Burnt Store Isles Boat Club
Punta Gorda Florida

A Note from the Vice Commodore - Nick Hay

As a yacht broker for one of the local brokerages here in Punta Gorda I meet with a number of new boat purchasers almost on a daily basis. Many times, I've been asked for my advice on how folks can get education on boating so that they can feel safer and more proficient, thus making boating more enjoyable.

It is also my belief that even experienced boaters, like the BSIBC membership, could benefit from continuing boating education. 

Because a portion of my responsibilities as Vice-Commodore is boating safety and education, I thought I should provide our membership information on the boating education classes available here in the local area.

I have contacted the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary here in Charlotte County to see about the classes that they teach on a regular basis, and the schedule of those classes. Here is a list of the 4 most popular:

  • About Boating Safety"   8 hour class - taught on a Saturday. Pricing - $40/individual $60/couple  $65/family
  • Weekend Navigator" (usually limited to 8 persons per class) 3 nights (3rd night - GPS) Pricing - $90/couple
  • Paddlers Guide to Safety - 5 hour class  Pricing - $20 - includes materials
  • Suddenly In Command -3 hour class - what to do if you are not an experienced Captain and that person becomes unable to pilot the boat - discusses VHF radio usage, what to do in an emergency, boat handling, etc. Pricing - $15

All of the above classes are taught at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Center, 2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda. 

Below is a link to these classes on the USCGA website, and if you enter the zip code of 33950 and click on SUBMIT it will display a schedule of the upcoming classes available:


You can also give them a call at - 570-236-8010   for course information.

An additional resource for boating education classes in the area is the Peace River Sail and Power Squadron. Their website is:


Call 941-637-0766 for information and registration. Some up-coming courses are:

  • America's Boating Course 3 Saturday 12-hour course, July 7, 2018
  • Next GPS Seminar, June 2, 2018 -

Please give me (Nick Hay) a call at - 941-626-9886 if you need additional information.

Our goal is safe and enjoyable boating year-round

Have your vessel safety inspected every year

Use the US Coast Guard on-line Virtual Safety Check below to ensure you have the required equipment should you be stopped.  Call one of our inspectors to make an appointment for an official inspection: Sue or Bill Bareither 941-637-9473.

US Coast Guard On-line Virtual Safety Check 


Take one of the many safe boating courses offered by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary or the Power Squadron. Remember that safety cards are becoming required in Florida soon.


........because in the words of Captain Ron:

"If anything is gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there"

The USCG has withdrawn the Certificate of Approval for NAMMO LIAB AB Orange Hand Held Smoke Distress Signals.  Approval status of this certificate is now marked as "Former-DO NOT USE". 

These signals may be labeled and marketed as "Polar MK 4" by Nammo LIAB AB or as","IKAROS" by Hansson Pyrotech which is the more current manufacturing name.  Datrex Inc., Kinder, LA, is the only distributor for these products in the United States.  There is a risk of spontaneous combustion when these devices are dropped. 

For further information contact Datrex at 337-738-4511 or via email at: datrex@datrex.com.  This information was developed and distributed by the Coast Guard Office of Design and Engineering Standards.  Questions, comments or incident occurrence should be sent to: HOS-PF-fldr-CG-INV@uscg.mil


Rick Sluzewski, Safety Officer,PRSPS
Tired of buying signal flares every couple of years?

Helpful Documents

Presented by Vice Commodore Corby Le Siege at a January BSIBC training class by Captain Nick Hay

For more information and frequently asked questions visit the Boat US MMSI FAQ page here (click on the link):


Independent Anchor Performance Testing

A compilation of the credible comparison tests of recent years

How To Call "Mayday"  by Corby LeSiege

All of the canals in Burnt Store Isles are designated:

Markers, No Wake & Idle Speed Signs, Waterway Signs - First Sign ...



That means the minimum speed with which you can still move forward and control your vessel.  That speed is NEVER above 5 miles per hour.  Please watch your GPS and keep it below 5 MPH.  Very few boaters adhere to this in BSI, please give the manatees a break and watch your speed in our canals.

Helpful Links

Be Ready to Save A Life, sign up for one of the monthly classes


Stay Afloat product - youtube video