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It is another new year and most of us have tucked away our boats for the long winter of hibernation here in the North. This boat hibernation is not localized to just the northern part of the US, Boaters from San Fransisco Bay (and the Chesapeake on the Easy Coast) north usually park their vessels until the first days of spring.

So here are some New Years resolutions.

1. Prep the boat and do that one job that you have been putting off. There will be time right before you launch for paint, varnish and epoxy (and the weather will be warmer) in the spring. Now is the time to install those LED navigation lights, rewire the power distribution panel, change the steering helm and cables or fit a new toilet to your slumbering vessel. Pick just one job and follow it through so that you will be ready to play this next season.

2. Take a Boater’s Safety Course. Many States are requiring boaters to have completed a boaters safety course; currently, only 9 do not. Locally, the state course is often a one time class that you might not have to take for years, yet you could just ‘get it out of the way’. Some insurance companies offer a break for taking a course. The US Power Squadron (USPS) has come up with a boating safety course suitable for any students situation. There are several ways that you can take a USPS course, in class, online or through an interactive CD-ROM. Lastly, get those who boat with you aboard your vessel to complete a course – better yet, take it together.

3. Plan your next journey. Look up the information and make plans for your next boating adventure. One of the easiest ways to plan the route is using the C-Map system in your chartplotter. Whether you  are taking a trawler down the Intercoastal Waterway, a sailboat adventure to Alaska or just planning to visit those local lakes that you always wanted to fish. Internet research is easier than ever with private blogs about people doing similar things, YouTube videos or professional tour sites. Plan for those dreams and make them possible.

4. Join a professional organization that helps on the water. Volunteers are needed by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGA), Fish and Wildlife, Environmental study groups and others. There is no way better to connect with people and the marine enviroment as there is when you give your time. Whether it is helping repair a local boat ramp, counting spawning fish or inspecting vessels as a member of the USCGA, it is hard to find a more rewarding effort in a place that you care about.

5. Speaking of vessel inspection; get a vessel safety check by the USPS or the USCGA. Be a proactive boater and arrange to get this simple inspection that confirms that you have right equipment aboard (which you should have). The inspection is voluntary and is not boarding or a law enforcement issue. No citations will be given as a result of this encounter. You will be supply with a copy of the evaluation so that you may follow some of the suggestions given. Vessels that pass will get a VSC decal.

6. Get others involved in boating. Take a friend and expose them to boating. Send someone you care about a marine magazine. Share the enjoyment that you get from boating and take someone else down to the docks. Nothing fosters support better than those you care about getting involved with something you care about. Boating is about how the activity makes you feel as mush as it is about doing the activity.

7. Get a new or used boat. Now is a great time to purchase a boat – and what better activity that readying yourself for ownership in a boat if you have not had one. It is also a great time to upgrade to a larger vessel. A co-worker here bought a smaller sailboat so that their children might learn to sail a boat by themselves. Get one of those new smaller kayaks so that you can explore the shore while anchored in the perfect place. Whether big or small, increasing your boat stable may just help you spend more time doing what you truly care about.

Me? I have an electrical panel to install and have been putting off helping a friend who is a volunteer with a shoreline group… My resolutions for this year.

In 2010, the Frasier River watershed in Canada had its biggest sockeye salmon run in 97 years.  This mammoth run was in direct contrast to the 2009 run which was disastrously low at the end of a 20 year decline. The 2009 run was so significantly poor that the Canadian government formed a commission to investigate possible causes.

Just prior to the Canadian commission beginning the investigation of  the paltry 2009 run, commercial fishermen “started hauling in more Fraser River sockeye than any of them had ever seen.” reported by Daniel Jack Chasan of Crosscut.com.

There appears to be two significant factors that contributed to the boom run of 2010. First, in 2008 when the sockeyes were juveniles there were favorable water conditions. Second was the ash fall from the eruption of Alaska’s Kasatochi volcano in 2008. Volcanic eruptions result in an increase in iron in the water which in turn resulted in huge algae blooms that dramatically improved the fish’s food supply. A similar significant salmon run was reported in 1958 after Alaska’s Veniaminof eruption in 1956.

Beyond the natural environmental factors, other factors may be credited to man, including; improved logging practices, resurgence in organic (terra) farming, new protections for upstream habitat, restoration of habitat and restrained commercial fishing catch limits has begun to make a difference in salmon survival. Environmentalists are now optimistic that the huge 2010 sockeye run is a sign of better times ahead.

Salmon runs typically peak every 4 years. With this historical run there has been a turn in interest, both commercially and recreationally in salmon fishing in the Pacific Northwest. With the challenges that the boat building and fishing industries have faced in the past several years, this good news is well received; abeit with cautious optimism.

Grunden's Fishing and Rain Gear

 This years extraordinary salmon return has salmon fisheries on the West Coast of the United States ramping back up for a cautious return to commercial and recreational fishing.  According to Go2marine, they have seen upswing in demand for Grundens foul weather gear and Dutch Harbor gear. Refurbishing and upgrading fishing boats requires renewed hydraulic equipment, boat parts and marine supplies.  Go2marine and Go2hydraulics supports ecofriendly, sustainable fishing.



The winter holiday season is upon us. Many of you have put the boat away under cover or secured her at the dock for the long winter nap. This is the time to buy the ‘toy’ for the next seasons use!

Go2marine is your boats best friend! Not to be left out, we also carry products for your home – treasures for when you are away from the dock and longing for the water. Check out these great deals!

