Winterizing The Boat Again




Never say never. In the past, I have said I would never be in a cold enough climate to have to winterize the boat again, and here it is our second winter in the Chesapeake and my second year winterizing. We are very fortunate to have a very nice couple that spends the winters in Florida (where we should be) who has asked us to house sit from December first to the end of March. This time frame works well for us, since the cold is starting to set in and the boat can be hauled for the winter. Upon their return, spring will have sprung, and we want the boat back in the water. Just prior to haul out, we begin the winterization process and finish it up just as we are moving off for the winter. Here are the procedures we use for our boat each year. Other boats with different systems may require something different or additional.

Open WiFi On The Boat And Firesheep And Other Man-made Disasters

One of the most visited pages on this site and our Sea Trek site are the postings for our simple and inexpensive WiFi system that we have been using for years. Many of our cruising friends use WiFi, as we do, to get online, gather weather information, send and receive emails and do all of the other things people do through the Internet. For years, we have used available WiFi, whether from an open access point or from a marina, hotel or restaurant. If anyone has been on a boating site lately, the discussion has turned to Firesheep, a program designed to allow anyone with it on their computer to access your Facebook page while you are logged in and do anything you can do. There is one fellow out there, I won't mention his name, that has been on every boating discussion board on the net, doing his absolute best to scare the crap out of anyone that will listen. This fellow is making some claims that would lead the less educated in all things computer to believe that if a 12 year old has Firesheep on his computer, he can steal your life, take over your identity and clean out your bank account. He would have you believe that if you use any open WiFi, the sky will fall and life as you know it will end.

Catching Up On Work And Boat Projects

Time flies when your having Rum. At least I wish that was the case, but in  fact it is work that has made time fly and I have come to understand more and more that work really screws up my boat time. Susan and I have done both the Annapolis Sailboat Show and Annapolis Power Boat Show for Waterway Guide. Susan has sent the final two Editions, the 2011 Northern and Great Lakes Editions, of  Waterway Guide to the printer and we have been working on a variety of other projects at the office. I will be attending the 11th annual Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association Conference  in Norfolk, VA for two days to speak on the advancement and evolution of electronic navigation. The weather is very fall like, the leaves have gone through their annual color changes, and most have fallen to the ground after our last rain and wind storm, and it is getting progressively cooler every week. A reminder that winter is coming upon us quickly. We have already made plans to haul the boat in early December and move into our house sitting routine until spring. All of these thoughts don't fill my mind with warm and fuzzies. Especially when many of our cruising friends are sending us reports from out on the water, in much warmer places.

Marine Safety Advisory------Distracted Operators


United States Coast Guard
Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship
Marine Safety Advisory 01-10
October 29, 2010
Washington, DC

DISTRACTED OPERATIONS
     Don't let it be you!

Throughout the United States, and across all transportation modes, safety initiatives are being established to address issues related to Distracted Operations.  The Coast Guard recognizes the importance of this issue, understands the potential consequences caused by increased operational risk in marine operations, and is supportive of the goals and objectives of the U.S. Department of Transportation and other distracted driving safety initiatives.

15 Steps To New Ports On The Boat




Our original 30 year old ports were really looking pretty shabby and a couple of them had begun to leak. We did some temporary caulking, which I don't like to do, but it was obvious that it was time to replace them. After a lot of research, we found some very good looking stainless steel ports at New Found Metals   and ordered the 5X12 Stainless with screens and all of the needed materials for installation. We have received a lot of positive feedback from other boaters that have installed their ports and were very happy. The price was pretty good, and the ports arrived in short order. It was time to start the replacement process.

The Okeechobee Waterway

Excerpt from the 2011 Southern Edition Waterway Guide, Editor, Susan Landry :


The Okeechobee Waterway is considered by many to be the dividing line between Central Florida and South Florida. When traveling from the north, this is where you will begin to see greater changes in the climate and vegetation, and even in the people—more “Northerners,” either seasonal “snowbirds” or full-time transplants, and a decided increase in the Latino culture. And please journey along with us on our photo tour of the Waterway here.

