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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!




Staying Connected on Your Boat

In our highly connected world we have grown so accustomed to having immediate access to information that it can be a shock when we leave shore on our boat and find ourselves truly disconnected. While some may revel in the seclusion and escape, others find it stressful. Having internet access can also help to improve your boating experience by allowing you to keep those useful apps updated and keep up to date on current weather patterns. The issue then becomes, how do you get access to the internet from the middle of the ocean or lake? Luckily, technology has our backs. There are multiple devices designed to transfer signals long range and ways to connect via satellites.


One option is to get a WiFi range extender. This device helps to boost the signal from your regular WiFi so that it can reach longer distances. If you have a WiFi connection close to where you are boating and aren’t planning on traveling too far offshore this could be a great option. The boosters are fairly inexpensive and work off the service you already use making them an inexpensive choice.


Another pick is to use your mobile device. Upgrading to a larger data package will allow you to utilize your smartphone through your cellular data. You can also set your phone up as a hotspot and connect other devices to it. Signal boosters also exist for mobile phones and could be used to help extend the range of your device. Unfortunately, the coverage is still limited and dead spots will most certainly be an issue without cell towers in the middle of The Atlantic.


The last choice is to utilize satellite internet. This will give you the best coverage and the most browsing opportunities. The downside is it is also one of the most expensive options. If you plan on long voyages across multiple countries however, this is the most feasible. Satellite is most known for its use in remote areas where landlines aren’t an option so it is well suited for the boating industry. Both the service and the equipment are going to be a large investment but could be worth the costs depending on your needs and the usage you will get out of them.

As with all things boat related, it is best to assess your needs and find the right choice for your situation. Being well informed and knowing how you use the internet will be key factors in your decision. How do you stay connected while you’re boating?

Image courtesy of GlobalCom
Image courtesy of GlobalCom

The Largest Naval Battles in Military History

Naval Battles

In order to win a war you have to have a well-rounded military. Being able to bring the battle to the waterfront opens new opportunities and strategies. The use of boats in warfare rose in popularity with the invention of the cannon. Prior to that most naval warfare consisted of ramming boats and boarding enemy vessels. Since the cannon, naval warfare has made vast advancements, not only do we have cannons and guns but navy boats are now equipped with missiles and torpedos. Not to mention the huge aircraft carriers that have helped take our Air Force to the seas. The advancements in naval technology have helped to ensure safety along the coastlines as well as improve the technology on our own recreational boats. The following infographic covers the largest naval sea battles in history. The first one dating back to 480 BCE and the most recent during World War II.

Navy Influence

These battles have helped to shape the history of boating. Though warfare is just one aspect of boat usage, it has been one with some of the most funding and hard pressed for development. The ships used by the Navy are some of the most powerful boats in the oceans and don’t even compare to the ones we see coming into AYB. We are lucky to have the Naval Station Norfolk so close and can see these boats first hand. The station isn’t just the largest naval complex in the U.S., but also the world.  Naval Station Norfolk is home to Commander, Naval Air Force, US Atlantic Fleet, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic as well as the Defense Department’s largest supply center. We listed it as one of the places to visit around the Chesapeake Bay in a recent blog post. You can view their visitor information and times on their website.

The Evolution of Electric Boats

Electric boats have been around for over 120 years. They were popular in the late 1800’s and into the early 1900’s but lost popularity when people began to switch to internal combustion engines. Electric boat manufacturers are still around, but they aren’t popular choices. Electric vehicles have consistently been a difficult market to crack. The market is unpredictable and the first thing to go during economic downturns is often environmentally friendly products that tend to cost more than their less green counterparts.  

The boating industry is not one that is usually aligned with the term eco friendly. Pollution, invasive species and littering are all issues we’ve come to accept as being part of the industry. There have been many attempts at popularizing electric boats over the years, but none have been particularly successful. Companies like Duffy Electric Boats have been around for decades but aren’t household names. The Duffy tops out at about 5 miles per hour, which limits the recreational uses for the boat. This has been a common theme for electric boats in the past, accentuating the need of an electric boat that can “do it all”.

Trying to establish an electric boat that is versatile, powerful and sustainable is a challenge. However, Andy Rebele is stepping up to the plate. He has been working for years to create an electric boat that appeals to a larger audience. Through his startup, Pure Watercraft, he is hoping to make boating clean and quiet. The company is dedicated to creating boats that are on par with what Tesla is doing in the automotive industry. They are working to maintain the power of the boat while using an electric engine. Rebele is rethinking the entire boat, not just the engine, and looking for solutions to some of the most basic problems associated with boating.

