Your Marine Heads Professionals Give You the Power to Help Others

Raritan Engineering Company would like to share with you this week these tips on how to make towing your boat safely look easy and on marine heads.

You’re on your way home, feeling the last warmth of the sun as it kisses the horizon, when the cellphone rings. A buddy, with his wife and three kids aboard, can’t get his motor started, and there isn’t a commercial towing vessel nearby.

Boat and Gear Limitations

Your cleats and lines may not be the floating, low-stretch lines and generously backed hardware found aboard towing vessels. Your alternative will be a strong, long anchor line to tow with and a pair of dock lines for a bridle (see illustration below). “Nylon line stretches more than half its length,” warns Capt. Clayton Tieman of TowBoatUS in Tampa Bay, Florida.

While they vary between states, good Samaritan laws mitigate liability, provided you’re not outright negligent and you don’t take money, fuel reimbursement, football tickets, or even a drink at the marina bar.

Federal Code 46-2304

A master or individual in charge of a vessel shall render assistance to any individual found at sea in danger of being lost, so far as the master or individual in charge can do so without serious danger to the master or individual’s vessel or individuals on board.


“If there is no emergency, don’t make one,” says Capt. Terry Hill of TowBoatUS in Potomac, Virginia. To buy time, anchor the disabled vessel. “Make a 360 around the boat and size up the situation, then back off and make a plan.”

Marine Heads Analysts Make Towing Your Boat Safely Look Easy

Your Marine Heads Experts Show the Best Approach to Towing Safely

Your marine heads specialists know that once the towing line is passed, maintain a safe distance while it’s secured. “Take up the towline slack very, very slowly. Just bump it in and out of gear,” Hill says, “and never, ever back down with that towline behind you.” Ungrounding tests professional towing skippers and their gear beyond the limits aboard recreational boats.


“Typical anchor lines are 100 or 150 feet,” Hill says. “That’s about the distance you want between boats for shock absorbency and safety in ideal conditions.” In close quarters, halve that towing distance.

Pass the eye splices in a pair of dock lines from the stern cleats through trailer tie-down eyes so you can adjust length at the stern cleats — a short bridle while maneuvering but a long one for straight-line towing.

A 45-minute cruise home at 30 mph becomes four or five hours when towing another vessel. “You’ve got to get yourself back home too. Are you going to have enough daylight and enough fuel?” Tieman asks.


“For everyone, professional towers or good Samaritans, the highest anxiety occurs right near the dock,” Hill says. Approach a wide-open dock with your bow into the wind or current, if possible. Tie off your boat, and then bring the towed vessel in by hand.

Just because you could tow, doesn’t mean you should. “You’ve got to know your limitations,” LeBlanc says. “You’ve been out in the sun all day. You’re tired, hungry,” Tieman adds.

Options Instead of Towing

Federal law mandates that commercial and recreational boaters help anyone “at sea in danger of being lost, so far as the master or individual in charge can do so without serious danger to […] the vessel or individuals on board.”

  • Tow a short distance to a safer location, anchor the boat, and take everyone aboard your boat. Just check your boat’s capacity and bring along extra life jackets.
  • On lakes without commercial towing vessels, check with BoatUS 24/7 dispatch (800-391-4869) or local law enforcement. This isn’t the first breakdown on that lake, and they’ll know whom to call.

Visit us at and see how Raritan Engineering Company always has more information on marine heads and on how to make towing your boat safely look easy.

via Rendering Aid: How to Safely Tow Other Boats

marine parts source-Jibing
Your Marine Parts Source Analysts Know the Importance of Perfecting Your Tack

Raritan Engineering Company your marine parts source professionals would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to become a jibing master.

Your marine parts source experts know that as with tacks, there are three key elements: steering, trim, and weight.

After you’ve perfected your tack, it’s time for the next act, we need to master the jibe for both symmetrical (I know there are still some of you out there) and asymmetrical spinnakers. Fortunately, most of the principles are the same.


As you would expect, the pressure is on the helms person. There’s often a lot of focus on the efforts at the front of the boat, but if a jibe goes bad, the fault usually lies further aft. 

When steering, the first issue is timing and preparation. If the team isn’t ready, or the spinnaker isn’t full and flying well with the boat at the appropriate angle, the odds are good that things will go wrong. The same “3, 2, 1, turning the boat” countdown will help with coordination.