A Chesapeake Cruise


We finally untied the dock lines and left the dock for a few days of cruising instead of working on the boat. All of the must-do projects are done for now, and we need a little time off to relax and enjoy some of the fruits of our labors. One of the great things about cruising for as long as we have, is that you meet a lot of wonderful people, and we have met many. Over the years they have become friends and even if you don't see someone for years, when you next meet, it is like you saw each other yesterday. Our good friends Paul and Gail were anchored in San Pedro, Belize when we sailed over the reef early one morning and dropped anchor. We were very surprised to find two boats already anchored there, not because they were there ,but because both of the other boats were from Maryland and one lived within five miles of us. We continued on with both boats through Belize and into the Rio Dulce in Guatemala.

A New Dinghy And A Big Change

Cruisers know that the dinghy is the same as the family car when we live ashore.It gets you to shore to buy groceries, visit with friends, and reach those beaches and snorkel spots that can't be reached with the mothership. Ask ten cruisers what the best dinghy is and you will get ten different answers. It will turn out to be one of those discussions like anchoring or cleaning the holding tank. The opinions will fly and the discussion will go on for a long time.



Holding Tanks and Refrigerators

What do these two systems have in common you ask? I suppose you could say one holds your food while the other holds the waste products of your food. Both are systems on a boat that get a lot of discussion and attention from most boat owners. Both are systems that can cause lots of headaches and demand lots of our attention.

The holding tank on Beach House was the original from the factory and in a very strange place. Both heads are in cabins down from the main salon. The holding tank was a fiberglass tank installed under the seat at the dinette. Other than the fact that this might not be the most desirable location if odors develop, it means that the sewage must be pumped up hill from the heads to the tank, another less than ideal situation. 











12 Small Boat Projects That Made Large Improvements

Sometimes it is the little things that can make a big difference. Most of the posts here cover our projects and improvements and while many are serious undertakings, some are simple, quick and easy, but once finished, solve a problem or shortcoming we have encountered. With any new boat, there are always those little things that drive you crazy sometimes. Here are a few things we felt needed doing that paid off.

Leaking Window Repair Update

I thought I would repost this and bring things up to date. In recent weeks, the windows that were repaired previously began leaking even worse than before we had the work done. I decided to fall back on the old saying, "If you want something done right, you need to do it yourself." So here is the history and an update of what we have done to make it right.

 A common issue with the Marine Trader is leaky windows. The previous owner of Beach House had the aft cabin windows removed, as well as the interior wood inside the cabin above the berths. New interior wood was installed, and the old windows and exterior frames were put back in place. But for some odd reason, the windows went back in and the exterior frames had a gap of at least a half inch between the frame and the window that was at least a half inch deep. A perfect water catcher and retainer.

Cooking Aboard – Tips Tricks and Recipes by Susan

You would think after living aboard for 18 years, I would know all of the tricks to cooking aboard. I only know what worked for us, and maybe some of my ideas and tips will work for you, too.
   
We started out on a 40 foot sailboat with a large galley and a lot of storage. Whether you are planning for a long trip of many months or a week on the river or bay, you will need to buy provisions for the boat. We have done both kinds of trips.

Hurricane Preparations For The 2010 Season


Have you ever had the experience of sitting out a hurricane on your boat? Have you had to leave your boat and wait out a storm, wondering if it would survive? We have done both and neither are experiences we want to go through again. Sitting on board, listening to the wind howling in the rigging and climbing on deck during pelting rain just to adjust dock lines and anchor rode is not our idea of cruising fun, and the anxiety factor is off the charts. Sitting in a hotel room hundreds of miles away, not knowing if the boat made it through or if your next contact is the insurance company. June is just the beginning of the hurricane season, but it is also a good time to get yourself and your boat prepared. With our former boat Sea Trek, we have been through fifteen named storms, twelve of them hurricanes. So we do have some first hand knowledge for preparing and we thought this a good time to share our experiences.

