Daily Archives: Friday, February 23, 2018

  • Macerating Toilet Dept. Blog: Importance of Having a Backup Plan When Problems Arise

    I Learned About Boating From This: The Great Escape

    Your Macerating Toilet Distributors Talk About How to Make Your Plan B for Boating Emergencies

    Raritan Engineering your macerating toilet suppliers would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding the importance of having a backup plan for emergencies while boating.
    Your macerating toilet manufacturers talked about how the plan sounded good. I would cross Chesapeake Bay aboard my 16-foot outboard-powered Dory skiff for a weekend of hanging out with friends during Downrigging Weekend, an annual event held the last weekend of October in Chestertown, Maryland.
    The weather report stated wind from the northwest at 17 to 23 mph, gusting to 34, with seas of 2 to 3 feet – borderline conditions for a boat like mine. But I balanced this against my years of experience operating small craft. Besides, my John Dory skiff is seaworthy for its size.
    I set out. Halfway across the 10 miles of open water, it became tough to steer. Then the waves steepened considerably. While surfing down a large wave, the outboard motor clicked into the partway-up position, eliminating my ability to control the boat. 
    It got uglier. I stuffed the bow into a trough and put 8 inches of water into the boat in a second. Noticing a smooth patch of water, I pulled the transom drain – the bilge pump was already working – and sped along at full throttle until the water was out.
    Finally, I spotted a pier. Tied up, I lay down on the warm wood. The air was cold, but the shining sun warmed me. I rose, called my friends, and waited for them to pick me up.
    From this experience, I learned you cannot fight wind and waves and sometimes must change course for safety’s sake. This makes it important to have a Plan B destination. I also learned that my waterproof VHF radio did not work, not because it shorted out, but because the ­speaker filled with water and I could not hear it. 
    I was lucky. I was dressed correctly and wearing a life jacket. But I wouldn’t do it again.
    Preparing for All Boating Scenarios
    Just like in your home, you should implement an emergency preparedness plan on your boat. Regardless of where you boat you should always identify potential threats. Then evaluate what types of resources you will need if any emergency arises. 
    You should always check the weather before planning a day on your boat. Conditions on the water can become dangerous during even small weather events. Weather is also quick to change over the water, it is important to stay aware and return to shore before conditions get severe. 
    Tsunamis are a succession of oversized waves that occur after the displacement of large amounts of water. They can occur with or without warning, however, a common cause of tsunamis are earthquakes. If you are on the water and notice the trees on shore shaking and other telltale signs of an earthquake, you should evaluate your best course of action. 
    Find your marine toilet of choice here at Raritan Engineering and see how we always take care of your marine sanitation supply needs.
    A good skipper always prepares for the worst and hopes for the best. When preparing you should make a list of general items, but also include things that are specific to your family and their needs. The following are less specific items that any good boat emergency kit should contain. 
    • NOAA Weather Radio- Keeping track of the forecast and any emergency broadcasts can help you avoid severe weather.
    • Clean water- Salt or lake water are not going to be sufficient if you are stranded and need to stay hydrated.
    • Food and a way to prepare it- Store foods that are high in protein and nutritious. Having a heat source if not only good to keep you warm but also for preparing any foods that need to be warmed.
    • Extra clothing- Extra layers and dry clothes to change into from your wet ones are good to keep on board.
    • Shelter- Shelter from the sun and rain are both important. Many boats have built in shelters, but a tarp or sheet can easily be used as a makeshift shelter.
    • First aid kit- For anything from bumps and bruises to broken bones, bug bites and open wounds.
    • Paddle- In case you encounter engine troubles it is good to have an alternate form of propulsion.
    • Something to bail out water- If it rains hard enough your boat might not be able to keep up with pumping water out of the boat. Having a bucket or two to help bail it out can save your boat from capsizing.
    Not only should you have a plan and the proper emergency items, but you should also take a class or research about emergency procedures. Things like first aid and boat repair techniques can make the difference between life and death. 
    Don’t forget these important items when making your backup plan for boating emergencies. 1) NOAA weather radio;  2) clean water;  3) food and a way to prepare it;  4) first aid kit;  and 5) something to bail out water.