Noise and smell are some of the more unpleasant parts of boating. Combustion engines are loud and produce exhaust that can be nauseating when sitting close to the engine. The gas fumes and noise are both problems that boaters have had to put up with for decades. Electric boat engines are by nature quieter and obviously there are no fumes, creating a much more pleasant user experience. Pure Watercraft is taking things a step further by placing added importance on the weight of the engine, keeping it light to improve performance. The batteries are kept cool using a phase change material to boost their longevity. Both concepts mimic what Elon Musk has done with Tesla’s cars. By using the Pure Watercraft engine, boaters are reducing emissions and fossil fuel reliance without losing the performance of their vehicle. They are also decreasing noise pollution on the waterways, which is not only beneficial in an environmental sense, but can improve fishing.

According to CleanTech Alliance “with Pure Watercraft, customers can eliminate power train maintenance, charge batteries at the dock, and reduce motor noise to nearly zero. Daily boaters can save more than 50% over a 20 year period”. Those are huge savings that come with switching to Pure Watercraft’s electric engine. With that kind of incentive it makes it an ideal choice for boaters. Not only are they saving money, but helping the environment as well. This sort of cost savings make the company less susceptible to profit losses during financial downturns, which has been a constant problem in the electric vehicle market.  

Congress issued the Clean Boating act in 2008 as an amendment to the Clean Water Act. The Clean Boating Act tries to combat the issues associated with discharges from recreational boats and regulate procedures to reduce the pollution. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency boating can cause high toxicity in the water; increased pollutant concentrations in aquatic organisms and sediments; increased erosion rates; increased nutrients, leading to an increase in algae and a decrease in oxygen (eutrophication); and high levels of pathogens. A large amount of the pollution is caused by poorly maintained boats that leak fluids into the waterways. By eliminating the fluids in the engine itself, not only do electric boats have reduced maintenance costs, but there are also no fluid leaks.

For years, the concept of green boating has been limited due to a lack of options, Pure Watercraft has created a viable option without losing the integrity or functionality of the boat. This could be the future of the electric boat market, leaving the option open for others to mimic the strategy Musk and Rebele have laid out.

Naming Your Boat

You may have thought naming your children would be the most difficult task you would encounter in life, but naming your boat can be equally as difficult. The name of your boat can say a lot about the person who owns it, and should reflect your personality well. Stick to names that express the things you enjoy, your occupation or why you bought the boat in the first place. Using puns and replacing words (or parts of words) with nautical homonyms can add character and make the name memorable. Unique and clever names tend to be the ones you remember. If you are struggling here’s a list of funny boat names for the creatively challenged.

Reel Nauti Broke But Afloat
Piece of Ship Row vs. Wade
Boatweiser Xsta-sea
Notta-Yachta Bare Bottom
Fishful Thinking Moby Debt
Tip-Sea Called In Sick
All for Knot About Time
Moor Often than Knot Rest a Shore
CostaLotta Weather Oar Knot


If you’re still struggling to find the perfect boat name think back on past experiences. A good story, a family saying or a childhood nickname could all be a source of inspiration. You can even borrow names from famous boats in history, literature or film. Naming your boat doesn’t have to be hard, something simple that makes you think of days on the water is all you need.
A name is what defines your boat. The name is how it will be identified amongst all the others and should be memorable as well as unique. Once you’ve settled on a name, bring it to Atlantic Yacht Basin to have it painted on your boat!

Boat Hacks

We have all found little tricks to make our boats our own. Things that save space, time or money. These tricks could be as simple as a new way to tie a knot or as complex as a completely macgyvered engine. Whatever your preference, here’s a few hacks to keep your boating easy.

  1. Shower caddies with suction cups to hold small objects- things like pens and flashlights can stay easily accessible while out of the way. Just suction the caddies  to a window or a wall wherever you need them.
  2. Use press and seal on wrap on the top of a glass to create a no-spill travel cup- any cup can become a to-go cup with press and seal. Simply cut out a small piece and seal it over the top of your cup. Add a straw and you’re good to go. Check out last week’s blog post for yummy drinks to fill it with!
  3. Use cheap solar lights for your boat- Lighting on boats can be complicated. No one wants to deal with rewiring to add or move lights. By using the small garden solar lights, you save time and money as well as the headache of pulling your boat apart.
  4. Save small condiment packets from fast food places- If you have ever tried to pack your small boat fridge you have endured the struggle of fitting large condiment bottles in your little fridge. Start gathering the small packets from fast food joints and keep a stockpile on your boat. You can have the condiments in a much more economical size.
  5. Store small tools and maintenance items in tackle boxes to keep them organized- It’s always a good idea to have spare parts and tools on board in case of an emergency, but storing them can be annoying. By organizing them in tackle boxes, they are easy to find and easy to store. Tackle boxes can really be used for a variety of things. Look around and see what other small objects could use a new home.