Installing A Marine Electrical Panel In A Day

Prior to purchasing Beach House, we had a thorough survey done by Bob Dulce from Hilton Head South Carolina. Bob knows the Marine Traders intimately, as he has been involved with them since the first hull was imported into the U.S. He is also an excellent and knowledgeable surveyor that understands what can happen when a survey reaches an insurance company with a lot of "recommendations." They immediately become "requirements" as soon as a clerk at the insurance company sees them. So items that were not major, but needed attention at some point, were made known to us during the survey, but did not find their way on to the final report. One of those items was an electrical panel that a previous owner had installed in the hanging locker for the forward cabin. As was the practice during the late 70s and early 80s, a household electrical panel had been installed to service the added air-conditioner, some 120-volt lights and an added outlet in the engine compartment. The panel was in good shape and wired correctly so there was no urgency to replace it immediately. So it went on our to-do list. In time, it finally rose to the top of the list, and the weather cooperated so that neither the heat or the air-conditioning would be needed for an entire weekend--plenty of time to complete the project. So it began.

US Naval Academy Commencement Week

Commencement Week for the US Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland is a major event for both the Graduates and Midshipman at the Academy, and also for the city of Annapolis. Besides the influx of families and friends of the staff, instructors and the Midshipman, it attracts tourists from all over the United States and the rest of the world. Probably the biggest draw and most anticipated event is the flight demonstration performed by the Navy's Blue Angels precision flying squadron.
Some History
At the end of World War II, the Chief of Naval Operations, Chester W. Nimitz, ordered the formation of a flight demonstration team to keep the public interested in Naval Aviation. The Blue Angels performed their first flight demonstration less than a year later in June 1946 at their home base, Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida. LCDR Roy "Butch" Voris led the team, flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat.

Adding Some Ventilation Inside The Boat

If there is any one thing that people object to on a boat the most, it is unwanted smells. And as a boat gets older, it develops smells from all kinds of sources. There are volumes of information out there on holding tank and head odors so we did not plan to address them with this minor modification. After almost 20 years of living aboard, we have found that certain areas of the boat can develop odors from trapped moisture and condensation in any climate and any season. A bigger problem that can surface is mold and mildew, which can generate odors and also cause health problems in some individuals. We learned all of these lessons the hard way, and the solutions were actually quite simple.

Storage And Stowage on a Liveaboard Boat

Anyone that has lived aboard or considered living aboard a boat understands the issues with finding enough space to stow all of your life's possessions. The builders and designers of boats are more interested in bragging that their 35 foot boat will sleep 10 and seat 15 for dinner. What they don't provide is space on the boat to store the bedding for 10, nor the dishes and provisions to feed 15 people. In almost every boat there is a great deal of wasted space along side the hull, behind steps and cabinets and many other areas. So we boat owners need to get very creative if we don't want to spend the dollars for a very large boat just to haul all of our stuff. With every boat we have purchased, we spend the first hour sitting in the main salon asking one question. Where will we put everything we need to be comfortable and enjoy cruising. If we can not quickly answer that question, we move on to the next boat.

Remaking The Boat Shower, Take Two

DSC04034a

Unfortunately, work has seriously interfered with the boat projects and this winter saw very few of the items on my todo list get done. One project that we did start before the blizzards set in was to redo the shower in the forward head. We had converted the head into a shower when we first moved on the boat but it was a temporary fix and we did plan on a more permanent finish later. Later began in December after the boat was hauled and we moved ashore. I began taking the old Formica like material off of the walls and planned to replace it with FRP panels that would look better, be completely waterproof and easy to clean. These are the typical panels found inside many shower enclosures.

DSC Radio safety Alert


With the proliferation and popularity of DSC radios, we felt you needed to be advised of this important potential safety issue. The following is a Safety Alert issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

Dangers Associated with Automatic Channel Switching on Digital Selective Calling (DSC) Equipped VHF Marine Radios. It has come to the Coast Guard's attention that an automatic channel switching feature found on certain models of Digital Selective Calling (DSC) equipped VHF marine radios may create an unintended hazard by automatically switching from a working channel that might be in use at the time to Channel 16 when the VHF marine radio receives a DSC distress alert, distress alert acknowledgment or other DSC call where a VHF channel number has been designated.

