Photo of sinking boat in the snow

Macerator Toilet Distributors Talk About Protecting Your Boat Deck From the Elements

Raritan Engineering your macerator toilet suppliers would like to share with you this week some great information regarding how to keep ice damage away from your boat’s deck.

It is the first day of fall, and that means winter is right around the corner, which is no fun sailors who live in the northern slice of the planet, unless, of course, you’re an ice-boater or frost-biter—in which case, I’m happy for you (spoken like a true Floridian). 

If you had niggling leaks at your mast, your forward hatch, or deck hardware this summer, those niggles can become nightmares when freezing temperatures begin to do their sledgehammer work upon our boats—as well as our psyche. Most decks these days are sandwich cores, which have a stiffening material, usually foam or balsa, or plywood, sandwiched between two fiberglass skins. (For a more in-depth picture of the pros and cons this construction process, check out our report on core construction.) 

We Give Great Tips to Keep Ice From Damaging Your Boat’s Deck

Your macerator toilet manufacturers talk about how the freeze-thaw cycle can also break the bond between the fiberglass and the core, further weakening the deck structure and introducing new problems. In a worst-case scenario, you return to your boat in the spring and find bubbles, bulges, and cracked gelcoat or fiberglass where water has pooled and frozen, pushing your deck’s outer skin upward.

Bottom line is this: Of all the fall maintenance fun (don’t call them chores) you’ve got to deal with in the weeks ahead, take some time to address the leaks. Much of what you’ll need to carry out your own leak-repair project is right here in our archives. Our most recent report on caulks and sealants can help you find the right sealant for the job. 

Better yet, if you want to prevent leaks to begin with, follow the time-tested technique for sealing through-deck penetrations to prevent leaks from reaching the core when you add or re-install deck hardware. 

So don’t forget these great suggestions for protecting your boat’s deck from ice damage. 1) Get the right mind set, don’t view maintenance as chores;  2) research which caulks and sealants are best for your boat;  and 3) sealing through-deck penetrations.

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.”

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

Be sure to watch our latest video on macerator toilets and other marine sanitation supplies below.

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Your Raritan Marine Professionals Discuss Great Tips for New Boat Buyers

Raritan Engineering your Raritan marine specialists would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding some of the best ways to maintain boats for first time boat buyers.

You bought a boat. Your Raritan marine distributors talk about how why you need to maintain it. Just keep the following three points in mind, and the first year with a new boat should be smooth sailing.

First off, engines, steering equipment, water pumps and anything else aboard that moves will benefit from use. Turn everything on and use it at least a couple of times a season. Raise and lower your anchor at the dock, for instance, if you never anchor out. 

Next, keep it clean. This isn’t just aesthetic. If the engine space is clean, you’ll see an engine-coolant or steering-fluid leak right away, so you can have it taken care of before it gets worse. Debris in the waterways around deck hatches can clog drains. Then when it rains, if the water can’t drain, it finds its way into that hatch, and sometimes onto equipment that shouldn’t get wet. 

We Give Simple Ways to Keep Your Boat Looking Great All Year Long

Browse Raritan marine products here at Raritan Engineering. Beyond that general advice, here’s a quick list of maintenance items you’ll need to address during your first year:

Engines: In cold climates, winterize engines every fall to protect cooling systems where water might be trapped and freeze. At the same time, treat engine inner workings with fogging oil to prevent corrosion. Except for a few outboards, engines require an oil change, along with new oil and fuel filters, every year. 

Underwater paint and hardware: Change sterndrive or outboard gear-case oil every fall, or at least check for water intrusion while winterizing the engine. Send propellers with more than a couple of minor nicks to the prop shop to be reconditioned. The paint on your boat’s bottom prevents marine growth, such as barnacles and sea grass, but its effectiveness varies by paint type, climate, region and even local water bodies. 

Fiberglass: Rinse your boat thoroughly after each outing, and wash it once a week with mild boat soap—one that won’t remove wax. Southern latitudes and saltwater boating require wax as often as every two months from the main deck up. Northern and freshwater boaters might wax only once a season. 

Teak decks, wood trim and metal hardware: Wax is the best protectant and cleaner for metal, particularly aluminum. Whatever you choose—spanning bright, glossy varnished trim to just soap and water on teak, letting its natural oil protect the wood—stay on top of it. 

Air-conditioning systems: If your boat has air conditioning, consider using the dehumidifier mode while you’re not aboard, but only if you’re able to check on the boat every day or two. Clear debris from air conditioner’s seawater-plumbing strainers at least weekly, or anytime the air conditioner’s cooling-water stream coming out of the side of the boat seems to be weaker than normal.

Owner’s manuals for each onboard system include maintenance schedules. When in doubt, ask a pro. Advice from other boaters is well-intentioned but not always correct for your boat. The boat dealer, or anyone who repairs boats for a living, is a much better source.

So don’t forget these helpful tips on how to maintain your boat if you’re a first time buyer. 1) In cold climates, winterize engines every fall to protect cooling systems where water might be trapped and freeze;  2) rinse your boat thoroughly after each outing, and wash it once a week with mild boat soap;  and 3) if your boat has air conditioning, consider using the dehumidifier mode while you’re not aboard, but only if you’re able to check on the boat every day or two.

Go Boating on the Red Lotus Sea

The so-called Red Lotus Sea is one of Thailand’s loveliest seasonal attractions. Somewhat off the beaten path for international visitors, the charming destination is popular with Thai couples looking for a spot of romance and families who want to take the kids somewhere special. 

