Blog April 2016


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Posted On: April 27, 2016

Understanding Marine Weather – Land Breeze

Here's a great article by Captain Bob Figular for the Mariners Learning System about the often misunderstood land breezes.

The opposite of a sea breeze is a land breeze. While sea breezes occur during the day, land breezes occur at night. Despite the difference in times at which the land breezes and sea breezes occur, the reason for the land breeze’s formation is the same as the sea breeze, just the role of the ocean and land is reversed.

Land breezes can occur when the land’s nighttime temperature is less than the sea surface temperature. They are most common during the fall and winter seasons when water temperatures are still fairly warm and nights are cool. However, unlike the sea breeze, the land breeze is usually weaker.

At night, the land temperature falls to below that of the ocean and becomes less dense. Therefore it begins to rise. The rising air creates a weak low-pressure area due to a decrease in air mass at the surface. As the air-cools, it begins to collect resulting in an increase in pressure, creating a “high”.

These differences in pressures over the water, both at the surface and aloft are greater than the differences in pressures over land at the same elevations over the water. Therefore, as the atmosphere seeks to reestablish equal pressure both onshore and offshore, two high-pressure to low pressure airflows develop; the onshore flow aloft and surface offshore flow, called the land breeze.

Land breezes are weaker than sea breezes but not because of the difference in heating. Daytime heating and nighttime cooling occur at about the same rate so the potential for the both land and sea breezes to be the same strength exist.

But at night the cooling ground inhibits vertical motion that, in turn, weakens the land breeze circulation, Nighttime cooling also produces a shallower change in temperature so land breeze circulation is shallower, and terrain, vegetation, and buildings inhibit the flow of air from land to water.



Posted On: April 25, 2016

Sometimes it pays to meet the person you want to work on your boat.

Are they experienced? Do they cut corners? 

Don't let money be the only factor in guiding your choices.

Maybe You don’t need a valve job.

Sometimes not knowing who you are dealing with, can cost you. Usually, cheap is cheap for a reason.

Cheap mechanics aren’t always the bargain they appear to be. I had a customer who began to experience numerous, serious backfires not long after an oil change by a low-cost mobile mechanic. The same” bargain” mechanic then diagnosed “a valve problem” and quickly said it outside his skill set. We discovered the oil reservoir had been overfilled by about two quarts and was floating the lifters. A less than reputable guy would have taken it apart, found nothing, sent the cylinder heads out to be reworked, maybe even install a new set of lifters in it and handed the customer a $1,500 repair bill. He would probably think he had somehow fixed the problem, because he would have had to change the oil in the process.

 Poor performance does not automatically mean you need a tune-up or a new prop.

There are many overlooked contributors to poor performance. I look for simple answers first, like water in the bilge. Undiscovered water can seriously sap a boat’s ability to get onto plane or reach top speed. Another culprit can be bottom growth. An incorrect prop can seriously hinder a boat’s performance.  But many shops incorrectly diagnose a prop change when in reality the boat had grown heavier from the water, and bottom growth. Also the amount of equipment being stored on board can contribute. Multiple tune-ups are often thrown at engines that are simply tired and in need of a reconditioning



Posted On: April 20, 2016

Running inlets involves on-the-spot decisions, based on what you see and feel, combined with your skills and your knowledge of your boat:

Get tide-flow schedules for inside the inlet. A raging inlet may calm a short time later when the tide slackens and starts flooding.

Watch the waves ahead and astern at all times. Have a helper watching for aids to navigation. A sail can help with steadying and power, but also use your engine. If the boat is turned around by the sea or turbulence, a sail can become a liability.

If you see a large wave about to break on your stern, consider outrunning it or staying just beyond the break. You may have more difficulty doing this aboard a boat with a displacement hull than on one with a well-powered planning hull.

