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Focus on boat safety for children
It was back to school for 16 Bayswim swim instructors who undertook the Safe Boating course at Baywave this week. Developed by Coastguard Boating Education the course is designed for school students with some water experience and is a mix of theory and practical-based learning.
In upcoming months staff at various pools and learn to swim schools throughout Tauranga will go through the course which is fully funded by the Pub Charity. For Bayswim, the aim now is to integrate the course with its own Schools in Pools programme which they deliver to local schools in the community. CBE training coordinator Julia Bryant says there are numerous water safety programmes out there but many swim instructors know little about boating.
“They end up teaching information that someone else has passed on to do, whereas with me they get a hands on practical experience.
“With a country of over 450,000 boats there's a chance that kids are going to go out on the open water at some stage.”
Information covered in the theory section of the course includes safety equipment found on a boat, personal safety devices and anchors. While the practical session gets participants in the water to feel the stability of a boat, swimming underneath and climbing back on board, plus performing rescues from boats.
In the last 12 months about 25,000 school students have gone through the course – which has doubled in size from the previous year.
“Every student gets a certificate with Coastguard Boating Education on it. Our hope is it goes home to mum and dad who then consider doing a course themselves.
“It is our goal is to make the kids ambassadors for the Safe Boating programme.”
Bayswim's Schools in Pools programme provides swimming lessons to all primary schools age groups up to years 5 and 6. It is supported by Sport Bay of Plenty and Water Safety NZ. Manager Sean Tretheway says last summer the Bay of Plenty suffered the highest drowning rate in the country.
“It's a major concern for me, especially when we are surrounded by the ocean. We want everyone to be safe and enjoy being in the water.
“Over the last two years Schools in Pools has grown rapidly and we're aiming for to put 3500 kids through the programme this year.”
Sean's objective now is to modify Schools in Pools to include the Safe Boating course, with the aim of delivering it by the next school term. They also plan to offer the course to other schools who do not take part in their programme as an end of year day trip leading into Christmas.
“So instead of coming in and spending the day on the hydroslide, they'll come in and play on an inflatable boat with life jackets instead.” Sean says the Safe Boating course was a fun and interesting day of learning and would like to thank Julia and the Pub Charity for the opportunity to upskill his staff. The instructors were all really involved in this course and enjoyed what they learnt through the programme, he says. “They are really excited to and already you can see their brains already ticking over with ideas of how they'll run it.”
Article from SunLive: Posted at 7:01am Thursday 02 Oct, 2014 | By David Tauranga
Welcome to another week of relatively wretched weather for boating. It looks like there is going to be a decidedly average westerly wind around for the week, up around the 20-knot mark and again strengthening in the weekend.
There are a few windows of opportunity though, so make the most of them as they appear. You never know, summer may arrive before Christmas.
Bream Bay is the place to be and lends itself nicely to the westerly forecast during the week. The pilchard boat has been down there hammering the pilchards but as a sideline, it is creating the world's biggest inshore berley trail.
Snapper, kingis and trevally have all been coming out with relative ease. Rapalas and stick baits have been catching consistently.
The bait schools showing up are fantastic and right on cue for the spring feed up.
Snapper are patrolling these bait schools and a few have been hooked on rapalas or live baits intended for bigger kingfish. There are pockets and roving small schools of snapper all over the place and with the water not warming up much lately, that's the way you'll find them for a while yet.
Saying that, a number of guys have done well finding likely structure or baitfish and parking up with plenty of berley and straylining for them.
There's some good fish out there for the taking, don't be disheartened by a sounder full of fish and no bites, persevere and it will happen.
Tarakihi are still on the bite, and snapper are among them while Three Mile Reef has produced a couple of pup hapuka this past week so you may find them with the tarakihi - especially near some deeper foul.
The Hen and Chicks has been producing reasonably consistent results for kings, trevs, snapper and tarakihi. The Chicks is an interesting place and is one you think you know really well and have sorted, only to be dealt a dud hand and find a skunking after a couple of recent good trips. Such is the nature of the beast and it seems to have a lot to do with current direction.
The Whangarei Harbour is slowly coming alive. Whitebait are moving and so are the snapper in the shallows, fish have been caught as far up as Limestone in recent times.