What is the Red Lotus Sea?

Known in Thai as Talay Bua Deang, the Red Lotus Sea (sometimes also referred to as the Red Lotus Lake) is officially called Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake. A large yet rather normal lake at most times during the year, the lake transforms into a magical wonderland of beautiful pink shades during the cooler months. Indeed, due to the picturesque beauty when the striking lotus flowers are in full bloom, the lake has been named as one of the world’s strangest lakes.

How can I explore the Red Lotus Sea?

The lake’s full majestic beauty isn’t immediately apparent from the edges, though you can peer through binoculars to get an idea of the wonder on the water. The best way to enjoy the fairytale-like visions is with a boat ride across the expansive lake. Boat trips can be arranged with ease from the main car-parking area in Chiang Haeo sub-district.

There’s no need to join a tour as you can easily charter your own vessel to discover the lake. Boats cost around 500 THB for a trip, and the prices are per boat, not per person. Boat rides last for around an hour to an hour and a half. (Shorter trips can also be taken for around 300 THB.) 

Your boat will journey into the middle of the lake, following small channels through the lotus flowers, to eventually bring you to a large and dense patch of vibrant pink flowers. Pause and admire the glorious vistas and snap plenty of pictures to remind you of an unusual day filled with scenic splendour. 

What facilities are available near the lake?

Facilities and amenities are basic, though you will find public toilets (with squat-style toilets) and several food vendors in the main car park. Stock up on snacks for a picnic on your boat ride.

Where is the Red Lotus Sea?

The Red Lotus Sea is located in the Thai province of Udon Thani. Udon Thani is in the northeastern region, the part of Thailand that is also commonly referred to as Isan. The lake can be found roughly 45 kilometres outside of the heart of Udon Thani city, in the district of Kumphawapi.

When can I visit the Red Lotus Sea?

The cool season is the prime time to visit the Red Lotus Sea. The pink buds begin to bloom at the end of the rainy season, reaching their peak in January and February. Some flowers remain open through March, but then from March to around October, the lake is devoid of any special colours.   

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

via Tips for First-Year Boat Maintenance

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via Thailand’s Must-Do: Go Boating on the Red Lotus Sea

Frank Lanier

Your Tru Design Specialists Talk About Why You Need a Great Boarding Ladder

Last year, we ran a review of a Union 36, and the opening photo of the boat featured a unique folding ladder that I hadn’t seen before. The ladder, instead of hanging vertically, folded out at a comfortable angle in a way that seemed—at least in the photo—pretty practical for routine boarding. I was curious how it worked in bouncy weather, and the owner of the boat, PS contributor Frank Lanier, assured me that the ladder, which came with the boat, was as good as any other he’d tried. 

The trend toward sugar-scoop transoms on sailboats has reduced the need for boarding ladders, but owners of older boats like the Union 36 will likely need to retro-fit one. Our last boarding ladder test was in December 2002. 

The boat I cruised on for many years, Tosca, was a double-ender with the same sort boarding of complications as the Union 36. A stern boarding ladder didn’t work. For a couple of ladder-less months after we bought the boat, we just shimmied up the bobstay when we went swimming. 

Shocked at the prices for a stainless-steel ladder and wanting a permanent means of climbing aboard that a person in the water could use without assistance, we settled on a modification that you see on many catboats—folding steps drilled into the rudder (look for our Marshall 22 catboat review in November).

So keep in mind these suggestions when getting a portable boarding ladder. 1) You can buy a portable ladder for cheaper;  2) these are ladders you can use without assistance;  and 3) they are easier to maintain.

Order your TruDesign parts here at Raritan Engineering and see how Raritan Engineering provides you the best products in the marine sanitation industry today.

via In Search of the Perfect Boarding Ladder

via Family boating at sea hear strange sound—shocked to see ‘black spot’ swimming towards them

Your Seacocks Suppliers Share How to Handle These New Rule Changes

Raritan Engineering your seacocks manufacturers would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to cope with racing rule changes.

Your seacocks distributors talk about how World Sailing has changed the criterion for deciding whether extended close covering violates Rule 2.

● World Sailing held its annual conference in Mexico in November 2017 with a week of meetings involving several hundred delegates from all prominent sailing countries. There were many proposals to modify the racing rules discussed and voted upon, and for the most part, proposals that were accepted will not take effect until January 1, 2021, when the next revision of The Racing Rules of Sailing is published. 

Four changes for 2018 clearly fix the problem U.S. Sailing identified. The changes also establish a clear process to be followed whenever the protest committee receives a report alleging a support person has broken a rule. Here’s a summary of the four changes World Sailing made:

■ A new rule, Rule 63.9, has been added, which specifies a process the protest committee must follow when it receives, under Rule 60.3(d), a report alleging that a support person has broken a rule. The committee must first decide whether the report is sufficiently convincing that a hearing should be called. If so, the committee must conduct the hearing following the procedures specified in Rules 63.2, 63.3, 63.4 and 63.6. 

■ Section (e) of the definition Party has been expanded. For any hearing involving a support person, the parties to the hearing are: the support person alleged to have broken a rule, any boat that support person supports, and the prosecutor. This change means that if a hearing is held because a coach, a parent or any other support person may have broken a rule, every boat that that person supports is entitled to be represented during the hearing, and will have all the rights a protestee would have in a protest hearing. 

■ Previously, Rule 64.4(b) referred to a penalty given to a competitor as a result of a breach of a rule by a support person. That did not make sense. A regatta is a contest between boats, and each boat entered is scored and can be penalized. When a competitor breaks a rule, his or her boat receives the penalty. 

