Raritan Holding Tank Manufacturers Share Memories of Past Designs

Raritan Engineering your holding tank suppliers would love to share with you this week some great information regarding the possible end to wood trimmed boats.

Do we still want exterior wood on our boats today? Is synthetic a fair substitute?

When we stepped aboard the 36-foot Island Packet Estero for a test sail, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that the familiar teak caprail was gone.

With a teak bowsprit and additional teak trim in the cockpit, IP yachts held the course that most production boat builders had left behind by the mid-1990s. If you see exterior wood on a Hunter or Beneteau these days, chances are its synthetic teak.

There was a time, as some of us fondly remember, when real wood-trimmed cars were the rage. Then faux-grained vinyl replaced the real stuff, sustaining the illusion that a gas-guzzling, eight-cylinder station wagon was somehow consistent with a “back-to-nature” ethos. The faux-wood trend lasted longer than most car makers will care to admit. Beginning with the vinyl grain on the Ford Country Squire station wagon of the 1960s, America’s love affair with faux wood on cars lasted 30-plus years.

I imagine that production boat builders will take much longer to abandon wood. While the functional value of wood on boats has diminished, tradition and aesthetic appeal run deep.

Your Holding Tank Distributors Talk About How the Classic Look Will Always Be a Favorite

Your holding tank professionals share how Maine boat builders like Morris and Sabre have long histories of building with wood, and Tartan still trims its boats in real teak. But wood trim also adds to the bottom line, and there is little practical payback.

I wasn’t surprised to see the new Leadership 44, built by Morris Yachts for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy had only a teak cockpit sole. I almost expected to see no wood below. Then—surprise, surprise—wood trim in abundance, including an elegant fiddle around the head sink, a notorious trouble spot for wood. (I took this as a reflection of Kyle Morris’s commitment to keeping his talented craftsmen working, or perhaps to give the Coast Guard recruits something to practice their maintenance skills on.)

Are we seeing the last of the wood-trimmed boats? Walk the docks in any marina with more than 50 sailboats, and it is a pretty sure bet that there’s a caprail or coaming that needs refinishing. Horizontal surfaces, exposed to the full force of the sun’s UV rays, are the toughest test of wood finishes. Even our best wood finishes from our past tests will wither under these conditions in short order.

Despite the material’s drawbacks I believe there will always be a  place for teak trimmed boats—just as there will always be wooden boats. Teak is a beautiful, durable material for boat builders, but the challenge is ensuring it is either reclaimed or harvested sustainably. Although the maintenance of exterior teak can overwhelm an owner who has little time to carry out the regular maintenance, there are few boat maintenance jobs that offer the instant (almost) gratification of laying down a glossy coat of varnish.

Click here and see how Raritan Engineering always has more information regarding holding tanks and all your marine sanitation needs.

via Farewell to the Wood-Trimmed Boat?

Evans Starzinger

Raritan Marine Holding Tank Distributors Share Great Knot Tying Skills With You

Raritan Engineering would like to share with you this week these awesome knot tying skills that will make your journeys much more enjoyable.

I’m as prone as anyone to being enchanted by the big picture—but I learned quickly where that can lead. About 10 miles off the coast of Colombia, in a gale that tragically swept a poor French cruiser right off his boat, the smallest cheapest block on board our little ketch exploded in a mess, leaving the club-footed staysail swinging around the foredeck like a Louisville slugger in the arms of an angry Skunk Ape (that’s Florida-speak for Big Foot).

The article looked at a seemingly mundane subject, the kind of article no one but a serious sailor would take notice of, but the implications were far reaching. 

The most familiar knot of this type is a rolling hitch. While an ordinary rolling hitch might work fine on an awning, it loses its effectiveness as loads and rope diameters increase. 

While it was the most easily tied and most easily remembered, it cannot be relied on for use with anything but chain and large diameter, high-friction line at relatively low loads, in our opinion.

Bottom line: If you want to be sure your line won’t slip, don’t rely on the rolling hitch.

MODIFIED ROLLING HITCH

The rigger’s and camel modifications to the rolling hitch increased its holding power without greatly increasing its complexity. But it still did not hold on slippery, single-braid Spectra line or on the greased stainless tube with the larger diameter line.

Raritan Marine Holding Tank Suppliers Further Discuss How to Improve Your Knot Tying Abilities

Your holding tank manufacturers talk about the importance of learning new sailing knots. Bottom line: A definite improvement over the rolling hitch, but still not reliable in all situations.

SAILOR’S HITCH 

The sailor’s hitch took twice as long for our testers to tie as the two rolling hitches, and it was the hardest to undo when used with line. After being tensioned on the single-braid Spectra, it took a marlinspike and 10 minutes of hard work to free it. 

Bottom line: This hitch does not perform any better than the modified rolling hitch, but it is harder to remember and jams when used with certain types of line.

ICICLE HITCH

The icicle hitch also took twice as long as the rolling hitch to tie, but it performed better than all but the gripper hitch, holding in all test situations.

Though the icicle hitch would separate a bit as it was tensioned, the top of the hitch never moved even with maximum load. This was the easiest hitch to undo after it had been tensioned.

Bottom line: The extra holding power and the ease of release more than make up for the slight increase in complexity of this hitch.

GRIPPER HITCH

While this hitch performed every bit as well as the icicle hitch, and might have outperformed it, had we made the testing even more difficult, its complexity can’t be ignored. It took our testers one-10th the time to tie the various rolling hitches and a quarter the time to tie the sailor’s or icicle hitches. 

Bottom line: The gripper hitch may have the highest holding power, but in an emergency, most people will prefer a hitch they can remember easily and tie quickly.

Click here for more information from Raritan Engineering on holding tanks and all of your marine sanitation needs.

via Testing Sailing Knots That Really Grip