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WBSG Newsletter - Fall Winter 2008 - Western Boaters Safety Group


									                                                                                             “if we’re
                                                                                             not using   3
                                                                                             our boat, why keep
                                                                                             it insured?”
Don’t Forget to Remove Boats from
Buoys at Tahoe
     It happens a few times as fall approaches at Lake Tahoe – boats are scuttled while
still attached to buoys.
                                                                                             7   Getting Ready
                                                                                                 For the
     Often, such mishaps are the result of inattention to the changing of the season.
     Summer’s boating season has wound down. The cabin is being buttoned up for
winter. Attention has turned from floating to football, from skiing on water to skiing

                                                                                                 Winter Season
on snow.
     Fall quickly turns to winter, and the boat is still bobbing away on the buoy.
    These boats can quickly sink when waves come crashing over the gunwales or stern,
driven on by the fierce winter winds.
    Although not in charge of buoys, staff members at the year-around U.S. Coast Guard
station at North Lake Tahoe say they don’t like seeing boats that are sunk while still
tethered to buoys in late fall or winter. Or worse, they don’t like seeing a boat broken
loose and pushed aground by winter storms.
     Owners of boats on privately owned buoys should take the lead from marinas and
homeowner’s associations that require removal of boats from buoys by early September.
There is no legal requirement to remove boats from privately owned buoys, so owners
must act responsibly on their own in storing the boat for the winter.
     In a very effective ad campaign, California State Boating and Waterways officials
have reminded boaters that a certain amount of responsibility comes along with owning
and operating a recreational vessel. Boaters, for the most part, heed that advice, by
operating responsibly, watching speeds, wearing life vests and refraining from drinking.
     A boat should provide the opportunity for having fun and not be a liability – to the
owner or someone else.
     With that in mind, a sunken boat can be an environmental liability at Lake Tahoe,

                                                                                             20 Kid’s Page
which is an area designated for special environmental protection efforts. Also a boat
that has broken from its buoy can cause serious harm to other boats or piers.
    We know that you’ve followed the time-tested rules of boating in buoy fields during
the summer season. Rules such as keeping the speed limit below five miles per hour
in a buoy field. Or always giving swimmers the right of way. Or not fueling while the
boat is on the buoy.
     We know these rules were followed, because there have been no major buoy field
mishaps over the just finished boating season.
     With summer ending, it’s time to prepare for the next boating season at the lake.

                                                                                             Boating Briefs
Fall is a good time to have the boat and buoy checked for defective parts. For buoys,
this check is usually done by a diver, who inspects the ball, clamps, chain and connectors
to the cement block.

     In our continuing effort to improve the understanding of environmental issues in
the WBSGNEWS, we are presenting a report on a growing problem in the West –
abandoned recreational and commercial boats. A four-page report focuses on the

                                                                                              Around the  23
challenges of dealing with abandoned boats in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
     Enjoy reading the articles in this edition over the winter months.
But don’t forget: Winter at Lake Tahoe is the time for skiing, not salvaging, So don’t
forget to remove the boat from the buoy.
So, does the economy have you down?
     Gas prices pounding on you and your wallet?

    Some people are choosing to use their boats as
little as possible because of the price of fuel.
     The next thought is:

“if we’re
not using
our boat, why keep
it insured?”
Let me give you a few of the reasons for keeping   boat. The fence started on fire and then did          watching the skier. Suddenly another boat
your boat insured. There are many, but I will      $14,000 worth of damage to the boat. No               comes out of a cove right in front of you. You
just hit a few of the major reasons.               insurance, no payment. Who wouldn’t have              have no time to steer clear and you impact
                                                   gladly paid the $425 premium to get the               the other boat. You badly injure several people
First if you have a loan on your boat your bank    $14,000 to fix the boat?                              on the other boat. No insurance…you just
or lender requires that you keep your boat                                                               lost everything. Your house, your savings, your
insured. If you drop your insurance your           Several boats were burned last year in the            cars, they will even garnish your wages to pay
insurance carrier is going to contact your         Southern California wild fires. When you are          for the damages.
lender and tell them that you dropped your         trying to save yourself, your family, and some
insurance coverage. Then the lender will add       of your personal items, the boat usually isn’t        I understand that the economy and the high
their “in house” coverage to your loan. These      on the list. Once a boat starts burning it doesn’t    price of gas are cutting into everyone’s boating
premiums are typically about 5-10 times higher     take long for it to be burnt completely.              time. But please don’t expose your family’s
than what you were paying your insurance                                                                 security to a potential life changing event just
company. For example: if you were paying           The last scenario I’m going to mention is this:       to save a few dollars. I don’t enjoy being the
$500 for your full coverage policy with            You decide that you aren’t going to use the           guy to tell you “sorry, but you don’t have
Westmar, the bank will charge you between          boat for the summer. You drop the insurance.          coverage for that loss”. There are other ways
$3000 and $5000 for a year of coverage on          A weekend comes up and you have friends               to save money that won’t expose your family
your loan. Not a good decision.                    over. It’s hot and a great weekend for boating.       to potential losses. You can start by reading
                                                   The kids are begging, the wife is begging and         other articles in this newsletter for other
Next freak claim is Fire. We have all seen the     your buddy is bragging about how good he is           money saving ideas.
many grass fires this summer already. Last         on the wakeboard. You give in and get the
year one of the freak claims was the neighbors     boat ready and take it out on the water.                                                  by Bob Miska
were using fireworks. One of the sparks came       Everything is going great and then boom, you
down in an empty lot and started it on fire.       hit the bottom of the boat on a log. The boat
It spread to the wood fence beside the insured     is taking on water and starting to sink. Your
                                                   passengers all get to safety, but the boat is sunk.
                                                   Everything is lost. Or worse, you are pulling a
                                                   skier behind your boat and looking back
                                                                                                                                     WBSG NEWS         3
It’s winter.
Do you know what’s lurking in
your boat?
People ask me all the time what’s the worst        Take the plug out. This seems so obvious            While the boat is open hook up a battery
thing that can happen to a boat owner? To          but most folks forget about it. Put the plug in     charger and give the batteries a good charge
me the answer is having something bad happen       a plastic bag and attach it to the steering wheel   regardless if they are in the boat or in the
that could have been avoided. One of the           so you will remember to but it back in and you      garage. They will last longer if they are not
worst things that can happen to a boat owner       will remember where it is. Be sure the boat         allowed to drain a slow painful death.
is coming to the boat after a long lay up period   is stored with the bow higher than the transom
and finding that the boat is full of water or                                                          If you find water has accumulated in the boat,
                                                   so if any water does get in, it drains out. Make    it probably needs to go into the shop. A trained
covered in mold and mildew. These are two          sure the drain plug opening stays                   technician can then evaluate the mechanical
of the worst possible scenarios for a boat         clear of debris all winter. Many times the boat     systems to be sure water has not entered into
owner. They are very time consuming, very          owner will remove the plug but then leaves,         crucial parts leading to failures. Water in the
expensive, and yes, they are avoidable. And        dirt and other debris fills the plug hole up and    gas tank, the oil tank, water in the starter or
to top it all off, most insurance companies        the boat will still flood. Check your boat. What    in the bilge blower motor all can lead to costly
don’t cover these types of claims as they are      a great first day of fishing you will have if you   repairs and lost fishing time.
not, “sudden”.                                     pull the cover back and the boat is clean and
                                                   ready to go.                                        You have invested a great deal of money in
The scenario described above takes time to                                                             your boat, take some time to insure that it will
cause damage. The boat won’t fill with water       When you have a nice sunny day, open the            be in excellent shape for you when the weather
in only one rain storm. Mold and Mildew                                                                breaks the fish are just waiting for you to show
                                                   canvas and let it air out. Today it was sunny,      up.
don’t usually grow overnight after only one        50 degrees and quite breezy. A perfect day to
warm wet day.                                      air out the boat and make sure the canvas is        Next issue we will look at Fishing Gear and
                                                   clean. Check the carpet to be sure it is not        what you can do to protect your investment.
So how do you avoid this scenario we call,         damp or wet. Inspect the seats and open them
Swamped on the Trailer?                            up, mildew loves to grow on the vinyl. Use the
                                                   sun and the dry air to work for you. Air it out     Bob Miska
Check your boat, check your boat, and check        as often as you can.
your boat. You cannot check your boat
too often. Every time it rains, and it has         Take all the lifejackets, ropes and anything else
rained a bunch this winter, check and make         that gets damp out of the boat and hang it up
sure the water is running off the cover and        to dry. Boating gear has really gone up in
not seeping through the cover. You don’t leave     price, so protect the gear you have.
the windows down on your car when it rains
so make sure you check to be sure the cover        If you find any growth on the cover, lay it out
is still in place and that the water is running    on the driveway and sweep any of the growth
off and not seeping through. Once the cover        off the cover. Next mix up a solution of water
sags the water will sit and seep through into      and bleach. Mix the bleach at a very mild rate
your boat. Now that the moisture is in the         and always test it on a concealed area first to     Bob Miska is the president of RMA llc, and is a
boat the mold and mildew can start to grow.        make sure it isn’t too strong and fading the        consultant to the Fish On Insurance Program.
Every time the sun comes out and warms the         color. Pour the mix into a spray bottle and         Bob has been in the boating industry for over
                                                                                                       20 years with a range of positions from mechanic
cover the growth builds. It’s like a greenhouse.   spray the underside of the canvas while it is       to general manager of a boat dealership. He has
Even if the cover was nice and tight,              open on the driveway. Then go back later and        been in the boating insurance business for the
condensation will build up under the cover         sweep any remaining growth off with a broom.        last 12 years and has specialized in how to protect
and also give life to mold. How do you control     If you find any mold or mildew growing on the       your boat and minimize your exposure. Bob
that?                                              seats, then you need to spray the seats and         can be contacted by email at or by phone at
                                                   wipe off the excess.                                916-216-0074.