■ There are now four types of hearings: protest hearings, redress hearings, hearings following reports under Rule 69 alleging misconduct, and hearings following a report under Rule 60.3(d) alleging that a support person has broken a rule. 

We have seacocks for all your sanitation needs here at Raritan Engineering. We encourage you to browse through our comprehensive supply of seacocks to meet your particular application.

The World Sailing Racing Rules Committee publishes The Case Book, which contains authoritative interpretations of the racing rules. Every year new cases are added to it, and occasionally an old case is revised. 

Case 78 concerns tactics, usually applied near the end of a series, in which one boat, without breaking any rule of Part 2, closely covers another for an extended period of time in order to drive the other boat well back in the fleet. 

From 2013 to 2017, Case 78 stated that such tactics do not break Rule 2 provided “there is a sporting reason” for using them. At recent major regattas for Olympic classes, that test has caused problems. For example, some national authorities use their sailors’ scores at a continental championship to select members of their national team or to select a boat that will qualify to represent their nation at a future event.

Another problematic situation happened at a recent event in which Boat A had clinched first place before the last race of the series. After the start of the final race, Boat A drove Boat B, at the time second in the standings, way back in the fleet, with the result that B ended up in fourth after the last race. 

Because of these issues, World Sailing has changed the criterion for deciding whether extended close covering violates Rule 2. Effective January 1, 2018, the criterion will be whether the covering tactics “benefit [the boat’s] final ranking in the event.” 

This could affect you in your local sailing series. Many clubs combine the standings of boats in several weekend events to create a season or to pick a seasonal club champion. 

America’s Cup Race Gets A Radical New Single-Hulled Boat

This undated concept drawing shows a radical fully foiling monohull, the AC75, for the 2021 America’s Cup, created by Emirates Team New Zealand. Virtual Eye/AP hide caption

This undated concept drawing shows a radical fully foiling monohull, the AC75, for the 2021 America’s Cup, created by Emirates Team New Zealand.
Emirates Team New Zealand, which took home the America’s Cup after swiping it from Larry Ellison’s Oracle Team USA in a duel of foiling catamarans off Bermuda this summer, has reinvented the boat that will next compete for the trophy.

On Monday, the kiwi syndicate and rivals Luna Rossa from Italy unveiled the broad outlines of the boats they will be racing in Auckland in 2021. They are unlike any monohull familiar to the weekend sailor.

Looking bow-to-stern, the new AC75 resembles as much the ancient creature that first ploddingly crawled from the sea as it does a high-tech craft that scoots over the water at 50 mph.

Emirates Team New Zealand YouTube

Like its multihull predecessors, the 75-foot-long craft is designed to “foil” on underwater skis that raise the hull clear of the surface, greatly reducing drag. The AC75 features twin foil-tipped articulating keels. On a given tack, one is underwater providing lift while the other juts to the side to provide balance.

While the multihulls have their many advocates, they have also drawn scorn from some quarters — especially over safety concerns.

The new boats could mitigate one of the major complaints about the AC50 catamarans: their propensity to capsize or go end-over-end, Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton said in a statement released in Auckland.

“Our analysis of the performance of the foiling monohulls tells us that once the boat is up and foiling, the boat has the potential to be faster than an AC50 both upwind and downwind,” Dalton says.

For many sailors, used to seeing the superior speed of multihulls, that’s a claim likely to be hotly debated in harbor pubs until a working prototype – still months or years away – settles the question.

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

Be sure to watch our latest video on seacocks below. We are your #1 expert in marine sanitation supplies.

via Rule Changes for Support and Fairness

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via America’s Cup Race Gets A Radical New Single-Hulled Boat

Volvo Ocean Race

Raritan Marine Toilet Systems Manufacturers Discuss Safety With Jackline Installation

Raritan Engineering would like to share with you this week some great information regarding jackline installation tips.

The “to-do” list begins to swell in October, a month when many northern hemisphere sailors start preparing their boats for offshore passages to warmer climates. High on many lists is the job of installing jacklines—the lines running along the deck to which we attach our safety tethers.

One of the most startling conclusions of our current test was that despite the International Sailing Federation’s (ISAF) generalized approach to jackline standards, the best material for a jackline varies as boat length increases.

Importance of Good Boat Maintenance

Your marine toilet systems professionals talk about how material selection is just one of many details regarding jacklines that deserves careful thought. If you are re-installing your jacklines or installing for them for the first time, be sure to read our upcoming test report.

  • Although you can use existing hardware for anchoring jacklines to your deck, finding adequate anchors on light boats can be difficult, since the deck and fittings might not be very strong.
  • Confirm that the entire system is of known minimum strength. ISAF standards recommend 4,500 pounds minimum breaking strength for webbing, although we recommend more for boats greater than 40 feet in order to provide an adequate safety factor.
  • Nylon stretches a great deal when it is wet, so nylon jacklines should be tensioned when wet.
  • Webbing jacklines should be twisted—not laid flat. This way they are easier to clip into when wet and they won’t flap in the wind.
  • Outboard-powered boats should never have jacklines or tethers so long that a sailor who has fallen overboard could be towed behind the boat near the prop.
  • Jacklines should stop well short of the bow. Fast boats, multihulls in particular, can hurl a person forward when the bow stuffs into a wave.
  • The cockpit should have at least one dedicated fixed point for clipping into. Consider installing dedicated clip-in points (padeyes) at other work stations—i.e. at the mast, or at the bow.
  • Rope jacklines can be acceptable on boats with higher coachroofs that allow the lines to be routed off the deck where they won’t fall underfoot.
  • When Dyneema or stainless cable are used on the deck, sheathing them in tubular webbing can reduce the chance that the jackline will roll under foot.
  • Jacklines must be clearly distinguishable from running rigging, so that there is no chance of clipping into the wrong line.
  •  Jacklines should be permanently rigged during a passage. It takes time to become accustomed to their use, and sailors have often gone overboard in benign conditions.
  • Jacklines should be rigged under sheets and over deck-routed control lines so that a sudden tack or jibe does not grab the tether.
  • If you rely on stainless steel hardware, use only the highest quality. (Wichard is one company whose hardware has consistently done well in our tests.) During our field research we came across a 46-foot boat with very tight 3/16-inch stainless jacklines attached with 3/16-inch stainless shackles.

