Author at Wooden Boat Show
The man who survived the July 4, 1999, windstorm in his small boat on the
open waters of Lake Superior will be a guest speaker June 23 at the North House
Wooden Boat Show & Summer Solstice Festival, in Grand Marais, Minnesota.
Marlin Bree, of Shoreview, Minn., was caught in the "Green Storm" in his 20-foot
home-built wooden boat on Lake Superior and survived downbursts estimated at 100
miles per hour. He was sailing alone out of Grand Portage and the storm that
devastated the BWCAW roared onto Lake Superior. Bree and his centerboard sloop,
the Persistence, were caught as they neared Thompson Island, a small island
guarding the mouth of Thunder Bay.
In his 11 a.m. presentation, Bree will show a videotape of his boat and tell how
the boat survived a near pitchpole and several near capsizes as they fought to
stay survive in what NOAA later described as a rare progressive derecho.
Bree is a former magazine editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and is a past
president of the Minnesota Press Club. He has been in Grand Marais as the guest
of the Cook County Historical Society. In 2004, Bree won the grand prize in the
Boating Writer's International writing contest for his first-person account of
his surivival in the July 4, 1999, derecho. His book, Wake of the Green Storm,
was on Amazon.com's regional best-seller list for more than a year.
MP Davidson Announces NEXUS Has Expanded to
All Canadian Waterways
Patricia Davidson, Member of Parliament for Sarnia-Lambton, on behalf of the
Minister of Public Safety, the Honorable Stockwell Day, announced today that the
NEXUS program has expanded to all Canadian waterways. This will allow eligible
Canadian recreational boaters to expedite their border clearance between Canada
and the United States.
NEXUS is a joint initiative of the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S.
Customs and Border Protection that facilitates quick and secure entry into
Canada and the United States for pre-approved, low-risk travelers.
In December 2006, the NEXUS Air, Highway and Marine programs were harmonized
into one trusted traveler program. NEXUS members are now “in for one, in for
all” and can cross the border using any of the three modes at participating
NEXUS is an initiative under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North
America that provides a framework to advance collaboration between Canada, the
United States and Mexico in areas as diverse as security, trade facilitation,
transportation, the environment and public health.
“Canada’s new government is delivering on its commitment to make our borders
smarter and more secure for Canadians,” said Minister Day. “As of today,
Canadian recreational boaters who are part of the NEXUS program will be able to
take advantage of this great program.”
“I encourage Canadian boaters to apply for a NEXUS membership because using a
NEXUS card is a more convenient, time-saving and secure way to cross the
border,” said Ms. Davidson. “Instead of waiting on arrival to get border
clearance, NEXUS members can now call 30 minutes to four hours ahead of time to
a telephone reporting centre in the marine mode.”
“The success of NEXUS has been instrumental in creating a secure and streamlined
crossing process for good neighbors on both sides of the border,” said W. Ralph
Basham, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “I look forward to
the continued success and expansion of NEXUS, and a continued strong working
relationship with the Canadian government and Canadian citizens.”
For more information, please visit the NEXUS Web site at www.nexus.gc.ca or call
New Research Vessel Based Out of Marquette,
The Lower Harbor in Marquette, MI is about to have a new resident.
The Department of Natural Resources' research boat, the Lake Char, will be based
out of Marquette, Michigan. It will be sailing and doing research during the
warm months and will dock in Marquette when Lake Superior gets cold and snowy.
"This is the first of a whole new generation of fuel-efficient and
environment-friendly boats to ply the Great Lakes for the research community,"
explained David Andersen of Andersen Boat Works.
The Lake Char will be surveying the number of foreign lake trout, their age,
growth rates, health, diet, survival rates and reproductive rates. The data
collected will provide researchers with the best ways to evaluate fishing
regulations as well as keeping track of new species of fish. "Lake Superior is
in very good shape compared to other Great Lakes in terms of fisheries, so it's
more of a long-term monitoring that we're doing," said Phil Schneeberger of the
Marquette Fisheries Station.
The crew is still putting the finishing touches on the boat, which will launch
on Lake Superior in early May.
