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Level I: Outboard Motors up to 20hp

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Outboard Motor/Small Boat Use

Available boats

  • 12' Gregor (aluminum)
  • 14' Gregor (aluminum)
  • 14' Livingston (fiberglass)

HMS outboard motors

  • One 6hp Yamaha motor: use only with the 12' Gregor 
  • One 9.9hp Yamaha motor, standard shaft: use only with 12' boats
  • Two 20hp Yamaha motors, long shaft: use only with 14' boats

All the outboards are 4-strokes, and should only be carried in a vertical position, never horizontally. The propellor should never be higher than the head of the motor. When transporting 4-stroke motors in a vehicle they may be placed on their tiller side only. Each outboard has its own rack. The heavier motors (20hp) require the newer reinforced racks which have solid aluminum vertical bars and require at least two people to lift. The motors should be centered on their racks, clamped down securely, and steering lock engaged to prevent them moving during transportation. Handle the motors and racks carefully... do not bounce them down the stairs. Get additional people to help as needed.

The motors must be flushed for at least 10 minutes after each use, and rinsed externally as well, especially around the propellor area. Do not direct water into the cowling vents. For flushing, turn on the hose just enough to create a continuous stream from the cooling water outlet. Rinse the racks too, especially around the wheels and axles, before wheeling them back into the fuel shed.

Fuel shed notes

  • Always latch the doors back against the building when they are open, or they could be damaged by wind gusts.
  • Always latch left door top and bottom before locking.
  • There are three 3 gal boat tanks with fuel lines attached. Please be gentle with the tanks: don't drop or slam, or place heavy objects on the fuel line fittings. Make sure the vent is closed when carrying back and forth and when rinsing; make sure vent is open when connected to motor.
  • There is one 5 gal reserve tank of "no mix" (pure gasoline) in the right hand cabinet to top off boat tanks. Boat users are responsible for filling these reserve tanks as they run low. Use the red funnel in one of the two cabinets when topping off boat tanks to minimize spill potential, and use the shallow white plastic tray for secondary containment while topping off.
  • Please avoid getting salt water or debris in the cabinets.
  • USE CARE WHEN HANDLING FUEL.  In case of spill, use spill kit in shed and leave the sealed and labeled bag in a cabinet and let the BSO know.

HMS outboard motor/small boat rules

  • Solo use of small boats between dusk and dawn is not permitted.
  • Only Agassiz Beach is to be used for launching/recovering boats.
  • Skipper must be checked out to the level of boating being conducted.
  • Outboard users must take the California Boating Safety Course test or document equivalent or better knowledge, and must crew on these or similar boats under local conditions or equivalent before being checked out to skipper.
  • Small boats with outboards may travel west as far as Pt. Pinos and east as far as Del Monte Beach, conditions permitting, and should never be more than a mile from shore. Other limitations may be imposed on specific users, and under specific weather conditions.
  • Check weather reports and watch the ocean before going out. Don't go out in strong winds and chop. Remember that the conditions just outside the HMLR and to the west are usually rougher than the protected side of the point off Agassiz beach.
  • Use common sense and take appropriate safety equipment if traveling more than a few minutes from Hopkins.
  • Pay attention to outsider waves at Pt Pinos and along Del Monte Beach especially when anchoring.
  • Be aware of the limitations of the small boats and equipment. When in doubt, ask. Be conservative.
  • Tell someone you're going and when you expect to return (i.e. designate a shore contact).
  • Fill out the float plan in the fuel shed before leaving and complete it upon return.
  • Boats must have the following before leaving the beach:
    - Oars.
    - Anchor (properly stowed and ready to deploy quickly in an emergency, bitter end attached securely to boat).
    - Bailer.
    - Life jackets with attached whistle, one per person.
    - Plug(s) securely in the bottom.
    - Dive flag, if diving.
    - If diving, always take small oxygen kit and a VHF radio.
    - Fuel tank of appropriate size.
    - Fuel line with appropriate connectors for motor and fuel tank. Don't drag or place fuel lines in the sand.
    - Outboard motor of appropriate size firmly attached to the boat, with safety cable connected to boat and "kill switch" cord in place
    - Means of emergency communication (cell phone or VHF radio).
  • Pay attention to wind, waves, and tidal currents at Agassiz beach when launching and recovering.
  • Use clamp-on navigation lights for boat use between dusk and dawn.
  • Do not exceed the weight or number of people listed on the capacity plates; distribute weight of equipment and passengers evenly.
  • Launch small boats bow-first, lifting not dragging to water's edge.
  • Prime bulb and open tank vent before starting motor
  • Row the boat out from shore before lowering & starting outboard.(Divers may hold the boat in waist-deep water while operator starts the motor, if conditions permit this to be done safely. Divers must be completely in the boat before shifting motor into gear).
    Upon returning:
  • Rinse life jackets, oars, and anchor with fresh water after use. Make sure anchor line is ready for next use (i.e. not tangled, but flaked into bucket properly).
  • Rinse boats well inside and out with fresh water after use.
  • Rinse motor (do not get water in the cowling vent) paying attention to propellor area, and flush (10 minutes). Remember to rinse motor racks as well, especially wheels and axles. Stow motor in shed and dry off with towel if necessary.
  • Rinse tanks (make sure vents are closed before transporting and rinsing). Top off fuel tanks if needed using funnel in  cabinet. Use ONLY pure gas from right-hand cabinet, labeled "no-mix". Do not get saltwater, sand and debris in the fuel cabinets.
  • There is a broom in the shed... please do your part to help keep this shared area clear. 

Boat/Outboard Motor Training and Checkout

After orientation and initial training by the boating safety officer and time spent crewing on the small boats under a variety of conditions, skipper candidates will undergo a practical check-out during which the candidate performs the following without coaching:

  • Fill out float plan and designate a shore contact
  • Demonstrate use of a VHF radio
  • Set the boat up with motor, gas and other required gear, demonstrating proper ergonomics
  • Before launching, use a check list to make sure everything is good to go as described above (candidate creates own list)
  • Launch the boat using oars at first, rowing away from shore
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate well with crew member(s)
  • Demonstrate effective rowing skills
  • Lower and start motor properly
  • Check cooling stream frequently
  • Demonstrate proper shifting technique (only at low idle)
  • Demonstrate steering ability forward and in reverse, into swell/wake and with following sea, turns, close-quarter maneuvering
  • Maneuvering in kelp; find path through kelp, reverse, buoy location and tie-off
  • Demonstrate proper anchoring and anchor retrieval
  • Demonstrate clearing kelp from prop using reverse gear
  • Demonstrate safe and effective beach approach and landing
  • Perform proper clean-up and stowing of boat and all equipment
  • Close out the float plan