A smooth, consistent rate of turn works best, but don’t turn any faster than the spinnaker is rotated (more on this in a moment). The helms person should use the spinnaker as a visual cue. If the bow gets ahead of the spinnaker as it is eased out, it will collapse and blow back through the foretriangle. 

As with a tack, finding the right angle to build speed out of a jibe is the trick. In light-to-moderate air, as long as the spinnaker is full, you can head up to an angle a little higher than the angle you went into the jibe.


Another parallel to the tack is the release. The key is not getting the new sheet in; it’s all about the ease. The sail must be full and flying regardless of spinnaker type. For symmetricals, it’s usually easiest to have a single trimmer take both sheets, easing one side while trimming the other as the boat turns. 

Go to and see how you can find more information as well as get assistance on marine parts source and on how to become a jibing master at Raritan Engineering.

Your marine parts source specialists know that for asymmetricals, ease as the boat bears away, letting the clew float away from the boat until it is at the headstay; release completely, following the sheet to make sure it runs. 

What about the mainsail?

For symmetrical jibes, wait until the sail unloads as you past dead downwind; grab all the sheet parts (on a smaller boat) and throw the sail across. On a big boat, you’ll need some fast hands pulling in the slack on a winch at the critical unloading moment. 

For asymmetrical jibes, treat the mainsail the same way, but with one modification. In light-to-moderate conditions, you can delay the boom crossing the boat – hold it on the wrong side until the spinnaker fills on the new side, then release.


In light air, hold the weight forward and leeward, and move smoothly to the new side to create heel out of the jibe. The only crew who might have to move are the trimmers. Remember, movement kills speed, so keep it light, then freeze. In medium air, roll the boat a bit. 

Once again, there are a lot of moving pieces if you want to master the jibe, but there are boat lengths to be gained. Good techniques are a lot more reliable than hooking onto the inside of a perfect 15-degree header, and good techniques can be learned and developed, which is nice.

So don’t forget these helpful pointers on how to become a jibing master. 1) When steering, the first issue is timing and preparation;  2) in regards to the trim, the key is not getting the new sheet in; it’s all about the ease;  and 3) in light air, hold the weight forward and leeward, and move smoothly to the new side to create heel out of the jibe.

Click here and see how Raritan Engineering always has more information on marine parts source and on how to become a jibing master. 

via How to Master the Jibe

via Photo


Marine Supplies-Water Pumps

Your Marine Supplies Specialists Share the Best Replacement Schedule for Optimum Performance 

Raritan Engineering Company your marine supplies professionals would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding the best water pump impeller servicing tips.

Your marine supplies experts know that most engine makers recommend changing impellers every two years — sooner if operated in sandy or silty water. “If your engine runs warm at idle or slow speed, and then it runs cooler at higher speed, that’s a sign that the impeller needs to be changed,” says Jeff Fay.

1. Drain the gear lube. Your boat supplies and accessories analysts know that a few shavings on the magnetic plugs are normal, but milkiness, which indicates water in the gear lube, isn’t. Remove the rear anode to access the aft-most bolt. Remove two more bolts just ahead of the anode. 

2. Remove the copper water tube and its white plastic guide, as well as the drive-shaft O-ring, doughnut-shaped “slinger,” and impeller housing. Carefully pry the impeller from the housing. Don’t lose the key. 

3. Clean all parts, then install the new gaskets, wear plate and the round, orange oil-passage seal. A dab of grease holds the key while installing the impeller, and a bit of liquid soap on the impeller lubricates it when first starting the engine. 

4. Reinstall the impeller housing, drive-shaft slinger seal and drive-shaft O-ring. Your boat covers professionals suggest that you insert the copper water-passage tube into the upper drive half and its white guide tube into the impeller housing.

“You’re doing a lot at once to get the two halves back together,” Cosselman warns. “Look through the exhaust cavity to see the water tube going into the white guide sleeve. Twist the drive shaft to align the splines as it goes into the upper gear set. 

5. Separate the upper and lower drive halves a bit to get the two forward nuts onto their studs. Reinstall the remaining front nut and three rear bolts. Reinstall the drain and vent plugs. While pressure-testing, rotate the drive shaft to test seals.

