Boating Adventures, Seasteading and Martime History 
Friday, July 22, 2011, 04:41 PM
Posted by Administrator

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Four Top Tips for Safer Speedboating 
Friday, July 22, 2011, 04:34 PM
Posted by Administrator
Speed boating is fun. But any activity on water is potentially dangerous, particularly if it involves an engine! So here are four top tips to make speed boating safe and fun...

1. Driving a speed boat, power boat or motor boat can be a bumpy affair, particularly at speed and/or in choppy water. It is possible for the helmsman (boat driver) to be thrown from their seat or even overboard!

This isn't a regular occurrence - at least it hasn't happened to me (yet!)

But because of this risk, a speed boat engine will come equipped with a kill chord. One end of the kill chord is attached to the ignition. The other end has a clip to attach to the helmsman's clothing.

If the helmsman is thrown from their seat or overboard, the kill chord attached to their clothing will become detached from the ignition and will automatically turn the engine off, bringing the boat to a halt instead of driving on out of control.

So never drive a speed boat, power boat or motor boat without the kill chord attached to your clothing.

2. It's not only the helmsman who could be thrown from the boat. Anyone on board could fall overboard, or the boat might capsize or even sink! So never, never, never use your speed boat, power boat or motor boat without wearing a life jacket or buoyancy aid.

A life jacket is preferable as it has a "cushion" behind the neck designed to keep the wearer's head face up and out of the water if unconscious.

Buoyancy aids don't have this. They are designed to be less restrictive to aid water sports activity such as wakeboarding, waterskiing, kneeboarding, sailing, etc.

Everyone on board should wear a life jacket or buoyancy aid at all times.

3. Some larger power boats, speed boats and motor boats will have a second small outboard engine attached to the transom. This is for use in an emergency. If the main engine fails, this small second engine will be able to get the boat back to shore, but not at any great speed.

Smaller speed boats don't have room on their transom for a second, reserve engine. So if you drive a smaller speed boat, I strongly recommend that you keep some paddles on board as your back-up "engine".

If you are out at sea and your engine stops and won't restart, it would be very difficult to paddle your speed boat against the wind or tide for any distance, but having paddles on board is better than nothing, as I found out (see point 4 below).

So I strongly recommend that you keep some paddles on board in case of emergency.

4. It is very exhilarating speeding across the open sea in your power boat, speed boat or motor boat but please heed this warning...

If no one can see you, no one can come to your rescue if you get in to difficulties!

Hopefully you will have your boat engine properly serviced and maintained and it will be reliable and dependable. But things can go wrong. If your engine should stop and not re-start and you are far out at sea and out of sight, you've got a problem.

So always keep as close to the shore as it is safe to do so for you and other sea-users.

This proved to be a very wise strategy when my boat engine stalled. I couldn't restart it and the off-shore breeze started to blow us out to sea.

Because we were fairly close to the shore, there were plenty of other boats about. We were able to paddle (using our "back-up engine" paddles!) to a boat that was anchored nearby and tie our boat to it. This prevented us from drifting until a passing boat kindly towed us to shore.

If we had been further out when our engine stalled, we wouldn't have been able to paddle to another boat and no-one would have been passing to tow us back in.

So always keep as close to the shore as it is safe to do so.

- M Boaden

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One-Sheet Plywood Boat 
Friday, July 22, 2011, 04:31 PM
Posted by Administrator

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