Off My Dock: One In a Million

Your Marine Hose Specialists Share Great Tips For Lightning Storm Survival

Raritan Engineering your marine hose distributors would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding safety during lightning storms.

Your marine hose suppliers discuss how they say lightning never strikes twice, but when it strikes my good friend Chuck Larson, the story gets told over and over again, and never gets old.

And the odds are actually 1 in 1.083 million in any given year, according the National Weather Service. Sounds like a long shot, but in an 80-year life span those odds increase to 1 in 13,500, which seems more probable. 

In fact, an impoundment of the Little Tennessee River was the site of the lightning strike that nailed Chuck some 20 years ago. Chuck and his cousin, Andy, and two bikini-clad friends were back in a cove when they heard thunder and rightly decided to head for home port, but when they wheeled out onto the main lake, they discovered the storm was almost upon them and coming from the direction of home. 

Many power boaters like to think that they’ve got the speed to simply outrun or get out of the way of lightning storms, or they figure they’re safe if they go boating only when it’s clear and sunny. That’s an attitude aided by the low odds of a boat being struck by lightning, which BoatU.S. pegs at about one out of 1,000 boats in any given year. No worries, right, mate?

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Wrong. Engines can malfunction; big lightning storms can leave no room to escape; sunny mornings can turn into dark, threatening afternoons. If yours is the only boat in the area during a lightning storm, the odds of being struck go way up, leaving you and your crew vulnerable to millions of volts raining down from the skies. 

Timing

A strategy of boating only on sunny, cloudless days may work well in places like Idaho and California, but that would mean almost never using the boat in places such as Florida, Louisiana and much of the Midwest. 

Absolutely, boaters should track VHF, Internet and television weather reports and make responsible decisions about whether to go boating depending on the likelihood of lightning storms. Short-term forecasts can actually be fairly good at predicting bigger storms, but small, localized storms might not be reported. 

A storm that builds directly overhead might be less obvious until those pretty white clouds that were providing some nice shade moments ago turn a threatening hue of gray as rain dumps on you and the wind starts to howl or, worse yet, boom with thunder and lightning that are right on top of each other. 

Write the Check!

On many levels, robust insurance coverage plays a huge role in your lightning-protection plan. Knowing how to avoid lighting storms and read the weather are certainly important, being ready for action in the event of a storm or strike is crucial, and an upfront investment in lightning protection can lessen destruction. 

Take it from a luxury trawler owner who sustained more than $1 million in damage from a strike: “Boat insurance turns out to be the best investment we have made in the past 10 years!” he said. “We will never again grumble about writing a check for an insurance premium.”

So don’t forget these important reminders when staying safe from lightning storms. 1) Don’t assume you have the speed to outrun a lightning storm;  2) you should track VHF, Internet and television weather reports and make responsible decisions about whether to go boating depending on the likelihood of lightning storms;  and 3) buy good insurance.

If it seems every American is doing dragon boating, you may be right. But it all started in Philadelphia

If you haven’t seen an actual dragon boat by now, chances are you’ve heard of it. Or you’ve seen pictures. Or you have a friend on a team who posts her medals on her Facebook feed.

But what most people don’t know is that the ancient Asian water competition, involving boats adorned with dragon heads, 10 pairs of paddlers, a steersperson, and a drummer, is exploding across the United States. Or that Philadelphia — where American dragon boating got its start — remains at the crest of the sport.

 
At the same time, the country’s most elite dragon boat paddlers – Team USA – are training for the world championship starting Oct. 18 in Kunming, China, with Philadelphians heavily represented on the team and its coaching staff.

There are no national statistics on dragon boat participation, because many of the festivals attract community groups or companies for short-term team building or charity drives. But places as far flung as Dexter, Ore.; Minocqua, Wis.; and Norfolk, Va., are touting first, second, or third annual dragon boat festivals. In July, the Cooper River held its second annual event, and Bucks County held its third on Sept. 23.

Among those recently drawn into the sport is Lyudmila Kuznetsova, a Philadelphia dentist who first tried paddling in May with the Dragon Ladies, a Main Line team. After a handful of practices, the Dragon Ladies raked in a women’s division gold medal at Philadelphia’s Independence Dragon Boat Regatta in June.

“For me it was a chance to be on the water,” said Kuznetsova. She loves the exercise and the social aspects of being on a team that draws on newcomers to the region.

“Sport is a life-changer for most of us,” said Marks, who for 25 years headed Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts. After breast cancer in 1998 and a double mastectomy in 2006, she joined Against the Wind, the area’s first breast cancer team, founded in 2001. It will compete in July in Florence, Italy, in the international breast cancer dragon boat festival. Global interest is so great that registration closed a year before the event.

American dragon boating began in Philadelphia in 1983 after the Hong Kong tourist bureau asked USRowing to send a team, all expenses paid.

Robert McNamara, a cash-strapped young doctor in 1984, joined the team for the free trip, he said. Two years later, he was coach of Team USA. Since then, it has won more than 100 world championship medals, including 23 golds. It also holds world records in the 500 meter: 1 minute, 48 seconds for the men’s team; 1 minute, 53 seconds for the coed team.