Don’t forget these helpful jackline installation tips. 1) Confirm that the entire system is of known minimum strength;  2) Jacklines must be clearly distinguishable from running rigging, so that there is no chance of clipping into the wrong line;  and 3) if you rely on stainless steel hardware, use only the highest quality.

Not Quite Time for Winter Storage? Consider These Simple Fall Boat Maintenance Tasks

Boating and boat ownership during autumn months can mean different things depending on where you live. In the southern states, it could mean that the summer heat is finally dissipating enough to fully enjoy days spent out on the water. In the north, it may mean the beginning of the end of boating season.

Even if you’re not quite ready to store your boat for the season, there is still regular maintenance you might consider as the season changes. Many people may not realize what the lack of other boaters on the water (thanks to cooler temperatures) could mean for your time on the water.

Fall Maintenance and Safety Checks  

It can be a good idea to check your safety equipment and supplies, including:

  • Making sure the batteries in the very high frequency (VHF) radio are charged.
  • Signal devices are up to date and working.
  • There are plenty of warm clothes on board and they’re stored in a plastic bag to help keep them dry.
  • Make sure you leave a float plan telling people where you are going and when you should be returning.

Another thing to keep in mind is your battery bank, a group of batteries used (often exclusively) to start your boat’s engine. A battery that started perfectly fine in summer may not have the power to get you back in colder temperatures, because as the temperature decreases, so does a battery’s capacity, according to Trojan Battery.

Keep the Inside Dry

Cold temperatures can also mean condensation inside the boat, so ventilation becomes very important. When leaving your boat for more than a few days at a time, you may want to take a few extra steps to help make sure your supplies are not damp or susceptible to dirt and grime upon your return.

Doing an inspection of all plumbing is a good idea every few months, although particularly heading into fall. The hoses that have expanded all summer due to excess heat could now be contracting in the colder weather, and fittings may no longer be as tight as they should be.

While it may not be time to prepare your boat for the off season just yet, these tips may help ensure your safety and keep your mind at ease while you enjoy the fall boating season.

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

Be sure to watch our latest video on marine toilet systems below. We are your #1 expert for marine sanitation supply needs.

via Jackline Installation Tips

via Not Quite Time for Winter Storage? Consider These Simple Fall Boat Maintenance Tasks – The Allstate Blog

Your Marine Sanitation Professionals Discuss How to Make Quick Fixes With Everyday Items 

Raritan Engineering your marine sanitation distributors would like to share this article we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to make temporary fixes while boating. 

What’s your longest-lasting ‘temporary fix’? Your marine sanitation suppliers talk about how with the best of intentions we’ve solved some minor inconveniences while underway, swearing we’d create a more permanent and reliable solution once we hit the dock. But something strange often occurs once the dock lines are secured. 

We eventually got in touch with Don Whelan of Harken to describe our problem with an exact description of the ‘thingamajig’ we needed that, you know, goes on the side of a main sheet block. With appropriate questions narrowing the options he figured out exactly what we needed, and, once acquired, the project took all of five minutes.   

We swore we’d fix it right away but it was working and there were other things to do. Now we’re trying to remember, did that happen last summer or two summers ago?

Epoxy Sticks, and JB Weld. Either one or both of these emergency fix-its belongs in your boat. You can use this stuff to temporarily patch just about anything from a broken Bimini top support to a trashed transducer mount, and it’s super-strong. Better yet, it will adhere to nearly any material, including gel-coated fiberglass. 

Pantyhose. Yes, pantyhose—it may be intended as an article of clothing but this stuff has a wide range of uses on a boat in need. If you need a strainer to deal with dirty fuel or to serve as an emergency filter, for example, pantyhose will do the trick. 

White Vinegar. It may not keep you from sinking or get that stalled engine to re-start, but the emergency uses for white vinegar on a boat are almost endless. For starters, it comes in handy when nature gets unfriendly and you need to “fix” yourself or another boater. 

Potatoes. These aren’t an emergency food source, they’re a fits-all-size emergency plug. If a through-hull fitting breaks or the hose pops off and the fitting is jammed open, you can push a potato up against it, give it a half-turn, and instantly shut off the flow of water. 

We Talk About Do-It-Yourself Repairs While Boating

Duct Tape. Few inventions have proved as handy in an emergency as duct tape—and we really feel like we don’t have to explain this one. Marine sanitation is critical on your vessel, so check us out at Raritan Engineering, where we always take care of your marine sanitation supply needs.

Extra-Large Garbage Bags. These take up a tiny amount of space, but are hugely important to have onboard. On small boats with very limited stowage, they’re particularly beneficial. A 16’ or 18’ boat, for example, doesn’t have enough stowage space to keep four sets of foul weather gear around at all times. But surely, there’s enough room for four garbage bags. 

