Daily Archives: Friday, July 20, 2018

  • Boat Head Dept. Blog: How You Can Get Addicted to Sailing


    Sailing Could Be Your Next New Love 

    Even for the weekend sailor, the relationship between men and boats is a bit like a love affair. There’s the same initial infatuation, the same preoccupying passion, the same pain of separation. For a married man, there’s even the same kind of tension he has with his spouse. 
    I had sailed since I was 12, but it was not until I was 40 that I finally bought a boat of my own. She was a Pearson 26 One Design, a sleek, fiberglass-hulled, 26-foot sloop that I sailed on the Chesapeake Bay. I can still remember the excitement of the day I took commission of her at a yacht yard in Annapolis and the thrill when we got the sails up for the first time. 
    But by the second season, and certainly the third, conflicts had begun to develop. Weekends that I wanted to spend on the bay had to be devoted to long-overdue chores.
    When I didn’t use the boat, the costs of maintaining her suddenly seemed like an extravagance. A 26-foot boat is hardly a yacht of the proportions J. P. Morgan had in mind, but the routine expenses were considerable, nonetheless. 

    Experience the Joy of Sailing Now

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    I used the boat less and less in the fourth and fifth seasons, and finally even I had to admit that the rewards no longer justified the expenses. (You can ruin a boat owner’s day by forcing him to calculate his per-sail costs.) Finally, reluctantly, I put her on the block. I was depressed for weeks. When the yacht broker would call with an offer, I would make it my business to be out. 
    I frankly expected to be devastated. Instead, I felt strangely exhilarated. No more did I fret when a storm blew through, no longer did I have to worry about whether her lines were secure, no longer did I feel guilty about the fading teak and fraying jib sheets. That was someone else’s worry now. I rediscovered tennis and became reacquainted with my children. They’re really quite nice, and my son’s tennis game had improved sharply while I was away.
    Old sailing magazines are especially dangerous for me. I leaf through the four-color ads that read: ”Imagine yourself the proud owner of this beauty,” and there is a deliriously happy carefree skipper heading his gleaming white yacht into the sunset. I know it isn’t really like that, of course, and yet, when the breeze stiffens the flag atop the office building across the street.
    As club programs so often are the gateway to youth competition, this leads their programming to focus on racing. While this approach keeps the youth circuit hopping and supports the school sailing environment in USA, it arguably contradicts the premise of the program. 
    That answer will likely shift a bit over the next twenty years as the number of Optimist-equipped junior programs has proliferated over the past 20 years but I think there continues to be lots of doubt about whether these racing-focused junior programs are really creating lifelong sailors and growth in sailing.  
    Summer camps, Sea Scouts and community sailing programs introduce thousands more – again the numbers dwarf junior programs. And thousands more get introduced to sailing at resorts with Sunfish or Hobie Waves or similar boats on the beach.
    There’s healthy debate and adjustments being made to junior programs to create more well-rounded offerings but the total numbers remain small compared to the way ‘most sailors’ become hooked on sailing. 
    So don’t forget these great reasons why you cold get addicted to sailing. People get hooked because of 1) tall ship training courses;  2) summer camps;  and 3) junior programs.

    California Police Officer Saves Dog From Burning Sailboat

    Upon reaching the burning boat, he realized that in order to save the dog he would have to earn the scared animal’s trust first. As a horse trainer and all-around animal lover, Ruggles knew he was the right man for the job, and did what he could to calm the dog as the crowd watched tensely from the harbor.
    “When I first got there, I reached out for the dog and he started barking and growling. So I tried to talk to him in a soft voice, and see if that would help,” Ruggles said. “He was very wide-eyed and his ears were up, so you could see how scared he was. I reached up and started petting the backside near the tail. I could just see the eyes start to droop down, and the ears start to fall, so I took that opportunity to pull him into the boat.”
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  • Finding the Right Solar Panel Size For Your Boat

    Choosing The Perfect Solar Panel For Your Boat

    The launching point with regard to a successful solar panel installation is simply assessing your requirements. We present right here a basic evaluation based on the test boat utilized for our recent report on choosing and installing a solar panel. A few values are actually from experience, and various other are accepted rules of thumb. 
    Energy Balance
    Search for the present draw of each and every piece of equipment (confirm with panel ammeter if available) and approximate the number of hours operated. Record the number and capacity of your batteries, recognizing that you can not draw below 50% charge without having reducing their life, and that you will rarely charge past 85% while away from the dock– consequently, just 35% of nameplate capability is actually usable. Finally, total your charging sources, featuring motor, wind, and solar. For solar, take the rated wattage x 5 hours/12 = amp-hours while on passage and wattage x 7 hours/12 = amp-hours while at anchor (sails do not shade and the boom can be rigged out to the side). This is far below the ranked capacity– sailors in the tropics will certainly do better, and sailors further north or cruising in the winter season more poorly– but this is an accepted starting point.
    How many days can you manage with poor generation? Are you willing to cut back during the course of a lengthy cloudy stretch? Will you recharge at a marina or by running the motor every now and then? Long-term cruisers appreciate a wealth of power, while the occasional cruisers may be satisfied with less.
    Saving Power
    Every single AH (amp-hour) used possesses an actual cost in weight, panels, and dollars. In the event that you could minimize consumption by 50 AH/day you will definitely save a battery (the usable capability), a 120 watt panel, and possibly a mounting arch. The cost savings might be $500 and 150 pounds for just a couple of bulbs.
    Lighting. Switch from incandescent to LED as well as fluorescent lighting, starting with the lights you utilize most. We utilize LEDs and fluorescent for the anchor, salon, and cockpit lights, but since we rarely run at night time, we left the running and steaming lights alone. Likewise, the deck light and many task lights remain halogen or incandescent; they are certainly not used enough to matter.
    Go to sleep at night and get up along with the sun. Large savings in juice and even more time to play.
    The gas solenoid is actually a huge user for us; it runs the propane fridge and cabin heater, thus it is on for long hours, but we can turn it off at night or do without refrigeration from time to time.
    Fans. Run them on low speed and also watch the hours. A wind scoop doesn’t make use of power.
    Instruments. Do you really need GPS as well as other instruments full-time on passage? Twenty years ago they didn’t even exist. Stabilize the sails to reduce the load on the autopilot.
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  • Raritan Marine Products Blog: How You Can Avoid Costly Boater Mistakes

