Monthly Archives: June 2016

  • Don’t click ‘like’ on Facebook again until you read this

    Facebook has changed the way people do a lot of things online. For example, you probably notice yourself reflexively clicking ‘like’ on anything your friends post on Facebook, even if it’s just to acknowledge you saw it. Scammers are taking advantage of that reflex for a dangerous scam called âlike-farming.â

    What is like-farming?

    Like-farming is when scammers post an attention-grabbing story on Facebook for the express purpose of cultivating likes and shares. Based on the way Facebook works, the more likes and shares a post has, the more likely it is to show up in people’s News Feeds.

    This gives the scammer more eyeballs for posts that trick people out of information or send them to malicious downloads. The big question, of course, is why Facebook doesn’t stop these posts before they get too big. And that’s where the real scam comes in.

    How the scam works

    Scammers have found a simple way to fly under the radar during the early phases of their operation. The story they originally post to Facebook has nothing dangerous about it. It’s just a regular story that anyone might post. That was the warning from one local Better Business Bureau last year.

    Only after the post gets a certain number of likes and shares does the scammer edit it and add something malicious. They might start promoting products or sell the page information in attempt to get credit card data. In fact, if you go back through your history of liked posts, you might find that some of them have changed to something you wouldn’t have liked in a million years. By the way, if you’re not sure how to review your likes, click here for the step-by-step instructions.

    So, what kinds of stories do scammers start with to trick people into liking and sharing?

    Posts that should give you pause

    One popular type of story is the emotional one. You’ve definitely seen the posts showing rescue animals and asking you to like if you think they’re cute. Or maybe it’s a medical story where you’re asked to like that the person was cured or to let them know they’re still beautiful after surgery.

    There are also the posts that ask for a like to show that you’re against something the government is doing, or that you disagree with something terrible happening in the world. Or maybe it’s the ones that say âIf I get X number of likes, then something amazing will happen for meâ or âI was challenged to get X number of likes.â

    Basically, any post that asks you to like it for emotional reasons, unless you know the person who created the original post, is quite probably a like-farm post. Of course, emotional posts aren’t the only types of post you need to watch for.

    Other types of scam posts to avoid

    There are a lot of scams on Facebook and most of them can be used for like-farming. A popular one, for example, is a post that asks you to like or share so you can win something cool. These pop up most often when Apple launches a new iPhone or iPad.

    You might have seen recently during the huge Powerball frenzy people posting on Facebook saying anyone who likes their post will get a share of their winnings. How real do you think those were?

    Just on Thursday, police in Australia warned Facebook users of a like farming scam that attempted to lure customers of Qantas Airlines.

    What about brain-teaser posts, such as the ones that have you like or share if you can read the words backwards or solve a tricky math problem? Yep, those are often like-farm posts, too.

    It isn’t just posts either; it can also be pages. A scammer might set up a page for âI love puppiesâ or what appears to be a worthy company or organization. It puts up enough content to get a lot of likes, then switches the content to spam and scams. Once you’ve liked the page, everything new the scammers put up goes on your News Feed and, in some cases, your friends’ feeds as well.

    How to avoid like-farming

    Your best bet to avoid like-farming is to be very judicious about what you like and share on Facebook. Don’t just reflexively click âlikeâ on everything. Take a look at where the post is coming from. If it’s from someone you don’t recognize, it could be a friend of a friend or it could be a complete stranger. It would be good to find out.

    Notice the content and whether it promises anything for liking or sharing. If it does, it’s a good clue that it’s a scam of some kind. The same goes if you feel pushed or pressured into clicking like or share. Click here for 5 Facebook scams that continue to spread like wildfire.

    Don’t forget that, in the end, minimizing your likes is more than just a good security measure. It also reduces the clutter in your friends’ news feeds, and their clutter in yours, so you can all spend more time seeing the really important posts. That’s a win-win for everyone.

    Via: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/komando/2016/03/04/dont-click-like-facebook-again-until-you-read/81264440/

  • Marine Ice Makers Analysts Help You to Master the Sailing Rule Book

    Marine Products
    Public Domain from pixabay


    Your Marine Ice Makers Experts Get Rid of All the Confusion

    Raritan Engineering Company your marine ice makers specialists would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to master the sailing rule book.

    Your marine ice makers professionals know that our rulebook contains only six pages of rules that apply when two or more boats meet on the course. Those are the rules in Part 2, âWhen Boats Meet.â It’s obvious we need basic right-of-way rules (Rules 10, 11 and 12) and some limitations on the actions of right-of-way boats (Rules 14, 15 and 16.1), but those rules occupy only one of the six pages. 

    Rule 24.1 is simple: If you’re not racing, don’t interfere with boats that are – it’s basic courtesy. A reader once asked me, however, why the phrase âif reasonably possibleâ is in the rule. Those words are there to handle fairly the situation shown in the first diagram. Able, Baker and Charlie, sailing closehauled on starboard tack, are nearing the finish line. 

    Another rule that seems mysterious to readers is Rule 18.1(b). This rule is far more complicated than Rule 18.1(a), but many readers, after they spend time dissecting these two rules, cannot see what purpose Rule 18.1(b) serves. 