McNamara is on the Schuylkill several mornings a week by 5:30 before going to his job of 30 years as chief of emergency medicine at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine.

As for its growing popularity across the country, McNamara says, “Anybody can get in a dragon boat and survive. It’s a big enough boat that balance isn’t an issue. You get on the water with a lot of other people, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Purchase your marine hose here at Raritan Engineering.

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via Off My Dock: One In a Million

via How to Survive Lightning Storms While Boating

via If it seems every American is doing dragon boating, you may be right. But it all started in Philadelphia

Off My Dock: Reverse Logic

Your Marine Hose Experts Share Tips On How to Improve Your Driving Skills With a Trailer

Raritan Engineering your marine hose professionals would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to improve your driving skills with a trailer.

Between a rock and hard place and on the side of the road is where my good friend Chuck Larson found himself recently. Actually, the rock was between Chuck’s boat trailer and the pavement. Let me explain.

Chuck got off the freeway at the correct exit but turned right when he should have turned left, so instead of heading for the Kwik Trip, he was motoring into the bucolic countryside of southern Wisconsin. Now ­stranded but in motion on two-lane county road MM, Chuck drove farther and farther from the diesel pump and the doughnuts at Kwik Trip.

Make your marine products choices here at Raritan Engineering, where we always take care of your marine sanitation supply needs.

After 8 miles on MM, Chuck’s frustration was mounting and his low-fuel light was glowing when he spied the convenience store with two driveways. He wheeled into the first entrance and, without stopping, turned sharply to his right to pull back onto MM in the other direction, and that’s when he felt something was amiss.

The boulder, a piece of smooth, egg-shaped granite about the size of a nice coffee table, was set in the earth at the verge of the driveway to keep cars from cutting across the grass.

Chuck limped back down county road MM, ego shattered and trailer tweaked, and when he finally got to the Kwik Trip, it was out of doughnuts anyway. But he didn’t have to back up.


Bearings

Fix Your mirrors show small bits of the landscape — in reverse. It’s a lot easier to understand what you’re seeing in the mirrors if you first have a good mental image of the staging area and launch ramp.

Hands Down

One simple trick many drivers use to back up with just their mirrors is to place a hand on the bottom of the steering wheel. Watching your boat in the rear view mirror, move your hand in the direction you want the boat and trailer to go.

Straight and Easy

If possible, align your rig for a straight shot backward onto the ramp. Then, before putting the gear in reverse, take a moment to look in one or both mirrors and identify fixed reference points. This will help keep you on the straight and narrow once you begin backing.

Turning Point

On ramps with shorter lead-ins, you may have to back around a turn to reach the water. The key to a smooth turn is in the setup. Ideally, you’ll want to make a smooth, medium radius turn that leaves the tow vehicle and trailer aligned and facing the ramp a bit before the trailer hits the water.

A Second Set of Eyes

Backing is a lot easier when you don’t have to go solo. But make sure your observer is helping, not just adding confusion. First, determine that you can see each other; if the observer can see your face in the mirror, the observer knows you can see hand signals.

Don’t forget to purchase your marine hose here at Raritan Engineering, your #1 leader in marine sanitation supplies.

via Off My Dock: Reverse Logic

via Backing Up While Looking Ahead

Raritan Marine Hose Specialists Discuss the Trick to Not Letting the Downwind Defeat You

Raritan Engineering your marine hose distributors would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to endure that pesky downwind battle.

Your marine hose suppliers share how the game downwind is all about constant pressure. The more constant, the less overall pressure you will need to maintain speed. The trick is to avoid cycling between too much pressure and not enough, making all the right responses but over correcting, until the driver and trimmer are locked in a vicious game of chasing their tails. 

How to Depower

Depowering techniques include flattening sails, increasing twist, and reducing angle of attack; these are the first steps in dealing with increasing winds. When these methods are not sufficient, stronger measures are called for.

There are several ways to reduce pounding. First, add twist to your trim for a wider steering groove. This will allow you to steer around the biggest waves. Next, change speeds. Sometimes sailing faster will smooth out the ride, as you power through the waves. Ease sails a bit, and bear off a couple degrees.

Another option is to slow down. If the boat is leaping off the waves, then shorten sail and slow down to keep the boat in the water.

Another option to consider is picking a new destination. Do you really need to go upwind in these big waves? Let’s reach off and go somewhere else!

Adjust Your Speed

As mentioned above, sometimes slowing down a little can dramatically improve the motion and comfort of the boat. At other times, adding power and speed to help you steer around the biggest waves can improve the ride.

Roller Reefing

Roller reefing genoas make it possible to shorten sail without changing jibs, a nice convenience especially when short-handed. Foam or rope luffs and other refinements have vastly improved reefed sail performance, but the shape of a reefed genoa will still not be as good as an unreefed one.

Two Jib Inventory

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A sail inventory that includes a full sized genoa and a smaller working jib can provide a great boost in performance, control, and comfort in heavy air. 

Tacking and Jibing in Heavy Air

The waves that come with big winds can make basic maneuvers challenging. When tacking, look for a relatively smooth spot, and start your turn as the bow climbs a wave. Push the helm over so that the next wave will push the bow down onto the new tack.

