Safe Boating is No Accident
Captain Newport wants to make sure every member charter is fun, memorable, hassle free, and above all safe. We are committed to safe boating practices and encourage education and training for anyone operating a boat. For members of our Captain’s Club who are not knowledgeable or comfortable operating the boats we will provide an experienced Captain. Experienced or not, we would like to see everyone continue to develop their boating skills; you will be better equipped to take care of your guests and assist other boaters in distress if necessary.
Safe boating practices involve several different categories. Today we are going to cover preparation, which starts before you ever leave the dock.
1. Check the Weather, including wind predictions, sea state and whether the tied is ebbing (going out) or flooding (coming in). Sometimes weather conditions can change without notice and as a mariner you do your best to deal with it, but no one should intentionally leave a harbor when the forecast calls for high winds, rough seas or limited visibility. Weather.com does a good job of providing accurate weather forecasts for Newport Beach and Catalina Island.
2. Safety Communications at minimum should include the VHS two-way radio, turned on and monitoring channel 16 (hailing channel for the US Coast Guard or other boats in your vicinity). Note: When hailing another boat for ‘non-emergency’ conversation it is important to switch to a ‘working’ channel as soon as possible. Channels 68,69, 71 and 72 are good channels to use in Southern California waters. Cellular telephones on recreational vessels are not a substitute for maritime radio distress and safety systems, however they do have a place on board where there is cell phone coverage.
3. File a Float Plan before you go boating. Basically, let a reliable family member or friend know where you are going and when you will return. This is known as “filing a float plan.” If you do not return on time, your friend or family member can contact the Coast Guard or other rescue agency and will be able to tell them where you had planned to be, so they can locate you. Be sure to let the person holding your float plan know when you have returned safely. Check List and Float Plan
When Fueling do not smoke or strike matches, make sure engines are shut off. After fueling be sure to run the engine room blower for five minutes before restarting the engine(s). This is critical for inboard gasoline powered boats. Diesel powered boats may not have an engine room blower as diesel fumes to not vaporize and combust like gasoline. Be sure to know your fuel type and follow necessary precautions.
Do Not Overload the boat with people or gear and be sure weight is distributed evenly. Make sure everyone is seated when the boat is underway, especially at speed. The person operating the boat is responsible for the safety of its passengers. Be firm and insist guests follow safety guidelines you impose. If you see something unsafe, correct it immediately.
For more safe boating guidelines or to sign up for educational training classes visit the California Division of Boating and Waterways
Captain Newport provides affordable luxury boat rentals without the long-term cost of buying, mooring and maintaining a luxury yacht. Located in Newport Harbor, California the company offers a diverse fleet of beautifully maintained and well-equipped boats for bareboat or crewed charters.