    Rule 18.1(a) states simply that if two boats are on opposite tacks beating to windward, Rule 18 doesn’t apply between them. That’s a well-understood rule that rarely causes problems. 

    Go to http://raritaneng.com/raritan-product-line/ice-makers/icerette-automatic-icecube-maker/ and see how you can find more information as well as get assistance on marine ice makers and on how to master the sailing rule book.

    To understand why Rule 18.1(b) is needed, we need a bit of background. Rule 18 is intended to apply to boats on opposite tacks only when the boats are sailing on a downwind leg at more than 90 degrees to the true wind. Under the definition Overlap, boats on opposite tacks can’t even be overlapped unless both are sailing more than 90 degrees off the wind.

    In order to achieve Rule 18’s intent in this and similar scenarios, Rule 18.1(b) is a necessary part of Rule 18.1. It switches off Rule 18 between Bart and Rick because they are on opposite tacks when the proper course for Bart, but not for Rick, is to tack to round the mark.

    Another puzzling rule for many readers is Rule 18.4. It applies only âwhen an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must jibe at a mark to sail her proper course.â It’s purely a safety rule. It’s easy to understand how it works by considering the scenario shown in the third diagram. Two boats flying traditional symmetric spinnakers are approaching a jibe mark to be left to port. 

    Olga has sailed high so she can jibe while running directly downwind. At Position 2, her foredeck crew is on the foredeck and has detached the spinnaker pole from the mast in preparation for jibing. Olga is anticipating that Izzie will comply with Rule 18.4 by bearing off on her proper course and jibing. 

    Especially in strong winds, this could create a dangerous situation for Olga’s crew, which would be forced to abort its jibe and turn up onto a broad reach on starboard tack.

    Rule 18.4 does not apply at a gate mark because it’s not always clear which gate mark a boat is planning to round. Rule 24.2 states, âExcept when sailing her proper course, a boat shall not interfere with a boat ⦠sailing on another leg.â I’ve been asked why that part of Rule 24.2 is needed.

    Suppose that the series scores for Al and Bill are such that, unless Bill places first or second in the last race, Al will win the series no matter where he finishes. The course for the last race is windward/leeward, twice around.

    Bill has broken away from the fleet and is leading as he starts up the second windward leg. Al is still on the first leeward leg, buried back in 15th place. If Rule 24.2 were not in the rulebook, Al could simply stop sailing toward the leeward mark and position his boat to slow Bill by closely covering him as he sails upwind.

    So don’t forget these helpful pointers in mastering the sailing rule book. 1) If you’re not racing, don’t interfere with boats that are – it’s basic courtesy;  2) Rule 18 is intended to apply to boats on opposite tacks only when the boats are sailing on a downwind leg at more than 90 degrees to the true wind;  and 3) safety is always the best choice.

    Learn more at Raritan Engineering and see how they always have more information on marine ice makers and how to master the sailing rule book. 

    via The Reasons Behind the Rules

  • Marine Performance Parts Analysts Show How to Make Safe Electrical Connections

    Your Marine Performance Parts Specialists Has the Tools You Need to Get the Job Done Right

    Stainless Marine your marine performance parts experts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to make safe electrical connections.

    Your marine performance parts professionals know that the tools needed to make crimp connections are inexpensive, and the t­echniques used are simple. Still, every connection is a potential source of resistance or corrosion. Use these tips to help ensure better electrical ­connections for your next refit or repair.

    Crimpers

    Typical hardware-store crimpers cut and tear into heat-shrink sheathing on crimps and also deflect when you squeeze them – usually deep in the bilge at the far end of your one-arm reach.

    Stripping

    Strip just enough insulation so the wire just fits the length of the terminal’s barrel; removing excess insulation compromises the crimp mechanically and corrosion-wise. 

    Crimping

    Strive to make a double crimp. Do not crimp at the ends of the connector. Make sure you are crimping the interior metal barrel; the plastic insulated covering overhangs this at the wire end of the connector.

    Shrink Connectors

    Crimps with heat-shrink collars are a great way to stave off corrosion. After crimping, heat the connector’s insulated barrel with a small torch or heat gun. Use indirect heat – don’t roast it! You can use a lighter, but the torch affords better control – and can be used for line splicing as a bonus. 

    Liquid Electrical Tape

    Your marine performance parts analysts understand that this product seals out moisture as well as heat-shrink, in my experience. It can be messy to use, but it doesn’t require a source of heat, and on windy days doing field repairs, heat-shrinking can be problematic even with a good torch, so I always carry some in my kit.

    Go to http://www.stainlessmarine.com/product-category/diesel-exhaust-risers-elbows/ and see how you can find more information on marine performance parts and on how to make safe electrical connections at Stainless Marine.

    Terminals

    Butt splices join wire of the same diameter. To connect wire of different diameter, strip twice as much insulation from the thinner wire and double it back on itself to make the correct diameter.

    Terminal Blocks

    Sometimes, a terminal block makes more sense than a bunch of butt splices, especially if different wire sizes need to be connected together. They are especially handy for marine electronics and audio installations. 

    The Clear Choice

    Better terminals use tinned copper, not aluminum. Scratch the surface of one to see; aluminum is silver all the way through. Also, only select terminals having nylon sleeves; vinyl sleeves crack all too easily. Nylon is easy to ID; you can see through it.

