on the water – This is one New Year’s resolution that should be on every boaters’ list. If you’re anything like us, there’s no such thing as too much time spent at the helm of your vessel. So, for 2020, pledge to take more time out on your favorite waterways. Trust us, your mental health will thank you!

Wear your life jacket while underway–It’s the law to have enough wearable life jackets for everyone on board your boat in the correct sizes for each person and the U.S .Coast Guard requires that children under age 13 wear their life jackets at all times when underway. This year, we challenge you to have everyone on board WEAR their life jackets Not only does this set a good example for the kids by having the adults wear their life jackets, but it things go south and you find yourself in a boating emergency, it could be the difference between a slight inconvenience and disaster. And with the new inflatable life jacket models available from our friends at Onyx, you can have a life jacket on and never feel like it gets in your way. If you don’t happen to have a life jacket for all your passengers, you can always stop by one of our 550+ Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Stations and borrow one for the day for free! Click here to find the location nearest you.

Check your VHF radio before every trip – This is another easy resolution to check off the list. Having a working VHF radio is an essential piece to the boating safety puzzle, so make sure yours is working properly before you leave the dock. In most boating hotspots, you can use Sea Tow’s free Automated Radio Check service. Simply tune your radio to the proper channel for your area, speak into the radio, and wait for the playback. It couldn’t be easier! Click here to find your area’s ARC channel.

Designate a Sober Skipper – Did you know that alcohol is the leading cause of boating accidents? Just like driving a car, alcohol can impair your ability to operate your vessel, and the sun, waves and other boating-specific attributes can lead to impairment much faster than you think. That’s why it’s vital that you and your loved ones designate a Sober Skipper each and every time you leave the dock. You can even join us by taking the Sober Skipper pledge by clicking here.

Take a boating safety course – Want to learn something new and expand your boating horizons in 2020? Then why not take a boating safety course? Boating safety courses aren’t just for novice or beginner boaters, either. Whether you’re heading out to the dock for the first time or have been boating for years, there’s always something new to learn. Our friends at America’s Boating Club have all sorts of great courses to help enhance your boating knowledge and completing a course will often provide you with a discount on your boat owner’s insurance. Click here to check out all of their educational offerings.

Do you have any other boating resolutions you’re planning on achieving in 2020? Share yours in the comments below

Tags:  2019-20  Americas Boating Club  Automated Radio Check  Life Jacket Loaner Station Grant  Onyx Outdoor  Sober Skipper  VHF Radio 

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Sea Tow Foundation Announces Inaugural Winners of “National Boating Industry Safety Awards”

Posted By Michael Wesolowski, Monday, December 2, 2019
Updated: Friday, March 6, 2020

Sea Tow Foundation Announces Inaugural Winners of “National Boating Industry Safety Awards”

Southold, NY, December 2, 2019 – The Sea Tow Foundation recently announced winners of its inaugural National Boating Industry Safety Awards at the Elevate Summit in Orlando. The awards were sponsored and judged by the newly established North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council and funded through a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. The awards were established to recognize the best boating safety work in the for-profit sector of the recreational marine marketplace occurring within the United States.

The Top Marine Manufacturer Award for Boating Safety was presented to Sea Ray Boats. Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director Gail R. Kulp said, “Sea Ray Boats launched an effective and highly targeted email and social media marketing campaign over the summer boating holiday weekends and promoted several boating safety initiatives including the importance of boaters wearing life jackets at all times; practicing responsible drinking and having a designated captain; and staying alert and being aware of surroundings.”

Taking the Top Marine Retailer Award for Boating Safety was MarineMax, a company which has long championed boating safety among boating consumers. Kulp noted, “From the development of hands-on boating safety classes to the production of safety-focused videos, MarineMax is providing outstanding educational opportunities for new boaters as well as those in need of a refresher. In addition, the MarineMax social media posts consistently promoted additional awareness about boating safety through ongoing messages via multiple platforms.”

