Teamwork – Lara Dallman-Weiss hikes it with the team. Photo by Stephen Cloutier.

Your Marine Holding Tanks Professionals Discuss Steps You Need to Take to Go Full-Time

Raritan Engineering your marine holding tanks specialists would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to make sailing your full time hobby.

Your marine holding tanks manufacturers talk about how I was told four years ago that the only way to move up from being a “green” sailor is to race every single day. Dedicating many hours to the sport contributes to building the instincts that a well-rounded sailor possesses. Here are some of the lessons I learned and advice for other enthusiastic sailors wanting to take their sailing to the next level.


Know yourself well enough to play up your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. Are you introverted or extroverted? Understanding my personality type helped me determine which teams I would have a good rapport with, which I found necessary in creating effective communication on the boat.

Another important aspect of knowing yourself is to recognize what you have fun doing and how it contributes to the program. Is an early morning walk to clean the boat, rig, and sort sails fun? Or is your style staying late and checking off work list items? Even with a full-time boat captain, everyone on the team should pull their weight in ways they enjoy.


Determine what you love beyond the sport. Finding common interests will connect you to other like-minded athletes in the sport and provide you with a healthy outlet from the constant grind of racing and endless travel. For me, it’s caring for the environment. I relish helping with a beach clean-up, but others might choose to volunteer with youth programs, rig specific systems for handicapped boats, take a team leadership course, become a certified judge, or attend weather classes.

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Learn the language and develop a wide range of skills. Master the bow, repair sails, know how to fix a broken engine, service a winch, become versed in meteorology; but, never stop learning! These skills are helpful for both inshore and offshore sailing and add to your value as a professional sailor. 


It is important to find a balance between pushing your limits and relaxation. Even if it’s not your style, force yourself to attend post-racing events or join in on the popular evening activities. Tent parties and joining others at the bar offer opportunities to network.


Part of staying relevant in the field is by pulling your weight physically. It quickly gets old when others complain about sore backs and knees. Good nutrition and regular stretching are worth the investment. You should start both at as young of an age as possible. Balance and strength are important for high-level competition, and joint and nerve health are worth investing in. 


Develop a support system of both males and females in the industry with whom you can build trust. There will be times when you need to vent, and it’s healthy to have someone who will say, “Yes, I’ve been through that, too.” These friends will help you find teams that need crew, help set your expectations, and help share costs if you need to split a hotel or cab. My rule is to race only with teams that have at least one person who knows me as an athlete. 


It wasn’t until I returned to a specific sailing venue for the second time that I realized how important it is to keep a sailing record. Find a system that works for you and keep specific notes for boats sailed and venues raced. Keep track of specific boat setups for conditions that day and any discoveries the team made. The next time I return to that venue or boat, I will have an easy refresh before practice and can quickly email notes to new teammates. 


If you don’t have a flexible full time job and if you’re either too green to ask for pay or plan to keep your amateur status, finding short-term ways to make money while still being available is critical.  Learn your worth by talking to peers in the industry about what they charge so you know you’re playing fair. Before you negotiate, have a sense for the number you feel good about making, so you aren’t left feeling overworked and underpaid. At the same time, be mindful not to overcharge and break the trust of the owner.

So don’t forget these helpful pointers when considering if you can make sailing your full time hobby. 1) Understanding my personality type helped me determine which teams I would have a good rapport with;  2) determine what you love beyond the sport;  and 3) it is important to find a balance between pushing your limits and relaxation.

What Type of Boat is Right for You?

Cruiser, bowrider, freshwater fishing, runabout, sailboat, saltwater fishing, speed boat, trawler, pontoon, or watersports boats – which is right for you? We’ll help you make the best choice.

Whether you’re a beginner boater who’s still trying to figure out basic boat terminology or an old salt who stays in tune with the latest boat design trends, you probably know that choosing the ideal boat for you and your family is no simple endeavor. Different kinds of boats can be broken down into dozens and dozens of categories, but chances are that no matter what you enjoy doing out on the water, one of these top 10 choices is going to fit the bill:

Bowriders, cruisers, freshwater fishing boats, runabouts, or sailboats?

Bowriders are one of the most popular types of boats on the water. It’s no wonder—this versatile design can be used for everything from simple day-tripping to water skiing. And while in the past bowriders were limited in size and scope, recently we’ve seen a push towards larger and larger models, often with accommodations ranging from enclosed heads to full-blown cabins. The most extreme example is the Four Winns H440, a monstrous boat with a bow cockpit accessed by walking through a saloon with niceties like a full galley and a settee. Other large bowriders that have hit the market recently include the Sea Ray 350 SLX and the Cruisers Yachts 328 Bowrider.

The cruiser class encompasses a wide range of different styles and sizes. In its most basic form, a cruiser is any powerboat with overnight accommodations, a galley, and the range to take you to new and distant ports. They generally have relatively fast cruising speeds (or they’d likely fall into the trawler category) and they can range anywhere from 30’ or so on up into the 100’ mega-yacht sizes. Most are powered with inboards, stern drives, or pod drives, although there are also a few outboard-powered cruisers out there.

Whether you want to go casting for bass or trolling for lake trout, a freshwater fishing boat is a must-have. And while there are numerous sub-categories and specialized, species-specific boats out there, we’re going to break this category down into three main choices that encompass the range: bass boats, multi-species boats, and aluminum fishing boats.

Whether you’re on a lake in Arizona or a bay on the Atlantic Seaboard, you’re probably going to see plenty of pontoon boats. Instead of riding on a fiberglass hull, these boats have two or sometimes three aluminum “logs” they float upon. Once upon a time they were slow and pokey, rather ugly, and not very seaworthy, but these are all problems of the past. Today, pontoon boats can be fast, slick-looking, and shockingly comfortable to ride on.

