As we prepare for our fishing trips do we actually prepare fully
for what we may encounter on a days excursion?
Tip from George Welcome of Imagination Bassin Guide Service
I know that the tackle box gets checked, and rods and reels are gone over: I
know that we check the gas and oil, trailer tie-downs and ensure that the
plug is in, but those items are just scratching the surface.
When is the last time you checked the devices that are required by the US
Coast Guard for functionality or for that matter there presence on board?
For instance, when is the last time you checked your fire extinguisher for
an expiration date?
Yesterday, while motoring across Farm 13 in Florida, the warning buzzer went
off on my engine. I idled down, shut off the engine, turned around to look
at it, and saw a large cloud of black smoke billowing from the cowl. I
quickly grabbed the fire extinguisher, removed the cowl and put out the fire
that had started with a short in the electrical system. I then as quickly as
possible disconnected the battery so that no further energy could feed the
short. With the proper equipment on the board, (a current and working fire
extinguisher), proper action through being mentally prepared, and enough
mechanical knowledge to know how the system works, was able to contain the
fire to electrical systems only and keep damage to a minimum. As it was, the
estimated repairs will be in excess of $1500.00. Warranty will cover that.
I keep a log on all equipment on board and check all equipment periodically
to ensure all is well. Scott and I also periodically go over possible events
to ensure that we act efficiently and expeditiously if something goes awry.
If we didn't we would now own a burned out hull instead of having some minor
The point of this is to remind all that will hear: Fishing is the second
part of what we are doing on the water and boating is the first. Make sure
that your vessel is fully equipped as required by the US Coast Guard, and
make sure that you know how to use that equipment. Also, review possible
problems that may arise and have a workable solution for those problems. Don
't get caught with a problem and no possible solution: Your life could
depend on it.