Blog January 2017


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Posted On: January 30, 2017


In the United States, National Croissant Day is observed each year on January 30th.  Croissants are a buttery, crescent-shaped rolls that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

  The key to a perfect croissant is laminating the dough. Laminating the dough is a process by which butter is folded into the mixture creating multiple thin layers of butter and dough. The result is a mouth-watering flaky crust and airy body.

Legend surrounds this pastry, as is often the case with a popular, worldly treat. What is known, is that crescent-shaped breads have been found around the world for ages. One of these was the Kipferl which originated in Austria as far back as the 13th century. This nonlaminated bread is more like a roll.

Credit for the croissant we know today is given to an Austrian military officer, August Zang. In 1939 he opened a Viennese bakery in Paris introducing France to Viennese baking techniques.


Stop by the bakery for a fresh, warm croissant and enjoy



Posted On: January 25, 2017

Three-Bladed Versus Four-Bladed Props

Three blades versus four? Stainless versus aluminum?

Just some of the questions to consider when choosing a new prop.

You may have noticed four-bladed props on boats at a marina or boat show and thought, "I wonder what that would do for my boat?" I often recommend a four-bladed prop to boat owners who enjoy tubing, water-skiing, and family outings. Four-bladed propellers have many benefits, including giving the boat more torque at the low end and in the mid-range, which is ideal for water-skiing and tubing. They also get the boat to plane quicker. That extra blade is pushing more water, making the boat get up and go. You may trade off a bit of efficiency due to increased drag, but you'll also get better bite for low-speed maneuvering as well.

Stainless Steel Versus Aluminum

Customers always ask about the differences between stainless-steel and aluminum propellers. Aluminum is a softer metal, so aluminum props have less ability to endure the pressure and demands of higher-horsepower, higher-torque motors. They break more easily, but they're relatively inexpensive and cost-effectively repairable. A stainless-steel prop lends itself to having a more customizable shape. If you look at the number of different stainless-steel props that are available, you'll see that they come in many different shapes and sizes. So if your boat can't turn up to its rated rpm, or you're not happy with another aspect of its performance, look into a different prop.



Posted On: January 23, 2017

Tens of thousands of boating and fishing enthusiasts start their season at the Progressive® Insurance New York Boat Show. With its 110-year history the show is recognized as THE place to see the latest and greatest in boating. 

You name it you’ll see it here first—everything from yachts and cruisers to bass and pontoon boats, from canoes and kayaks to fishing boats and personal watercraft, from marine electronics and engines to fishing gear, and more. You can even book trips with resorts and travel destinations, too.

There's no better place to buy! The 5-day event is a once-a-year opportunity to compare makes and models, secure insurance and financing and gear up with the latest accessories all at one time! Come by our booth 359 and talk!


(NMMA), the world’s largest producer of boat shows. NMMA is the leading association representing the $39.5 billion per year recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce over 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers in the U.S.



Posted On: January 18, 2017

Extension-Cord Danger

As you work on your supplies for the next boating season, pay some attention to the oft ignored, but always needed Extension Cord.

You might scoff at the notion of an instruction manual for an extension cord. There aren't a lot of moving parts, and most people usually don't get injured from using one. But around the water, there are some important safeguards that, if not followed, can cause a fire or even electrocution. Here's what you need to know:

  • Don't use a cord outside if it's marked "For indoor use only."
  • Inspect your extension cords regularly, and don't use one if it's damaged.
  • Don't overload a cord. Determine the total number of watts the cord will be subject to (watts can be found listed on the equipment being used). A cord will specify its maximum watt load on a label. If you exceed that, the cord can melt or catch fire.
  • Turn off the load before plugging in or unplugging the cord; otherwise, the prongs can be damaged over time and overheat.
  • Don't remove the grounding prong. If the outlet can't accept three prongs, it's not grounded and could be dangerous to use, especially outside or near water.
  • Avoid multiple extension cords. Never plug a two-prong cord into a three-prong cord; it will defeat the ground.
  • Don't get the cord wet or allow it to dangle in water. If you're working around water, use a cord with a built-in ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI.
  • If the extension cord gets hot, stop using it immediately. It's either overloaded or damaged.
  • Don't coil or cover a cord while in use. It can overheat under heavy loads.




Posted On: January 16, 2017

Steve's Marine will be at the New York Boat Show

 At the Javits Center on January 25th!


