Episode-2041- Jason Rahlek on Boating Safety — 3 Comments

  1. Jason,
    Since every GPS I have had displayed Lat & Long I am assuming that the USCG has a specific format that they use which is probably either DDD°MM.MMM’ DDD° MM’ SS.S” or DDD.DDDDD°. If so, which one, so I can set my display to that format.

    The PLB’s are nice but when offshore, I prefer an EPIRB. They serve the same function, broadcast at the same MHz and both use the same Cospas-Sarsat satellites. They do cost twice as much but they broadcast about twice as long, many will activate automatically when they are out of the bracket and wet, are usually tougher and many have a built in strobe. Just read the rules about testing either of these, there is a specific procedure. Improper testing is more serious than a prank 911 call.

    Plowing off plane at a moderate speed throws way more wake than blowing by on a plane. If you can’t get down to idle speed, please just blow by me on plane.

    There is no reason not to carry a hand held VHF along with the mounted radio and just because you can’t hear them doesn’t mean they can’t hear you. Also learn which channels are for what. Same thing goes for your GPS and compass.

    Know the weather reports before you go out. All the seas are NOT the same, 4′ seas in the Atlantic around Florida are not bad. 2′ in the Gulf is not fun and 4′ will beat the shit out of you. The Atlantic usually has orderly clean sets with long intervals. The Gulf of Mexico seas are just confused.

    And lastly, the boat ramp is not the place to be loading stuff in the boat, taking straps off, unhooking, putting the plug in etc. Same thing when getting the boat out, that should be done while in line or in the parking lot. Not every ramp is a one lane ramp. If the ramp is wide enough for 2 trailers, back in along one side or the other.

    • I’ve stood watch in some of those very call centers before, as for the format when you call the CG for assistance, give it to them however you want.

      In my experience I’ve seen most military maritime charts that are frequently used display DD°MM.MM, DDD°MM.MM. BUT every watch stander (and response boat coxswain) will know how to switch from Minutes-Seconds to Degrees-Decimals.