Blog 2018

Latest

Posted On: April 01, 2020
Posted On: March 25, 2020
Posted On: March 17, 2020
Posted On: March 11, 2020
Posted On: March 04, 2020

Subscribe

Via Email:    

DECEMBER 26 BOXING DAY

Posted On: December 26, 2018



December 26 is not only a day for Santa Claus to catch his breath but a public holiday known as Boxing Day in the United Kingdom and other British Commonwealth countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand. In spite of its peculiar name, Boxing Day has nothing to do with fisticuffs, the trashing of empty boxes left over from Christmas or the return of unwanted presents to department stores. The term is of British origin, and the Oxford English Dictionary traces its earliest print attribution to 1833, four years before Charles Dickens referred to it in “The Pickwick Papers.” The exact roots of the holiday name are unknown, but there are two leading theories, both of which are connected to charity traditionally distributed to lower classes on the day after Christmas.

One idea is that December 26 was the day centuries ago when lords of the manor and aristocrats typically distributed “Christmas boxes” often filled with small gifts, money and leftovers from Christmas dinner to their household servants and employees, who were required to work on December 25, in recognition of good service throughout the year. These boxes were, in essence, holiday bonuses. Another popular theory is that the Boxing Day moniker arose from the alms boxes that were placed in churches during the Advent season for the collection of monetary donations from parishioners. Clergy members distributed the contents of the boxes to the poor on December 26, which is also the feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr and a figure known for acts of charity. (Ireland celebrates December 26 as St. Stephen’s Day.)

0

OLD SCHOOL FLUSHING

Posted On: December 19, 2018


Back in the day, flushing an outboard with fresh water was done only one way. A set of "ear muffs" or "flush muffs" was fitted around the engine's gearcase to cover the water intakes, connected to a garden hose with a good water supply, and the engine was run for five to 10 minutes

Why Flush?

Salt and brackish water is a corrosive killer of the aluminum from which outboards are made, so flushing every time after saltwater use is a must. Left unchecked inside the cooling passages, saltwater will quickly build up and may cause cooling blockages, leading to overheating and, over time, can corrode an engine from inside out. All outboard manufacturers recommend flushing (according to the procedures outlined in the engine owner's manual) after every use in salt, brackish, dirty, or polluted waters. Operating an engine in sandy, silty, or muddy fresh water also dictates the need for periodic flushing.

The Old-School Way

Flush muffs are the most common way to flush an outboard; they're available at most marine stores and online resellers. They're inexpensive, and easy to use. Connect to a garden hose, fit the muffs over the engine's water intakes on the sides of the gear case, turn the water on, start the engine, and let it run. That's it, with the following precautions:

  • If your engine has additional water intakes that are not being directly fed water via the flushing muffs, they must be sealed off with a bit of duct tape, or overheating may occur.
  • If your engine doesn't have water intakes on the sides of the gear case, you will need a special type of flushing attachment that covers the front of the gear case. These can be purchased from aftermarket shops.
  • When attaching the muffs, be sure they cover the water inlets completely and don't pop or slide off when the water is turned on.
  • Be vigilant, and don't leave the engine while flushing. Watch the engine's "tell-tale" overboard water indicator to ensure that the engine is pumping water.
  • The engine should be kept in neutral and not run above a fast idle speed (1,000 rpm maximum).
0

CHRISTMAS BELLS

Posted On: December 12, 2018

Traditions of Christmas Bells

Bells, especially Church Bells, have traditionally been associated with Christmas for a long time. In the Anglican and Catholic churches, the church day starts at sunset, so any service after that is the first service of the day. So a service on Christmas Eve after sunset is traditionally the first service of Christmas day! In churches that have a Bell or Bells, They are often rung to signal the start of this service.

In some churches around the world, it is traditional that the largest bell in the church is rung four times in the hour before midnight and then at midnight all the bells are rung in celebration.

In the Catholic Church, Christmas and Easter are the only times that Mass is allowed to be held at Midnight. It's traditional that at both midnight Masses, the church and altar bells too in many cases are rung while the Priest says the "Gloria" (Gloria in excelsis Deo).