    Small Boats for Big Emergencies

    From top: When your raft is out of its canister or valise during servicing, you can check out all of its neatly packed components. In the water, ballast bags will fill and help stabilize the raft. Dur
    Fully inflated and sitting in the middle of the workshop floor, our life raft looked rather small. This wasn’t the first time I had seen a Viking RescYou four-person life raft in all its glory, but it was the first time ours had been unpacked from its tidy black valise.
    I sat in the strange orange glow with my legs fully extended in front of me, imagining three other people sharing the space. It would be cozy, to say the least. Even with only Steve and me, the ditch bag and any other items we might manage to grab, it would be tight. I tried to imagine what the raft would feel like afloat; the floor constantly undulating, the sound of the ocean crashing around us, the slick, sticky feeling of salty skin and damp clothing. 
    Spending time in a life raft is probably not on anybody’s bucket list, but any sailor who has spent a night or two at sea has no doubt stopped to consider the possibility. Like an EPIRB, a search-and-rescue transponder, a sea anchor and a good medical kit, a life raft is a vital piece of safety equipment that should be on board every boat. 
    A life raft packed in a valise is lighter than a canister, most weighing in between about 50 and 75 pounds, versus roughly 65 to 90 pounds for a canister. That said, a smaller crew member might not be able to lift that much dead weight up the companionway, especially if the boat is heaving. A canister may weigh more but is usually deployed directly from its storage location. 
    Canisters often are fitted with a hydro-static release. This automatic device activates when submerged and inflates the raft if the vessel suddenly sinks. A “weak link” in the painter will part under stress, allowing the raft to float to the surface. It’s important to consider what obstructions might hinder the automatic inflation or release of the raft when choosing where to mount the bracket. 
    What is often overlooked – and is of the utmost importance – is serviceability. After all, what good is carrying a life raft aboard if you cannot get regular safety checks and maintenance done on it?
    In a typical service, after breaking the seals on the canister or valise and cutting open the interior vac-pack bag, the technician will remove, inspect and weigh the CO2 cylinder that is included to inflate the raft. This process is similar to dive-tank inspections and is extremely important because a raft might not inflate when the painter is yanked if it has a faulty cylinder. 
    The cost of servicing a life raft fluctuates from port to port. The bill is usually broken down into a base service charge that includes unpacking, inflating, inspecting and repacking the raft. Any components that are required or supplies that are replaced are priced individually and then added to the base cost. 
    Choose your Raritan marine products here and see how Raritan Engineering provides you the best quality and selection in the marine sanitation industry today.

    Be sure to watch our latest video on macerating toilets below. 

  • Toilet Macerator Division Blog: Importance of Good Sail Maintenance

    Your Toilet Macerator Suppliers Share Amazing Tips for Keeping Your Sails in Great Shape

    Raritan Engineering your toilet macerator manufacturers would like to share with you this week some great information regarding the importance of good sail maintenance.
    1. Keep your sails out of the sun
    If you have furling systems, this may be just a matter of furling sails when not in use. For non-furling sails, this means covering or stowing sails. There are cover options for both mainsails and headsails, allowing the sail to stay rigged and protected between uses. 
    2. Protect your furled sails
    Most owners use sewn-on sun covers to protect furled sails. Sunbrella and WeatherMax are the fabrics commonly used for sun covers. For racer-cruisers and some racing sails like furling code zeros, there are lighter weight options such as UV-treated Dacron.
    All sun covers should be inspected regularly and repaired if damaged. Generally speaking, covers should be re-stitched every three years or so to prevent more extensive damage to the fabric that can occur from flogging due to compromised stitching.
    To provide maximum protection for your sails, sun covers require care and maintenance. Remember, if you can see the sailcloth below the cover…so can the sun!
    3. Keep your sails clean
    After sun, the second-worst enemy of any sail is salt; but other types of dirt and debris can be just as damaging. Periodic sail washing is key to maintaining your sails. A couple common-sense rules apply to frequency: 1) a sail that has been exposed to saltwater should be washed sooner rather than later, and 2) all other varying degrees of grime should be removed when possible. 
    4. Protect them from the elements
    Sailmakers generally refer to the life of a sail in hours or seasons, rather than years. The lifespan is affected by the amount of time sailing and the level of care given to the sails. In the mid-Atlantic region, the main sailing season can begin in early spring and extend late into the fall. 
    If you know your sails are going to be sitting idle on the boat in a marina for at least a month or more during a sailing season, you can extend sail life by taking the sails off of your boat and stowing them. 
    5. Inspect sails regularly
    At least once-a-year sails should get a check-up. To do this yourself, find a dry place in good light where you can lay them flat, then work your way over every inch of the sail, looking for trouble spots such as abrasion or loose stitching. Small problems can turn into bigger problems later, so be sure to note even the smallest details. 

