Blog October 2020

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Posted On: October 17, 2020
Posted On: October 14, 2020
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SAFETY WHILE BOATING IN THE FALL

Posted On: October 17, 2020

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 Under-prepared  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.

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MAKING YOUR DECK SAFER

Posted On: October 14, 2020

How To Install Nonslip Tape Where You Need It

Nonslip tape is usually installed over slippery areas such as on hatches, where it provides grip without blocking too much light. You can also install it on the edge of stairs, any sloping surface, and other areas where the danger of slipping is present.

  1. Make sure the area to be covered is clean. Use a proprietary cleaner recommended by the manufacturer to clean the clear part of any hatches. Don't use acetone, which might discolor hatch glazing.
  2. Decide where you want to put the tape. Use a grease pencil to mark off areas. Cut tape to length and use a coin to make quarter-circles at each corner. Trim corners around the quarter-circle to prevent them from lifting later.
  3. Peel the backing off the tape and press it onto the area to be covered. Press the tape down firmly (stand on it!) to make sure it adheres properly. That's it, you're finished!
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NOT ALL VIBES ARE GOOD

Posted On: October 07, 2020

Vibrations may be good when listening to music, but vibrations are often indicative of an issue with a component on the boat.

This is not a comprehensive guide by any stretch, but it will, hopefully, help you identify the source of any unwanted vibration, starting with the simplest causes.

Does the engine vibrate when it is running with transmission in neutral?

If Yes:

Worn engine mounts.

Inspect each engine mount in turn. Is one shaking more than the others? Is there excessive rusting or rubber residue adjacent top one or more of the mounts?

Remedy: Adjust or replace engine mounts.

Engine does not idle properly.

A rough-running engine can lead to excessive vibration. Run diagnostic checks in accordance with engine manufacturer's recommendations.

Remedy: Service or repair the engine.

Does the vibration occur only when the engine is in gear?

If Yes:

Fouled propeller.

Inspect propeller for rope, fishing line, weeds, or other fouling.

Remedy: Remove fouling and clean the propeller.

Bent, damaged, or missing propeller blade.

Carry out a visual inspection of the propeller.

Remedy: Repair or replace the damaged propeller.

Propeller not corrected fitted properly onto shaft.

Remove prop and check key, keyway, and taper for damage.

Remedy: Have the propeller lapped to the shaft to fit the taper correctly. Lap prop taper to ensure it fits correctly. Install new key.

Does the vibration increase or decrease at certain speeds?

If Yes:

Propeller may be out of balance.

Check prop with a dial gauge to ensure it is in round. On a sailboat with folding props, make sure that the blades open and seat correctly.

Remedy: Have the propeller serviced by a reputable propeller shop.

Cutless bearing is worn.

Grasp the prop and also grab the shaft near the bearing and try to shake/move it up and down and side to side with a lot of your strength. If there's discernable movement between the shaft and the inside of the cutless bearing then the bearing will need replacing, as it's worn. There should be zero fore and aft movement, which would be indicative of either a loose prop, a loose prop shaft coupling, or wear in the transmission.

Remedy: Replace the cutless bearing.

Is it hard to rotate the propeller by hand with the transmission in neutral?

If Yes:

Shaft may be bent.

If you suspect a bent shaft, have it inspected by a specialist facility.

Remedy: Remove shaft and have it straightened or replaced.

Propeller shaft strut out of alignment.

Check for visible cracking and twisting. Check mounting bolts for movement. Check hull around mounting bolts for vibration when you're running.

Remedy: Replace or repair strut.

Engine alignment poor.

Disconnect shaft from transmission. If shaft then turns easily, alignment issue is likely.

Remedy: Correct alignment between shaft and transmission.

Engine mounts may be worn and sagging.

Inspect each engine mount in turn.

Remedy: Adjust or replace mounts.

Is one shaking more than the others?

Is there excessive rusting or rubber residue adjacent top one or more of the mounts?

Remedy: Check and replace engine mounts.

Is there a visible wobble to the shaft inside the boat when operating at speed?

If Yes:

Coupling may be misaligned.

Separate coupling from transmission and check alignment.

Remedy: Adjust and/or replace engine mounts.

Engine mount(s) worn or improperly adjusted.

Inspect each engine mount in turn. Is one shaking more than the others? Is there excessive rusting or rubber residue adjacent to one or more of the mounts?

Remedy: Service, adjust, or replace engine mounts.

Shaft could be bent.

Specialist equipment is required to properly check for bent shaft.

Remedy: Remove shaft and have it straightened or replaced.

Transmission output flange distorted.

Specialist equipment is required to properly check for runout or defective coupling.

Remedy: Replace output flange.

Drivesaver, if fitted, is worn or damaged.

Remove Drivesaver from between shaft and transmission coupling and visually inspect for tears and distortion.

Remedy: Replace Drivesaver.

Congratulations!

If you've made it this far, you should have been able to fix, or at least identify, the issue that was causing those unwanted vibrations. On the other hand, if you have not been able to isolate the issue, it may be a good time to seek expert help from a competent yard.

But at least you gave it a shot, and hopefully you learned something about your boat along the way.

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