                                                                                                                                     WBSG NEWS          5
Getting Ready For the Winter Season                                                                                                     by Bob Miska

                                                                                  Boat Covers, Canvas, Tarps. This is the most common way to
    That’s right. I said getting ready for winter. This is a very important
time for you and your boat. If you take the necessary steps now, you          store boats. The problem here is that most covers are not “tented”
will have a much more enjoyable boating season next spring. Now is            properly. You need to make sure that there is no sagging areas in your
the time to take the steps to properly protect your boat from the             tarp where water can stand. Eventually the canvas will leak and the
elements and insure that it will be in the same condition next spring         water will run into your boat. To keep the boat tented properly, you
as it is now.                                                                 can use a custom fitted cover with tent poles already built in, or you
    You may still get some warm days to take the boat out, but you can        can build your own frame work to hold the cover up. In either case
start the process now. First thing is to add fuel stabilizer to your fuel.    you need to check the cover often and look under the cover to make
Even if you go out several more times this season, it is a good idea to       sure that mold and mildew are not growing under the cover. It is a
add it early. That way if you don’t use the boat again it’s in there. The     good idea again to open up the cover during nice sunny days and allow
stabilizer works best if you add it to the fuel and then take the boat out    the boat to air out.
on the water. That way it gets run through all the fuel lines helping to         Another tip for keeping the moisture in check is to take plain Tidy
prevent a buildup of varnish that can cause poor performance next             Cat, cat litter and pour it into 3 or 4 vinyl dishpans. This will absorb
year. This is cheap and adds so much.                                         several times it’s own weight in moisture. Spread the dishpans out in
    The next item for winterizing your boat is making a check list that       the boat. Be sure to use smaller dishpans as a large one will get too
you can follow as you carry out the steps needed for storing your boat        heavy to remove from the boat when filled with moisture.
over the winter. Check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s                 What does winterization mean for you in your area? Check with
recommendations for winterization or off season lay up. It is highly          the local marine service shops, other boaters, and find out what needs
recommended that you contact a reputable boat service center and              to be done to properly store your boat for the winter.
pay to have your boat winterized properly. This is the best way to make           For example: If you live in a climate that freezes or border line
sure your boat is ready for the winter as well as making sure the regular     freezes, or you are going to tow your boat through an area that freezes,
maintenance has been done. This is a small price to pay for peace of          you need to be sure that your engine and drive are free of any water
mind. However, just because you pay someone to professionally                 that will freeze and crack engine components. These freeze claims
winterize your boat, doesn’t let you off the hook as far as checking on       may not be covered by your insurance policy.
your boat.                                                                        Below is a beginning checklist for you to start from. You can add
    The worst thing that can happen to a boater is to come to your boat       or delete any items that pertain to your individual situation.
in the spring, remove the cover and find out it’s full of water, or covered
in mold and mildew. There is no way to store your boat all winter that        1.         Add fuel stabilizer to your fuel tank. Make sure you run the
is fool proof. The best thing to do is check on your boat often.              boat for several minutes after adding to make sure the fuel stabilizer
Especially if there has been any kind of inclement weather.                   gets through the entire fuel system. Be sure you have a water source
    Where are you going to store the boat? In the open, in your               hooked up to your engine when you run it.
garage, in a barn. These are all common storage places. Each brings           2.         Change the engine and drive oil in the fall. You don’t want
a different set of checks. Any of the above have some common checks.          to leave moisture, dirt, or metal in the oil over the winter.
    Take out the drain plugs. Allow any moisture in the boat to get           3.         For inboards and I/O’s have the alignment checked. This
out. Make sure you clean out any debris in the bilge area so that it          needs to be done every season and on I/O’s the bellows can be checked
can’t build up in front of the drain plug opening. Make sure you store        at the same time. If you own an inboard or V-drive the shop can check
the boat in a bow up position. Make sure your cover fits and that it          you shaft packing and the transmission and/or V-drive.
is tented properly. In other words be sure the water will always run          4.         Have the engine fogged out. This is a heavy coating of an oil
off and not puddle in the canvas. If you store in a barn or other outside     like substance that covers all the internal parts of the engine and keeps
type building, you may want to cover the cover with a sheet of plastic        everything from rusting during a long lay off period.
just loosely draped over the cover to keep bird droppings off the canvas      5.         Clean the boat. Wax, vinyl conditioners and cleaners all add
and the boat. The acid in the droppings can cause color fade on both          to the life of your boat.
the canvas and the gel coat on the boat.
     Inside Storage. The best way to store your boat is to have it in a          You can add as many items as your owner’s manual or your shop
locked, indoor facility. But even then you need to check on it to make        suggests. Every step you take this fall will help you have a more
sure there is no moisture accumulating inside the cover. Moisture             enjoyable season next year.
trapped inside the cover causes mildew and mold. Both items that                 CHECK ON YOUR BOAT! It’s your fun and relaxation in the
may not be covered by insurance. Also with inside storage you can             summer, don’t assume it is all right all winter. The last couple of
have mice and rodents get into your boat and destroy upholstery, wiring       winters have been very wet. We hear all the time about people who
and hoses. Be sure to check your boat often to be sure you don’t have         did everything right at the beginning of winter, but then just never
a problem.                                                                    checked on their boat. Covers get blown off, heavy rains cause the
     Shrink Wrap. Many marinas and shops offer shrink wrap as a               covers to sag and then the moisture in the boat causes mold and
service and solution to customers storing their boats for a long period       mildew. You need to check on your boat often. You can’t check on it
of time. This is another way of storing and works very well for keeping       too often.
rain, snow, dirt, and debris from entering the boat, but it can also lock
in moisture from condensation and with the fluctuation in temperatures        Bob Miska is the president of RMA llc, and is a consultant to the Fish On
again cause mold and mildew. If you decide to shrink wrap your boat,          Insurance Program. Bob has been in the boating industry for over 20
be sure the shop puts in vents and it is a good idea to ask for a door        years with a range of positions from mechanic to general manager of a
                                                                              boat dealership. He has been in the boating insurance business for the
to be added to the shrink wrap so you can open it during nice days            last 12 years and has specialized in how to protect your boat and minimize
and air it out.                                                               your exposure. Bob can be contacted by email at:
                                                                     or by phone at 916-216-0074.
                                                                                                                                     WBSG NEWS         7
                                     Boaters pullingskiers, kneeboarders,           approaching closely to someone who has fallen
                                 wakeboarders and thrillseekers on tubes and        during a towing activity and approach from
                                 other so-called water-toys, needs to be aware      the driver side as to not lose sight of them; and
                                 of applicable regulations.                         establish communication (ex., hand signals)

                                     Requirements can vary but each state does      between the operator and those towed.
                                 have them. For skiers, drivers must be aware           The Coast Guard says drivers should never
                                 of observer requirements, ski mirror(s),           boat under the influence, successfully complete
                                 minimum age, designated ‘Open or Ski Zone’         a boating safety course (required in most states
                                 areas, and other specific rules. States usually    for younger operators, plus Oklahoma since

                                 include wakeboarding and tubing within their       2006), and reminds about always wearing a
                                 waterskiing statutes.                              life jacket. All watersports competitors wear
                                     In the watery world of recreational marine     one, and these hard-core types have ones that
                                 towables there is an almost infinite variety.      are not only fashionable in their thinner profile,
                                 There are Banana Boat water sleds to Airhead       a neoprene vest with duel-hidden straps, but

                                 Hot Dogs, and a slew of 1-4 person inflatables.    more importantly highly functional and having
                                 There is Rave Sport’s pool lounger from Rave       extra padding for the lower back.
                                 Sports which converts to a sit-in or lie-on            The National Association of State Boating
                                 towable and comes with sunshade, tiltable seat,    Law Administrators also developed a model
                                 adjustable pillow, and even a tether strap to      act known as the Safe Practices for Boat-Towed

                                 keep one stationary if indulging in napping.       Watersports Act in its efforts to help guide
                                 Sportsstuff’s Extreme Chariot rig looks like a     states in adopting regulations relating to
                                 blast. Coleman, for example, has a full-line of    watersports activities.
                                 no less than 16, covering every category from          Drivers need to scan constantly for people
                                 one-to-four person discs to sit-upons, and all     (don’t be careless or reckless by going too

                                 kinds of hybrid shapes with attention-grabbing     near swimmers and doing the spray routine
                                 colors and graphics. And Proline offers its Tube   and especially within 100 feet of one of those
                                 Tow Rope of 60-foot, 5/8-inch Poly-E designed      Swimming Zones), and watch for objects, and
                                 to pull up to four riders and 4,100 pounds of      obviously other watercraft including those also
                                 break strength.                                    towing skiers or tubers. Be alert for conditions
                                     Makers of water toys offer a fun, wet ride     limiting visibility or blocking vision.
                                 but for safe rides towing drivers must comply          A driver also must watch for possible
                                 with the boating laws, plus common sense.          accumulation of debris near the edges of
                                 (A good article on basic guidelines for ski-       waterways, a common phenomenon. In a real
                                 boat drivers by Kate Godfrey-DeMay appeared        case personal injury case a rider was in an
                                 in the April 2005 issue of HeartLand Boating.)     inner tube pulled by a powerboat on a canal
                                     Tennessee’s waterskiing/wakeboarding/          by her companions who were inexperienced
                                 tubing law is fairly typical. Participants must    boaters and she was also inexperienced in
                                 wear a PFD while water skiing, riding a tube       riding an inner tube type water toy in a boat
                                 or being towed behind a vessel in any manner;      wake. As the boat made a turn, (the court
                                 being under the influence of alcohol or drugs      finding the operator’s driving non-negligent),
                                 is forbidden; and when towing an individual        the inner tube strayed outside the wake and
                                 there must also be an observer at least 12         carried its passenger into shallow water where
                                 years old or a wide angle mirror positioned        she struck one of several cement blocks lying
                                 so the operator can view the person being          two or three inches below the surface of the
                                 towed. (If a personal watercraft, there must       water near the shore.
                                 be two rearview mirrors or an observer).                In another case, parents placed their two
                                 And the boat’s operator may not manipulate         kids in a water toy, picked out an open stretch
                                 or control the boat so as to cause the person(s)   of water, pulled them for a few loops and turned
                                 being towed to collide with any object or          back into the wake for a bounce. They get
                                 person. Skiing or towing of people on other        gently thrown out and retrieved but
                                 devices is prohibited, note this, “during          the unmanned tube skims a kayaker that has
        by Joan Wenner, J.D.     inclement weather” and from sunrise to sunset      seemingly come out of nowhere causing him
      WATERWAY LAW - July 2008   (though Arkansas has _ hour after sunset to        to flip. The lesson here as with all boating
                                 _ hour before sunrise and Alabama is 1 full        activity is being super watchful every second
                                 hour after sunset to 1 hour before sunrise.        while on the water. Lack of attention is cited
                                 Other Heartland states prohibit other devices      in by far the majority of reported boating
                                 from sunset to sunrise.                            incidents.
                                    Several other considerations for safeguarding
                                 those towed are listed: Do not run parallel to     The author welcomes questions or comments
                                 the shoreline in shallow water to drop off the     at
                                 towed person – rather keep a distance and let
                                 the towed person swing into shore; check the
                                 prop and towline before each outing for wear;
                                 turn off the engine before

                           Bass Tournament Pro
                          Owes His Life to Engine
                            Kill Switch Lanyard
                                                           by Tom Martens

          Successful professional bass tournament anglers don’t              “I was not wearing a life jacket,” he said. “I know better,
like to admit it, but luck does play a role in their success.       but 35 plus years of boat driving and never having anything
          Luck seems to have played a big role for pro fisherman    happen, I got lax.”
Gary Dobyns of Yuba City, California – not for fishing, but for              Dobyns did have a life jacket in the boat as required by
catching him a new lease on life.                                   law.
          The 48-year-old Dobyns was traveling at high speed in              It was no good to him when he was knocked overboard
his bass boat last spring in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta       after being injured.
during a practice run for upcoming fishing tournament in the                 “I was under water trying to fight my way to the top. I
area.                                                                                             had no use of my left arm and could
          He is one of the most                                                                   hardly move,” said Dobyns. “I got
successful tournament competitors,                                                                lucky as the boat stopped on top of
having won more than a dozen                  “I was under water trying                           me. I used the outboard to climb
                                                                                                  aboard and then could hardly move.”
“anglers of the year” titles and
brought home dozens of prize boats.           to fight my way to the top.                                 One of his tournament fishing
          The delta is a 70-square-                                                               buddies was nearby and came over
mile patchwork of sloughs and                I had no use of my left arm to help. He called over tournament
waterways that is generally bordered                                                              fishing pro, and they towed Dobyns
by Stockton, Sacramento and the San           and could hardly move ...”                          and his boat to a marina, where an
Francisco Bay and is a popular bass                                                               ambulance took him to the hospital.
tournament site.                                                                                          He was released with cracked
          His boat was making a wide                                                              ribs and compression fractures to his
turn and traveling at about 70 miles per hour. The bow caught       spine – injuries from which he has since recovered.
the wave from another boat, causing him to slam into the passenger           In fact, he spent some of the late summer fishing in
side gunwale before being thrown overboard.                         Alaska.
          Dobyns said he doesn’t remember hitting the side of the            In addition to fishing competitions, Dobyns gives regular
boat, but he later discovered that he broke the handles on three    fishing seminars on TV and at fishing shows. He also promotes
rods that were stored there.                                        his own line of fishing rods.
          He was alone in the boat and was wearing a lanyard                 Will he be wearing a life jacket? You bet.
attached to a kill switch on the ignition. He was not wearing a
life jacket.
          “The kill switch saved my life,” Dobyns wrote after the
accident. “No doubt about it.”
          He is now one of the champions for boating safety issues,
focusing on promoting the use of life jackets when boating. When
not on the tournament circuit, Dobyns can be found recording
public service announcements and on TV and radio and making
boating safety speeches in cooperation with the California
Department of Boating and Waters.