Quick Tip: The rear-most bolt hidden by the anode often corrodes, so an Allen key will no longer turn it. If so, either drill it out or slide a hacksaw blade between the upper and lower halves of the drive to cut it.

Your Marine Supplies Analysts Want You to Avoid Having Your Boat Parts Fail You When You Need Them Most

You can find more information as well as get assistance on marine parts source and on the best water pump impeller servicing tips at Raritan Engineering.

Flexible impeller pumps

Your marine parts source specialists understand that inboard and sterndrive engines usually include a raw water pump of the flexible impeller type. Your marine supply company experts say that flexible impeller pumps are common in shower drain sump pumps, some bilge pumps, wakeboard ballast pump systems, oil changing systems and lots of other applications.

When they fail

Flexible impeller pumps work best when run regularly. If your pump sits for months with the impeller in one position with the blades on one side bent, it may “take a set” and may blow a circuit breaker on startup (if it’s electrically driven). The impeller may also stick to the housing and come apart when the pump starts. 

Of course, you should check the wet exhaust on your transom for the proper flow of cooling water each time you start the engine. You should check the impeller’s condition during Spring Commissioning and every 200 hours of operation. 

Neoprene, nitrile or polyurethane

Use neoprene impellers for engine cooling, and for fresh and salt water transfer duties. Neoprene is suitable only for pumps where small amounts of oil or diesel fuel are present.

Use nitrile impellers for bilge pumping and for transfer duties where water is heavily contaminated, for example by oil or diesel. For transferring diesel fuel, use a sliding vane pump like the Jabsco Vane Puppy or Groco Flo-Master. 

Replacement in raw water pumps

Replacement is relatively simple. Close thru-hull (raw water pump applications). Remove the three to six end cover screws and take off the cover and gasket. Take the old impeller out by gripping the hub of the impeller using channel lock or needle-nosed pliers. 

Lightly lubricate the inside of the impeller housing with Vaseline to reduce the friction of the first dry startup. Use a heavy rubber band or loop of light line to collapse the impeller’s vanes, insert it, and pull the loop our with your pliers. 

Your pump may need additional service, particularly the seals, bearings, wear plates or clutch. Nigel Calder’s excellent book,Boat Owner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual, covers detailed rebuilding. 

So don’t forget these helpful tips when servicing your water pump impellers. 1) Drain the gear lube;  2) remove all necessary parts;  3) clean all the parts;  4) reinstall the impeller housing, drive-shaft slinger seal and drive-shaft O-ring;  and 5) separate the upper and lower drive halves a bit to get the two forward nuts onto their studs.

Raritan Engineering has more information on marine supplies, marine parts source, marine heads, and on the best water pump impeller servicing tips.

via How to Service a Sterndrive Water Pump Impeller

via Impeller Replacement 101

Your Marine Products Analysts Help You to Find Your Way Around Those Icy Waters

Raritan Engineering would like to keep you posted on marine products and also wants to show you the ropes for sailing in Siberia’s icy waters.

The otherworldly landscape of flat ice and consistent breeze makes Russia’s Lake Baikal in southern Siberia and ideal ice-sailing destination.

At over 5,000 feet deep, Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and the largest by volume, holding approximately 20 percent of Earth’s unfrozen fresh water, more than all the Great Lakes combined. The lake formed from a rift valley in the heart of Siberia 25 million years ago. 

Proper ice sailing is best performed on smooth ice with consistent winds, conditions most often found along the so-called Ice Belt, between 40 and 50 degrees N. With its dry climate and extremely long winters, Baikal is basically ice-sailing nirvana. The vast landscape is raw, remote and unspoiled. It’s far off the grid. 

Because of such high speeds, conducting safe races is of the utmost importance. If a boat capsizes, hits a hole in the ice, or smashes into something, the skipper gets ejected and slides across the ice like a curling stone. 

Your Marine Products Experts Want You to Avoid Midrace Collisions While Out On the Frozen Water

Your marine products professionals know that to prevent midrace collisions, racers line up side by side, with half the fleet required to go left and the other half right. Courses are typically windward/leeward, with exclusion zones around the buoys to prevent kamikaze layline approaches. 