The Sober Skipper National Advisory Council also created a category to recognize the best work of marine media in promoting boating safety. This year’s winner of the Top Marine Media Award for Boating Safety was Bonnier Corporation whose broad boating safety initiatives and editorial content were reflected in multiple boating consumer titles that reach thousands of readers and recreational boating enthusiasts. “Bonnier Corporation is awarded the top marine media award because they did a great job developing and publishing exceptional safe boating editorial and video content; demonstrated evidence of outreach via extensive data collection; plus hosted a multi-faceted boating safety campaign that crossed print, email and social media channels with entire editions of publications focused on boating safety,” said Kulp.

The Top Marine Marketing and Boating Safety Outreach Award was won by Yamaha Outboards. Said Kulp, “Yamaha tapped Hunter Bland, a respected professional angler and influencer, to deliver spot-on boating safety messages that reached a targeted group of youth and young anglers. The grassroots campaign featured live special events coupled with branded campaign video and social media components.”

In addition, a newly established Sober Skipper Award was presented by the Sea Tow Foundation to Freedom Boat Club in recognition of its outstanding adoption and promotion of the Sober Skipper program. The largest and oldest boat club in North America with more than 185 locations, Freedom Boat Club advocates for boating safety by asking each member at every dock to identify a designated Sober Skipper before departure. While this initiative has reportedly saved Freedom Boat Club thousands of dollars in boat damage and liability costs, it has no doubt saved the lives of members and their friends, while allowing them to maximize and enjoy their time on the water. “We have worked closely with Freedom Boat Club over the past three years and the company has demonstrated just how easy and effective it is to incorporate the Sober Skipper message into its business model,” said Kulp. “We are pleased to establish this new award to recognize the outstanding work of our partners like Freedom Boat Club who actively and successfully promote boating safety and specifically, the Sober Skipper message.”

Added Kulp, “The National Sober Skipper Advisory Council and the Sea Tow Foundation are very pleased by the caliber of candidates and the submissions received for our first awards recognition. We are all delighted to see the great work being done by recreational boating industry organizations and look forward to continuing to support and bring well deserved recognition to outstanding achievers and safe boating champions throughout the recreational marine industry.”

For more information about the North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council and the National Boating Industry Safety Awards, please visit the Sober Skipper website at

Winners of the 2019 National Boating Industry Safety Awards presented at the Elevate Summit are pictured from left to right starting with Gail Kulp, Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director who presented the awards. Hunter Bland, winner of the Marketing & Outreach Award for Yamaha Outboards. Kevin Falvey and John McEver, winner of the Media Award for Bonnier Corporation. Barry Slade and Nic Thomas, winner of the Sea Tow Foundation’s Sober Skipper Award presented to Freedom Boat Club. Sara Fahy, winner of the Manufacturer Award for Sea Ray Boats. Capt Keith Lake, winner of the Retail Award for Marine Max.

Members of the Sea Tow Foundation’s North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council include David Connolly, Thomas H. Connolly and Sons; David Dickerson, NMMA; Jim Emmons, Water Sports Foundation; Kevin Falvey, Bonnier/Boating Magazine; Mike Hankins, Crevalle Boats; John Jost, Ken Cook Company; Captain Keith Lake, MarineMax; Dave Marlow, Brunswick Corporation; Captain Frank Stoeber, Regal Boats; Nic Thomas, Freedom Boat Club; Stephanie Vatalaro, RBFF; Annamarie Worrell, Emerald Coast Marine Group. The council’s executive Media Contact Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director Sea Tow Foundation 631-876-5077; © 2018 Sea Tow Foundation. All rights reserved. committee includes Kristen Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow Services International; Gail R. Kulp and Michael Wesolowski, Sea Tow Foundation; and Wanda Kenton Smith, Kenton Smith Marketing.