Wax Candles. Forget about lighting up the cabin, the real reason to carry a candle onboard is for lubrication. Everything from jammed zippers to corroded snaps to sticky cables to jerky steering arms can be loosened up and smoothed out, by rubbing a wax candle over the offending part. 

Extra Line. Yes, this one’s rather obvious, but we can’t neglect to mention it. Rope is often needed for lashing things down, tying broken pieces-parts together, and countless other uses.

A Plastic Water Bottle. Again, the main emergency use—hydration—is obvious. But there’s more here than meets the eye. The bottle can be chopped off at the end, and turned into a bailing device. 

A Tool Kit. Sure, you can file this one under “duh”. But ask around, and you’ll be shocked at how many boaters leave the dock without a basic spare tool kit aboard. At the very least, it needs to include adjustable wrenches and screw-drivers, pliers, and a knife. 

So don’t forget these helpful things to keep on hand when making your quick boating repairs. 1) Pantyhose: If you need a strainer to deal with dirty fuel or to serve as an emergency filter, for example, pantyhose will do the trick;  2) potatoes: If a through-hull fitting breaks or the hose pops off and the fitting is jammed open, you can push a potato up against it, give it a half-turn, and instantly shut off the flow of water;  and 3) a plastic water bottle: The bottle can be chopped off at the end, and turned into a bailing device.

Repairing Your Outboard Boat Motor

If you keep up with your outboard maintenance, the troubles you are most likely to experience on the water only call for minor repairs. 

Fishing-trip checklists never include a computer loaded with engine diagnostic software like the ones service technicians use to troubleshoot a cantankerous outboard. 

Myers says engine alarms will sound or illuminate and shut down the engine before water in the fuel passes into the system. He recommends carrying a spare fuel-water-separator filter on board, along with quart-size Ziploc baggies. Most outboard manufacturers recommend 10-micron filters for the best protection. 

Perform a visual inspection on fuel-water filters, and run a hand over the base housing and the filter canister to check for rust or corrosion. “The bilge is moist, and salt spray causes rust. I see it all the time, and it can be a major fire hazard,” Myers says. He recommends changing filters every 50 hours of running time as a precaution, and at 100 hours regardless.

A stiff wire brush to clear corrosion off battery terminals and cables, a few spare battery connectors and fuses, zip ties for hoses and electrical bundles, electrical and duct tape, and ­anti-corrosion spray to free corroded bolts should also be part of the boat’s standard gear. 

“It’s hard for the do-it-yourselfer to do much beyond basic fluid and simple part changes on digital four-strokes,” adds Jay Wissman, a service advisor for the Marine Max dealership in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. “The designs are much more complicated than the carbureted two-strokes. Many of the parts, like on the Verados, are sealed or can only be checked with computer diagnostics.”

Digital electronics and fuel injection have made boating and fishing less stressful. But an outboard that won’t crank or run properly still ruins the day. Prevent potential problems by servicing the engine regularly and avoiding ethanol fuel. Carry a tool kit and some key spare parts on board. And just in case, get a towing service contract to cover all the bases.

Must-Have Spares for Your Boat

Aside from extra outboard oil and a tube of waterproof grease, it’s smart to always carry these on board: • Spare propeller with cotter pin, and thrust and lock washers
• Spark plugs (complete set)
• Fuel-water-separator and other spare fuel filters
• Battery connectors (various sizes) and fuses (various amps)

Essential Tools for Outboard Engine Repair

• Vice Grip pliers
• Socket set with extension handle
• Convertible screwdriver with various head types
• Side-cutter pliers
• Stiff wire brush
• Prop wrench
• Zip ties
• Electrical tape
• Duct tape
• Anti-corrosion spray
• Ziploc bags (quart-size)

Buy sanitation equipment here at Raritan Engineering. We are your #1 expert in marine sanitation supplies. Be sure to watch our latest video on marine sanitation products below.

via Temporary Fix

via 10 Emergency Fix-it Items that Belong on Every Boat

via Repairing Your Outboard Boat Motor

Ed Hill, UK professional sailor

Your Marine Holding Tank Specialists Share Tips for Going Pro 

Raritan Engineering your marine holding tanks distributors would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to become a professional sailor.

Your marine holding tanks suppliers talk about how he turned that regatta into a full season of sailing in Europe and then turned that season into a career. At 28, he’s just finished a six-year stint with Emirates Team New Zealand, where he was a boat captain for a number of the team’s race boats over that span, including their AC45, Extreme 40 and TP52. He’s also a highly regarded bowman. In simple terms, he has achieved his dream.

Luck, he’ll be the first to admit, has played a role. The track from talented youth sailor to successful professional is vague at best. Few sailors can successfully navigate it without some help. But luck will only get you so far. 

1- Learn a trade. With a few exceptions, virtually every member of an America’s Cup or Volvo Ocean Race sailing team will have an alternate skill that will help push the team forward. The big five are: rigging, boat building, sail making, electronics, and hydraulics. 

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2-Treat every job with respect: “It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, take whatever job you can get to get you on the next step. If your job is going in the RIB and passing on the water bottles to the sailing team, pass the water bottles on. It gets you involved with the next group of people, the next team, and it gets you exposure and experience. 

3-Create demand: “If you end up busy enough and you’ve done enough work and people really want you to sail with them, they’re going to pay for you. For me, I was working on boats and doing all these extra things and eventually I couldn’t afford to pass up non-sailing jobs to go sailing for free. 

