Tips on Docking
There are many terms used in boating that we hear or become aware of but are not fully understood. So for the sake of clarity; one that I think fits into that category is the term “Spring Lines”. A spring line is actually two lines, one that extends from the front of a boat or bow to the dock and one that extends from the back of the boat or the stern to the dock. A spring line may also be used at the stern of the boat crossing from the port to starboard again preventing side movement.
By the way while we are speaking about boating terms there is a very good reason for so many specific terms. When you are out at sea or any time on the water things may seem tranquil to most people. That is an illusion, this appearance of things happening in slow motion can get you in big trouble. Because events as they first appear need to be acted upon swiftly, with certainty and confidence which at times comes from experience, attributes of a good captain. The awareness of an approaching problem and acted upon immediately will prevent that problem from being uncontrollable which can happen quickly in a threating environment such as boating may in turn affect the safety of everyone on board. Believe it or not that is one of the main reason everything on a boat has a specific name and a specific place with a specific name. When an order is given by the captain the crew must be clear and aware of what the captain needs done, immediately, without doubt and without hesitation. Port and Starboard is a good example. If the captain would call out a command and say your right side or your left side of the boat he would have to determine which way you were facing at that very moment. So it is important as a captain to know these terms and to have a crew he depends on whether it is one person or many to also know these boating terms.
Back to spring lines, as I mentioned spring lines are attached to the dock from the bow and stern but they are crossed. In other words the bow line extends towards the stern of the boat and is attached to the dock.The stern line extends towards the bow and is attached to the dock. The purpose is to prevent the movement of the boat forward of backwards which may be due to current or wind. Of course additional lines are always necessary including other equipment such as docking products produced by my Company General Marine Products. Another important reason why spring lines are effective is the fact they tend to be long allowing for up and down movement, you must be careful when a short line is used from the dock to your boat because you need to allow for the tidal change, especially lines used at the stern. It is also important to allow enough line slack when using a spring line for the tide changes so your boat is sufficiently away from the dock at low tide and not too lose at high tide to cause damage to your boat from contact with your dock. Our docking products from General Marine are designed to help keep your boat a safe distance from your dock in conjunction with the use of docking lines. Docking lines must always be observed and attended to during tide changes and other changes in the weather.
One final tip about dock lines, always have a set of dock lines and an additional set of dock lines stored in an assessable place on your boat when visiting other docks. Once the dock lines are adjusted correctly for your boat at your dock they should not be removed. Detach your dock lines only from your boat when you leave your dock so they are always ready at the right length when returning, preferably a looped end should be attached to the cleat of your boat.
By: Samuel Posner, Pres. General Marine Products LLC.
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Boat Trailers How to Choose the One That’s Right for You
Boat trailers are as diverse as boats themselves. Just as you researched your boat before you bought it, you need to do the same thing with your trailer. There are a number of styles, shapes and prices, so doing your homework will benefit you. Reading magazines and searching online will give you access to all of the information you need to pick the ideal trailer for your boat.
Boat trailers are sold in two basic types: bunk and roller. Although the bunk trailer is generally considered superior for riveted aluminum boats due to their thin hulls, most boats can be equally supported on either type of trailer. The major difference has to do with how you will load your boat into and out of the water.
Your choice of boating marinas may help you choose between the basic types of boat trailers. A roller trailer is generally preferred if you will mostly load and unload your boat in shallow water. The drive-on, drive-off configuration makes it unnecessary to back very far into the water.
By contrast, the bunk trailer’s float-on, float-off configuration makes this type of trailer ideal for those who will mostly load and unload in deeper water. You will need to back the trailer fairly far into the water. Bunk trailers are generally less expensive than roller trailers. Combination bunk-roller trailers can also be found, combining the best of both technologies. These are generally the most expensive boat trailers.
You will also need to decide what type of material you wish to use for your boat trailer. Both galvanized steel and aluminum have their own pros and cons. Galvanized steel is rust-resistant but not impervious to decay. Aluminum will not rust, but will corrode into a fine white powder.
Aluminum’s flexibility makes some boat owners question its strength. Which boat trailer you choose will ultimately depend on a combination of price and personal preference. In order to extend the life of your trailer, be sure to rinse it with fresh water after each use.
Many accessories are available for boat trailers. While some are essential, others can be considered luxuries you can do without. Load guides assist you with centering the boat on the trailer.
They are especially helpful in windy weather conditions. A transom saver will support your boat’s engine by reducing pressure. This can ultimately extend the life of your boat. Both of these accessories are highly recommended.
While there are no required accessories for your boat trailer, several things will make life easier. Some of these include a swing tongue, swivel jack, and a hitch swivel.
You will need to determine whether the trailer needs brakes. State laws are not standard on this topic. Check with your trailer dealer or consult your state’s website for details.
Whatever trailer you choose, make sure that your tow vehicle is adequate. Trailers and boats are heavy objects and attempting to tow them with an improper vehicle is both dangerous and illegal. Your vehicle operator’s manual should tell you the maximum safe towing weight.
You spent a lot of money on your boat, so you should make sure that you choose an appropriate boat trailer. Doing so will ensure the protection of your boat. As with all aspects of boating, take the time to research boat trailers. Look online and ask the industry experts. They will help you find the best trailer for your boat.