Handcrafted Model Ships & Boats

Free Shipping on Model Ships; set sail with the historic Bluenose or prepare yourself for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking with your own accurate ship model. From “Old Ironsides” to modern America’s Cup challengers and defenders, there is something for nearly every home or office.

Free Shipping on Select Weems and Plath; keep track of time, barometric pressure, temperature or tide with a quality built Weems and Plath Instrument. Manufactured of beautifully polished, solid cast brass, chrome or other fine metals with wood; there is a clock, barometer – or even a barograph – for a bulkhead, wall, mantle or desk in your life.

Ecofan 802 Airplus

On Sale, the Ecofan. Know someone with a wood or propane stove? The Ecofan is a great gift; it helps move air around and requires no electricity! The Ecofan makes its own electricity to run the fan from the heat of the stove. Simply set the fan on the stove and enjoy the principle of thermoelectric firsthand.

When you get back to your boat, you will really appreciate any of these items!

The Gill Clothing double deal! Free Shipping on select Gill clothing and if you order over $175 of Gill clothing you will also receive a free Gill Multitool. Prepare for the worst – dress with the best! Gill clothing had been in every ocean on the planet, subjected to some truly challenging environments and is regarded the as the sailors* favorite clothing. – *you can see them being worn on land as well!

AccuSat 406 EPIRB

Stay found with a new EPIRB. The AccuSat 406 EPIRB, Class 2 with a Non-Hazmat Battery can be shipped nearly anywhere and coded for your vessel and country or origin. 406 EPIRB’s are what the USCG recommends for all offshore mariners to use.  The GME Accusat 406 can make the difference between being found or drifting for 12 days.

Someone just too tough too buy for? The perfect gift is a Go2marine Gift Certificate.

“Really?” – You don’t even need to come out on deck to order! We have shipped to over 165 countries. Order on-line and have your item shipped to you before Christmas.

Visit our Holiday Gift Ideas section for more gift choices.

Merry Christmas from the Staff of Go2marine.

United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

 

Hello Boaters, 

It is Fall and for many of us we really appreciate the off-season boating. This season typically means that boaters encounter fewer boats and that the water and weather is subject to frequent changing conditions. Kirk Scarborough of the Coast Guard Auxiliary reminds boaters, “don’t be a boating casualty on the water. Follow these simple rules to have a safe and enjoyable day.” 

  • Check the weather before heading out on the water
  • Monitor the weather continuously with a Marine Radio
  • It is recommended that every one wear an approved PFD, but at a minimum, PFD’s should be readily available.
  • Know about the boat you are on; especially true for those renting or borrowing a boat.
  • More than one person (the skipper) should know the location of all Safety Gear, including the VHF Radio.
  • Do not rely on cell phones as a primary means of communication. Contacting someone on a cell phone precludes aid from a local Good Samaritan.
  • The best way to get help is through a Marine Radio.
  • File a Float Plan with someone who knows where you are going and when you are expected to return. USCG Auxiliary Float Plan in a printable PDF form that you can save to your computer.
  • Receive a free Vessel Safety Check from the USCG Auxiliary.
  • Take a safe boating class in the state you are in.

Marine Communication - VHF & SSB Radios & Satellite Phones

 

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is a uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America’s Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service’s missions.

Rocking the Boat - Spring 2010

15 years ago the Rocking the Boat volunteer project began as a way to offer teens in South Bronx hope for a better future through creating – then using a boat they built with their own hands. “I get to say [I’m] still in my first job out of college, which is kind of fun,” jokes the founder Adam Green, now 37.

There is weeklong concentration and training period of just using the tools to build the boats before any construction begins, as reported to Stephanie Lin for NBCNewyork.com. It takes 16 students 13 weeks to complete a single boat, from the raw wood and parts to a finished hull ready for the water.

Since August 1998 over 400 students from more than 40 different high schools have been involved in building 22 traditional wooden boats. The program highlights diversity form one of the nations poorest inner city areas. Boys and girls participate in equal numbers, and represent Latino, African-American, West Indian, Indian, Asian, South American, and African cultures. They are drawn mostly from the Bronx but also Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

In March, Rocking the Boat officially opened its new 6,000 square foot building in Hunts Point. There is a continued interest in boatbuilding and the opportunity it brings for personal growth and accomplishment.

Although Go2marine did not supply parts to the Rocking the Boat organization, we support special interest groups similar to Rocking the Boat. Go2marine supplies 1000’s of boatbuilders and owners each year with parts and support for projects ranging from non-profit groups to father/son activities to vessel repower and rebuild ventures. With over 170,000 boat parts, ranging from both powerboat and sailboat parts to complete engines and drive systems, there is something for nearly any boater.

Rocking the Boat, boat building project in the Bronx is unique and offers hope and skills that end up on the water and in peoples lives; this is certainly a case of when the boat is more than just a sum of the parts that make it up.

Serious about Barbequing?

August 6, 2010

Galleymate Marine Barbeques

This August is hosting the 50th Brisbane Boat Show in Australia. One of the product gems of this show is the Galleymate BBQ and its designer Andrew McGowan.

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.

Iceberg Alley, Antarctica ‘Team Mowbray’ - Expedition 2006-7

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”.

The award winning design of the Galleymate Barbeque is available in North America from Go2marine.

Galleymates Marine Barbeques - 1100, 1500, 2000, 3500

 

Family Boating Fun

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.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the USCG offer these tips for safe boating and play in the water.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Bay Sailing

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.