Sailing on the East Siberian Sea, this is the coldest day of our journey. The water temperature is 0 degrees, with only the salt in the water keeping it from freezing. But it is the humidity which is the problem as almost everything outside the pit is frozen: the deck, the shoots, ropes, sails, mast, camera, etc.

Most of our weather instruments at the top of the mast do not work, so we can only depend on the GPS and the digital weather models instead. 

On the satellite pictures we can see that we are very near to the ice edge. So we are very carefully and check the radar in a frequent manner. When we did see the ice edge, it was a big white stripe at the horizon with no end. 

I journeyed to Baikal to shoot a Waterlust film about how ice sailors are uniquely sensitive to Earth’s climate. As a scientist, I’m fascinated by their perspectives; many have been competing for three decades. The dramatic reduction in sailable ice throughout Europe during this time has greatly affected the sport, and the creep of global warming means that many sailors must travel farther north and east to find good ice.

Visit us at and see how Raritan Engineering has more information on marine products and on how to successfully manage the icy waters of Siberia.

via Sailing Siberia

via Sailing in Freezing Water Near Ice Edge

Your Boat Toilets Experts Know All the Secrets of Harvesting Seafood From Your Boat

Raritan Engineering Company your boat toilets specialists would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to become a master chef harvesting seafood from your boat. 

Your boat toilets analysts help get your own delicious ingredients by learning how to harvest local seafood from your boat.

Lobsters are supreme hiders, and I’m instructed to keep a keen eye out for the telltale sign of their long antennae, which peek out from hiding spots. Once I have one in my crosshairs, I’m to let go of the rope, dive underwater, lure the lobster out of its hole with the tickle stick and pop it in my net. 

Although long considered one of the most edible riches of the sea, lobsters aren’t the only shellfish that are fun to catch and tasty to eat. Folks with access to a boat and a coast can harvest a bevy of delicious sea life, such as scallops, shrimp, oysters and stone crabs, pretty much anywhere like I do in Florida. 

Loving the Lobster

I learn that cleaning a lobster is fairly simple: hold it by the torso and twist off the tail. Before chucking the thorax and head, Doug has me snap off one of the spiny antennae and demonstrates how to insert it into the bug’s bottom to easily remove the membrane and waste track and, voila, it’s ready to prepare for dinner.

To safely hunt lobsters, a minimum of three crew members is needed: one to run the boat, another to serve as the drag buddy and a third to spot the bugs. 

Go to and see how you can find more information as well as get assistance on boat toilets and on how to harvest seafood from your boat at Raritan Engineering.

Your boat toilets professionals know that lobsters are social creatures and prefer to live cramped together on natural shelves and holes, called “condos” by local divers, within coral and stony reefs. 

The law requires a lobster to have a minimum 3-inch-long carapace (the part of the shell covering its torso), which means it’s old enough to have reproduced for at least one season. If it measures up, chances are that bug may be getting toasty on your grill tonight. 

There are two lobster seasons in Florida: a mini season that runs on the final consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of each July and then an eight-month season from August 6 through March 31 the following year.

Searching for Scallops

Scalloping, often referred to as the “great underwater Easter egg hunt,” is an aquatic adventure suitable for all ages. All you need is standard snorkeling gear, a required dive flag, and a mesh bag in which to store your stash.

They’re easy for novice and veteran scallop hunters alike to spot. With unmistakable fan-shaped shells and hundreds of fluorescent beady blue eyes, beguiling temptresses beckon to be caught. 

Scalloping season in Florida runs annually from June 25 to September 24. Each person is limited to 2 gallons of scallops in the shell or 10 gallons per vessel per day.

Clawing for Crabs

In Florida, once scalloping season closes, the long-anticipated stone crab season rides in on its coattails. Considered by many to be one of the most heavenly delicacies of the sea, stone crabs are named for their natural environment — they usually seek shelter under big, flat stones in shallow rock piles and jetties.

Wear heavy gloves and dive using scuba or snorkeling gear; lift up large stones or use a hook to drag the crab out; then square off in a battle with your prey. Stone crabs generally aren’t swift, so try to nab one by the elbows coming in from around each side.

Unlike scallops, stone crab claws should not be put on ice because the meat will later stick to the shell. Instead, store them in a livewell or an empty cooler. Each person is allowed 1 gallon of claws per day, or a maximum of 2 gallons per vessel.

