July 12, 2016
Joe Gatfield, JN
Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons
On June 14th the Board members were challenged with matching or exceeding the Windsor Squadron success to that date which was 115 Courtesy Checks. We have been asked how do we do it and what are the benefits we are receiving as a result of our activity.
Photo 1: Windsor Power and Sail Squadron Cdr Jim Atkinson, AP conducts a Courtesy Check for boat owners David and Traci Casey at Belle River Marina, Essex County, Ontario.
How do we do it… we have 11 Members who have completed the preparatory education… the on line video, the declaration and usually time as a group comparing the pros and cons of doing the checks. For some of our volunteers, it is their only contribution to CPS-ECP. We cover the Windsor/Essex County area in Southwestern Ontario and have major marinas spread over the entire county. We are fortunate to have volunteers in each major marina to cover off anyone at any time who requests a Vessel Check. We reach out to our major marinas and supporters and usually schedule a specific day that we advertise with the available promotional material. We also ensure that boaters know we will do checks any time, any day all summer. Our members keep their decals and forms with them at all times. On major dates, we always have the RVCC Beach Flag and all CPS-ECP brochures available for reference and distribution.
What benefits do we reap… in short MANY. The marinas, and even the chandleries, become very familiar with CPS-ECP and in particular, the representatives they can contact. We are becoming the “go to” organization for educational needs, training marina staff, or just a resource for boaters who just need a little mentoring on getting that boat away from the dock. The Policing agencies in the area, who do safety checks as well,are willing to work with us in order to maximize the time spent working with boaters to ensure they are about to have a safe and fun season on the water. Does this equate to increased course sales… absolutely… attested by the fact we have added a Maritime Radio Course in on July 10th to satisfy needs from requests during our recent checks. It gives CPS-ECP the best opportunity you can ask for… one on one discussion with boaters in their environment.
Photo 2: Windsor SEO Frank Dolan, AP
Just this past weekend we engaged in conversations regarding our online course, age restrictions for operating a PWC, purchasing new fire extinguishers, how to replace a PCOC card and the advantages to having more than one… and it continues.
Do we find this burdensome… absolutely not. We are at the ramps, on the docks, on boats, in the sun and usually having fun… with the great reward of knowing you ‘made a difference’ in a boater’s summer on the water.
Take the challenge… help someone have a safe summer while doing what we do best in CPS-ECP… bring boaters home safely!
Interested in conducting Recreational Vessel Courtesy Checks?
Watch our new promo video at: www.smartboater.ca/rvcc.The video features Jim and Gina Lee, from the Peterborough Squadron, in Quinte District who have been offering RVCC checks for the last 5 years. There is a short Q and A and a five minute RVCC inspection of a 14’ vessel.