Boating is all about fun and Mike Selvon’s portal will expand your horizon on boat trailers. Visit us to receive your free gift and leave a comment at our boating blog.
Source: American Boating Association
Safe Boating Tips
No matter how much experience you have, it’s always a good idea for everyone to review boating safety rules before departures. Below you will find 10 basic boating safety tips to help you stay safe:
- Be Weather-WiseAlways check local weather conditions before departure; TV and radio forecasts can be a good source of information. If you notice darkening clouds, volatile and rough changing winds or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water.
- Follow a Pre-Departure ChecklistProper boating safety includes being prepared for any possibility on the water. Following a pre-departure checklist is the best way to make sure no boating safety rules or precautions have been overlooked or forgotten.
- Use Common SenseOne of the most important parts of boating safety is to use your common sense. This means operating at a safe speed at all times (especially in crowded areas), staying alert at all times and steering clear of large vessels and watercraft that can be restricted in their ability to stop or turn. Also, be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids, all of which have been placed there to ensure your own safety.
- Designate an Assistant SkipperMake sure more than one person on board is familiar with all aspects of your boat’s handling, operations, and general boating safety. If the primary navigator is injured or incapacitated in any way, it’s important to make sure someone else can follow the proper boating safety rules to get everyone else back to shore.
- Develop a Float PlanWhether you choose to inform a family member or staff at your local marina, always be sure to let someone else know your float plan. This should include where you’re going and how long you’re going to be gone.A float plan can include the following information:
- name, address, and phone number of trip leader
- name and phone number of all passengers
- boat type and registration information
- trip itinerary
- types of communication and signal equipment onboard, such as an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
- Make Proper Use of LifejacketsDid you know that the majority of drowning victims are the result of boaters not wearing their lifejackets? Make sure that your family and friends aren’t part of this statistic by assigning and fitting each member of your onboard team with a life jacket prior to departure. Wear it!
- Avoid AlcoholPractice boating safety at all times by saving the alcohol for later. The probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved and studies have shown that the effects of alcohol are exacerbated by sun and wind.
- Learn to SwimIf you’re going to be in and around the water, proper boating safety includes knowing how to swim. Local organizations, such as the American Red Cross and others, offer training for all ages and abilities. Check to see what classes are offered in your area.
- Take a Boating CourseBeginning boaters and experienced experts alike need to be familiar with the boating safety rules of operation. Boater education requirements vary by state; however, some require validated completion of at least one boating safety course. Regardless of your individual state’s requirements, it’s always important to be educated and prepared for every circumstance that might arise. You can learn boating safety rules by taking a local community course or online course to help educate yourself.
- Consider a Free Vessel Safety CheckTake advantage of a free vessel safety check from the US Coast Guard. They offer complimentary boat examinations to verify the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by state and federal regulations. Free of charge, they’ll provide a specialist to check out your boat and make helpful boating safety tips and recommendations. They also offer virtual online safety checks as well.
Touchscreen displays make marine electronics easier and faster to use than ever. Once you use a touchscreen, you’ll never want to go back to the old-fashioned push-button mode of operation. Think in terms of today’s touchscreen smartphones — would you ever want to go back to a flip phone?
Today’s marine units are built tough for life aboard a boat. Yet some simple steps will ensure that your displays — be they touchscreen or not — stay clear and last as long as possible.
If your electronics displays are bracket-mounted, remove and stow them indoors between trips. This will minimize weather exposure and thwart would-be thieves. Transport your equipment securely between the boat and storage location. Keep displays where they won’t fall off a shelf or get kicked around.
You can’t easily remove flush- or surface-mounted displays to stow them off the boat, but you can use a sun cover on them. The company that makes your display will offer a sun cover in the appropriate size for each model. These covers protect installations from UV light, moisture, dust and damage between trips. They easily snap on and snap off when it’s time to go boating.
Virtually all marine electronics displays are built to an industry water-ingress standard such as IPX6 or IPX7. Yet it is still a good idea to protect both the back and front of the display from spray whenever possible. Many new boats today have full tempered-glass, polycarbonate or acrylic windshields, or clear vinyl enclosures that shield the helm area. If your boat does not have such a full, wraparound windshield, think about adding one. On a small boat, consider installing the unit in a housing such as a PowerPod from Ocean Equipment, which is sealed to protect the back of the unit.
Source: Boating Magazine
Yes it can be cheaper and better. You save on a well made American docking product because you are buying from the manufacturer. Our main interest is to make you happy. We have designed our products to be better than any other mooring whips on the market. We have taken the mooring whip concept and improved it with unique features incorporated strong components guaranteeing to last a very long time.
Again, because we are the manufacturer our interest is to provide the best customer service possible. We are available by phone every business day. Even before you purchase please call us so we can help you decide the best application for your boat and dock. Don’t be fooled by just the weight or length of your boat there are many other factors which will determine the type and model best suited to your needs. Please look at the models we offer and If you need additional information do not hesitate to call toll-free: (855) 902-BOAT(2628) or locally: (954) 298-4890.