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Safety Officer's Report March 2015


Safety report for March 2015

 I have no local squadron incidents to report but in preparation for the upcoming boating season I would like to remind members of a few safety concerns.

1.)    When launching your boat be sure the drain plug is installed. Pretty basic but too often overlooked. Try making yourself a note.

2.)    Is your boat too big to have a drain plug? Well then you better be even more diligent before a launch to check that water isn't going to leak in from some other opening. Were cooling hoses disconnected to prevent freezing and not hooked back up? Are clamps tight on those hoses, thru-hull's and seacock's? Are hoses in good shape? Is the stuffing box still in good shape and the hose between it and the shaft log good? Are your thru-hull sensors installed and done up, particularly the speed-log paddlewheel? Can you see and check all hoses that carry raw water including drains for the sinks and hoses for the head?

 3.)    Check your trailer before leaving home. It has to be in good shape and everything working; bearings lubricated; lights working; hitch not frozen; winch working and cable/strap/rope in good shape; trailer brakes all working; tie-down straps in good shape and all installed; tires and wheels all installed and in good shape.  I saw photos of a two axle boat trailer that was used to move a boat locally. The owner thought it was fine to have one wheel on the front axle on one side and a second wheel on the rear axle on the other side. The missing two wheels were in the back of the truck. (It isn't fine! In fact, he received a fine.)

Remember, you want your trailer to be in good shape. It might be what you use to prevent your boat from sinking when you launch it. Make sure your trailer winch works well so you can recover your boat as it fills with water. As you launch the boat, do it slowly and monitor regularly for water ingress. Where is it from and what needs to be closed, tightened or plugged? A friend was helping with a launch recently and after the contract boat mover left and was halfway to town they discovered water pouring in through a disconnected hose on one of the inboard/outboard legs. There was a mad flurry of phone calls to contact the driver to return to the ramp before the newly rebuilt boat sank.

 Be safe. Be aware. Checklists are your friend!

Respectfully submitted

Greg Sutfin

Safety Officer