Monthly Archives: April 2018

  • Marine Heads Dept. Blog: How to Overcome Motion Sickness

     Are You Sick of Motion Sickness?

    If traveling by car, train, plane, or boat makes you queasy, there’s good news: Not only can you take steps to stop motion sickness before it starts, you may actually be able to conquer it for good.
    Why some people get motion sickness and others don’t isn’t fully understood. Researchers believe it’s caused by incongruence in our body’s sensory systems. For instance, on a slow-moving cruise ship, your eyes may tell the brain you’re not moving at all, but the systems in your brain and inner ear that control balance and posture (vestibular and somatosensory systems) say, “Yes we are!” This mismatch confuses the brain and causes a variety of symptoms, including:
    • Dizziness
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Salivation
    • Sweating
    • Belching
    • Acute awareness of the stomach
    • Vomiting
    • Hyperventilation (in extreme cases)
    You certainly can take medications to help relieve these symptoms. But if you’d like to try overcoming motion sickness for good, here are some techniques.

    1. Take control of the situation.

    Not being in the driver’s seat can contribute to motion sickness when you’re traveling by car. The driver of a car is less prone to motion sickness than a passenger, presumably because the driver’s brain is using its motor commands to control the car and can predict the motion. Putting yourself behind the wheel will keep the queasiness at bay. If you must ride as a passenger, try sitting in the front seat and looking at the horizon, which confers a sense of greater control than riding in the back. If you get stuck in the back seat, try conversation and distraction to alleviate the anxiety of not being in control of the situation. Open a vent or source of fresh air if possible and avoid reading.

    2. Curb your consumption.

    Watch your consumption of foods, drinks, and alcohol before and during travel. Avoid excessive alcohol, smoking, and foods or liquids that “don’t agree with you” or make you feel unusually full. Foods with strong odors, or ones that are heavy, spicy, or fat-rich may worsen symptoms of nausea or motion sickness in some people.

    3. Get into position.

    Try to choose a seat where you will experience the least motion. The middle of an airplane over the wing is the calmest area of an airplane. On a ship, those in lower level cabins near the center of a ship generally experience less motion than passengers in higher or outer cabins. Isolate yourself from others who may be suffering from motion sickness. Hearing others talk about motion sickness or seeing others becoming ill can sometimes make you feel ill yourself.

    4. Equalize your sensory cues.

    If you’re getting seasick, lie down to help your sensory systems become congruent. On a train, sit in a front-facing seat so your eyes relay the same movement cues as the vestibules of your inner ear. Also, when traveling by car or boat, it can sometimes help to keep your gaze fixed on the horizon or on a fixed point. The more you enhance sensory congruence, the less likely you are to get queasy.

    5. Talk yourself down.

    You actually can talk yourself out of motion sickness. A study found that “verbal placebos” – simply telling sailors they won’t get seasick – have been effective in preventing seasickness. Set your own expectations before traveling by saying aloud, “I’m not going to get carsick this time,” or using other affirmative self-talk.

    6. Get desensitized.

    Desensitization therapy works for minimizing or even curing motion sickness. Expose yourself to short bursts of activities that cause symptoms, and then work up to longer periods. If reading a book in a moving vehicle makes you feel nauseated, try reading for five minutes and then putting the book down. Repeat the five-minute interval over several sessions, then increase to 10 minutes. Over time, you’ll find your body gets used to the activity.

    7. Pre-treat with ginger.

    Some studies support using ginger as an effective preventive measure for motion sickness. At the very least, it can’t hurt. Take one to two grams of ginger half an hour before traveling for best results. If you’re on prescription blood thinners, consult your doctor before supplementing with ginger.

    8. Get in touch with your pressure points.

    There’s conflicting evidence regarding the effectiveness of acupressure for motion sickness, but it’s worth a try – even if it’s just for the placebo effect. As mentioned above, simply convincing yourself you can get through a trip without motion sickness can help you avoid it. If wearing pressure point devices-such as wristbands with plastic bumps on them – helps convince your brain you’re not going to get sick, it’s worth a shot. On the other hand, don’t waste your money on magnets. There’s no evidence magnetic devices marketed for motion sickness relief do any good.

    9. Ride it out.

    Seasickness clears up on its own after about three days. Why? The human body possesses an enormous ability to accommodate situations like incongruence between the sensory systems. Again, in the “think it away” category, you may rid yourself of symptoms if you understand and believe they’re going to clear up sooner rather than later.
    If your children experience motion sickness, be sure to let them know the condition usually starts going away after age 12. Sharing this medical fact may help your kids avoid feeling doomed to motion sickness for the rest of their lives.

