Diving

Alpha Flag

Whenever the size of a vessel engaged in diving operations during daytime hours makes it impracticable to exhibit the daytime shapes required of a vessel restricted in its ability to maneuver, a rigid replica of the international blue-and-white code flag (Alpha) is required to be displayed. The flag must measure not less than 1 meter (3 ft. 3 in.) in height and must be visible all round the horizon.

Required for use by vessels engaged in diving operations and restricted in their ability to maneuver.

For boats tending free-swimming divers where the diving does not interfere with the maneuverability of the boat, the alpha flag is not required and they may display the "divers down" flag.

Divers Down Flag

State law recognizes that a red flag with a white diagonal stripe—commonly called the divers down flag—indicates a person engaged in diving in the immediate area. Displaying the divers down flag is not required by law and does not in itself restrict the use of the water. When operating in an area where this flag is displayed, boaters should exercise caution.

IF YOU SEE EITHER DIVING FLAG, STAY AT LEAST 100 FEET AWAY FROM THE DIVING SITE AND VESSEL.

TAKE NOTE

A red flag with a white diagonal stripe is generally flown on a small float or vessel when divers are in the water. It warns other boats to "stay clear."

TRIVIA

The America's Cup, dating from 1851, is the oldest trophy in international sport and is sailing's most coveted prize.

Smaller sailboats, commonly called day sailors, usually have flat bottoms or vee-shaped hulls. On a smaller sailboat, the rudder is mounted on brackets at the stern. The rudder has a wooden or metal bar called a tiller that is used for steering. When the tiller is turned one way, the boat moves in the opposite direction. For example, if you push the tiller to starboard the boat will turn to port. Using the tiller to steer the boat may take some practice.

As the size of the sailboat increases, so does the equipment. Large cruising sailboats come in a variety of mast and sail designs, and most have backup engines. Most larger sailboats have round bottoms and fixed keels. Larger boats use wheels instead of tillers to steer. The boat turns in the same direction that the wheel is turned.

Sailing

Sailboats come in a variety of sizes and designs and have four basic parts: the hull, sails, centerboard or keel, and rudder. The hull is designed to carry the crew, support the mast and rigging, and to move the boat through the water easily. The sails provide the power. The centerboard and the keel help keep the boat stable, so it won't get pushed sideways by the wind. The rudder steers the boat.

Before Leaving the Dock

Check out your skills by taking sailing lessons or sailing with someone who is experienced.

Check your protective equipment. Wear UV-rated sunglasses and apply sun block to exposed skin.

Check to see if passengers are

Check the weather conditions.

wearing properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

Check the safety equipment. Be sure you have a fire extin-

Check your clothing. Wear clothing in layers. Wear protective clothing, such as wind breakers, and deck shoes that provide trac-

guisher aboard and that it's working. Check to see if you have rowing equipment in case of a power loss.

tion on wet surfaces.

Check the sails and rigging for

Check the radio or cellular phone to make sure it's working.

rips, tears or damaged clews.

If the Boat Has an Engine

^ Check the backup engine, making sure the motor and propeller are in operating condition.

^ Check the fuel and oil levels.

^ Check the engine and fuel lines for leaks.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE AMERICA'S CUP, SAILING TRIVIA, AND OTHER SAILING RACES, SEE WEBSITE:

www.dbw.ca.gov/resourc.htm

and click on Sailing Trivia

REVIEW QUESTIONS: Sailing

Answer these questions by circling T for true or F for false.

1. You push a tiller in the opposite direction from the direction you want to go T F

2. It is not necessary to wear a personal flotation device on larger sailboats because they almost never sink T F

3. All sailboats have backup engines T F

Turn to page 88 for correct answers.

TAKE NOTE

When a sailboat uses a backup engine, it is considered a powerboat and must observe the rules of navigation and operational guidelines for powerboats.

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