Pacific Marine Expo has come and gone for 2012. It was strange having it Tuesday-Thursday rather than its normal Thursday-Saturday but it seemed to work. As always this is a show where one gets to see ‘old’ friends and customers and check out what is new in the industry.
Sorry to say but there is not much to report on the new equipment front. The marine safety industry is still in consolidation mode and it seems that the remaining manufacturers are spending their time dealing with all of the aquisitions rather than developing new items to sell. There was some talk about a new Personal Locator Beacon with AIS for use in crew overboard situations. This would be a great piece of equipment allowing a victim to alert both Search and Rescue and vessels in his vicinity. As I learn more I will keep everyone advised.
The 2013 Seattle Boat Show is about two months away but we are already busy preparing for it. Last Friday the show producer sent out their first draft of booth assignments. It appears we will be in the same general location on the west side of the concourse. The big change this year is Winslow Life Raft will be right next to us and we feel this will be a great move.
Over the past few years we have had great success selling our web straps at the show. Now whenever there is some free time webbing is being cut and buckles are being sewn on. This year we plan on bringing an even greater assortment to the show, new sizes and different buckle configurations. As always the best time of the year to buy straps and sail ties is at the show. We offer large discounts especially if you need 4 or more. Our special $1.00 side release buckle strap will also be returning.
We are also working on a new, less expensive 5:1 lifting tackle. It will still use high grade sailboat hardware but we think we have found a way to provide a dramatic price reduction. Hopefully by the first of December we will have more information, stay tuned.
A yacht that rolled between NZ and Tonga decided to activate their EPIRB due to injuries. Read the report, it gives some good advice plus insight into how long (or short) a rescue takes and what types of assets are deployed in a rescue situation.
Some quick thoughts from the article:
- Don’t leave your boat until necessary. If it is afloat you are better off on-board than in a life raft.
- Today, two days is a common time to get help to a stricken vessel. If you are in helicopter range that might be faster.
- The combination of an EPIRB and life raft is necessary.
I hope all goes well for the couple, they seem to have done things correctly.
It seems we are always involved with training. Today our staff is receiving the training, this time on hazardous material shipping. The federal government requires that all HazMat shippers undergo training every three years to ensure that they are familiar with the regulations and their changes.
Unfortunately most life saving equipment is classified as hazardous material. Life rafts contain compressed gas cylinders, lithium batteries, pyrotechnics and flammable liquids (repair kit cement). EPIRB’s use lithium batteries, inflatable life jackets have CO2 cartridges and compressed gas cylinders have, you guessed it, compressed gas.
Any time an item considered hazardous material is put in to commerce, commercial transport, it must be properly packaged and labeled and the shipper must provide the correct documentation. This is true if we deliver a life raft on one of our trucks or if a customer ships a life raft to us on a freight truck.
Keeping track of all the rules, regulations and changes is a lot of work but an important part of my job. After all we are in the safety business and it would be horrible if something we did caused a truck driver or customer to get hurt.