    10. When all else fails, medicate.

    If you experience severe motion sickness, go ahead and take over-the-counter medications such as Dramamine or Meclizine for it. These are most effective 30 to 60 minutes prior to when you think you’ll be sick, and can be sedating. If you’re a healthy adult with severe symptoms, you can talk to your health care provider about a scopolamine patch to cope with prolonged episodes of motion sickness, such as during the first few days of a cruise. Be forewarned that it can cause drowsiness, dry mouth, and other side effects.
  • Crucial Annual Engine Inspection Time

    Five Inboard and Sterndrive Engine Checks

     Don’t Forget That Engine!

    Maintenance continues to be the key to a better-running engine and much longer engine life. While there’s more to learn than any one article could feature, make these recommended inspections of the following five systems.
    For expert insight, we checked in with Volvo Penta’s service training center supervisor Ed Szilagyi, Mercury MerCruiser dealer service expert Rob Gina of Boatwrench in Longwood, Florida, and other marine pros.
    Check all of your fluids so as to ensure smooth operation.
    1. Fluids
    Motor oil should be a clean, amber or gold color. Black oil suggests old and dirty oil; change it. In the event that the oil looks milky or foamy, it’s contaminated by water– bring the motor in for service.
    Check power-trim fluid levels. Inspect trim-pump reservoir caps for the milk-carton-like seal beneath the cap. Dispose of this; it inhibits venting and may lead to leaks.
    Get rid of the lower gear-case drain screw and check the condition of the lubricant. It ought to be clean, amber- or green-colored, and not filthy or contaminated by water. Burnt lubricant implies improper gear lash and impending failure; milky means water is leaking through a seal, which results in rusted gears, shafts as well as bearings.
    Remember to examine engine coolant and power and hydraulic-steering fluid levels.
    2. Cooling
    Operate the engine on a hose adapter or perhaps at the dock to make sure proper cooling- system operation just before you go.
    As soon as the engine is cool, check water hoses for age, brittleness and dry rot. Hoses should be pliant but firm, not mushy.
    3. Drives and Props
    Check the prop shaft for straightness by standing directly behind it and rotating the propeller, looking for out-of-true rotation. Bring bent props to a prop shop. Look for fishing line snarled all around the shaft where it enters the gear case. This common malady causes seal leakage, allowing water in, gear lube out, or even both.
    Look for damage to the skeg. Repair and paint damaged areas.
    4. Belts
    Push between pulleys; belts ought to bounce back. Look for cracks, fragility and dry rot, and abnormal wear. Look for thin areas.
    Rusty, pitted pulleys often indicate an engine water leak. Belt-dust residue likewise suggests damaged pulleys.
    5. Steering
    Steer from lock to lock. Inspect cables for binding or stiffness. Clean crud from steering rams.
    Inspect hydraulic steering for air pockets, sponginess and/or irregular function. Fix steering woes immediately, before using your boat.
    6. Fuel Systems
    Avoid ethanol fuels when possible. While it’s typically more costly to do so, fueling up at the marina where non-ethanol fuels are readily available could save money in the long run.
    If you leave your boat idle for extensive time periods (greater than 60 days), add stabilizer to your fuel supply and run the motor at least 10 minutes in order to disperse the treated fuel throughout the system (fuel lines, filters and injectors or carburetors).
    Suggestion: Be sure to utilize sufficient fuel conditioner! If unsure, double the recommended dose. Too much doesn’t hurt anything, but not enough won’t do the job.
    7. Anode
    Anodes safeguard your drive from corrosion and deterioration. Here’s what to inspect: Ensure your motor and drive have the correct anode for your use– magnesium for fresh water, zinc for brackish and salt water. If you’re not sure, bring your rig to your dealership.
    Change all anodes that are less than two-thirds their initial size. Do not repaint over anodes; this prevents all of them from carrying out their job. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for the location of all anodes. Although a few are visible and quickly accessible, some might be located internally and therefore overlooked. For example, Volvo closed-cooling engines have anodes in the heat exchangers.
    8. Charging System
    It’s certainly not a bad idea to always keep a marine smart charger connected and plugged in any time you’re not making use of your boat.
    Keep the terminals and cable ends clean and devoid of corrosion. Cleanse using baking soda or Coke and a wire brush. Do not use wing nuts on the terminals; nyloc nuts will certainly ensure that cable ends stay tight.
    Keep the battery cables and wires out of water and damp places. Since they’re covered in plastic sheathing, it’s difficult to notice when they’re corroded inside until it’s too late and your engine won’t start. Be sure all wires are actually marine-grade tinned copper.
    9. Hoses
    Inspect all water hoses and clamps for tightness, age, fragility and dry rot. Make sure there are no leaks and that hose clamps fit securely without causing damage to hoses. It’s a good idea to keep additional clamps, hose-repair kits/extra hoses in your on-board tools and parts kit.

