Message from the OCSA President – Ken Petterson
I thank the membership of the Orange County Sportsmen’s Association for re-electing me to another term to the Board of Directors. I also thank my fellow board members for electing me as President of the Orange County Sportsmen’s Association for the upcoming year.
I invite our members and their families to come to the club to enjoy all the amenities that OCSA has to offer. We will continue to implement improvements that will make you proud to be a member of OCSA.
The Labor Day picnic has been cancelled due to the current COVID state. The staff continues in its efforts to ensure your health and safety. Our focus remains one of compliance with all governmental guidance on masks, PPE, cleanliness, and social distancing practices. To this end, we completed the renovation of our Blaine Hall restroom facilities with touchless sink and toilet technologies to benefit your ongoing health and wellness.
As always, I encourage all members and their guests to enjoy the club and the beauty of the Butler chain of lakes.
Message from the General Manager – Debbie Warner
We are excited to announce the return of The Down Brothers for our October 2nd Music on the Lake Event. Tickets are limited so make your reservations early.
We encourage everyone to be courteous of our docks and waterways. There have been multiple complaints about jet skis and boats speeding by the buoys, causing damage to the docks and to the boats that are tied to the docks. Please be courteous and slow down in areas near docks, piers, and shorelines. We are lucky to have the beautiful Butler Chain of Lakes for our enjoyment and we encourage everyone to keep the lakes safe and clean.
We will continue to check membership cards when you enter the OCSA gate. If a guest is meeting you at the club, you must arrive prior to the guest. Please ensure your guests give your name as the member they are meeting.
If you are new to the club or need a refresher, you can view the OCSA New Member orientation video on our website, www.ocsaclub.com. Click on ‘Become a Member’ and view the video by clicking on the arrow. The OCSA operating hours are also on the website and the closing times are posted at each ramp. Be sure to be out the gate by the posted closing time.
Please ensure the office has your current mailing address and email address. If I can be of assistance, please contact me directly at 407-876-2010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MUSIC NIGHT – OCTOBER 2nd 7:00PM-10:00PM
Come enjoy music by The Down Brothers. They are a local band in Southwest Orlando. Many of you may be familiar with their wide variety of rock, western, and classical music. They frequently play at Dexter’s and The Windermere Food Truck event. The cost is $30 per person and includes beer, wine, BBQ, and live music on Lake Sheen. You can purchase tickets on the website, www.ocsaclub.com. There is a limited number of tickets.
RULES & REGULATIONS --- REMINDERS
- A member or spouse is permitted to have a maximum of 10 guests, including children, at any time (total of 11). All guests must leave when the member leaves.
- Children over the age of 22 require their own membership, if they would like to come to the club without a parent or other member.
- Pets are not permitted on OCSA property. Pets taken out on a member’s vessel must be transferred directly, without stopping, from the vehicle to the vessel. Upon return, the pet must be transferred directly, without stopping, back to the vehicle. Pets must be carried or leashed at all times. In addition, OCSA has provided a “dog walk” area by the exit gate for the comfort of your pet. Pets must be leashed and transferred directly, without stopping, to this area. All waste must be disposed of properly by the pet owner.
- Launching is prohibited during periods of inclement weather to allow for vessels exiting the lake to do so without delay. Gas will not be pumped during inclement weather.
- Vehicles and trailers are to be parked in designated areas only. Do not block boat storage areas and do not park in a member’s rented boat storage space. Head-in trailer parking only.
For more information on the OCSA and the rules and regulations, view the OCSA video on our website, www.ocsaclub.com. Click on ‘Become a Member’ and view the video by clicking on the arrow.
FACILITY RENTAL AGREEMENTS
You can find OCSA facility rental agreements on the website, www.ocsaclub.com. The 9020 rental agreement is for Blaine Hall, the Front Porch, Pavilion 1, Pavilion 2, and Pavilion 3. The Lake Sheen Hall rental agreement is for the large clubhouse. Each rental agreement comes with a 6-hour timeframe which includes set up and breakdown.
MYFWC.COM - Need-to-know tips for beginner boaters
Preparation and launching:
A busy boat ramp can be intimidating. However, an understanding of some very basic principles can help keep you safe and confident before you even arrive at the ramp.
- Have a float plan. This includes where you will be boating, when you expect to return, communication equipment onboard, the type of boat you’re operating and more. Download a fillable float plan PDF from MyFWC.com/Boating by clicking “Boating Safety” then “Float Plan.” Leave your float plan with someone trustworthy who is staying onshore and can notify FWC or another rescue organization in case of an emergency.
- Be weather aware. Check the weather before you head out and frequently get an updated report while on the water that includes weather conditions, tides, wave forecast, wind and warnings. Weather.gov/marine is a great resource.