    We Continue to Discuss Ways to Extend the Life of Your New Sails

    6. Tape the turnbuckle
    Your toilet macerator experts talk about how if you’ve ever scraped your finger on a piece of hardware, then you know it’s sharp enough to damage your sail. Even seemingly blunt objects (like a spreader) can damage sails on a tack, so take a look around (and up) to see what can or should be covered to protect your sails. If you have an extra piece of spinnaker cloth, wipe it across every surface of your boat and rigging. 
    7. Check the leech
    Even a well-protected spreader-tip or navigation light can wear a sail tack-after-tack. For these areas, a spreader-patch (or navigation light-patch, etc.) might be the answer.
    8. Don’t wait for repairs
    A lot of catastrophic sail failures can be traced back to a small repair that was never made. When you notice a small hole or a chafed spot that’s getting increasingly worse, save yourself serious head- and wallet-ache by addressing the problem while it is still small. 
    9. Bag It
    Pretty simple here. There’s a good reason new sails come with a sturdy bag and it’s not just another place for a logo. That bag is a much cheaper sacrificial covering than the sail inside of it. Take a look at an old sailbag that’s scuffed and torn-up, now imagine if that were your sail. 
    10. If you don’t know, ask
    Curious about some sail-care method you’ve heard somebody touting on the dock or trying to figure out if your sail could use a new piece of webbing on the tack? Feel free to call the service team at your local Quantum loft. We’re happy to field your questions and provide helpful pointers. Consider us a member of your team.
    So don’t forget these great ways to keep your sails in great shape for a long time. 1) Keep your sails out of the sun;  2) don’t wait for repairs;  and 3) tape the turnbuckle.