Having a Mass at Midnight at Christmas dates back to the early church, when it was believed that Jesus was born at midnight, although there has never been any proof of this! A lot of Churches have midnight services on Christmas Eve, although not every church will have a mass or communion as part of the service.

In many Catholic countries such as France, Spain and Italy, the midnight mass service is very important and everyone tries to go to a service.

In Victorian times, it was very fashionable to go carol singing with small handbells to play the tune of the carol. Sometimes there would only be the bells and no singing! Handbell ringing is still popular today.

 

0

PICKING UP A MOORING

Posted On: November 28, 2018

                                                                                                   Illustration: ©2015 Mirto Art Studios)



Picking up a mooring is far simpler than docking or anchoring. But many boaters never learn this simple technique and are intimidated to try in close-packed mooring fields. Adding this skill to your arsenal will make weekend jaunts more enjoyable and increase your flexibility when choosing an anchorage. Some simple preparations, good communication, and a bit of coordination will make mooring pickups easy. Of course, some practice never hurts!


HERE'S AN ARTICLE i FOUND BY By Beth A. Leonard

In any commercially maintained mooring field, and even on most private moorings, a large round buoy will be the most visible part of the mooring. The bottom of this buoy, under the water, is attached to the mooring anchor by some combination of chain, line, and fasteners. The line meant to secure the mooring to the boat, called the pennant, may be attached to the top of the mooring buoy, to the bottom, or to the chain beneath the mooring buoy. Unless the pennant is made with floating line, it will be below the water's surface and invisible as you approach the mooring. To make that line easier to retrieve, there will usually be a smaller "pickup buoy" near the larger mooring buoy. This can range from a small, round float to a cylinder with an antenna-like wand from the top, tall enough to be reached from the bow of the boat. All you must do is retrieve that mooring pennant and attach it to a strong point on the bow.

To secure your boat to the mooring, follow these six steps.

  1. Get ready. As you enter the harbor and while you're trying to identify the mooring you need to pick up, a crewmember should take a boat hook and a short (6-10 feet) length of line to the bow. The line should be the size and strength of your docklines, large enough to hold the boat but small enough to double on a bow cleat. Secure one end to a bow cleat and run the other end through a fairlead, if your boat has one.
  2. Get positioned. Once you've identified the mooring you want to pick up, determine the direction of the wind. Approach the mooring from dead-downwind, which means the bow is pointing into the wind.
  3. Approach the mooring. Head toward the mooring slowly, with just enough throttle to keep the boat moving into the wind. The crewmember on the bow should continually point at the mooring with the boat hook. The movement of the boat hook and its angle will give you a good idea of how quickly you're approaching. At the same time, the crew on the bow should indicate the distance to the mooring in boat lengths, not in feet. It's easier to estimate one or two boat lengths than 30 or 60 feet. On smaller boats, they can call out the number; on larger boats, hand signals work better.
  4. Stop the boat. Before the bow comes to the mooring, put the engine in neutral. Unless the wind is strong, the boat's momentum will carry it forward a bit before the wind starts pushing it back, giving the crew on the bow time to retrieve the pickup buoy.
  5. Retrieve the pickup buoy. If the buoy has a long "antenna" on it, that the crew can reach from the bow, perfect. He/she should just pull it aboard. It will be attached to the pennant, which usually will have a loop that can be secured to your bow cleat. If the buoy doesn't have an antenna, or if the bow is too high to reach it, use the boat hook to grab the line attached to the pickup buoy. Better yet, if you can see the line attached to it, hook that anywhere along its length, and the boat hook will slide to the pickup buoy and stop. If you miss, let the wind back you away so you don't foul your prop and try the maneuver again.
  6. Secure the boat. As the pickup buoy is pulled aboard, the crewmember will be able to see the size and condition of the line attached. Most mooring pennants have a loop (called an "eye") spliced into the end for putting over a boat cleat. But mooring lines are often oversize and may be too big to fit on the cleats of smaller boats. They can also be covered with mud, seaweed, or slime that you'd rather not get all over the boat. Your crewmember can quickly decide if it will fit through your fairlead, in which case he/she can just do so and then drop it over the cleat, and you're secure. Or, if it's too big or too dirty or too fouled with barnacles, just take that extra line that was secured to the bow cleat, quickly run it through the eye of the mooring pennant, and then take that line back through the fairlead and to the opposite cleat. That way, you secure the boat without covering the bow in green goo.

