GUIDELINES FOR SMALL BOATS

Florida Institute of Technology

Revised in September, 2005

The small boats are to be used for faculty approved research in the Indian River Lagoon, Lake Washington, and adjacent waterways. Any student, faculty member or research technician/engineer anticipating the need for a small boat for teaching or research work must first be certified through the Florida Tech procedures and he or she MUST have completed a safe boating course from either the Power Squadron or Coast Guard Auxiliary. This is to allow safe, effective use of vessels with reasonable care of school equipment.

To reserve a small boat, you will need to call Tom Haman (723-0733), dockmaster, who is located at the Evinrude Marine Center (Anchorage), to check on boat availability at least 24 hours in advance. You must fill out a Small Boat Request form (available in the Department of Marine and Environmental Systems (DMES) or Department of Biological Sciences front office) and have it approved by your advisor or proper authorized person. The form is to be presented to the Evinrude Marine Center dockmaster at the Anchorage to obtain the combination for the small boat supplies locker and the boat.

You may gain access to the small boat supplies on the day of your research trip or on Friday (for weekend trips) by obtaining the key from the dockmaster during work hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Should your research work involve the handling of nets (otter, trawl, plankton or seine), your boat must display a Florida Tech research sign. When doing this type of research, you will need to have on you an appropriate permit authorizing your activities. You are also required to have on board a chart of the area being navigated and a GPS receiver.

BOATING PROCEDURES
You need to provide your own gas.You must add one pint of 50W outboard engine oil per six-gallons of regular gas and mix well. Failure to do so will result in engine seizure and costly repairs.

If the destination is of some distance, it is more practical to trailer your boat to your research site. Procedures for pulling trailers will be covered during your check-out. When the boat is to be trailered, it should not be loaded with gear and speed not to exceed 50 mph.


The locker has supplies for small boats: life jackets (one per person), fire extinguishers, anchors with line, first aid kits, oars (one required per boat), signal kits and Florida Tech research signs. Lights are also to be carried and used after dark, or in restricted visibility (rain, fog, etc).

The gas tank should be placed in the bottom of the boat near the rear seat. The gas line hook-up is on the port side (left) of the engine. Inspect the engine mounts for tightens. To lower the engine from the tilted position, you must push the tilt-run lever into the run position; pull the engine up to unlock and then lower into the water. Leave the tilt-run lever in the run position while operating your boat. When operating at slow speeds in shallow waters, the tilt-run lever should be lifted into the tilt position. This reduces engine damage in the event of grounding. The boathouse is shallow, therefore, to prevent damage to the cooling system from sucking mud, boats should be carefully moved by hand and oar to the mouth of the boathouse before starting engines.

Before starting the engine, set the shift arm in the vertical-neutral position. Squeeze the bulb on the gas line until gas will no longer pump freely. Pull choke/primer twice, gently engage the pull-start until it locks, and then use long continuous strokes to start the engine. Jerking the pull-start will tear the engaging mechanismís lever arm. When the engine starts, put in the choke. Once the engine has warmed up, should it die, you will generally not need to rechoke. Set the throttle to idle position before shifting to forward or reverse.

After a long period of running idle, it is good for the engine to be run at higher speed for a period to clean the plugs. Plan to do this before shutting down. Do not run continuously at full throttle. Slightly faster than plane is a safe, fuel-efficient speed.

Be particularly alert in Crane Creek for manatees, and observe the no-wake law inside Melbourne Harbor.

Life jackets can be stored underneath the seat during your trip. Do not use them as seat cushions. The anchor line can be attached to the forward bow cleat in the Dixie. The fire extinguishers should be stored securely. Registration numbers are on the forward port and starboard bow of each boat; check these numbers before you take out your boat and make sure they are not worn off.

Upon returning from your trip, as you near the boathouse, pull the gas line off to allow all gas in the engine to be burned. This usually takes about a minute. Tie the boat securely to the dock. After the engine dies, raise the tilt-run lever to its tilt position and lift the engine to its full tilt position. Restore all gear to its proper place in the locker, and sign back in on the Float Plan Log. The hose for cleaning up the boat is located on the south end of the boathouse; bail bucked and scrub brushes are in the top locker. The locker must be securely fastened/locked before leaving for your research trip and again when you restore all equipment at the end of your trip. Return locker key and filled check out form immediately (leave them in the drop off box if the dockmaster is not on duty).

No small boats (McKee and Whaler included) are to go out when small craft are cautioned to stay in port (small craft advisories).

EMERGENCY
In the event of an accident or injury, render required first aid on the scene, and secure professional medical attention as needed. Any such incident is to be reported immediately to Captain Richard Gurlek (432-5365, 725-6288 or 768-7318) or Thomas Harman (723-0733), or Florida Tech Security Office (674-8111).

Any mechanical or equipment problems are to be reported to the dockmaster directly or on the Comments/Report section of the Check out form after returning.

Florida Techís liability insurance covers Florida Tech-certified small boat operations while operating properly equipped boats, in compliance with State and Federal regulations. Negligent or reckless operation may void that coverage and, without question, leave the operator open to personal liability.

It is our intention to support the research and teaching needs of students and faculty to the greatest reasonable degree. Safe, efficient operation will require cooperation, observance of Federal and State Law, and recognition of the potential disaster involved in marine operations. Failure to follow these guidelines or to exercise prudence may result in the loss of boating privileges.

REMEMBER, ABSOLUTELY NO ALCOHOL OR DRUGS ARE EVER ALLOWED!

Good Boating!

Captain Richard M. Gurlek
Director, Marine Operations

Thomas A. Haman
Dockmaster
Evinrude Marine Center