Special Announcements

This page will be used to display announcements of interest for our members. They may be from the Squadron Bridge

or more formal in nature.

I Can't Find My Card  (eff 1 July 2016)
With the completion of the implementation period for the Virginia Safe Boating Education requirement, people continue to try to find the documentation received when they took the class many years ago.  IF the class was registered as it should have been with the Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries, there is a good chance they will have your information in the database developed. If your record is there, you can then request a plastic replacement card for a $10.00 fee.

simply go to
 enter your name, the state (VA), the class (BOAT). Then it will ask for your birthday. If your record is there, you can order the replacement card directly online.

Be Careful Where You Store Your Air Horn!

To meet Coast Guard requirements for a warning device, most skippers carry an aerosol-powered air horn aboard. When summer temperatures start to climb, the aerosol cans need to be sored where temperatures won't exceed 120 degrees. Avoid storing them on the console behind the windshield, for example, where ambient temperatures can be magnified by as much as 20 to 30 degrees on a a sunny day. The cans might explode and could easily injure anyone nearby.

This CONTINUES, even 4 years later, to be a HOT ISSUE for marine engines!!

Higher Ethanol Gasoline a Problem for Boat Motors AND Small Engines

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 5, 2011 - Most recreational boats in the US are "trailer" boats. Stored in the backyard or driveway, they are trailered to the water and enjoyed for the day. They are also refueled at your local gas station or minimart, which may soon offer a fuel, E15 (or 15% ethanol), that is prohibited by the federal government for use in boat motors and violates engine manufacturer warranties. That has the nation's largest recreational boat owners group, BoatUS, concerned over the potential for accidental misfueling.

Last week's EPA's debut of it's proposed solution - a small, orange label affixed to the gas pump titled "Attention" - has only heightened the need for boaters to be vigilant, said the Alexandria, Virginia based association.

"As this new fuel starts appearing at the local fuel pump, we see the real likelihood of putting the wrong fuel in your boat," said BoatUS Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich. "It could lead to costly engine or fuel system damage, and potentially leave you stranded out on the water with a disabled vessel, compromising your family's safety. When a boat's engine stops running, you can't pull over to the side of the road," added Podlich.

Earlier this year, the EPA authorized the use of E15 in 2001 model year and newer motor vehicles. However, the agency did not authorize its use in marine engines or a range of off-road vehicles, tools and equipment. Currently, most boaters in the US have transitioned to E10 (10% ethanol), the maximum percentage of ethanol permitted in gasoline before most engine manufacturer warranties are voided. However, many boaters still go out of their way to find ethanol-free fuel.
BoatUS believes it will be hard for consumers to recognize when or where E-15 is being rolled out to their local gas stations or fuel sellers. "Most likely consumers will encounter E-15 for the first time at their local gas station with little or no fanfare, and may be attracted to its price. This means we have to be alert now - it's really a situation of buyer beware," said Podlich.

The boater's group also said the issue goes far beyond gas-powered boat engines. "I encourage anyone fueling - whether it's for your boat, car, motorcycle, generator or six-gallon portable tank for your lawnmower or leaf-blower, to absolutely know what type of gas is going into that tank," said Podlich. "Unless you have a 2001 or new motor vehicle, the gasoline-powered engines you own were not built for E15. Now is the time to start knowing which gas stations offer you safe fuel."



Notice of Bridge Restriction for the Gilmerton Bride (AIWW Mile 5.80) - Effective 19 June 2011 thru 20 Dec 2013

Boaters transiting the Atlantic Intracoastal (AIWW) in Chesapeake, VA, need to be aware of potential three-hour delays in the mornings and afternoons due to new restrictions in the drawbridge opening regulations at the Gilmerton Bridge (Mile Marker 5.8), which crosses the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River.

The changes, which have been in effect since December 2010 on a test basis, officially took effect June 19 and will be in place until Dec. 20, 2013.

Under the new restrictions, the Gilmerton Bridge drawbridge will operate as follows:

(1) The draw shall open on signal at anytime for commercial vessels carrying liquefied flammable gas or other hazardous materials;

(2) From 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, the draw need not open for the passage of recreational or commercial vessels; except the draw shall open anytime for commercial cargo vessels, including tugs, and tugs with tows, if two hours advance notice is given to the Gilmerton Bridge at (757) 545-1512;

(3) From 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays, the draw shall open on signal hourly on the half hour; except the draw shall open anytime for commercial cargo vessels, including tugs, and tugs with tows, if two hours advance notice is given to the Gilmerton Bridge at (757) 545-1512;

(4) If any vessel is approaching the bridge and cannot reach the draw exactly on the half hour, the draw tender may delay the opening up to 10 minutes past the half hour for passage of the approaching vessel and any other vessels that are waiting to pass;

(5) If the Norfolk & Southern Railroad Bridge #7, at mile 5.8, is not opened during a particular scheduled opening for the Gilmerton Bridge and vessels were delayed, the draw tender at the Gilmerton Bridge may provide a single opening for waiting vessels, once the Norfolk & Southern Railroad Bridge #7 reopens for vessels.

(6) At all other times, the draw shall open on signal.

Cruisers should try to time their arrival at the Gilmerton Bridge to avoid the two three-hour time periods each weekday when the bridge will not open.

March 20, 2011

 Many of you will soon be making the trek north and cruising through the Norfolk, Va area while heading for the Chesapeake and points north. I thought I would pass on an important reminder to everyone that will be passing the Naval Shipyard in the Norfolk/ Hampton Roads vicinity. The Navy has set up a security zone from the Elizabeth River Channel Lighted Gong Buoy 5 to the Elizabeth River Channel Lighted Buoy 11, on the south side of the channel. If you have the most current charts, this area is colored in magenta, not to be confused with the magenta ICW channel. This is an OFF LIMITS AREA and in the words of the U.S. Coast Guard, "Unauthorized vessels entering this RESTRICTED AREA may encounter USE OF FORCE procedures by patrolling security vessels." So please stay clear and keep to the charted channel because we can verify through personal experience that they are not fooling around. The machine guns mounted on their patrol boats further reinforce their resolve. Norfolk Security can be contacted on VHF channel 14.

Chuck Baier,
General Manager

NOTE REGARDING VESSEL SAFETY CHECKS for boats larger than 20 meters (39.4 ft):

Under a recent change, a vessel 12 meters (39.4 ft) to less than 20 meters (65 ft) is no longer required to carry a bell on board. The Coast Guard said: "The bottom-line, a bell is no longer required on a vessel less than 20 meters in length. That of course means a bell is not required for those same vessels for successful completion of a VSC."





     Effective in 2009, we are going to mandatory billing from the USPS Headquarters.  National is mailing the dues notices as usual but the remittance address is USPS, P.O. Box 30423, Raleigh, NC 27622. The check is to be made payable to USPS.

     Headquarters informed us that the mailing was made from an external vendor on April 14 so look for your billing to be coming in the next few weeks. If you have not received yours by the middle of May, contact the USPS at 888-367-8777, ext 4 (Accounting) and then option 1 for Linda Fuller. She can provide help.

Lt/C Gail Aikin, S


'Fair Winds and Following Seas'