    Here’s How To Do It Right

    Several styles and types of electrical connectors are available to the marine consumer. Only one type though has all the right ingredients to hold fast and keep corrosion at baya crimp connector with integral heat shrink tubing.

    Anchor Marine makes a variety of heat shrink connectors for marine use. If you become familiar with only a few types and use them to make the right connections the gremlins that inhabit boat wiring will steer clear of your vessel.

    Butt Connectors

    One type of connector used often on a boat to do repairs or replace a piece of electrical gear is a butt connector. These are specifically designed to connect one wire to another. 

    Ancor Heat Shrink Butt Connector

    In our photo to the left example, we used a blue butt connector with AWG #14 wire. Following the application of heat the tubing shrunk to fit the wire and oozed out a little glue.

    Ring-Eye Connectors

    When making connections to a bus bar or electrical appliance that has lugs or screws you should terminate the wire with a ring-eye style connector. Again, Marine Electronics Reviews recommends using connectors with integral adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing.

    Tidy Up

    The last thing to remember when making connections on any boat wiring is to properly bundle and secure it. Start by forming tight bundles with your hand then secure them with plastic tie wraps.

    If you use the right wire, make watertight connections, and securely fasten all wires in place your boat wiring system will provide years of trouble-free service.

    So don’t forget these helpful tips on how to make safe electrical connections. 1) Make sure that you have the right tools first;  2) use shrink connectors and liquid electrical tape;  and 3) don’t forget to tidy up after you have finished the job.

    Learn more at Stainless Marine and see how they have more information on marine performance parts and on how to make safe electrical connections.

    via How to Make Marine Electrical Connections

    via Boat Wiring, Making the Right Connection

  • Boat Parts and Accessories Professionals Share the Secrets to Keeping Your Crew Happy

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    Your Boat Parts and Accessories Experts Never Underestimate Crew Safety and Comfort

    Stainless Marine your boat parts and accessories analysts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding the secrets to keep your crew happy.

    Your boat parts and accessories professoinals know that putting the safety of your crew and vessel first is the essence of good seamanship. The good seaman embraces practice, review and the willingness to learn in order to maintain a high safety standard. Safety is paramount. 

    Capt. âSpeedalongâ Smith: This skipper grabs the wheel, grabs the control, assumes a widespread stance and never makes a move without looking first. He knows every navigation aid and every light pattern and can even visualize the ocean in his vicinity with an imaginary overlay of latitude/longitude lines. Capt. Speedalong’s flaw? He goes too fast.

    It’s not that he rushes into head seas at full throttle. Capt. Speedalong simply forgets that he is standing, and well-braced, with his hands on that wheel. Meanwhile, his crew is getting jostled as beverages splash out of cans.

    Rule to Remember: Your fun boat accessories specialists know that the skipper and the boat can always take more punishment than the crew.

    Capt. Gale Force: This skipper forgets to inform her crew of what is occurring or, rather, what is about to happen. And she also forgets she is at least twice as secure physically as her crew. 

    Had she let the crew know she’d be throttling back in a moment to transit a bridge, maybe Uncle Henry wouldn’t have chosen that moment to head for the head – before stumbling forward and bruising his thigh. 

    Rule to Remember: Let the crew know what you know.

    Capt. Noah Chance: This skipper believes in making a plan and sticking to it. Though Capt. Noah has more salt running through his veins than the contestants at a pretzel-eating contest, he often makes his crew uncomfortable because he never has a plan B.

    Like the time he scheduled a little fun fishing for his old college buddies. The day dawned bright as 4-foot swells rolled relentlessly across the sea. It was nothing to Noah, but his crew proved one needn’t always buy chum.

    Rule to Remember: Always have, and be prepared to execute, a plan B.

    Quick Tip: Your cheap boat motor parts analysts say to keep a spare sweatshirt, sun hat, jacket and sunglasses stowed aboard for crew who show up dressed for land.

    You just can’t see it. There’s something wrong with your boat, but you can’t put your finger on what it is. She runs great. She’s seaworthy and safe. And there’s nowhere you’d rather be than your perch at the helm.

    But at anchor or in a slip, it’s another story for you and your crew. Where the family feels refreshed and rejuvenated underway, you all seem to get tired and worn out the longer you stay on board. But don’t give up the ship! Some subtle fixes can make extended cruising more enjoyable. 

    Breathing Room

    Ever put on a sweater on a sunny, hot July day? That means you know the difference between air conditioning and ventilation. There’s a reason the system, and indeed an entire industry, is nicknamed HVAC, and if you skip the V for ventilation you may be missing the whole point. âYour boat engine parts experts understand that ventilation is the paramount part of that HVAC equation,â says Dave Gerr, naval architect and professor at Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology.


    Your Boat Parts and Accessories Specialists Will Give You All the Help You Need

    You can find more information as well as get assistance on boat engine parts and on the secrets to keeping your crew happy at Stainless Marine.

    Back to that cardigan you just buttoned up, you’ve got your air conditioning blasting because, well, it’s hot out. But you’re not  always more comfortable because of the temperature, it’s often actually because the plenums are moving the air.

