Contributor: Carefree Boat Club of Southern CT
Prior to the 2021 season beginning, we wanted to take this time to list and describe some of the important policies that will ensure a safe and enjoyable boating season.
Weather: It is the Captain’s job to monitor the weather when using a Carefree boat. Typically, the Dock Staff consistently watches the weather and alerts members who are out boating if there is a front coming in. However, this is not always the case and that is why it is up to the Captain to use his or her best judgement when it comes to making a decision regarding inclement weather. Carefree also reserves the right to close the Club at any time due to weather and/or conditions on the Sound. We will always close the Clubs during NOAA Small Craft Advisories and thunderstorms for the safety of our members and Staff.
No-go zones: As covered in prior newsletters, Carefree will be instituting a handful of No-Go Zones at various hazardous locations throughout Long Island Sound. It is the Captain’s responsibility to be aware of these zones and keep the vessel from entering them. Should a member enter a no-go zone, they will be fined $250 and suspended from reservations and usage for two weeks. Any existing reservation made during that 2 week period will be cancelled by Dock Staff.
Damage to boat: Upon signing the Check-out form, the member is responsible for any and all damage to the boat sustained during the course of that usage. This includes damage to the boat caused by another boater. For example, if a club boat is docked and another boater hits the boat, it is the member’s responsibility to collect insurance and contact information from said boater and/or file a police report should the 3rd party boater flee the scene. Should any damage be caused to a boat during an outing it is the Member’s responsibility to point it out upon their return. Failure to point out damages is grounds for membership termination as unidentified and unfixed damage could jeopardize the safety of members using the boat in the future.
Anchoring: It is very important for all members to understand the basic concept of anchoring. Because Carefree’s boats draw an average of 3 feet of water, there is an average tidal change of 7 feet on Long Island Sound. Carefree members are required to boat in no less than 5 feet of water and you should NEVER anchor in an area shallower than 12 feet at high tide. We have also sustained a fair amount of boat damage due to anchors not being seated properly in their holders, or members not drawing the anchor all the way in when using the windlass. The latter is especially the case on the BRIGS. When using a windlass make sure the anchor is fully retracted, seated properly and that the safety cable is attached. For more specific tips on how to properly anchor, check out our video on the subject by clicking HERE.
Beaching: Under no circumstances should a Carefree boat be beached. Doing so will result in termination of membership and payment owed for any damage caused. The shores in the area are simply too rocky and hazardous for members to beach any Carefree boat.
The staff does everything possible to keep the boats clean and in excellent working conditions. When a boat is damaged by another member we do our best to seamlessly move members who have been affected by the damage to another boat or another time. Be aware that the Staff recognizes the inconvenience and is doing everything in their power to rectify the situation as quickly as possible. It is against club policy and unacceptable to use profanity on the dock or be abusive to Carefree Staff and the Club reserves the right to terminate a members membership should such behavior occur.
Zoom Classes: As you may be aware we are planning a number of Zoom classes throughout the remainder of the winter. Our first class will be held on Wednesday, February 3rd. You will find the link to the class below. This first class will focus on Cockenoe Island. We will explain how you can safely approach the Island to anchor while staying clear of the No-Go Zone. We will also show you a number of useful resources that you can use to plan trips to new locations. These classes will be hosted on our YouTube channel, should you not be able to make the class.