True, they still aren’t the best pick for bodies of water that regularly experience large waves. But they’re extremely stable, they have gobs of deck space, and their modular nature means you can choose from endless seating arrangements and even add things like wet-bars, towing arches, and more. Check out the Premier Sunsation 270, for example, and you’ll discover a double-decker, triple-log pontoon with twin Yamaha F300 outboards and a water slide that shoots you into the lake from the second story.

The term “runabout” is really a catch-all that includes everything from bowriders to combination ski-and-fish boats to small speed boats. The thing these all share in common is that they’re small, open boats intended for day use in fair weather. And while their exposed nature will be considered a drawback by some boaters, it should be considered an advantage, too—you don’t buy a boat to get away from the sunshine and spray, do you?

Well, have you made up your mind? Have you culled through all these choices, and landed on a winner? If so, congratulations—now get busy, and start boat shopping. If not, we’re jealous. Because the only way to really know which boat’s best for you is to get out on the water, and try ‘em out. So again we say congratulations—your indecision means that now, you need to go out on as many different boats as possible, as often as possible, until you make up your mind. Good luck, dear boater, and have fun. Lots and lots of fun.

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Your Marine Sanitation Experts Share Tips for Kayak Fishing

Raritan Engineering your marine sanitation professionals would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding the success of kayak fishing.

With the stealth of a ninja, Kevin Whitley eased the kayak between two pilings in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. He dropped the bait straight down. Instantly the fiddler crab was thumped by a big sheepshead, and the tug-of-war was on.

There was a time when Whitley, known on the water as “Kayak Kevin,” would have drawn strange looks for his narrow, 15-foot piece of floating plastic. But the area’s kayak fishing scene has exploded. 

“We have the water for it,” said Cory Routh, who runs a kayak fishing guide service and was one of TKAA’s early members. “So … I’m not surprised by the rise in interest at all.”

“I have a bit of a gypsy mentality and thought about taking up hiking,” Whitley said. “But my ankles and legs aren’t hiking quality. I could paddle, though.”

Burnley was targeting the diversity of fish in the lower Chesapeake Bay and had built a small following of anglers who enjoyed the quiet of paddling, the sounds of waves lapping against plastic, the splashing of a fish right at your side.

Whitley went after the sport with a passion some found surprising, given his previous lack of interest in fishing.

The Kayak Fishing Trend Going Around

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The kayak fishing scene seems to have grown locally in conjunction with the increasing popularity of small recording devices like GoPro cameras. Anglers often mount them on their bow, on a pole from the stern or on their hat. 

“The production quality of some of the stuff is mind-blowing,” Routh said. “Go to YouTube these days – there’s no shortage of quality video being produced by kayak anglers.”

Kayaks don’t require boat ramps, and they can take you into hard-to-reach spots, including skinny water (3 feet deep or less) where you can find feeding speckled trout and puppy drum, among other species. 

And while a gas boat and gear can run you several thousands of dollars, beginners can usually get decent starter kayaks for about $1,000. Annual upkeep is far less expensive, as well.

But for many anglers, like Whitley, the most appealing aspect of kayak fishing is its connection to nature. Being on a small craft, close to the water, you can hear everything and see everything. The fishing is almost secondary.

So don’t forget these great reasons to try kayak fishing. 1) Affordability. There are a wide range of price points for kayaks, almost all are more affordable than a traditional boat with a motor;  2) accessibility;  and 3) low maintenance.

Sailing Is a Sport for You!

Sailing clubs can be found on the coast, rivers and inland lakes in some spectacular locations around the country. There are nearly 400 sailing clubs around Australia with more than 60,000 registered club members and 100,000 people regularly participating in the sport.

You don’t need to own a boat to enjoy sailing. There are clubs that provide boats and boat owners looking for crew. 

Different types of sailing

There are many different types of sailing to choose from:

  • Social sailing – Non-competitive participation that involves just going for a sail.
  • Cruising – A form of social sailing where a destination to sail to is selected.
  • Racing – A number of boats going round a course in a competitive structure. There are different levels of competition, from more social or introductory racing through to serious national and international regattas.
  • Ocean racing – A form of competitive sailing that takes place off-shore. One of the most famous ocean racing events in the world is the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

Types of sail boats

All About Boats

Having some knowledge of the different types of boats available will help you decide what type of sailing best suits you.

Sailing Terminology

Sailors use traditional nautical terms for the parts of or directions on a vessel: starboard (right), port (left), forward or fore (front), aft or abaft (rearward), bow (forward part of the hull), stern (aft part of the hull), and beam (the widest part).

Like many sports, sailing offers a pathway for new participants to use as a guide to building experience, skills and confidence.

The Sailing Pathway has 10 steps and is applicable to participants of all backgrounds, ages and abilities, in different types of boats. 


Safety plays an important part in all sports, none more so than sailing.

Weather is an important factor of sailing, not so much the temperature or how sunny it will be, but the wind strength and direction.

The challenge of racing other boats is what appeals to many sailors.

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Your Marine Hot Water Heaters Experts Discuss the Excitement of Sailing

Raritan Engineering your marine hot water heaters specialists would like to share with you these topics we thought would be interest to you this month regarding how sailing is never boring.

Your marine hot water heaters manufacturers discuss how unlike a lot of other sports and activities, sailing offers a wide variety of ways to enjoy it. Tennis is tennis, skiing is skiing, hockey is hockey, golf is golf. But sailing means many different things.

Ranging from distance sailing to closed course racing, W-L racing, round the island(s), pursuit racing, shorthanded sailing, single-handed, day races, overnight races, premier bucket list races, even iceboating, the list of ways to enjoy sailing goes on. However, most of us end up gravitating to one type of sailing and do it over and over again, typically in the same place(s).