The Jacob Javits Center in New York City opens its doors at noon January 25th for the 111th annual New York Boat Show. Over 250 boats, from little inflatables to 60-foot yachts, will be on display.  Come visit us and join the expected 40,000 visitors looking for their dream boat, or for accessories for the one they already own.



Posted On: January 11, 2017

No one wants to deal with a broken or clogged toilet, but understanding the basics can help you fix it.

Macerating Head

In a macerating head, an electric motor runs blades that not only push out the bowl contents but also chop up the contents in the process. An impellor may also be involved, which gives these heads the ability to push contents up as well as out — an important advantage in many plumbing runs. Most macerating heads also have one or more valves, such as a joker valve, to keep dirty water from backflowing into the head.

The operation is fairly simple, but typically, a total or partial flush failure occurs when the blades get clogged; you must then get inside the housing to clear the problem. Different manufacturers deal with this in different ways. Some offer a removable cover to clear the blades. With this method, it's important to have an easily removable cover plate and also good access to that plate. Sometimes the plates themselves cause problems because of such issues as seals. Interestingly, Raritan designed its Elegance and Atlantes lines of heads without a cover plate. If one of these clogs, depower the unit and use a 45-degree, long-nosed pliers or similar tool and reach in from the bottom of the bowl to pull out the offending "foreign material." Your macerator head should have instructions in the manual for dealing with this type of problem.

Another typical failure is a burned-out motor, which must be replaced. A macerating head usually requires another pump to inject clean water from your boat's freshwater supply (which helps to avoid smells and calcium buildup) or from overboard. If this second pump fails, you don't get enough flushing water. A failure is usually caused by a fouled pre-filter screen (it's easy to clean) or bad valves in the pump, which can be replaced by removing the pump head. The Raritan Elegance and Atlantes lines of heads have a selector switch to allow you to use either water source by utilizing a solenoid valve.

If yours is an "automatic" head, a logic board operates the components as required, but a fault in the circuitry can halt this, and the board must then typically be replaced. If you must push a button to start the macerator and push levers to manually control the addition or removal of water, there's less to go wrong. On any head, anytime there's a lever, valve shaft, or piston rod with water inside the component, there's a shaft seal, which must be replaced occasionally. You'll know the time has come when water begins seeping around the seal. These leaks are usually slow, and placing a towel to soak up the water as it comes out may solve the problem until you get back.

Vacuum Heads

Push the button on a vacuum head, and it's all gone quickly, with a whoosh. It's great, but as usual, there's more to these devices than meets the eye. Vacuum heads operate with a vacuum pump and tank that can be located up to 50 feet from the bowl; so says Dometic's SeaLand, which makes the VacuFlush. If you operate a lever or push abutton, the bottom of the bowl (the flush ball) quickly swings open, and the existing vacuum sucks out the contents. The vacuum pump must maintain a vacuum in the vacuum tank by turning on when a sensor detects a loss of vacuum in the tank. If the vacuum pump doesn't come on, the sensor may be defective and will require replacement. SeaLand, like other manufacturers, offers repair kits that you should keep on board for many problems that may occur. Two joker valves are typically found at both ends of the vacuum pump (for a total of four valves), and these may need to be replaced or cleared if there's a clog that causes stoppage or damage to them. These valves help prevent the loss of vacuum in the pump/vacuum tank components. Be sure not to change the direction of any joker valve when you replace it. Valve failure usually means you don't get that lovely flush, and you're stuck with either what was initially in the bowl or backed-up smelly water.

A vacuum generator sucks the waste from the bowl and sends it toward the holding tank with a quick whoosh.

A well-seated seal must keep air and water from being slowly sucked below the bowl when the toilet is not used. Usually the seal is around the bowl's bottom or, with some brands, under the seat cover. If the vacuum pump keeps cycling on more than normal, the seal needs to be replaced; this usually isn't very hard to do. If you don't have a spare seal, cleaning the leaking seal with your fingers and rubbing some silicone grease or other recommended product over the seal may rejuvenate it for a while.

  Keep a set of yellow dishwashing gloves aboard in case the need arises for "open-head" surgery.

A VacuFlush type of head typically uses much less water than other styles of heads; it also often utilizes the boat's freshwater supply via a supply pump, thus sharing potential issues and fixes associated with macerator heads. Some macerating heads, such as Raritan's Elegance model, also use only small amounts of water, making it practical to use a boat's freshwater supply. In a head using the boat's water supply, expect to find a vacuum breaker. This keeps a column of air between the water going into the bowl and the boat's supply of potable water. A vacuum breaker may use a joker valve, a ball-and-spring assembly, or another method to open the line to atmosphere after the supply pump stops but to close it to atmosphere while the pump is running. Leaks at the vacuum break indicate a bad joker valve or other seal or O-ring. However, some heads, such as the Elegance, locate this vacuum break within the bowl so that leaks go there rather than onto the cabin sole. 

