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Emergency room afloat, part 2

The day sailor’s first-aid kit


By Gino Bottino, M.D.

In the last issue, we discussed “time to professional medical help” as the single most important variable in determining the extent of medical supplies and training needed aboard.

Accordingly, we divided the theoretical “complete medical chest” into smaller kits based on boating needs. The simplest of these is the day or deck kit, where medical help is available in less than 30 minutes.

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Woman to Woman

Develop your docking muscles

By Katherine Redmond

In my next few articles, I’ll share information as though you have just completed your boating safety class and are gathering on-land, theoretical knowledge of the docking process.

Most boaters would agree that docking a boat is the most difficult maneuver in the sport. It’s amazing to watch adventurers who have crossed oceans become uncomfortable when docking their vessels. If we are to become proficient at docking, we should learn all that we can about the task through on-land lessons and on-the-water skill drills.

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Kill Switch

Must-have devices that could save your life

By Dave Osmolski

I have just returned home after spending a few weeks at my “homemade tropical paradise” in Flamingo Bay, Florida, where I can boat, fish, swim and enjoy some of the best shelling in the U.S. I keep my boat in my backyard, so I can be off and running in a jiffy.

During this trip, I learned of a boater who died in an avoidable boating accident, the second boating accident fatality in the area in a few years. Both fatalities could have been avoided had the proper safety procedures been followed.

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Emergency room afloat

The medical kit and  the conscientious boater, Part I

By Gino C. Bottino, M.D.

The realization

When I started this column, I wanted to write about putting together a complete medical kit. The more I thought about the idea, the more I realized how complicated the task would be.

First, you have to keep the size manageable while making it reasonably complete. This becomes difficult when you consider that everyone boats in different venues, at different times of the year and in different climates with different groups of people, all of whom have individual needs.

After much consideration, I broke the topic into two segments: on-board medical kits for groups with an organizer and staff, and kits for those traveling alone.

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Woman to Woman

Harrowing docking experience

By Capt. Katherine Redmond

My favorite story revolves around an experience my husband and I had while travelling on the Intracoastal Waterway in our first powerboat during our first live-aboard experience. (We had previously been sailors.) Having no experience with powerboats and after spending three weeks in a V-berth on our friend’s sailboat, we bought what should have been a houseboat. It had a full-size refrigerator and stove and a large bathtub! It also had a single inboard engine (which, in my opinion, is the most difficult to control, especially in reverse), a shallow keel, and was so top-heavy that a sneeze could cause its 46-foot frame to heel precariously.

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DIY trailering device

DIY trailering device makes hitching easy

By Dave Osmolski

Boating is back in full swing! That means hitching up the trailer and taking the boat to the launch ramp. Sometimes hitching up the trailer isn’t all that happens. I have completely redecorated my vehicle’s license plate while hitching up my trailer. When I had a tow vehicle with a steel bumper, this didn’t bother me so much. The unique license plate helped me positively identify my vehicle in large parking lots. I have a plastic bumper now, and those near misses don’t enhance the resale value of my vehicle so much.

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Photo of hole in fuel tank caused by galvanic corrosion

Diesel fuel tank repair

By Reid Gantt

Would you believe that a stainless steel washer could cause an estimated $20,000 in damage to your boat? That was an estimate given to remove and repair my diesel fuel tank.

Earlier this year, my wife, Karen, and I were on our 1983 twin diesel Atlantic 30 in Sneads Ferry, North Carolina, when I saw a sheen of diesel on the water. Further investigation revealed a leak in the port fuel tank.

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Perfect tool kit image

Curate the perfect toolkit

By Dave Osmolski

I took the USPS elective course Engine Maintenance ages ago, well before the advent of computer-controlled fuel injection and the other amazing advances in outboard engine manufacture in the past 20 years.

While these advances have taken away some of our ability to tinker with our outboards in the shade of a backyard tree, they have given us cleaner, quieter, more economical and longer-lasting engines than we had in “the good old days.”

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Doc on Deck

Preparing for, implementing crew overboard recovery

Doc on Deck

By Gino C. Bottino, M.D. 

For the last 10 years, most authorities have agreed on the main principles in preparing for, and implementing, a crew overboard recovery. The five phases of recovery are

  • establish and maintain visual contact,
  • provide flotation immediately,
  • stop the boat as soon as possible,
  • maneuver to approach the victim, and
  • effect recovery over the side.
  • All five should be done as quickly as possible.

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Be seen with AIS

See and be seen with AIS

Many boaters have implemented the Automatic Identification System, or AIS, on their boats. If you haven’t, let’s look at why you should consider implementing one of the best safety systems ever introduced to the boating community.

Most of us are familiar with the vessel information transmitted by AIS. Identity is the key to the system. Radar shows you a target but doesn’t tell you what or who it is. AIS provides that information and a lot more.

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Carbon monoxide poisoning: Recognizing, preventing the invisible killer

By Gino C. Bottino, M.D.

Whether you own a powerboat or sailboat or just drive a car, you should be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and know how to detect and treat it.

Silent, odorless, invisible and deadly

Difficult to detect, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that’s heavier than air. It’s made whenever carbon-based fuels are burned, such as in internal combustion engines like gasoline-powered generators and car and boat engines. Although diesel-fueled engines produce CO in smaller concentrations than gasoline engines, they still produce enough to be dangerous.

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