It is no wonder that we have trouble keeping people in the sport, there is an epidemic of “sameness”. I am guilty of this myself by organizing the same races we have done for years. Time for some changes.

We Talk About Why You Should Give Sailing a Second Chance

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Reverse the order of starts, change the course layout, try downwind starts for a change, you get the idea. Have a race where a junior sailor has to helm, or maybe a whole team of juniors? Maybe a surprise race where the sailors don’t know what the format will be until they show up to race.

There must be many things we can try and see what our sailors like and don’t like…but even those that don’t stick will still offer something new. The talk at the bar afterward might be more interesting too.

When you’re done with the preparations, you leave the harbor and hoist up the sails. You turn off the noisy, vibrating engine, after which there’s no sound except for the wailing of the wind and the sound of the sea. I always start smiling at that point. The boat speeds up, starts to list and everything comes to life. 

When you’re on the water, you have an unbridled sense of freedom and opportunity, as you can always continue to see what lies on the other side of the horizon. Not only do you feel a strong connection to the elements and nature, but to the entire world. 

All in all, to me, it’s about being removed from a mundane environment, feeling fully mentally connected with something else, be it the sea, the boat or the crew, with a constant state of shared Flow going on and realizing that everything stated above can take you most of the way to anywhere on this planet of ours.

So don’t forget these great reasons why sailing is way more exciting than you think. 1) There are so many things you can do while on a sailboat;  2) don’t get stuck on just one way of sailing;  3) be willing to be a thrill seeker.

4 Reasons Why Sailing is a Fun Family Activity

Clear water, sunshine, and good winds. These are the three essential elements needed for a perfect day out sailing. And guess what? Malaysia has three of these elements in abundance. 

Although sailing is often regarded as a man’s sport, it can still be children-friendly, making it apt for a fun family activity. Here are four reasons why sailing should be your next family activity:

1. Perfect family bonding session

As the world is moving at a much faster pace than it used to, people are spending less time with one another. Everyone is busy trying to survive the rat race that they forget to relax and enjoy life. As such, participating in a family activity can be a good way to jazz up your life while building and maintaining your relationship with others. 

2. Teaches kids new skills

Most people think sailing is solely for adults. Although it’s a sport that sees plenty of adult participation, it can still be enjoyed by tiny humans as well. It’s not only a good hobby for kids, it also teaches them a few essential life skills as well. One of the most important skills that can be learned through sailing is undoubtedly self-confidence. 

3. Meet like-minded people

What better way to meet like-minded people then to participate in an exhilarating activity like sailing? Just like any sports out there, sailing is a great way to meet people of similar interests as you. It allows you to share information or learn a thing or two about sailing from your other buddies. Besides that, it also makes a good family day outing. 

4. An escape from the city

Living in the city comes with its perks – better quality of living, higher salary, and top-notch facilities, just to name a few. However, it’s also stressful, busy, and frustrating at times. As such, when you’re tired of living in the hustle and bustle of the city and in dire need of an escape, sailing is one of the best ways to do it. The ocean is the most peaceful place you and your family could ask for as none of you have to deal with the crowd, traffic, and pollution of the city. 

So, the next time you’re thinking of a family outing, opt for sailing as it can be extremely fun and exciting, and at the same time it relaxes your body, mind, and soul.

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Your Marine Ice Makers Suppliers Share Great Ways to Get Your New Crew Into Gear

Raritan Engineering your marine ice makers distributors would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to train new crew members and how to keep them happy.

Your marine ice makers experts talk about how crew integration is one of the toughest challenges, especially in classes that allow a mix of amateurs and pros. The goal is to create a team dynamic that allows the team to develop with the right amount of pushing. It’s equally important to remember that while every amateur wants to win, keeping it fun, and racing at a high level is not easy. 

1. Commitment to the process of teaching and learning.
It is unrealistic to expect a team member with a regular job to get on a boat and do everything exactly right the first time. As we rotate team members in and out we first help the person identify the three priorities of their job for each maneuver, focusing on keeping it simple. 

2. Communication.

Follows the same theme above, but in the heat of the moment there won’t be time to communicate what’s required, so being proactive with the coms about “what’s next” and making sure that everybody is dialed in allows for smooth execution. Remember sailing is a learned sport and everybody does things slightly different. 

3. Practice and managing expectations.
Is it reasonable to expect to win if you don’t practice? No. Plain and simple. If the expectation is to win, then practice will be required. When putting together a mixed team of amateurs and pros, don’t have a lot of rotation in the intense boat handling positions. Onboard Barking Mad we sailed with the same pit girl for 10 years.  

Loyalty among the crew is prized above all say many boat owners, but loyalty among crew doesn’t come without a little effort on the part of the boat owner. 

Organizing custom gear that looks sharp and clearly identifies a crew to a boat is a great way to build crew pride. 

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To go along with Woodruff’s advice, here are our top 5 simple ways to keep your crew happy on and off the water:

  1. Keep them fed and watered: Of all the expenses an owner can incur with boat ownership, skimping on lunch is not the place to save a dime. Bring enough food to the boat to keep them (and yourself) going all day, including quick snacks like cookies, nuts, or chips. But you don’t have to spend $150 per regatta on gourmet sandwiches either—talk to your crew to find out what they like. 

  2. Order team gear: Nothing says team like a uniform. It’s important to have crew that gets along together and is enthusiastic about going sailing. Custom crew gear that looks sharp and clearly identifies a crew to a boat is a great way to build pride. And a proud crew is a crew that will prioritize going sailing with you. 

  3. Don’t micromanage: We all make mistakes, but nobody likes to feel like they’re under a microscope all the time. One of the most common complaints made among the crew about their boat owner and helmsman is, “He’s a great driver, if only he’d focus on that.” If your crew is new and needs some extra training, schedule a practice session. 

