USE A FUME SNIFFER

Posted On: December 04, 2020

If your boat has a gasoline fuel tank mounted below decks, you should have a vapor detector. Also known as "fume sniffers," vapor detectors monitor for flammable gases such as gasoline fumes.

Vapor detectors are mounted in the engine-space bilge, just above the slosh height of bilge water, with the sensor away from the hottest parts of the engine, such as manifolds. Vapor detectors are almost always hard-wired to the boat's 12-volt DC system. Usually, the unit has a control head mounted at the helm that will sound when dangerous fumes are detected in the bilge. The wire that connects the sensor to the head unit typically can't be cut because the manufacturer has calibrated its length.

Some vapor detectors can turn on the bilge blower when they detect a buildup, a smart option. The blower, of course, must be ignition-protected. Look for an alarm that is UL 2034 listed.

Vapor alarms should be tested monthly using the manufacturer's procedure. You can also test the sensor using a butane lighter by depressing the lever lightly to release a small amount of butane gas next to the sensor.

Replace vapor detectors after no more than five years, or right away if they become submerged.

If the alarm sounds at the fuel dock, it may mean that a large quantity of spilled gas is in the bilge; it should be dealt with by pros. Make sure everyone is off the boat (as they should be while refueling) and call 911. Don't operate anything electrical, including the blower; it won't eliminate spilled gas. If it sounds while you're underway, call for help on a handheld VHF (less chance of sparking than an installed one) or a cellphone.

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YOU'RE COVERED...RIGHT?

Posted On: November 30, 2020

Boat Marina Liability


If you assume that a marina will pay for damages, you may be in for a shock. It pays to read what you are signing.

 

Consider these scenarios ...

  1. The mechanic who works at your marina test drives your boat following engine repairs. Something goes wrong, he loses control, and the boat causes — and sustains — considerable damage when it bounces off another vessel and hits a dock.
  2. Party-goers on another boat wreak havoc at your marina, vandalizing several vessels, including yours. The marina's security guard failed to stop the mayhem.
  3. The dockhand your marina hired for the summer fills your boat's gas tank with water — and vice versa.

More and more, marina contracts include phrases such as, "The boat owner fully agrees and releases the marina from any liability for loss or damage to the boat, under any circumstance, including any negligent acts or omissions by the marina or its personnel." Besides shielding marinas and their insurers from having to dig deep to pay settlements for losses and damages, marinas can save considerable dollars by having customers sign "hold-harmless" clauses in rental agreements. These policies often have large deductibles and the premiums are going up every year.

Consumers who agree to hold-harmless clauses can find themselves between a rock and a hard place: a marina absolved of responsibility on one hand and their own insurance company that refuses to pay out claims on the other, because these clauses are often in conflict with the boat owner's insurance policy.

Always ask and consult with a professional.


With less protection from the marinas, can boat owners expect slip fees to go down? No. Marina customers find themselves in basically the same position as airline customers: The peanut packets are smaller and there's a lot less leg room, but ticket prices and baggage-handling costs are higher.

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WHY NOT CLICK FOR THOSE THAT NEED THE MOST

Posted On: November 27, 2020


Now That This Holiday season is in full swing, why not GIVE A CLICK?

 It’s the holiday season, Black Friday kicks it off every year, you shop ‘til you drop, deal with the stress and instead of just buying stuff, why not  figure out which charities you may want to donate to this year.   Between all the baking, and shopping, why not find some peace by sitting down and going online?

Ever notice all the fund me and crowdfunding projects on Facebook ?

I’m sure you’ve seen them. But, what is this crowdfunding all about?!

Can YOU really donate my money this way or is this a scam?

Crowdfunding is an emerging practice of funding a project or venture by raising numerous small amounts of money from a large number of people. Typically this is done via the Internet.  This means that crowdfunding empowers nonprofit organizations to conveniently raise donations via mobile, social and online networks of volunteers, donors, and staff. These donations happen in real time with 0% transaction fees.

