Courtesy of Shake-a-Leg Miami

Your Marine Toilet Systems Distributors Discuss How Securing Your Boat Saves You Hassles In the Future

Raritan Engineering your marine toilet systems manufacturers would like to share with you this week some information regarding why you need to secure your boat.

Two different harbors suffered almost the same fate as Hurricane Irma raked South Florida with hurricane force winds. In both places, tens of thousands of dollars in damage might have been prevented had the owners of large vessels better secured their boats.

In Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, a fifty-foot houseboat broke lose from its anchor and went careening through the mooring field where dozens of boats where moored. According to the salvage crews I spoke with, the houseboat was one of the key contributors to the pile-up in the harbor that caused several boats to break loose and go ashore. 

The boxy houseboat has a colorful history. It had been moored at Boot Key for years, and its hulking mass made it one of the most conspicuous vessels. 

Your Marine Toilet Systems Suppliers Share Ways That Help You Avoid Possible Boating Disasters

Your marine toilet systems experts discuss how even some of the most attentively moored boats in the harbor were no match for its bulk.

The scene in Dinner Key Marina, 300 miles to the north in Miami was nearly identical. In Dinner Key, however, it wasn’t a slab-sided houseboat that bore down on a local sailing club, it was a slab-sided luxury motoryacht. 

As Irma pushed up the center of the state, the storm dragged a five-foot storm surge and strong northeast winds into Biscayne Bay. That surge, along with the wind, apparently snapped the powerboat’s docklines and sent it drifting down on the floating docks at Shake-a-Leg Miami, a community sailing program that Practical Sailor has supported with gear donations for many years. 

But now their boats, among them a fleet of custom Freedom Independence boats designed by Gary Mull and equipped for disabled sailors, is out of commission. The jumble of boats crammed against mangroves was a mirror image of the mess in Boot Key.

Although they’ve met their initial goal of $50,000 in a matter of weeks, the cost of clean-up is costing far more than they anticipated. They are hoping to earn another $50,000 this month. 

NKY firefighters repair emergency boat themselves, saving taxpayers $100K

The Covington Fire Department completed repairs to its emergency fire boat, which is now back on the water.

Project repairs were completed in-house by a crew of 20 Covington Company, city officials. Officials said their hard work saved the city thousands in tax dollars.

“It cost the city less than $20,000 to complete the project. If we were to have outsourced this sort of work, it would have cost approximately $125,000 to $150,000 to make the repairs,” Battalion Chief Seth Poston said.

Due to deteriorating conditions, the boat was deemed unfit for use and was removed from the Ohio River in February.

Repairs included eight new coats of paint to protect the boat’s undercoat, sandblasting the boat haul to remove corrosion, fixed dock bumper protectors and repairs to the boat’s fire pump engine.

Don’t forget these reminders regarding why you need to secure your boat. 1) Insurance premiums are can be expensive to pay;  2) repairing damage could take many weeks;  and 3) it is cheaper to secure your boat, than to replace it.

Click here and see how you can find more information about Raritan Engineering and on marine toilet systems.

via Loose Ships Sink Sailboats

via NKY firefighters repair emergency boat themselves, saving taxpayers $100K

Your Marine Toilet Distributors at Raritan Discuss Some of the Best Way to Maintain Safety While Using Propane

Raritan Engineering your marine toilet systems manufacturers would like to share with you this week some great information regarding great tips for preventing propane leaks.

Simply stated: We are not fans of portable LPG systems on boats. Even fixed propane heating (and cooking) systems that employ all the safety precautions recommended by the American Boat and Yacht Council or comparable advisory bodies can be dangerous, if they are neglected.

In the first part of our upcoming series of tests of propane system equipment, marine surveyor Capt. Frank Lanier outlines the basics of marine propane systems.

Because propane is heavier than air, it can slip into the bilge undetected, where a spark can set the boat ablaze. Propane locker explosions have also occurred. Here are some of his observations on propane safety:

Every LPG system in the United States is required to have a pressure regulator designed for use with LPG. These pressure regulators have relief valves that can vent gas, so it is critical that this gas cannot make its way onboard. 

Your Marine Toilet Systems Suppliers Continue Discussion About Maintaining Propane Safety At All Times

Your marine toilet systems experts talk about how leaks typically occur at fittings and connections, although they can occur anywhere in the system due to chafe or physical damage to supply lines or other system components. Use leak-detection fluid or a detergent solution to locate leaks.

A word on leak prevention at fittings. Typical marine LPG system connectors include 1/4-inch or 3/8-inch NPT (National Pipe Thread) and/or 45-degree SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) flare connections. 

Check your LPG system regularly for leaks or anytime you fire up that stove or grill. Installation of a marine-grade, LPG “sniffer” or fume detector is also highly recommended. If you have one installed, ensure the gas sensor is mounted as low as possible and near the range (where leaking gas is likely to accumulate), and test sensor operation on a regular basis. 

After cooking, leave one burner ignited and turn off the solenoid or tank valve. When the burner goes out, close the burner valve – this empties the line of gas and prevents leaking should a burner valve fail to seal. 

Propane Safety for Boats 

Relatively speaking, propane is a fairly new fuel aboard boats. As recently as the 1970s, the majority of recreational boats relied on denatured alcohol, kerosene, or diesel for cooking and heating tasks. The downsides to those fuels included fussy pressure tanks and cantankerous burners that often wouldn’t work. 

Propane is a great fuel for cooking and heating aboard, but it also deserves a healthy amount of respect.

Also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), clean-burning propane changed all of that — no more hand-pumped pressure tanks or fiddling with clog-prone burners. But propane does have a couple of downsides. 

Shut it Off

The best way to prevent trouble between the tank locker and the stove is simply to close the propane tank valve when you’re not cooking or heating. If you tend to forget such things, you can install an electric solenoid valve after the regulator in the tank locker to give you a way to shut off gas flow remotely. 

Sniff it Out

Any boat equipped with a propane system should have a propane fume detector installed. Often referred to as “sniffers,” these devices use a sensor installed in the lowest possible part of the boat near possible leak sources, such as a stove or heater, to sniff out LPG fumes. 

Line it Up

The supply lines (generally made of rubber hose) that carry pressurized propane gas from the tank to the appliances in your boat obviously need to be in tip-top shape, so make sure they are not cracked or worn, and are secured with cushioned stainless-steel hose clamps at regular intervals. 

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

via Propane Safety for Boats | Boat Trader – WaterBlogged

via Double-check For Propane Leaks

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?