If anything goes wrong, just let go. No harm done! Release the mooring, let the wind blow you clear, circle around, and take another shot.

 

0

BOATING SAFELY THIS FALL

Posted On: October 31, 2018


Just because its Fall and there are less vessels on the water, doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind as far as safety is concerned. Here are several tips for avoiding some of the most serious boating mistakes.

Mistake 1: Underestimating What It Takes to Operate a Boat

All  too often, both experienced and novice boaters can underestimate the level of knowledge, skill and experience required to operate a boat effectively and safely. From trailer­ing and launching, to safe anchoring, to docking and undocking, the equipment, navigation, handling and rules of the road are completely different than on land. Serious accidents, including swamping and capsizing, often result from simple failures such as loading a boat properly and within capacity or anchoring safely..

Mistake 2: Inattention

The beauty and fun of being on the water in the fall can make boating seem carefree and effortless. A brief lapse in attention is often behind groundings, collisions and capsizing. Many accidents occur late in the day, when operators are fatigued. Many involve collisions with markers, jetties and other obstacles that are visible and avoidable. The water may seem calm and familiar, but operator attention and diligence are vital.

Mistake 3: Boating Under the Influence

Fun, relaxation and friendship go hand in hand with boating. While no amount of alcohol is safe for a boat operator, the sun and fun that make boating so enjoyable can also make alcohol more dangerous for passengers. Dehydration, physical exertion and fatigue can accelerate and amplify the effects of alcohol, more quickly impairing judgment and coordination, which increases the chances of risky behavior and injury, and the danger of falling overboard

Mistake 4: Failing to Recognize Risks

Bad weather, shorter days, unfamiliar locales and hazardous waters are risks that boaters sometimes fail to account for. Responsible boaters learn to respect the weather and to check conditions prelaunch and while on the water to avoid sudden storms. While exploring new areas is part of the fun, it’s smart to check with local boating authorities if you’re heading out on an unfamiliar body of water. They can point out known hazards and offer navigation tips.

Mistake 5:  Being Underprepared  for Emergencies

Filing a float plan and ensuring that proper emergency and communication equipment are present and working are essential safety precautions. But preparation only begins there. Passengers, as well as the operator, need to know basic emergency procedures, how to communicate and how to use emergency equipment if the operator becomes incapacitated. Practicing with equipment is particularly important, as every moment is precious in an emergency.  Finally, ensure that everyone aboard wears a life jacket at all times. If something goes wrong or there is a fall overboard, there is often no time and no way to access a life jacket.

0

HOW TO MAKE YOUR FIBERGLASS GLEAM

Posted On: October 24, 2018

How To Make Your Fiberglass Gleam

Now's the perfect time to get that lustre back. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to work, but the reward is well worth it.

Here's an article by Lenny Rudow with step by step instructions.


Seal out the oncoming winter with rubbing, buffing, waxing, and polishing, but don't forget the elbow grease.

Keeping gelcoat properly maintained isn't just a matter of vanity, it's also a matter of protecting your boat's fiberglass. Now that we have that out of the way, let's get real — you do want to dazzle your slip neighbors with the mirror-like hull sides on Mom's Mink, don't you? You're far more likely to be able to raise a good shine come spring if you remove the season's stains now and protect the fiberglass from the ravages of winter with a couple of good coats of wax. Luckily, keeping your boat in tip-top shape is a lot easier than it was in the old days when wooden vessels called for scraping, sanding, and painting for hours on end. But don't get too smug. There's still a lot of work in your future, so let's get started.