  4. Draw from your crew’s talents: Corinthian sailing crews come from all walks of life and bring all kinds of experience to your boat. Talk to your crew and find out what they’re good at. Do you have a graphic designer in your midst? Ask them to design a new team t-shirt. 

  5. Organize onshore events: The onshore social element is a huge part of why many sailors join Corinthian crews. Taking your crew out for a team dinner at the end of Rolex Big Boat or any other big regatta is a great way to say thanks. 

Hey crews: This isn’t a one-way street. There are a lot things you can do to let your boat owner know you appreciate the opportunity to go sailing and show them you’re an invaluable member of the team. 

At the end of the day, racing together is a huge commitment for the owner, crew, and their family and friends. Making everyone feel like a valued member of the team goes a long way to creating a successful program.

So don’t forget these reminders for training your new crew members and keeping them happy. 1) Keep them fed and watered;  2) commitment to the process of teaching and learning is needed;  and 3) good communication.

Man’s Inability To Reverse With Trailer Providing Great Entertainment To Everybody At Boat Ramp

“Left hand down, mate,” he yelled from the jetty.

“Yeah keep going. Nah go back up and straighten out, mate. Yeah, woo! Now come down slower.”

Nat Wilmott is trying to keep the peace down at the Betoota Sailing Club boat ramp – but he’s having a little bit of trouble.

The line this morning was nearing ten trailers and a sunburnt Betoota Grove financier was trying and failing spectacularly to launch his boat into Lake Yamma Yamma.

In the dry desert heat, people were getting frustrated.

But not everyone.

Those not in the line, the jetty fisherman and the like, we’re all laughing at the expense of Peter Mantits, a somewhat likable private fund manager at Macquarie Private Wealth in the French Quarter.

“Mate, you’re fucking useless!” screamed one bloke from beside the boat ramp.

“Do you want me to do it, mate? I’ve never driven a Merc before, but. Is the big silver cunt an auto or what?”

But that was when Nat, the owner-operator of the Betoota Sailing Club Tackle Shop, stepped in to help.

Peter had fallen into the trap of boat ownership without first thinking to master the art of reversing down a boat ramp – something he regrets now.

“It looks easy enough, to reverse a trailer, but it’s not,” said Peter.

“Then this nice old man, Nathan I think his name was, coached me through it and I ultimately got the thing in the water,”

“The whole episode certainly entertained these South Betoota mouthbreathers. Leering at me from the edge of the boat ramp.”

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Your Marine Water Heater Manufacturers Discuss the Importance of Good Boat Ergonomics

Raritan Engineering your marine water heaters suppliers would like to share with you this week some great information about ways to maintain great boat ergonomics.

With more than four decades in the business of designing and building boats, Catalina Yachts chief engineer and designer Gerry Douglas has had a front row seat to the ongoing evolution of yacht design. He also has a strong view on how and why some designs meant for the cruising sailor can go awry. As Douglas points out, many new and used boats being touted as ideal cruisers are strongly influenced by the various measurement systems for offshore racing. 

There are many obvious, common sense reasons why it’s not a good idea to use a successful racing yacht as a template for  a boat that will be used strictly for cruising. Winning ocean racing boats are usually fully crewed, actively helmed, and seldom serve as long-term homes for their owners or crew. 

A cross-over racer-cruiser could certainly indulge in some of the go-fast features we addressed in our August 2015 article on high-performance cruisers. 

We Talk About Addressing Mobility Limits for Older Ones When Boating

Your marine water heaters distributors discuss how in the February 2016 report on boat ergonomics, PS tester Drew Frye examined how many of the new boats appearing at the U.S. sailboat shows seem to have put very little thought into addressing the mobility limits of people over age 55, who represent a larger share of their customer base. 

As PS Technical Editor Ralph Naranjo, author of “The Art of Seamanship,” pointed out in his report on sailboat cockpit design, one look at the average navigation station or helm seat on a cruising boat and you can see how the most basic ergonomic principles on lines of sight, sitting posture, standing posture are, so it seems, utterly ignored. 

Building a boat to fit the human body does not need to be any more expensive than building one that does not. But it needs to begin early, in the design phase. Traffic flow, work stations, sitting stations all need to be taken into account before hull and liner plugs are built. 

If you have some modifications you’ve made to your own boat to make it more comfortable to work and live on, we’d like to hear about them.

So don’t forget these great pointers when trying to maintain good boating ergonomics. 1) Safety can never be overrated;  2) building a boat to fit the human body does not have to be expensive;  and 3) don’t procrastinate.

Something is different at First Landing State Park and the change should help keep the river clean

Soon the area around the 64th Street Boat Ramp at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach won’t be working against the health of the Lynnhaven River, but with it.

Until now rainwater runoff from the big paved lot where cars, boats and trailers park, has drained right into the river, carrying oil and gas from automobiles along with other debris.

As of Friday, visitors will be surprised to see the scrubby, bare area between the parking lot and the water has been covered in cardboard and mulched to prepare it for a buffer garden installation of native plants in spring, said Trista Imrich, restoration coordinator for Lynnhaven River Now.

Native grasses and native wildflowers with strong thirsty roots that grow well at the water’s edge will help absorb rainwater run-off, Imrich said.

Volunteers with Lynnhaven River Now spent a rainy, snowy, windy Friday morning laying the cardboard to kill the weeds growing there and then spreading mulch to prepare for the new plants. 

In April, children from the group’s Growing Wetlands in the Classroom program will plant native grasses, like salt meadow cordgrass, near the water’s edge and native wildflowers, like New England asters and seaside goldenrod, back from the water.

Working with First Landing State Park, Lynnhaven Rive Now also has plans to build a gazebo in spring where visitors will be able to find educational materials on the value of buffers to keep the river clean, Imrich noted.

A new parking lot is also in the works for the future.  It will be built of pavers, which will allow rainwater to filter through rather than run off. 