Once under control, unroll the jib again. Use a winch to control the roller furling line while easing it out, as the load will be too great to handle barehanded.

What to Watch Out for When Motor Sailing

Make sure cooling water is pumping through the engine. On some boats, the water intake will lift out of the water when heeled. Violent pitching can also allow air into fuel line, which can stall the engine, and may require a bleed to get it going again. 

Also to be avoided is motoring across a beam sea, as that can lead to violent rolling, or even a broach.

Tall ship replicas of Columbus’ Nina and Pinta sailing into Muskegon

Replica tall ships the Nina and the Pinta will make a five-day stop in Muskegon next month.

The “museum ships” belonging to The Columbus Foundation will be docked at Heritage Landing from Aug. 25 through Aug. 29. Tours of the ships will be offered daily.

The 65-foot Nina is the most historically accurate Christopher Columbus replica ship ever built, according to the Foundation. The 85-foot Pinta is another replica Columbus ship.

Both ships are examples of “caravel” ships that were built in the 15th century by the Portuguese for exploration of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Nina and the Pinta were part of Columbus’ expedition to the New World in 1492. Columbus sailed the Nina more than 25,000 miles on three voyages.

Don’t forget to purchase your marine hose here at Raritan Engineering, your marine sanitation supply expert.

via Dealing with the Downwind Battle

via Heavy Weather Sailing Techniques

via Tall ship replicas of Columbus’ Nina and Pinta sailing into Muskegon

Image result for fishing deep sea billing

Your Marine Hose Professionals Share-Improve Your Deep Fishing Skills Even When the Fish Aren’t Biting 

Raritan Engineering your marine hose analysts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding deep water fishing tips.

Your marine hose experts know that bluewater anglers are beginning to fish deep to lure billfish and tuna when the surface bite slows.

Savvy captains extend their spreads ­vertically, from the bottom up, and experiment with baits for multiple species through the entire water column. Others are looking from the top down, just a bit below the waves to find billfish and tunas when the surface bite slows. 

Going Deep, But Not Too Deep

Success at catching swordfish from deep water during daylight hours has encouraged enterprising captains to find new tuna and marlin fisheries in 1,200-plus feet deep of water.

“When you hook up on the buoy line, reel in the bottom rod before you do anything else,” Green says. If the bottom line hooks up first, he starts reeling it in immediately and uses a Hooker detachable electric motor on his 50-wide to retrieve the buoy line unattended. 

Buoy Rig and Bottom Rod

Capt. Lee Green starts his buoy rig with 1) 500 yards of 130-pound Spectra braid on the reel. 2) From there, he attaches 3 feet of 250-pound mono to a Bimini twist in the braid, and then a hollow-core Spectra loop spliced to the mono. 

Capt. Triston Hunt uses the same system as Green in the same waters, rigged on an 80 with all 80-pound braid, but he forgoes the buoy. 

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A soda bottle and rubber band are all that’s necessary to keep a bait suspended off the bottom. The real trick is getting the bait deep in the first place.

Not Quite At The Surface

If porpoises are hot after a school of baitfish, chances are tuna or billfish might be below them, attacking and driving the baits to the surface.

Sawley often finds billfish lurking behind the tuna and porpoise melee too. “Any time we are live-baiting in Panama, I put one live tuna, about 4 pounds, on top and another one on a downrigger ball. 

Planer From Cleat

Capt. George Sawley attaches 1) a short piece of 5/16 nylon rope to his transom cleat. From there, a heavy swivel connects to 2) 100 feet of aircraft cable ending in a snap swivel. 3) Another 4 feet of aircraft cable continues to a large planer. 

In-line planers have been around for decades, but a removable planer rig is catching on throughout the East Coast. laner.

Removable Planer Rig & Spooning

Capt. Chris Gornell connects his rod’s braid to 1) a few feet of 200-pound mono via a wind-on swivel. 2) Interlocking crimped loops connect that mono to 3) another piece of mono, just a bit shorter than a No. 12 planer when it’s tripped, and then comes 4) another set of interlocking crimped loops.

7) Double snap swivels attach the planer to the loops, and once it’s removed, the mono, swivels and crimps all wind through oversize rod guides.

Dredging Up Surface Bites

Dredges can attract fish to surface baits. When marking fish on the bottom machine, make tight circles and drop the dredge deep to excite sluggish fish. 

Off Virginia Beach, Capt. Randy Butler uses live tinker mackerel (Atlantic chub mackerel) to bring white marlin up from below 300 feet. 

How Long Do You Go?

Marlin can spend a quarter of their day feeding at least 150 feet below the surface, searching out optimal baitfish and oxygen levels during the day.

“With situation like that, it’s easy to see to fish a midrange. When it isn’t that clear, that’s when things get difficult. No one wants to get skunked, especially 80 miles offshore,” Boyle continues. 

Remember to purchase your marine hoses here at Raritan Engineering. We have everything you need for all of your sailing adventures.

via Fishing Deep Water for Billfish and Tuna

via Photo