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An online space for outdoorsmen from CNY and beyond. Tell us about the one you caught or the one that got away.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Make boating season a safe one

Boat Safety
The beginning of summer, especially the Fourth of July Holiday, is traditionally the busiest boating time of the year. Let’s make sure that it is a safe and pleasant experience for everyone.
With the busy boating and canoeing season coming up it is worth reminding everyone about boat safety. New laws about operating a boat under the influence of alcohol have been passed and hopefully these will reduce the number of accidents on our waterways. Keep alert and save the refreshments until after the boat has been docked for the day.
It is also important to note that laws require a wearable type I, II or III PFD (life jacket) be aboard every vessel, including canoe or kayak. Children under 12 must wear a PFD while aboard a boat or canoe. In fact everyone should wear them since nobody plans on having an accident. Injury, shock from cold water and current can inhibit your ability to swim and statistics show that most deaths result from drowning.
Know the rules of the road about giving sailboats a wide berth, and use courtesy like reducing waves around smaller craft like fishing boats, canoes and kayaks to avoid swamping them. Be alert for kayaks and other boats that are smaller and ride low to the surface of the water. Familiarize yourself about common rules of passing or meeting other boats.
It is also the law to reduce speed and avoid causing wakes in many areas along sensitive shorelines, docks and other areas. Use common sense, stay alert, and make this a safe season on the water.
Boat Launch Courtesy
With the holiday weekend soon to arrive and great weather in the forecast it is certain to be a busy season on the water. Boat launches will be busy so be sure to use courtesy and keep things moving smoothly so you won’t interfere with others. We realize that veteran boaters are familiar with these procedures but some newer boaters may not think of these so here are some hints to make sure all have a smooth launch or landing.
Make sure your battery is cranking fresh. Running it off the trailer is not the time to find out you need a charge. Have an experienced person back the trailer down. This is not the weekend or the location to give your wife or son some learning experience. Get your boat ready before you launch. Have your gear aboard, tackle in place, water skis or coolers all set in the parking lot, not spend time doing it at the dock. After you pull your boat out of the water, move the trailer off to the side out of other people’s way before you fasten down everything for the trip home.
Boat Regulations Target Invasive Species
As part of an aggressive effort to prevent invasive species from entering and damaging New York water bodies, the State DEC adopted new regulations that require boaters to remove all visible plant and animal materials from boats, trailers and associated equipment, and to drain boats prior to launching from DEC lands.
The regulations, which are effective now, pertain to all DEC boat launches, fishing access sites and other DEC lands where watercraft such as boats, kayak or canoes, can be launched into the water.
These new regulations will help reinforce the message that boaters need to clean their equipment of any clinging plant and animal materials and drain their boats prior to launching at lands administered by DEC.
Boaters should take the following steps to ensure that their boat, trailer and equipment are free of aquatic invasive species: Visually inspect the boat, trailer and other fishing and boating equipment and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to it. Materials should be disposed of in one of the Nuisance Invasive Species Disposal Stations installed at many DEC boat launches, in the trash or at an upland location away from the launch ramp.
Drain the boat’s bilge and any other water holding compartments such as live wells, bait wells and bilge tanks. This does not apply to water associated with sanitary systems or drinking water supplies.
Drying boats is also highly recommended but is not required under the new regulations. Boaters who are unable to dry their boats between uses should flush the bilge and other water holding compartments with water, preferably at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Microscopic larval forms of aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels and spiny waterflea, can live in as much as a drop of water.
To ensure that these organisms are not accidentally spread, anything holding water should be dried, flushed or disinfected with hot water to ensure that these aquatic invasive species are not spread. Additional information on AIS and disinfection recommendations can be found
The new regulations are available at
Camping Photo Contest: New York State Campgrounds are sponsoring a 2014 NY Camping Photo Contest. Time period is Memorial Day to Columbus Day. For a complete list of photo categories, contest rules, and to enter the contest, visit
Streamline Canoes: While I was at Paddlefest last month I had the pleasure of having my booth next to the display of the Weaver family of Canastota. Nathan and Kristine Weaver operate a 100% grass-fed organic dairy farm between Canastota and Peterboro. Since their dairy farm includes a sizable amount of quality timber they can utilize for wood resources, including building wood strip canoes.
Their daughter Luann and son Alex spend time at Bear Mountain Boat Shop in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. At this shop they have learned from world class boat builder Ted Moore. When the farm work slows in the winter the family converges into the timber-framed farm shop to build a few select canoes. Family labor fells the trees, cuts it into lumber, air dry it, cut and plane it to size. Finally their crafts put it together into a beautiful, practical canoe.
They can even customize the canoe to your choice of wood and design. I was very impressed with the workmanship and beauty of these canoes. Not only are they works of art but they are easily paddled and comfortable. I was also impressed with the light weight of these canoes. The transparent fiberglass and epoxy coatings on both sides of the hull give the boat strength. The canoes are available with hand caned seats.
If you appreciate beautiful canoes that are also practical and efficient, you owe it to yourself to check out the Streamline Canoes. Visit the Weaver family farm at 4225 E. Mile Strip Rd, Canastota, NY. Call 684-3391 for times or more information.
Crossbow Banquet: The NY Crossbow Coalition will hold its first annual banquet on July 26 at the Ramada Inn, Buckley Rd, Syracuse. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. There will be raffles, auctions, deluxe buffet and informational presentations. Various ticket packages and sponsorships are available. For more information contact NYCC, PO Box 316, Pulaski, NY 13142 or email
Backpacking Tip: Use your watch as a compass. If you are lost without a compass, point the hour hand of your watch at the sun. Halfway between the hour hand and the 12 on the watch will be south. This works even with Daylight Saving Time.


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