Sharks and rays can also be found in abundance from now on so do expect a bit of a spooling on light gear from time to time.
Fishing is hot and only going to get better. Get out there folks when the weather allows.
Article from the Northern Advocate: 12:14 PM Wednesday Sep 17, 2014
Tips could save boating trips from turning to custard before vessels hit the water
As thousands of Kiwis prepare their boats to make a splash over summer, fishing expert Nicky Sinden has urged boaties to ensure their journeys don't sink before their vessels even hit the water.
It is estimated there are up to 200,000 crafts on trailers parked in backyards and driveways across New Zealand. Boat trailers account for about a third of all trailers in the country.
Each year, on average seven people are killed and a further 45 are seriously injured as a result of a towing accident.
Sinden — host of Prime TV's ADOS Addicted to Fishing — said while the boating season was a time to enjoy, too many trips were ruined by a lack of basic towing knowledge and boat ramp etiquette.
"It is amazing how many people set off for a nice family day on their boat and it quickly turns to custard before they even get it into the water," Sinden said.
"I have seen a lot of boat ramp rage, when people lose the plot with each other for not following a few simple rules. I haven't seen any blood drawn yet, but on a few occasions it has been close."
To coincide with this weekend's On the Water Boat Show at Auckland's Viaduct Harbour, Ford NZ has launched a safety campaign highlighting the dangers of towing and giving boaties tips on how to mitigate risks.
"For newcomers, a good idea is to practice on days when the weather is horrible and ramps are quiet".
More than one million people take to New Zealand waters in recreational craft each year.
But Sinden said newcomers and experienced boaties alike were falling foul of carelessness and bad tempered behaviour at boat ramps.
"I have seen some busy ramps where there are up to 10 vehicles with boats on trailers queuing to get into the water," she said.
"Tempers can get frayed and I've seen people get into a panic when impatient boaties waiting their turn start shouting at them which can lead to serious errors and accidents."
Sinden said common mistakes include people trying to get their boats off slippery ramps with bald tyres on their cars and not having vehicles powerful enough to tow trailers and craft off sand.
"The best way to make things go smoothly on the ramps is to pull over to the side before you get there and first make sure all the right equipment is in place, so that the boats can be launched quickly," she said.
"For newcomers, a good idea is to practice on days when the weather is horrible and ramps are quiet.
"Even when boats have been successfully launched, there is still plenty of potential for things to go wrong," Sinden added.
"I have seen people not tie their boats up before taking their trailer and car away from a ramp and as a result their craft has floated off and bashed into another, causing a lot of damage.
"I have even seen expensive boats sink because the owners have forgotten to put the plug in the bung hole, which is about as basic an error as you can get."
Towing advice for a safer summer
From the NZHerald. Sunday 28th Sept
Visit our stand at the 2014 Auckland On Water Boat Show. Stand number OS12A (Pavilion 3). Talk to Lloyd and the team for some great show specials!
We've presented a few of the most debated outboard motor questions to the experts and here's how they answer them.
For many kinds of boating, the outboard motor is the answer. But it comes with questions, too — which is better, two strokes or four? What's the right prop? Is the bigger motor the better motor? We've presented a few of the most debated questions to the experts, and here's how they answer them.
Question: Are four-strokes always better than two-strokes?
Answer: Are Fords better than Chevrolets? Paper better than plastic? When it comes to outboard power, the question is four-stroke vs. two-stroke. If you believe what you hear, the answer is etched across the stone board — four-strokes rule. But dig deeper and you find the answer isn't so clear.
First, the technical distinction. Four-stroke outboards, like the engine in the car in your driveway, burn straight gasoline within cylinders, circulating lubricating oil through a separate system. Oil and gas don't mix, unless there's a breakdown. Two-stroke engines, in contrast, burn a blend of gas and oil.
Traditional two-strokes were fed their oil-gas mix fuel by carburetor or injector into the cylinder through an intake valve. During part of this feeding, the exhaust valve was also open, and up to 30 percent of the fuel escaped unburned.