                                                                                                                         WBSG NEWS    9
Make CO Checkup Part of Winterizing Maintenance
    For some, the summer boating season is winding down.                        ß Treat symptoms of seasickness as possible CO poisoning. Get
    For others, the winter boating season is winding up.                   the person into fresh air immediately. Seek medical attention-unless
    Regardless, fall is a good time for boaters to refocus efforts on      you're sure it's not CO.
carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning prevention measures.                             ß Install and maintain CO alarms inside your boat. Do not
    For those unaware of CO, here is how the U.S. Coast Guard              ignore any alarm. Replace alarms as recommended by the alarm
describes the gas and the danger:                                          manufacturer.
                                                                                ß Get a Vessel Safety Check. A VSC is a free bow-to-stern safety
           Carbon Monoxide – The Basics                                    examination.
                                                                                                 Helpful Checklists
     What is Carbon Monoxide? -- Carbon monoxide (CO) is a                 Do not operate your boat without doing the following.
colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. It is produced when a carbon-      Each Time You Go On a Boat Trip:
based fuel-such as gasoline, propane, charcoal, or oil-burns. Sources           ß Make sure you know where CO exhaust outlets are located
on your boat may include engines, gas generators, cooking ranges,          on your vessel.
and space and water heaters.                                                    ß Educate all passengers about the symptoms of CO poisoning
     Why is it so dangerous? -- Carbon monoxide enters your                and where CO may accumulate.
bloodstream through the lungs, blocking the oxygen your body needs.             ß When docked, or rafted with another boat, be aware of
Prolonged exposure to low concentrations or very quick exposure to         exhaust emissions from the other boat.
high concentrations can kill you.                                               ß Confirm that water flows from the exhaust outlet when the
     Early symptoms of CO poisoning include irritated eyes, headache,      engines and generator are started.
nausea, weakness, and dizziness. They are often confused with                   ß Listen for any change in exhaust sound, which could indicate
seasickness or intoxication, so those affected may not receive the         an exhaust component failure.
medical attention they need.                                                    ß Test the operation of each CO alarm by pressing the test
     Altitude, certain health-related problems, and age will increase      button.
the effects of CO.
     Persons who smoke or are exposed to high concentrations of            Once a Month:
cigarette smoke, consume alcohol, or have lung disorders or heart               ß Make sure all exhaust clamps are in place and secure.
problems are particularly susceptible to an increase in the effects from        ß Look for exhaust leaking from exhaust system components.
CO. However, anyone can be affected. Another factor to consider is         Signs include rust and/or black streaking, water leaks, or corroded
that physical exertion accelerates the rate at which the blood absorbs     or cracked fittings.
CO.                                                                             ß Inspect rubber exhaust hoses for burned, cracked, or
        Cautions When Boating in Winter                                    deteriorated sections. All rubber hoses should be pliable and free of
     In the winter, boaters must be especially cautious, because vessels
that are sealed up with canvass can trap CO gases. In addition, boats      Suggestions When Winterizing the Boat
that are berthed in marinas with engines running can be sources of
CO gases for neighboring vessels.                                          When winterizing the boat, have a qualified marine technician:
                                                                                ß Replace exhaust hoses if cracking, charring, or deterioration
                                                                           is found.
      How to Protect Others & Yourself                                          ß Ensure that your engines and generators are properly tuned,
                                                                           and well maintained.
     You're in command of your boating safety. Follow these simple              ß Inspect each water pump impeller and the water pump
steps to help keep carbon monoxide from poisoning you, your                housing. Replace if worn. Make sure cooling systems are in working
passengers, or those around others.                                        condition.
     ß Know where and how CO may accumulate in and around                       ß Inspect all metallic exhaust components for cracking, rusting,
your boat.                                                                 leaking, or loosening. Make sure they check the cylinder head, exhaust
     ß Maintain fresh air circulation throughout the boat at all times.    manifold, water injection elbow, and the threaded adapter nipple
Run exhaust blowers whenever the generator is operating.                   between the manifold and the elbow.
     ß Know where your engine and generator exhaust outlets are                 ß Clean, inspect, and confirm proper operation of the generator
located and keep everyone away from these areas.                           cooling water anti-siphon valve (if equipped).
     ß Never sit, teak surf, or hang on the back deck or swim platform
while the engines are running. Teak surfing is NEVER a safe activity.
     ß Never enter areas under swim platforms where exhaust outlets
are located unless the area has been properly ventilated.
     ß Although CO can be present without the smell of exhaust
fumes, if you smell exhaust fumes, CO is also present. Take immediate
action to dissipate these fumes.

The summer is here and the warm days have brought thoughts of boating.
You get the boat out, clean it, polish it, charge the battery and load it for a day at the
lake. Everyone is happy. After launching you start it up and start to idle your way out
of the no wake zone. Suddenly the bilge pump is running and the engine is running
really rough. You open the engine hatch to find water spraying out of the side of the
block. You have a cracked block from the engine freezing during the winter. You
didn’t have the engine winterized properly before putting the boat away for the winter.
This is not a covered loss and can run from $5000 to over $10,000 to fix.

Being right and then being sued for it. The scenario is this. You are anchored
in the water as dusk is setting in, preparing to do a little night fishing. You are doing
everything by the book and by the law. Another boater who is drunk is heading straight
for you and doesn’t see you at all. You only have a second for you and your passengers
to jump out of the boat and miss being hit. The other driver is killed in the collision.
Now the widow of the drunken boater is suing you for loss of her husband. WHAT?
That is a real claim that is ongoing at this time. If the insured didn’t have insurance
he would be out over $100,000 so far in legal defense alone. That is how much the
insurance company has spent to defend the insured boater so far. Remember, you
can do everything right, and the other guy can screw it all up in a second.

Procrastination on paying the insurance premium. Coverage dropped off
because the bill wasn’t paid. You are out boating and hit a submerged log doing $5700
damage to the bottom of the boat. You call in the claim and find out that because you
didn’t pay your bill the coverage lapsed and there is no coverage for your claim.

Checking for people around you and your boat. When we are boating we are
trying to kick back and relax. Boating is fun. One of the worst claims I can think of
is when people have been in the water swimming and then it is time to leave and the
engine is started before everyone is out of the water. When a child is injured severely
because of a spinning prop it ruins everything for everyone. If you have checked all
around your boat and it looks like everyone is safely in the boat, check again. No one
will fault you for being too careful, but just imagine the guilt that comes with running
over someone’s child.

Lately a new horror has reared it’s ugly head. Ignorance. People who either
have little or no boating experience relying on the dealer to tell them everything they
need to know about boating and how to care for their boat. It is not the dealer’s
responsibility to show you how to run or care for your boat. Every dealer will provide
you with the basics, but it is up to you to learn all you can and protect yourself and
your boat from harm. Remember knowledge is power. Take a safe boating course.
Log on to your state’s boating dept. website and see what is going on. I can’t tell you
how many times I have had an insured tell me that “no one told me about that”.

Ask other boaters about what they do. Check with the service technician at your
dealership. Log on to the boat manufacturers website for information. Above all read
your owner’s manual cover to cover. There is important information in that book.

The waterways and the rules for those waterways change all the time based on the
environment, the economy, the weather conditions and many other forces. Know
before you go. Check the internet for the waterway you are going to in order to
familiarize yourself with the rules of that body of water. Get a map ahead of time and
study it to find out where the shallow areas are. Ask the authorities when you get there
if there are any hazards that you need to be looking out for.

Double check your safety gear before you leave the house. Make a check list and
go over it each and every time you go. Never assume that the safety kit is going to be
in the boat where you left it last time.

                                                                      WBSG NEWS        11
Boat traffic on the waterways will be busy and
toot traffic on the docks will also be increasing.
Which means that it is time to think about
safety on the docks. All docks should be kept
free from obstructions and tripping hazards.

Marina owners and dockmasters need to be
proactive in maintaining obstruction-free docks
and implementing safety measures on their
docks. One safety measure is to ensure that
all boats entering the marina are properly
moored with docklines stowed so that they
are not obstructing the walkways on the docks.
                                                       Two ways to tie a cleat hitch
                                                       Neatly coil any excess line. This not only looks more professional, but it can prevent someone
A marina should provide their tenants/guests           from tripping over a loose line and falling. Better yet, run excess line back to the boat to prevent
with an instruction checklist for mooring a            tripping hazards, or hang it off the edge of the dock. This will not only look neater, but will
boat properly.                                         eliminate unsafe clutter on the dock's walking surface greatly reducing the chance of anyone
                                                       tripping and falling.
All boats should have the right docklines. An
appropriate dockline has two qualities: strength       Any cords leading from the vessel to shore power should go to the nearest box and be laid at
and elasticity. This allows the docklines to           a cross angle to the dock, as flat as possible. Again, any excess cord should be neatly coiled
move with the boat. As to size, a rule is 1/8"         as close to the vessel as possible or run back to the boat, to prevent tripping hazards. The same
per 9 feet of boat. A size bigger can't hurt and       procedure should be followed for water supply lines.
may get you through a storm, but it has to be
able to fit on the cleats.                             If steps are used to board the vessel, the steps should be placed as close to the vessel as possible
                                                       to prevent a trip hazard. Also, dock boxes should not be left out where they might cause an
                                                       obstruction on the walkway.

                                                       The berth should be of sufficient length that the bow of the vessel does not stick out over the
                                                       dock, creating a safety hazard. All vessels should be moored so that no part of the vessel
                                                       protrudes over the dock.
                                                     line handling

All docklines should be roughly the length of
the boat. This allows each line to be a bow,
stern or spring line. There should be a
minimum of two bow lines and two stern lines.
It is also advisable to have spring lines. The
bow and stern lines primary function is to
keep the boat from moving too far sideways.
Spring lines keep fore and aft motion down.

The docklines should be attached to a cleat
or pole in a proper way.
                                                      When aboard a boat ropes are no longer called ropes, they are called lines. At least three and
                                                      preferably four lines should be carried aboard for docking.The diagram above shows four lines
                                                      used. Although the stern line will keep the boat from moving forward too much, to be safe a
                                                      fourth spring line running from the dock cleat forward could be used.