    via Photo
  • Marine Sanitation Dept: Great Ways to Keep Your Ropes Clean and in Great Shape

    Don’t Underestimate Good Rope Maintenance

    Raritan Engineering Company your marine sanitation experts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding great ways to keep your ropes clean and in great shape.
    Your marine sanitation suppliers discusses how if you didn’t remove your running rigging last winter, then there is a good chance you’ll be coming back to sheets and halyards coated in dirt, mold, and mildew.
    • Wash only with a very mild detergent. For relatively new ropes, this means something like Woolite or a half-dose of a modern laundry detergent. For the first few years, ropes still contain thread coatings and lubricants from the factory that provide an easy hand, as well as offer some protection from UV radiation, abrasion, and water absorption.
    • Avoid contact with acids, bases, and solvents. Both polyester and nylon (polyamide) are vulnerable to certain chemicals, so manufacturers broadly warn against using them. However, both nylon and polyester are unaffected by most solvents. Nylon is particularly vulnerable to acid. Strong acids such as battery acid or muriatic acid can literally melt right through a nylon rope in a matter of minutes.

    Check Out the Secret to Keeping Your Ropes Looking Great

    Because marine sanitation is critical on your vessel, you need to check us out here at Raritan Engineering, where we always take care of your marine sanitation supply needs.
    • Fabric softener at recommended doses is approved. However, high doses of fabric softener can weaken ropes, primarily because they prevent complete drying.
    • Power washing is not recommended. While it can be an effective method for cleaning marine growth from mooring pendants and dock lines, a power washer in the hands of an inexperienced operator can do significant damage.
    • Bleach is not recommended by any manufacturer in any quantity. Every manufacturer has faced claims of rope failure or splice failure caused by a bleach overdose. Extended soaking in bleach solutions must be avoided.
    • Hot water is not a problem. Nylon and polyester are undamaged at normal water-heater temperatures (120 to 135 degrees).
    • Don’t dry with heat. The rope should be flaked loosely on the floor and left to dry. Nylon and polyester ropes are not typically heat-set, and there is great risk that the sheath and core will shrink differently, causing distortion and structural damage to the rope.
    • Bleach is very bad (again). This one is worth repeating. Each spring, riggers are asked to re-do splices that have come loose after bleach ate the stitching and whippings that secured the splices.
    So don’t forget these important reminders for keeping your ropes clean and in great shape. 1) Wash your ropes with only a mild detergent;  2) never use bleach;  and 3) make generous use of hot water.

    Centuries-Old Sailing Ship Washes Up On Florida beach

    A 48-foot section of an old sailing ship has washed ashore on a Florida beach, thrilling researchers who are rushing to study it before it’s reclaimed by the sea. The Florida Times-Union reports the well-preserved section of a wooden ship’s hull washed ashore overnight Tuesday on Florida’s northeastern coast. 
    Julie Turner and her 8-year-old son found the wreckage on Ponte Vedra Beach Wednesday morning. At first, Turner thought it was a piece of a pier or fence, but then, she realized it was a centuries-old ship that had washed ashore.
    “We walked and checked it out and immediately knew it was a historical piece of artifact”. 
    Researchers with the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum have been documenting the artifact and say it could date back as far as the 1700s. Marc Anthony, who owns Spanish Main Antiques, told WJAX-TV it’s extremely rare for wreckage to wash ashore.
    “To actually see this survive and come ashore. This is very, very rare. This is the holy grail of shipwrecks,” Anthony said.
    Museum historian Brendan Burke told the newspaper that evidence suggests the vessel was once sheeted in copper, and that crews found Roman numerals carved on its wooden ribs.
    Buy sanitation equipment here at Raritan Engineering and see how we provide you the best products in the marine sanitation industry today.

    Be sure to watch our latest video on marine sanitation below. 