    Quieting Your Boat’s Engine

    The engine in my 1977 Down East 45 schooner, Britannia, is a tried and trusted – but noisy – Perkins 4-236, an 85-horsepower four-­cylinder diesel. 
    I call the space the equipment bay. It runs 12 feet under the saloon floorboards and is 3 feet wide at the sole level, then tapers to just 15 inches at the bottom of the 41⁄2-foot-deep bilge. Seven removable floorboards give amazing access to all the equipment below, but the large space also acts as a massive boombox.
    There are a number of products that claim to significantly reduce noise from machinery, and some are specifically designed for boats. The trouble with most of these is they are also specifically aimed at your bank balance! 
    In simple terms, the object of sound insulation is to absorb noise at its source, and thereby minimize what filters into the interior of the boat. It would be practically impossible to eliminate this altogether, but I had effectively reduced the engine noise from a similar diesel on a previous boat simply by installing a false floor beneath the cabin sole. 
    Before I started work on Britannia, I wanted to take a reading of the sound levels to have a numerical comparison after the modifications were complete. I downloaded a neat iPhone app, a decibel meter by Decibel Meter Pro, for the vast sum of 99 cents, from iTunes. It was very easy to use, and I took readings at head height in the center of the saloon. 
    Fitting the False Floor
    To get started, it was first necessary to make support battens for the false floor panels to lie in, under the existing plywood sole. I bought a 24-by-48-inch sheet of ½-inch plywood and cut it into 4-inch-wide strips with my table saw. I also made ¾-inch square battens out of hardwood. 
    I screwed the ¾-inch square battens to the sides of each aperture to support the ends of the false floors. I painted the beams and all the new timbers white.
    The sound-deadening properties of a ½-inch-thick sheet are actually better than the ¾-inch-thick marine plywood sole, which is roughly 35 pounds per cubic foot. (The MDF sheets were also available in ¾-inch thickness but would have been heavier and more expensive. In the end, I decided to compromise between weight, density and price, and go for the thinner stock.)
    The simplest, time-­honored method to handle boards covering apertures is to cut a hole in the board big enough to get a couple of fingers through to lift it in and out. But these MDF boards were too big and heavy for that, and it would also have allowed a little bit more noise and heat to escape.
    The weight of the new fiberboards was 60 pounds, but it’s all positioned low in the hull, and it was a small price to pay for reducing the noise. When lying between the beams, their weight also keeps them firmly in place. The sole and subfloor now has a combined thickness of 1¼ inches, with a density of about 80 pounds per cubic foot.
    Beat the Heat
    To complete the project, there was one more thing I wanted to do. We could often feel heat permeating through the single-­thickness cabin sole when either of the diesel engines had been running a long time, especially on our own soles when walking barefoot. 
    I bought two 4-by-8-foot sheets of Rmax Thermasheath R6 foam-board insulation from Lowe’s for $21.98 each. These are 2 inches thick, with aluminum foil on one face and an insulation rating of R6, which is the highest available for this thickness of foam. I cut them to the sizes I needed at the store using a sharp knife, which helped me fit them in my car. 
    The section of floor around the Perkins engine was particularly awkward because parts of the top of the engine were higher than the bottom of the floor beams. In fact, the valve cover was only an inch below the sole. This was, of course, the principal source of all the noise, so it needed special attention anyway.
    I fitted battens all around the engine as I had in all the other openings, then shaped pieces of fiberboard to fit around the engine as well.
    The remainder of the floor now had the ¾-inch plywood sole pieces, with 2 inches of foam glued underneath, then a ½-inch air gap, then the ½-inch MDF false floor. It was now certainly a compact floor.
    After all this backbreaking work, I was naturally keen to take new readings on the decibel meter. With only the main engine running at the same revolutions per minute as before, my iPhone app meter read 65, a reduction of 20 db! 
    In addition to a considerable reduction in noise, there is now no perceptible heat coming through the floorboards, which helps to keep the living area cooler. Heat is carried outside by the engine-room extractor fans, and the noise from them is much reduced too.
    Most projects I have undertaken on Britannia resulted in visible improvements, most notably when I renovated the teak-and-holly sole. 
    This method of sound insulation would be very worthwhile for any boat, offering excellent noise reduction for minimal financial outlay. I actually used some spare pieces of MDF to double the wall thickness in the spaces where my two air-conditioning units were installed, and this reduced the noise of the compressor and fan as well.
    There are, of course, no labor charges factored into the cost of the job, which took me four days to complete, but messing about on boats is supposed to be fun.
    Visit us at http://raritaneng.com/raritan-product-line/marine-toilets/seaera-et/ and see how Raritan Engineering provides you the best quality and selection in the marine sanitation industry today.

    Be sure to watch our latest video on toilet macerators below.

    via Photo
  • Electric Toilets Division Blog: Catching Fish With the Aid of Chart Plotters

    Chart Plotters to Catch Fish

    Great Tips On Using Your Chart Plotter to Fish

    Raritan Engineering your electric toilets suppliers would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding catching fish with the aid of chart plotters.
    Your electric toilets manufacturers discuss how the aptly named fish finder ranks at the top of every angler’s list of necessary electronics. But where does the chart plotter fit in that high-tech hierarchy?
    In the past, plotters helped anglers efficiently find the fishing grounds, and little else. But these days, using tracks, routes, waypoints, overlays, trolling-motor connectivity and sonar-logging features, plotter charts become more like treasure maps, leading anglers to optimal fish and bait concentrations.
    Pro fishermen and charter captains liken plotters to computers. Here’s how five of them use their units to find and catch more fish.
    Plotter and Trolling Motor Connection
    “I think of my boat as my office and my plotter as my office computer, and everything I need is on there,” says Capt. Phillip Wilds, who runs Anchored Charters Guide Service out of Panama City, Florida. 
    When fishing offshore, Wilds uses tracks and the Minn Kota’s SpotLock to see the boat’s relationship to the structure he’s fishing and to stay on that structure. 
    Use Tracks to Pattern Fish
    Nugent targets stripers, chasing them under the birds in run-and-gun fashion. “Tracks allow me to see the direction the fish are trending at any time. Whenever we find bait or a bunch of birds on the water, or if we’re trolling and get a knockdown, I drop a waypoint.”
    Because he targets migrating fish, he does a master reset on his Raymarines at the end of each fishing year. Other captains, particularly those who tournament-fish or bottomfish for species such as snapper and grouper, religiously catalog their points and tracks on SD cards by region. 
    Keep and Catalog Plotter Tracks for Future Use
    Maus uses tracks to troll for a variety of species and to help him navigate back to unfamiliar locations. He also employs Simrad’s TrackBack feature on his sonar to enter waypoints when he sees something new. 

