Your Marine Parts Analysts Encourage You to Think About Using a Joystick Maneuvering System
Raritan Engineering your marine parts experts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to perfect your joystick docking skills.
Your marine parts specialists know that joystick maneuvering systems are now available for every type of marine propulsion, whether your boat is powered by inboards, outboards, sterndrives, pod drives or water jets. For all that, joysticks still present a learning curve — albeit a shallow one. Use these tips en route to becoming a joystick pro.
Joysticks can be quite sensitive, responding to the simple weight of your hand. Learn the feel of neutral for your system and consider removing your hand from the stick when stopped. Mercury Marine’s Joystick Piloting now incorporates a color LED ring to indicate operation mode, which is helpful for this very reason.
Stationkeeping is the generic term for the ability to push a button and allow a joystick system, when interfaced to GPS, to hold a boat in place without operator input.
A rocking moment can be induced when moving sideways. For instance, as you make the boat move to starboard, a bit of list to port can occur.
Just like when operating a boat using conventional controls, it’s often best to use bursts of power, returning often to neutral, when maneuvering in the confines of a marina or around other boats or structures. The boat will continue to move once the stick is returned to neutral, so learning how much “way” your boat carries — and how long it will carry that way for — still ranks as important to successful docking.
The ability to move a boat sideways proves helpful in docking. But don’t just lean on the ’stick. Use it incrementally. The sideways motion induces a rolling moment:
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Twist and Shout
Joystick operation can be summed up by the phrase “push and twist.” Your marine parts specialists say to push the stick in the direction you want the boat to move. Twist the stick to point, or orient, the boat. While there are times when pushing and twisting simultaneously are the order of the day, caution is best exercised until experience is gained.
The name may change depending upon which manufacturer’s joystick controls your boat’s engines, but some joystick controls offer “station-keeping.” This is simply the ability to hold the boat in one place at the touch of a button, thanks to integration of the control system with GPS.
A little-touted advantage of joysticks is that the provide a second, redundant set of engine controls and so enhance safety and reliability.
Just as the bow lifts while a boat accelerates and drops after speed is attained, so the side of a boat can rise and fall when it moves sideways.
The mere weight of one’s hand can cause the stick to lean while twisting. So instead of spinning in place, the boat spins and moves out of position.
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Your Marine Supplies Professionals Suggest Regular Fire Prevention Checks
Raritan Engineering Company your marine supplies experts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to avoid those nasty boat fires.
Your marine supplies specialists know that although the exact cause of Tuesday morning’s roaring, three-boat fire at Santa Cruz Harbor has not yet been officially released — an unattended space heater is suspected — the stunning incident should serve as a warning to all West Coast boaters and marina operators.
In our opinion, fire aboard a boat — whether offshore or in a safe harbor — is the ultimate boater’s nightmare, as fuels can explode, crew can become trapped, and boats (especially those built of fiberglass) typically become engulfed quickly.
Your marine parts suppliers professionals feel that an electrical investigation is pending, but regardless of the exact cause, the bottom line is that I could easily have lost my boat, along with many precious possessions, and my neighbors’ boats could have gone up in flames also.
What precautions can be taken?
• Don’t leave heaters on when you’re not aboard.
• Don’t use damaged or questionable shore-power cables.
• If you see signs of previous overloads (burn marks) on dockside receptacles, report them to your harbormaster.
• Have plenty of extinguishers aboard and check them often.
Your marine parts and accessories analysts understand that boat fires are ridiculously rare. You’re much, much more likely to actually perish from a car accident, plane crash or even a cataclysmic storm than you are to even be injured from a boat fire.
Your Marine Supplies Analysts Know That Most Boat Fires Are Caused By Electrical Issues
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2. People Don’t Plan to Fail, They Fail to…
If your fire plan consists of “I know I have at least one extinguisher somewhere on this boat,” then you could do better. Knowing the exact locations of extinguishers (and how to use them) and how to quickly secure the engine, blowers and electrical power are good starts.
Tip: This is for crew too. They should have a clear understanding of what to do, even if only to put on a life jacket and await further instruction.
3. Really — Has It Been That Long?
Does your boat sit for months (or even years) between outings? That could spell trouble. There were actually reports of an uptick in boat fires after the recession because, after as long as five years, people could finally afford to use their boats again.
Tip: Get the boat in shape and take it out for a shakedown cruise a few weeks before bringing friends and family aboard.
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Your Marine Parts Specialists Share Amazing Tips on Efficient Sailing Teamwork
Raritan Engineering Company your marine parts professionals would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how teamwork is needed for sailing success.
Your marine parts experts know that sailing and teamwork are crucial. Last Friday to Saturday I had the good fortune of being invited to crew on my friend Mark Hansen’s boat Sweet Lorraine (a beautiful J-145) in the 2012 Vineyard race. The course starts near the Stamford Harbor, goes up to the Buzzard’s Bay Light Tower and then returns south of Block Island all the way to Stamford for a total length of about 238 nautical miles. We are the rightmost boat in the picture below, taken shortly after the start.
The boat parts for less professionals know that the crew consisted of extremely experienced and successful sailors including several national/world champions in their respective boat classes. I on the other hand have very little race experience and even my total sailing experience was a tiny fraction of that of the rest of the crew.
First, it is tremendously useful to check your ego at the gate (the opening in the lifelines for getting aboard). Your cheap boat parts analysts know that despite their tremendous individual accomplishments everyone did whatever was needed at the moment to help move the boat forward.
Second, a clear division of labor makes everyone on the team effective. On a crew everyone has a position at any one time (positions may rotate). The responsibilities for each position are well defined.
Your Marine Parts Analysts Discuss How Good Communication is the Key
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Third, your marine parts source specialists understand that communication is the lifeblood of a team. There is a nearly constant flow of information on the boat that enables team members to make the right local decisions. For instance at one point the wind was quite gusty and one team member announced incoming gusts letting both the helm and the sail trimmers adjust accordingly.
Fourth, recover quickly from errors. Your marine supplies experts say that when something goes wrong on a boat, there’s no time to sulk. Instead the problem needs to be fixed or it will generally get much worse.
Fifth, don’t get bent out of shape. Sometimes on a boat somebody will yell, especially when something is going wrong or about to go wrong and it is important to pay attention quickly.
It was a terrific experience and I will make sure to apply some of the team lessons in working with our portfolio companies.
So don’t forget these helpful tips on why teamwork is needed for sailing success. 1) It is tremendously useful to check your ego at the gate (the opening in the lifelines for getting aboard; 2) a clear division of labor makes everyone on the team effective; and 3) communication is the lifeblood of a team.
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