Boating Class Teaches Safety at a Great Price

Water Ways
Honolulu Star Bulletin (09/13/97)
By Ray Pendleton

Boating in Hawai`i is one of life's greatest pleasures, but it can also be one of life's greatest threats if you venture out on our warm, blue, but occasionally dangerous ocean lacking the proper skills.

Although there is no requirement for a pleasure boat operator's license in Hawai`i, boaters should nevertheless completely understand all aspects of boat operations, for the sake of themselves, their passengers, and others using our waterways.

One way new boat owners - and perhaps old rusty boat owners - can learn to be responsible boat operators is to take a United States Power Squadron (District 13) Safe Boating Class. Over three million people nation wide have taken advantage of this class to not only gain valuable knowledge, but to occasionally lower their insurance rates as well.

For boaters in the Honolulu area, the Power Squadron - the nation's largest private boating organization - will be offering a series of classes beginning next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Waikiki Yacht Club in the Diamond Head end of Ala Moana Park. The classes will be open to the first 20 adults and/or teenagers to register.

Class lectures and self-study lessons make up the seven-session course, with virtually every aspect of safe boating being covered. Some major topics will be:
o Basic boating terminology.
o Boat handling - with attention to both power and sail.
o Basic navigation and anchoring skills.
o Basic compass reading.
o Understanding aids to navigation - buoys and range markers.
o Marine radiotelephone procedures.
o Marine weather and charts.
oBasic marine emergency procedures.
o Basic knot tying.
oState and federal boating laws and regulations.

Although the course is, incredibly, free, there is a nominal charge for course papers, charts and plotting instruments.

Because of the limited number of students allowed for enrollment, I would advise anyone interested to quickly give Power Squadron representative William McGarry a call at 422-1963.

YC Leases
About a month ago in this column, I made a somewhat tongue-in-cheek request of Governor Cayetano, asking if he might once again take the initiative - as he had in securing the Rolling Stones' concert for the Aloha Stadium - to prod our Department of Land and Natural Resources bureaucrats into securing new long-term leases for two of Hawaii's most respected yacht clubs.

It wasn't long before I heard from DLNR Boating Division's Dave Parsons who thought I had perhaps pointed the finger at the wrong sector of government.

"We have put together a lease-bid package for the Waikiki Yacht Club," Parson told me. "But the AG's (State Attorney General) opinion was that any agreement with regard to submerged lands in harbor areas requires a concurrent resolution from our legislature."

In other words, maybe the governor should do some prodding, but it isn't the DLNR now, but the state legislature that may need the encouragement. And the bottom line is that not much can happen until the Legislature is in session next year.

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