The Shrimp Dip

Although even professional shrimpers can’t accurately predict when shrimp will be most plentiful, full moons, outgoing tides, colder months, shallow, grassy flats, and areas near bridges with strong currents enhance your chances for this crustacean crusade. 

Like much marine life, shrimp are primarily dormant during the day and rely on moving about in the darkness of night as protection from their natural predators. 

On to the Oysters

Oysters are largely stationary mollusks, which makes harvesting them fairly simple from aboard your boat or wading in the water. 

A single oyster can spawn 100 million eggs each year that, once fertilized underwater with sperm, form free-floating larvae, which anchor themselves to hard surfaces, frequently on the shells of other oysters, and become known as “spats,” or baby oysters. 

Oyster shells have sharp edges, so be sure to wear heavy gloves. Using a metal, curved rake or oyster tongs, chip the oysters off the hard surface and put them in your bucket. 

So don’t forget these wonderful types of food that you can harvest from your boat, lobster, scallops, crabs, oysters, and shrimp. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. 

Learn more at Raritan Engineering and see how we always have more information on boat toilets and on how to harvest seafood from your boat. 

via Harvesting Seafood From Your Boat


Your Electric Toilets Professionals Say An OCS Isn’t The End of Your Race

Raritan Engineering Company your electric toilets specialists would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to recover from an OCS. 

Your electric toilets analysts want you to refocus and follow these easy steps. It’s the ultimate bummer. The starting gun sounds. You’re in the front row and looking good. Then there’s another horn, the X flag and, after an excruciating wait, you hear your sail number on the VHF. You’re OCS, and you can kiss a good result goodbye. 

1) Stick to the game plan. So many times your electric flush toilet experts know the frustration of being OCS causes teams to completely abandon the prestart game plan. 

2) Work to get a clear lane. Sticking with the example above, your best opportunity to get to the left might be to clear yourself around the pin and tack back to starboard. You’ll be second row — or worse — but the separation from the boats that started properly may allow you to execute the plan. 

3) Get out of phase (with the fleet). If neither side is favored, look to find clean air by going against the grain: sailing on port when most of the fleet is on starboard, and vice versa. Your marine toilets electric specialists understand that sailing out of phase with the fleet will create separation and allow you to sail your boat at optimum speed. 

4) Minimize tacks. Hitting a corner is one way to reduce the number of tacks. But it’s a risky call. If you decide to be more conservative, make sure to limit your tacks to the bare minimum. Double-check your lanes and try to anticipate where boats ahead of you will tack.

5) Boatspeed. This may seem obvious; boatspeed is always important. But it’s easy to get discouraged or distracted when looking at so many transoms. Redouble your efforts and focus. Every ounce of energy needs to go into sailing the boat fast.

6) Focus on short-term goals. Turn your OCS into a positive. Establish short-term goals by looking one mark ahead. It can be difficult for everybody to put everything they have into hiking when it may all be for naught. 

Your Electric Toilets Experts Help You Recover and Make It To The Finish Line

You can find more information as well as get assistance on boat toilets and on how to recover from an OCS at Raritan Engineering.

As those pundits at the club and your boat toilets professionals will also tell you, a race is never over till it’s over and you’ve reached the finish line.

Agree what signals the bowman will use and especially whether he or she is calling distance sailing or distance perpendicular to the start line (see our 5 tips: bowman signals); most boats use perpendicular distance.

Discuss with the bowman before the start how hard you want to push the line. If you are a fast boat in the fleet and there is no clearly favoured side on the beat, you can afford to hold back a little and keep the risk down. If not and you must go left, it may be worth pushing things a little harder.

Sometimes, your no plumbing toilets analysts know that seconds before the start, you will know you’re in a bad position and are not going to get a good start however hard you fight for your gap. If you call it early enough, you can often make room to tack or duck back through the fleet and be away on port only a few lengths behind the leaders.

If OCS boats are not being announced, then somebody on board will need to make the call – ensure you have a clear process for this before you start, so a decision can be made quickly.

Although being disqualified is frustrating, sailing is a team game, so learn from it and bounce back – you may be able to discard that result anyway.

If you do join in, your OCS will be counted in your overall series score. It is possible to request redress for being OCS, but unless you are confident there is clear video evidence or you have credible witnesses from other boats it will be a waste of social time for you and the jury.