 This could happen without a vessel/radio operator's immediate knowledge and could initiate an unsafe condition by which the vessel/radio operators would believe they were communicating on a working channel such as Channel 13 when, in fact, they were actually on Channel 16. Imagine a towboat operator on the lower Mississippi River making passing agreements on VHF channel 67 and then suddenly, without warning, not being able to quickly reestablish communications with those vessels because his/her radio automatically switched to Channel 16 instead. Since this unsafe condition can happen at any time, the Coast Guard strongly recommends disabling the automatic channel switching feature when maintaining a listening watch or communicating on the designated bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone, or while monitoring the vessel traffic services (VTS) channel. Radios that lack the disabling feature should not be used for bridge-to-bridge or VTS communications.

The International Telecommunications Union Sector for Radiocommunications, Recommendation M.493-11 published in 2004 and later versions require DSC-equipped radios to provide for disabling of this channel auto-switch feature. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires all DSC-equipped radios certified after March 25, 2009 to meet this requirement. Manufacturers that do not provide a disable function are encouraged to do so and to inform their customers if means for correction exist. Updated information including a listing of manufacturers of radios believed to be affected by this Safety Alert will be posted as available at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/marcomms/gmdss/dsc.htm .

The Coast Guard strongly reminds radio operators and other users to always ensure they are on the proper operating channel when communicating or maintaining watch, particularly with DSC-equipped radios capable of channel auto-switching.
 

This safety alert is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational or material requirement.
Developed by the Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Policy Division (CG-652),
United States Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC. Questions should be directed to Mr. Russell Levin at (202) 475 3555 or Russell.S.Levin@uscg.mil

Weather Buoys Set In The Chesapeake

Coast Guard
 Modernization Banner
5th District Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard
Department of Homeland Security Coast Guard logo
Photo Release
Date: March 16, 2010
(410) 576-2541

NOAA your weather

Coast Guard, NOAA set seasonal buoys to gather weather data

BALTIMORE - Seaman Christopher Schwann, a crewmember aboard the 
Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin, washes a sinker as part of routine buoy
 maintenance in the Chesapeake Bay Monday, March 15, 2010. The Rankin 
replaces ice buoys in spring and sets them again in fall annually. U.S 
Coast Guard photo by Seaman Apprentice Grace Baldwin.
BALTIMORE - Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter James 
Rankin, prepare to mount additional data gathering equipment to a 
weather buoy before setting it in the Chesapeake Bay Monday, March 15, 
2010. The weather buoy, developed by the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration gathers weather related data to include wind 
speed, temperature and wave height. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman 
Apprentice Grace Baldwin.
BALTIMORE - Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Adams, a Boatswain's 
Mate aboard the Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin, maintains control of a 
weather buoy before lowering it into the Chesapeake Bay Monday, March 
15, 2010. Weather buoys contain data gathering equipment that enables 
researchers to monitor weather conditions such as wind speed, 
temperature and wave height. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Apprentice
 Grace Baldwin.
BALTIMORE - Petty Officer 2nd Class Tonya Mills, Boatswain's Mate 
aboard the Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin, measures the chain to ensure
 it is still in good condition Monday, Mar. 15, 2010. The Rankin 
annually inspects each aid to navigation to ensure that navigational aid
 is in good working order and marking safe water for mariners. U.S. 
Coast Guard photo by Seaman Apprentice Grace Baldwin.
BALTIMORE - Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin, a
 175-foot coastal buoy tender homeported in Baltimore, prepare to 
release a weather buoy in the Chesapeake Bay Monday, March 15, 2010. The
 Coast Guard works with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration to place weather buoys that enable researchers to gather 
real-time weather data. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Apprentice 
Grace Baldwin.
BALTIMORE - Seaman Danielle Phelps, a crewmember aboard the Coast 
Guard Cutter James Rankin, mans a tagline in order to maintain positive 
contraol of a buoy moving across the deck before being placed into the 
Chesapeake Bay Monday, March 15, 2010. Safety is paramount throughout 
the Coast Guard and is especially important during dangerous buoy deck 
evolutions. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Apprentice Grace Baldwin.
BALTIMORE - Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin
 repair a damaged buoy in the Chesapeake Bay Monday, March 15, 2010. The
 Rankin is responsible for more than 375 aids to navigation that mark 
safe water for mariners in the Chesapeake Bay. U.S. Coast Guard photo by
 Seaman Apprentice Grace Baldwin.

