Sailing News & Views

Sailing Industry Introduces “New Sailor’s Day” at Atlantic SAIL EXPO and Strictly Sail Chicago

Sail America, the exclusive U.S. sailing industry trade association, is launching a “New Sailor’s Day” program at two of its major shows: on January 26 at Atlantic SAIL EXPO at the Convention Center in Atlantic City, New jersey, and February 2 at Strictly Sail Chicago at Navy Pier.

The “New Sailor’s Day” program is designed to give prospective sailors a fast-track, full-day seminar that highlights the fun of becoming a sailor and introduces a variety of ways to enjoy the exciting sailing lifestyle. Designed to educate newcomers to sailing and help them take the next step, the “New Sailor’s Day” program is part of Sail America’s consumer promotion campaign - Discover Sailing: The Ultimate Adventure.

To kick off the seminars, keynote speaker Captain William “Bill” Pinkney will share his voyage of discovery as the first African-American to circumnavigate the globe alone, traveling through the five great capes of the world. ESPN commentator Gary Jobson and veteran instructor Lou Carretero will provide fresh insights and how-to sailing sessions, while Olympic contender and Team One Newport owner Martha Parker will take a look at the latest and most comfortable sailing fashions.

Through the sessions, novice sailors will discover that sailing lessons and opportunities to sail are easily accessible. “You can get involved in sailing in so many ways, from a minor commitment to it, to a full-blown commitment,” said Doris Colgate, “New Sailor’s Day” chairperson. “Our program is devoted to showing the opportunities and the fun side of sailing.”

Colgate says many newcomers are attracted to sailing as a way to enjoy quality time with their families, couples or friends can be together, but they can be involved in sailing in a variety of ways,” she said. “Some people will get actively involved in maneuvering the sailboat, while others are content to sit and read a book. Whether it’s a day trip, a short cuise or a week-long adventure, sailing is a great opportunity for people to bond and spend time together.”

“New Sailor’s Day” admission is $45 per person and includes Saturday and Sunday Show tickets to the shows, VIP tours of select booths and boats, a canvas gift bag and access to New Sailors VIP lounge. The program is available by pre-registration only. Contact 800-817-7245 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST or access the site, clicking into the Atlantic SAIL EXPO or Strictly Sail Chicago shows to reach the “New Sailor’s Day” program. Registrants can also e-mail to make arrangements.

“New Sailor’s Day” is sponsored by Sail America, Sail Magazine, Hunter Marine and Winslow LifeReaft Company.

The 5 Most Important Tips For Safe Boating
by Zuzana Prochazka

As part of proper preparation, everyone aboard a boat should know how to use signaling devices, such as the smoke signal shown above.

This past summer was another busy boating season in which thousands of stranded boaters needed towing or other assistance. We at Vessel Assist, the nationwide towing organization known as the Boat Owners’ Auto Club, have learned a few important lessons from our experience helping these boaters. The lessons are outlined below in what we feel are the five most important tips for safety on the water.

First, take a boating safety course. Being prepared is the key to avoiding problems. If you understand your vessel, your environment, your responsibilities and a few basics like the rules of the road, it can make the difference between enjoyment and tragedy. Boating safety courses are easy to find and affordable. Check out the courses on and remember that the captain of the vessel can never be too prepared.

Second, keep in mind that panic is the enemy. The best way to avoid panic is to be educated and prepared. Everyone aboard the vessel should be able to locate and use a fire extinguisher, the VHF radio, personal flotation devices and signal flares. Talk through the proposed itinerary with family and friends before leaving and know what to do in case of an emergency.

Third, understand navigation. A local area chart should be aboard every vessel. Charts mark important areas to avoid such as reefs, rocks, sandbars and restricted areas. In case of an emergency, having and knowing how to use a GPS can decrease response time by allowing rescue vessels to pinpoint your location from the coordinates. Practice judging distance on the water. For example, think of a football field, which is 100 yards. A half mile is about equal to the length of nine football fields.

Fourth, know the difference between an emergency and a non-emergency. When determining whom to contact for assistance, consider the following question: are you or anyone onboard in any immediate danger? If the answer is yes, contact the US Coast Guard on channel 16. If your vessel has gone aground, is taking on water or is on fire, or if someone onboard is extremely ill or injured, contact the Coast Guard immediately. If the answer is no, consider it a manageable inconvenience and call Vessel Assist or the local commercial towing company.

Fifth, understand the VHF radio. If you are hailing another party or vessel, use channels 9 or 16. Identify youself and the party you are calling. Once contact is made, switch to another agreed upon channel to communicate. When calling for assistance, use only channel 16. Be sure to give specifics of your location, how many persons aboard, details regarding injuries or illness and any key details of your situation. Listen carefully for the information from the dispatcher regarding your ETAs and next steps. Make sure everyone aboard understands how to use the VHF radio because the person injured or overboard on your next outing could be you.

If you are already practicing the procedures outlined above, you should be well prepared for on-the-water problems. If some of these items are new to you, integrate them into your routine. They will undoubtedly help make the boating experience safer for you and your guests.

How Do You Feel?

No Fishing in Marinas for the Safety of All

To help the MN DNR in this matter they are looking for your comments, that fishing in marinas is dangerous and an incompatible use.

Contact Linda Ericson-Eastwood at 888-MINNDNR or or 651-296-3325.

Remember in the email to include your Name, Address & Email also in the subject line type: “No Fishing in Marinas for Safety”

Talking and writing points:
• Safety of everyone and their property.
• I own a boat and keep it in a marina.
• Property damage being done, Fish hook in sails & canvas, rafts, kids toys etc.
• Incompatible uses and that the DNR has regulations for this.
• Fisherman using bad language in front of children and very early in the morning.
• Fisherman refusing to move while trying to get in and out of my slip and marina.
• Several articles have been written in marine magazines where people use fishing as a way to case boats and marinas for thefts.
• All this has happened to me.

Thank you for your time and attention in this matter.
Alan Hansen, Hansen’s Harbor