So don’t forget these simple steps in recovering from an OCS. 1) Stick to the game plan;  2) work to get a clear lane;  3) get out of phase with the fleet;  4) minimize tacks;  and 5) focus on short term goals.

Raritan Engineering has more information on electric toilets, boat toilets, marine products, and on how to recover from an OCS.

via Terry’s Tips: Recovering from an OCS

via 5 tips: OCS (on course side) or over the line at the start – what should you do?

Light winds

Your ball valves experts know that many years ago I voluntarily turned my back on the most powerful aid to light wind sailing known to man – when I gave up smoking. Your ball valve dimensions professionals know that the world’s most high-tech wind indicators are crude and insensitive compared to the curling wisp of tobacco smoke. 

When ghosting along in a breeze that barely ruffles the sea surface and only just fills your sails, it’s all too tempting to sit back and drift on until things kick in again. 

However, sometimes we need to keep the knots up when the wind starts to become light. Perhaps it’s simply that we’re loathe to break the silence with the engine. 

Trying one or two of them may well mean that you can make port without reaching for the ignition.

1 – Understand the sea breeze

I used to skipper a lovely old 56-footer for a Swiss owner. Your 3 way ball valve analysts understand that he was every bit as methodical and organised as you would expect anyone from his country to be, planning his summer cruises in meticulous detail. 

One Biscay trip, in particular, was plagued by light winds.Every morning, we would leave early and drift for a few hours before switching on the engine to catch up with the owner’s ambitious schedule. 

Your Ball Valves Professionals Say That Understanding the Sea Breeze Is A Must

You can find more information as well as get assistance on marine products and on the top 3 ways to sail in light wind at Raritan Engineering.

Your marine products specialists know that the mechanisms that create local winds are many and varied. It’s worth buying a book – such as the RYA’s Weather Handbook – and reading up on them while you’re waiting for the wind to blow! 

Warm days

Your full port valves experts know that on warm days with light winds, from any direction, the wind within 5-10 miles of the coast will generally increase during the afternoon and die at dusk as the land heats and cools. Don’t rush breakfast – the sailing will almost always be better later on.

Spring and summer

In spring and summer, clear skies and a light offshore breeze at breakfast time are perfect conditions for a sea breeze. There will probably be a brief period of flat calm, but look out for puffy white cumulus clouds forming over the shore showing the beginning of the sea breeze circulation.

Sea breezes are strongest near the coast, but can be felt as much as 10 miles offshore.

2 – Use the tide

Light winds greet a regatta fleet leaving Cherbourg, where a well-known tidal eddy can add knots to your boatspeed

On both sides of Portland Bill, for instance, the tidal streams flow south for nine hours out of every twelve. There’s a similar effect along the northern edge of the Cherbourg peninsula, where anyone prepared to hug the coast can gain a couple of hours of west-going tide. 

Go as close inshore as you dare

Faced with a contrary tide, the general rule is to go in as close inshore as you dare. Even if you don’t pick up a back eddy or counter-current, the speed of the foul tide will be reduced in shallow water. 

3 – Use the tidal wind

Tidal streams don’t just carry you in the direction they happen to be flowing – they also create apparent wind. Imagine that you are hanging on a mooring in no wind, with a four-knot tidal stream.

If you are beating across the tidal stream, keep the tide on your lee bow to make the most of the tidal wind. On a cross-channel passage beating into a southerly wind, it would pay to be on starboard tack while the tide is flowing west, and tack onto port when the tide turns.

So don’t forget these helpful tips when trying to sail in light winds. 1) You need to understand the sea breeze;  2) you need to use the tide;  and 3) you need to use the tidal wind.

Raritan Engineering has more information on ball valves, marine products, macerating pump, and on the top 3 ways to sail in light winds.

via How To Sail In Light Winds

Windsurfers and racing yacht skippers have long been aware that the heeling moment exerted on a yacht’s sail varies according to the relative density of the wind. Many a windsurfer has puzzled over why a 5.2m sail is quite manageable during the summer holidays in the Mediterranean but seems impossibly overpowered for the same wind speed in early December in the UK. 

The ‘weight of the wind’ is an old saying that, perhaps unusually, has more than a grain of truth, although it is a fairly small grain.

