Raritan Marine Toilet Systems Experts Discuss the Importance of Keeping Your Hull Clean

Raritan Engineering your marine toilet systems specialists would like to share with you this week some ideas for how to sodablast your boat’s hull.

Quick. What’s your least favorite boat maintenance project? Cleaning the bilge? Changing the engine oil?  … How about stripping off several years worth of bottom paint?

After that experience, Ralph decided to look into sodablasting, featured in the October 2011 issue of Practical Sailor. One of the chief complaints you hear about any for-hire boat work is the exorbitant price charged, but once you start to do the math—and start thinking about your health—a $1,500 fore-hire sodablasting job doesn’t seem so indulgent.  

One of the biggest mistakes an owner makes when estimating how much time it takes to strip a hull is to peck away at one of the easy spots where the paint is peeling and then assume the rest of the coating will come off just as easily. Ralph gives a more realistic formula for estimating the amount of time a stripping project will take.

Now that you’ve got your total area, you can figure out the amount of actual time it will take you to do the job. Start your stopwatch and attack one square-foot of an “easy” section. Do the same to a patch where the paint is well adhered. 

Here’s an example: Your boat has a 30-foot waterline, a 6-foot draft, a waterline beam of 10 feet, and is a medium-displacement vessel. Our fuzzy math for a medium-displacement sailboat  

WSA = Lwl x (Bwl + T)

says you’ve got 360 square feet of paint to strip: 30 x (10 + 6) (.75) = 360.

Marine Toilet Systems Suppliers at Raritan Share Excellent Hull Cleaning Ideas With You

Your marine toilet systems experts give information regarding how next comes the all-important apportionment of “easy” versus difficult paint removal. In this case, 85 percent of the hull is tough stuff, taking four minutes per square foot to strip: 0.85 x 360 x 4 = 1,224 minutes of backbreaking work. 

Now, how much is your time worth? And don’t forget the money you’ll be spending on scrapers, chemical strippers (if you use them), sand paper, etc. As much as I like to do my own boat work, this is one for-hire job that is worth considering.

You have a thick layer of antifouling paint on the bottom of your boat. It’s rough and worn around the edges, so you’d like to get rid of it and have a nice smooth bottom that will help you sail faster. 

The “soda” in soda blasting is sodium bicarbonate, which is similar to the baking soda you buy for cooking at home, but crystallized so it can be used in the rain. 

Because the soda breaks upon impact into micro-fragments, it doesn’t damage substrate the way sand blasting can. All it does is peel off the paint. Soda blasting can also be done on cars, masonry and rusted metal parts.

A professional blaster will roll in with a large truck, completely mask off the boat and the area beneath it, and then set to work. According to Armstrong, it takes about a day to set up the containment area for an average boat. “The soda blasting goes really quickly, once we have everything set up,” he says. “For most boats, the entire process takes one to two days and most of that time is the setup.”

Armstrong recommends that the hull also is lightly sanded after blasting to remove any remaining soda residue or paint that might have been only partially blasted off.

How much does it cost? According to Armstrong, the price varies depending on the length of the vessel. For example, a 30-foot boat might be around $45 per foot, while a 100-foot boat would be around $130 per foot because of the increased beam. “Our average job works out around $35 to $45 per foot,” he says.

When the barrier coat has dried and hardened, you can apply bottom paint in the color of your choice. Then you can launch and go sailing, safe in the knowledge that your boat is protected in the best way possible.

Click here and see how we at Raritan Engineering always take care of your marine sanitation supply needs.

via Making a Case for Sodablasting Your Hull

via How To: Soda Blast Your Boat

Your Marine Toilet Systems Analysts Take Time to Answer Your Life Jacket Questions 

Raritan Engineering is excited to share with you this week these pointers on what to keep in mind when deciding to buy your next life jackets. 

Your marine toilet systems specialists know that as a follow-up to last week’s blog post on safety tethers, it is important to note that these devices are just one component in a system that includes the jackline and a safety harness (typically combined with a personal flotation device, or PFD) and that these components should be evaluated together as a whole. 

One of the chief questions about an inflatable PFD-harness is whether you want an auto-inflating PFD or a manually inflating model. (Some sailors prefer just a harness without any integral flotation, also an option.) The auto-inflating devices are activated by water or pressure change; manual-inflating devices require the wearer to pull a lanyard. 

An inflated PFD can also interfere with releasing from the tether. Ordinarily, you would not want to release yourself from your tether, but there are cases in which it is better to cast yourself free from the boat, or you risk drowning. Several crew who survived the capsize of Wing Nuts in this month’s Chicago-to-Mackinac race were forced to detach themselves. One, Stan Dent, had to cut himself free. 

Your Marine Toilet Systems Experts Understand the Need to Get All the Facts Before Buying Life Jackets For Your Family

Your marine toilet systems professionals feel that typically, the tether attaches to the harness/PFD with a snap shackle that is released by pulling a small lanyard. As we’ve found in past testing, trying to locate a small tether and apply 30 pounds of pull while you are being dragged by a boat is no easy task.

Bottom line: If you use an inflatable PFD/harness, test your ability to release yourself with the PFD inflated and uninflated. As I mentioned last week, a quick and easy check of the release mechanism in your tether is to apply as much body weight as possibly on the tether and try to release yourself.

The BoatUS Foundation set out to debunk some of the myths:

1. Inflatable life jackets are zero maintenance – Let’s face it, pretty much nothing on a boat is zero maintenance. Before you head out for the day, simply check to ensure the CO2 cylinder is screwed firmly in and you can see the green indicator tab.  

2. One size fits all – While most inflatables are sized as “universal adult,” all have adjustable cinch straps that will provide a good fit for nearly every size of grown-up on the boat.  

3. Not a lot of choices – Actually, there are. Once you get past a range of colorful designs, there are two basic styles of inflatable life jackets: over-the shoulder suspender-style and waist-fitting belt pack. 

4. Inflatable life jackets are too expensive – Inflatable life jackets start at under $100. That is a real expense for some, but consider that a cheap life jacket that no one will want to wear is as useless as a hook without the worm. 

5. Inflatable life jackets are uncomfortable – Baloney! Inflatable life jackets are compact, don’t trap body heat, give full body movement, and can be as unobtrusive as small bait pouch attached to your belt. 

Visit us at www.raritaneng.com/ and see how Raritan Engineering always has more information regarding marine toilet systems and all of your marine supply needs.

via Manual vs. Automatic Inflatable Life Jacket / Safety Harnesses

via Five Inflatable Life Jacket Myths: Do You Know the Truth?