If you see a large wave mounting up ahead, don't run over the top; you risk plunging into the trough beyond, burying your bow. You may decide to run up a little onto its back, but remain behind the crest until it crumbles ahead of you, allowing you to power through the turbulence. Even a slow-moving displacement hull can sometimes do this, depending on the wave and your boat speed.



Posted On: April 18, 2016

Don't Let Your Repair Take Forever

If you need or want your boat back by a specific date, say that!!

Sometimes we hear complaints from new clients, "A month ago, I brought my boat in for repair, and you haven't even started on it yet." Bringing your boat in for repair and not checking on it for three months is a bad idea. Never say you're in no hurry and that they we can work on it when we can, then say why isn’t it done yet!

If you say do the job, when you can get to it, then you risk being pushed to the back burner. Even if you aren't in a rush, don't let the time languish. The longer it sits at a shop, the more likely it can get damaged. Just as important, inquire regularly about ongoing repairs. While there may be legitimate delays due to parts sourcing, weather, and personnel issues, if you think you're being put off, then better to address it right away.  If the timeline can’t be agreed upon, it’s often better for both parties to cut their losses and part ways rather than just hoping for the best. If you can't get to the shop and have no one that can check on it for you, ask the shop to send you pictures of the work in progress.  



Posted On: April 13, 2016

The Great South Bay

Long Island, New York

 We are close to the Great South Bay, here's why its such a great destination.

The Great South Bay is one of Long Island’s magnificent summertime playgrounds. A haven for boaters, bathers, and sport fishermen. A source of endless fascination for kids. And in the biting cold of winter, a place for coffee and contemplation near the water’s edge.

Its calm surface extends as far as the eye can see eventually narrowing down to almost nothing at the Smith Point Bridge in Moriches. Looking west the eye stops at the Robert Moses Causeway Bridge way off in the distance, but the Great South Bay doesn’t end there. It stretches about 6 more miles beyond the bridge and into Amityville before its name changes to South Oyster Bay. And that’s just a name change. The bay continues 4 more miles before ending at a series of small islands in Seaford.

Looking dead ahead or south east is Fire Island. On the horizon and almost 4 miles away, Fire Island is the only thing that gives a sense of limit to the glorious Great South Bay. Indeed, at 26 miles long and about 3 miles wide the Great South Bay is the largest bay on Long Island’s south shore.

As one might expect a body of water this size is a significant part of life on Long Island. Thousands enjoy it for summer recreation, it supports a thriving marine transportation industry, and a few stubborn baymen still earn their living on it.

Fast Facts

    At 151 square miles the Great South Bay is the largest shallow saltwater bay in New York State.

    5231 gallons of fresh water flow into the bay every second. 11% of that, or 575 gallons comes in directly through the bay floor.

    85 species of fish have been identified in the bay, 40 of which are present on a regular basis.

    Average depth is 4 feet,3 inches (4' 3"). The bay is about 20' at its deepest.

    Eelgrass is the most common seaweed found in the bay. Fire Island


There are plenty of beaches along the Great South Bay’s perimeter, but the king of them all is Fire Island. Bounding the southern edge of the Great South Bay this 30-mile-long needle of sand is home to some of the finest beaches and most beautiful communities in the world.


Its southern shore is one continuous beach facing the Atlantic. Its north shore is on the Great South Bay and is home to 17 waterfront communities hosting an assortment of fine shops, bars, and restaurants.



Close to a million people visit Fire Island each summer seeking what only Fire Island has to offer. Here you’ll find anything from the perfect solitude of a deserted beach (clothing optional), to the wildest nightlife imaginable, and everything in between.


History buffs and sightseers will enjoy the Fire Island Lighthouse. This 168’ tall lighthouse was built in 1858 and is still an active navigational aid. The lighthouse is open to the public and offers spectacular views of Long Island, Fire Island, and the Great South Bay.





Posted On: April 11, 2016

Here’s an article written a while ago by Chris Edmonston that rings true every season. Take a moment and review it.