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    Don’t Get Caught Making These Pricey Blunders

    Raritan Engineering Company your Raritan marine products specialists would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how you can avoid costly boater mistakes.
    1.  Your Raritan marine products experts says that not using a purchase contract is one of the most costly blunder to make. When a  member found out that a battery and other equipment had been removed from the sailboat he had purchased, he called BoatUS Consumer Protection. 
    2.  Not sea-trialing the boat after repairs are made. A member purchased a used powerboat that was found to have a cracked engine head. The sales contract said the engine had to be working, so repairs were made and the dealer verified with a compression test to ensure everything was fine. 
    3.  Not allowing a shop to attempt to honor its warranty. After an inboard engine quit on a Memorial Day trip, he decided to seek out a repair shop on Craigslist in order to get back on the water as quickly as possible. After he got the boat back from a shop he’d found, the engine was still not working, so the member lost confidence and took it to another shop to fix it, which it did satisfactorily. 
    4.  Not verifying the paperwork was sent. An individual bought a ski boat with several years remaining on a 5-year manufacturer warranty that the seller said transferred with the boat. Shortly thereafter, the boat had a catastrophic engine failure due to a failed pump. 
    5.  Not letting the shop be involved in the diagnosis. When a small diesel engine was having starting issues, a repair shop told us that water was found in the cylinders. Instead of allowing the shop to investigate further and fix the engine, the member bought a new engine to have the shop install. 

    Saving Costs Means Making Less Mistakes While Boating

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    “I’d just installed a new electronic chart, totally up to date; the chart plotter said we were far off and in deep water.” Here are some other problems you might encounter and how to avoid them…..
    Problem: Cold, rainy and almost no visibility. Just another night passage for Mark in his 42-foot motor yacht through waters littered with islands swept by strong currents. It’s too nasty to stand watch outside, plus he’s alone and can’t leave the helm, so Mark puts his faith in the chart plotter – which in turn puts him on the rocks. 
    Prevention: Navigating with GPS is not always as accurate as it seems. Set one down so it is not moving and just watch the readings keep changing. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, which maintains the system, the GPS signals we get should be accurate to within 50 feet 95 percent of the time, while the other 5 percent can be out as much as 300 feet.
    All very good, but what about the chart the GPS is putting you on? Until the mid 1990s, in pre-satellite times, NOAA’s general requirement was for position accuracy on a typical coastal chart to be around 30 yards. 
    In Mark’s case the position of the tiny island he hit was from an old survey, accurate to only 160 feet. Plus, three of the four visible satellites (ones above the horizon that the receiver can use) were almost in a straight line, giving a poor fix.
    Problem: Pete’s in the ocean aboard his go-fast center console searching for fish. As the sea breeze builds during the day, so do the waves, but coming back along with them he doesn’t sense their full power – that is, until just inside the inlet when the boat’s long, skinny bow buries itself into the back of a wave all the way to the console. The boat comes back up and Pete makes it in, but he’s wet and obviously shaken.
    Prevention: Waves always look smaller when seen from behind, and that was Pete’s first problem – perception. His next issue was speed.
    In a following sea, adjust the drives and tabs to keep the bow up, then work with the throttles. You can safely run at almost any speed as long as your boat’s bottom is long enough to span three wave crests, keeping the ends supported so as not to let the bow drop into a trough. 
    So don’t forget these 5 costly mistakes you need to avoid to protect your wallet while boating. 1) Not using a contract;  2) not sea-trialing the boat after repairs are made;  3) not allowing a shop to attempt to honor its warranty;  4) not verifying the paperwork was sent;  and 5) not letting the shop be involved in the diagnosis.

    A Guide to Sailing with Your Cat

    When your cat loves being by your side, you want to take your beloved pet with you everywhere you go. Taking your cat out on the open water might seem risky, but with careful preparation, your kitty can even accompany you on your summertime adventures. 
    Don’t Leave Home Without Your Cat’s Essentials
    Whenever you travel or move with cats, you should never leave home without your cat’s essentials. As you pack for your afternoon on the boat, bring along a litter box, fresh litter, a water dish, and plenty of food. 
    Test Your Cat’s Tolerance for the Water
    While many cats have a natural aversion to water, other cat breeds love water and won’t hesitate to jump in and go for a swim.
    Get a Cat-Sized Life Vest
    Don’t go out on the water without suiting your cat up in a life vest, as this is an essential safety device for your kitty. You might not find many options designed specifically for cats, but vests made for small dog breeds will fit most cats. 
    Keep Your Cat Nearby
    No matter what type of boat you have, you might be surprised to find out just how many hiding places your cat discovers. If your sailboat has more than one deck or a couple of enclosed areas, your cat could easily slip out of sight. 
    Choose your Raritan marine products here at Raritan Engineering and see how we provide you the best products in the marine sanitation industry today.

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