Giving Back / BOATING SAFETY - USCG AUX VESSEL EXAMINATIONS
You might be wondering why a New York State Licensed Real Estate Salesperson might have put a bag with Coast Guard safety information on your doorknob or you stoop handrail.
And if I did not drop a letter on your house and you found my real estate website randomly you are probably more confused.
The short answer to the bag of information on your handrail is simply that I saw a boat on your property. Instead of being randomly ambushed when you put your boat in the water, you can have your boat inspected when it is still on land.
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I have been boating since I was born and throughout life, I have always owned a boat and believe in the values of safe boating. Growing up, my parents were both members of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. For several years now, my wife and I are both members of the USCG Auxiliary and are certified in boat crew.
In addition to water-based operation and education, I am a certified Vessel Examiner which simply means that I am authorized to inspect boats and issue an up-to-date US Coast Guard safety sticker if the boat passes.
My name is Robert Kothe. I am a volunteer for the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and a New York Licensed Real-estate Salesperson with Signature Premier Properties (and Realtor). As a USCG AUX Certified Vessel Examiner I decided to do a boating outreach program when I am out about in my daily operations of showing houses and listing houses.
Whenever I drive past a visible boat on a property, I like to drop off this Boating Safety Information so boat owners can prepare for the Vessel exam. MOST OF THE TIME IT IS OUTDATED FLAIRS that causes the inspection to be incomplete.
After you pre-check your boat and are ready. Give me a call and I can come to your home and provide the free inspection. I live in the area.
This saves you valuable boating time at the water.
That depends on:
There is a saying in real estate, “It is better to be the source of the source, than to be the source of the information”. What does this mean? You might be impressed if someone had an answer for every question you could ever think of. You might think that person has a photographic memory, is a genius or has a lot of experience on the subject. The problem is that information changes at the speed of light. Zoning changes. Laws change. Rules change and new laws, rules and codes are added.
To get the most accurate answer to a question it is best to go to the source of the law, code or rule.
The same is true with safe boating. Even though the Vessel Examiner is using what seems to be the same checklist every year to inspect a boat, there is always new guidance on how to apply or interpret the requirements.
There are also new laws being added.
An example of a new rule is that if a boat is equipped with a kill switch priority is moving from, “It is highly recommended that you use your kill switch if it is installed” all the way to the next extreme that you may be required to install a kill switch AND ALWAYS USE IT on certain size boats.
In 2021 Vessel Examiners might be asked to provide awareness to the importance of using a kill switch. In the future Vessel examiners might be required to have the boat owner demonstrate that their kill switch is working.
In the future you might get a ticket if you are not operation you boat without connecting the kill switch to the boat operator.
There is a big difference between an awareness and a ticket.
In the spirit of being the source of the source, the following websites are maintained by federal and state authorities and should be the best source of up-to-date information.
This answer also depends on Federal, State and local laws being different for different people. It also depends on the type of boat and the size of the boat. A 200-foot sailing-yacht does not have much use with a spare oar for propulsion but they are really useful in a 12-foot kayak.
Since I live in New York, This section will address New York head-on.
Here is a great tip. Since flairs are manufactured with an expiration date and you will fail if they are expired, instead of purchasing new flairs, you can purchase a USCG approved Strobe light that comes with a day-flag. As long as you have fresh batteries you will never fail for expired flairs again.
Click here or on the link below to read the original article.
There are some heated on-line debates weather or not batteries need to be in a box and if the terminals need to be covered. Some people ask if both terminals need to be covered or just the positive.
The answer is Yes- use a battery box and cover both terminals with the box lid or an insolated cap. Some Vessel Examiners may point it out but not fail you. Even if they are not required to pass, A battery box protects the environment from spills and a terminal cover can prevent shocks, short circuits and sparks so please be safe and get them.
If you are like me and have limited built in fuel capacity, you might carry portable fuel tanks to extend your range.
You should be aware that a 12-gallon tank marketed as topside portable is not actually considered portable by many examiners. The rule to safely fueling a portable tank is that you need to lift it out of the boat and fill it on the gas dock.
A gallon of gas weighs around 6.3 pounds (not counting the weight of the tank). In gas alone, a full 12-gallon tank will weigh at least 75.6 pounds. It is unlikely that a boat owner will lift this tank onto the dock. The alternative is fueling the tank up in the boat. This is unsafe due to the inability to vent the gas vapors overboard and the likeliness of fuel spilling inside the boat. This creates a dangerous situation that many vessel examiners will not allow.
Larger gas tanks need to be properly installed with a fill-hose outside of the boat. Older tanks need to be vented outside of the boat. Newer tanks are designed to expand and only vent excessive pressure through a special fill cap. Messing with gas inside of a boat can cause a deadly explosion. Please do the safe thing by using the right equipment and following the proper procedures.
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