Chapter 3 X Vessel Operation
KNOW YOUR KNOTS You should learn six basic knots useful for many kinds of boating: The cleating hitch is used when docking. It goes around the cleat in a figure eight and then again with one loop reversed. The bowline, handiest of the knots, is probably the most difficult of the six. It is used when an eye (or loop) is needed. The bowline will not slip or jam and is easy to untie, even after the knot has been under a lot of stress. The sheet bend is good for tying two lines together, especially if they are of different widths or textures. The anchor bend is used to fasten a line to a ring or anchor. It is also called a fisherman’s knot. Seize the free end to the standing end for extra security. The clove hitch is simply two loops with an end tucked under. This knot is used to temporarily secure a boat to a piling or similar structure. To secure the boat for longer periods, use two half hitches to lock the clove hitch. The figure eight knot is used mostly as a stopping knot. Place it at the end of a line to keep it from running through a block, jam cleat or other opening. The figure eight can be used temporarily to keep a line from unraveling. MAINTAINING YOUR BOAT AND ENGINE Maintain your boat and engine so you’ll be safe. Your boat and engine will also last longer so you’ll have more fun on the water. Check the inside and outside of the hull when your boat is out of the water. Check thru-hull fittings for signs of leakage or corrosion, as part of an annual maintenance program. If you have an aluminum hull, sand the white rust spots with fine sand paper until the metal is shiny again. If you have a fiberglass hull, use gentle soap to remove oil and algae. Fix holes with fiberglass patch compound. Avoid using toxic cleaners and paints on your boat. Chemical products should only be used on your boat when it is out of and away from the water. These products must be kept out of the water and disposed of properly. Hang canoes upside down. Keep lines and ropes clean and out of the sun when you’re not using them. Dirt, sand and sun wears them down. Replace old ropes. Sew or tape torn and frayed sails. Follow the maintenance schedules found in the boat owner’s manual. Keep the engine tuned and the battery charged.
California Course for Safe Boating
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