Practical Boat Owner: Televisions, laptops, mobile phones, power tools, heaters or simply charging the boat’s batteries, whatever the electrical need, the stark warning from a leading boat safety body is that petrol generators will continue to cost lives and cause misery unless boaters use them correctly.
Boat Safety Scheme (BSS), made this blunt statement in light of the fatalities and injuries that have taken place on boats across the UK in recent years; devastating events that could have been avoided if the correct safety measures were taken.
Petrol generators can be seen as critical to some boaters wanting off-grid electrical power. Yet the fact that generators emit deadly carbon monoxide and need refuelling with highly flammable petrol means they must be never be installed in an enclosed cockpit area or engine space of a boat and must never be used on or close to the boat where exhaust fumes could enter the boat and where they can cause injuries or fatalities.
The BSS says that if boaters want to use generators, these three basic bullet points should be followed: –
- Never install a portable generator permanently or make unauthorised modifications that are not supported by the manufacturer, or proprietary component supplier.
- Never run generators on the boat, or on the bank near to the boat’s doors, vents, windows and hatches. If you can smell exhaust fumes in the boat, it could mean the cabin is also filling with deadly carbon monoxide.
- Never refuel any generator anywhere aboard the boat; take it to the bank and ensure you are a safe distance from other boats and potential sources of ignition.
However, make sure you are keeping to any marina or mooring-owner guidance and rules on the use of generators, refuelling and the handling of petrol on their sites.
Keep friends and fellow yachtsmen up to date with your yachting activities – create your own boating website for free. The internet, interweb, world wide web: whatever we call it, it is now ubiquitous. And despite all of its occasional frustrations, it is very useful for us as sailors.
We can access immediate weather forecasts, find out up-to-date pilotage information, discuss issues with other like-minded sailors and even find out racing results if we are so inclined.It’s a great tool, but most of us perhaps tend to be passive receivers of information from the internet rather than active participants.
With the growth of new tools and social media, however, this is a situation that is changing rapidly.Facebook is useful for communicating with friends and family while cruising and keep them updated.
However, you may like to go one step further and set up a website for your boat – and this article looks at easy (and free) ways of doing this.It is easier than you think and costs nothing to try, so why not have a go?
Creating a blog – The tool I am going to suggest for setting up your own website is a blog. This may seem an odd choice, but if we consider that the term blog is an abbreviation of ‘web log’ then we can see that the internet geeks adopted the phrase from us, and it’s time for sailors to claim it back!
There are well over 150 million blogs in existence and as a result there are a wide variety of tools online for creating your own.These tools are sufficiently straightforward to use that you can create a whole website as well.
For example, Google owns the blogging site Blogger (www.blogger.com). If you already have a Gmail account or Google account, you can start blogging straight away.
If not, create an account and you can start a blog within minutes.The blogging tool we will focus on for this article is one called WordPress (www.wordpress.com). WordPress is one of the most popular blogging tools and very straightforward to use.There are more than 73 million WordPress sites in the world, so you are far from alone if you choose to set one up. This means that there is extensive help and support available online.