Tom Neale USBoat



Posted On: January 09, 2017

Considering a Boat?

With the boat show coming up later this month, many people begin to feel the itch.

In the Winter seemingly Selection is high. Prices are low.

Here’s some sage advice if you want to buy a boat.

Consider a discontinued model as it may not be all that different than a just-built current model. It costs a lot to redesign boats and build new molds, so the “upgrades” offered on newer boats may only amount to different color schemes, upholstery, or slight changes in the power train. Check with the builder and engine manufacturer to make sure their warranties are in effect. You’ll need a hull ID number and engine serial number. Have the boat surveyed. Leftover models are sometimes cannibalized for parts. Be sure to sea-trial the boat and test operating systems.

Leftover  Models

Boat   dealers   use loans to purchase new product from manufacturers (called floor planning).  Ideally, each new boat sold helps the dealer keep up  with  his  loan  obligation.  The system works well until sales of new boats taper off or dry up, as they have this year. Consider the following when buying a  new  leftover model:  Expect  significant  markdowns  on leftover models and be prepared to negotiate to have extras,  such  as  electronic  gear or trailers, added in to sweeten  the  deal. Dealers who have long given up on making a profit on a sale may be happy to improve their cash flow with a bargain price.

Can't afford a new one, but saw a bargain online?

Salvage Vessels

Rehabilitating a boat that’s been totaled in an accident or hurricane may seem like a good way to get something newer and bigger or to make some money in a flip. But bear in mind: All used boats and their engines should be surveyed before purchase. This goes double for boats sold as salvage. Structural damage can add thousands to repair costs. Few states require dealers to reveal that boats have been totaled in an accident or are salvaged vessels. Used boats are sold in “as is” condition, which means that you’ll have no recourse against the seller if something goes wrong.




Posted On: January 04, 2017


The comfortable choice of most of us.  This year I thought I’d take a look at Jeans - our pants of choice.


Today in denim news, we learn that machine-washing a good pair of jeans can be super damaging to the material. So basically, those of us who have been washing our jeans (even every once in a while) have been going about denim care all wrong.

While this news may make some sense, it’s hard to imagine not washing a pair of jeans that

  1. a) smell and b) have stretchy butt (you totally know what we’re talking about here).

But here’s the logic behind all of this uncomfortable information.

Levi’s CEO and President Chip Bergh says he never washes his jeans, but “spot cleans” stains with a toothbrush. This seems like it would be a lot of extra unnecessary work, but per Bergh, if you want your jeans to last a long time, don’t wash them.

Bergh said, “The point I was trying to make… it was a wake-up call to consumers that we go into autopilot. And after we’re finished wearing something, we just automatically toss it into the laundry.”

Which, according to Bergh, is exactly the behavior we need to change. “A good pair of denim doesn’t really need to be washed in the washing machine except for very infrequently or rarely,” he said. He argues that washing a good pair of jeans (we all know the difference between a solid pair of jeans and jeans that basically fall apart after one wear) is not only a waste of water, but it damages the material.

Bergh wrote a piece for Huffington Post back in 2014 where he explained that it’s fine to wash your hang out jeans, but not jeans that are meant to be your nice pair. “I believe we don’t need to wash jeans as often as most people think we do,” he wrote, adding “Now, to be fair, these were also my very best pair of Levi’s, which I normally wear to the office — not for playing soccer in the park with my daughter!”

If you’re still not sold on the idea, other denim companies give the same advice on their websites. Hiut Denim offers this advice: “Raw denim is best given a good six months before washing. The longer you can leave it, the better your jeans will look. The reason for this is that the indigo will have worn off in places where you make natural creases. Just by sitting down, putting your phone in and out of your pockets, your hands in your pockets. All these daily little things will make your jeans look great.”

“When it comes to the big day, the indigo will fade where you made those little creases to reveal the contrasts that give it the well-worn look,” the website continues. “If you wash your jeans too early, the indigo will wash off uniformly so it will give it an even, dark indigo cover which means the magic will have gone. Like anything in life, there are no short cuts.”

So there you have it. No more washing your nice jeans, unless they’re really dirty, in which you can clean them using a toothbrush — preferably not the one you brush your teeth with. Unless you’re cool with that.