- Before you take your boat to the ramp, be sure you have all items necessary for boating success and safety on the water. Visit MyFWC.com/Boating and click “Boating Safety” then “Safety Equipment” for a complete list that includes personal flotation devices, a sounding device, fire extinguisher, navigation and much more.
- Whether you’re preparing to launch or about to make your drive home, do your best to prepare your vessel well away from the actual ramp as much as you safely can.
- Two is better than one. Launching and retrieving your boat is easiest with two people. One person can drive the towing vehicle while the other operates the vessel. While having two people is not required, inviting a friend to come along is a great way to learn and can make it much easier!
- Once your vessel is off the trailer and in the water, it should be moved from the launch lane so other boaters can access the lane as well.
- When getting off the water, always ensure that your towing vehicle is at the ramp and ready to retrieve your vessel before pulling your boat into the launch lane.
- Do not power load your boat onto the trailer. Power loading is using the boat’s motor to load and unload the boat from the trailer. Power loading can damage the boat ramp and cause problems for other boaters.
- Be mindful of where you park. If you’re launching a paddlecraft and don’t have a trailer, don’t park in a space that is designated for a trailer.
- The boat ramp is a shared area for all boaters and preparation is key. Following these steps will boost your boating confidence and allow you to launch and recover your vessel safely and efficiently.
On the water:
Once you’re on the water, smart decision making is key! In the blink of an eye, an unfavorable situation can arise. Be sure you’ve completed all necessary boating safety courses before getting behind the wheel of any vessel. Remember that if you’re the one driving, you’re responsible for not only your own safety, but also that of everyone else on your boat. Follow the guidelines below and learn more at MyFWC.com/Boating by clicking “Boating Safety” then “Boater Safety Courses.”
- Steer clear from drugs and alcohol! It is dangerous and a violation of Florida law to operate a boat while under the influence. Staying away from these substances can help you avoid becoming a statistic. Learn more at NASBLA.org.
- Wear your life jacket! It could save your life. You are required to have a properly fitting life jacket onboard for all passengers. Life jackets must be U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved, in serviceable condition and the appropriate size for the intended user. Children under the age of six years old must wear a life jacket at all times while on a vessel less than 26 feet in length. Additionally, each person onboard a personal watercraft and anyone being towed behind a vessel must wear a USCG-approved life jacket as well. Of course, life jackets will only work if you are wearing one – so we encourage you to WEAR IT!
- Don’t let your trash make a splash. Stash the trash while boating and be sure that your garbage stays onboard, preferably in a garbage can or a bucket with a lid, then dispose of it in a proper receptacle onshore. Proper disposal not only keeps shorelines clean, but can also save wildlife.
- Speed kills. Abide by posted speed zone signs and slow down for swimmers, paddlecraft and vessels not underway, as well as areas known to have manatees or large jumping fish. Be aware of waterway markers and check out these helpful tips on what to do if you see a manatee while boating.
- Help protect seagrasses, corals and other vital marine habitats. When boating near seagrasses, carefully pole or drift your vessel through shallow areas to avoid causing propeller scars and groundings, which can severely damage often-fragile seagrass meadows and the species that depend on them. Never anchor on coral reefs, but instead drift-fish or tie your boat to available mooring buoys. Being aware of and protecting marine fisheries habitats is a huge part of being a responsible boater!
- Except in the event of an emergency, it is unlawful to moor or fasten to any lawfully placed navigation aid or regulatory marker.
- Do not pass through a “No Motor Zone” if you are operating a motorized vessel. There are no exceptions here. Both internal combustion engines and electric engines must abide by this.
- Choose a safe seat! All passengers on the boat should be aware that it is illegal to ride on the bow, gunwale, transom, seat backs, seats on raised decks or any other place where there may be a possibility of falling overboard.
- All operators of recreational boats less than 26-feet in length that have an installed engine cut-off device must wear an engine cut-off switch link. This device helps prevent accidents by cutting off the engine when the vessel operator is not at the helm.
- All in all, a comprehensive understanding of information found at SafeBoatingCampaign.com and MyFWC.com/Boating can greatly increase boater knowledge and confidence. After all, knowledge is power! Bookmark these pages from the links above on your computer or mobile device, revisit them as needed and share them with other boaters.
Equipped with this knowledge and understanding, we encourage you to get out on the water and make a Florida memory today! Visit the links below for additional information critical to success, safety and confidence on the water.
For More information:
- Boating | FWC – https://myfwc.com/boating/
- Boating Safety Tips Video | FWC – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owh-EIB1JXA
- Boating Safety Guide: Staying Safe on the Water –https://www.discoverboating.com/ownership/safety
- National Safe Boating Council Resources –https://www.safeboatingcouncil.org/resources/
WHO TO CALL IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE
407-836-HELP – Call Orange County Sheriff’s office to report an incident
800-4-SEA TOW – Call Sea Tow if you are stranded on the lake and need a tow (fees are associated with this service)