The effect will be compounded by the fact that moist air is less dense than dry air. This is because water vapour is a relatively light gas compared with oxygen and nitrogen – the main constituents of air. 

For a fairly extreme example, in the tropics with a temperature of 32°C and 90 per cent humidity, the air density is 1.14 kg/m3. In a northerly airstream around the UK, we might have temperatures of 10°C and 10 per cent humidity giving an air density of 1.25 kg/m3

Your Macerating Pump Professionals Knows That Sometimes Expectation Can Lead to Misunderstanding the Situation

However, your macerating pump specialists know that the expectation may lead to some misinterpretation of what is actually happening. An increase in wind speed from 14 to 15 knots will give an increase in force on a sail of more than 15 per cent. 

So, the reality is that there is ‘more weight’ in cold dry air than in warm moist air. However, around the UK during the sailing season in one area the variation in the ‘weight’ of the wind must be fairly small and masked by larger effects due to variations in wind speed and especially when there are convective gusts.

A practical corollary of the above is that wind turbines can generate more power at a given wind speed in cold climates than they do in warm ones.

Cold air is much heavier than warm air and this is the basis for much of what we call weather. Did you ever notice after taking a hot shower, that when you first open the door to the bathroom, the cooler air from outside the bathroom comes in at the lowest level? 

Why is cold air heavier than warm air? Cold air is denser than warm air. The molecules are packed closer together. The amount of water vapor in the air also affects the density of the air. 

You may have heard that a baseball or a golf ball will travel further on a warm, humid day than it would on a cold, dry day. Since the warm, humid air is less dense, the ball travels through it with less friction. 

Learn more at Raritan Engineering Company about macerating pumps and why so many people think that cold air is heavier than warm air.

via Weird weather – is cold wind heavier than warm wind?

via Did You Know That Cold Air Is Heavier Than Warm Air?

Which is the best way to sail downwind?

Your marine products experts know that downwind cruising can offer some of the most relaxing sailing of the season. Just ease the mainsheet, pole out the genoa, engage autopilot, mix a drink and let the miles tick away as a cooling breeze rolls across the transom.

You might start wondering, if progress is a little slow, whether you would be better off digging the spinnaker out of its home in the forepeak? Would the bothersome cat’s cradle involved in putting it up and the tricky business of gybing, potentially perilous for a couple, pay off in time saved?

These are questions that any cruising sailor might ask, but what is the answer? The likelihood of a boat identical to yours sliding past with a different downwind set-up, offering a direct comparison, is seriously remote, and two identical boats with two different set-ups: all but impossible.

How do we find out?

We spoke to Sunsail, which very kindly agreed to loan us three identical Beneteau F40s from its racing fleet in Port Solent. Each boat would be crewed by two, with a third onboard to take pictures and make notes.

Go to and see how you can always find more information as well as get assistance on marine products and on how to become a pro at sailing downwind.

Each boat would fly a different downwind rig and sail in the same wind on the same day to settle the issue. The criteria used to select the best downwind rig were speed, comfort and hassle.

The plan was to check wind direction on the day and set a distant waypoint dead downwind. The boats would start in a line, and the distance to waypoint was noted.

On the day, the wind was forecast to back from NW to W, and remain quite light at around 5-10 knots. With a knot of ebb tide under us, the apparent wind would reduce still further. It was also a baking hot day so a sea breeze looked certain to back the little wind we had even more.

How did it go?

There’s not enough wind to fill the sail but it’s set and ready to catch the slightest zephyr

We were off. Well, sort of – we made 3.3 knots over the ground with the wind 3.1 knots apparent. Our problem was, squared right off, we were not generating any apparent wind, or so little as to make no difference.

The cruising chute boat sails shallow angles in light airs, so progress is slow

At first we made ground over the asymmetric boat by holding a straight course: she had been 50 yards ahead, but by the time she came back on port gybe she was 50 yards astern of us.

Then the wind backed 45 degrees, freshened a touch, and had us sailing east instead of south-east, our advantage evaporated and even though our speed over the ground went up to 5.1 knots, the asymmetric boat was 200 yards ahead of us and the symmetric boat remained a quarter of a mile ahead.