The Proper Way to Fill A Fuel Tank

By Chris Edmonston

At the gas dock or the gas station, here are some tricks to keeping fuel in the tank and out of the water.

There's really only one good way to fill up a portable tank – and that's to place the tank on the ground.

Never leave a portable tank in a boat or in a vehicle, because static electricity builds up from doing simple things such as getting in and out of your vehicle, and the friction causes an electric charge to build up within the gas line as you pump gas. Touching something metallic as you get out of a vehicle and then placing the tank on the ground for fueling is essential for reducing static buildup. It's also recommended that the fuel nozzle touch the can as you're pumping. This allows the static electricity to go through the nozzle, into the can, then into the ground. Because gasoline can expand and contract quite a bit, it's best not to fully fill a gas tank. Remember, the gas you're pumping is almost always coming from an underground storage tank that's probably around 60 degrees. Pumping it into a portable tank that could get up to 100 degrees will make the gas expand by as much as 10 percent. If you fully fill your tank, you could be looking at a sizeable gasoline spill from nothing more than expansion.

I don't know of a single tank "guaranteed" to be spill proof; most older tanks have a built-in vent, and vents are a gas burp waiting to happen. Newer tanks may be ventless, but overpressure can still be vented through the cap. The best way to minimize or prevent spills when backing down a ramp is to go slow and steady.

The main reason you want everyone to get out of the boat when refueling is to reduce the chances of them getting hurt should something go wrong with fueling. Because gasoline vapors are heavier than air, they tend to settle into the lowest parts of the boat. If your boat has an installed blower, it's critical that you use it for the recommended four minutes after fueling. Wind simply won't take away the fumes – only time and your blower will. Make sure you use a marine-rated blower as well. They are ignition protected and designed specifically for removing fuel vapors.

Properly filling a fuel tank can sometimes seem to be a cross between science and voodoo. For instance, our boat has a 105-gallon fuel tank, and a wildly inaccurate fuel gauge; we have a fuel flow meter built into the chart plotter that tells us our fuel consumption. Over the years, we have found that the most accurate tool for knowing when we need to refuel is our logbook of hours on the water. Also, we've recently installed a vent whistle (pictured left) into the fuel line. The whistle is designed to make noise as long as fuel is flowing; as soon as the tank is full, the whistle stops and you know it's full.

This article was published in the September 2010 issue of Trailering Magazine.



Posted On: April 06, 2016

For those who want to keep their boats in one location or want to make things a bit simpler by keeping their boat on the water, a slip is a great option.

Renting a slip at our marina is one of quickest and most convenient ways to dock your boat. Getting out on the water can be as easy as driving to the marina, climbing aboard and pushing off. Plus, you never have to worry about where you’re going to park her when you’re done.

And our marina? It’s a full-service station for you and your boat. Marinas provide amenities such as electricity, access to fuel, wash-down water, telephone/internet and other services. We also offer winter storage. and our marina is also a great gathering place for boaters and non-boaters alike. It’s provides a cozy spot to mix and mingle, without all the snobbery of some other spots. Plus, how many other places let you bring your boat in with you? (Tip: A boat makes for an excellent wingman.)



Posted On: April 04, 2016

A compression check can tell a lot about the health of your outboard engine

A compression check can indicate that the piston rings are working properly and that the cylinders are in good condition. The test measures how much pressure is built up by the motion of the piston inside the cylinder, given in pounds per square inch (PSI)

A compression test is simple, but the many different types of outboards can add many complexities.  Your engine may require different tests depending on factors such as whether it's a two- or four-stroke, has fuel injection, has computers onboard, is hand cranked or has a starter motor, and how its ignition can be disabled. Because of this, unless you are very mechanically inclined, let a trained professional check it.

If your test reveals low or erratic readings, you may need to check the engine cylinder head(s) to inspect the piston/cylinder condition. Again, I suggest you might want to defer to your mechanic, if you haven't already.

If your engine produces healthy, even readings, record this information for future reference as a baseline.