    We Continue Talking About This Great Way to Go Fishing 

    See your choice of electric toilets here at Raritan Engineering, where we always take care of your marine sanitation supply needs.
    If he’s pre-fishing an area for sails, he might mark 20 or 30 waypoints where he found bait. The next day, though the bait will have moved, Maus says he’ll run-and-gun the points because “something will have held bait in those locations.”
    Changing Track Colors Based on Temperature
    Capt. Greg Shute fishes much of the Chesapeake Bay out of his 27-foot Judge. He uses his Furuno TZtouch2 and 1870 units when he’s drift-fishing for stripers. “Usually, I’ll have a point or something I’m trying to drift over,” he says.
    “I can zigzag over areas while looking for fish and note where the bottom composition changes,” he says. “I will then use where I see the color changes in conjunction with marks I had on the fish finder.”
    Shute also changes the actual color of a given day’s track so that he can tell the different trips he has made. By looking at the tracks and waypoints he has used, he can tell where he has fished and where he has caught fish. 
    Hunt and Scout with Waypoints
    Tournament captain Bill Platt keeps his data on SD cards based on region. “I can see where I catch fish year after year. The plotter is a computer now, not just a navigation chart.”
    He uses his Helm Master’s Set Point function to stay on the fish and keep the stern to the current. If the fish move, he drifts again and watches his track.
    “I find so much stuff looking around my different waypoints,” he adds. “If I run a charter, I go to a spot and I look all around. It’s like finding treasure.”
    So don’t forget these great ways to use chart plotters to be a great compliment to your fishing arsenal. 1) Use tracks to pattern fish;  2) changing track colors based on temperature;  and 3) keep and catalog plotters tracks for future use.

    Sailing Generates Pleasure and the Feeling of Self-Reliance

    I have ataxic cerebral palsy, a condition that I have had since birth, which affects my fine and gross motor skills. I am unable to walk and have to use a wheelchair to get about.
    In 2009, I was keen to find a sporting activity in which I could take part. I was certainly interested in giving it a go, so they asked what opportunities were available and I was invited down to check it out.
    At the time Wealden Sailability, founded by Brian Stanley, was based at Bough Beech Reservoir near Edenbridge. The first day I spent there was thoroughly enjoyable. I was taken out on the water by one of their volunteer instructors in a Hansa 303, a boat which is specifically designed to be sailed by a disabled sailor. 
    They have 80-90 volunteers, hundreds of clients and cater for 35 visitors per session and take them out twice a week. I race in one of the two Paralympic class 2.4 dinghies, which are part of a fleet they use for weekly racing events.
    There are few sports where disabled people can compete with non-disabled people on the same terms, but on the water everyone is equal.
    The charity’s trustees and volunteers put in a lot of hard work and give up a great deal of their time from April to October each year. To give disabled people such as myself the opportunity and sheer exhilaration to get on the water.
    So it was no surprise to me that in 2015 Wealden Sailability received the Queen’s award, the highest recognition of volunteering in the UK.
    My advice to others would be to encourage anyone who has a disability, whatever it is, to get in touch with Wealden Sailability and give it a go.
    After all, I have been sailing with them for eight years and I can’t swim. So there is no excuse – and I promise you’ll thoroughly enjoy it!
    Order your marine toilet parts here and see how Raritan Engineering provides you the best quality and selection in the marine sanitation industry today

    Be sure to watch our latest video on electric toilets below.