    Your boating supplies experts know that some boats, of course, need a little help moving air through, particularly if you’re anchored out of the wind. In that instance a fan may be just the ticket.We look at the CFM (or cubic feet per minute) which is the air

    Keeping the air moving when you’re not on your boat lets you start from a better place each time you step aboard. 

    Lighten Up

    Toning down the light that streams into the saloon through the windows is one thing, but you also may enjoy having more hands-on control of onboard lighting after the sun goes down. There’s never been a better time for this with the advent of LEDs suitable for refit.

    âThe simplest thing would be to add dimmers,â says Kinder Woodcock, project manager for IMTRA. âUnlike the early days of LEDs for illumination, most LED lights available today can be controlled by dimmers, and that adds a whole new dimension.â

    But dimming ain’t what it used to be. It’s better. âIt was an interesting selling point in the past for us that our LED lights could dim up and down without changing the color,â Woodcock says. 

    âWith an incandescent or halogen, you don’t just lower the light level when you are dimming,â he continued. âYou’re changing the color (or the Kelvin temperature) of the light. The filament is actually turning a different color as the light level decreases, similar to what happens when the sun goes down. So whether you’re aware of it or not, we are accustomed to our lights turning more yellow as they were dimmed.â 

    The Fabric of Life

    You may have been on boats where the furniture is designed to fit a certain space or meet some requirement other than user relaxation and enjoyment. The comfort of onboard furniture starts with the cloth used to cover seating surfaces, armrests, and pillows.

    An interior designer can help source furniture and soft goods, but just considering the way you think about your boat’s outfitting is a good step towards improving the situation on board.

    But welcoming guests aboard is more than just offering them soft cushions and comfortable chairs, it’s also about setting a mood, a tone that relaxes everyone-and it has to come from the host, the boat’s owner.

    Take these factors into account when you consider refitting your interior and everyone onboard will feel safe and comfortable. And there will be nowhere else they’d rather be.

    So don’t forget these helpful pointers when keeping your crew happy and safe. 1) The skipper and the boat can always take more punishment than the crew;  2) let the crew know what you know;  and 3) always have, and be ready to execute, a Plan B.

    Stainless Marine always has more information on boat parts and accessories, boat engine parts, performance marine parts, and on the secrets to keeping your crew happy.

    via How to Keep Your Crew Comfortable and Safe

    via How to Enhance the Comfort On Your Boat

  • Making Sense of Google’s Changes that Just Blew Up Online Ads for Local Businesses

    Yup, Google did it again. Last week, the company dropped a bomb on small businesses who rely on the Adwords Pay-Per-Click program, by announcing that they will no longer show ads along the righthand side of the search engine results pages (SERP). Ad spots 5-9 that used to show on the right rail will now show at the bottom of the SERP, underneath the final organic results.

    To cushion the blow, the SERP will now feature a fourth ad at the top of the page, above organic results.

    There’s really no way to overstate what a massive change this is for everyone in the SEM industry. But it’s going to have a more profound – and even devastating – effect on locally-oriented businesses who had relied on Adwords as a key marketing tool.

    Why Google made this change is certainly a subject for debate. However, there’s no denying that there will be a barrelful of losers who directly suffer from this change. Here are just a few:

    Small Businesses Who Advertise Locally
    Thousands of small businesses currently use Adwords to drive leads, generate phone calls, promote downloads, or achieve any of a dozen common marketing goals. Targeted, relevant, and cost-effective, Adwords were the most obvious place to compete with larger players. Even tiny companies who ran smart campaigns could drive value out of Adwords at lower positions. That’s not going to be the case anymore.

    Local SEM Providers
    Big local SEM providers (you know their names), are already struggling with harsh churn problems, and are going to see their campaigns suffer tremendously. With thousands of locally-targeted clients, they could afford to bring on campaigns at scale, knowing that there were 9-10 relevant positions on a SERP for their campaigns to appear on. Now, however, these campaigns are going to be forced to increase their campaign budgets and lower their ROI expectations. It’s move to the top, or move out altogether. That’s not a message that most local SEM providers want to deliver to their clients.

    Car Dealerships
    With dozens of franchises in any specific DMA, there will only be 4 spots at the top of the page⦠and some will most likely be taken up by the national efforts of the Hondas, Fords and Mercedes of the world. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for dealerships to compete for active, in-market car-buying prospects. It’s a severe blow to these big local businesses.

    Local Insurance Companies
    It doesn’t take many searches to know that Geico, Nationwide, Liberty and the other national insurance companies are going to dominate the paid listings. This leaves local agents and agencies out in the cold. Those clicks are simply too expensive, and the margin of error too small for local insurance types to compete.

    Media Providers
    Dozens of companies competed to sell consumers Dish TV and similar services to local prospects. That number will soon plummet in a winner-take-all type of environment, as many of these providers relied on Adwords to drive large quantities of leads and traffic. Not anymore.

    Assisted Living and Elder Care
    In an inherently local business, many large networks of assisted living and elder care facilities are operating on a national or semi-national basis. They will actively crowd out smaller local operators who won’t have the budget or management systems to advertise alongside public behemoths.

    And while this appears to be a sudden change, Google has been moving in this direction for some time. Over the last 36 months, they have added a number of elements for that have clearly been skewed for advertisers at the top of the SERPs. With the additions of Shopping ads, Adwords, Site Links, Call Extensions, Seller Ratings and a host of other top-friendly options, Google has given advertisers at the top of its SERPs more visual space, more clicks, and ultimately more customers.