Check us out at and see how Raritan Engineering always takes care of your marine sanitation supply needs.

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via Getting a Grip on Sailboat Ergonomics

via Something is different at the 64th Street Boat Ramp at First Landing State Park. The change should help keep the river clean

Ryan and Keira Falvey

Your Marine Hose Professionals Discuss How to Boost Your Family’s Fun With a New Boat

Raritan Engineering your marine hose specialists would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how a family boat means more family fun.

Your marine hose manufacturers talk about how regardless of your income, buying a new boat probably represents a big financial commitment. But the return on investment can prove priceless. Allow me to provide some examples from my own life afloat.

Last Fourth of July, we took the boat out to view a large commercial fireworks display. Since we never even got on plane, even though we were out for hours with family and friends, it cost next to nothing. 

My youngest daughter (finally) got up on skis this year. It took her a while to get it, but when she did, we all exalted in her accomplishment, her victory over gravity, and her mastery of balance. Her smile was brighter than the sun, and the memory of that smile burns brilliantly too. At various times during the year, we were in close company with sea turtles, whales, porpoises, seals, and more varieties of bird life than space allows listing here. 

Planning a boating jaunt with children? Here are 10 ideas to make it kid-friendly and fun for everyone, whether you are looking forward to a day trip or a vacation afloat.

1. Get the kids involved! Assign responsibility onboard, and watch them step up to the task with pride of purpose. Children can look out for crab pot buoys, help plot a course, or watch for traffic. Our son assisted with communication relays between the bow and the helm during anchoring: he liked being needed, and we liked being able to anchor without yelling.

2. Explore life underwater. You don’t have to take a swim in chilly water to see incredible marine life. Make a bathyscope with a bucket or use a simple dipping net for an afternoon of entertainment while lying belly down on a dock. Check local tide tables to find daytime lows for tidal flat entertainment. 

3. Swing in the rigging! A child-sized climbing harness secured to fit and attached to a halyard can mean hours of fun (using common sense precautions). Little feet only need to be a few inches off the deck to prompt giggling; older kids may be ready to do more adventurous swinging out over water. Or ditch the harness and aim for getting wet! 

4. Go beachcombing together. A trip ashore is the fix for cabin fever with children. Create a simple list for a scavenger hunt: for the pre-literate, draw pictures. Make beach art from found objects or build a driftwood fort onshore.

5. Build boat skills on a smaller scale. The dinghy is a great tool to help kids learn with you and become better boaters while having fun. You can demonstrate rules of the road, judging effects of current and wind, rowing skills, even points of sail (if you have a sailing dinghy). 

Before you can leave the dock for your adventures afloat, make sure your family and visitors are prepared with a safety briefing and appropriate gear. Children age 12 and under are required to wear USCG-approved life jackets on an open deck or cockpit, and on all boats under 19 feet whenever underway. Avoid any late disappointments by making sure they can either bring their own, or you can supply them.

So don’t forget these great reasons why boating boosts family fun. 1) The kids are able to get involved;  2) the kids can explore animal life out on the water;  3) you are able to beachcomb together;  and 4) you’ll be able to build your boating skills together. 

Fun Winter Boating Activities To Try

It turns out that winter opens the door to some real adventures in floating fiberglass fun—if you know where to look. From plying slow southern waters to skidding across frozen northern lakes, here’s what boating lovers do in the “off” season.


Cruise the Intracoastal

The 3,000-mile waterway, which runs along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, is not just a means to an end—it’s a destination. Explore historic towns like Wilmington,

Savannah and St. Augustine; sample local cuisine, from Low Country to Cajun and Creole; and savor the changing scenery.

Try Charter Fishing

During their winter migration down the East Coast toward South Florida, sailfish favor the Gulf Stream’s warm waters and may be found less than 10 miles offshore.

Learn to Sail

Yes, you can become an accomplished sailor while enjoying a much-needed vacation. Several sailing schools offer opportunities for individuals, couples and families to fine-tune their skills and earn certifications that will allow them to charter a boat and go cruising.


Go Winter Water-skiing

Don a dry suit for this fast-paced take on the Polar Bear Club. Some northern rivers and lakes remain ice-free, and their safe navigation sets the stage for never-say-quit skiers to enjoy thrilling (if chilly) rides. 

Sail an Iceboat

Frozen water is no excuse to stay indoors. Midwestern inland lakes with smooth, stable, snow-free ice and wind are prime ground for iceboats—sailing craft that can reach speeds up to around 100 miles per hour on their three skates, or runners. 

Try a Snow Kayak

Why put your kayak away when rivers turn icy? Obsessed paddlers can careen down snow-covered mountainsides, navigating trees and deep powder just like skiers. 

Purchase your marine hoses here and see how Raritan Engineering provides you the best products in the marine sanitation industry today.

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Your Macerating Pump Professionals Share Great Ways to Stay Safe When Checking Out Your Boat

Raritan Engineering your macerating pump specialists would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to stay safe while inspecting your boat during the winter.

Your macerating pump manufacturers share how “boating safety” usually means preventing injuries or accidents while on the water. Boats in winter storage have some unique safety concerns for boat owners who make periodic checkups over the long winter season. Here are five tips from the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water to help boaters stay safe while visiting the boat this winter.

1. Injuries from ladder falls can be severe but are preventable. When using a ladder to climb aboard your frozen boat, be sure it is firmly planted, secure it with a line to avoid shifting, and have someone hold the base. 

2. Don’t trust the nonskid to do its job. Nonskid decks are slippery when covered by snow or encrusted with ice. Brush away any buildup on the deck where you plan to step, and always hold onto something, just as you would if you were underway. 

3. Snow and ice are heavy. One square foot of dense, wet snow can weigh more than 20 pounds, so use caution when going underneath a tarp or winter cover that’s loaded with snow. 

