Ready for boating?
Get Ready for the Boating Season!
“Makin’ a list, checkin’ it twice….” If you are a new boater to Alaska or a seasoned veteran, you probably spend time during the winter months planning for the upcoming boating season. You might even be making lists simply because there is so much to remember and lots of things to do and purchase before the boating season.
All too often, boaters forget some things that often seem less important (at the time!), such as safety equipment. Sometimes, they’re reminded by a Coast Guard boarding officer or State Trooper! This can quickly get expensive, so it’s worth the time to make sure your list includes the necessary and required safety gear.
There are several things that boarding officers look for; make sure you have everything you need readily available. Depending on the length of your boat, you may require extra safety gear. Check both the State and Federal requirements.
State requirements can be found at: http://www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/boating/pdf/boatrequire.pdf
Federal requirements are available at: http://www.uscgboating.org/regulations/regulations.htm
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers a free Vessel Safety Check and, if you pass, you will get a decal that indicates you’ve passed the State and Federal requirements. Want to know what most boaters miss? Check out the statistics at: http://safetyseal.net/vsc_stats2.asp
Basically, you’ll need to have:
ڤ Original registration on board ڤ Proper ventilation
ڤ Proper display of numbers ڤ Garbage placard
ڤ Approved PFD’s for everyone ڤ Approved Marine Sanitation Device
ڤ Unexpired visual distress signals ڤ Waste Management Plan
ڤ Sound-producing device ڤ Oil Pollution Placard
ڤ Fire Extinguisher ڤ Proper navigation lights
ڤ Backfire flame control
Remember, not all boats need the same things, depending on length, type of use, location and configuration. To find out for sure, contact your local Auxiliary Vessel Examiner:
(Please remember that U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarists are all volunteers; they take time out of their busy lives to promote boating safety. Vessel Safety Checks are free of charge. When you earn a decal by having the proper required safety equipment aboard, you are not exempt from getting boarded by the Coast Guard or other law enforcement authorities. They are aware of the VSC program and are instructed to look for the current decals which indicate that you have made the effort to be a safe boater!)
I don't know if you can answer this or not, but what would be the chance of getting some classes offered in the Kena/Soldotna area?
I'd love to take the Boating Skills & Seamanship class the Auxiliary offers, but it'd be difficult (and expensive) to drive to Anchorage two nights a week for a two hour class over two months (think I see a pattern there!).
I imagine you'd probably need a fair number of people interested in the class to make it worth the effort. I haven't contacted our local office yet, so I need to get on the ball and express my interest to them as well. Thanks!
Last edited by akfishinguy; 03-02-2007 at 14:44.
I've been out of town and just getting back, sorry about the delay in answering your question. You can contact Dennis Taylor at 283-0843 for Coast Guard Auxiliary classes in the Kenai area. I don't have their class schedule at this time, but let me know if this doesn't work out for you and I have some other options that might work. Thanks! CG Boating Safety