    Of course, that increase has come at the expense of its organic listings which were pushed lower on the page, and advertisers who appeared lower in the Adwords auctions.

    Now, Google and Adwords have moved 100% in that direction. With only four meaningful positions at the top of the page, advertisers have to make a stark choice: effectively drop out of the paid search engine listings, or load up and compete for the top â even at costs that are sure to increase.

    In some local categories, this will simply narrow the field on search results pages. The local plumber who has a strong Adwords campaign is in no danger of having a big national plumbing company entering the market and pushing them out of the SERP. There are no such big plumbing companies.

    Instead, each vertical market will take the next 1-3 months to re-organize around Google’s new 4-ad dynamic. Many, many, many local advertisers will simply abandon Adwords altogether. In this way, Google will be thinning its own massive herd.

    The local plumber mentioned above is going to have to worry about his competitors choosing to instead compete at the top of the page alongside him. This will force the price of clicks at the top of the pages upwards â which one suspects could be the rationale for Google’s change to begin with.

    Recovering and Moving Forward
    This change was an unusually well-kept secret inside Google. That this didn’t leak earlier is pretty amazing by itself. Many Google account reps and managers were completely stunned by this change late last week, and expressed varying levels of disbelief because it had such an immediate impact on the work they do directly with advertisers.

    That said, there is only moving forward. Those local advertisers who were already competing at the top of Google’s pay-per-click auction are in good shape, and won’t see much immediate difference. If anything, they will see gains in clicks, conversions and revenue.

    But over the next quarter, advertisers across verticals are going to re-examine their budgets and their opportunities. Being at the top of the page may well be more expensive â but it could also still be profitable.

    Via: http://streetfightmag.com/2016/02/29/making-sense-of-googles-changes-that-just-blew-up-online-ads-for-local-businesses/#respond

  • Macerating Toilet Professionals Help Find the Best Toilet for You

    Your Macerating Toilet Analysts Show You How to Maximize Your Dollars When Choosing a Toilet 

    Raritan Engineering Company your macerating toilet experts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to find the best toilet for you. 

    Just about every sailor has a head story, which is usually humorous and quite likely fairly gross. These stories typically include massive clogs, holding-tank issues, or pump malfunctions that occur at just the wrong time (really, is there a right time?), followed by a debate over marine and environmental issues and the merits of replacing the whole system with just a bucket.



    Unlike household toilets, which are all pretty much the same, marine toilets come in different shapes and sizes and have different flush mechanisms and tank options, so you can design a system that works for your boat, budget, and cruising plans.

    The Tried and True 

    Keeping it simple certainly has its merits, and manual heads have done the job for years. From the venerable (but now hard to find) Wilcox-Crittenden Skipper head to the widely available, cruising sailors have relied on these due to ease of use, simple system designs, readily available rebuild kits, and, in the case of the  low replacement cost. 

    A common head upgrade is to go electric, which can sometimes be as simple as installing an electric pump in an already compatible system. An electric head eliminates the need to manually pump, pump, pump to clear the bowl. Electric heads also typically include a macerator as well, which is similar to a garbage disposal and grinds up waste and paper before discharge into the holding tank (or overboard, if you’re offshore). 

    Electricity consumption, which is almost always a concern on cruising boats, is something to think about when switching to an electric head. Corbishley says that the draw on the electrical system is minimal on a typical modern cruising boat.

    Go to http://raritaneng.com/raritan-product-line/marine-toilets/seaera-et/ and see how you can find more information as well as get assistance on macerating toilet and on finding the best toilet for you at Raritan Engineering.

    An electric macerating toilet that Corbishley recommends to his customers who are looking to upgrade the head on their sailboats is Saniflo’s SaniMarin (from $600). He notes that the parts are all located under the china bowl and that by undoing three screws, you can pivot the unit and gain access to those inner workings.

    Vacuum Heads

    Your macerating toilet analysts know that vacuum systems have been used on larger poweryachts for many years. They work well; however, since the systems are usually large and use fresh water to flush, many sailors have stayed away from them. A new product from Dometic Marine may change that.

    The SailVac holding-tank system, when paired with one of its VacuFlush toilets , is specifically designed for the small spaces typically found on most sailboats. The SailVac combines a vacuum pump, vacuum reservoir, and holding tank into one unit. 

    However, Cole finds that the Lavac uses more water for a full flush than does a manual head, and the normal installation requires a user to wait about 30 seconds before being able to open the lid, which can be a problem if there’s an ill person on board. 

    Composting Heads 

    A relative newcomer to the marine-toilet marketplace, composting heads are starting to make their way onto more boats. Such composting heads as the Air Head ) or Nature’s Head  offer a major benefit over other systems in that they require no through-hulls. Both toilets work in the same way: Moist, crumbled peat moss is put in the composting chamber at the bottom portion of the toilet.

    Although sailors switching over to a composting head will definitely have to deal with a learning curve-not to mention the job of removing all parts of the previous system-the composting head, when set up and maintained properly, should be free of odor, and you’ll never have to worry about clogged hoses or finding pumpout stations again.