                                                      1. Use a single or double line depending on the type of dock to secure your bow.
                                                      2. Use a line to secure the stern.
                                                      3. Use at least one line to reduce fore-and-aft movement.
                                                      4. Tie your fenders to your boat cleats. Tie both your boat and fenders to the dock cleats.
                                                      5. Use Dock Lines when tying up along side a dock or pier.
                                                      6. Dock Cleats are used to secure your lines from your boat to the dock.
California Delta County
Seeks To Expand Pioneering
Abandoned Boat Program
                                                                                                  By Tom Martens

     Sergeant Doug Powell has an eye for              The delta is known as a boating             debris,” according to the 2007-08 grand jury
spotting when a boat turns from being            paradise; its waters are hugely popular.         report. “These waterways are important to
derelict to becoming abandoned in the                 According to a year old California Delta    the county and the state, not only because
California Delta.                                Vision report, some 186,000 boats use the        they are the source of drinking and irrigation
     “See that wooden boat over there?”          delta each year, with an average of nearly       water for millions of the state’s citizens, but
asked Powell of the Contra Costa County          three persons along on each trip. These          because they also offer fishing and
Sheriff’s Department marine unit during a        boaters have been a boon to delta businesses     recreational opportunities.”
cruise in a patrol boat to take a look at the    and its 100 marinas that provide 11,000               Illustrated with graphic photographs, the
growing problems caused by abandoned             berths.                                          report documents hundreds of rotting hulks
vessels. “The one that’s listing? We’ll be            But there’s a growing blight in paradise    of boats that are abandoned along the shore,
watching that one.”                              caused by the number of abandoned vessels;       in the tules, along the levees, adjacent to
     The “we” refers to Powell’s officers --     a just-released Contra Costa County Grand        multimillion dollar marinas or deteriorating
four full time, four part time and six reserve   Jury report called the area an “aquatic          on the bottom of waterways.
-- who regularly patrol their county’s portion   junkyard.”                                            Nobody knows how many boats have
of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, 700-             The county’s jurisdiction consists of 200   been abandoned in the five counties that have
square-miles of levees, canals and tule          miles of waterways and shoreline in the          jurisdiction in the delta or how much they
marshes generally bordered by the cities of      western portion of the delta.                    contribute to the decline in water quality.
Sacramento on the north, Antioch on the               “Contra Costa County waterways and
west, Stockton on the east and Tracy on the      shorelines are dotted with scores of
south.                                           abandoned docks and pilings, junk, and                                               continued

                                                                                                                              WBSG NEWS       13
      The boat tour with Powell of the Contra
Costa portion of the delta revealed the extent
and complexity of the suspected environmental
problems resulting from abandoned,
questionable or illegal boat use.
      The problems result not only from
abandoned recreational and commercial
vessels, according to Powell, but also from
pollution such as raw sewage being dumped
into waters from those living illegally on derelict
      The abandoned recreational boats were
easy to find on the trip aboard the marine
patrol’s 23-foot-long Alamar ridged hull
inflatable rescue boat. There was a rotting
abandoned sailboat lying on its side in the
tules at Dutch Slough. There was a partially
submerged cabin cruiser that was about to
break up in a slough near Quimby Island.
There was a houseboat rammed against the
rocks at Old River. Many of these boats are
only a storm away from being broken apart,
dumping gasoline and diesel fuel, oil, solvents
and batteries into the water.
      The area at Fisherman’s Cut between the
San Joaquin River and Frank’s Tract is a burial
ground for abandoned commercial boats –                     For 21 years, Contra Costa County’s                   REDUCED WAITING PERIOD – The
tugs, barges, cranes, schooners, fishing boats        supervisors and agencies have been the driving         time that enforcement agencies must wait
and more.                                             force in improving the capacity of law                 before removing and disposing an abandoned
      If that isn’t bad enough, the tour provided     enforcement and health officials to deal with          vessel has been reduced from to 90 to 45 days.
an eye-opening glimpse at an even bigger              these problem boats in their portion of the                 TOWING RESTRICTIONS – Restrictions
potential environmental problem – people              delta.                                                 have been eased to allow enforcement officials
living on a vast variety of vessels with no evident         “Back when work started, abandoning a            to tow a vessel with expired registration off the
means of capturing or properly disposing of           boat was an infraction,” said Powell. “And the         water.
sewage and other waste. In Old River south of         fine was less than a parking ticket. Abandoning             ABANDONED BOAT FUND – In 1997,
Frank’s Tract, Powell’s boat glided by an aging       a boat and paying the fine was much cheaper            the California Department of Boating and
U.S. Navy barge that was probably purchased           than getting rid of it. We just didn’t have the        Waterways created its Abandoned Watercraft
for peanuts at a surplus sale and on which            tools for proper enforcement.”                         Abatement Fund (AWAF), which has been
someone had plopped a house. Another person                 In various state and local legislative efforts   making $500,000 available each year to make
was living on an ancient wooden cabin cruiser         that were spearheaded by state and local               grants to public agencies to pay to remove
sitting on a mud flat and cocked at a 45 degree       agencies with the help of an Abandoned Vessel          abandoned recreational boats or navigational
angle.                                                Advisory Committee, laws and regulations were          hazards. The program receives its funding from
      The abandoned vessel problem is not             changed to help them tackle the problem:               fees on boat registration and the sale of gas.
restricted only to Contra Costa County:                     MODEL SANITATON ORDINANCE –                      Agencies must provide a 10 percent match in
      • In the canal at Hog Island near Stockton      Contra Costa County created a sanitation and           order to receive a grant, and the funds cannot
in San Joaquin County, someone has anchored           mooring ordinance that allows law enforcement          be used to remove commercial vessels.
a massive derelict barge and the ghostly looking      officials to inspect and remove polluting live-             Using the AWAF funds, Contra Costa County
hull of an abandoned ferry with its windows           aboard vessels. That ordinance has become              has removed 88 abandoned boats in the past
smashed out.                                          the model for efforts in other counties with           three years. Since 1987, the officers and their
      • In Sacramento County, there is a big          delta jurisdictions.                                   community partners have removed and hauled
double deck houseboat settled on its side in                BOAT REMOVAL LIMITS – The process                to the dump 300 abandoned vessels ranging
the tules at 7 Mile Slough.                           has been streamlined for officers to remove            from busted up aluminum fishing vessels, to
      • In Solano County in the Sacramento            an abandoned vessel that has a value of less           sailboats that have been run aground, to rotting
River near Rio Vista, someone has abandoned           than $2,000. Under the old rules, officers were        hulks of wooden cabin cruisers and everything
a cruise ship and ferry.                              able to quickly remove only those vessels with         else in between. With funds provided by the
      • Near the flashy, well-kept, family-owned      a value of under $300.                                 county deputies built a trailer with the capacity
marinas on the Delta Loop near Isleton,                     MAKING OWNERS PAY – Officers have                to haul a 40-foot-long boat out of the water.
someone has abandoned a runabout in a                 started aggressively enforcing a law that says              “Having a contractor remove a 40 foot
slough that has grown over with invasive plants.      registered owners of abandoned vessels are             abandoned boat would cost about $8,000,”
      • Someone has abandoned a houseboat             responsible for the cost of removal and                Powell said. “With the trailer, we can remove
in the Sacramento River at Walnut Grove, just         disposal.                                              the boat for about $400 to $500.” He said the
up river from the office of the Delta Protection            INCREASED PENALTIES – Fines have                 program has benefited greatly from the
Commission, which is in charge of protecting          been increased for illegally abandoning a vessel       generosity of the local waste disposal facility.
the delta environment.                                to a minimum of $500 and a maximum of                       Over in Sacramento County, budget
                                                      $3,000.                                                constraints have prevented deputies from
                                                                                                             officers patrol some 150 miles of the
                                                                                                       county’s waterways including a stretch of the
                                                                                                       Sacramento River on the western portion of
                                                                                                       the delta.
                                                                                                             “We haven’t applied for grants in the past,”
                                                                                                       said Bubak, “because we couldn’t come up
                                                                                                       with the matching funds.” County supervisors
                                                                                                       have agreed to provide the match, so he is
                                                                                                       hopeful that he will soon be able to hire a
                                                                                                       salvage company to remove and dispose of the
                                                                                                       derelict vessels.
                                                                                                             He said the county’s lawyers are dealing
                                                                                                       with the issue of how to remove two massive
                                                                                                       commercial boats that show up at Horseshoe
                                                                                                       Bend on the Sacramento River. One is 300-
                                                                                                       foot-long cruise ship, Bubak said, and the
                                                                                                       other is a 200-foot-long ferry.
                                                                                                             Bubak added that a new county law has
                                                                                                       been used to begin to deal with a limited
                                                                                                       problem caused by people living illegally on
                                                                                                       boats in the delta.
applying for a state grant this year to remove     which patrols 55 miles of waterways.                      Patterned after the Contra Costa County
25 abandoned boats that have been identified             “The ordinance specifies the length of        law, Solano County adopted an ordinance last
and photographed. Last year, the county            time folks can stay on the water without being      May which limits boaters to anchoring their
received a $57,000 AWAF grant to remove a          at a marina or a dock,” said Malcolm. It’s been     vessels to 96 hours.
barge and pilings that were a navigational         well received. We’ve only cited a couple of               “We’re not targeting those who want to
hazard in the Sacramento River.                    people.”                                            spend a week on the delta,” he said. “But
      “The county has a severe budget shortfall          As part of its delta improvement, the seven   people like one fellow who’s been living on
and has not been able to provide the 10 percent    officers who work on the delta have removed         boats he’s collected for 10 years now. We would
matching funds as required by the grant,” said     some 100 abandoned vessels over the past            like them to get the same accommodations as
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department’s Scott     three years.                                        everyone else – in a nice marina with sewage.”
Maberry, who manages the abandoned vessel                Twenty seven derelict boats were removed            While law enforcement officials like Bubak
program that covers 300 miles of the delta’s       last year with funds from a $180,000 AWAF           and others wrestle with removing the boats,
waterways. He estimated that it would cost         grant, according to Malcolm, who added that         others are working to keep them from being
$108,000 to remove the boats, which would          another 12 are in the process of being removed.     abandoned.
require a $10,800 county match. “Without the             “These are boats that range from a 50               At the capitol, the State Assembly has
match, we couldn’t apply for the grant.” That      foot houseboat to runabouts,” said Malcolm,         passed Assembly Bill 1950, which would create
leaves Maberry and his deputies-- three full-      adding that abandoned commercial boats are          a “Surrendered Vessels Program” where an
time and six reserve --in the marine unit          not a large problem in the county’s jurisdiction.   owner could donate an aging vessel to public
looking at photographs of the abandoned boats             Over in Solano County, Sgt. Lonny Bubak,     agencies for disposal.
on their computer screens without being able       who heads the five-person Solano County                   “The author argues there is a growing
to take action                                     Sheriff’s Department marine patrol, said his        problem of derelict vessels being abandoned
      In the meantime, Maberry will be helping     staff has applied for a first ever 40,000 AWAF      in the state’s waterways,” said a committee
gain passage of a new vessel sanitation            grant to remove some 10 abandoned runabouts.        report on AB-1950, which was authored by
ordinance that prohibits boaters from                    Operating from three patrol boats and two     State Assembly Member Ted Lieu,
anchoring for more than 30 days and requires       personal watercraft, the county’s marine                                                   continued
that they get a permit from the county, which
is attempting to control transients and others
living on boats who are polluting the waterways.
      “We’ve been getting calls about the new
sanitation ordinance,” said Maberry. “It is not
our intention to run off regular people who
are boating. I am trying to protect the river
and make it a safer place for boaters. Nobody
wants to swim in the river with oil, fuel and
raw sewage.”
      To the south, in San Joaquin County the
Board of Supervisors updated its ordinances
for marine areas last January and they are
being used to remove several problem boaters
from the delta, according to Sgt. Sam Malcolm
of the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department,

