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Visiting a boating museum can be a fun winter activity

Posted By Gail Kulp, Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Visiting a boating museum can be a fun winter activity

Winter in the northern states can be a tough time of year for boaters. With the snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, it is not ideal to spend time on a boat, but that doesn’t mean that all boating activities have to end. And, even in a warmer weather state, a bad weather day can still ruin plans for a boating trip. On days like that, take a trip to a local boating museum near you!

The Sea Tow Foundation staff had the chance to visit the Finger Lakes Boating Museum this winter. Located in Hammondsport, NY just a couple of hours from Buffalo, Rochester or Syracuse, this museum focuses on the education and preservation of the boating activities and boat building heritage of the Finger Lakes region.

Sea Tow Foundation's Michael Wesolowski and Gail Kulp met with Andrew Tompkins at the Finger Lakes Boating Museum.

The Finger Lakes Boating Museum has over 200 boats on display representing over 40 commercial builders who built boats in the region within the last century. The museum’s campus is the site of the former Taylor Wine Company and includes 19 buildings across 14 acres. While the museum exhibits currently occupy the main building, plans are underway to renovate and move into additional buildings over the coming years to expand the boats on display.

Andrew Tompkins, Executive Director, provided the Sea Tow Foundation with a personal tour and showed off just some of the hundreds of canoes, rowboats, inboards, runabouts and sailboats on display as well as the enormous mural on display downstairs. Andrew noted, “The Finger Lakes Boating Museum sees over 5,000 visitors each year from around the country and we also host a number of school field trips as well.”

So if being on the water is not an option because of the weather, look into visiting a local boating museum like the Sea Tow Foundation staff did this winter. You’re guaranteed to have a good time and you may even learn something!

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Tags:  Behind the Scenes  Partner Stories  Weather  Winter 

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The Beacon Rental Program Comes to an End

Posted By Gail Kulp, Thursday, January 9, 2020
Updated: Friday, January 10, 2020

The Sea Tow Foundation’s Beacon Rental Program has officially come to an end as of January 1, 2020..

Having an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) on board your boat is a very important safety device. Both of these devices are used in emergency situations to help rescuers find you within minutes and the Sea Tow Foundation had partnered with ACR Electronics to ensure that boaters could rent EPIRBs or PLBs for their boating trips..

Unfortunately, the Sea Tow Foundation's Beacon Rental program was not as popular as initially anticipated and beacons were not rented nearly as frequently as expected. The cost of owning a beacon has come down over the years yet they require periodic battery replacements which add to the cost of maintaining a set of rental units.  Coupled with the rising shipping costs, the Sea Tow Foundation has decided to eliminate their Beacon Rental program moving forward..

The Sea Tow Foundation still believes that emergency beacons are a key safety device for any boater to carry and hopes that boaters will purchase one, especially when boating in unfamiliar waters or when boating offshore. Purchasing a beacon can be done in a retail store or online with lots of options on the market..

For more information on where to buy a PLB or EPIRB for your next boating trip, visit ACR Electronics.

Tags:  2020  Emergency Beacon  EPIRB Rental  PLB Rental 

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Thank you for a great 2019!

Posted By Gail Kulp, Monday, December 30, 2019
Updated: Thursday, January 9, 2020

Whether you are a regular supporter of Sea Tow Foundation programs such as our Life Jacket Loaner Program or our Sober Skipper Program, or you are new to our nonprofit boating safety efforts nationwide, we want to take this opportunity to say thank you!

This year has seen major growth in the Sea Tow Foundation Programs. Our Sober Skipper program, which asks boaters to be or designate a sober skipper before leaving the dock, has seen an increase in the number of people taking the pledge in 51 states and territories and 94% of the states have seen a decrease in Boating Under the Influence accidents and fatalities as a result.

The Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Program now boasts 650 total life jacket loaner stations offered across 43 states at boat ramps, marinas, parks, fuel docks and community centers. And these life jackets have been credited with saving dozens of lives each year thanks to the boating safety supporters who help maintain our loaner stations around the country and ensure that the life jackets are available to the boating public.

To accomplish all of this, the Sea Tow Foundation has expanded its staff, increased its presence at boat shows, and made materials and resources available online in our new store to support the needs of the growing requests for our programs in our efforts to promote boating safety and education that directly reduces deaths, injuries, and property damage attributed to recreational boating.

Please consider making a year-end gift in any amount to help us continue our good work. All donations are tax-deductible and your support has lasting effect on every person borrowing a life jacket to prevent drowning or taking the pledge to be a Sober Skipper to eliminate Boating Under the Influence.

You can make a secure donation online at www.boatingsafety.com/donatetoday or you can mail a check to Sea Tow Foundation, P.O. Box 1325, Southold, NY 11971.

 

We thank you for being part of our progress!

 

Tags:  2020  boating safety  donations  life jacket loaner program  sober skipper program 

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Winterizing Your Boat Tips

Posted By Gail Kulp, Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Winterizing Your Boat Tips

It’s that time of year again – the time where northern boaters either remove their boats from the water for the winter or prepare for them to continue to be in use during freezing conditions and southern and western boaters perform regular maintenance before the High Season starts.

 

Not only is winterization an important part of maintaining your boat and ensuring it’s around for many seasons to come, it’s also important from a safety standpoint, keeping you and your loved ones, as well as your favorite waterways, safe and sound.

 

Here are five winterization tips from the Sea Tow Foundation:

 

·       Drain water – This may seem like common sense for many boaters, but you’d be surprised how many skip this critical winterization step. If you store your boat on land or in the water in cold weather,  it’s important to drain all water lines and use marine-specific anti-freeze to prevent critical engine and other components from freezing as the temperatures drop. Even states with warmer climates can see a handful of below freezing days or nights so this is important for these boaters as well. Also take the time to check the boat plug and window seals to ensure they are ready for the cold weather as well.

 

·       Properly dispose of all fluids and other hazardous materials – Proper winterization always includes changing your boat’s oil. Some boaters will also swap out batteries, check belts and hoses for leaks and follow other specific steps when getting their boat ready for winter in the cold regions or warmer climates. Remember to properly dispose of oil and batteries, as they can all be extremely harmful to the environment. If you’re not sure where  you can dispose of these in your area, check with your marina or local authorities like the U.S. Coast Guard or police marine unit.

 

·       Clean and inspect  all life jackets  – In order to be sure your life jackets are effective and able to work when needed, it’s important to properly clean them before storing them over the winter months or continuing to use them in the warmer climates. Mold and mildew can be a problem, but the Sea Tow Foundation has some simple steps that you can take to clean and dry them. And if you have any life jackets that no longer fit your boat’s passengers, you can always donate them to a local Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Drive!

 

·       Boat cleaning the eco-friendly way – Life jackets aren’t the only things on your boat that can become dirty. If you’re not careful, you may find mold all throughout your vessel, so it is important to scrub the boat with eco-friendly cleaners that won’t harm the environment before shrink wrapping the boat if you are planning to store the boat on land. If the boat is being used throughout the winter, it is still a good idea to give it a good cleaning before continued use.

 

·       Double check all safety equipment – Now is the perfect time to double check all of your boat’s safety equipment. This includes your VHF radio,  air horn, safety flares, lines, throwable buoys, boat hooks, fire extinguishers, and the first aid kit.  Make sure that nothing is expired or needs to be replaced or replenished. If so, take the time to get these items before the end of the year.  You can also use Sea Tow’s Automated Radio Check service to be sure your VHF radio is working correctly.

 

What other tips do you have when it comes to boat winterization? Share your favorite tips in the comments below!

Tags:  Automated Radio Check  life jacket donation  life jacket drive  radio check  tips for winterizing boat  used life jacket  winter boating  winterize boat 

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