4-“Never think too much or too little of a program. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, or racing on, look at everything as a stepping stone and never be short-sighted.”

5-Be eager: “When I sailed with the Artemis program, I was really young and I had to work to show them I was the keenest. I would go down really early in the morning and do all my things, and do all the extra things I could find to gain their respect, because it just doesn’t happen.”

6-Check and re-check: “Double check everything you do because it costs a lot of money when you make mistakes on these boats.” While no one likes to be the cause of a short delay during a race, it’s always important to remember that a short delay to ensure everything will go properly in a maneuver will usually only cost your team a few seconds, but a mistake in the maneuver could cost minutes, if not more. 

7-Be confident: “If you don’t have confidence in yourself then no one else around you will have confidence in you.”

So don’t forget these helpful pointers when trying to become a professional sailor. 1) Learn a trade;  2) treat every job with respect;  3) create demand;  and 4) be eager.

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Darrell Nicholson

Your Boat Cleaning Products Distributors Share Great Reasons to Check and Maintain Your Tethers

Raritan Engineering your boat cleaning products suppliers would like to share with you this week some great information regarding the importance of checking your tethers.

Just as we were wrapping up the report in our December 2017 issue describing how to make your own safety tether, 60-year-old British sailor Simon Speirs went overboard and died during the Clipper Round the World Race in an accident linked to a tether safety clip failure.

Regarding the most recent incident, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, noted offshore sailor and the Clipper Race founder and chairman, was reported saying that the tether “failed in some form or another.” 

“The reason why the clip failed is under investigation, and I am not going to anticipate the findings as that could be misleading and not do yachtsmen any favours,” Knox-Johnston wrote in an e-mail to Practical Sailor.  

According to Knox-Johnston, as a precaution, all Clipper racers have now switched to a different make tether with a different safety clip. Although he did not disclose the brand of the new locking snap-hook, media photos show competitors wearing tethers with what appear to be Gibb-style safety snap-hooks, featuring the stainless steel locking gate. 

A decade ago the field was dominated by stainless steel caribiner-style hooks. The center hook has a threaded lock that works, but can be hard to manipulate in the dark or when wearing gloves. Two dual-action, locking snap hooks, the Gibb (red) and the Wichard snap hook (yellow), share a similar “flat” form like the Spinlock brand suspected to have failed in the Clipper Race.  

Practical Sailor is currently undertaking an investigation of the most common safety tether snap-hooks used by sailors and will be providing additional information as we become of aware of it. 

More Benefits of Tether Maintenance

Your boat cleaning products manufacturers discuss that except for the fact that the Clipper Race has halted the use of the Deckware Race Safety Clips aboard its boats, we have no evidence that they pose any more risk than similar designs. We will be looking into this further. 

“It was not a normal failure of a perfectly good tether, but it would be unwise to speculate until the Government (MAIB) have completed their report,” said Knox-Johnston. 

The Spinlock Deckware tether hook features a black plastic locking lever. This is the type of clip linked to a fatality in the Clipper Round the World Race.

In addition to testing the approved locking snap-hooks on the market—including the Kong Tango, the Gibb, the Spinlock, the Wichard Proline, and Wichard locking snap-hook—we are surveying sailors who use them. 

The accident offers another reason for sailors to familiarize themselves with the care and use of their inflatable lifejacket (PFD)/harness/tether combination. 

So don’t forget these tips when checking your tethers. 1) Harnesses or combination inflatable PFD/harnesses should be either on a person, hooked to your bunk, or otherwise immediately available at all times;  2)  Inspect your inflatable PFD/harness every time you put it on and self-test your inflatable at least yearly for leaks;  and 3) The hook used for connecting to jacklines and fixed points on deck should be a locking type designed for that purpose that cannot self-release.

Dolphin Tangled In Fishing Line Swims To Shore To Get Help

Folks out enjoying a day on this stretch of the Spanish coast last week likely never thought they’d end up saving a life — but that’s exactly what they did.

Inés Oliva Pérez was among a group of sunbathers on El Buzo beach, in El Puerto de Santa María, when she spotted a young dolphin stranding herself in the surf. Other people there noticed it too, and a small crowd began to gather at the waterline. 

The dolphin’s mouth was tangled in fishing line, which she had no way of removing on her own.

“It seemed she came to ask for help,” Pérez later wrote online.

Fortunately, the dolphin found the right people to offer her that assistance. As Pérez looked on, several beachgoers worked together to steady the distressed animal against the crashing waves long enough for the improperly discarded fishing gear to be cut from around her muzzle. 

As the rescued dolphin swam away, Pérez could see two other larger dolphins circling in the distance, as if they had been waiting for her return. Even as she joined them, they seemed to linger for few moments longer. In that act, Pérez perceived a sense of gratitude for what had been done to help her. 

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Your Marine Ice Makers Distributors Talk About How to Find Out if You’re Sailing in a Lemon

Raritan Engineering your marine ice makers suppliers would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding ways to see if your boat is a lemon.

Your marine ice makers manufacturers talk about how while many of the more than 63,000 boats damaged as a result of 2017 hurricanes will be repaired and have more years of life on the water, some used boat buyers in 2018 could end up with storm-damaged lemons. The nation’s largest advocacy, services and safety group for recreational boaters, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), cautions used boat buyers that some boats affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are beginning to hit the market, and that getting a prepurchase survey (called a Condition and Value survey) is very important.