4. Check your jack stands for proper support. Jack stands or blocking can shift as the boat gets laden with snow and ice, or due to repeated freeze/thaw cycles. Never adjust jack stands yourself. 

5. Trailer boat frames should be supported at the rear cross beam. This prevents the tongue from lifting off the ground like a seesaw when climbing aboard from the stern.

Regular maintenance to keep your boat safe and complying with the legal obligations when it is on the water should ensure a first-time pass.

Importance of Safety During Boat Inspections

Macerating pumps can be seen here at Raritan Engineering, where we always take care of your marine sanitation supply needs.

However, preparing your boat before its examination will pay off and success and safer boater should be your reward.

Firstly, will the examiner need to see any documentary evidence about a component’s manufacturing standard e.g. engine hoses manufactured to standard ISO 7840. Can you have it ready?

In addition to the advice on the page called Preparing for examination, we have the additional advice arising from the changes introduced in January 2013 for examinations on privately-owned, privately-managed boats:

Discuss your LPG cylinder locker arrangements with your examiner in advance of the examination as this may require your attendance or you to make prior arrangements involving service agents.

Where a boat uses A.C. shore-power and other a.c. power sources, the following notes on connection leads should be taken into account –

  • If practicable and safe to do so, boat owners should disconnect shore-power, battery charging, and other power sources in readiness for the BSS examination;
  • Boat owners should make available the shore-power, battery charging or other power source leads for examination of type and condition.
  • Information about the location of the a.c. consumer unit should be made known to the examiner in advance of the BSS examination.

So don’t forget these great safety tips for doing your personal boat inspection during the winter. 1) Injuries from ladder falls are preventable;  2) don’t trust the non-skid to do its job;  and 3) check your jack stands for proper support.

Frenchman Sets New Sailing Record : The Two-Way

French skipper, François Gabart, waves aboard his 100-foot trimaran as he celebrates his world record off Brest harbor, western France, on Sunday. 

There is a new world record for sailing solo around the world: 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds. If verified, it is more than 6 days faster than the previous record, set a year earlier.

French sailor François Gabart, aboard a 100-foot trimaran, set out on Nov. 4 to break the record held by countryman Thomas Coville. On Sunday, Gabart crossed the virtual finish between France’s northwest tip and Lizard Point in southwest England at 0145 GMT before turning homeward to Brest in northwestern France.

Making such a journey is a difficult feat. It involves tackling the cold and stormy Southern Ocean that rings Antarctica, all the while tending a high-performance sailing vessel at the edge of its performance envelope.

After reaching Brest, Gabart, 34, said he was “aching all over.”

“[It’s] been like that for weeks, weeks since a proper sleep – I can hardly go on,” he told reporters after making landfall at Brest.

“It was hard and I was on the very edge of things the whole time.”

Exhausted or not, Gabart managed to share a bottle of champagne with his shore crew.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet but I know it’s a great time,” he said.

Gabart’s record must be verified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, which will scrutinize his vessel’s GPS data before signing off on the new record.

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I Learned About Boating From This: The Great Escape

Your Macerating Toilet Distributors Talk About How to Make Your Plan B for Boating Emergencies

Raritan Engineering your macerating toilet suppliers would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding the importance of having a backup plan for emergencies while boating.

Your macerating toilet manufacturers talked about how the plan sounded good. I would cross Chesapeake Bay aboard my 16-foot outboard-powered Dory skiff for a weekend of hanging out with friends during Downrigging Weekend, an annual event held the last weekend of October in Chestertown, Maryland.

The weather report stated wind from the northwest at 17 to 23 mph, gusting to 34, with seas of 2 to 3 feet — borderline conditions for a boat like mine. But I balanced this against my years of experience operating small craft. Besides, my John Dory skiff is seaworthy for its size.

I set out. Halfway across the 10 miles of open water, it became tough to steer. Then the waves steepened considerably. While surfing down a large wave, the outboard motor clicked into the partway-up position, eliminating my ability to control the boat. 

It got uglier. I stuffed the bow into a trough and put 8 inches of water into the boat in a second. Noticing a smooth patch of water, I pulled the transom drain — the bilge pump was already working — and sped along at full throttle until the water was out.

Finally, I spotted a pier. Tied up, I lay down on the warm wood. The air was cold, but the shining sun warmed me. I rose, called my friends, and waited for them to pick me up.

From this experience, I learned you cannot fight wind and waves and sometimes must change course for safety’s sake. This makes it important to have a Plan B destination. I also learned that my waterproof VHF radio did not work, not because it shorted out, but because the ­speaker filled with water and I could not hear it. 

I was lucky. I was dressed correctly and wearing a life jacket. But I wouldn’t do it again.

Preparing for All Boating Scenarios

Just like in your home, you should implement an emergency preparedness plan on your boat. Regardless of where you boat you should always identify potential threats. Then evaluate what types of resources you will need if any emergency arises. 

You should always check the weather before planning a day on your boat. Conditions on the water can become dangerous during even small weather events. Weather is also quick to change over the water, it is important to stay aware and return to shore before conditions get severe. 

Tsunamis are a succession of oversized waves that occur after the displacement of large amounts of water. They can occur with or without warning, however, a common cause of tsunamis are earthquakes. If you are on the water and notice the trees on shore shaking and other telltale signs of an earthquake, you should evaluate your best course of action. 

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

A good skipper always prepares for the worst and hopes for the best. When preparing you should make a list of general items, but also include things that are specific to your family and their needs. The following are less specific items that any good boat emergency kit should contain. 