    Installing a new marine head is within the skill set of most do-it-yourselfers, but if you’re completely redesigning your system or, say, upgrading from a manual head to a vacuum system, you may want to consult with someone who has experience with marine plumbing.

    So don’t forget these helpful tips when choosing the next marine toilet for you. 1) Marine toilets come in different shapes and sizes;  2) keeping it simple is never a wrong thing;  and 3) remember that installing a marine head can mostly be done by do-it-yourselfers.

    Click here and see how Raritan Engineering has more information on macerating toilet and on how to find the best toilet for you.

    via Turning Heads


  • Marine Engine Parts Specialists Will Help You Keep Your Boat From Breaking Down

    Your Marine Engine Parts Experts Say You Can Avoid Bad Boating Days

    Stainless Marine your marine engine parts professionals would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to keep your boat from breaking down.

    You’ve seen the bumper sticker: Your marine engine parts analysts do not agree that a bad day of boating is better than a good day at work. Cute, but would you really feel that way if you were adrift 10 miles from the ramp, with a boatload of tired, cranky passengers and an engine that won’t start?

    Sometimes, your only option might be to ask for help â either from a professional towing company or a fellow boater. But in most instances a well-prepared skipper can make the necessary repairs to get the boat back to port without assistance. 

    #1: It’s Sputtering and Losing Power

    Your boat feels like it’s running out of strength (and you’ve ruled out the No. 1 breakdown reason â running out of fuel). You most likely have a filter problem or fouled plugs.

    Solution: Replace the in-line fuel filter â you did bring a spare, didn’t you? If not, you can at least remove and clear the filter element of any debris, and drain any accumulated water.

    Prevention: It’s possible to buy a bad load of fuel, but it’s more likely that the fuel went bad while in your boat. Leaving a tank near empty for long periods of time can cause condensation and water in the gas. 

    Older tanks might have debris at the bottom, which can get stirred up as the fuel level drops. The best solution might be increased filtration. Consider adding a larger aftermarket fuel filter. And don’t forget the spare elements.

    If it isn’t the gas, it might be the spark plugs. This is a more common problem on older outboards, but might be worth a quick check on any engine. Carry spares, along with the tools to change them.

    Carry Onboard: Spare filter or filter element and a filter wrench.

    2: The Belt Broke

    You probably won’t hear the sound of a drive belt breaking over the general engine noise, but you will know something’s wrong when your overheat warning light comes on, or your voltage meter shows that the alternator isn’t charging. 

    Solution: There’s a lot of info out there on jury-rigging a temporary belt by using fishing line or pantyhose or some such. This might work, but wouldn’t it be easier to just carry a spare, along with the wrenches needed to change it?

    Prevention: Inspect, tighten and dress the belt. You also might want to check the condition of the pulleys’ contact surfaces. Your marine engine parts specialists know that sometimes, corrosion can cause rough spots on the pulleys that will eat a brand-new belt in short order.

    Go to http://www.stainlessmarine.com/ and see how you can find more information on marine engine parts and on how to keep your boat from breaking down at Stainless Marine.

    Carry Onboard: Marine tool kit, which includes everything needed for this and other basic repairs.

    3: The Engine Is Overheating

    The needle on the temperature gauge is rising. This almost always means you have a lack of water flow in the cooling loop. Outboards, most small inboards and I/Os don’t have radiators like your car, and instead use the water they are floating on to cool the engine.

    Solution: Trace the source. In a vast majority of cases, the problem is an obstruction in the raw water intake â like weeds, mud or a plastic bag. Locate the intake and clean it out.

    Prevention: Regularly service and replace the impeller. Also look at the condition of its housing. Scarring or pitting of the metal housing can cause even a good impeller to lose pumping power.

    Make sure you or your mechanic checks for corrosion or blockage in the exhaust system. Every so often, have the exhaust risers and associated components opened up for inspection. 

    Carry Onboard: Soft wire or rod to snake intake clogs.

    #4: It Won’t Start

    Anyone who has ever turned an ignition key knows the frustration of hearing nothing. Again, this is most likely an electrical issue â a low or dead battery, or a break somewhere in the ignition circuit.

    Solution: Check the kill switch. Make sure the shifter is in neutral. Then pay special attention to the starter switch itself. Sometimes, a dash-mounted ignition switch will simply become loose in its fitting, allowing the entire switch mechanism to turn with the key. 

    Prevention: We’ll say it again â inspect, clean and, if necessary, replace your wiring periodically. If your crew habitually drains the battery by cranking the tunes while at anchor, consider installing a secondary battery bank or one of those metering devices that monitors supply and saves enough reserve to ensure a restart.

    Carry Onboard: Screwdrivers with insulated handles; wrench set or crescent wrench; Allen wrenches.

    5: It Just Went Dead

    If you’re lucky, someone simply bumped the kill switch. Or you could be out of fuel. If neither of these checks out, this usually represents some type of electrical failure. 

    Solution: Start with the simple scenarios. On any boat equipped with a kill-switch and lanyard, make sure the lanyard key hasn’t come loose. Sometimes, it might seem to be engaged, but has actually slipped just enough to activate the switch.

    Ignition switches can also fail or suffer loose connections, and though this will mostly likely show up at start-up, it’s worth fiddling with the switch a bit (and checking its attendant breaker or fuse) before moving on to the engine side of things.

