Chapter 3 X Vessel Operation
Prevent Fueling Spills Think in terms of preventing even a drop of fuel from going into the water, especially when fueling at a fuel dock or along the shoreline. Avoid overfilling—fill the tank slowly to avoid a spill. Fuel the boat at the start of trips and only to 90% of tank capacity. Remember fuel expands as it heats. If you leave your boat with a full tank on the water your boat may vent fuel overboard. It’s best to fill the tank away from the water. Never leave a gas hose unattended while refueling. Remember, the automatic shutoff on the gas nozzle may not work. Be sure that all fuel system fittings are tight and not leaking. Don’t drain oil into the bilge. Recycle used oil through your marina, community oil recycling center, or at an automobile oil change business. Visit earth911.org for recycling centers near you. ANCHORING Using the appropriate anchor and anchoring techniques such as kedging will prevent collisions, grounding, and drifting. Keep the anchor and its lines in an easy to reach place on your boat. Types of Anchors The type of anchor you need depends on where you’re anchoring your boat. Danforth® anchors work best in clay, sand and mud. Kedge anchors are the best type to use in weeds or grass. Grapnel anchors work best on a rocky bottom. Mushroom anchors give a temporary hold in sand or firm mud. Plow anchors dig in to a hard or gravel bottom. An anchor rode is a line, cable and/or chain. The chain helps keep the anchor parallel to the bottom so it can “dig in.” Any vertical movement of the boat from wave action is “absorbed” by the line and chain, leaving the anchor intact. Nylon makes a good anchor line because it stretches and acts like a shock absorber during strong current, wind or wave action. When You Anchor Select a protected spot. Try to find a spot where obstacles or debris on the bottom will not snag the anchor or rode. Head the boat into the wind or current. For an overnight stay, lower your anchor upwind from where you want the boat to be positioned.
Discharging any oily water, oil, or petroleum product into the water is against state and federal law. You are responsible for cleanup costs and correcting any environmental damage caused by your fuel spill, under the California Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act of 1990.
California Course for Safe Boating
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