Suggested Tweet and Facebook Post: Four winners have been announced for the inaugural National Boating Industry Safety Awards from Sea Tow Foundation including Sea Ray Boats, MarineMax, Bonnier Corporation and Yamaha Outboards. Freedom Boat Club received the Sober Skipper Award. Info:

Media Contact Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director Sea Tow Foundation 631-876-5077; © 2018 Sea Tow Foundation. All rights reserved.



Tags:  MarineMax  NASSAC  Press Release  Sea Ray Boats  Sea Tow  Sober Skipper  Yamaha Outboard 

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Sea Tow Foundation’s Sober Skipper Program is Saving Lives

Posted By Gail Kulp, Thursday, November 7, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Sea Tow Foundation’s Sober Skipper Program is Saving Lives

The Sea Tow Foundation has announced the 2017-2018 grant findings for its Sober Skipper program. First launched in 2015 and now in more than 180 cities across 51 states and territories, the program encourages boaters to be or to designate a Sober Skipper before every boating trip. The Sober Skipper campaign is funded through a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

In the United States, Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) thresholds differ from state to state regarding who is permitted to operate a boat. Likewise, the penalties for Boating Under the Influence (BUI) vary, even though BUI has consistently been the top contributing factor of fatal boating accidents. Yet not a single state has a law in place that prohibits boaters from possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages while their boat is being used for recreational purposes, as long as the operator stays below the state’s BAC threshold.

The Sea Tow Foundation is trying to change that, and for the first time in the history of the Sober Skipper Program, it is able to prove that the campaign is having a positive effect on the number of BUI deaths, injuries and accidents, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Accident Statistics.

Among the 51 states and territories that have boating communities who have embraced the Sober Skipper Program, 94 percent have seen a reduction of BUI-related deaths, accidents or injuries, and a total of seven states saw a reduction in BUI across all three categories. Gail R. Kulp, the Sea Tow Foundation’s executive director, said this is definitive proof that the Foundation’s Sober Skipper Campaign is working and that the grassroots efforts used to promote the message have been successful.

“We have seen over 8.4 million people be reached by the Sober Skipper Program this year,” Kulp said. “This is an 800 percent increase and, based on the grant funding provided, this means that it cost less than one cent per person to make a difference and save lives.”

The media generated by the Sober Skipper Program this year was valued at over $215,000 which is more than double the amount of grant funding that the project was awarded. There was also an increase in the number of organizations, agencies and private citizens who requested a set of Sober Skipper wristbands to host a “Take the Pledge” event.

“These results are a big win, not only for the Sea Tow Foundation, but for the boating public at large,” Kulp added. “They illustrate that when the boating community comes together, great things can be achieved. We can’t wait to carry this momentum into the future and hopefully cut BUI deaths to zero.”

To Take the Pledge to be a Sober Skipper or request materials to host an event, visit

Tags:  2017-18  2019-20  BUI  Funding  Grants  News  Partner  Press Release  Sober Skipper  US Coast Guard  Website 

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The Sea Tow Foundation Has a New Online Store

Posted By Gail Kulp, Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Sea Tow Foundation Has a New Online Store

The Sea Tow Foundation is excited to announce the launch of our new online store! We’ve made it even easier for you to find and order your boating safety materials any time of the day or night.

.The new online store is divided into three sections:


.Beacon Rental

Please note that our beacon rental program has ended as of January 1, 2020

If you are interested in renting an EPIRB or a PLB for an upcoming boating trip, this is the place for you. Not sure what EPIRB and PLB stand for or which one you should rent? Check out our recent article to answer those questions and much more!


Program Supplies

Materials related to our Life Jacket Loaner Program and our Sober Skipper program can be found here. This includes signage, banners, brochures, stickers, stencils and more! You’ll also find that many items are listed as $0 because their production and shipping costs were funded through our U.S. Coast Guard grants for these programs.


