This video from the Brownies Coastwatch Vault shows a young Gary Howard delivering a very important boating safety message about how important it is to keep your fuel tanks, lines and filters, right away from the battery on your boat.
You should always investigate fuel smells, because if you have a fuel leak and fumes build up in an area where a battery is stored, the smallest spark from the battery can trigger a very big explosion and fire.
Just like we need them on the roads, there are rules on the water that must be followed so we all don’t run into each other.
Apart from always operating your vessel at a safe speed, the most basic of these rules is to always give way to a boat approaching from your starboard or right side and always turn to starboard to avoid a collision if one is imminent.
This video from the Brownies Coastwatch Vault clearly shows how this rule works.
Despite water restrictions, you are allowed to flush your outboard motor when returning from a boating trip.
Not much water is needed if you do it properly and it’s a matter of safety, as it flushes the salt from the cooling system in your motor, which goes a long way toward preventing corrosion and the mechanical disaster that can follow a cooling system failure.
This video shows how to do it if you are not sure of the procedure.
This video from the Coastwatch vault has tips from Gary Howard on how to clean and get the smell out of an ice box that has had food or bait left in it.
This has happened to almost everybody sometime in their fishing or camping adventures and rather than throw the ice box away, you can get the smell out of it by giving it a good scrubbing with water and vinegar and leaving it with the lid closed for a couple of hours.
One of the best accessories you can fit to a deep v planing hull is a set of trim tabs.
Some boat manufacturers claim their boats don’t need them, but the fact is that deep v planing hulls lay into the wind and the trim of the boat, ride and fuel economy are greatly enhanced by fitting them.
This video from the Brownie's Coastwatch Vault simply demonstrates how trim tabs lift the low side of the boat by the pressure created by the water flow over them.
Launching your boat
Launching a boat at a boat ramp can be very easy if you are shown how, but if you don’t know what to do and go about it the wrong way it can be a nightmare. From the Brownies Coastwatch vault this video has tips from very experienced offshore angler John Palermo on how to simply and calmly put your boat in the water.
If you follow the steps for launching shown you will take a lot of the tension out of going boating.
John Palermo runs offshore fishing charters and advises on marine electronics for offshore fishing.
The Crouch family boats
This story from the Coastwatch vault was shot in late 1995. It is about Bill Crouch and his wonderful model boats.
The Crouch family are pioneers of the fishing industry in Queensland and built the boats on which they plied their trade on Moreton Bay. When Bill retired from a lifetime on the water, he made his models of the crouch family boats.
He is well into his nineties now and most of the models have been distributed among the family who owned them.
This video from the Brownies Coastwatch Vault shows Barry McDade’s tips on the easy way to anchor offshore using a float system.
This method has been around a long time and it does take a bit of practice to get it right, but when you do, it’s a lot easier and safer than hauling the anchor by hand off the foredeck on a rough day.
Barry McDade can be contacted at Sunshine Coast Offshore Fishing Services www.scofs.com.au
Every year there are more boats on our waterways and it’s important that skippers of bigger boats realise that travelling too fast and creating a big wash when passing smaller, anchored, or moored boats is potentially dangerous.
Hot food could get knocked off a stove, or people could fall over, or in the water. Apart from that it shows no regard for the enjoyment of others.
So go slow and minimise your wash when passing other boats and everyone will have a better time.
As our population increases, our waterways are becoming more crowded every year, particularly the southern bay area from Jumpinpin to Southport Broadwater and there is a wide range in the size and speed of the boats.
It is therefore important to be more aware of each other and make sure that the wash created by big boats doesn't cause havoc for those in smaller vessels.
The easy way to do that is to go slow when passing close to other boats and keep your wash to a minimum.
V sheet and mirror
Two very important pieces of safety equipment are a V Sheet and a mirror. Since this video was shot, carrying the mirror is no longer compulsory, but is recommended.
When you see how visible the V Sheet and the light reflected by a mirror are to the crew of a helicopter, compulsory or not, you’ll never leave port without either again.
These two items still work when all electrical systems on the boat have failed and you have run out of flares.
Crossing coastal bars always requires caution, but accidents often happen on days you think are safe, when the swell is small and the bar looks really easy to cross.
One of the reasons for this is the tide factor. On big ebbing tides, the extra volume of water running out through narrow bar openings creates pressure as it hits the incoming swells.
This pressure can cause waves to almost double in size and break unpredictably in places they wouldn’t normally break.
There’s nothing more terrifying than an explosion and fire on a boat.
Thankfully, they don’t happen every day, but do occur often enough to make it worth your while to be aware of how easy boat fires can start, the most common causes, and things you can do the minimise the risk.
This video has a simple checklist that will help you reduce the chance of ever having to contend with a boat fire.
One of the most dangerous aspects of boating is crossing coastal bars.
If you are just starting out, this video from the Brownies Coastwatch Vault shows you some of the basics of bar crossing, but the best advice is to seek tuition, either from a friend with years of bar crossing experience, or a qualified marine teacher.
Asking about bar crossing tuition at your local VMR is a good starting point if you are not sure where to go.
This short video is a reminder to carry a good torch, with fully charged and spare batteries on your boat at all times.
Not only is a torch necessary to find things in the dark, spot navigation hazards and do any repairs that might be needed, it’s a very good signalling device if you think other boats haven’t or can’t see you, or you need assistance.
Visit the MSQ web site for more info on the lights you should display on your boat.
There are few knots that you use more in boating than the Bowline.
It’s a simple knot for making a loop in a line. It holds tight under pressure and it’s easy to undo.
This video from the Brownies Coastwatch Vault shows an easy way to remember how to tie it.
You my be wondering why we would bother to show something as basic as how to tie a bowline. A look around a marina at mooring lines will answer that question.
Hooning in tinnies
This is a demonstration of how dangerous it is to hoon around in tinnies with outboards too big for the size of the boat.
Without discriminating, young people seem to do more of this than the older members of the boating fraternity, so if you have kids and let them drive a tinny, make sure it’s not overpowered, make sure they have a licence if the outboard is bigger than 6hp and take it off them if you find them hooning, before they hurt themselves or someone else.
Brisbane Hobie Cat sailor Kerry Ireland came out of a four year retirement to win her first World Womens 16ft Hobie Cat Championship in 1994.
Sailed every two years, she won it again in 1996 and immediately sold her boat and again retired.
She decided to defend her title in 98 at Airlie Beach and with a crew she had only known for four weeks, who lived in Sydney and had only had two on water training session with, completed her hat trick of world titles. An amazing effort.