    If it turns out to be something more complex â such as an ignition chip on an EFI engine â you might have to pull out the cell phone or put out a call on channel 16.

    Prevention: Learn the various components of the ignition system, and periodically inspect, clean and coat each exposed connection with an anti-corrosion product.

    Carry Onboard: Wire brush to clean terminals and Corrosion X spray.

    The No. 1 Shutdown

    Aside from our Top-10 list, ask yourself: What’s the No. 1 reason people call for towing assistance? Answer: They run out of gas. And while we know you’re way too smart to do that, you might want to make sure your boat’s fuel gauge is accurate â or plan accordingly, if it’s not. In addition, knowing a bit about your boat’s fuel burn and operating range could save you from guessing, and then making that embarrassing call for help.

    So don’t forget these helpful reminders on how to prevent your boat from breaking down. 1) Leaving a tank near empty for long periods of time can cause condensation and water in the gas;  2) corrosion can cause rough spots on the pulleys that will eat a brand-new belt in short order;  and 3) replace your wiring periodically.

    Click here and see how Stainless Marine has more information on marine engine parts and on how to keep your boat from breaking down.

    via The Top 10 Reasons Boats Break Down

  • Marine Engine Parts Professionals Make Trimming an Outdrive Look Easy

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    Your Marine Engine Parts Experts Help You Become a Master Problem Solver 

    Stainless Marine your marine engine parts analysts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to properly trim your outdrive.

    Your marine engine parts professionals know that when we get mail on boat-handling problems, the bulk of it sounds like this: âWhen I do this, my boat does that and I can’t make it stop.â Here are some solutions you might find beneficial.

    Problem: My boat pounds into the waves, often taking water over the bow.

    Cause: Your inboard marine engine parts specialists suggest that you could just be going too fast in rough water, or the propeller might be trimmed too low, driving the stern up and the bow down.

    Solution: It’s possible your hull has developed a âhookâ or a concave bottom that causes the bow to ride low, but more than likely, your trim is out of adjustment. Start by pulling your trim tabs up fully (if you have tabs).

    Problem: My boat leans to the left at planing speed but is level at rest.

    Cause: Prop torque (the twisting force that the prop creates as it turns in the water) can cause your boat
    to lean.

    Solution: Your performance marine engine parts professionals know that adjusting your trim upward will often correct this issue. In the short term, adjusting your crew to counterbalance the force can be helpful. 

    Problem: I trimmed my engine, but the boat still pounds the waves too much.

    Cause: V-bottom boats usually have a very sharp stem – the point of the bow – to slice the waves. The bow might still be riding too high to cut the chop.

    Solution: If you have adjusted your prop trim, chances are that your trim tabs (if you have them) are not properly adjusted. Or, you simply might be going too fast for the water conditions.

    Most boats handle best when running parallel with their at-rest waterline. Accordingly, outboards and sterndrives feature a power trim adjustment that allows you to change the engine’s angle of thrust by tilting it âoutâ or âinâ in relation to the transom in order to maintain the proper running angle.


    Your Marine Engine Parts Specialists Discuss the Importance of Being Able to Adjust On the Fly

    Your marine boat parts experts understand that adjust-on-the-fly capability is important because optimum trim position is determined by load and water conditions, and will change as passengers move or seas vary.

    Here are the steps to properly trim a planing-hulled powerboat:

    1. With the engine in neutral, use the trim switch to tilt the drive down as far as it will go. Monitor the engine trim gauge (if present) or note the change in sound from the tilt motor that signals that the engine is trimmed fully down.
    2. Your performance marine experts know you need to put the engine into forward gear and throttle up steadily to cruising speed, noting the reading on your speedometer, GPS, or tachometer.
    3. Using the trim switch, slowly tilt the engine up. You should feel the boat’s attitude toward the water change, with a slight rise of the bow, a lift of the entire boat, and an increase in speed.
    4. Continue to tilt the engine up until you note a slight drop in speed from the GPS or speedometer, a sharp rise in the engine’s rpm, or until you hear your propeller begin to cavitate. 
    5. Tilt the engine down in small increments until the maximum speed/consistent rpm is again reached, and/or no cavitation is noted. 

    From there, you may want to make adjustments to the trim to offer a more comfortable ride. For example, trimming the bow down a bit in a chop may decrease pounding from waves – but may also increase the amount of spray.

    So don’t forget these helpful pointers in making sure you properly trim your outdrive. 1) With the engine in neutral, use the trim switch to tilt the drive down as far as it will go;  2) Monitor the engine trim gauge or note the change in sound from the tilt motor that signals that the engine is trimmed fully down;  and 3) put the engine into forward gear and throttle up steadily to cruising speed, noting the reading on your speedometer, GPS, or tachometer.

    Stainless Marine has more information on marine engine parts, marine boat parts, group #24 battery box and on trimming an outdrive properly.

    via Staying in Trim

    via How to Properly Trim an Outdrive

  • Macerating Toliet Specialists Have the Best Advice On Taking Your Boat Solar

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    Your Macerating Toilet Experts Discuss the Pros and Cons of Switching to Solar Power

    Raritan Engineering Company your macerating toilet analysts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding the decision to take your boat solar.



