Picks and Pans Main: Video
In honor of National Safe Boating week (June 3-9) here are some videos to help keep the nation's 72 million recreational boaters in line:
UNITED STATES POWER SQUADRONS' BOATING COURSE FOR POWER AND SAIL
The U.S. Power Squadrons is America's largest private boating organization, and its six-lesson video course, approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, is aimed at sharpening your nautical skills.
This first-rate production, ably skippered by narrator Peter Walker, an actor and sailor, focuses on good seamanship and the basics of safety and operation. The 80-minute tape covers such rudiments as docking and undocking, fueling, anchoring and protocol. It also translates terms so that never again will you embarrass yourself by confusing port (the left side of the vessel) with starboard (the right). Remember that "port" and "left" each have four letters.
Subsequent sections deal with regulations, understanding nautical charts, basic navigation, plotting a course, piloting and sailing. An illustrated companion book expands on each video topic, offering a quiz after each chapter, and viewers are encouraged to supplement this package with a copy of the boater's bible: Chapman Piloting, Seamanship & Small Boat Handling. Master all this material and you should sail right through the rigorous USPS certificate exam. (Zink Communications, $39.95; 800-937-2628)
THE ANNAPOLIS BOOK OF SEAMANSHIP
John Rousmaniere's preeminent text on basic and advanced sailing techniques—a standard reference at the U.S. Naval Academy—has been adapted in this five-part (five-hour-plus) instructional set. "Cruising Under Sail" spotlights the fundamentals. "Heavy Weather Sailing" focuses on storm management. "Safety at Sea" tells how to cope with nautical emergencies. Volumes 4 and 5 feature navigation techniques and day sailing. Don't set sail without viewing this expertly produced series. (Creative Programming, $49.95 each; 800-426-4962)
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