Distributed by the Office of Investigations and Analysis: Http://

October 4, 2012 Alert 3-12
Washington, DC

The Coast Guard has become aware of certain Mustang Survival Inflatable PFDs with Hammar MA1 hydrostatic (HIT) inflation systems which may not inflate and require a new re-arm kit to properly  inflate by manual or automatic activation. This safety alert identifies which products are affected. Certain inflatable PDFs may be subject to delayed or non-inflations. To determine if you are impacted please follow the instructions below.

USCG Approval Mustang Product
N/A MA7214 HIT inflatable re-arm kit
N/A MA7218 HIT inflatable re-arm kit for LIFT
160.076/8611/0 MD0450 Inflatable Vest PFD with LIFT
160.076/5204/0 MD0451 Inflatable Vest PFD with LIFT (no harness)
160.076/5201/0 MD3183 Deluxe Inflatable PFD with HIT
160.076/8608/0 MD3184 Deluxe Inflatable PFD with HIT (with harness)
160.076/5300/0 MD3188 Inflatable Work Vest/PFD with HIT
160.053/116/0 MD3188 Inflatable Work Vest/PFD with HIT

If you have a re-arm kit MA7214 or MA7218 you need only to check the lot number on the CO2 cylinder label. If your CO2 cylinder is marked with lot numbers 404121 or 404122 please contact Mustang Survival’s customer service group at the number below.

If you have a PFD listed above refer to the sewn-in approval label to determine if it was “Made in Canada” and the “MFG DATE” is April or May 2012. If so, you will need to check the lot numbers of the CO2 cylinder. The CO2 cylinder lot number is visible through the yellow bladder fabric. Manually unpack your PFD by opening the zippers and unfolding your PFD. Find the CO2 cylinder that is attached to the round inflator within the yellow bladder. Press the yellow bladder fabric against the cylinder to read the label to view the lot number through the fabric. If your CO2 cylinder is marked with lot numbers 404121 or 404122, please contact Mustang Survival’s customer service group for instructions and to arrange for a replacement inflator assembly.

All other CO2 cylinder lot numbers are satisfactory. Repack your PFD so it is ready for use per the instruction manual. Mustang Survival Customer Service Group: 1-800-526-0532

Additional information is available at Please note the following photographs.

Distributed by the Office of Investigations and Analysis: Http:// To subscribe:

Photograph showing view of lot number through fabric. Lot number on cylinder label.

This Safety Alert is provided for informational purposes and does not relieve any foreign or domestic requirement. Developed by the Lifesaving and Fire Safety Division, United States Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC. For additional information contact Mr. Martin Jackson at

Can You Sink A Boat For Lack Of A One Dollar Bolt??

I suppose theoretically it's possible. But can you really repair a 30-year-old radar unit for $30.00? I am here to tell you that you absolutely can, if the problem is the same as ours. Not long ago, I fired up our Raytheon RL70 radar unit and it all started fine. Once it was going, however, the beam was doing the sweeps, but there were no targets on the display. An internal self diagnostic showed everything was working okay, but obviously it wasn't. This unit is long past its manufacturing date and it's highly doubtful if Raymarine will even fix these any more or if it's worth it. So trying a few things couldn't hurt.

The Great Book Of Anchorages Website

As we promised, the new website for The Great Book Of Anchorages,, is ready for visitors. Susan and I are about as excited as two kids on Christmas morning. You can order your copies now and they're ready for immediate shipment. This whole process has been such a fantastic experience that it's hard to put into words. From our decision well over a year ago to publish an anchorage book that will provide all of the information boaters like ourselves have looked for, until the launch of the website today, we have been like a couple of giddy school kids. Every step of the way has been a real thrill for us. But the website is a lot more than just a place to order the book.

The Great Book Of Anchorages

Susan and I are very, very, very excited to announce the start up of Beach House Publications. Our first book for The Great Book Of Anchorages series covers the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from Norfolk/Hampton Roads to the Florida Keys and includes the St. Johns River. The research for the book has spanned a period of 20 years. For the last year we have been working on an easy-to-use format that we felt comfortable using as active boaters. Once we decided on a format, Susan began putting all of the information together in a logical order. Many times we went to our boating friends for their input and suggestions. The result has been a publication written for boaters by boaters. We have developed an anchorage book, not a cruising guide or combination cruising guide and anchorage book.

What Do You Do When You Get To The Bahamas?

Is It Really Better In The Bahamas??
This is a follow to our post, What Cruisers Want To Know About The Bahamas.

You've done all of your homework. You've picked the perfect weather window. You were in awe as the dark blue of the Gulf Stream gave way to the crystal clear, but shallow waters of the Bahamas Banks. The feel of accomplishment just can't be describe. You have arrived, so now what? The answer is almost as endless as the Island chain itself.

Wifi On The Boat Part 3

 We posted this on our Trawler Beach House blog and wanted to add it here for follow up info...

It has been a while since we have posted any additional information on our highly successful WiFi set up on the boat. To really see how we have arrived at this point, you need to go back and read our previous posts starting with Part 1 and then  Part 2. Our original WiFi set up worked great right up until the day we took it down and switched over to this new system. We have been using this for some time now, but I am just getting around to posting the how to and our results to date. The reason for the change was nothing more than seeing what was new and trying out this system because we have had a lot of positive feedback from other boaters. Our experience has been very positive although not quite the "wow" we expected.

The Gentlemans Guide to Passages South, By Bruce Van Sant

Now available.

We received an email from Bruce a week ago to let us know that he has the 10th Edition of his book out and that it would be available soon. Older copies have been offered on Ebay for as much as $800.00, which we find totally ridiculous. If anyone is looking to purchase the new 10th Edition, you can get it here for $29.95. This will be his absolutely last update. Bruce's website can be found here.

 The 10th and last Edition of the popular directions for sailing south
to the Bahamas and the Caribbean

For more than twenty years Van Sant repeatedly surveyed nearly 200 anchorages between Florida and South America. He racked up well over 80,000 sea miles doing it, mostly single-handed. Why? You’ll find some interesting answers in his book of stories, Margarita Cat, but essentially, he did it because he liked doing it.
Sailing up and down the chain of islands so much and so often, he got to looking for shorter and easier ways to navigate between each link in the chain, and he kept refining detailed nav plans for every leg.
He has systematically taken the thorns out of the route they used to call the Thorny Path. For example, he exploits the calming effects on wind and sea which result from land cooling on each side of an inter-island passage. Applying his many methods, both sail and power can make safe, comfortable and pleasant progress even against normally impenetrable trade winds and seas.
Passages South offers an illustrated manual of instruction for specific passages and harbors down islands as well as a cruising guide for the Greater Antilles islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. It has sailed aboard tens of thousands of boats passaging between the Americas. It should sail with you too.
About the Author During his 40 years of cruising the world, Van Sant worked as a consultant systems engineer as well as weriting and speaking in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, picking up six languages along the way. He settled into cruising the myriad islands between Florida and South America. Read more about his adventures in his book MARGARITA CAT.

Available at and nautical outlets