Mar 23,2009 00:00
OREGON -- When the days get a little longer, that’s the signal to dust off the cob webs and de-winterize your boat. The weather is about to take a turn from gray to sunny and it’s a great feeling to have your boat and gear prepared for the first opportunity. The Oregon State Marine Board offers some reminders and suggestions for getting your boat ready for the first excursion this season.
First, make sure you have your boater education card. “The Mandatory Education Program is officially phased-in, which means all boaters who operate a motorboat over 10 horse power will need to take a boating safety course and carry their boater education card with them out on the water,” says Ashley Massey, Public Affairs Specialist for the Marine Board. “Youth ranging from 12 to 15 years of age will need a card to operate a boat on their own, if the motor is under 10 hp. If the boat is over 10 hp, the youth must be supervised directly by a card-holding adult (16 or older). Teenagers need to be 16 or older and have their boater education card to operate a personal watercraft (PWC). Youth can operate a PWC if being directly supervised by a card-holding adult over 18.” For more information about mandatory education, Massey says you can log onto the state web site to learn more about the program.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons conduct free vessel safety checks around the state and alert the boater if any safety equipment is needed.
“One last reminder is to watch the weather and be ready to head in if the wind picks up. There’s also a lot of debris in the water, so keep a sharp lookout any hazards.”
Boaters can get all this information and more by visiting www.boatoregon.com or calling 503-378-8587. Registration payments can be mailed to OSMB, P.O. Box 14145, Salem, OR 97309.