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Safety & Peace of Mind

Darren O'Brien | Published on 3/30/2023

It looks as though April is the month which gives us all ample opportunities to get ourselves and our boats ready for the upcoming season. As boat owners, we know there are many items to consider when properly preparing our vessels ahead of time. Yes, “safety” is and should always be the bottom line. But “knowledge and peace of mind” are certainly part of the equation.

On Saturday, April 15th, we’ll have that ever-important “safety” element addressed. To that end, we have appropriately revised the traditional designation of that infamous date from “Tax Day” to “Safety Day”. This is a wonderful opportunity to have an official Vessel Safety Check (VSC) completed on your boat by trained U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers. Our own Bradley Brooks has organized the day making it super easy to accomplish this important step, before heading out this summer. And the best part is, if you moor your boat in Boat Haven, Port Hadlock, or Port Ludlow, you don’t even have to leave the slip! There are seven 30- minute time slots available to reserve at each marina from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Just be aware that slots have begun to fill up. So jump on our PTYC website and log-in to reserve your time.

The VSC is a free inspection performed with you and will include a discussion of the required safety equipment and safety features specific to your boat. Results of the Safety Inspection are only reported to you. A boat either passes or fails. If it passes, a "Seal of Safety" decal will be issued which is recognized by the USCG and law enforcement agencies as a boat properly equipped with the required safety items. If a boat fails, a decal is not issued until the necessary items are addressed and your vessel can then be re-inspected in order to receive the decal. 

If you are unable to participate on Safety Day or your boat is located at a different marina, no problem. Simply contact Mr. Brooks to schedule your VSC for another day.

That evening, at 5:00pm in the Clubhouse, we’ll cap the day with a Chowder Party, captained by Debbie and Bob Williams. This a new twist on the traditional PTYC Chili Cook-Off. It’s a potluck, and the organizers are seeking 10 homemade chowders (clam, potato, seafood, corn, etc.) and a variety of appetizers and desserts. Rolls will be provided. Please register on the website to let them know what you’re bringing. And practice saying “gustatory”!

After our boats are deemed ready “safety-wise,” the following weekend presents us with an opportunity to further mentally prepare ourselves for the season. Saturday, April 22nd, from 10:00am to noon, will be another great Boating Experiences Workshop, captained by Dale Moses. This iteration will focus on Docking, Mooring, and Anchoring. If you haven’t attended one of these meetings, you’re in for a treat. While they are organized and outlined, there’s a refreshing informal nature to the proceedings. Led by Mr. Moses and speakers Past Commodore Duane and myself, it’s literally a sharing of knowledge and experience, not a lecture. That’s because in addition to learning something new, all attendees have the ability to share what they know as well.

One other note of importance: these workshops are not just reserved for PTYC members. Although held in our Clubhouse, they are open to the general boating public. After all, everyone benefits if we’re all better boaters (I tried to come up with a “rising tide” metaphor, but…). So, feel free to invite your slip neighbors or those boat owners down the fairway. Registration isn’t necessary, but you can RSVP yourself and any guests on our web page. The last weekend in April, on Saturday, the 29th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm, is our annual Open Boat. This fun event alternates each year between the three main area marinas. This year it’s captained by Rhonda and Jim Turner, in Port Ludlow. Members with boats moored there are encouraged to participate by “opening” their vessel so other PTYC members can come aboard, get a tour, ask questions, and generally enjoy each other’s company. It’s also great inspiration to accomplish Spring Cleaning in preparation for showing off your baby. After all, once our vessels are safe and our minds are prepared, it sure is nice to know our boats are clean and sparkling for the season! 

“Always approach the dock at the speed you wish to hit it.” Commodore Darren