Gybing was a controlled business, not a tremendous ordeal for two, and would have been quicker if we hadn’t rigged the afterguy, but it was the seamanlike thing to do. 

So don’t forget these reminders on how to become a pro at sailing downwind. 1) Always check the direction of the wind;  2) remember to set a distant waypoint dead downwind;  and 3) keep in mind that all boats will react differently, so get some practice in.

Visit us and see how Raritan Engineering always has more information on marine products and on how to become a pro at sailing downwind.

via Which Is The Best Way to Sail Downwind?

See Why Your Seacocks Professionals Say Performance Boaters Don’t Deserve the Bad Rap


Raritan Engineering Company wants to keep you abreast of how to keep safe while enjoying fast speeds out on the water.

Performance boaters have long taken a bad rap for being gold-chained, fat-walleted, egotistical blowhards who quickly swap a check for 2,000 hp marine missiles and menace the waterways.

Forget that stereotype. Today’s go-fast boaters are more cerebral, more competitive and less likely to assume they know it all. The prevailing attitude is that with speed comes responsibility. 

Apt Pupils

Jim Waters, a top-level Hollywood executive, is a longtime boater. He recently acquired a DCB (Dave’s Custom Boats) twin-engine catamaran. Faced with a more aggressive hull style and increased horsepower, he decided to seek out additional training.

“I was tired of that. I wanted to know more about how to handle the boat, dock it, launch and load it. I wanted to be more confident in my ability to take it out alone,” she said.

Scott was happy to see her take a more active interest in the sport, and wanted to be a better driver himself, so their week’s vacation at Desert Storm began with two days of instruction from Tres Martin and Brad Schoenwald, partners in the Ultra High Performance Course. 

Competition? After attending these classes, I also met up with Craig Barrie, vice president of sales for Donzi Marine and chief instructor for hands-on training aboard the Donzi 38 ZR Competition. 

Speed 101: Turning

Both classes began with basic boater safety training and the “Rules of the Road,” aka the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, or Colregs. Before you can fly, you have to learn to walk.

Your Seacock Experts Help You Gain the Skills Needed to Be Safe While Going Fast

“That may be true for some boats,” Barrie said during our later tests, “but I set mine up myself and am confident in its turning ability.”

Your seacocks specialists ask, “how do you safely turn at speed?” Tres Martin has a special technique.

For both Barrie and Martin, setting up for the turn is as important to its flawless execution as actually making it. The steps are deceptively simple.

To set up or “get set,” do a head pan to check for other traffic. Pull back slightly on the throttle. Martin repeats again that he wants you under 70 mph before the maneuver.

In Martin’s turn, hands on the helm at 3 and 9 o’clock, he executes the turn by rocking the helm 180 degrees then returning to center repeatedly — that rotation changes depending on the steering ratio of the helm. 

“Now, if you want to turn sharper, add more speed.” It seemed counterintuitive, but as I added throttle, the boat arced tighter and I edged the speed up, keeping one eye on the tachometers — both holding steady at equal rpm.

What if one tach suddenly ran up to the red line — or worse, you felt the boat slip loose at the stern?

“Your escape plan is always go straight. Never yank the throttle back. Go straight, get control, then ease back to a comfortable speed and collect your wits,” Martin advised.

Even a PWC rider can tell you that the quickest ticket to instability is to suddenly stop the engine.

Performance 102: Holding Steady

With all the focus on turning, Barrie sees a lot of captains fail trying to maintain too much speed in a steady course. Running at speed is not just knowing how to work the controls; it’s about reading water.

“In performance boating, it’s not how fast you can go; it’s how long you can go fast,” he said. The most important thing when maintaining a course at speed is anticipating what’s happening on the water in front of you. 

“Sooner or later,” Barrie warns, “the boogie man will come. When you make a mistake and get caught, you usually know what you did before it happens.”

You won’t see the next wave coming — or you’ll change your grip on the helm on re-entry, feeding in rudder.

It’s that experience thing. Like with Jim Waters in his DCB.

Stepping to the dock, Shellie gushed to her husband, “You’re gonna be givin’ up some throttle time, Scott.”

Maybe the schools need to add another class topic that dates back to kindergarten: learning to share.

Learn more from Raritan Engineering about seacocks and how to balance safety while enjoying fast speeds while out on the water.

via Safe Boating at High Speeds