    Nine years ago, I took up residence aboard my Ensenada 20 while preparing to move onto Nikki, a Cape Dory 28. During my stay aboard the ­Ensenada, your macerating toilet specialists know that he outfitted her with two 85-watt solar panels so I wouldn’t be dependent on dockage and shore power. 

    Part of Nikki’s refurbishment included the replacement of everything electrical, including the panel, all wiring, and every socket and light fixture. I installed a new VHF radio and stereo, and bought LED bulbs for the interior lighting, anchor light, running lights, spotlight and flashlights.

    At the end of the year, I moved aboard Nikki and transferred the two 85-watt panels to my new home.

    Convenience vs. Power

    Your macerator pumps professionals know that when most sailors approach me to converse and brain-pick on the topic of solar power, the discussion almost always turns first to convenience, then to cost, and lastly to efficiency. 

    Panels that can be turned and elevated to aim directly at the sun at any time of day result in markedly greater power output, so they can be smaller and less expensive. 

    Panels that are fixed to only one side of the boat will probably produce solar power during a small fraction of daylight time, whereas panels that can be moved, trained and elevated have a much higher rate of success.

    I have seen several boats recently that have panels that raise and lower on a horizontal tube attached to a pair of lifeline stanchions. Your macerator toilet experts know that the panel altitude can be adjusted from vertically stowed to just above horizontal, but the panels are very shadow-prone.

    Adjust for Efficiency

    A high priority before moving aboard Nikki was the design and fabrication of panel standards, or brackets, that would allow me to maximize the solar arrays’ efficiency. 

    Upon moving aboard Nikki, the standards, panels, controllers and all wiring were installed. The entire solar setup has now lasted and served me perfectly for more than seven years. 

    The second least efficient solar mounting allows adjustment only along a horizontal axis, and does not allow for training around the vertical axis.

    Being able to both train and elevate panels allows adjustments for the sun’s altitude (time of day) as well as its azimuth (bearing) relative to the boat’s heading, thus getting the most bank for the buck.

    Avoiding Shadows

    Another factor to keep in mind is that any shadow, however minor, reduces the wattage output of the panel. So the ability to move panels to the largest shadow-free area available increases the opportunity to capture solar energy.

    This often prevents one panel’s shadow from covering part of another panel. My panels are usually mounted with the horizontal elevation tube locked off-center in the T fitting. 


    Your Macerating Toilet Professionals Recommend Regular Maintenance to Keep Those Solar Panels Looking New

    You can find more information as well as get assistance from our marine parts depot and on the decision to switch your boat to solar power at Raritan Engineering.

    Your marine parts depot experts know that bird droppings allowed to remain on a panel also reduce wattage, so clean your panels as often as necessary. I use water and inexpensive microfiber towels purchased in packages of 25 from my local auto-parts store.

    Wiring Nitty-Gritty

    I have tried various commercial through-deck wiring glands with little to no success. I finally made my own installations using 3-inch lengths of copper tubing and lots of 3M 5200. I have never had a single drop of water enter my boat through these fittings.

    The hole in the deck is drilled with only enough tolerance to insert the tube; a 45-degree chamfer is fashioned around the upper hole edge. Your macerating toilet systems specialists know that the inside of the hole is lined with the 5200, and the tube is inserted. Then the chamfer is overfilled with sealant and sculpted into a round fillet about ¼ inch above the deck. 

    I have never had much success with sealing anything with tape. Besides, it never looks good.

    There will be occasions when you want to remove the panels for deck maintenance, or panel replacement or service. Most panels are manufactured with waterproof male and female plugs that connect with sockets called MC4 connectors.

    Your wiring must be sweat-soldered to both your receiving plugs and sockets, which requires using a butane torch and rosin-core solder. Before soldering, make sure the hex-head screw-on wire locks are placed onto the wires first. 

    Under Sail

    I usually set up my panels so they don’t interfere with the sails (and vice versa) when under sail for long distances. This usually requires using panel ties to keep them safe as well as efficiently aimed. If the sun is on the leeward side of the sails, solar becomes pretty useless.

    In rough weather at sea or when just daysailing, I unmount the panels from the standards and secure them on their long edges to the upper lifelines and the lifeline stanchions.

    Less Is More

    To be successful with solar, you must also address your electrical usage by ­reducing the wattage of as many appliances as possible. There are now LED bulbs to replace every incandescent bulb you have for a power savings of about 60 percent. 

    I admit that I am addicted to television as well as movies on DVD, and ­recently I installed a 20-inch HD 12-volt flat-screen TV for $96. It has a sleep timer that I can set so when I slip into deep slumber watching the tube, it will turn itself off. 

    I rebuilt Nikki’s icebox so it is extremely efficient. But I also have installed a 12-volt fridge/freezer unit. Since my yacht club supplies me with free ice, I have very little problem with fresh-food storage as long as I am close to shore.

    So don’t forget these helpful pointers when making the decision to switch your boat to solar power. 1) Ask yourself is the convenience worth the sacrifice in power?;  2) can you adjust for the efficiency?;  and 3) be sure to address your electrical usage.

    Raritan Engineering has more information on macerating toilet, marine parts depot, marine products, and on whether to switch your boat to solar power.

    via Going Solar


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