Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Safety Patrol

Power Squadron focuses on providing boating safety courses

LEESBURG - As National Safe Boating Week commences, local law enforcement and boating organizations are out in force to encourage safety.

Click here for the complete article

Kerry Kline
Commander Harris Chain Sail & Power Squadron

Saturday, May 17, 2008

House Committee Passes Clean Boating Act of 2008, Moves Bill to Full House for Consideration

Time running out for America’s boaters; NMMA continues call for action


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 15, 2008 - - The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) today applauded the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (T&I) for approving commonsense legislation introduced by Representatives Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) and Candice Miller (R-Mich.), Co-Chair of the House Boating Caucus.

The Clean Boating Act will ensure recreational boaters and anglers, including un-inspected charter fishing boats, will not need federal permits to operate their boats. The T&I Committee, chaired by Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), approved H.R. 5949, the Clean Boating Act of 2008, by voice vote, paving the way for its consideration by the full House of Representatives.  

“The Clean Boating Act is a bipartisan, good government solution to a looming administrative and legal crisis for boaters across America,” said Scott Gudes, NMMA vice president of Government Relations. “On behalf of America’s recreational marine industry and the nation’s 59 million adult boaters, NMMA thanks Chairman Oberstar, Ranking Member John Mica (R-Fla.), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.), Rep. LaTourette, Rep. Miller, and all the Committee members for moving this crucial bill forward.”

“NMMA also wishes to thank Rep. Gene Taylor of Mississippi, Co-Chair of the House Boating Caucus, who along with Rep. Miller brought us to this important point by introducing and advocating tirelessly for H.R. 2550, the Recreational Boating Act of 2007,” added Gudes. “H.R. 2550, which accumulated nearly 100 bipartisan cosponsors, was absolutely crucial, and Congressman Taylor is to be commended.”

 “Congress’ work is far from over,” Gudes continued. “We now strongly urge the full House and the United States Senate—where identical legislation has 33 bipartisan sponsors—to quickly pass this legislation and send it to the President for signature into law well in advance of the September 2008 permitting deadline.”

H.R. 5949 is identical to S. 2766, Senate legislation introduced by Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) that now has 32 bipartisan cosponsors. S. 2766 is pending before the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, chaired by Sen. Boxer.      

The Clean Boating Act would fully and permanently restore a longstanding regulation that excludes recreational boaters and anglers from the federal and state permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act designed for land-based industrial facilities and ocean-going commercial ships. This exemption was overturned by a federal court in 2006 in a case focused exclusively on ballast water from commercial vessels. The Clean Boating Act has the support of the $37 billion recreational marine industry, the nation’s 59 million adult recreational boaters and more than 50 organizations involved in outdoor recreation, sportfishing, hunting and conservation.   

Chairman Oberstar pledged to soon hold a hearing on commercial vessel discharges and work on separate legislation dealing with non-recreational vessels, which he said was a more complicated issue. Oberstar urged his colleagues on the Committee to move the Clean Boating Act in a way that eases its path toward quick enactment into law.

“The Committee has done good work in passing this legislation,” said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “Now it is time for Congress to swiftly pass the Clean Boating Act of 2008 to not only preserve one of America’s favorite ways to enjoy the great outdoors, but also the American marine manufacturing industry that provides hundreds of thousands jobs in this country. America’s boaters want to protect our natural resources and deserve to enjoy the outdoors without federal red tape and excessive legal jeopardy.”

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters in the United States. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy, market research and data, product quality assurance and marketing communications.



200 E. Randolph Dr., Suite 5100

Chicago, IL  60601-6528




CONTACT:       Lindsey Johnson (; 312-946-6204)

                        Ellen Hopkins (; 312-946-6249)



Thursday, May 08, 2008

For non-Canadian residents boating in Canada

The boating season in the north is rapidly approaching as the weather gets warmer. The following information is necessary reading if you plan to operator a pleasure craft in any waters of our good neighbors to the north.

For non-Canadian resident boating in Canada, the exact regulations are found in the Canadian Shipping Act, Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulation at

Disclaimer: Without being a legally binding interpretation, this is what it says:

Section 3 (Prohibitions), Subsection 2 (b): non residents of Canada can operate their pleasure craft in Canada (all provinces and territories) for less than 45 consecutive days if “Competent”.

Section 4 (Competency), Subsection 2: “A person who is not a resident of Canada is “competent” to operate a pleasure craft” (b) “if the person has been issued a certificate or other similar document by the person's state or country of residence attesting that the person has acquired the boating safety knowledge required by the state or country”.

There are other regulations for boats chartered in Canada.

The 44 days is consistent with International agreements. Basically, a qualified US boater can sail his vessel for less than 45 consecutive days in Canadian waters. Non-residents operating their pleasure craft in Canadian waters after 44 consecutive days and hold an Operator card or equivalent issued to a non-resident by their state or country will be considered as proof of competency.

Of higher concern is the Operator Certification for Maritime radios called the Restricted Operator Certificate (Maritime). For the operation of VHF radios, that certification is no longer mandatory for US citizen boating in US territorial waters. However, the certification is required by non-citizens boating in Foreign (Canadian) territorial waters. Also, all Canadian Boaters operating maritime radios in Canadian waters are still required by law to carry that certification. This certification is governed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the signatory countries.

Boating is fun...let us show you how!

Stf/C Richard E. Gercak, AP
Assistant Chairman
National Gov. / Partner Relations Committee
United States Power Squadrons


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Kayakers keep rescue crews busy

By Mimi Hall, USA TODAY

Brandon Andrusic and Tim Gutmann were experienced kayakers planning a quick paddle around Wood Island off the coast of Biddeford Pool, Maine.

A mile offshore, they ran into much rougher surf than they expected. They struggled against the swells. Andrusic eventually lost sight of his friend and capsized, but he made it to Wood Island.  Read more


Squadrons are encouraged to conduct the now available "Paddle Smart" seminar to help remind paddlers of the safety aspects of their sport.