Cracked hose

Check your engine for cracked hoses

By Nick Ledbetter

Every good captain conducts an engine check before departing on a cruise. I have diligently conducted engine checks on my boat for years, always before a cruise and sometimes when I’m just messing around in my boat.

This check was much easier on my trailerable runabout where I could just pop the cover and quickly see every angle of the entire engine. It’s a bigger job on HoloHolo where I have to get down into the engine compartments and crawl around the front, back, top and bottom to get to the dipsticks, belts, hoses and other checkable parts. Getting through the checklist is literally a pain in the knees and elbows.

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Sailors tow stranded boat to safety

Sailors tow stranded boat to safety

By Evy Dudey, with help from Mark Glidden

After a grueling week of family emergencies, my husband, Mark, and I decided to go out on a Sunday for a late afternoon sail to enjoy the summer weather and have some time to ourselves. Along with our little dog Sprout, we boarded our 1970 27-foot Coronado sailboat, BRSRK, and headed south out of Everett’s central marina in the Snohomish River, with Jetty Island to our west. Because of the time of day, everyone else was headed back into the marina. I remarked to Mark, “Looks like the fleet is coming in!”

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Life jacket whistle

Wearing a life jacket whistle could save your life

By Elaine Keasey

Four longtime members of Everett Sail & Power Squadron/16 took a journey to northern British Columbia in summer 2016 to go fishing. Linda and Mike Martin drove their RV with their new tricked-out 12-foot skiff on top, and my husband, Ray Keasey, and I drove our RV two days to Tachick Lake, an hour west of Prince George. The sun came out, and the rain stayed away, but the winds weren’t too cooperative. The guys fished to their heart’s content, and we all had a good time, but that’s not the story here.

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Flash fires onboard

Preventing flash fires onboard

By Harl Porter

While most boat fires are caused by electrical problems, about 8 percent of onboard fires are flash fires caused by fuel leaks. A sudden, intense fire caused by ignition of a mixture of air and a dispersed flammable substance such as gasoline vapor, a flash fire is characterized by high temperature, short duration and a rapidly moving flame front.

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A boat on Maine waters full of lobster buoys

Dry suit proves handy when boat prop gets fouled

By Andy Sumberg

Maine waters have a reputation for being chock-full of lobster buoys. Any boater who’s spent time there will agree.

On a three-week District 12 trip in 2015, every boat’s pilot spent considerable time avoiding the numerous lobster buoys as well as their pesky big brother: lobster buoy with toggle, which gives the boater two opportunities to snag a line for each pot lurking below.

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Photo of kayaker towing a powerboat

Not so lucky

Kayakers help boater in need

By Jon R. Evans

On July 3, my wife, Bonnie, and I, both kayakers, decided to go for a paddle on Chesapeake Bay. We are fortunate to live on Back Creek in Annapolis, Maryland, close to our community kayak rack. We gathered our gear and paddles and slid the kayaks into the water at 10:30 that morning. The day was beautiful and sunny with calm waters and a light, pleasant wind out of the west.

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Wind woes

Heed weather reports on the water

By Steve Rank

The National Weather Service issued a storm warning for damaging winds and hail approaching on a line from Menominee, Michigan, to Door County, Wisconsin, around 2 p.m. on Aug. 9, 2015.

Despite the signs of ominous weather, one of our guests, Andrew, decided to take his 6-year-old daughter about 300 feet off our breakwater to practice casting.

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Boaters answer distress call

Boaters answer distress call on Lake Mohave

By Andy Pensavalle

Phoenix Sail & Power Squadron members met at Lake Mohave for a weekly get-together on a beautiful day with clear skies and no wind. The summer crowds had disappeared, and although the lake had dropped and some beaches were mud bogs, everyone had enough flat warm sand to set up chairs. A series of fast sequential horn blasts interrupted our quiet respite. An island obscured our view of the main lake. After moving her vantage point, Barb Accardo saw smoke coming from a runabout dead in the water in the middle of the lake.

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life jacket wear is crucial to boating safety

Always wear your life jacket on the water

A life jacket is your best insurance for going overboard

By Anthony Pozun

Steve Denniston, I and three other non-experienced adult sailors were aboard Capt. Ken Graf’s boat at a mooring in Northport, New York. The mainsail was up, luffing violently, and the boom was moving. Steve went forward to release the mooring lines, but the boat was sailing back and forth, making it difficult. He wasn’t wearing a life jacket.

Ken engaged the engine to push the boat forward to make it easier to release the lines. Despite the boat’s violent motion, Steve managed to release the lines. As he returned to the cockpit, the boat jibbed violently downwind; the boom swung across, striking him in the head and throwing him into the water.

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In case of a boat fire

In case of a boat fire

What you need to know before disaster strikes

By Charles V. Vanek

The fire

A fellow squadron member called me late Tuesday, 16 Aug., to tell me about a fire at the marina where I kept my boat. My daughter and I hurriedly drove to the marina. A mile from the marina, authorities were turning all traffic around to allow emergency vehicles to enter. I parked the car, and we walked through side streets to get to the marina.

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Training prevents a bad situation from turning worse

USPS training saves sinking boat

By Gerard Meunier

On our way home after cruising the Erie, Rideau, Chambly and Champlain canals and the Thousand Islands area, we anchored in Mile Hammock Bay on the Intracoastal Waterway near Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. We ate dinner, admired the sunset and were watching TV when something felt wrong. Cat House, our 40-foot power catamaran, was tilting forward. I checked the forward cabin and stepped in several inches of water on the starboard hull floorboard. We were sinking.

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