What hacks have you used on your boat?










Image courtesy of www.macgyveronline.com

Boat Drinks for The Summertime

Are you sick of the typical boat drinks? Soda, water, and Gatorade getting you down? Here’s some fun new drink recipes to try out during your next boat trip, or anytime you need a sweet drink.

Pineapple Mojito Sangria

This drink is a delicious mix of white wine sangria and mojito. You can’t go wrong with this combo. The pineapple and mint leaves you with a refreshing minty sweet flavor.

4-Citrus Margarita

What summer trip to the water is complete without a margarita? This one combines all our favorite citrus fruits into one sweet and sour combination that is great for a day spent in the sun.

Italian Ice Cream Soda

I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t enjoy an Italian soda. These ones are quick and easy, with only four ingredients. Kids will love them too as they watch the cream mingle with the soda. It’s like a mini science experiment on your boat. 

Blackberry Sage Cooler

This recipe is a great soda substitute. It is crisp and sweet without all the heavy syrups. If you’re a diet soda drinker this will probably be right up your alley. It’s also a great way to get all those blackberries utilized!

Coconut Lavender Lemonade

Everyone’s favorite sunny day drink has just gotten an upgrade. Not only does it taste delicious, but it ends up a bright purple color that is sure to please. You can even add a little alcohol to take this lemonade from kids stand to adult mixer.

Remember to drink responsibly if you are going to try any of the alcoholic beverages. Boat safety should always be at the top of everyone’s priorities. To simplify your trip, try making your drinks beforehand and storing them in these cool bags to enjoy later! They’re like reusable Capri Suns. You’ll have to bring less on board with you and can keep the mess to a minimum. Stay hydrated and enjoy the last few weeks of summer on your boat!

Check out our post on Food Boats for some great food ideas to accompany your drinks.

Bringing Furry Friends Aboard Your Boat

Adventures to sea just aren’t the same when you have to leave your favorite companion on land. People are able to take their dogs when they travel by car so why not when you travel by boat? Boating with your dog isn’t as challenging as you would think. With a few tips, lots of patience, and the right attitude you can learn to bring your furry first mate aboard.

Life Jackets

Although your dog may be an excellent swimmer it is always a good idea to have them wear a life jacket. As you well know, conditions on the water can change quickly. Your dog may also panic making it even more difficult to keep them above water or get them back to the boat. A bright colored life jacket with a handle will help immensely when trying to locate your dog and hoist them back into the boat.  


You may be surrounded by it, but chances are you shouldn’t let your dog drink it. Make sure you have plenty of clean, cool water on board for your dog to drink. Dogs also need water to keep themselves cool, so it is especially important on hot summer days.


You will need to get your boat as “dog-proof” as possible. Get things put away and try to keep fishing bait out of reach. The last thing you want is to be busy steering the boat and come back to find your dog has gotten into something.


Short-haired dogs can actually get sunburned. It is always a good idea to protect them from the sun just like you would any other shipmate. Make sure they have access to shade and use a low SPF (15) sunscreen on them. Sprays are easiest to apply, but find something that is unscented to avoid irritating your dog.

Potty plan

This may be the most complicated of all the tips. It will require planning and training before hand. Unless you want to travel to shore every time your dog needs to do their business you will need to designate a spot on the boat or a litter box for your dog to use. Potty training is always a chore and trying to re-train them to go where you want them on a boat will require some patience. There are many ideas on how to handle the dog+potty+boat problem online. I would suggest some research and find a method that suits both you and your dog.

Remember that you know your dog best. Not all dogs are happy being on a boat and you should use your best judgement when bringing them aboard. You should also ensure your dog has proper identification on them both on and off land. Many mishaps can be prevented with a little planning. With a few steps and a little research boating with your four-legged friends can be a great experience.

dog on boat

Image Courtesy of: Dog Park Confessions http://rebloggy.com/blog/dogparkconfessions