Outdoors

Three simple boating safety tips get to core hazards


Grant Forest of Coeur d'Alene has one of the biggest racing boats in the area, a 36-foot Eliminator 2005. Off-shore racing boats are becoming popular on Lake Coeur d'Alene. 
 (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Grant Forest of Coeur d'Alene has one of the biggest racing boats in the area, a 36-foot Eliminator 2005. Off-shore racing boats are becoming popular on Lake Coeur d'Alene. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

BOATING — Following are boating safety tips based on the 30 years the Marine Insurance damage avoidance publication Seaworthy has combed through the BoatUS claims files to shed light on how boats are damaged and how boaters are injured, and to suggest research-based solutions to keep it’s readers from becoming a statistic. 

  1. Wiring faults are the No. 1 cause of boat fires.  DC wiring problems lead the pack in causes of boat fires, with shore power faults a close second. Every boater needs to make maintaining their boat’s electrical system a priority.
      
  2. Swimming in a marina is a leading cause of boating-related accidents. It's not just the potential for being over. Nearly a decade ago, Seaworthy first reported on “electric shock drowning” (ESD) in which leaking 110-volt electrical current was taking the lives of young swimmers in fresh water. The difficulty in distinguishing ESD from drowning kept the problem from being well understood or publicized until recently.
      
  3. Ethanol and boats don’t mix (very well): After BoatUS members in the Northeast began to complain of mysterious catastrophic engine failures and myriad fuel system problems such as rotted fuel lines, gunked carburetors and fuel tanks nearly a decade ago, investigations shed light on an issue.  Reseach the issue for your own boat use.



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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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