Crowdfunding allows for a personal connection. You get to connect with a project or venture that excites you and captures your imagination.   On top of this connection you also get to make the donation in the easiest way possible. No more writing a check or filling out a form! You now easily get to click to donate via your phone, tablet, computer or other devices.

In fact, crowdfunding has been such a favored form of giving that the fundraising volume in 2015 was $34 Billion! Not to mention, this industry is projected to grow to over $300 billion by 2025.

So find a charity, a cause, a person, anything you like, and Give A Click….. and feel better this Holiday season!!

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SLOW DOWN AND GIVE THANKS

Posted On: November 23, 2020


GIVING THANKS

 As we now are in the crazy, turkey-eating, football-watching, Covid fearing, family-hosting holiday of Thanksgiving and the rest of the winter holidays, we think it’s an appropriate time to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my family, my friends, my clients, and my good fortune. I am lucky enough to perform at a job that I truly enjoy.

We hope you were able to get out on the water as much as possible this boating season. The weather most weekends was glorious and beckoned us to get out and go fishing, sailing, cruising, tubing, racing, dock bar hopping, sight-seeing, and doing all else that floats our boats

As the holiday season embraces us and we tend to spend more time on land than on the water, we wish you and yours the best of off-seasons.

Raise a toast to an early spring and give thanks for what you have!!

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HOW DO YOU STUFF YOUR TURKEY?

Posted On: November 23, 2020

TURKEY TALK.... STUFFING THAT IS

Many experts recommend baking the stuffing outside the bird, where it can easily be cooked to 165°F and is less likely to harbor bacteria. However, many people who grew up eating stuffing from inside the bird find it lacking moisture and flavor when it's baked in a casserole dish, without the benefit of the turkey's juices.

Luckily, whichever method you prefer, there are ways to get around the problems. If you choose to bake your stuffing alongside the bird, drizzle 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of extra stock over it before it goes in the oven. This will replace the extra moisture and flavor the turkey would have provided. Using a rich, flavorful homemade stock will also go a long way toward providing that indescribable roast-turkey richness.

If you still want to cook the stuffing inside the bird, you should take several precautions to ensure safety. First, do not stuff your turkey until right before it goes in the oven. Yes, when faced with a long list of Thanksgiving Day tasks, it's tempting to stuff the bird the night before, stow it in the fridge, and then just pop it in the oven the next morning. But this will create an optimal environment for bacteria to flourish: The moist stuffing, likely warm from the cooked veggies and stock, will sit in the fridge for hours before it gets below the "danger zone"—the range of temperatures in which bacteria can grow. This will allow any bacteria present, already thriving in the moist conditions, to multiply like crazy. Once the stuffing finally cools down, they won't be killed—they'll just stop multiplying as quickly. Then, when the turkey goes into the oven, the stuffing, now cold from the fridge, will take quite a while to heat up, again spending hours in the danger zone.

Instead of this risky procedure, cook any veggies for the stuffing the night before, but do not mix them with the bread, stock, and eggs. (Even if you don't stuff the bird, just mixing the wet ingredients and the bread can be too inviting to bacteria.) The next morning, heat the stock and combine it with the other stuffing ingredients, then immediately fill and roast the bird. Using warm stuffing and putting the turkey in the oven immediately will help the stuffing spend as little time in the "danger zone" as possible.

Finally, when the bird is done, take the temperature of the stuffing as well as the meat. Bacteria cannot survive above 165°F, so most recipes call for using a probe thermometer to verify that the thigh has reached this temperature before removing the turkey from the oven. (Some cooks prefer to remove their birds at 150°F on the assumption that the temperature will rise to 165°F as the meat rests; this is safer if you buy an organic or heritage turkey, which is less likely to contain bacteria

However, just because the thigh meat has reached 165°F doesn't mean the stuffing has, too. So, be sure to insert your thermometer into the very center of the cavity as well. If the bird is done but the stuffing isn't, use this tip:  spoon the stuffing out into a bowl and microwave it until it registers 165°F. This will allow you to have moist, not overcooked meat and safe stuffing at the same time.

