Winter Boating Thoughts
With the upcoming boating season just around the corner, the Bourne Department of Natural Resources would like to remind all boaters to take a few minutes to check over all their required life saving and emergency equipment.
REGISTRATION numbers must be a contrasting color painted or permanently displayed on the forward part of the vessel and in good condition. Registration document valid and readily accessible for inspection by USCG or Harbor Patrol. State validation sticker affixed within 6 inches of registration numbers on the port side.
VISUAL DISTRESS SIGNALS should be in serviceable condition and located in an easily accessible spot. Check the expiration date on all pyrotechnics and replace any that are expired. A minimum of three (3) pyrotechnic types are required. Orange smoke and flag devices are only legal during daylight hours.
PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES are USCG approved, in good condition (not faded or torn) and stowed where readily accessible and ready for immediate donning in the event of an emergency. One PFD of the proper size and type for each person aboard. Vessels over 16 feet in length must have a throwable flotation device as well.
FIRE EXTINGUISHER(S) are USCG approved, correct size and type for the vessel and the gauge reads in the green.
BILGE VENTILATION FAN (if so equipped) working properly.
BACKFIRE FLAME CONTROL device in place if required.
SOUND SIGNALLING DEVICE working properly. Check your mechanical horn for operation and sufficient volume and if you have a canned compressed air horn, replace the propellant can annually because they leak and probably won’t work when you need it. Don’t forget the bell if your boat is over 26 feet in length.
NAVIGATION LIGHTS must in good working order to include the correct color, brightness with no cracked or cloudy lenses. Arcs of visibility should be correct and not obstructed by antennas, bimini tops, etc.
MARINE SANITATION DEVICE if installed must be USCG approved and in good operable condition.
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM in good condition with tight connections and no frayed wiring.
MANUAL BAILER required on vessels other than Personal Water Craft.
PADDLE or OAR required on vessels less than 16 feet.
ANCHOR & LINE of sufficient size and scope for the vessel.
The following optional equipment is not required, but is highly recommended:
VHF MARINE RADIO either fixed or handheld unit with Channel 9 and 16 at a minimum.
FIRST AID KIT.
NAUTICAL CHART or NAVIGATION SYSTEM for the area the vessel will be operating in.
NAVIGATION RULES (required on vessels over 39.4 feet).
Boaters are encouraged to take advantage of the VESSEL SAFETY CHECK (VSC) program offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U. S. Power Squadron. These inspections are offered free of charge at many launching ramps during the early parts of the season. Vessels successfully completing a VSC will receive a decal which should be attached to the vessel signifying compliance with the marine safety regulations at the time of the inspection. For more information on the VSC program, please contact your local Coast Guard Auxiliary unit or Power Squadron.
The Harbor Patrol wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable boating season. Please remember to observe the NO WAKE rules where applicable and no bow riding.
Pumpout Facilities - Shoreside & Boats
The Department has continuously worked on establishing & maintaining various pumpout facilites in Town since the early 1990's, and has been at the forefront of making proposals and applying for various grant monies since 1993. We worked hand-in-hand with the State in design proposals and establishing criteria for funding pumpout facilities. In 1994 we were awarded almost $75,000 through the Federal Clean Vessel Act, the highest award made in Massachusetts. This money was used to purchase two pumpout boats and engineer new shoreside facilities at Kingman Marine (now Kingman Yacht Center) & Parker's Boat Yard. The boats were delivered in early 1995, being the first in Massachusetts, and have removed tens of thousands of gallons of sewage annually since then. The two shoreside facilities in Red Brook Harbor were funded through an additional CVA Grant award & completed in 1996. Those, along with the shoreside facility at Taylor Point Marina, have also removed tens of thousands of gallons of sewage annually. Originally envisioned as a 3 year grant program, the Clean Vessel Act funding continues to this day, helping to keep our waters clean and avaialable for shellfishing & swimming.
As previously mentioned, shoreside facilites for all boats in Town waters are available at Taylor Point Marina at Cohasset Narrows (Buzzards Bay) and Kingman Yacht Center & Parker's Boat Yard in Red Brook Harbor (Cataumet). For boats that are in transit in other areas of Town, or for some reason can't make it to any of the shoreside facilities, we have two pumpout boats, one stationed north of Wings Neck and the other south of Wings Neck. During the heart of the Summer, from about mid-June through August, attempts are made to have both boats manned 7 days a week from 9 AM to 5PM, weather permitting. During other times of the boating season (May through mid-June & September through October) we still try to have at least one boat manned 8AM to 4PM on weekends and when possible (as manpower permits) on weekdays - It is usually best to schedule an appointment with the operator during this time of year. Both boats can be reached via Marine VHF Radio Channel 9. If you cannot reach them, they may be out of radio contact or otherwise indisposed. If, after several attemps over a period of time, you are unable to contact anyone, try calling the Monument Beach Marina at 508-759-3105, which is where one of our pumpout boats is stationed, to try to schedule the pumpout service. Please note that during the off season, before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, they may be busy with other duties, though we still try to provide full pumpout coverage on weekends.