August 6, 2010
From the Blue Skies to the Deep Blue
Having spent 20 years maintaining and repairing some of the most sophisticated equipment as an air-force engineer in Australia, Andrew McGowan, decided to follow another passion – barbecuing – “The” Australian passion. Cooking on a boat with the ‘barbie’ has been taken to a professional level.
For the past 16 years, the inventor and business owner of Marine Barbecues, has invented and manufactured a line of outdoor marine cooking appliances for boaters around the world.
As reported in the Couriermail.com.au, Andrew McGowan offers, “It’s not the first thing people think of when planning any kind of ocean journey, but the catering side of boating is as vital as any other. We’ve had to pretty much reinvent the ‘wheel’ by using wind proof designs and materials that can withstand the wet and salty conditions.” This BBQ extends the cooking area when entertaining a visiting crew or crowd and frees up galley room below.
McGowan’s designs have already become the chosen flavour of leading North American boat builders with the orders piling up. Even Australian celebrities are queuing for his barbies; Steve Irwin bought one, Pat Rafter swears by them and former rugby league star Andrew Ettinghausen is a huge fan.
Built for the Harshest Environments
The 2010 Brisbane Boat Show states that around the world sailing adventurer, Tony Mowbray, is also an advocate. “You have to be able to trust your equipment when taking on long journeys and extreme conditions. It’s peace of mind to know you don’t have to worry about how to prepare food. The barbecue I have on my own boat (Ocean 60 Schooner ‘Commitment’) has been around Cape Horn 19 times and it’s even been to the Antarctic 20 times!”. While most of us enjoy a back yard sizzle, it’s a completely different kettle of fish to cook your catch in rolling seas with 40 knot winds and in temperatures down to -40 degrees!
Award Winning Construction
Andrew’s designs are an Australian first and are now sold in over 20 countries around the world. Apart from their durable materials and wind proof design, he’s also added see-through panels to ensure that while boat captains may endure the harshest of conditions, they can still be a master chef. This barbeque is really a mini kitchen that can roast, grill and barbecue. Additionally, many of the designs easily fit onto boat rod holders. With the accessories available, the choice of what and how you cook is nearly unlimited.
Last year, Andrew’s design won the National Hunter Manufacturers Award title for “Excellence in Product Design”.
August 4, 2010
It is half way through the 2010 summer boating season and Go2marine wants you to stay safe. Here are some reminders of safe water and boating rules. The first rule of boating is to stay aboard and not have an accident. The second rule is PFDs are the key to survival when in the water.
- Don’t Swim Alone: Do not allow children to swim without an adult. Even adults should never swim alone. It is best to swim with others. In a pool, swim at a depth that is safe for you. If you’re just learning to swim, stay in the shallow end. Keep in mind that swimming at night increases all risks.
- Follow Regulations: If you are at a public pool or beach, follow all regulations and lifeguard directions. Depth markers are important. You should never dive into shallow water. Additionally, if there is not a lifeguard on duty, you should take extra safety precautions.
- Learn to Swim and Boat: If you have a pool, or your family takes part in water activities, it is very important that you know how to swim. Learning basic swimming and boating techniques can save lives. Check with your local YMCA or community pool for information on swimming lessons from a certified swimming instructor. Most States and the USCG Auxiliary offer safe boating courses.
- Safety Equipment: It is important to keep rescue equipment by the pool or on your boat. PFDs – Life preservers and life jackets should be easy to access in case of an emergency. Additionally, adults and teens should know CPR. Statistics show that when CPR is performed, it improves the outcome for drowning victims.
PFDs – Flotation Vests: When boating, you should wear a US Coast Guard-approved flotation vest, regardless of your swimming abilities. Even while wading in the ocean, at the lake or in a river, it is recommended to wear a personal flotation device; and is especially important for inexperienced swimmers and children. Remember, water wings, noodles, inner tubes and rafts should never take the place of an approved PFD.
Designated Areas: Swim only at designated beaches or in swimming areas marked with buoys that keep boaters, water skiers and jet skiers away. If you cross these buoys, you run the risk of not being seen by boaters, and you could potentially be injured. Additionally, rip currents, tides and water depths may be deterrent the farther out you swim. Remember, designated swimming areas are the safest place to swim.
Don’t Drink* and Swim: At times, your swimming activities may also include a family BBQ or picnic. However, it is important to remember that alcohol and water sports don’t mix. Your chances of drowning or becoming injured increase greatly when under the influence of alcohol. Additionally, many beaches do not allow alcoholic beverages.
Surf Conditions: Ask a lifeguard about surf conditions before swimming in the ocean. Rip tides are dangerous and can catch even the best swimmers off guard. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore. Once you are free of the current, swim toward the shore. Rip currents can be recognized as water that is discolored, choppy, foamy or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from the shore. Report any hazardous conditions to the lifeguard on duty.
Warning Flags: Beaches post warning flags to alert swimmers of the day’s conditions. Be sure to check these flags before entering the water.
The USCG has enforced a nation wide crackdown on bow riding. One of the most likely ways to get killed or maimed on a boat is to ride on the front, or bow, U.S. Coast Guard officials warned while announcing a crackdown on the practice. Even having on a life vest may not help the person who falls overboard, officials said, since the boat’s hull and the propeller can pose serious and immediate threats of injury.
Speaking to the Washington Post, USCG Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Henise said compared the practice of riding on the front of a boat to riding on a car’s hood. “Would you put your child on the hood of your car and ride around?” he asked rhetorically.
The top five contributing factors to the accidents included boat operator inattention and inexperience, excessive speed, improper lookout and alcohol consumption. The report states that *alcohol consumption “continues to be of major concern” in fatal accidents, and was the leading factor in 16 percent of deaths.
In addition, a full 86 percent of boat operators involved in fatal accidents had not received boat safety instruction.
Some sobering statistics to ponder, did you know that:
- Swimming is the third most popular recreational activity in the US.
- Children from non-swimming households are eight times more likely to be at-risk of drowning.
- According to the United States Lifesaving Association, rip currents cause approximately 100 deaths annually in the United States.
- According to the USCG, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death among children younger than the age of 15.
- The CDC also estimates an average of 10 people — adults or children — drown every day in this country.
- 92% of children who survive a drowning are discovered within two minutes following submersion, and 86% children who die are found after 10 minutes.
- A total of 4,730 accidents recorded by the Coast Guard in 2009 caused 736 deaths, over 3,300 injuries and about $36 million in property damage.
Enjoy yourself, take your time and wear a PFD while boating. Play safe, know how to swim and have a buddy when in the water. Complete a safe boating course whether you are a new or long time boater.
In parting, here is something you can do to prevent the other common ‘fall overboard’ situation.