Boating and water safety for springtime

Friday, April 6, 2001 at 1:00am

Boating and water safety professionals from around the world will assemble April 8-11 in Nashville for the 5th annual international Boating and Water Safety Summit at Opryland Hotel.

Men and women representing federal, state and local organizations will participate in the events and festivities along with representatives from England, Australia, Canada, Italy, South Africa and Scotland.

Attendees of the Summit will receive valuable information on training, emergency life saving techniques, and the latest in aquatic equipment and boating and water safety.

Nashville Shores on Percy Priest Lake will be the location for an afternoon of outdoor activities and demonstrations. Participants can look forward to invigorating events like a Vessel Safety Check (compliments of the U.S. Coat Guard Auxiliary Flotilla) a Boat Maneuvering Course, PWC Course and more.

The event is being organized by the Nashville District Corps of Engineers and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

The National Safe Boating Council and the National Water Safety Congress annually host this event with assistance from the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Other water safety organizations that routinely participate in the 2001 Summit are the National Association of Boating Law Administrators, the National Recreation and Parks Association, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the U.S. Power Squadrons, the U.S. Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Regulation Commission, and the Tennessee Valley Authority and the National Transportation Safety Board.

For program information contact Steve Fairbanks (615) 276-4656 or

Virgil Chambers (740) 666-3009.

Trailer Maintenance Tips

No doubt the most overlooked piece of equipment a boater owns is his or her trailer.

A boat trailer needs to be examined closely for a number of very important "preventive maintenance checks".

Here are some of the preventive maintenance checks a boater should observe before the trailer is hitched to a vehicle this spring:

Check wheel bearings to make sure there is no play on the axle and that the bearings aren't noisy. Also check that they have plenty of waterproof bearing grease packed in them.

After reaching your boating destination, feel the axle hubs where the wheel bearings are located to see if they are hot. The hubs should be warm but not hot.

Wench and wench stands should be bolted tightly to the trailer tongue. A spurt of oil should be used on the wench handle, etc.

Check the wench strap, rope of cable. Make sure they are not worn or have weak spots.

Look for breaks of cracks in the welding, where the tongue is welded to the trailer cradle. Check the bunks on the trailer for worn carpet. Worn carpet can cause the bottom of your boat to be damaged by the bare wooden runners.

Make sure the boat is correctly cradled in the bunks and riding evenly on the bunks.

Check transom straps or chains and their connection to the trailer. On the front of the trailer, where you hitch to the vehicle make sure you have a good safety chain or cable that connects to your tow car.

Oil the third wheel if you have one on the trailer tongue, also the lift handle, etc.

Very important are trailer lights, make sure the running lights are working and also the turn signals lights. New trailers have sidelights mounted along the trailer bed.

Check the air pressure in the tires on your trailer and if you have a spare make sure it is in good shape.

Make yourself a check list and before each trip run through the list so you won't be seen parked on the side of the highways or interstates with troubles.

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