Step 1: Remove Oxidation

For the purposes of this article, we'll assume you're starting with gelcoat that's slightly oxidized. If it's extremely oxidized, you may need to call in a pro. If your gelcoat doesn't show any signs of oxidation (yellowing and/or a chalky, dull appearance), skip to Step 2. Oxidation occurs naturally, as exposure to sun and weather break down the gelcoat's surface and turn it chalky and pitted. If your boat is more than a couple of years old and hasn't been meticulously maintained, chances are there's some level of oxidation. The more there is, the tougher this step will be.

You need to hit every inch of the fiberglass with a good oxidation remover. As a rule of thumb, it's best to use the least abrasive oxidation remover possible, so you don't grind away lots of gelcoat. How will you pick which one is right? Test a few different products on a small section of the gelcoat to find the least abrasive product that still gets the job done. If you try to deoxidize the entire boat by hand, you'll blow out your elbows; an orbital buffer is a must-have tool for this task.

Fit the buffer with a terry cloth bonnet, and pour a big "X" onto it with the oxidation remover. Then hold the buffer gently against the hull side with even pressure, and hit the power button.

WARNING: If you hit the power button before the buffer is sitting flat against the hull, it'll spray oxidation remover in every direction.

Once the buffer is running, sweep it back and forth across the hull, going over the same area three or four times and being sure not to leave any gaps in your coverage. Never hold the buffer still, or it can "burn" a divot in the gelcoat.

You've hit the entire hull? Now look carefully for spots the buffer missed because there are always a few (under the rub rail, transom corners, and around thru-hull fittings, for example) and do them by hand. Then put a new bonnet on the buffer, and use it to rub off the oxidation remover. If the oxidation was severe, or if the remover you chose was too weak, you may have to repeat this step.

Step 2: Eliminate Stains

Once the oxidation is gone, there's a good chance you'll see a few stains. Let's get rid of them. Most can be attacked with rubbing compound and a rag, but toughies like rust streaks will require the use of an acid-based cleaner. These are often marked "fiberglass stain remover," but read the active ingredients to be sure some sort of acid is listed. Also be sure to limit their usage to where they're absolutely necessary, and follow the instructions on the bottle; these cleaners can give off harmful fumes, burn your skin, and damage the gelcoat if you don't thoroughly rinse them away after use. Be careful that you don't rinse them into the water.

Step 3: Bring Out The Shine

Now we can polish the hull sides into tip-top shape. There are many good polishing products from which to choose, but this is not the time to opt for a combination polish/wax. That stuff is great for midseason touch-ups, but not for sealing out winter weather. Go for a dedicated polish such as Starbrite Premium Marine Polish. Apply the polish as you applied the oxidation remover, sweeping the buffer back and forth across the fiberglass until the entire boat has been covered. Let it dry, and then remove it. Whew! You've probably worked up a sweat by now, but we're just getting started; you need to do the entire boat a second time, because one of the keys to making a boat shine like the sun is to polish it twice.

Step 4: Seal In The Shine

We'll bet the glare coming off Mom's Mink is downright blinding right about now, but if you stop working, the gelcoat's finish will go back to being dull in a matter of days. You need to seal that shine in, and wax is the key ingredient. For this step, choose a paste wax that's based on bee's wax, NOT carnauba wax, which does create a better shine but also wears away faster. Again, you need to give the boat two thorough coatings of the paste wax, and unfortunately, this stuff gets applied by hand. Now for the coup de grâce: a coating of that shiny carnauba stuff. Apply it lightly and gently, so you don't rub away any of the paste wax. Then clean it off with a final pass of the microfiber buffer bonnet.

That was a lot of work, but a lot less than scraping, sanding, and painting. In the spring, you should be able to get away with a quick polish and then sealing in the shine. You can keep your boat looking red-hot all summer by washing it down with a wash-n-wax boat soap that contains a dose of carnauba. If you're a perfectionist, renew the shine by giving the gelcoat another carnauba wax job every other week. And don't look directly at your boat's gelcoat without wearing sunglasses, or you might burn out a retina. If not, then it's time to (sigh) go back to Step 1

0

UNDERSTANDING THE LANGUAGE OF THE SEA

Posted On: October 03, 2018


BOATER'S ACRONYMS

Boating is seemingly filled with undecipherable abbreviations.

