ALL ABOUT BOATS Motorboats are divided into four classes according to length. A motorboat is measured from end to end along the centerline or parallel to the centerline. The measurement is from the outside of the hull and does not include outboard motors, brackets, other attachments or similar fittings.
Basic Hull Designs Basic hulls are either displacement hulls or planing hulls. A displacement hull moves through the water. A planing hull is designed to skim on top of the water and can travel at a much higher speed.
CAPACITY PLATE This plate will tell you the maximum number of people or carrying weight in pounds and the maximum horsepower recommended for the boat.
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS Alabama requires all mechanically propelled vessels, sailboats, and rental boats principally used in Alabama to be registered and numbered. All boats built since 1972 must have a Hull Identification Number (HIN). This number is like a serial number on a car.
PROPER DISPLAY OF BOAT NUMBERS Must read from left to right Displayed on forward half of bow Numbers must be in bold, block letters Not less than 3 inches high Contrasting color of boat Must be above waterline No other numbers or letters Valid decals must be displayed within 6 in. of number
PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES (PFD)
You will need one wearable per person One throwable Dont alter your PFD Let your PFD drip dry before storing it PFD must be U.S. Coast Guard approved Practice throwing your type IV PFD
FIRE EXTINGUISHERS All boats should carry readily accessible fire extinguishers that are U.S. Coast Guard approved Fire extinguishers are classified by letters and numbers according to the type and size of fire they can put out. Check frequently to be sure that fire extinguishers are properly stored and undamaged. Replace cracked or broken hoses. Check pressure gauges for proper pressure.
EMERGENCY SHUT-OFF SWITCH It is illegal to operate a motorboat less than 24 feet in length with an open cockpit and a motor with more than 50 horsepower unless it is equipped with an emergency engine or motor shut-off switch of which the lanyard must be attached to the operator.
BACKFIRE FLAME ARRESTORS Internal combustion engines may backfire. To safeguard against fire, all motorboats must have a U.S. Coast Guard approved backfire flame arrestor system on each carburetor.
WHISTLES, HORNS, AND BELLS According to both Inland and International Rules, all boats must carry some means of producing an efficient sound signal.
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS All vessels must show required running lights between sunset and sunrise and during periods of restricted visibility.
PARTICULARLY HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS Inadequate number of PFDs or fire extinguishers Overloading Failure to display required lights Fuel leakage Fuel accumulation Failure to meet ventilation requirements Failure to meet backfire flame arrestor requirements Excessive leakage or accumulation of water in the bilge
BASIC SAFETY REGULATIONS The U.S. Coast Guard and each state have enforcement officers for all state waters. In their jurisdiction, an enforcement officer has authority to stop and board boats to check for compliance with federal or state law.
NEGLIGENT OPERATION Negligent operation is the failure to exercise the degree of care necessary to prevent the endangering of life, limb, or property to any person. Skippers are responsible for damage caused by wakes. Do not ride on gunwhales, transom, or in any position that is obviously dangerous. Only moor to buoys that are marked for mooring
WATER SKIING Water skiing is prohibited in Alabama from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise. There must be a second person on the tow boat at least 12 years of age acting as an observer who must be capable of communicating to the operator the progress of the person being towed. If there is not a passenger, the vessel must be equipped with a wide angle mirror of at least 78 inches square.
The give-way vessel should alter its course or speed to give the other vessel the right of way.
The stand-on vessel holds course and speed and has the right of way.
If you are being overtaken, let them pass you.
OTHER NAVIGATION RULES A vessel leaving a dock should sound one prolonged blast. All vessels, including the stand-on vessel, must take action to avoid a collision if the other boat isnt following the rules in sufficient time. During fog, motorboats must sound one prolonged blast. Non-motorized vessels have the right of way.
WATERWAY MARKING SYSTEMS Some buoys are to regulate speed and others are for danger ahead.
WATERWAY MARKNG SYSTEMS Some buoys give the skipper information and some may prohibit certain things.
TYPES OF BUOYS Green buoys have odd numbers. Red buoys have even numbers.
MARKINGS Red Right Returning reminds the skipper that the red buoys mark the right side of the channel when returning from sea.
FLAGS These are two examples of the diver down flags. The first picture is of the flag in use.
LOADING To prevent capsizing a small boat, hand equipment to someone in the boat. Do not carry equipment aboard. Distribute all weight evenly fore and aft, as well as side to side. Never overload a boat!
BOARDING When boarding a small boat from a dock or pier, step into the center of the boat. Stay low and hold onto both sides to keep your balance. If it is necessary to change positions in the boat, reduce speed or come to a complete stop. When changing positions, keep low in the boat and hold onto both sides for balance.
FLOAT PLAN Description of boat Number of people on board Radio equipment Trip plan If not at destination by If emergency arises contact
GETTING UNDERWAY If you have a boat equipped with a power ventilation system, turn it on for at least 4 minutes prior to starting the engine. When underway, the skipper is responsible for the safety of all guests, the boat, and any damage the boats wake may cause. Avoid taking unnecessary risks that could endanger life, limb, or property.
ANCHORING Anchoring is done for two principal reasons: first to stop for fishing, swimming, or an overnight stay; and secondly to keep you from running aground in a storm or engine failure. Lower the anchor to the bottom and slowly back away. Do not throw the anchor over! Never anchor by the stern!!!
TRAILERING The length of the boat determines the length of the trailer. The beam (width) of the boat determines the width of the trailer. Never use a ball hitch that is too small. The trailer should be equipped with two safety chains. They should be strong enough to control the trailer if the regular hitch breaks. Hook the chains in the form of an X to the frame of the towing vehicle.
ACCIDENTS Most boating fatalities are the result of a capsizing or falls overboard. Most boating fatalities occur in small open boats on small inland bodies of water in mid to late afternoon, on weekends during summer months. Should the boat capsize, grab a PFD if youre not wearing one. Do not try to swim ashore! Stay with the boat until help arrives!!! Reach, Throw, Row, Go Pull person in over the stern.
ACCIDENTS cont The operator of a vessel must submit an accident report if a person dies, a person disappears, a person is incapacitated for a period of 72 hrs., or property damage is $50 or more. Hypothermia is a condition in which the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. This causes a dangerous reduction of the bodys inner core temperature.
SIGNALS The U.S. Coast Guard requires all boats operating in the U.S. coastal waters to carry visual distress signals.
WEATHER Most weather comes from the WEST Reduce speed. Put on PFDs. Head for the nearest shore. If engine fails, anchor. If you do not have an anchor, use a sea anchor. A sea anchor is anything on board that can create a drag.
POWER POINT Alabama Boating Basics Course Book Power Point produced by Tyler H. Murray September 2006