It’s All About Safety
BLIA Boat Inspections and Boating Safety Education
On Sunday, June 10, from 9 AM to 12 PM and again from 1PM to 4 PM BLIA in conjunction with the local Power Squadron will offer FREE certified boat inspections at two dock sites at the south end of Ballston Lake. Each inspection is expected to take about 20 minutes. Upon passing the inspection, your boat will receive a sticker to show that it has passed. The list of what is required by Federal and New York law in order to be in compliance with the regulations follows at the end of this article. It’s a good idea to review them before your scheduled inspection. Upon completion, a highly visible Boating Safety Certificate will be affixed to the boat.
Reservations are required. The skipper will be assigned a 30 minute time slot. Joanne DeVoe will coordinate reservation times. Call or e-mail her at 518- 573-0773 or email@example.com.
Why would I want to give up part of a nice Sunday to get our boat inspected?
Consider the following…
It’s about safety. When our boats are fully equipped with up to date safety equipment, we, our passengers and others on the lake are safer.
It’s about time. A good reason to earn that Inspection Sticker is that it reduces the possibility of being stopped when the Saratoga County Sherriff’s Marine Patrol is on the lake checking boats. Imagine you and your guests are out for a cruise and you are randomly stopped for a 20 minute inspection. We anticipate that Deputies from the Marine Sheriff Division will be patrolling the lake more frequently this year. Boats can be randomly stopped and inspected for any reason – or for no reason. It’s just their job!
It’s about money. There will be fines for violations. If boats sport the “Vessel Safety Inspection 2018” sticker which states “this vessel has been checked for safety,” you will get no more than a friendly wave. “Violations” include (but are not limited to) lack of documentation*, lack of enough PFDs (personal flotation devices) in good condition, fire extinguisher and flares beyond the “use by” date. Although safety committee members have inquired about the amount of these fines, they are told only that “the judge will decide.”
*Regarding required documentation, there is now a new mandatory motorboat education law stating “any person born on or after May 1, 1996 and at least 10 years old who operates a motorboat must be the holder of a Boating Safety Certificate. “Any powered boat” also refers to personal water craft (i.e. jet skis). The certificate must be kept on board along with the boat registration at all times. If requested, the skipper must be able to show his documents to the Marine Sheriff.
Peter Hermann offered the US Power Squadron Boating Safety class locally this spring, and it filled to capacity almost immediately. Watch your BLIA newsletter and website for announcements. Two small pamphlets – New York State Boater’s Guide and “A Boater’s Guide to the Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats and Safety Tips”, available at the Annual Meeting and boat shops are also excellent resources.
Watch the back of the boat. Carbon monoxide kills in minutes. So tell your passengers where your exhaust pipes are located and turn off your engine when people are in the water. Don’t let passengers “ski” or “teak-surf” by holding on to the back of the boat. Deaths have occurred from inhaling exhaust. Boats need TLC too. When you’re out on the water, make sure your gas tanks are vented and bilges are free of vapors, oil waste and grease and carry a charged fire extinguisher. (The Quill Newsletter – Bailey Place Insurance Spring Newsletter 2017)
Your Safety Committee reminds us all to be aware of swimmers, kayakers and canoers when boating. We are a small lake and a small community. Consideration and thoughtfulness go a long way. Remember to motor slowly through the narrows to reduce lakeside erosion and to keep a good distance from shore at the south end when turning to come back up the lake as a courtesy to those living there. Upon seeing a safety violation, the recommended recourse is to take a picture showing the boat registration number and report it.
FYI… Safety Requirements and Recommendations
Requirements: for Vessel Safety Check Sticker
- Display of NYS Registration Numbers Correctly
- NYS Registration ( Current )
- Personal Flotation Devices in good condition
- One Throw-able Flotation Device
- Visual Distress Signals ( Current Dates )
- Fire Extinguisher(s) Number Depends On Length Of Boat
- Ventilation (Inboard Motor)
- Backfire Flame Control (Outboard Motors Have Them Internally No Need for Inspection )
- Sound Producing Device (Horn, Whistle)
- Navigation Lights
- Anchor and Line For Area
- Access to BIN Number to Compare With Registration Info.
- Marine Radio
- Pump To Remove Water From Boat
- First Aid Kit
- Throw Line
- Flash Light