                                                                                                                                      WBSG NEWS       15
D-El Segundo. “Owners dump or abandon                     In its report, the grand jury recommended      nonprofit organization to focus on solving the
these vessels rather than pay the sometimes         that the Contra Costa County Board of                problem;
high cost of legal disposal.”                       Supervisors create a task force of public                 • Investigate the feasibility of creating a
      If passed and signed into law, the state      officials and stakeholders to write a delta          program where citizens and businesses adopt
boating and waterways agency would manage           cleanup plan that includes the following:            waterway sections, similar to a program on
and use abandoned boat funds to pay for the               • Identify all agencies that are responsible   state highways.
program, which would be run by local                for monitoring and addressing the problems                • Study the feasibility of creating a
agencies. The measure is pending in a Senate        of abandoned recreational and commercial             telephone hot line for citizens to report
committee.                                          boats, navigational hazards and health and           abandoned boats and aquatic dump sites.
      AB-1950 would also increase the               water quality issues;                                     In addition, the report suggests that the
minimum fine for illegally abandoning a boat              • Identify all sources of funding available    supervisors and enforcement officers advocate
from $500 to $1,000 and require monitoring          to solve the problems;                               for changes in state law and funding to deal
for the program’s effectiveness.                          • Study the feasibility of creating a          with the issue of abandoned commercial boats.
      If passed and signed into law, the
legislation would represent implementation
of the final recommendation in a four year
old study by state boating officials and an
advisory committee on ways to begin to solve
the abandoned vessel problem that resulted
in a major overhaul of the laws.
      Despite that reform effort, the Contra
Costa County Grand Jury report says that the
“aquatic junkyard” still remains in a county
that has devoted significant financial resources
to solving the problem.
      “County enforcement of laws pertaining
to these waterways is, at best, marginal,” said
the report. “This has caused numerous
problems. Recreational and commercial
vessels abandoned over the years are a threat
to navigation and water quality. Trash of all
kinds has been left in or adjacent to the
waterways. Houses and docks have been built
in locations not zoned for habitation. There
are also abandoned, dilapidated commercial
buildings and docks along the water’s edge
and many thousands of aging, creosote-treated
      In its report, the grand jury suggested
that fixing the problem would be good for the
environment and the recreational economy.
      In fact, boaters have said that they prefer
clean, uncluttered water in the delta. In a
survey of boaters conducted by the California
Department of Boating and Waterways, users
cited the poor water quality as a major factor
in determining whether they will recreate in
the delta.
      “Both large and small-boat owners cited
poor water quality as a significant impediment
to using Delta waters,” according to the survey
results. “These perceptions are, in part,
attributable to the basic conditions/processes
occurring in the delta, such as peat soils and
estuarine conditions. But surveyed boaters
also identified improper disposal of boat
wastes, reduced water flows from water
diversions, invasive aquatic plants, and
obstacles and debris in water as significant
water quality concerns in the delta. Illegal
dumping and abandoned vessels throughout
the delta, some quite large, contribute to the
delta’s water quality degradation.”

Site Work
California Begins
on Delta
Information Center
       When you see cranes along the
Sacramento River at Rio Vista, chances are
they will be unloading barges of fill soil, which
will then be hauled to the site of the new
                                                     Fall Is The Season to Get
Discover the Delta Information Center.
       Fill material, which is being used to
construct a building pad, is the first step in
                                                     Boats Off Buoys and Buoys
the construction of the 7,728 square-foot
center on a two-acre site at state highways 12
and 160 in the western portion of the delta.
                                                     Inspected                               by Tom Martens
       Work was able to start, because the
project’s sponsor, the nonprofit Discover the                   It’s been a long, hot season for Tahoe boats and buoys – a summer of relentless
Delta Foundation, won its final site and             bobbing up and down.
construction permit from regulatory agencies.                   So it’s time for a break for that trusty old Tahoe cruiser.
       The official start of the work follows many              As the summer season winds down, boating safety officials and marine service specialists
months of planning, site and building design,        warn that the fall is the time to remove boats from the 4,500 buoys at Tahoe and get them off
engineering and permitting work.                     to be inspected and winterized.
       Fill material, barges and cranes are being               In an area where regulations are legendary, there are none that require boats to be
generously donated by The Dutra Group, a             removed from privately owned buoys at the lake. Most marinas require that boats be removed
San Rafael, Calif. based dredging company.           at the end of the season, depending on conditions in leases.
The Dutra family members started their                          Unfortunately, the empty buoys that aren’t removed from the lake keep right on bobbing,
business in Rio Vista, which is the site of one      right through the winter storms, which can be fierce.
of its dredging facilities.                                     “We find problems for those who don’t maintain their buoys,” said Geoff Burrows,
       When completed and opened in the late         owner of High Sierra Marine, a Tahoe City firm that works on buoy repairs and boat salvaging.
fall, the center’s barnlike structure will house     “The buoys will get tested more for those who leave their boats on them during the fall.”
information about tourism and recreational                      He said that fall is a good time to have the buoys inspected, which includes scuba
                                                     diving down to look at the block, chain and connection to the ball.
activities, a gift shop, interpretive displays and              “The chain is constantly getting tugged by the waves and boat,” he said. “That happens
a large meeting room.                                whether or not a boat is attached.” He said most problems from broken chains occur, because
       Until the center is completed, the            owners have not done any maintenance in a number of years.
foundation’s headquarters office and                            Also, Borrows has been on a one man campaign to have owners inspect their mooring
information center is located at Riverboat           lines and hook.
Marina, 106 West Brannan Island Road on                         “For years at Tahoe, people have used a one ton cargo swivel hook that is often used
the Delta Loop.                                      in industrial applications,” he said, adding the hook is typically strong. “But they often have a
       From that location, the foundation’s staff    flimsy spring gate, which is not very good.” He urges boat owners to consider any number of
and volunteers are continuing the planning           “self locking snaps” that are available and more reliable.
work for the project, conducting a fundraising                  During the summer season, he said that most problems with boats occur when owners
campaign and implementing the programs,              leave them unattended for weeks at a time.
which includes placing “Entering California                     He said open boats seems to have more problems, because waves can get over the
Delta” signs along entrance roads.                   gunwales. Boat covers are a good protection against rainwater and waves, but owners must
       The foundation has just finished erecting     make sure that they are in good condition or aren’t prone to being blown off by strong wind
the last of the signs along the I-5 in Sacramento    storms.
County. Supervisors in all five Delta counties                  Many boats do have battery-powered bilge pumps, but owners will commonly switch
have generously provided funding for the             off the battery when the vessel is not used. That means no power to the bilge pump, which could
foundation sign project and the planning for         save the boat from sinking in a storm.
the center.                                                     “We always wire the bilge pump directly to the battery,” he said.
       The foundation is volunteers and financial               Also, owners should make sure that debris hasn’t accumulated and blocked the float
                                                     switch that controls the power to the pump.
support for the center. For more information                    For more information, Burrows can be contacted at 530-581-2628 or at P.O. Box 70,
on the center and the foundation’s programs,         Tahoe City, CA. 96145.
 contact Sue Schaber, program manager, at
P.O. Box 609, Isleton, CA. 95641, by calling
916-777-4442 or by sending an email to:

                                                                                                                                   WBSG NEWS         17
Boating Briefs from Lake Tahoe
Tahoe Officer Gives Life Jackets                    where they have thrived in the relatively warm        bathroom. They thought the home was a bed
Instead of Tickets                                  water.                                                and breakfast.
            Boating safety first, revenue second.   These species would normally remain in the                      If the project moves ahead, the trail
            That could be the motto on the north    warm water, but for some reason they have             would presumably include shoreline rest spots
shore of the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe for          crossed the cold waters of the lake to relocate       with rest rooms. Lake Tahoe is 22 miles long
sheriff’s deputies, who have been giving out        in other marinas. Although very cold, water           and 12 miles wide and has an average water
life jackets instead of tickets.                    temperatures in Lake Tahoe have been warming          temperature of 68 degrees in the summer and
            Officers for the Washoe County          slightly, and some speculate that it is due to        41 in the winter.
Sheriff’s Department’s marine patrol spent          climate change.
part of the summer implementing the “Keep                      In addition to the scientists, officials   Tahoe’s New Pier, Buoy Rules
Our Children Safe Program,” which includes          at the California Department of Fish and Game         Are As Controversial As Ever
giving the life vests to children under 13 who      and U.S. Forest Service are studying whether                     In an area known for land use
aren’t wearing them when boating.                   the warm water fish will have an impact on the        controversies, none is thornier than government
            The vest comes along with a safety      lake’s native minnows, notable the Lahontan           proposals for the shoreline of Lake Tahoe.
lesson from the officers.                           red side shiners, specked dace and tui chub.                     The controversy over how many new
            Deputy Ben Coffindaffer said that the              Over the years, Mackinaw, rainbow          piers and buoys should be allowed in the lake
goal of the program is to get boaters to wear       and brown trout and Kokanee salmon have               has been going on for nearly 20 years. And the
life vests, rather than ruining the others day      been introduced and thrived in the lake.              debate isn’t likely to end soon.
by pulling potential victims off the water.                    If climate causes Tahoe water                         That debate may be getting a bit more
            The law requires that all children      temperatures to get warmer, could the big blue        focused, because members of the Tahoe
under 11 must wear life jackets when boating.       lake someday become a warm water fishery?             Regional Planning Agency governing board
            “Fatal drowning remains the second      It’s possible – if the bass and blue population       tentatively approved a plan that reduces the
leading cause of unintentional injury related       gets established around the lake.                     number of new piers to 104, down from 220
death for children ages 1 to 14,” said                                                                    in an earlier proposal. Only five new piers
Coffindaffer.                                       Tahoe Agencies Consider                               could be built per year, rather than 10 in an
            The program is supported by a grant     Creating Kayak Trail                                  earlier draft plan. No new piers would be
from the Optimist Club of Incline Village and                 Talks are underway to create a              allowed in fish spawning areas.
by West Marine in Reno, which provided the          kayaking trail around the 75 miles of shoreline                  The new proposal would allow 1,862
life jackets.                                       of this popular high mountain lake.                   new buoys, something that irks Carl Young, of
                                                              Individuals and representatives from        the environmentalist League to Save Lake Tahoe.
Scientists Monitor Bass, Bluegill                   businesses and public agencies have formed            His group and a representative of the 1,200-
Population at Tahoe                                 a working group to figure out if such a trail         member Tahoe Lakefront Homeowners
           In what may be a sign of future times    would be used and its possible route around           Association said they still have problems with
in the era of climate change, scientists are        the shore of the lake that straddles California       the shoreline plan.
monitoring the spread of warm water species         and Nevada.                                                      But John Falk of the Tahoe-Sierra
of fish in the icy cold waters of Lake Tahoe.                 According to a 2002 survey by the           Board of Realtors said the TRPA should not
           Scientists from the University of        California Tahoe Conservancy state agency, 24         bow to pressure from Sacramento and endorse
Nevada Reno and the University of California        percent of the boat use on the 25 million year        its earlier plan that allowed higher levels of
Davis are monitoring the spread of nonnative        old lake with the dazzling blue color involves        pier building and fewer restrictions on the
largemouth bass and bluegills in the lake.          non-motorized craft.                                  shoreline.
           “We know they are basically all the                While much of Tahoe’s shoreline is                     He was referring to then California
way around the lake,” UC Davis researcher           owned by public agencies, the group is                Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, who argued in 2007
Brant Allen told the press. “They are widely        discussing how kayakers could take rest stops         that the proposed shoreline rules would harm
distributed, but their populations are still very   where the lakefront property is privately owned.      the environment.
low outside of the Keys.”                                     The group is seeking to avoid                          Will the new proposal end the
           He is referring to the Tahoe Keys, a     incidents like the one reported by Jan Brisco,        shoreline debate? Probably not soon. Is there
large development at South Lake Tahoe that          executive director of the Tahoe Lakefront             an agreement on the horizon? Maybe.
includes a network of manmade canals that           Homeowners’ Association, in which a lakefront                    “Everyone really dislikes the plan,”
link homes with the lake. Although no one           homeowner was interrupted during breakfast            TRPA Governing Board Member Allen Biaggi
knows for sure, it is speculated that someone       by a couple of kayakers who walked through            was reported as saying in newspaper reports.
planted the bass and bluegills in the canals,       open French doors and asked to use the                “So we must be getting close.”
Fall Tactics for Boating with
                                                              By Tom Martens
Fall is a wonderful time for boating with the family.                         Here are some tips:
           It’s a time when lifelong memories can be created.                           • Take along extra warm clothes for the kids;
           Some years ago I took a fall family boating trip to Emerald                  • Keep the kids warm by making them wear life jackets (in
Bay, the icon of Lake Tahoe and one of the most spectacular water             some cases, by the way, it’s the law anyway);
bodies in America.                                                                      • Tell them that Captain Tom will keep the boat speed low,
           It was one of those balmy days in October at Tahoe, where          so it won’t be that cold when cruising;
my wife and I spent 12 years living, boating and raising two daughters.                 • Tell them the boat has a radio to call the Coast Guard in
The sky was a sparkling blue. The color of Tahoe was even bluer. Leaves       an emergency and that it has signal flares that shoot up in the air like
on the quaking aspens were turning yellow and fluttering to the water         Fourth of July rockets or can lay out an orange smoky trail along the
on the hint of a breeze. The water was like glass.                            surface that can be seen on Google Earth;
           The South Lake Tahoe marina where the late afternoon trip                    • Tell them that no one in the three million year history of
started in our 18-foot, open-bow, Glaspar was nearly empty, because           Lake Tahoe has ever been pecked to death by a hail storm (besides,
most had pulled their boats out for the winter.                               the boat has a top, so we can just take cover from the hail as we have
           There was none of the usual “radio check” chatter on Channel       on previous trips);
16 on the marine radio, which usually got the talker chewed out by                      • Inform them that they are about to embark not on a ordinary
the Coast Guard for jabbering on the emergency hailing frequency. The         boating trip, but on a timeless expedition to witness the bald eagles
radio was silent. Few were on the water.                                      and ospreys teach their young to fly and to fish in the lake;
           We motored over to Emerald Bay and circled around Fannett                    • Bribe them with ice cream – and plenty of it.
Island where we once held a birthday party for one of the girls. We
reminisced about that party. We had fished for crawdads. Someone got                     Parents must be prepared to be more entertaining in the fall
stung by a bee. We couldn’t remember who.                                     – to make the kids forget that they are indeed trapped on the boat with
           We stopped at Emerald Bay’s normally crowded boat-in               the diligent, hard working couple who brought them into the world
campground, which is run by the California Department of Parks and            (for which they owe that couple, big time).
Recreation. It was deserted. Its empty buoys bobbed in the water like                    Fall boating parents can get a lot of entertainment mileage
lonely white corks.                                                           out of general boating information, the likes of which are available in
           We hauled food and charcoal ashore and grilled hot dogs            the question-and-answer section of the BoatSafeKids web site
for the kids, bratwurst for the parents. We ate in silence in the crisp       (
fall air – sort of in awe of the mountains that rose up, circling us like                On the site, kids ask boating questions, which are answered
silent sentinels to a fading summer.                                          by the adults and can provide nautical tidbits to entertain kids during
           Years later, the girls would still remember that dinner cruise.    fall boating trips.
           As a long-time fall boater on Tahoe, I have learned that getting
kids into a boat in the off-season can be challenging.                        Here are a few:
           Convincing kids to go boating in the summer is easy, because                 Question: “Why is a bathroom on a boat called a head?”
many of their buddies are on the water with their parents.                              Answer: “Head is a much used maritime word meaning the
           Fall, however, is another matter.                                  top or forward part. Head was also the name given to that part of the
           Boating in the fall breaks a cardinal rule of teens that goes      older sailing ships, forward of the raised section near the bow or
something like this: “None of our friends go boating in the fall, therefore   forward part of the boat called the forecastle.
I wouldn’t be caught dead boating in the fall.”                                         “So when someone said they were going to the head it meant
           The reasons for staying home were as numerous as the good          they were going to the forward part of the boat. The sailors would
shows they would be missing on TV (oddly, football games never made           climb down onto an area floored with a grating to relieve themselves.
the list). The air’s too cold. It’s too dangerous, because no one will be     The grating allowed the open sea to help keep the area clean. The
around to rescue us. We might meet a painful end by being pecked to           name has been largely retained among seamen, even in these days of
death in one of those freak fall hail storms. The water’s too cold for        modern toilets and modern flushing devices.”
swimming. And, of course, the real reason: “We’ll be stuck on the boat                  Question: “Why does the term ‘port side’ come from?”
with you all day.”                                                                      Answer: “The actual origin of the term ‘port’ is speculated
           Since these reasons are all legitimate whines (ahem, I mean        to be because the left side of old merchant sailing ships had a loading
concerns), parents who boat in the fall must be ready to overcome             or entry port. The right side had a steering board that hung over the
them.                                                                         side of the ship (before the invention of rudders)

                                                                                                                                  continued on page 24
                                                                                                                                   WBSG NEWS       19
Don’t Let an Accident Ruin a Fishing Outing                                                                                                   By Tom Martens
   Most anglers claim they don’t get out fishing as much as they would prefer.          • Regularly remind kids to look around before casting.
   So when fishing from a boat, don’t let an accident spoil that precious time          • Set up a buddy system where an adult is assigned to supervise each child.
on the water.
   Here are some tips for preventing accidents:                                                                           EQUIPMENT
                                                                                        • Bring along a long-handled net for fishing and also for reaching out to someone
                         FISHING BOAT OPERATIONS                                        in the water.
• Always fish with a friend.                                                            • Equip the boat with a marine radio to contact authorities in an emergency.
• Don’t exceed the boat loading capacity that is listed on the safety plate.            • As an alternative to a permanent marine radio, carry a portable unit.
• Make sure that weight is evenly distributed in the boat.                              • Keep marine radios on Channel 16, the emergency hailing frequency.
• Do not use drugs or drink alcohol when fishing from a boat.                           • Carry a cell phone in the boat, but be aware that there may be gaps in service.
• Remain a safe distance from dams and other restricted areas.                          • In an emergency, set off your EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio
• Travel slowly in shallow areas and those with submerged trees.                        Beacon).
• Slow down and provide a wide berth when motoring past another fishing boat.           • Notify authorities if your EPIRB is accidently set off in order to avoid a costly
• Watch for anchor lines when passing another fishing boat (be aware that the           search.
boat may have anchor lines on both ends).                                               • Use an outboard motor that is the right size for the boat.
• Always use your ignition safety switch when motoring.                                 • Carry a fire extinguisher, even when it’s not legally required for the boat size.
• Set the handle throttle tension on an outboard so it shuts down the motor if          • Make sure your bilge pump is working.
you get knocked out of the boat.                                                        • If the boat doesn’t have a bilge pump, keep a hand pump or bailing bucket
• Don’t send a passenger flying by hitting a large wake too fast.                       onboard.
• Make sure your fishing partner knows how to run the boat if you get knocked           • Carry extra sheer pins if your outboard motor uses them.
overboard.                                                                              • Carry a pair of pliers and extra cotter pins if your outboard motor uses them.
• Stay with a swamped boat. Most people overestimate their swimming abilities.          • Carry an extra propeller onboard.
There’s a good chance the boat will float ashore.                                       • Carry a whistle that is attached to the life vest.
• Make sure the buoyancy features on your boat are working, so the vessel floats
after being swamped.                                                                                                          DRESSING
• Watch that fingers don’t get crushed against docks.                                   • Always wear sun screen with a rating of SPF-15 (sun protection factor) or
• Carry spare water in case your boat breaks down.                                      higher on exposed areas, such as your face, neck and hands.
• Carefully store sharp items, such as knives, hooks or gaffs.                          • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face and neck, keep the sun out of
• Twin motors offer a backup if one fails.                                              your eyes and prevent getting hooked.
                                                                                        • Protect eyes by wearing sun or clear safety glasses.
                             STANDING IN A BOAT                                         • Always wear shoes when fishing in a boat to prevent your feet getting cut by
• Many accidents occur when someone is knocked over when standing in the                glass, hooks or sharp objects.
boat, so stay seated in the boat as much as possible.                                   • Wear shoes that are designed to avoid slipping on a wet surface.
• Be especially careful when standing to land a fish.                                   • Always dress for the weather and be prepared for sudden changes.
• Make sure an electric motor shuts down if you are knocked overboard.                  • Wear a life jacket, especially when the water is cold.
• Watch for tree branches that can knock you overboard.                                 • Make sure life jackets fit properly.
                                                                                        • Make sure life jackets are easily accessible and not stored in closed compartments.
                             CASTING AND TACKLE
• Look behind for a power line, tree or another person before casting.                                                 GENERAL SAFETY
• Don’t leave tackle on the deck, because someone could trip over it or get             • Keep a well supplied first aid kit onboard.
hooked.                                                                                 • Know how to use safety devices.
• If the hook is deep inside a fish, don’t put your hands inside. Cut the line before   • Enroll in a swim or boating safety course.
releasing the fish.                                                                     • Drink plenty of fluids to keep from dehydrating.
• Always remove hooks and lures from rods before storing.                               • Apply chap protection wax on lips.
• Keep all boat maintenance chemicals in their original containers and out of           • Always carry insect repellent.
the reach of children.                                                                  • Apply insect repellent with “Deet” to your clothes and not to your skin.
• Post the Poison Control Center number (1-800-222-1222) on the boat.
• List CPR instructions and local emergency numbers on the boat.                                                          WEATHER
• Keep the deck free of tripping hazards.                                               • If the weather looks threatening, stay home.
• Maintain a clear, unobstructed view forward at all times when motoring.               • Keep an eye on the weather, and leave the water before storms arrive.
• When boating, scan the water back and forth. Avoid tunnel vision.                     • Watch for cloud buildup, especially rapid vertical rising clouds.
                                                                                        • Beware of sudden drops in temperature.
                                 LANDING A FISH                                         • Watch for a sudden change in speed or direction of the wind.
• When landing a fish, don’t jerk the line, because the hook could come loose           • Be alert to changes in barometric pressure – if a barometer is available on the
and fly wildly through the air.                                                         boat (a falling barometer means stormy or rainy weather).
• Don’t attempt to take a large fish in the boat.
• Don’t take an underplayed fish in the boat.                                                                           CAUGHT IN A STORM
• Don’t try to kill a fish by shooting it with a gun.                                   • Reduce motor or engine power enough to just maintain headway.
                                                                                        • Put on your PFDs.
                              FISHING AT NIGHT                                          • Turn on running lights.
• Turn on bow and stern lights as soon as possible.                                     • Head for the nearest shore.
• Add a strobe light to your nighttime safety equipment.                                • Head the bow into the waves at about a 45-degree angle.
• Carry a horn to warn approaching vessels.                                             • Keep bilges free of water.
• Carry flares and a flare gun.                                                         • Seat passengers on the bottom of the boat near the centerline.
• Keep a flash light and extra batteries on the boat.                                   • If the engine fails, trail a sea anchor on a line from the bow to keep the boat
• Always carry a compass.                                                               heading into the waves.
• Install a GPS device on the boat or carry a hand held unit.                           • If there is no sea anchor onboard, use a bucket in an emergency.
• Make sure the boat has an anchor onboard for use in an emergency.
                                                                                                                          FLOAT PLAN
                             FISHING WITH KIDS                                          • Always leave a written float plan with a friend or at a marina.
• Small children should always wear Coast Guard approved personal floatation            • Make sure the float plan includes destination and return time and ways to
devices, whether or not they can swim.                                                  identify the boat.
• Insist that kids always wear well fitting shoes when fishing.                         • If delayed and it’s not an emergency, inform the keeper of your float plan to
• Be cautious about letting kids wear rubber shoes such as Crocs when boating,          avoid unnecessary searches.
because they can be slippery on wet surfaces.                                           • Always “close out” a float plan by informing the keeper on your return.