  • NOAA Weather Radio- Keeping track of the forecast and any emergency broadcasts can help you avoid severe weather.
  • Clean water- Salt or lake water are not going to be sufficient if you are stranded and need to stay hydrated.
  • Food and a way to prepare it- Store foods that are high in protein and nutritious. Having a heat source if not only good to keep you warm but also for preparing any foods that need to be warmed.
  • Extra clothing- Extra layers and dry clothes to change into from your wet ones are good to keep on board.
  • Shelter- Shelter from the sun and rain are both important. Many boats have built in shelters, but a tarp or sheet can easily be used as a makeshift shelter.
  • First aid kit- For anything from bumps and bruises to broken bones, bug bites and open wounds.
  • Paddle- In case you encounter engine troubles it is good to have an alternate form of propulsion.
  • Something to bail out water- If it rains hard enough your boat might not be able to keep up with pumping water out of the boat. Having a bucket or two to help bail it out can save your boat from capsizing.

Not only should you have a plan and the proper emergency items, but you should also take a class or research about emergency procedures. Things like first aid and boat repair techniques can make the difference between life and death. 

Don’t forget these important items when making your backup plan for boating emergencies. 1) NOAA weather radio;  2) clean water;  3) food and a way to prepare it;  4) first aid kit;  and 5) something to bail out water.

Small Boats for Big Emergencies

From top: When your raft is out of its canister or valise during servicing, you can check out all of its neatly packed components. In the water, ballast bags will fill and help stabilize the raft. Dur

Fully inflated and sitting in the middle of the workshop floor, our life raft looked rather small. This wasn’t the first time I had seen a Viking RescYou four-person life raft in all its glory, but it was the first time ours had been unpacked from its tidy black valise.

I sat in the strange orange glow with my legs fully extended in front of me, imagining three other people sharing the space. It would be cozy, to say the least. Even with only Steve and me, the ditch bag and any other items we might manage to grab, it would be tight. I tried to imagine what the raft would feel like afloat; the floor constantly undulating, the sound of the ocean crashing around us, the slick, sticky feeling of salty skin and damp clothing. 

Spending time in a life raft is probably not on anybody’s bucket list, but any sailor who has spent a night or two at sea has no doubt stopped to consider the possibility. Like an EPIRB, a search-and-rescue transponder, a sea anchor and a good medical kit, a life raft is a vital piece of safety equipment that should be on board every boat. 

A life raft packed in a valise is lighter than a canister, most weighing in between about 50 and 75 pounds, versus roughly 65 to 90 pounds for a canister. That said, a smaller crew member might not be able to lift that much dead weight up the companionway, especially if the boat is heaving. A canister may weigh more but is usually deployed directly from its storage location. 

Canisters often are fitted with a hydro-static release. This automatic device activates when submerged and inflates the raft if the vessel suddenly sinks. A “weak link” in the painter will part under stress, allowing the raft to float to the surface. It’s important to consider what obstructions might hinder the automatic inflation or release of the raft when choosing where to mount the bracket. 

What is often overlooked — and is of the utmost importance — is serviceability. After all, what good is carrying a life raft aboard if you cannot get regular safety checks and maintenance done on it?

In a typical service, after breaking the seals on the canister or valise and cutting open the interior vac-pack bag, the technician will remove, inspect and weigh the CO2 cylinder that is included to inflate the raft. This process is similar to dive-tank inspections and is extremely important because a raft might not inflate when the painter is yanked if it has a faulty cylinder. 

The cost of servicing a life raft fluctuates from port to port. The bill is usually broken down into a base service charge that includes unpacking, inflating, inspecting and repacking the raft. Any components that are required or supplies that are replaced are priced individually and then added to the base cost. 

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Your Toilet Macerator Suppliers Share Amazing Tips for Keeping Your Sails in Great Shape

Raritan Engineering your toilet macerator manufacturers would like to share with you this week some great information regarding the importance of good sail maintenance.

1. Keep your sails out of the sun

If you have furling systems, this may be just a matter of furling sails when not in use. For non-furling sails, this means covering or stowing sails. There are cover options for both mainsails and headsails, allowing the sail to stay rigged and protected between uses. 

2. Protect your furled sails

Most owners use sewn-on sun covers to protect furled sails. Sunbrella and WeatherMax are the fabrics commonly used for sun covers. For racer-cruisers and some racing sails like furling code zeros, there are lighter weight options such as UV-treated Dacron.

All sun covers should be inspected regularly and repaired if damaged. Generally speaking, covers should be re-stitched every three years or so to prevent more extensive damage to the fabric that can occur from flogging due to compromised stitching.

To provide maximum protection for your sails, sun covers require care and maintenance. Remember, if you can see the sailcloth below the cover…so can the sun!

3. Keep your sails clean

After sun, the second-worst enemy of any sail is salt; but other types of dirt and debris can be just as damaging. Periodic sail washing is key to maintaining your sails. A couple common-sense rules apply to frequency: 1) a sail that has been exposed to saltwater should be washed sooner rather than later, and 2) all other varying degrees of grime should be removed when possible. 

4. Protect them from the elements

Sailmakers generally refer to the life of a sail in hours or seasons, rather than years. The lifespan is affected by the amount of time sailing and the level of care given to the sails. In the mid-Atlantic region, the main sailing season can begin in early spring and extend late into the fall. 

If you know your sails are going to be sitting idle on the boat in a marina for at least a month or more during a sailing season, you can extend sail life by taking the sails off of your boat and stowing them. 

5. Inspect sails regularly

At least once-a-year sails should get a check-up. To do this yourself, find a dry place in good light where you can lay them flat, then work your way over every inch of the sail, looking for trouble spots such as abrasion or loose stitching. Small problems can turn into bigger problems later, so be sure to note even the smallest details. 

We Continue to Discuss Ways to Extend the Life of Your New Sails

6. Tape the turnbuckle

Your toilet macerator experts talk about how if you’ve ever scraped your finger on a piece of hardware, then you know it’s sharp enough to damage your sail. Even seemingly blunt objects (like a spreader) can damage sails on a tack, so take a look around (and up) to see what can or should be covered to protect your sails. If you have an extra piece of spinnaker cloth, wipe it across every surface of your boat and rigging. 

