Boating Safety Class #11 – FINAL CLASS – Knots

Finally done with  Coast Guard Auxiliary boating safety class.

U S Coast Guard Auxiliary

U S Coast Guard Auxiliary

Got a certificate and am eligible for the Florida Boaters Safety card.  (Although I’m old enough to not need one)  I think they did a great job and I appreciate their time and effort.  Some classes were tedious, but I learned something in (almost) every class.  Except that navigation class – ugh.

Tonight’s class covered types of ropes, terminology and knot practice.  Having taught knots to many young boy scouts meant I was free to help other students learn the knots, but I did learn one bend (i.e. knot that connects two dissimilar objects) that I think will come in handy.  It’s called an “anchor bend”.  It looks like this:

Anchor Bend

Anchor Bend

And here is how you tie it.

Anchor Bend instructions

Anchor Bend instructions

Yay, I have Wednesday nights free to sail now!  I’m hoping Saturday is going to get some Sunfish repair time.  And I’m told the West Marine store here is having a going out of business sale.


Boating safety class #10 – Powering your boat

Argh!  I thought we were doing knots tonight!  Nope.  It was all about engines.  Never mind that in almost every other class they’ve talked about engines – Especially during the “Handling your boat” section.

It was mentioned that most larger sailboats go with diesel engines.  Diesel are safer and more reliable than gasoline engines, but they weigh more.  Sailboats can handle the heavier engines and reliability is very important when you’re cruising long distances and have only 1 engine.

Unfortunately most of the class was about engines on power boats.  Boat engines fall into 3 categories – Inboards, Inboard/Outboard, and outboard.

boat motor-inboard

boat motor-inboard


boat motor - inboard outboard

boat motor – inboard outboard


boat motor - outboard

boat motor – outboard

Technically, there is a fourth – Water Jet.  One place those are used in is jetskis, but you don’t need a picture of that do you? Well, ok…

boat motor - water jet

boat motor – water jet

Just for fun, here is a picture of my outboard.

motor stand number two

My Outboard motor

Only one more boating safety class to go.  Knots!

Boating safety class #10 – Navigation

I’m trying out creating a post from my phone. It sure is a lot harder to type.

I was actually looking forward to this class, but the instructor KILLED the topic. Oh my gosh i could barely stay awake!

To sum it up, most people use a GPS. Now u can have GPS and charts on your phone. But you should know how to find your way without one….mumble…..mumble…wear your life jacket.

Boating Safety class #9 Boating Safety & Florida Safe Boater Certificate

It’s a little odd that a chapter in the boating safety class is called “boating safety” isn’t it.  Guess what it was about?  What every class is about.  Boating safety!

There was talk of center of gravity in boats, how small boats can tip over if you don’t balance yourself in them.  There was a hypothermia discussion.  Did you know that you can get hypothermia even in warm water?  It just takes longer.  Your body at 98.6 degrees is losing heat to the water all the time.

There was also a life jacket fashion show.  Nowadays the fashion rage is to wear self inflating life vests.  They are becoming more affordable ($80 plus range) and don’t get in the way of your activities as much.

self inflating pfd

self inflating PFD

and with an easy tug on the cord or immersion in water you get POOF

self inflating PFD - inflated

self inflating PFD – inflated

Life saving luxuriousness!

This is more like what my instructors look like though

self inflating pfd - actual

self inflating pfd – actual

I also took the test for the Florida Safe Boating course.  Exactly the same stuff as the Maryland Safe Boater course.  I will get another safety wall decoration.

Only 3 more weeks to completion!  Ahead are Navigation, Powering your boat, and Knots.

You would think I wouldn’t be interested in the “Powering your boat” chapter, but I looked ahead and there is a section on winterizing your outboard motor.  All of my loyal readers will remember what a hard time I had last winter finding someone to teach me how to do it.

Boating Safety Class #6 – Handling your boat

Only 7 more classes to go till I get my certificate.  Yay!

This class was REALY oriented to power boat sailors, I yawned through some of the manuevering discussions.  However, some reviews regarding fuel were definitely important.  Sailboats with inboard engines still need to follow the safety rules when fueling. 

  • Close all hatches & windows before fueling.
  • Turn off all electrical equipment
  • extinguish all flame, turn off galley stove, don’t smoke
  • Have the crew wait on the dock.
  • have the fuel dispenser touch the neck of the fuel tank to ground it
  • If it’s a portable gas tank, put it on the dock to fill
  • after fueling open all hatches and windows
  • operate blowers at least 5 minutes to clear out fumes
  • use your nose to check for fumes before starting
  • have a fire extinguisher ready

Another interesting tidbit was a discussion on anchors.  I found out my left-over anchor from the O’Day Sailboat is a Danforth.

Danforth anchor

Danforth anchor

It’s worth about $50 to $75.  One more thing I won’t have to buy to outfit my big boat.

Never pick up your anchor from the rear of your boat.  The Coast Guard Auxilliary folks love to scare us with stories of people in disasters.  This time it was about some pro football players that had anchored and couldn’t get the anchor back up.  They moved the rope to the back of the boat, tied it on a cleat and gunned the moter to yank it out.  It didn’t come out and instead the back of the boat went under the water, the boat rolled and a few drowned.  Very sad.  Don’t do that.   I couldn’t find any details about where the anchor rope was tied, but here is a news article about it.



Boating Safety Class #5 – Trailering your boat

Last night it was back to the US Coast Guard Auxiliary for another rousing classroom session on boating safety.  I wasn’t all that interested, but still manage to pay attention.  A few things really caught my attention.

TRAILER CHAINS – exciting subject huh?  I have a question for you.  You’ve probablyseen trailer safety chains.  Is it important if they are cross hooked or not?

safety chain crossed

With a little bit of thought you can figure it out.  If they are crossed and the hitch comes off the ball, the hitch will fall down and be caught by the chains that are under it.   If they are not crossed, the hitch will fall straight to the pavement. ( I did not know this)

SAFETY TIP: Cross hook your trailer chains.

DRIVING YOUR BOAT ONTO YOUR TRAILER: You should not motor your boat onto your trailer.  The propeller kicks up sand and dirt at the end of the ramp and eventually if enough people do it will leave big holes at the end of the ramp.  This means someone backing a trailer down can have the wheels of the trailer drop into the holes and become stuck.  I had heard this before, but after class I was outside the building and watched someone at the ramp power their boat all the way on their trailer.  No concern for property or other people.  (or maybe they are ignorant and haven’t had a boating safety class)  Ugh.

LAUNCHING YOUR BOAT FROM THE TRAILER:  Make sure  you put the boaty thing in the water, not the cary thing.

trailer boat launch fail

trailer boat launch fail


MATCH THE BALL SIZE WITH THE HITCH SIZE:  A ball that is too small can come out of the socket.  This person is glad they matched the proper sized ball with the hitch.

trailer accident

trailer accident