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How To Make Sure Your Personal Flotation Device Fits Properly


Did you know…


  • That half of all recreational boating fatalities happen in calm water?*
  • That these fatalities often happen close to shore?*
  • That in most cases, there were PFDs stored on board the boat, but they weren’t being utilized?*
  • That the number of U.S. boating accidents had steadily fallen from 1997 to 2012, but they have been on the rise since then?**

This is why The U.S. Coast Guard’ Boating Safety Division recommends that all boaters wear PFDs (personal flotation devices) while they are out on the water. Simply having them on the boat isn’t always enough to save a life.

Just wearing a PFD isn’t enough, though. It’s very important to select the right type of PFD, and to make sure that it fits properly. A PFD that doesn’t may slip off, be incapable of keeping the wearer afloat, cause an unconscious person to flip over, or in some cases, cause loss of blood flow or strangulation.

So how do you make sure your life jacket fits? Follow these guidelines, courtesy of The U.S. Coast Guard:

PFD Fitting Guidelines
Whether swimming, fishing, participating in water sports, or just having a family cruise, we want everyone to have a great time out on the water. As always, happy and safe boating from Atlantic Yacht Basin!




Atlantic Yacht Basin Summer Storage Specials

Summer Storage 2018

Our storage referral program has been so popular, we’ve decided to bring it back yet again

If you refer someone who becomes a new storage customer for at least 3 months – both you and your friend will get an additional month of storage absolutely free!
You must refer a new storage customer to qualify and they should mention your name when they contact AYB to sign up

Offer applies to summer storage only and storage must begin on or before August 1, 2018 to qualify.

We’re also a great stopover point for cruisers as well as those heading up and down the East Coast on their annual migrations and we are convenient to a number of airports and major highways as well as the ICW. And for local boat owners, the peace of mind that comes with storing and servicing your boat with AYB means that you can enjoy your boat up until the last minute, knowing that it will be in great hands whenever YOUR boating season ends.

Get More Info About Our Summer Storage Referral Program

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    Atlantic Yacht Basin featured on NOAA


    Atlantic Yacht Basin has always put an emphasis on safety. As a hurricane storage facility, they have helped many boat owners safely endure storms and repair damaged boats. NOAA recently talked with Spencer Hull, Treasurer and Director of Market Development for Atlantic Yacht Basin, Inc. for a feature in their People of Weather-Ready Nation. Spencer was able to share his thoughts on how we can all become safer and more weather-ready boaters.Check out the article here:


    Travel the World by Boating and Yachting

    In 2014, the Caribbean saw more than 26 million trips from foreigners, with over half of those being directly related to tourism. Maritime and coastal tourism have accounted for up to ⅓ of the marine economy in the E.U.. Hedy Lamarr (the actress) once said, “I’ve met the most interesting people while flying or on a boat. These methods of travel seem to attract the kind of people I want to be with.”

    For those just getting into boating or traveling by boat (sail, power, trawler, sternwheelers, etc.), preparing for a trip on the high seas is more difficult than one might think. I have found that taking a trip by boat, without using a yacht charter service, can be surprisingly complicated. These trips aren’t your run of the mill drive by car or fly by plane trips, which still take time, effort, and planning. Knowing what to do and when to do it is essential for a seamless and fun trip, which is why planning is essential. Once the decision has been made to go on a trip, by boat, with your friends and family, it will finally be time to begin your journey.

    “I Can Do This by Myself”

            Too many individuals go into travel planning processes (especially those involving boats, excluding chartered cruises) with the idea that they will be planning the entire trip without the help or advice of others, for a myriad of reasons. For example, maybe they don’t work well with others or maybe they get embarrassed asking for help. Regardless, one of the first things to do it rid yourself of this mindset. Yes, there are hundreds of thousands of travel sites, however, this should only be the start of your travel planning.

    Begin with the internet. Then start enlisting the help of people on boating and sailing related forums. Meeting up with crews and owners at marinas can also be a great source of information. Travel agents are another group you can speak with during the planning process. Not only do travel agents know the ins and outs of multiple destinations, but they know more than you do. They also have better connections, and can be safety nets if you choose to work with them during the entirety of your travel process. Finally, be sure to visit and play with a number of boat travel planners, such as this one. Online tools can give you a sense of how many nautical miles you will be traveling or how much fuel you may need.

    Decide Where You Are Going

            You likely already have an idea of the route you plan on taking, which is a start. A thorough travel route should be a priority though and should include a multitude of specifics. Plotting your route on a map can eliminate any questions about where you are going, how much fuel may be needed, what ports you plan to stop at, what ports can be emergency backups, etcetera. Additionally, once you know the route you are taking and the dates, you can begin to look at weather patterns. On the water, one must consider wind and waves, the potential for tsunamis, and, most likely, hurricanes. Understanding the potential for storm surges, winds, and the path of hurricanes could significantly alter the course of a boat trip. Have your hurricane preparedness plan arranged before leaving.

    Budget, Budget, Budget

            Once a clear route and time range has been established, evaluating the budget of the trip will come next. One must account for food, water, pre-departure maintenance, fuel for along the way, the cost of staying at ports, and any fees and papers for coming or going from your destination. Keeping your food costs down, watching fuel prices from numerous resources, and preplanning your stays will likely save you a few bucks. Remember to account for several days extra worth of water and food in case of emergencies.

    “A boat is a hole in the water that you throw your money into.” This is a fairly accurate description if something bad happens to your boat. What happens when you haven’t budgeted or aren’t prepared for those costs? You may need to buy parts or visit a marina for repairs. This is why you should consider your options.

