Basic-Weather-ClassRon Jones spoke with Jim Darden to get timeline for MAC grant. MAC has reviewed and recommended approval of the grant and forwarded to Charlotte County for final approval. Charlotte County will review grant applications and grant final approval at their May 11 meeting. Following final approval by the county, a contract between the county and PGBA will be sent. Reimbursement under the grant will not be made for any purchased made before 1 Oct 2016; therefore, no equipment will be ordered until the new fiscal year begins.

As a related concern; the MAC grant is a reimbursement for monies spent. Over the next several months, assuming Charlotte County gives final approval for the weather station grant, PGBA will need to discuss funding for the purchase of weather station equipment and submission of invoices for reimbursement by Charlotte County.

A question was raised concerning location of the weather sensors on Peace River Marker 4, for support of many racing events Marker 2 would be a preferred location. The initial installation of the weather sensors will be a “proof of concept” to demonstrate the value of real-time weather data from on the water locations. In evaluating weather sensors and wireless communications, the best value in an “off the shelf” unit had a transmission range of 1 mile (other units offered longer range; however that came at a significantly higher costs, or required multiple radio links adding cost and complexity to the project). It was determined that while Marker 2 was a more desirable location, communications costs made it impractical for the initial site. Marker 4 is well within range of the shore based network interface and will provide weather data for sailing classes, anchorage areas, and is in a better location for monitoring and/or maintaining the equipment. Once the initial site is up and running, a variety of communications options, including use of amateur radio telemetry, will be investigated with the goal of establishing a second site on Marker 2. A grant requesting funding for the second site will be submitted for the FY18 grant year.

Other announcements for Peace River Sail and Power Squadron:

National Safe Boating Week will be May 21- 27 2016. This will be a great opportunity to have a Vessel Safety Check. Contact either the U.S. Coast Guard Aux or local US Power Squadron to schedule a free Vessel Safety Check. You can also request a Vessel Safety Check on-line at

Peace River Sail and Power Squadron will be conducting a Boating Safety Equipment Demonstration Day on Saturday, 21 May 2016 from 10AM to 2PM at the dinghy landing by Punta Gorda Boat Club (802 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda FL). This free event will give boaters the opportunity for hands on experience with smoke signals, flares, and other boating safety equipment. The public is invited. Read More >>

Peace River Sail and Power Squadron will be presenting the “HURRICANE PREPARATION FOR BOATERS” seminar on Saturday, 21 May at the Punta Gorda Boat Club (802 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda FL) from 2PM to 4PM. This valuable seminar covers how to prepare a storm plan, reviewing marina/dockmaster contracts, city and county docking regulations, as well as lessons learned from Hurricane Charley. Please register in advance by calling 941-637-0766. Read More >>