Why Boats Sink In The Springtime
With the return of warm weather, boaters are once again cruising America’s
waterways. But some may be in for a rude surprise when they find their boat
sinks at the dock just after being put in the water. According to the April 2007
issue of BoatU.S Seaworthy newsletter, spring brings its own unique challenges
to preparing and maintaining a boat in seaworthy condition.
“While not widespread, sinkings at the dock this time of year are easily
avoidable,” said Seaworthy Editor Bob Adriance. “However, a spring sinking can
ruin a boating season since repairs may well have to wait because marinas and
boatyards are very busy outfitting and launching boats.” After combing through
the BoatU.S. Marine Insurance claims files for the most common causes of
springtime sinkings, Adriance has the following tips for boaters:
• Hose clamps: Winterizing an engine in the fall often requires the
removal of coolant hoses. But sometimes boaters are in a rush and the hoses
aren’t reattached and clamped properly. Adding to this, cramped engine boxes
mean that the hoses and the clamps holding them sometimes can’t be visually
inspected easily. In the spring you’ll need to ensure all of the hose clamps are
securely tightened in place.
• Hoses: During the winter as the water inside them freezes, some hoses
can lift off their attached seacock (valve). However, with spring’s warmer
temperatures the water now melts, and if the seacock was left open last fall,
water can pour into the bilge. Double clamping with marine-rated stainless hose
clamps, inspecting hose attachment locations, or keeping seacocks closed can all
save you from a spring sinking.
• Spring rains: Combine heavy rains with poorly caulked ports, deck
hatches, fittings, chain plates and scuppers clogged by last fall’s leaves and
you have a recipe for sinking. Just 100 gallons of water weighs over 800 pounds
so a boat with a low freeboard only needs to sink a few inches before cockpit
scuppers (drains intended to remove water) submerge and water starts to enter
the boat. Larger boats with cracked or improperly caulked fittings that are
located just above the waterline can also inadvertently let water in when they
become submerged. Ensure that rain rolls off the boat and not into it.
• Sea strainer: For inboard/outboard and inboard powered boats, if not
properly winterized, the intake sea strainer can freeze over the winter,
cracking or bending the inspection bowl. And if the seacock was left open the
boat will sink as soon as ice in the strainer thaws or the boat is put in the
water. Always inspect the strainer for cracks or other damage.
• Stuffing Box: If the stuffing box’s packing material that seals the
prop shaft is not tight, a steady drip will slowly swamp a boat. Also remember
that no stuffing box should leak when the prop shaft is not moving. Stuffing
boxes need to be inspected routinely, regardless of the season.
Donate Your Boat To Science
National Assocation of State Boating Law Administrators Accident Investigation
Program to Stage Boat Collisions
If you’re a boater with a passion for forensic science – and you have a
trailerable boat or PWC that you might consider using as a tax write off, a new
program funded by a grant from the U.S. Coast Guard could help the nation’s
waterway accident investigators improve training and better understand boat
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) is using
the grant to glean information from a series of staged, two-vessel collisions
starting this September in Virginia. A variety of powered, trailerable
watercraft, from bass boats, open runabouts and pontoon craft to small cabin
cruisers and personal watercraft will be involved. After the staged collisions
are performed, NASBLA intends to relocate the subject vessels to the National
Transportation Safety Board’s Training Academy in Ashburn, VA, where they will
be used in future NASBLA boating accident investigation training.
The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is assisting NASBLA
in its quest to secure donated boats for testing. Officers from the Virginia
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will help conduct the tests and
TowBoatU.S. Potomac Marine is assisting with the on-scene logistics of the
Watercraft owners who wish to donate their boat will receive verification of the
IRS 501(c3) donation for the fair market value. Boats need to be in operating
condition, including propulsion and include a trailer. Boat, motor and trailer
certification of legal ownership and assignment is also required and may include
either Certificate of Title, Certificate of Number or a Manufacturer’s Statement
To donate your boat or if you have questions about the types of boats NASBLA is
requesting, call 859-225-9687 or email:
The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national
501(c)(3) nonprofit education and research organization primarily funded by the
voluntary contributions of the 670,000 members of BoatU.S. TowBoatU.S. is part
of North America’s largest network of on-the-water towing services for
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Teams Up With the
“Wear It!” Life Jacket Campaign to Promote the “Be a Survivor!” Essay Contest
Contest launches during National Safe Boating Week (May 19-25th) continues
through Labor Day
The Coast Guard Auxiliary recently announced that it will support the campaign
effort by distributing information on life jackets and the “Be a Survivor!”
contest during Vessel Safety Checks beginning National Safe Boating Week and
proceeding through Labor Day.
