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Boating Information

Float Plan App for iPhone

Float Plan Release

Florida By Water has released a FREE iPhone app to aid in safe boating.

 

As most boaters should know it is a good idea to file a float plan before you leave the dock. The issue has always been that the plans tend to be long and useless to the recreational boater. With today’s technology, this process has now become automated. Float Plan –Essential Tool For Boaters is a simple app that allows you to store and save your vital boat information. Before you leave the dock, you simply open the app and choose “file float plan”. Next enter your leaving location, time of departure and expected return time. Then press file. The application will send your information to your predetermined contact by e-mail. The e-mail includes all of your boating information along with a map link to Google maps that will show the contact the exact location of your departure. Once you return, you simply press “close float plan” and the app will send an email saying you have safely returned. The process takes less that 30 second to file and could save your life.

One additional feature that should be mentioned is that the “plan” has a field for your MMSI number. This number can be provided to the United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will then be able to locate your boat in case of an emergency. For more information on MMSI numbers go to http://boatus.com/mmsi or watch the video on youtube.

 

Download the App (you must have iTunes)

VHF 101 Basics

 

If you have a marine you maintain watch on channel 16 whenever the radio is not being used to communicate.

If you need a radio check request it on a working Channel, IE 68 or 69. Not 16 Never use CB lingo (IE breaker 1, 9 Breaker 1, 9)

Keep communications short, a single word is easier to understand rather than a long sentence

The Term “Roger” means I understand your transmission.

“Wilco” means I understand your transmission and I will comply with your request.

* Never say Roger Wilco (the two words do not go together) Use Affirmative for Yes and Negative for no.

There is no such thing as over and out. It’s either one or the other. Over means I have completed my statement and I am awaiting your reply. Out means I have completed my communication and I am returning to the hailing channel (16)

Channel 9 and 16 are used for haling only. Once you have contacted a vessel be sure to move your conversation to a working channel.

New Boating Regulations

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Press Release

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and other law enforcement agencies throughout state are out to alert Floridians to new laws and enhancements to existing laws that deal with boating under the influence, boating safety education, waterway markers, possession of gasoline on a vessel and destruction of coral.

The enhanced penalty for BUI is the same as it is for driving under the influence. The blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.20 that was a violation in the past has changed to 0.15.

DSC/VHF and MMSI Numbers

If you’re a new boater -- or even if you’ve been boating for years, you’ve probably noticed how many new features are available among today’s available selection of marine radios. It can be a little overwhelming --and far too complicated! There is one feature, however, that strives to be as simple as possible – and that’s called Digital Selective Calling – or DSC. Today, we’re going to look at the proper use of the DSC radio, and how this feature could help save your life by taking the “search” out of “search and rescue!”

First, what is Digital Selective Calling and what are its benefits? DSC is a digital transfer between radios – as opposed to traditional “voice only” radios. This service allows mariners to instantly send an automatically formatted distress alert to the Coast Guard. The Rescue 21 system -- currently being deployed in stages across the country -- allows the Coast Guard to receive these digital transmissions.