Anchorline Fall 2020 | National Safe Boating Council | Sponsored by Rolyan Buoys®

A Note from the Executive Director

At the National Safe Boating Council, we're thankful for each of you and your partnership in creating safe boating experiences. It is during challenging times that we discover our true strength as a community - we are so proud of our recreational boating safety partners.


We are grateful for Rolyan Buoy's 20-year sponsorship of NSBC's quarterly newsletter, Anchorline. Your dedication to safety on the water is inspirational.

Peg Phillips

Prepare your waterways for the change in weather with the Rolyan Ice Spar - best to use in the winter in icy water. www.rolyanbuoys.com

Keep Your Waterways Safe All Year

Summer may be over, but keeping your waterways safe never stops. Fall is a great time to inspect waterways to see if additional buoys or markers are needed to alert boaters of hazards, restricted areas, operating restrictions, swim zones, or provide directions and information.

Just like signs along the roadways, Rolyan Buoys help keep boaters safe on our waterways with navigational buoys, hazard markers, and other critical signals to direct marine traffic.

ACR Artex special promotion for NSBC Members - 10% Off ACR OLAS products and $10 Off ACR ResQFlare E-Flare. Discount codes below.

Fall Boating is Here

Fall is one of the best times to go boating. As families continue to social distance, many predict the increase in boaters on the water will continue through the fall. Here are some ways you can enjoy boating safely this fall and early winter.

1. Fishing and hunting. Fall is one of the best times for fishing and hunting. Fish are migrating and feeding in preparation for winter, and waterfowl hunting is underway. Don't forget to always wear your life jacket, and share the details of your trip with a loved one before you leave. Encourage others to do the same with this camo Wear It logo from the Safe Boating Campaign.

2. Boating gear. Make sure you have all the gear this autumn with this discount from ACR Artex for NSBC members! Shop online at ACR Artex and use coupon code 10SAFE to get 10% Off all ACR OLAS Products, including the new OLAS Guardian wireless engine kill switch. And, use coupon code ME10 to get $10 Off all new ResQFlare E-Flare with Distress Flag, a certified replacement to USCG pyrotechnics. Only available in the US and on www.acrartex.com. Free shipping included. Offer expires November 30, 2020.

3. Fall colors. Beautiful autumn foliage outings are always special, but when seen from a boat, the experience can be magical. Check out these 10 beautiful spots from our friends at Discover Boating.

4. Layers, layers, layers. Wear layers when boating in the fall, and always bring an extra set of clothes in case you get wet. Remember, never wear your life jacket under your jacket.

5. Sun protection. As we move into cooler temperatures, don't forget sun protection. From long-sleeve UV resistant clothing to sunscreen, make sure you're prepared for a day on the water.

6. Education. Get back to learning this fall by brushing up on your navigation knowledge, or becoming a NSBC certified Instructor. Learn about training opportunities from the NSBC.

For more fall boating safety tips and resources, visit SafeBoatingCampaign.com.

Thank you to the RBS community for your leadership during COVID-19.

The Roaring Twenties: A Surge in Boating

With the ongoing nature of Covid-19, 2020 has seen an unprecedented number of boaters taking to America’s waterways. This has highlighted, maybe now more than ever, the very real need for what we do: safety education, outreach and training for recreational boaters. For this issue of Anchorline, we wanted to showcase a voice within the industry who can speak to the various struggles (and lessons learned) during this challenging boating season.

Lisa Dugan is the Recreation Safety Outreach Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Q: Lisa, this boating season has seen a huge surge in boating activity. What opportunities (or challenges) has your agency faced?

Throughout the boating season we could only anecdotally say that, yes, there are more boats on the water and yes, there are more new boaters on the water. Closer to Labor Day we were able to quantify some numbers and draw some conclusions with what we’ve learned. By September 1st, we had exceeded completed online safety certifications by 3,000 new users. Boat registrations for new boats were up by 1,500 in the motorboat category and by 500 in the paddle craft category.

Additionally, the numbers of warnings, not citations, for the more basic boating violations had risen significantly. Overall, in comparison to 2019, there was an increase of warnings by about 250 where citations were holding steady. This leads us to believe that conservation officers are using these interactions with new boaters as learning opportunities to further educate boaters on the safety requirements while boating. Our greatest challenge was that the waterways of our state were busy, there were more fatalities than there has been in over a decade, and there was an increase of non-fatal incidents. The opportunity would be the increase of education classes and the increased opportunity to educate boaters through positive experiences and interactions.

Busier waterways mean more people having to share resources, and shared resources requires shared responsibility.

Q: That gives us a pretty good snapshot of what you were seeing this summer. What is the greatest safety concern you have seen for boaters in your area?

The greatest concern has been that boats and watercraft are being used as toys or babysitters for youth, without the proper education or training. PWC’s quickly became the focus of our safety communications for the summer with messages like – PWC’s are not toys, PWC’s should not be used as babysitters; don’t just toss the keys for the boat or PWC to a youth without proper education. Busier waterways mean more people having to share resources, and shared resources requires shared responsibility. Being a responsible boater means knowing navigation laws, knowing safety regulations, and hopefully knowing some boating etiquette.

Boat On Course, free educational boating safety videos, teach the basic navigation rules of boating. BoatOnCourse.com

New Educational Brochures and Resources

Perfect for classroom settings and outreach events, new educational brochures and digital resources have important boating safety information to prepare boaters for a safe day on the water.

