Facility Navigational Documents – End of An Era

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All USCG Aux facility owners know that they must submit their vessel for facility inspection by a Vessel Examiner each year, with the results documented on Form ANSC-7003.  This ensures that they have all of the necessary equipment aboard to safely and effectively complete their missions.  Included on the list are the following navigational documents: […]

Why Won’t This Boat Walk? Or Is It Me?…

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Those who have operated a twin engine boat may know that it’s possible to “walk” the boat laterally or sideways.  This is of course a huge boon for close quarters boat handling and docking a twin.  So you try it on your boat and it doesn’t walk at all – you might think there must […]

How the Heck Can I Remember All of These Rules?

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Ahh, the USCG Navigation Rules. Every mariner’s favorite topic – NOT.  They can be daunting to learn and remember and for many folks who use waterways they are completely unknown. However, anyone who ventures afloat on any vessel is responsible to know, understand and apply them. Even this last point is not known by most […]

The RPM Table and Search Patterns

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Coast Guard Auxiliary surface facilities need to be inspected each year to confirm that all required items are in place.  One of those items is an RPM table.  What is that?  Very simply, it is a table (or graph) that identifies the boat’s speed at various engine RPMs.  For example, here is the RPM table […]

The Art of Not Making Way

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Operating a power-driven vessel is generally pretty easy.  Push the throttle forward, and you get propeller discharge current which either flows across the rudder or is directed flow in the case of outboards and I/Os.  The faster you go, the more control you typically have due to the increased flow over the hull and through […]

Acting as a Man Overboard is Not a Competency

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If you were to look at the narratives of past Auxiliary mishaps across the nation, you’d see a lot of them involve crew falling into the water.  Not a good thing, especially in cold weather or at night.  At a minimum you’ll have a wet and exhausted crewmember and some paperwork to complete.  The worst […]

Line Handling Commands – Geek Out on Them

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Yes, it’s that topic again.  We discuss them a lot in the Ops world, every year.  And yet every year we have folks get underway and use them inconsistently or not at all.  Why is that?  Now I’m not suggesting everyone turns into A.J. Squared Away.  Who is that?  Here are a couple of online […]

How to Report Position While Underway

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We are all familiar with the requirement to report our ops status and position to whomever is maintaining our radio guard, normally at 30-minute intervals.  Of course the reason for this is to keep track of you for your safety, and to take action to find you in case something happens and you do not […]