    Safety First is Safety Always

            There are a countless number of boating safety related infographics, articles, and videos out there on the web. First, use your common sense. If you don’t know your way around boats very well, hire someone who does. Alternatively, have someone aboard that can serve as an assistant skipper in case you are injured or for some other reason incapable of operating the boat. As mentioned earlier, be weather aware, and download and complete a safety checklist to help you prepare.

    Furthermore, consider the safety of the wildlife and ocean around you. There have been several maritime laws that have been put into place in order to protect the environment. In 2010, there were approximately 10.2 million pieces of trash collected along just U.S. coastline. Protecting the environment and protecting travelers should be of the utmost importance during a long excursion on a boat. Should one of the travelers jump in for a dive, they may encounter ocean pollution, which is not only toxic for the oceans but can be dangerous for
    those in the water. Keep an eye on the water around you and remember to dispose
    of your trash appropriately.

    Befriend Fellow Travelers

            Now comes the fun. From here on out, you are boating for the reasons that made you want to travel initially- minus regularly making pit stops for supplies and doing daily chores. During your journey, be sure to meet up with other people who are traveling by boat. As Hedy Lamarr acknowledged, this traveling crowd tends to be light hearted, and are actually some of the most active and healthy individuals. When speaking with other boaters, you may learn a thing or two about the next destination on your list. Plus, as a side bonus, you have the potential of meeting and making lifelong friends.

    Remember Why You are Boating and Yachting

            Boating and traveling are, in several ways, ideal leisure activities for many. Don’t forget this while you are traveling. Yes, there will be work involved. Yes, there may be small problems here and there. But you are traveling on a boat for your own (hopefully positive) reasons. Relax, turn on some of your favorite tunes, do the activities you planned, enjoy the company around you, and have safe travels.

    Preparing for Hurricane Storage

    Hurricanes are a force of nature. We will never be able to predict just how strong they will be. Like a tsunami, hurricanes can wreak havoc. Knowing what to do and when is vital to ensuring your boat rides out the storm with very few issues, if any at all. The following are just several of the steps you can take.


    Being Prepared

    Coastal states must be prepared for storms and hurricanes. Virginia is in the top ten list of states where residents will be most affected by storm surge flooding. Hurricane Sandy ripped through almost ⅓ of the States, with many of the states being on the east coast. Being prepared includes a number of things. Making sure your boat will be safe is one of the most important things to consider.


    Knowing The Risks

    Taking risks and betting there may or may not be a huge storm is not beneficial to anyone, particularly yourself. Truly understanding the risks involves a multitude of considerations. Think of the destructive forces of a hurricane: winds, high water, waves upon waves. Can you effectively care for your vessel, or would you be better off storing your boat in a marina? How long would it take you to find a harbor? Will you have the funding without insurance to move your boat inland every time a storm approaches? If so, will you have the time? By grasping the true affects a hurricane has, one can make informed decisions and take the appropriate actions.


    Finding The Right Boatyard

    There are several factors you should consider when looking for a boatyard to store your rig. The first thing you should do is talk to boatyard masters about how they handle hurricanes. Some yards require you make certain preparations, or even remove your boat entirely, in the wake of a storm. Your task will be much easier if you search out a facility that specializes in hurricane storage. Once you’ve assured that your boat will be safe and welcome during a storm, it’s time to go about finding the most storm-worthy storage option.

    There are a few factors affect a marina’s storm-worthiness. The first is geographical location. The more inland the better, usually. A non-tidal cove is a great place to avoid waves and storm surges. You’ll also want to look for an area that has been dredged to avoid potential damage to the bottom and sides of your boat from deep water draft that can get kicked up during a storm.

    Covered storage is preferable during a storm. Even if you’re in a great area to avoid water surges and waves, torrential rain and wind will still hit and have their effects. If you opt for covered storage, make sure that it is storm-worthy coverage. Metal is the best roofing material for hurricane resistance, followed closely by asphalt shingles. Roofing that is fused to the building or structure carries less of a chance of catching high winds and blowing away, or possibly down toward your vessel.

    Hurricane winds can be anywhere between 100 and 200 mph, depending on the storm. The best way you can protect your boat from gale-force flurries is is to reduce the windage. You’ll want to remove as much canvas, rigging, and deck gear as you possibly can. Tie down or otherwise secure any equipment that may be picked up and blown away, not only to protect your property, but to protect the vessels and structures around your boat.

    Some individuals choose to have their boat hauled ashore before a hurricane. This can be an expensive and time-consuming process that requires planning and preparation, but it is one of the safest ways to store your boat during a storm. Once far inland, your vessel is only susceptible to torrential rain and the small possibility of the hurricane spawning tornados.


    Taking Action

    This boils down to taking preventative measures and knowing exactly what you will do when the time comes. Have a hurricane storage reservation planned if your boat doesn’t have a regular storage facility. Also make sure that you have a sufficient insurance policy in place. You should have discussed and determined an insurance policy that will protect you during a storm. Like any other type of insurance policy, it must be taken out long before there are any signs of a potential threat.

    Hurricanes are one of the many great forces of nature and the brute force and destructiveness of hurricanes can be disastrous for boat and yacht owners. Being prepared, knowing the risks of not being prepared, finding the best storage facility, and taking action are just some of the ways owners can protect their vessels. Do your own research or check this great guide out to discover other ways you can protect your boat.