“It’s not that you don’t want to buy a boat that’s been repaired, but you should have full knowledge of the repairs and know they were done correctly. It’s a transparency issue that will help you negotiate a fair price,” said BoatUS Consumer Affairs Director Charles Fort. The boating group offers eight tips to help you spot a boat that might have been badly damaged in a storm:

1. Trace the history. When a car is totaled, the title is branded as salvaged or rebuilt, and buyers know up front that there was major damage at some point in the car’s history. But only a few states brand salvaged boats – Florida and Texas do not – and some states don’t require titles for boats. Anyone wishing to obscure a boat’s history need only cross state lines to avoid detection, which can be a tipoff. Look for recent gaps in the boat’s ownership, which may mean that it was at an auction or in a repair yard for a long time.

2. Look for recent hull repairs. Especially on older boats, matching gelcoat is very difficult. Mismatched colors around a repaired area are often a giveaway and may signal nothing more than filler under the gelcoat, rather than a proper fiberglass repair.

Check out the best marine ice maker available here at Raritan Engineering, where we always take care of your marine sanitation supply needs.

3. Look for new repairs or sealant at the hull-to-deck joint. Boats that bang against a dock during a storm often suffer damage there.

4. Evidence of sinking. Check for consistent corrosion on interior hardware, such as rust on all hinges and drawer pulls. You might be able to spot an interior waterline inside a locker or an area hidden behind an interior structure.

5. Corrosion in the electrical system. Corrosion on electrical items, such as lamps, connectors and behind breaker panels might mean the boat sank recently. Does the boat have all new electronics? Why?

6. Look for evidence of major interior repairs. Fresh paint or gelcoat work on the inside of the hull and engine room is usually obvious. All new cushions and curtains may be a tipoff, too.

7. Look for fresh paint on the engine. It may be covering exterior rust as well as interior damage.

8. Ask the seller: In some states, a seller isn’t required to disclose if a boat was badly damaged unless you ask. If the seller hems and haws, keep looking. 

Boating season is very short in New England, and recreational boaters want to spend as much time on the water as possible during the summer months. 

New boats will usually include a warranty from the manufacturer. Additionally, there is usually an implied warranty included in a sale by a marine dealer who regularly sells boats or other vessels. 

The consumer should give the manufacturer or dealer prompt notice of any problems that might come up. It is recommended that the boat owner keep a written record of the dates that problems occurred, the nature of the problems, and the conversations that they have with the manufacturer or dealer about the problems. 

Although each case is different, possible remedies can include canceling the sale and seeking a refund. Consumers may also be able to recover damages for the loss of use of their boat. And, federal law provides that the manufacturer or dealer might be responsible to pay the consumer’s attorney’s fees.

So don’t forget these helpful reminders when trying to determine if your boat is a lemon. 1) Always trace the history;  2) look for fresh paint on the engine; and 3) ask the seller.

Commissioned By George Washington, “Old Ironsides” Still Sailing on 220th Birthday

The USS Constitution, or “Old Ironsides,” proved today that it is still just as seaworthy as it was when first commissioned 220 years ago. On Friday morning, the warship left Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston and sailed to Fort Independence at Castle Island where it was met by the Concord Independent Battery and 101st Field Artillery Regiment from the Massachusetts National Guard. 

Upon arrival, the USS Constitution gave a 21-gun salute, which was returned by National Guard. While passing the Coast Guard station — where it was originally built — the USS Constitution gave 17 volleys of cannon fire.

The historic ship’s trip to Fort Independence and back to Boston is part of the Unites States Navy’s 242nd birthday and the Constitution‘s 220th birthday celebrations. 

Photo: U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathryn E. Macdonald -- The USS Constitution sets sail for first time in years in Boston's waters.

The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. It was commissioned and named by President George Washington and set sail for the first time in 1797. Known as “Old Ironsides” for its numerous victories during the War of 1812 between the United States and the United Kingdom, the three-masted heavy frigate is a wooden warship with sides nearly two feet thick.

It was one of the first ships of the newly-created United States Navy, the successor of the Continental Navy. It was personally named by President George Washington and President John Adams, who attended its inaugural launch in 1797. 

Not only does it have all of that history, but “Old Ironsides” has a very unique distinction from other U.S. naval ships. The USS Constitution is the only remaining ship in the Navy’s fleet that has actually sunk an enemy ship. Of course, that was back in the War of 1812 — but it just adds to how impressive this two-century-old ship really is!

White oak was used for the new planks and keel, keeping with its original construction. The ship is still operated by the U.S. Navy, along with the Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston, but was retired from active duty in 1855 and has been stationed at Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston since 1934. It undergoes repairs roughly every 20 years.

Visitors will also have the chance to make birthday cards for the USS Constitution, as well as make paracord bracelets for military care packages. A cannon salute will take place at 12:15 p.m. precisely to mark the first launching of “Old Ironsides” in 1797.

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Your Marine Sanitation Device Suppliers Share Tips On How to Select a Sailmaker 

Raritan Engineering your marine sanitation device manufacturers would like to share with you this week some great information regarding how to choose a sailmaker.

Historically, fall has been the best time to order new sails. Boat show specials abound and you have plenty of wiggle room on delivery date—at least if you are snowed in for most of the winter. But our wants and needs seem to rarely dovetail with the perfect season. 

The following article from our print archives is aimed primarily at the first-time sail-buyer. For more specific guidance on sail buying, be sure to check out our recent articles on choosing a cruising main, which includes a link to PS readers’ favorite sailmakers and list of recommended sailmakers, and “State of the Main,” a look at how the industry has dramatically changed over the past two decades.