“The ‘Be a Survivor!’ entry forms will have significant visibility, as they will
also be distributed through West Marine, the contest co-sponsor,” said Rebecca
Hall, a spokesperson for PCI Communications, who represents the National Safe
The initial focus of the collaboration between the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the
“Wear It!” campaign will be in those states with the highest number of accidents
and fatalities, which includes California, Florida, Texas, New York, Michigan,
Louisiana, Minnesota, Washington, North Carolina, and Missouri. “However, our
goal is to get the message out nationwide that a life jacket on a boat is like a
seat belt on a car – just wear it!” said Ed Sweeney, Chief of the Public Affairs
Department for the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Contestants are encouraged to submit an original story (350-700 words) that
describes how you or someone you love was saved by wearing a life jacket.
Winning stories will encourage a “survivor’s attitude” by convincing others to
wear their life jackets whenever they are out on the water.
All entries must be received no later than September 4, 2007.
Winners of the “Be a Survivor!” contest will be announced by October 15, 2007.
Contestants will have the chance to win one of three great prizes, provided
courtesy of West Marine, and may also have their story published in a future
edition of the National Safe Boating Council’s book, Saved by the Jacket.
For more information on the “Wear It!” life jacket campaign, or the “Be a
Survivor!” essay contest, visit www.safeboatingcampaign.com.
The Boat Insurance Maze: Important Buying Tips
From BOAT U.S.
Unlike home or auto insurance, boat insurance policies can vary widely from one
company to the next. Which type is best for you? BoatU.S., the nation’s largest
recreational boat owners association, has some tips for you.
· Ask around: How an insurance company handles a claim and lives up to
expectations is a great indicator of the policy’s real value, so ask your
friends about their insurance claim experience. Was the company prompt? Did they
keep the policyholder informed? How helpful were they in processing the claim?
You can also research potential insurance carriers at www.ambest.com/ratings.
The ratings are the industry’s benchmark for assessing an insurer’s financial
strength; look for an “A” rating (excellent) or better. State insurance
regulatory agencies are also a good reference and can be found online.
· Homeowner’s or separate policy for the boat? Consider buying a separate
insurance policy for the boat, rather than adding it to your homeowner’s policy
as the latter often limits certain marine-related risks such as salvage work,
wreck removal, pollution or environmental damage. Whatever amount the boat is
insured for, it should have a separate but equal amount of funds available for
any salvage work. This means that you’re compensated for the loss of your boat
and not having to pay additional, out-of-pocket costs to have a wreck removed
from a waterway.
· Agreed Value vs. Actual Cash Value: These are the two main choices that
boaters face and depreciation is what sets them apart. While it typically costs
more up front, an “agreed value” policy covers the boat at whatever value you
and your insurer agree upon - there is no depreciation if there is a total loss
of the boat (some partial losses may be depreciated). “Actual cash value”
policies, on the other hand, cost less up front but factor in depreciation and
only pay up to the actual cash value at the time the boat is declared a total or
partial loss or property was lost.
· Boaters are different: A good insurer will tailor your coverage to fit
your needs so there will be no surprises. For example, bass boaters may need
fishing gear and tournament coverage as well as policies that allow them to
easily trailer their boat far from home. You may want “freeze coverage” if you
live in a temperate state because ironically, that’s where most of this kind of
damage occurs. “Hurricane haul-out” coverage helps foot the bill to move your
boat to dry ground when a storm approaches. And if some boaters are only
concerned about potential injuries or property damage, or they just need to meet
the requirements of their marina’s slip contract, a liability only policy may be
just the ticket.
For more info, visit www.BoatUS.com/Insurance or call 800-283-2883. BoatU.S. is
the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters.
All contents are copyright (c) 2007 by
Northern Breezes, Inc. All information contained within is deemed reliable but
carries no guarantees. Reproduction of any part or whole of this publication in
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prohibited except by consent of the publisher.