Jump ahead to two-stroke direct-fuel-injection (DFI) engines. The fuel is sprayed into the cylinder with precision timing while the piston covers the exhaust valve. There's no loss of fuel. (In four-stroke engines, thanks to their four piston strokes per cycle, intake and exhaust take place at separate times.) DFI two-strokes and four-strokes both deliver much better fuel economy than traditional two-strokes, since they're directed by computer and burn virtually all of the fuel. Evinrude's E-TEC two-stroke DFI engines inject fuel twice as fast as standard direct injection, even adjusting the fuel delivery and oil-gas mix as needed. We've tested the E-TEC engines, and they're just as smooth and almost as quiet as four-strokes while maintaining more traditional two-stroke power.
On the other side, four-stroke motors are also erasing what was a clear division just two years ago, the one that said two-strokes are inherently more powerful. The industry once envisioned a 100 hp limit for four-strokes because of their extra weight. But the limit has vanished. Witness Suzuki's new 300 hp, at just 604 pounds.
"It's a closer call than ever before," says Mercury spokesperson Eric Pope. "The biggest myth is the idea that two-strokes are noisy, smelly and not very fuel efficient. It isn't true today." Two versus four is now more a matter of boater preferences than ground-shaking practical distinctions. Through it all, both modern four-strokes and DFI two-strokes are mechanical marvels. Difference, What Difference?
Question: Are two motors better than one?
Answer: Max horsepower on your boat is 300. Should you install one 300 hp motor or two 150s? You'll mainly see duals (and triples) in offshore fishing applications. In most cases you can bet they've been installed for peace of mind for boaters who have visions of catastrophic loss of an engine at sea. Duals have also earned favor for making docking an easier task, thanks to the engines having props revolving in opposite directions. But for this protection against an unlikely event, and for simpler steering dockside, a boater pays more money upfront — a lot more. Rigging with a pair of motors means you have to duplicate the controls and generally complicates installation.
"In performance, it's a wash," says Suzuki spokesman Rick Hauser. "Three hundred horses are three hundred horses, whether it comes through one prop or two."
So it really comes down to economics. If the price difference is not an issue, then twins are worth considering. Otherwise, a single is the simpler call.
Question: Is high-octane gas best?
Answer: When high-compression engines came on the scene, the increased pressure in their cylinders sometimes caused fuel to explode too early. That preignition, called spark knock, was more than an irritating noise (although certainly that); it caused engine damage. The solution was to add materials to the fuel that would slow the ignition until the piston was ready for the spark plug to activate, which would avoid damage and make efficient use of that higher compression. So now, the higher the octane rating, the better the fuel can handle compression.
Sounds good. But the truth is high-octane fuel — usually 92 or 93 octane — is a waste of money for the majority of outboards. Most are built to run happily on 87 octane. Some manufacturers — such as Tohatsu — do recommend midrange fuel, usually 89 octane. Check your owner's manual, and fuel up with what it prescribes. Go above the recommended octane and you're giving away about 20 to 30 cents per gallon.
Question: Should I rig with the biggest motor allowed?
Answer: Boat buyers years ago were made rightfully leery of boat packages when some dealers priced them with puny outboards, and then coached the consumer up to a more respectable power plant before closing the deal. Those who spent the extra bucks for a bigger motor were generally well-served; those who stayed with a small motor for the lower price point were often disappointed. Things are better now: There are fewer underpowered packages on the market. Still, bigger is generally better. One of the worst things you can do is under-power a boat. You'll never savor the performance built into the hull. You won't be as prepared to scoot from an approaching storm. Potential buyers of your boat down the road will cast a jaundiced eye. Going with the boat maker's maximum rating, found on the inspection plate, is a pretty safe bet. If you're on the fence, you can check with boat manufacturers, who generally have available test data on the boat of your choice powered with various makes and models of engines. Go for the Gusto
Question: Is any prop proper?