For a one-stop comprehensive look at building a sail inventory we also have a downloadable e-book series in our bookstore. You can buy the individual e-book you need, or save on the complete three-part series that covers all the essentials as well as more esoteric sail subjects like storm sails and riding sails.

Selecting Sailmakers

You’re best off selecting up to a half-dozen candidates that make the kind of sails you want and sticking with them. In identifying them, you’ll want to consider a number of variables. If you’re a heavy-duty, serious racing fanatic, you may do well with one of the national franchise groups, particularly if you are good at it and likely to add to their victory list. 

If you are not involved in racing, you probably have a wider choice of sailmakers who will do a genuinely good job for you. You may still want to try a franchise, particularly one that has a loft close to you, though you should remember that the large companies, for the most part, got that way through their involvement with racing. 

And remember, even a phone call to Hong Kong is not likely to result in that sailmaker’s arriving on board next Saturday to check out your sails. If you are really serious about your boat, and want to get her all the best things for your Great Cruise, then you’ll probably spend a little more time on selecting the sailmaker who will be compatible with your style of sailing and your type of involvement with boats. 

Sometimes, even the advertising can be believed! Once you’ve narrowed the selection down to a manageable number, ask for an appointment to see the loft, and the opportunity to discuss how they make sails and why they recommend their methods. 

Interpreting Price Quotations

Your marine sanitation device experts discuss how sooner or later, you’ll get together the quotes on the sails you need. Unless you’ve been very specific about the exact sails you want, you may be overwhelmed by the apparent choices offered. You may also be amazed by the variation in prices for sails of a given designation, and it is easy to arrive at misleading conclusions about the cost of sails as a result. Any price quote you get should include at least the size and weight of the sail, as well as the price.

Most sailmakers will offer some incentive to place your order during their slack season on the premise that it is better to work for a small profit than not to work at all. In the Northeast, the discount season is generally October through December, the particular dates varying from one loft to another. At least one loft we know offers a sliding discount, largest in October, tapering down to smallest at year’s end. 

How big your order has to be to negotiate such a discount varies from one loft to another, and not all lofts are approachable, but if you have over $5,000 to spend, it is probably worth asking. 

Adding it Up

No discussion on buying sails would be complete without mention of quality. Of course, every sailmaker sells only the finest quality, so it is up to the buyer to determine for himself which “finest quality” sails are right for him. In fact, not all sails are made the same. Price is a guide to quality, at least to the extent that you are unlikely to buy the best sails at the lowest price. Of course, not everyone needs or wants the very best, and the budget-priced discount sailmakers certainly have a place in the “best” market if the best thing you want to say about your sails is that they didn’t cost much.

In the end, you play as great a part in getting good sails as the sailmaker himself, because ultimately, you make the crucial decisions. Providing the correct and adequate information, deciding which of the many options you want, and selecting a sailmaker you feel confident will do his best to serve you with products appropriate to your usage all are matters for you to resolve. It’s your money.

So don’t forget these helpful tips when choosing your next sailmaker. 1) If you’re a heavy-duty, serious racing fanatic, you may do well with one of the national franchise groups;  2) don’t rush in making a decision;  and 3) be very specific in asking for price quotes.

Power boats: National rowing winners helping spread the sport 

When John and Hannah Huppi met in 2007, they had three things in common: They were both from Washington — Hannah from Washington state and John from Washington, D.C. — they were both freshmen at Tulane University, and they both had an interest, but no experience, in rowing.

Ten years later, the Huppis are a young married couple who, having just competed in the World Rowing Championships in Slovenia last month — where they came in fifth — are continuing their daily mission to spur the popularity of rowing in the Crescent City.

Drawing members from as far away as Mandeville, Slidell and Baton Rouge, the New Orleans Rowing Club can be found skimming along Bayou St. John at 6 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday and 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. 

“Rowing is something you can pick up in high school and continue to do into your 70s and 80s,” he said. “It’s unique in that it’s both an endurance and power sport that is also low-impact. We have a lot of people that are drawn to it as a good way to get their exercise in even with things like knee or back injuries. Plus, you get to be outside and on the water. It’s so calming, so peaceful.”

Dedicated to the sport that gave them so much, including each other, the Huppis started thinking in 2015 about the future — both their own and the future of the sport in their adopted city. It was just a year after taking over command of the New Orleans Rowing Club that the couple decided to start the first high school rowing team in New Orleans.

“The program is really attractive to students who are looking for a team environment and also may be looking to improve their chances when it comes to college admission and scholarships,” John said. “There are some great opportunities for rowing scholarships out there, and rowing is popular for both men and women at most prestigious schools.”

The hope is to instill a lifelong love of the sport in rowers who may find themselves at the New Orleans Rowing Club after college, itching to compete again, just like the Huppis did.

“Hannah and I married last year, and while we were planning the wedding, we decided that we really wanted to go to Europe, and we really wanted to get back into competition shape, so we set our sights on two big goals: the national championships in Tennessee this past August and the world championships in Slovenia this past September,” John said. “We started training really hard, and we took gold at nationals.”

Still high off their European adventure, the Huppis are gearing up for the next competition — in November, 24 members of the New Orleans Rowing Club will be competing in a race in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

“There are large rowing communities in Florida, Tennessee and Texas,” said John Huppi. Louisiana, not so much, but the Huppis are working on that.

“The plan is absolutely to make it to the world championships again next year,” said John Huppi. “How could we not when it’s going to be right in our backyard — Sarasota, Florida?”

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