  • Don’t Postpone Fuel Tank Maintenance

    Image result for boat fuel tank corrosion 

    Maintain Your Fuel Tank

    Don’t let this happen to you! November is the time of year when the postponing catches up to people. The huge tasks we avoided all summer stare us in the face. Do absolutely nothing, and you run the risk of a summer lost pulling epoxy from your hair instead of sailing. If your boat is actually 20 years old or even older, a fuel tank replacing– a bear of a project, even in optimal circumstances– may be that project you’re delaying. If it is, well, you’re in luck, since we’ve got a reasonable bit of information to help guide you through the process.
    Marine consultant and technical writer Steve D’Antonio wrote an extensive article about tank replacing previously. The following excerpt from that short article deals explicitly with aluminum, however, there certainly are other options.
    Aluminum is a common substitute fuel tank material choice for most installations. It is simple to work with, easily obtainable, relatively inexpensive, light, strong, and corrosion resistant, although far from corrosion-proof. There certainly are some prerequisites whenever selecting aluminum for fuel tank fabrication, and some important installment details which must be followed.
    The alloy used must be 5052, 5083, or 5086 series and a minimum of.09 inches thick. This specific gauge is ABYC authorized, but, 1/8-inch (.125 inches) is preferable, and 1/4-inch (.25 inches) should be considered when it comes to “extreme” applications, like bilge installments or perhaps where optimal resilience and longevity is sought. Every fraction of an inch of wall thickness will buy more years of life, especially if the installation is less than perfect.
    If aluminum possesses many good characteristics, why use anything else? Unfortunately, as many boat owners will attest, aluminum is anything but indestructible. Among its primary weakness is its susceptibility to some deterioration, especially pitting, galvanic, and poultice. Pitting is caused by upsetting the corrosion-resistant film formed on the surface area of aluminum, sometimes as a result of variations in available oxygen. As soon as it takes a foothold, the pit grows deeper, which produces a more powerful cell, speeding up the next type of corrosion, which is galvanic.
    Galvanic corrosion is the interaction between dissimilar metals in the presence of an electrolyte. In aluminum tanks, this particular procedure may occur among a copper-alloy fitting (brass or bronze) and seawater, or between a pitted aluminum surface and seawater. You must make sure that all metals that are actually in contact with the tank are compatible with aluminum.
    To prolong the tank’s life as well as minimize the chance of any possible harm, bonding the tank is also a good idea. Bonding the tank is an American Boat and Yacht Council requirement for several reasons: to avoid electrocution for shore-power-equipped vessels, to mitigate lightning damage, as well as to prevent side-flashes (electrical current jumping in between metal components during a lightning strike). According to the ABYC, the boat’s bonding system, the DC negative system (which includes the engine block and battery negative), and the AC safety ground all must be connected and remain at the same potential.
    The resistance between any two components in this system should not exceed 1 Ohm. (It’s essential to keep in mind that any bonding wire attached to the engine block must be sized to safely carry full engine cranking amperage.).
    Bonding the tank minimizes the possibility of damage caused by stray current corrosion, and it prevents static electricity build-up on or in the tank, which could result in a spark and explosion (admittedly not likely on diesel installations). If the tank is bonded, and the bonding system is actually correctly attached to an underwater hull zinc anode, then this anode might provide some corrosion protection to the tank.
    Poultice corrosion results when aluminum continues to be in constant contact with a wet surface, like wood, carpeting, insulation, or stagnant water. If allowed to make contact, these demons are the precursors of an early death for any type of aluminum tank. The result is actually prodigious quantities of white, gooey aluminum hydroxide. (It looks like freezer-burned vanilla ice cream.) This will rapidly jeopardize the tank surface.
    The greatest defense from this specific scenario is careful attention to installation details. No hygroscopic material should be permitted to make continuous contact with an aluminum tank, period.
    A suitable aluminum tank installation requires 1/4-inch by 2-inch strips of non-hydroscopic material, like neoprene or high-density plastic (Starboard for example), spaced two inches apart and positioned in between the tank bottom and the shelf on which it is installed. This will certainly prevent the tank from resting in water, and also enables air to circulate underneath the tank, while enabling condensation to evaporate. Furthermore, the installer must make sure to bed or glue the insulating material to the bottom of the tank. In case this is not performed, water or condensation will certainly find its way in between it and the tank, and corrosion will set in. Any other mounting arrangements, such as cribs or beams, must feature this insulating material.
    Visit for all of your marine products needs.
    via Photo