If you live in one of the Southern and warmer states, it’s still cold and windy as Jonas plows its way through the upper East Coast.That said, if you still need to catch your fishing itch, check out the calmer and warmer shelters of residential canals. Depending on where you live, some of you may find a very pleasant surprise. The residential canals offer protection from the cold north winds, and the dock structures create a great place for game fish to hide and ambush prey. Look for canals with a firm sandy or dark mud bottom – they can produce the best place for fish to hang out, especially if the tide is moving. The offshore bites should pick up again as the winds die down and the surface air warms. If you plan to save your catch for a few nice meals – we suggest having a Taco Marine adjustable filet table. The table fits into any rod holder and the mount locks at any angle. This FDA approved table conveniently folds flat for storage. Stay warm and catch lots of fish!
Winter Storm Jonas: Snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour in Washington, D.C. and New York City areas.The combination of winter storm strong winds and heavy snow will continue to create life-threatening whiteout conditions for anyone attempting to travel this weekend, as well as wide-spread record coastal flooding.
Winter storm Jonas and your boat: Check your boat after it’s safe to travel again.You might inspect your boat for these three potential issues: 1. Possible 50 to 70mph winds could blow off or whip snow up under a boat’s protective coverings, 2. Accumulation of ice and snow creates weight issues for boat wraps and coverings, 3. Coastal flooding from storm surges combined with a full moon this weekend will make tides higher than usual.
Tip 1: Float Plan. We recommend filling out a U.S. Coast Guard float plan and leave it with a reliable person who you can depend on to notify the Coast Guard if you should not return or check-in as planned. It includes information such as passenger names/age/gender, trip itinerary, radio call sign, boat type/registration info and other important information related to identifying your boat and passengers. It also includes a handy checklist for distress signals and additional gear to take along.
Tip 2: Avoid Hypothermia. In the fall boating season, one of the biggest hazards boaters face is hypothermia, especial if they get wet. Yes, it may be a bit nippy on the water, but avoid wearing clothes like jeans and cotton-based shirts which do not dry as easily or retain heat as well as wool and synthetic materials. In case someone takes a spill, bad weather or just spray from the boats wake – being wet or damp could result in hypothermia, so remember to bring a separate bag of clothing.
Tip 3: Emergency Locator Beacon. Keep in mind because there are fewer boaters on the water in the autumn, that are less boats around to help incase you run into problems. If you are going more than 20 miles off shore, bring a personal locator beacon (PLB) or an emergency position-indicating radio beacon which in an emergency would help find you by satellite. Don’t have an emergency beacon? Here’s an article on How to Choose an Emergency Beacon by Boating Magazine.
Tip 4: Digital Selective Calling. If you’ll be out after dark, make sure your navigation lights are working – and if you run into trouble and you need to contact the Coast Guard, make sure your handheld radio is equipped with digital selective calling (DSC) so you can easily send a distress signal.
Tip 5: Check Lists.Yes we all make mental lists of what to bring and check before launching, but consider actually having a printed checklist that one of your mates can check off before you launch. Free: Take advantage of a courtesy boat safety check provided by the U.S. Coast Guard. They will provide a specialist to check out your boat and make helpful safety tips and recommendations you may have overlooked.
As the colder weather begins to settle into the Northern states, it’s time to think about preparing your boat for the freezing temperatures just around the corner.If your boat is not properly prepared for the winter, it could be facing damages caused by the cold costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The biggest culprit is water. Fresh water dramatically expands by volume when frozen and can crack an engine block, split hoses, damage fiberglass and cooling systems.
To protect your boat during the winter, BoatUS does a nice job of covering the details of how to protect hulls, tops, exhaust ports, bilge pumps, drain plugs, dock lines, batteries, lifts and provides many other boat winterizing tips.
BoatUS created a PDF guide of very helpful information, and we at Taco Marinethought it was important to pass along to you. Click here to view and print the Seaworthy “Boaters Guide to Winterizing,” where you will find expert tips on how to store your boat this winter plus a Winterizing Worksheet.
Hurricane Joaquin update 9am Friday, October 2: Moving away from the coast, BUT – swells affecting portions of the southeastern coast of the United States will spread northward along the east coast of the US through the weekend. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Regardless of Joaquin’s track, a prolonged period of elevated water levels and large waves will affect the mid-Atlantic region, causing significant beach and dune erosion with moderate coastal flooding likely. (This will be our last update on hurricane Joaquin unless it turns back towards the US).
Joaquin strengthens; heavy rainfall and flash flooding possible for parts of East Coast regardless of track.
Close to 12″ of additional rain from Joaquin could hit the Carolinas and parts of the East Coast. Many portions of the eastern U.S. are currently experiencing heavy rains and gusty winds associated with a frontal system. These heavy rains are likely to continue for the next few days, even if the center of Joaquin stays offshore. The resulting inland flood potential could complicate preparations for Joaquin should it head toward the coast, and even more substantial inland flooding is possible.
As of 4pm EDT Thursday, October 1st: Forecast Track for Hurricane Joaquin from the National Hurricane Center. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 130 mph (now a dangerous Category 4 Hurricane).
The safety information below is courtesy of BoatU.S. Marine Insurance.
￼￼A sample storm arrangement: note the spring lines, which were the longest lines, are now the shortest. Stern lines are extended one or two slips away. Additional bow lines lead across to the next dock or to storm anchors placed out from the slip.
On a face dock, position the boat farther (the farther, the better) than usual from the dock and add offshore lines to hold the boat away from the dock. Offshore lines can lead to distant pilings or trees, such as across a canal, or to anchors if the bottom provides adequate holding.