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THANKSGIVING HISTORY

Posted On: November 20, 2020

Thanksgiving History

From fall feast to national holiday


The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, to commemorate the harvest reaped by the Plymouth Colony after a harsh winter. In that year Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving. The colonists celebrated it as a traditional English harvest feast, to which they invited the local Wampanoag Indians.

A New National Holiday

By the mid–1800s, many states observed a Thanksgiving holiday. Meanwhile, the poet and editor Sarah J. Hale had begun lobbying for a national Thanksgiving holiday. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, looking for ways to unite the nation, discussed the subject with Hale. In 1863 he gave his Thanksgiving Proclamation, declaring the last Thursday in November a day of thanksgiving.

In 1939, 1940, and 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt, seeking to lengthen the Christmas shopping season, proclaimed Thanksgiving the third Thursday in November. Controversy followed, and Congress passed a joint resolution in 1941 decreeing that Thanksgiving should fall on the fourth Thursday of November, where it remains.

This year with COVID on everyone's mind, many parades and events have been scaled down, gone virtual, or cancelled all together.

Again, the year 2020 will be one for the history books.

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WIND ISSUES

Posted On: November 16, 2020

Depending on how your boat is docked, here are five different maneuvers for getting out of the slip. Your boat's hull shape, prop walk, windage, current, and other factors may affect results.


1. Wind Pushing Starboard Side, Stern Out

Step 1: Hard left rudder. Engine forward will kick out the stern.

Step 2: Reverse engine with left rudder, after releasing line and clearing dock.

Step 3: Forward out of the marina.

2. Wind Pushing Away From Dock, Stern Out

Step 1: Engine forward and right rudder kicks out the stern.

Step 2: Engine reverse with left rudder after releasing line and clearing dock.

Step 3: Forward out of the marina.

3. Wind Pushing Port Side, Bow Out

Step 1: Reverse engine, right rudder to pivot bow into the wind.

Step 2: Remove line and steer into wind.

4. Wind Pushing Away From Dock, Bow Out

Step 1: Release bow line first, then stern and power forward with right rudder.

5. Wind Pushing Starboard Side, Bow Out

Step 1: Reverse engine, left rudder to pivot bow into the wind.

Step 2: Remove line and steer into wind.

A challenging maneuver for any boat (power, sail, big, small) is leaving the dock. Slow speed makes a boat less maneuverable because the rudder isn't very effective until the boat's going fast enough for water to flow over it cleanly. Called "steerageway," that efficient speed can be elusive when the wind's pushing you back or when you make turns, which also slow the boat.

Before heading out, check the wind strength and direction, and then plan your tactics. The illustration shows five ways to cast off from a slip and head out of a marina into a head wind. It's a two-step process. First, clear the slip, using docking lines and the engine to control the boat and prevent rubbing against the pier. Be careful, though. The forces can be larger than they appear. Then point the bow as directly as possible down the channel and get going. On that heading, turns will be gradual, which improves your speed and control



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REFUELING DANGERS

Posted On: November 13, 2020

Gasoline vapors in the engine compartment can stall an engine or make it hard to start because the gasoline-rich air going into the engine makes the mixture too rich for the engine to burn. A backfire or errant spark can ignite the buildup

. Refueling a gas-powered boat is not like filling up your car at the local gas station and should be done with full attention to the job.

Here's a list of procedures that should be followed every time you refuel with gasoline.

  • Have everyone leave the boat while refueling.
  • Shut off all engines, electric motors, and galley stoves and turn off the battery at the main switch.
  • Close all compartments, ports, windows, and hatches. The idea is to keep fumes out of all spaces while fueling.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Keep the nozzle in contact with the fill to prevent static sparks.
  • After fueling, make sure the gas tank cap is replaced, wipe up or wash off any excess or spilled fuel, open all hatches and ports, and let the boat air out.
  • Operate the bilge blower for at least four minutes.
  • Sniff your bilge and engine compartment areas before starting your engine. Keep in mind that a bilge blower can't remove vapors from spilled liquid gas, so use your nose before turning the key. If there is a strong odor of gas, get everyone off the boat, notify the attendant, and call 911.
  • If the engine is hard to start after refueling, stop cranking and investigate!
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