Answer: The maker of your outboard probably equipped it with a decent, middle-of-the-road propeller. If not, the dealer likely did. But if either of them installed the perfect prop for you, it was probably dumb luck: The correct prop depends on how you'll load your boat, and how you'll use it. First, some propeller basics. Props are measured in diameter and pitch. You remember diameter from high-school geometry, of course, but pitch? That's the theoretical distance the propeller would travel through one complete revolution if there was no slippage. Moving away from the prop itself for a minute, consider that engine manufacturers rate their product's horsepower at a specific rpm, setting rpm ranges for top-end operation. It can only hit that top-end bracket if it's powering the right propeller. If the prop allows the motor to over-rev, wear and friction can occur. If the propeller restrains the motor from reaching that prime range, it gets poor mileage and you risk other damage. You can protect your motor and improve its performance by picking the right pitch. You can test your prop by running your boat at wide-open throttle. (If you're over the maximum rpm, throttle down until the needle is within the manufacturer-suggested range.) Ashore, inspect the propeller to learn its pitch. Figuring that you get about a 200 rpm drop for each increase in pitch, try a different prop. A cupped propeller will also reduce rpm by about 200. Some dealers will even let you test a prop, provided you return it undamaged and promptly. As long as it hits but doesn't exceed the motor's top-end range, a prop delivering wide-open rpms toward the bottom of the range provides stronger hole shots, while those toward the top generate slightly higher top speeds.
Question: Are outboards maintenance-free?
Answer: There is little you need to do to maintain a modern outboard — but what is still needed is vitally important. You can blow up an engine by neglecting its cooling needs, clog it up by ignoring potential fuel problems, bust it up by letting the lower unit sit over winter with leaky seals. Depleted zincs can invite corrosion. Dinged props can shake the stuffing out of bearings and other moving parts. Owners manuals have slim maintenance sections. That doesn't mean they're unimportant. Maintenance Mantras
How to get home when your boat's steering fails you
From Boating Magazine. By Kevin Falvey Posted Oct 10th, 2014 at 3:48pm
I once steered a boat from 20 miles offshore, through an inlet, and then proceeded down a winding channel all the way to my marina. Some of you might think of this feat as no big deal. But let me reveal that the task was accomplished using a landing net.
After a morning of drift-fishing, my dad and I fired up the engine to head in, only to discover that the cable steering had locked up tighter than a clam. “Get the paddle,” said Dad.
With 20-something nautical miles to the sea buoy, I looked doubtfully at the paddle hanging in the cuddy. But I had misunderstood the old man’s reasoning. He intended that we’d use the paddle as a rudder, not for propulsion. (insert light-bulb over head.)
He put the engine in gear and I dropped the paddle over the side. The boat turned, but the force against the blade was so strong I couldn’t hold the paddle for very long. So we tried the net.
With the hoop end of the net in the water, and me riding side-saddle on the gunwale, I placed my foot against the hoop’s frame and held on to the handle. My leg muscles were stronger than my arm’s, and the water passing through the net provided enough resistance to create direction change even at somewhat higher speeds. Control was imprecise, what with me having to shift sides as we “oversteered” first one way and then the next.
But three hours of S-turns later, we were in front of our marina. Now, not everyone can use a net to steer a boat. Some boats and some conditions won’t allow it. The incident taught me that it’s imperative to have a backup steering plan. For inboard boats, a tiller can be fashioned that connects to the rudderpost. This enables steering by stationing a crew member in the engine room. It may even be possible to fabricate a vertical extension of the rudderpost that extends above cockpit level to which the makeshift tiller can be attached. We’re talking pipe and/or lumber here; nothing fancy.
Outboard-, sterndrive- and pod-powered boats require a different setup. I have seen the aftermath of a gaff handle, duct-taped to an outboard’s cowling, having been used as a tiller. It got the boat home, but the cowling was toast (and may not have held up at all had the seas been rough). So for any boat, I suggest the bridled bucket as emergency steering gear.
You can make your own by cutting the bottom off of a drywall-compound bucket and replacing the wire handle with a handle made of stout line. Next, make a bridle with a length of line that’s twice the beam of your boat by tying the bucket to the middle of this line and each line end to corner cleats, transom ring or other sturdy, “tow worthy” deck fittings.
To use the bucket, simply shorten up the bridle on the side you need the boat to turn. Build the thing and practice with it. You may be surprised how much control it will give you.
At the least, you’ll impress the hell out of the towboat captain or good Samaritan who arrives after hearing your call of lost steering.
Quick Tip: Rudimentary knowledge of disconnecting a steering system will be needed before you can use a makeshift steering system.
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