Print Materials

The Sea Tow Foundation’s printed materials can be found in this section of the online store and includes pre-printed materials as well as free downloadable content that you can print locally. One of our most popular items is the Boating with Tow Bee activity book for children based on the popular mascot of Tow Bee’s Boating Safety Tips. It is sold in packs of 100 so that you can use it with school groups, community groups or at boat shows.

Take a moment to browse the store and check out everything we offer. If you would like to see something new added to our store, let us know in the comments section below.

Tags:  2019-20  Beacon Rental  Life Jacket Loaner Station Grant  Sober Skipper  Tow Bee 

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Boat Handling Skills to Know

Posted By Gail Kulp, Thursday, August 1, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Boat Handling Skills to Know

Whether you are new to the boating community or have spent the majority of your life on the water, it is important to know some basic boat handling skills before operating a boat. This list of skills doesn’t take the place of on-water boating safety instruction but knowing how to do them correctly will allow you to maneuver your boat in any type of situation regardless of the wind or current, after a lot of practice.

Balance your Load

Before heading out on the water, it is important to balance the weight of the people and gear in the boat so that the boat can travel through the water with as little resistance as possible. If you are listing to the port side or if your bow is too far up in the air, it will be more difficult to steer and control the boat. You may find that you need to adjust the trim on your outboard engine as well to help balance things out.

Keep a Proper Look Out

Any time that you go boating, regardless of the speed, it is important to keep a proper look out. The boat operator needs to be aware of other boats and objects around the boat at all times, and look for ways to avoid collisions with them. It is often helpful to select one of your passengers to be your official look-out so that you can make sure that your full attention can be directed toward operating the boat.

Steering a Boat

The first thing to understand about operating a boat is that it steers from the stern, or the back of the boat. This means that a boat will need more room to turn in close quarters, like in a marina, and you will need to start your turn much earlier than you may otherwise have thought. Also, because boats don’t have brakes, it is critical to proceed at a slow speed when operating in close quarters. Often, you’ll find that you can perform most docking and departing situations at or just above an idle speed. Slow and steady is best.

Accounting for the Wind or Current

A boater needs to be aware of the wind speed and direction as well as whether there is a current. While the wind is often more noticeable because you can feel it and see flags or tree branches moving, the current can be more tricky to detect because it is underwater. Both can have a tremendous impact on your boat’s steering and maneuverability, and neither should be ignored. It is important to learn how to “hold station” or remain in one place regardless of the impact of wind or current so that you can maneuver your boat where you want it to go rather than where Mother Nature is trying to take it..

Docking the Boat

Knowing how to safely end your boating trip at the dock is often the most difficult boat handling skill to master. This is because no two docking maneuvers are the same. One day, you may be able to pull alongside a dock without difficulty while another day may be more challenging because of the number of other boats nearby and the small space available to maneuver. Plus, the previously mentioned wind or current can cause troubles. Visit the marina on a weekday in the morning when it will not be as busy to give you plenty of practice space and time without lots of other people around..

Bonus Tip: Always be or designate a sober skipper!

Operating a boat can be tricky even on a perfect weather day with the perfect crew but attempting to maneuver a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have deadly consequences. If you are the operator of the boat, make sure you remain sober and alert at all times, otherwise, designate someone else to be the sober skipper to keep everyone safe. Take the Pledge today at

Tags:  2018-19  Boating Safety  Docking  Life Jacket  Sober Skipper  Steering 

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Keep your Passengers Safe This Summer by Designating a Sober Skipper

Posted By Gail Kulp, Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Updated: Friday, February 7, 2020

Keep your Passengers Safe This Summer by Designating a Sober Skipper

Summer days are in full swing and we all want a great day on the water. On a boat, wind, vibration, noise, and the sun can impair balance, coordination, concentration, and these effects are only intensified when drinking alcohol.

Today, alcohol is the leading cause of fatal boating accidents, so designate a Sober Skipper before leaving the dock. If you are the skipper, stay alert and sober. Don’t drink alcohol. Do it for your family, your friends, your passengers and everyone else on the water. Boating Under the Influence (BUI) is 100 percent preventable.