                                                                                                                                                    WBSG NEWS             21
     How to Safely Remove
      A Fish Hook
           It happens to every angler sooner or later.
           Through carelessness, a slip-up by a fishing buddy or just
plain back luck, someone gets speared by a fish hook.
           Here’s the good news. No one has ever died from being stuck
with a fish hook.
           Here’s the bad news. It hurts and can sometimes ruin a
fishing trip.
           Because it’s happened so many times, the docs at the National
Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health have provided the
following instructions on how to remove a fish hook and when to head
for the doctor’s office or emergency room.
                                                                               A fishhook in the eye is a medical emergency, and you should seek
                                   ****                                        immediate emergency medical care. The area should be shielded or
                                                                               otherwise secured to avoid further movement. The injured person
          If the barb of the hook has not entered the skin, pull the tip       should lie down with the head slightly raised. The eye should not be
of the hook out in the opposite direction it went in. Otherwise, you can       moved until medical care is obtained.
use one of the following methods for removal of a hook that is
superficially (not deeply) embedded just beneath the skin:
                                                                                                             DO NOT
                                                                               ∑         DO NOT attempt to remove fishhooks that are lodged in the
                        Fish line method                                       eye or near an artery.
1.         First, wash your hands with soap.                                   ∑         DO NOT close the fishhook punctures with tape and apply
2.         Put a loop of fish line through the bend of the fishhook so         antibiotic ointment, because sealing off the wound can increase the
that a quick jerk can be applied and the hook can be pulled out directly       chance of infection.
in line with the shaft of the hook.
3.         Holding onto the shaft, push the hook slightly downwards                                  When to Seek Help
and inwards (away from the barb) so as to disengage the barb.                  Seek immediate medical help if the fishhook is in the eye or located
4.         Holding this pressure constant to keep the barb disengaged,         near an artery.
give a quick jerk on the fish line and the hook will pop out.                  The main advantage to getting medical help for other fishhook injuries
5.         Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and apply             is that the fishhook can be removed under a local anesthetic.
a loose, sterile dressing.                                                     Call your doctor if:
                                                                               ∑          You have a fishhook injury and your tetanus immunization
                     Wire cutting method                                       is not up to date (or if you are unsure)
1.         First, wash your hands with soap. Then wash the area                ∑          The area where you removed a fishhook starts to show signs
surrounding the embedded fishhook. After the skin is clean, apply              of infection (increasing redness, swelling, pain, or pus)
gentle pressure along the curve of the fishhook while pulling on the
hook.                                                                                                      Prevention
2.         If the tip of the hook lies near the surface of the skin, push      ∑          Keep a safe distance between you and another person who
the tip through the skin, cut it off just behind the barb with wire cutters,   is fishing (in particular, casting).
and remove the remainder of the hook by pulling it back through the            ∑          Keep a pair of electrician's pliers with a wire-cutting blade
way it entered.                                                                in your fishing tackle box.
3.         Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water, and apply                       Be up to date on tetanus immunization vaccine. A booster
a loose sterile dressing.                                                      should be given every 10 years, to be safe.
Do not use these methods or otherwise attempt to remove a fishhook
that is deeply embedded, lodged within a joint or tendon, or located
in or near an eye or artery. If you are at all unsure, it is best to seek
prompt medical attention.

Boating Briefs from Around the West
                                                                                                                      In addition, the law that was revised
                                                                                                           last January requires that those born on or
                                                                                                           after Jan. 1, 1983 must take a boater education
                                                                                                           course to operate a vessel with more than a
   __________________________                                                                              15 horsepower motor on interstate waters,
                                                     Copper Bandits Steal Dock Cords in San
                                                     Diego                                                 which include lakes Mead, Topaz and Tahoe.
           CALIFORNIA                                                                                                 See the department’s web site at
   __________________________                                  Boaters beware: the copper bandits
                                                     are eyeing your power cords.                 for complete
                                                               That’s the warning being spread             information on boating and courses.
Overloaded Boat, Drinking Kills 4 in the
Delta                                                through San Diego marinas, where the high
                                                     price of copper has resulted in night time thefts        __________________________
            Public safety and marina officials are
still reeling from the careless boating trip that    of the electrical cords.
                                                               According to San Diego Harbor Police                     OREGON
caused the death in late June of four near                                                                    __________________________
Stockton in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.        Control officer Matt Bishop, one stolen shore
            The accident happened to 10 adults       power cord has been valued at $1,000. He
                                                     speculated that the thieves likely sold the heavy         Boaters Keep a Wary Eye Out for
who loaded into a 14-foot aluminum fishing                                                                 Problems from Ethanol Spiked Gasoline
boat on a still, moonlit night for boating in the    gauge cord for its value as scrap, which has
                                                     risen in recently months.                                       Boaters, marinas and repair shops
narrow Grant Line Canal. Officials said that                                                               are keeping a keen eye out for problems that
the boat should have had no more than six                      The thieves have been making the
                                                     headlines after stealing bronze burial urns           might arise as the state phases in its new “E-
persons onboard.                                                                                           10” standard, which requires that 10 percent
            The boat swamped, dumping its            from local cemeteries.
                                                                                                           of gasoline contain ethanol.
passengers into the water. Six swam to shore.                                                                        Currently required in nine counties,
Four others drowned. All were residents of           Teen Casts Off to Boat Around the World
                                                                “Thank you to everyone who is              Oregonians will be pumping the new gasoline
Oakland.                                                                                                   formation across the state by September.
            According to the San Joaquin County      concerned about what I am eating … Out here,
                                                     I just have not felt very hungry. I am not seasick.             According to press reports, the new
Sheriff’s Department, there were no life jackets                                                           blend hasn’t caused any major problems with
onboard, and alcohol may have been a factor          Just not hungry.”
                                                                That was the first blog posting from       boats, probably because it has only been
in the fatal accident.                                                                                     available at the pumps since April and in a
            The boat owner, 43-year-old Daniel       16-year-old Los Angeles resident Zac
                                                     Sunderland from somewhere in the Pacific              limited area. When introduced in other states,
Martinez Cordova, was arrested for                                                                         boaters have had problems with the E-10 gas
investigation of vehicular manslaughter and          where he is enroute to trying to become the
                                                     youngest person to single handedly sail around        eroding rubber components, clogging
boating under the influence of alcohol.                                                                    carburetors, causing problems with water in
            When the seasonal accident tally is      the world.
                                                                Sunderland embarked on the year-           the gas and damaging fiberglass fuel tanks.
done for 2008, the accident could set a new                                                                          The Oregon State Marine Board has
record for deaths in the delta. In 2006, there       long voyage in a 36-foot boat from Los Angeles
                                                     and is on his way to the first stop, the Marshall     provided background on the potential
were five fatalities and six were killed in 2004                                                           problems and a list of where boaters can
in delta boating accidents. Only two were killed     Islands located 4,000 miles away.
                                                                You can follow his progress on the         purchase gas without ethanol at its web site
each year in 2003 and 2004.                                                                                at
                                                     trip by reading postings on his blog at
Judge Rules Drunken Boating Doesn’t
Effect Driver’s License                                                                                                ARIZONA
           Drunken boating is illegal in                     __________________________
California, but law enforcement officials cannot
suspend a person’s driver’s license for the                        NEVADA
                                                         __________________________                        Boating Accidents Decreased, While Use
crime.                                                                                                     Increased in 2007
           That was the ruling in June from a                                                                          Boating safety education seems to
state court of appeals in Los Angeles involving      Wardens Are Disturbed by the Number
                                                     of Kids Not Wearing Life Jackets                      be paying off, because the number of accidents
two men who had their licenses suspended by                                                                and deaths decreased in 2007, while the
the California Department of Motor Vehicles                     Wardens are disturbed by the number
                                                     of children not wearing life jackets as required      number of watercraft increased.
following a conviction for driving a boat under                                                                        According to the Arizona Fish and
the influence.                                       by a new state law.
                                                                According to the Nevada Department         Game Department’s 2007 Arizona Boating
           The men sued and won an injunction                                                              Safety Report, the number of accidents
from a Los Angeles judge to prevent the DMV          of Wildlife, wardens issued 11 tickets over the
                                                     Memorial Day weekend on Lake Mead for                 decreased by 41, down from 220 in 2007
from suspending their licenses. Following an                                                               compared to 261 in 2006. The number of
appeal by the agency, a judge from the Second        violation of the new law requiring that all
                                                     children age 11 and under wear life jackets.          fatalities decreased by six, down from eight in
District Court of Appeals ruled that the law                                                               2007 compared to 14 in 2006.
“aimed at driving offenses, not boating                         “Kids can drown in a second, so we
                                                     really want to encourage parents to make sure                     At the same time according to the
offenses.” The ruling authorizes license                                                                   report, the number of registered watercraft in
suspensions only for drunken driving in cars,        their children have life jackets and are wearing
                                                     them,” said Lieutenant David Pfiffner,                the state grew from 105,000 in 2006 to
not in boats.                                                                                              144,570 in 2007.
           Four years ago, the DMV asked the         supervising warden for Lake Mead. Under the
                                                     law, people who ride personal water craft and                     The report says that boaters seem to
State Legislature to approve a bill that would                                                             be heeding the message for sober boating,
allow license suspension for drunken boating.        water skiers must wear life jackets.
The bill failed to get enough votes to pass.

