Blog March 2019

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SPRING HAS ARRIVED

Posted On: March 20, 2019

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The spring equinox (also called the March equinox or vernal equinox) falls on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 5:58 P.M. EDT. This event marks the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

What Does the Equinox Mean?

The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night”—aequus (equal) and nox (night). 

On the equinox, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world. 

With the equinox, enjoy the increasing sunlight hours, with earlier dawns and later sunsets.

What Happens on the March Equinox?

On the March Equinox, the Sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north. It’s called the “celestial equator”  because it’s an imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator.

If you were standing on the equator, the Sun would pass directly overhead on its way north. 

Equinoxes are the only two times a year that Sun only rises due east and sets due west for all of us on Earth!

While the Sun passes overhead, the tilt of the Earth is zero relative to the Sun, which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun. (Note, however, that the Earth never orbits upright, but is always tilted on its axis by about 23.5 degrees.)

After the Spring equinox, the Norther Hemisphere tilts toward the Sun, which is why we start to get longer, sunnier days


BASED ON AN ARTICLE IN THE OLD FARMERS ALMANAC

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MAKING A THRU HULL CONNECTION

Posted On: March 13, 2019


Tips For Seacocks And Thru-Hulls

Connecting equipment to an existing thru-hull or installing a new one can make anyone nervous. After all, an analysis of  BoatUS Marine Insurance files shows that about 20 percent of boats sinking at the dock are caused by thru-hull issues. But with some common sense and the right materials, you can rest well knowing your boat is secure.

First, keep in mind that any hole below the waterline has the potential to quickly sink a boat. In our BoatUS study, leaking thru-hulls, included stuffing boxes, baitwell discharges, washdown fittings, transducer plugs, bow thruster hoses, broken scuppers, and failed head discharges were all examples of leaking thru-hulls that sank boats. Your thru-hulls should all have operable seacocks that can turn off the flow of water with a 90-degree turn of the handle.

Clamps (all stainless steel) on hoses should be snug and free of rust. Two clamps are better than one if they can fit over the spud. Hoses at thru-hulls should be the reinforced type, which is usually a heavy black hose. Lighter, unreinforced PVC hoses can (and do) rupture and crack.

Check the entire length of the hose, as excessive heat from the engine or chemicals (bilge cleaners, battery acid, spilled fuel, and so on) can cause isolated failures. Replace hoses that are suspect — mushy, hard, and/or cracked. And should all else fail, it's important to tie on a soft wood plug at every thru-hull in case of emergency.

Prevention Any "opening" in the hull, whether it's protected by a seacock or stuffing box, needs to be inspected periodically. The same is true for openings that are slightly above the waterline. Seacocks should be operable. Any that are "frozen" open or shut should be taken apart and lubricated.

— Charles Fort FOR BOATUS

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