BOATING TIPS -- June 2000
I should have checked ...

Joe Coons

I looked at the twin shift lever control head. It looked like a simple oversight, as though someone had put the shifter lever cover on backwards, for the trademark was upside down. I ignored it as I began training some folks on a near-new 42í powerboat last week.

I was wrong. My student turned the boat with both engines, then shifted into reverse . . . And we crashed forward into the dock. Put a dent into the Portís timber around the concrete about 1Ē deep! Fortunately, the boat wasnít hurt.

You guessed it: The mechanic had installed the fly bridge shift cables backwards! I should have checked . . .

A buddy gave me a great book the other day: Why Didnít I Think of That, by John and Susan Roberts, published by International Marine. Itís a great collection of ď1,198 tips from 222 sailors on 120 boats from 9 countriesď. Although many are for sailors, there are enough applicable to us stink-potters to make it worthwhile.

Here are some good website addresses for next time you want to browse the net: is the USCG notice to mariners site. is a site to suggest good names. is Canadaís Coast Guard. is the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. is the U.S. Power Squadron site. is our Stateís Department of Fish and Wildlife. has lists of regulations, courses, and tips for safe boating. Going a long way? Use, the Seven Seas Cruising Association. Buying a boat? Try And, no matter what youíre looking for, try Itís a marine yellow pages site.

Thatís it for this month. Stay safe out there!

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Last modified : Thursday, March 11, 2004