Crosswind Docking Like a Pro

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Docking a boat in a slip on a calm day is pretty straightforward for most operators once you’ve done it a few times.  But add a crosswind (or cross current) and it can quickly turn into a scary (and expensive) nightmare.  It need not be that way – it will take practice and careful attention […]

Don’t Become a Rule 9 Violation

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Last week I was heading out of Oakland Inner Harbor and negotiated passage with this inbound ship just moments after I heard them on the radio calling in a Rule 9 violation.  Not good for someone out there on the water.  What is Rule 9? By the way…Rule 9 also says to stay to the […]

Does ANYONE Know the Navrules?…

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Every day on the water brings new challenges and new stories.  I was on the water just last night and experienced a close call with another vessel that I just had to share.  We all (should) know that the Navigation Rules are to be followed by all vessels while underway.  They are unambiguous and specific […]

How to Develop a Deviation Card

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OK, just a brief warning up front…this is going to get a bit complicated.  But it’s an important topic and one that many do not fully understand even through it’s a requirement for all OPFACs. The deviation card is a necessary item for all facilities and is simply the difference between magnetic and compass headings.  […]

Make Upwind Docking Less Scary

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There’s probably no other single maneuver in boating that causes more anxiety than docking.  For beginners or seasoned pros, it is docking that has the most potential for at least some embarrassment, and at worst an expensive repair bill or crew injury. It need not be that way.  Sure, it takes a lot of practice […]

Facility Navigational Documents – End of An Era

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All USCG Aux facility owners know that they must submit their vessel for facility inspection by a Vessel Examiner each year, with the results documented on Form ANSC-7003.  This ensures that they have all of the necessary equipment aboard to safely and effectively complete their missions.  Included on the list are the following navigational documents: […]

Why Won’t This Boat Walk? Or Is It Me?…

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Those who have operated a twin engine boat may know that it’s possible to “walk” the boat laterally or sideways.  This is of course a huge boon for close quarters boat handling and docking a twin.  So you try it on your boat and it doesn’t walk at all – you might think there must […]

How the Heck Can I Remember All of These Rules?

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Ahh, the USCG Navigation Rules. Every mariner’s favorite topic – NOT.  They can be daunting to learn and remember and for many folks who use waterways they are completely unknown. However, anyone who ventures afloat on any vessel is responsible to know, understand and apply them. Even this last point is not known by most […]

The RPM Table and Search Patterns

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Coast Guard Auxiliary surface facilities need to be inspected each year to confirm that all required items are in place.  One of those items is an RPM table.  What is that?  Very simply, it is a table (or graph) that identifies the boat’s speed at various engine RPMs.  For example, here is the RPM table […]