7. Check the leech

Even a well-protected spreader-tip or navigation light can wear a sail tack-after-tack. For these areas, a spreader-patch (or navigation light-patch, etc.) might be the answer.

8. Don’t wait for repairs

A lot of catastrophic sail failures can be traced back to a small repair that was never made. When you notice a small hole or a chafed spot that’s getting increasingly worse, save yourself serious head- and wallet-ache by addressing the problem while it is still small. 

9. Bag It

Pretty simple here. There’s a good reason new sails come with a sturdy bag and it’s not just another place for a logo. That bag is a much cheaper sacrificial covering than the sail inside of it. Take a look at an old sailbag that’s scuffed and torn-up, now imagine if that were your sail. 

10. If you don’t know, ask

Curious about some sail-care method you’ve heard somebody touting on the dock or trying to figure out if your sail could use a new piece of webbing on the tack? Feel free to call the service team at your local Quantum loft. We’re happy to field your questions and provide helpful pointers. Consider us a member of your team.

So don’t forget these great ways to keep your sails in great shape for a long time. 1) Keep your sails out of the sun;  2) don’t wait for repairs;  and 3) tape the turnbuckle.

Quieting Your Boat’s Engine

The engine in my 1977 Down East 45 schooner, Britannia, is a tried and trusted — but noisy — Perkins 4-236, an 85-horsepower four-­cylinder diesel. 

I call the space the equipment bay. It runs 12 feet under the saloon floorboards and is 3 feet wide at the sole level, then tapers to just 15 inches at the bottom of the 41⁄2-foot-deep bilge. Seven removable floorboards give amazing access to all the equipment below, but the large space also acts as a massive boombox.

There are a number of products that claim to significantly reduce noise from machinery, and some are specifically designed for boats. The trouble with most of these is they are also specifically aimed at your bank balance! 

In simple terms, the object of sound insulation is to absorb noise at its source, and thereby minimize what filters into the interior of the boat. It would be practically impossible to eliminate this altogether, but I had effectively reduced the engine noise from a similar diesel on a previous boat simply by installing a false floor beneath the cabin sole. 

Before I started work on Britannia, I wanted to take a reading of the sound levels to have a numerical comparison after the modifications were complete. I downloaded a neat iPhone app, a decibel meter by Decibel Meter Pro, for the vast sum of 99 cents, from iTunes. It was very easy to use, and I took readings at head height in the center of the saloon. 

Fitting the False Floor

To get started, it was first necessary to make support battens for the false floor panels to lie in, under the existing plywood sole. I bought a 24-by-48-inch sheet of ½-inch plywood and cut it into 4-inch-wide strips with my table saw. I also made ¾-inch square battens out of hardwood. 

I screwed the ¾-inch square battens to the sides of each aperture to support the ends of the false floors. I painted the beams and all the new timbers white.

The sound-deadening properties of a ½-inch-thick sheet are actually better than the ¾-inch-thick marine plywood sole, which is roughly 35 pounds per cubic foot. (The MDF sheets were also available in ¾-inch thickness but would have been heavier and more expensive. In the end, I decided to compromise between weight, density and price, and go for the thinner stock.)

The simplest, time-­honored method to handle boards covering apertures is to cut a hole in the board big enough to get a couple of fingers through to lift it in and out. But these MDF boards were too big and heavy for that, and it would also have allowed a little bit more noise and heat to escape.

The weight of the new fiberboards was 60 pounds, but it’s all positioned low in the hull, and it was a small price to pay for reducing the noise. When lying between the beams, their weight also keeps them firmly in place. The sole and subfloor now has a combined thickness of 1¼ inches, with a density of about 80 pounds per cubic foot.

Beat the Heat

To complete the project, there was one more thing I wanted to do. We could often feel heat permeating through the single-­thickness cabin sole when either of the diesel engines had been running a long time, especially on our own soles when walking barefoot. 

I bought two 4-by-8-foot sheets of Rmax Thermasheath R6 foam-board insulation from Lowe’s for $21.98 each. These are 2 inches thick, with aluminum foil on one face and an insulation rating of R6, which is the highest available for this thickness of foam. I cut them to the sizes I needed at the store using a sharp knife, which helped me fit them in my car. 

The section of floor around the Perkins engine was particularly awkward because parts of the top of the engine were higher than the bottom of the floor beams. In fact, the valve cover was only an inch below the sole. This was, of course, the principal source of all the noise, so it needed special attention anyway.

I fitted battens all around the engine as I had in all the other openings, then shaped pieces of fiberboard to fit around the engine as well.

The remainder of the floor now had the ¾-inch plywood sole pieces, with 2 inches of foam glued underneath, then a ½-inch air gap, then the ½-inch MDF false floor. It was now certainly a compact floor.

After all this backbreaking work, I was naturally keen to take new readings on the decibel meter. With only the main engine running at the same revolutions per minute as before, my iPhone app meter read 65, a reduction of 20 db! 

In addition to a considerable reduction in noise, there is now no perceptible heat coming through the floorboards, which helps to keep the living area cooler. Heat is carried outside by the engine-room extractor fans, and the noise from them is much reduced too.

Most projects I have undertaken on Britannia resulted in visible improvements, most notably when I renovated the teak-and-holly sole. 

This method of sound insulation would be very worthwhile for any boat, offering excellent noise reduction for minimal financial outlay. I actually used some spare pieces of MDF to double the wall thickness in the spaces where my two air-conditioning units were installed, and this reduced the noise of the compressor and fan as well.

There are, of course, no labor charges factored into the cost of the job, which took me four days to complete, but messing about on boats is supposed to be fun.

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