                                                                                                                                       WBSG NEWS         23
realizing that alcohol is a significant contributor              For the period, fatalities rose to 27     better able to see them than if their life jackets
to accidents. The number of operating-under-          -- a 13 percent increase from the previous year      were blue or green.”
the-influence arrests dropped to 357 in 2007,         -- in the Pacific Northwest, which includes                     To entertain, wise parents need to
compared to 535 in 2006.                              Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho.               come with some cool Lake Tahoe Q&A facts
           “Drinking while boating continues          Alcohol contributed to six of those deaths.          too, such as:
to be a critical problem and a high-priority                                                                          Question: Is there a hole in the
target enforcement objective for officers,” says          _________________________                        bottom of the lake?
the report. “The fact that many boat operators                                                                        Answer: There is a Tahoe legend
practice safe and sober boating is highly                            UTAH                                  about a boater in 1869 observing a large
encouraging.” A copy of the report is available           __________________________                       whirlpool on the lake. He tore off a board from
at                                                                                          his boat seat and dropped it overboard in the
                                                       Caution: Ultra Violet Rays Don’t Take a             center of the whirlpool. It disappeared. This
 Report: Lakes Mead and Powell Could                                  Winter Vacation
                    Dry Up                                        Most people think that ultra violet      boater surmised that the board was drawn
           Will climate change cause two big          rays are not harmful in the fall and winter.         down by the current formed by the hole in the
reservoirs to dry up?                                 Wrong – at least for boaters and other outdoor       bottom of the lake.
           Researchers at San Diego’s Scripps         enthusiasts in Utah.                                            Question: Is there a monster that
Institute of Oceanography said that there is a                    According to the Environmental           lives in the lake?
50 percent chance that climate change and             Protection Agency, the skin can be just as                      Answer: Maybe yes, maybe no.
increased water demand will result in lakes           damaged from UV rays in April as in August.          Reputable (and fairly sober) Tahoe residents
Mead and Powell drying up within 13 years.                        That’s important because based on        have claimed to have seen a large fish or
           In a report, Scripps projected that        EPA monitoring, Utah continues to score highest      something or other in the lake. Scientists at
the lakes would run out of water by 2021. The         on the UV index, a measure of the rays hitting       the USO Conference (USO stands for
report said that there is a 10 percent chance         the area on a given day. On some days, the UV        Unidentified Swimming Object), listened to
that the lakes will run out of usable water by        levels in Utah are off the top of the measurement    many of the eye witness accounts and
2013, and a 50 percent chance that the                scale.                                               speculated that they are probably seeing a
reservoirs would no longer be able to generate                    The reason is that because of Utah’s     sturgeon, a large bottom sucking fish that looks
power by 2017.                                        altitude, its sun worshiping residents are closer    fairly prehistoric, sort of like a monster.
           Lake Mead, located on the Arizona-         to the sun.                                                     For small children, fall boating
Nevada border, and Lake Powell, on the                            According to the Utah Department of      entertainment doesn’t have to be all that
Arizona-Utah border, are half full, the result        Health, data show that the rate of melanoma          complicated. Here are some suggestions, which
of a regional drought. The lakes, created by          – the deadliest form of skin cancer – is rising      will work at Tahoe and at many other places:
dams on the Colorado River, provide water             in the state.                                                   • Let the kids drive the boat (at slow
for 27 million people in seven states and are                     Skin cancer can be prevented by          speed, of course, and with you ready to take
popular with boaters.                                 applying sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher 30          over in an instant);
           Larry Dozier, deputy general manager       minutes before outdoor activities and reapplying
for the Central Arizona Project that supplies         every two hours, covering up with hats, long                    • Wave to people when passing boats
Colorado River water to Phoenix and Tucson,           sleeves or sunglasses, avoiding the sun between      and see how many wave back;
called the report “absurd,” adding that his           10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and seeking shady areas.                      • Honk the horn when passing boats
agency’s projections show the lakes are in no                     The daily UV index is available on       and see how many honk back;
danger of drying up.                                  most weather web sites, such as at intellicast                  • Stop in a cove and catch frogs;
     _________________________                        at or at the EPA site at                                        • Stop and do any activity having to
                                             or at                     do with turtles;
             WASHINGTON                                             • Catch minnows and let the kids
     __________________________                                                                            inspect and hold them;
                                                                                                                      • Using a fishing line and piece of
   Boating Fatalities Up in Washington,               continued from page 19                               bacon, fish for crawdads (bonus points if you

                   Northwest                                                                               cook them and get a kid to eat one).
           Boating fatalities were up Washington
for the first half of 2007, the highest number
                                                      Boating with                                                   If all that fails to entertain, break out
                                                                                                           the ice cream.
for any state in the Pacific Northwest.                                                                              Happy fall boating.
           According to a U.S. Coast Guard
report, 12 boaters were killed during the             which is where the term starboard comes from.
reporting period in 2007, compared to 11 for          So if the steering board hung over the right
the same period in 2006. Eleven of the victims        side, the boat would need to dock on its left
weren’t wearing life jackets. Alcohol was a           side, or put into port on its left side."                      Editor’s note: Tom Martens is the
contributing factor in four of the fatalities.                                                             former Editor of the Tahoe World newspaper and
           Wearing life preservers is not legally                Question: "Why are life jackets           Executive Director of the League to Save Lake
required in Washington, although safety               orange?"                                             Tahoe. He is an outdoor writer who lives in Davis,
officials encourage their use when boating.                       Answer: "Orange is a great color         California and specialized in boating, fly fishing
Children 12 and younger must wear the devices         for life jackets because it is a very bright color   and outdoor environmental stories and columns.
if on boats shorter than 19 feet. Federal and         that you rarely find in nature. If you are trying
state regulations require only that life jackets      to rescue someone who has fallen overboard,
be readily accessible on boats.                       you need to be able to see them. if they are
                                                      wearing a bright orange life jacket you will be

New Boating Laws from Save Up to 40
           Around the West                                           Percent of Your Fuel
   _________________________             __________________________
                                                                     Costs by Calculating
                                         __________________________  Your Optimum
New Law Could Mean Jail Time for Drunk Boaters Nix Move to Eliminate
               Boaters                 Improvement Funds
                                                                     Cruise Speed
           Gov. Janet Napolitano signed into law               Statewide boaters ramped up their       With fuel prices skyrocketing, many boaters
legislation that requires that a person convicted   letter writing efforts to successfully kill        are opting to take their boat out less or no go
of operating a boat under the influence serve       legislation in the Washington State Legislature    boating at all. That’s not a choice for people
a jail term for first time offenders of not less    that would have eliminated funding for a           who love the water. Here’s another option:
than 10 consecutive days.                           program to improve facilities and activities for   optimizing your fuel consumption so you can
           By signing House Bill 2643 in June,      water activities.                                  go boating the same amount of days using less
she created the penalty for those boating with                 According to a report by the            fuel.
a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more.       Recreational Boating Association of
Under the measure, a boater with a BAC of .2        Washington, the grassroots effort caused the       Here’s how you do it. For gas-powered boats
or more would be required to spend 45 or            legislature to reject an amendment to a bill       with planning hulls, your sweet spot for speed
more consecutive days in jail for first time        that would have eliminated the year-old Boater     and fuel efficiency will be somewhere between
offenders.                                          Activity Account.                                  one half and three quarters throttle. But you'll
           The person who has been convicted                   Last May, Gov. Christine Gregoire       want to be more precise than that.
of the offense would not be eligible for parole     signed into law a bill that created the account,
                                                    which receives its funds from an excise fee on     One of the most simple and accurate ways to
until the entire sentence has been served.                                                             find your boat's sweet spot is to use your
                                                    vessels. The fee generates about $1 million        tachometer (the big dials on your dash) and
         _________________________                  per year to pay for enforcement, safety,           GPS to measure the relationship between rpm
                                                    education and facilities improvement projects.     and speed. You are going to take your boat
             IDAHO                                             In addition to the association, the     for a spin at various throttle settings. Before
   __________________________                       proposal to cut the funding was opposed by         you do, make sure you have a safe and open
                                                    the Northwest Boating Council, Washington          area. Have a second person taking down this
  Debate Continues Over Fee for Non-                Sheriff’s Association Marine Patrol Units, Puget   information while you keep your eyes on the
                motorized Boats                     Sound Anglers, Whatcom Recreational Boaters        water.
            As one might expect, the debate over    and many individuals.
whether their state should charge non-                                                                 For example: your first run is at 2,000 rpm.
motorized boats a fee is heating up as Idaho                                                           Write down the speed and throttle setting.
officials seek new ways to pay for infrastructure                                                      Continue your test in 200-rpm increments,
and safety programs.                                                                                   measuring boat speed for each throttle setting.
            Gov. Butch Otter has convened a                                                            What you're trying to find is the throttle setting
working group to discuss whether the state                                                             at which the corresponding increase in speed
legislature should charge the fee on canoes,                                                           is the greatest than any other settings.
kayaks, drift boats and other human powered
craft.                                                                                                 This throttle setting will be your optimum
            Currently, funds for the boating                                                           cruise speed for your boat –the place where
programs are provided by motor boat                                                                    you get the most bang for the buck. (The
registration, which contributes about 35                                                               majority of V6- and V8-powered boats optimum
percent of the $4.6 million budget. The funds                                                          cruise speed falls between 3,000 and 3,500
are used for improving public access, boat
ramps, education, safety and other programs.                                                           Optimum cruise speeds means more dollars
            In January, those fees were increased                                                      in your pocket and more miles to enjoy the
from a base of $13 to $20 for boats up to 20                                                           open waters.
feet long. Larger boats are charged $2 per
additional foot of length.
             The proposal to charge non-
motorized boats has drawn criticism from
user groups such as Trout Unlimited, whose
leaders argue that there is no connection
between a fee on their craft and the programs
that are related to their use.
            “We’re a different crowd,” said
Howard Miller of the Idaho Whitewater
Association that represents rafters and
kayakers. “We don’t need concrete boat
                                                                                                                                    WBSG NEWS         25
Funds Needed for Docks, Campground
at Hog/Spud Island Delta Center

           Let the fundraising begin.                                             • Build two, 10-site campgrounds on the island ($100,000);
           That’s the rallying message for directors and advisors working         • Create a septic system and well for the rest rooms and other
on the Hog/Spud Island Delta Center project, which will be located on       freshwater uses ($100,000);
a 105-acre island near Stockton in the California Delta.                          • Buy a generator for the rest rooms and other purposes ($46,000);
           Planning for the center, a project of the nonprofit California         • Construct a trail from the dock to the restrooms on the north
Delta Habitat and Education Foundation, has focused on gaining use          end ($8,000);
of the land not donated by Frank Rauzi, Joe Ceccnini famlies by purchase          • Construct an interpretive trail construction ($30,000);
or lease and with winning permits to build the project from regulatory            • Build an 1,100-foot-long boardwalk to elevate the interpretive
agencies.                                                                   trail in environmentally sensitive areas ($200,000).
           The permit work is nearly completed by a team of consultants,          Funds are also needed to work with school and recreational
who are working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the final            officials to develop an educational program for the short- and long-
permitting agency. Local, state and other federal permits for use of the    term use in the facilities on the island ($50,000).
site have already been received.
           In earlier work, the foundation was gifted 30 acres on the
south portion of the island and leased 60 acres on the north end for
                                                                                                     PHASES 2 & 3
                                                                                  A committee will be established to create and implement a capital
$1.00 per year from the Port of Stockton. Negotiations are underway
                                                                            campaign plan to raise $750,000 for the second and third phases of
to lease the remaining 15 acres in the middle from the California State
                                                                            the project, which include major educational facilities.
Lands Commission.
                                                                                  When completed in seven years, the project will consist of,
           With progress being made on the regulatory front, foundation
                                                                            campgrounds, hiking trails, an interpretive center, native American
directors have launched a drive to raise funds for the project’s three
                                                                            village, an amphitheater and projects to restore the island.
                                                                                  Some 70 percent of the island will be restored or preserved as
                              PHASE 1                                       natural habitat, while 30 percent will be developed with educational
     Work has started to raise the funds to create infrastructure, so       facilities, which will located on areas that have been filled with dredge
that educational trips can start being made to the island.                  material. The islands were filled with material from dredging of the
     Funds are needed to complete the following projects (the amounts       adjacent Stockton Deepwater Ship Channel.
needed are in parenthesis):                                                       For background on the project or to obtain a list of detailed phase
     • Build a 400-foot-long, handicapped accessible boat dock, which       one projects and funding needs, please write the foundation at 3158
includes pilings and a security gate on the north end of the island         Rainier Ave., Stockton, CA. 95204 or call 209-478-2222.
     • Construct a 63-foot-long ramp from the boat dock to the shoreline
on the north end ($42,300);
     • Construct an 80-foot-long boat dock, ramp and security gate to
provide access to a campground on the south end of the island

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