While most of these can be welcoming, landlubber friends can get lost in the often confusing and opaque jargon.

The boaters coded talk can be exclusionary, or it might just jeopardize a passenger’s safety.


For example, if the captain instructs everyone to “put on a PFD” so the boat can leave the dock, he’s concerned about safety. PFD stands for personal flotation device and it’s simpler to just tell everyone to wear a life jacket.

 

If the captain or a crewmember yells “MOB!” the cry is meant to kick everyone aboard into action. However, those not in the know won’t move until they know it means man overboard.

 

If you do fall overboard in chilly waters, it’s best to have learned the HELP position. That’s a heat escape lessening posture meant to conserve body heat.

 

If you’re heading for adventure on a kayak or SUP (stand-up paddleboard), wear a PLB to increase your chance of rescue if things go awry. It’s a personal locator beacon that sends a radio signal as to the wearer’s exact location.

 

Does your boat have an EPIRB? This stands for emergency position indicating radio beacon, another safety device that activates as soon as it is immersed in water. If the boat sinks without an opportunity to make a VHF (very high frequency) radio call, the EPIRB notifies emergency services by providing GPS (global positioning system) data that pinpoints your location on the planet by triangulating your position via satellites in space.

 

Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a GPS radio beacon that shows up on digital charts, detailing what a vessel is and where it is headed. In fog or at night, you will be able to tell whether a RADAR (radio detection and ranging) signal is a buoy or a tanker using AIS. While we’re at it, there’s also SONAR, which stands for sound navigation and ranging.

 

See the letters NDZ on a chart? That’s a no discharge zone where no sewage from your boat can be released into the waters. Everything must stay in your MSD (marine sanitation device) until it can be legally pumped out.

 

IALA is the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities. They specify what each navigation mark should look like, the meanings of colors of lights and shapes, and how each light should flash. By following these, you can triangulate your position using a hand compass and not, for example, hit a wreck guarded by a warning buoy.

 

Boaters say RRR as shorthand for red right return(ing). It’s our way to remember which side of the boat red navigation lights should be on when coming into the harbor from open waters.

 

If invited onto a RIB, you’ll be on a rigid inflatable boat. It’s a motor boat with a fiberglass hull and inflatable rims. What about an invite to ride on a PWC? It better be a two-seater, as it’s a personal watercraft (aka jet ski).

 

Should a tall ship with the abbreviation SSV before its name sail by, you’ll know it’s a sail school vessel.

 

Never be afraid to say to a boater, “I’m unfamiliar with that term.” On the whole, we’ll happily explain what we’re talking about. However, don’t ask what BOAT stands for, unless you’re prepared for at least two different answers. One is “break out another thousand,” but another is my favorite — “best of all times!”

0

DISPELLING STAINLESS STEEL MYTH

Posted On: September 05, 2018



Stainless steel doesn't rust.....

Whoever named stainless steel must have been an optimist. Stainless steel certainly can and does rust, though if you know why, you can avoid using it in places where it's less suitable. Most marine-grade stainless used on production boats is from the 300 series. Type 304 is a good multipurpose steel. The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is clad with 304. Types 316 and 316L have a slightly higher nickel content and added molybdenum to improve their corrosion resistance over 304 — especially with regard to pitting and corrosion in saltwater environments. There are higher grades as well, such as the type used in dental implants. Most boaters will opt for Type 316 and 316L.

The key to stainless steel is that the chromium in the steel combines with oxygen to form an invisible surface layer of chromium oxide that prevents further corrosion from spreading into the metal's internal structure. Stainless steel actually protects and repairs itself, except in areas where there is a low level of oxygen, such as a stainless-steel screw in a damp deck core. This kind of corrosion is referred to as "crevice corrosion." It can eat into the stainless, causing great weakening. In some cases, cheap plated steel or zinc fasteners are mistaken for stainless steel and then cursed when they begin to rust or crumble. Use stainless steel where it won't be starved of oxygen, and get high-grade stainless fittings from a known supplier. Stainless steel that is attracted by a magnet is not what you want to use on a boat.

0