BALTIMORE - The Coast Guard along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducted seasonal buoy replacements Monday in the Chesapeake Bay.
The Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin, a 175-foot coastal buoy tender homeported in Baltimore, maintains approximately 375 aids to navigation and conducts fall and spring buoy replacements annually.
Weather buoys collect data and report real-time environmental information including wind speed, temperature and wave height. The buoys also serve as interpretive buoys that mark the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historical Trail that runs throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
"The weather buoys provide valuable weather information during peak recreational boating seasons," said Lt. Dave Lewald, the commanding officer of the Rankin. "The buoys also provide historical data which can benefit researchers collecting information on how to clean up the bay."
Click on the photos above to view a higher resolution version and more specific caption information on the Coast Guard Visual Imagery site.
For more information visit www.ndbc.noaa.gov or visit http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=44043 to view data from the weather buoy pictured above.

Spring Is In The Air And So Are The Boat Projects

DSC03828aIt seems absolutely unbelievable that just a few weeks ago snow was still three feet high all around the boat. In just a short time, the temps have gone from the 30’s and 40’s to the 60’s and there is virtually no sign of the record snowfalls we have had this winter. In such a short time, we have completed our short list of the things that HAD to get done before the boat went in the water, got the boat ready, removed all of the shrink wrap, got the boat back in the water, moved  out of the house we have been house-sitting for the winter and moved back aboard the boat. We have to wonder if these past four months have just been a bad dream. We are some happy boaters to be back on board.

The Winter Trawler Blues

Just what do you do when the snow accumulation has reached a record 80 inches in the Chesapeake region and you can't even get to the road to the marina, let alone on board the boat? Not much, but there are a few things than can be done away from the boat. Before all of the snow started we brought some of the drawers home that were really bad so we could refinish them. We had also started to renovate the renovated shower in the forward head. But the three page todo list before the boat is to go back in the water has not seen one item checked off. And based on the forecasts for the future, we will need to prioritize to get the items that MUST be done prior to launch. Obviously several things will have to wait until haul out next year, and lots of items will get done after the boat goes back in the water. Typically we try and do all of the tasks that would be really inconvenient while we are aboard, after the boat is hauled out for the winter and we are living ashore. With this historic weather we probably will not accomplish much this time.

Installing A Power Inverter

There may still be cruisers out there that light their way with oil lamps, use a bucket instead of a head and sail without a motor, but in 18 years of cruising we have not met them. Today, most cruisers are like us, preferring to take the comforts and conveniences of life ashore with them when they cast off the dock lines to sail off into the sunset. Long ago we made the decision to cruise in comfort and not turn our sailing trips into a camp out on the water. This meant we would need a means to power our small appliances, power tools and entertainment devices. There is more than one way to accomplish the same end depending on the level of your power consumption and what your budget might be. For us the requirements were simple. The cost needed to be kept down, the system needed to be as simple as possible, and we needed to be able to install and maintain it ourselves. Additionally, it should not interfere with our piece and quiet, or that of our neighbors. OK, maybe not so simple after all.

Backstage At The Boat Show

Often ones first introduction to boating is at one of the many, many boat shows that are staged around the country almost anytime of the year. Some of the largest are in-the-water shows in Annapolis, Miami/Fort Lauderdale and several other venues in coastal cities and inland waterways. But there are quite a few others that are held in convention centers, stadiums and coliseums in cities both large and small. When the doors open and the first of thousands of folks walk through the door, the boats are gleaming and polished, the booths are dressed for customers and the sales folks have practiced their presentations.

Home From The Show

We are back home from the Stuart Cruiser's Expo Show and it is always good to be home but we sure enjoyed the great weather (read warm) and the opportunity to spend some time with a lot of current and future cruisers. This is pretty much a power boat cruiser's show but there were a few sailors there also. We heard from several other venders that the show did not have the same attendance as in past years but we found it to be a good show from our perspective so we look forward to doing it again. We were at the Waterway Guide booth through most of the weekend. We met a lot of folks and sold a lot of Waterway Guides.