There are three updated brochures with accompanying social media images and infographics available at SafeBoatingCouncil.org: 1) How to Boat Safely, 2) How to Choose the Right Life Jacket, and 3) All About VHF Marine Radios. These brochures will be included in the NSBC's annual resources distribution in the spring prior to National Safe Boating Week. NSBC members may also request these in advance and pay shipping + handling only.

The National Safe Boating Council produced these resources under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The National Safe Boating Council has two on-water courses that meet the American National Standards for power.

NSBC On-Water Training

Our on-water training is gearing back up after a COVID hiatus. With the increase in boating this summer, on-water boat control training is in high demand. The National Safe Boating Council has two on-water courses; both have successfully completed the third-party conformity assessment to verify the courses meet the American National Standards for power. With on-water training, we are creating a safer environment on our waterways. And, the courses provide a revenue stream for NSBC instructors.

NSBC On-Water Powerboat Courses

  1. Essentials in Close Quarters & Open Water Boat Control: This is the NSBC Instructor Certification course. Instructor Candidates must be pre-approved by the NSBC. Upon completion of the 3-day on-water training, Instructor Certificates are issued. All current NSBC Instructors are entered into the national database and are free to use the NSBC logo, NSBC Instructor logo, and NSBC Course Provider kit.
  2. Boat Control On-Water Training: This curriculum can be taught to recreational boaters, marine patrol, or marine first responders by a NSBC Certified Instructor. A Certificate of Completion can be awarded for each module, but this is not an instructor certification course. The curriculum contains 4 modules; each module is 3 hours of on-water instruction. The 4 modules are Introduction to Powerboating, Precision Docking and Boat Handling, Open Water Boat Handling, and Open Water Advanced Maneuvers.

Interested in becoming a certified instructor? Cost for the NSBC Instructor Certification is $750 (based on a course with 4 candidates) and includes: 3-day on-water NSBC Instructor Certification Course, NSBC annual instructor membership ($85 per year), NSBC instructor binder: includes both NSBC curriculums, NSBC instructor certificate, and NSBC instructor lapel pin.

We had a great few days of training at Lake Allatoona in Georgia with the Bartow County Fire & Emergency Services, The City of Calhoun Fire and Rescue, as well as attendees that flew in from Chicago and New York. Excited to welcome several new NSBC Instructors who are ready to teach around the nation.
Fall is the perfect time for fun on the water - boating, fishing, hunting. #recreateresponsibly

IBWSS Update

Save the date for the 2021 International Boating and Water Safety Summit - March 21-24, 2021. We are working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard to provide a safe and quality experience for our attendees. The NSBC will make an announcement before the end of the year if the conference will be in-person, hybrid, or virtual experience.

Join NSBC in welcoming Alexis Webb, Program Coordinator.

Q&A with Alexis Webb, NSBC Program Coordinator

The National Safe Boating Council is excited to welcome Alexis Webb as program coordinator! Colorado natives, she and her husband have three children and live (and play) in Fort Collins, CO. Alexis is one of two NSBC team members in Northern Colorado. She works closely on NSBC’s social media efforts, and provides program support for Get Connected, International Boating & Water Safety Summit, Safe Boating Campaign and Waves of Hope. She began working with NSBC in January as a contractor, and was such a great fit, recently officially joined the team!

Q: What’s your favorite boating activity?

I’m super new to it, but I absolutely love kayaking. I suffered a grade 3 ankle sprain early in the summer (hello 2020!), but my plan before this had been to get out on the water and learn more. I am a life-long learner! I grew up near Horsetooth Reservoir, and inherited my Dad and uncles’ love of the outdoors. Growing up, someone was always taking the boat out.

Q: What do you love most about living in Colorado?

If I tell you, you’ll move here! I love that we get to experience all four seasons; I love the mountains, the schools, that we’re minutes from lakes, hiking spots and our town’s “Old Town” (which, kind of cool, was Walt Disney’s model for Main Street USA in Disneyland). I love our people, and that there is something for everyone here. College kids, foodies, outdoor enthusiasts (especially outdoor enthusiasts!) and retirees all call Fort Collins home. That’s my hometown. I can’t see you, but you’re looking at real-estate, aren’t you?

Q: What is your favorite part of working at the NSBC?

My favorite part of working at the NSBC is that it’s truly meaningful work. The barometer for whether or not we are successful is whether or not we are saving lives. That drives the work, and that resonates with me. I believe life is a gift.

Q: If you could only eat one meal the rest of your life, what would it be?

This question is harder than the Colorado question! Seriously! Sophie’s Choice over here. For the rest of my life, it would probably have to be tacos, loaded with plenty of guac and a side of CO green chili, or anything breakfast related, or why not, it’s the rest of my life – both. A close second though would be any dessert or sushi.

Q: What are your favorite things to do with your family?

We love getting outside with the kids, walking or biking around the neighborhood, going hiking, camping, boating “on Grandpa’s boat," or just throwing around a frisbee. We are movie people so going to movies and having weekly movie nights (with plenty of popcorn and candy) are also a must. We also play a lot of board games and video games, routinely eat cake for breakfast, and start most days with a dance party in the kitchen.

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Quarterly newsletter from the National Safe Boating Council