In addition to search and rescue, mark placement and maintenance, ice breaking, etc., the Coast Guard provides two on-going services on their web site that should be part of every boater’s information kit:
WEEKLY NOTICE TO MARINERS Web Site:
Each week the Coast Guard First District (Maine to New York) publishes an up-to-date list identifying marks that have been moved, damaged/not on station, or removed from service. The list also has information about navigation lights that are not operating in the way they should. Whether you are planning a cruise or are already cruising, this information can help you avoid navigation troubles.
NAVIGATION RULES Web Site:
Sailors who race use a special set of rules that define right-of-way in a variety of race situations. However, most boats do not race, and anyway the racing rules apply only in races. So do you know how to respond when another vessel is coming at you? The Navigation Rules (sometimes referred to as “the Rules of the Road”, which is a funny name when you think about it) cover just about any navigation situation you can think of. Of course, it’s better to spend time reviewing the Rules well before finding yourself in a “what do I do now?” situation with an oil tanker.
US HARBORS: Tides weather and local Knowledge.