That’s why we created the Sober Skipper program in 2015 – to provide boaters with a positive and proactive approach to preventing BUI accidents and fatalities. The program asks boaters to take the pledge to be or designate a sober skipper before every boating trip. The pledge notes that the boater operator will avoid alcohol and drug use when in charge of navigating the boat and will be in charge of the boat and all of its passengers to ensure that everyone arrives safely back on the dock at the end of the day.

Our friends at America’s Boating Club squadrons around the country have joined us in the effort to promote the Sober Skipper program. When squadrons conduct vessel safety checks, they’ll ask boaters to sign up to take the pledge be a sober skipper and they often hand out Sober Skipper wristbands as reminders.

“We’d like to extend a special thanks to the members of America’s Boating Club who have shown their commitment to keeping boaters safe and sober through their vessel safety checks,” said Gail R. Kulp, the Foundation’s executive director. “After all, as boaters, when our hands are on the helm, lives are in our hands and it is up to us to keep everyone safe on the water.”

Get on board and take the pledge today to be responsible for yourself, your vessel, and your passengers. By designating a Sober Skipper, you’re keeping yourself and your loved ones safe, which leads to more beautiful summer days together out on the water. Find out more at

Tags:  2018-19  Americas Boating Club  Sober Skipper  US Coast Guard  US Power Squadrons 

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Sober Skipper Advisory Council undertakes new safety, award initiatives

Posted By Michael Wesolowski, Saturday, May 25, 2019
Updated: Thursday, March 5, 2020

Sober Skipper Advisory Council undertakes new safety, award initiatives

The Sea Tow Foundation’s recently appointed North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council held its first meeting in early May to finalize its mission and to establish short-term priorities.
According to Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director Gail Kulp, the purpose and mission of the new council has been reviewed and adopted by its executive task force and the 13 key stakeholder members representing the recreational marine industry.
“We created this new organization to help bridge the gap between the non-profit recreational boating safety community and the for-profit industry,” said Kulp. ”Our council represents the for-profit segment of the recreational boating industry and our desire is to discuss and address general boating safety issues in addition to our Sea Tow Foundation’s signature programs including the Life Jacket Loaner Program and the Sober Skipper Program. By collaborating with council members, we hope to work together to help strengthen overall industry messaging, awareness and adoption of boating safety initiatives.”    
To that effect, top on the agenda was a council-wide introduction to National Safe Boating Week May 18-25. While many were well aware of the annual push and promotion for boating safety messaging prior to the busy Memorial Day weekend, Sea Tow Foundation encouraged active support and engagement through individual and corporate social media initiatives. In addition, Sea Tow Foundation provided a marketing support toolkit for council member to access including relevant content and imagery reflecting boating safety themes.
“The more the recreational boating industry gets on board promoting boating safety, the stronger and more impactful the message will be to general boating public,” said Kulp. “We’ve also invited our council members to share their own company boating safety initiatives and have been very impressed by the good work many of these organizations have already initiated.”
Besides National Safe Boating Week, the council discussed and is underway in the development of a new national boating safety awards program directed to the for-profit segment of the marketplace.
“While there are already boating safety award programs in place in several pockets of the industry, many are sponsored by or recognize the great work of the not-for-profit community and governmental/non-governmental boating agencies,” said Kulp. “Because our effort is targeting the for-profit sector, our awards program will pay tribute to the outstanding work of companies, organizations and individuals within the recreational for-profit boating space.”
The council has formed subcommittees and is currently working to further develop award program plans, parameters, categories and criteria for judging, with the goal to announce and launch the initiative later this year.
“Our executive task force is very enthusiastic by the positive energy and high level of support for boating safety among our council members,” said Kulp. “We look forward to further building upon a strong foundation of boating safety and helping to expand and enhance recreational boating safety efforts moving forward.”

Tags:  Boating Industry  NASSAC  Sober Skipper 

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