On Friday I gave a seminar on cruising the Carolinas and it seemed to be well received. We talked about and covered side trips to many small towns that can be visited off the ICW by boat and how these trips make great alternative stops and cruising grounds. Capt. Chris Caldwell also joined in and gave a brief presentation on one of his favorite routes along Croaton Sound and how it can be used as an alternative to the ICW route. On Friday evening there was a cocktail and hor'dourves party and I was asked to be the Keynote Speaker. It was a fun speech and kept short since everyone was having too good a time to listen to a speaker for very long. There was lots of socializing and tall tales going around the room for hours. The sponsors and organizers put on a great spread and did a fine job for the entire weekend. We really enjoyed it and hope we will be participating again next year. The immediate future will have us perhaps at the Trawlerfest in Ft. Lauderdale, The Miami Boatshow, and for sure the MTOA Rendezvous in St. Augustine in April. I plan to give a talk on cruising Cuba at the MTOA event.





For now, it is back to work to fatten the bank account and get the cruising kitty built up. We have lots of expensive equipment to buy and install so this may be one of our longest work stops yet. We are having a great time with the new jobs and spending much more time with family, so other than the winter and the cold, there is not too much to complain about. But I will anyway.

Dehumidifier Recall

We try and post any safety issues we find that would have a affect a broad number of boaters and we feel this is an important one since many of us in all climates along the eastern seaboard especially, could be affected. We use a dehumidifier all of the time on board Beach House but not any of the ones affected by the recall. Nothing is more frightening and devastating for boat owner like a fire so we considered this one important. This humidifiers can be purchased on line or at many home improvement stores. Check the link and be sure yours is not included

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of 98,000 dehumidifiers sold under the Goldstar and Comfort-Aire brands between January 2007 and June 2008. The model in question, manufactured by China's LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Co., has a 30-pint resevoir with a front-loading bucket, and a red shut-off button. This unit has been determined to be the cause of a number of fires — and we all know how boat fires usually turn out. To see if your dehumidifier is on the recall list, check this site.

Coast Guard EPIRB Warning

November 30, 2009 Alert 08-09
Washington, DC
UNAPPROVED EPIRB BATTERY REPLACEMENTS

Fishing vessel safety staff in the Coast Guard’s Seventh District has received at least three reports in the past few months regarding unapproved replacements of 406 EPIRB batteries by servicing companies having no association with the EPIRB manufacturer. These unauthorized battery installations would likely result in a failure of this critical item of lifesaving equipment, and as such are not in compliance with the operational readiness requirements of 46 CFR.

The following is a typical excerpt from an EPIRB manufacturer report: “The unit was opened and a foreign battery was found inside. The battery was built up using (manufacturer) fuses and wiring salvaged from the original (manufacturer) battery. They then covered their battery with the original (manufacturer) yellow heat shrink, (manufacturer) labels and taped it together. This was then covered with a black heat shrink wrap. The connections were soldered and not spot welded, as is required by the design and is performed in (manufacturer) production. The battery measured 8.7 volts. Our batteries read 9+ volts when they are new. This battery was installed one week prior to it being brought into (manufacturer). There was also evidence of water intrusion due to the crack in the top cap, which (servicing company) did not recognize as they are not trained in these matters. The EPIRB was condemned by (manufacturer) and the customer was notified when he came
to pick the unit up.”


Every approved (i.e., accepted by the FCC) EPIRB is tested during its approval process using a battery, or batteries, specified by the manufacturer. Approved EPIRBs come with a user's manual which describes battery maintenance and replacement procedures. In order for the EPIRB to remain within the conditions of its approval, the manufacturer's instructions in the user's manual must be adhered to. To ensure that replacement batteries are of the same type with which the EPIRB was approved, and are correctly installed, manufacturers typically specify that battery replacements only be done by the manufacturer or a manufacturer-approved shop.

Any modification or changes to an EPIRP must be made in accordance with the manufacturer. The use of alternative replacement parts or batteries is prohibited and may prevent the device from meeting lifesaving requirements. The Coast Guard strongly reminds EPIRB owners and servicing facilities to be aware of the compliance implications and potential for equipment failure stemming from any EPIRB modification or unauthorized battery replacement. This safety alert is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational or material requirement.

Questions regarding the information presented in this alert may be addressed to LCDR Vince Gamma of the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Lifesaving & Fire Safety Standards Division at 202.372.1396 or Vincent.A.Gamma@uscg.mil.