Blog March 2017


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Posted On: March 29, 2017

Ketcham’s Creek on Narrasketuk River is the waterfront home of Steve’s Marine.

Steve’s Marine is centrally located on water location in scenic Amityville, Long Island, New York. 

We are convenient to get to by both land and water.

Our 10,000 square foot complex accommodates over 100 boats on land for winter storage and 40 slips for dockage in the summer.

Everything you need for boating is located here at Steve’s Marine including:

  • A Factory Trained Service department with Mechanics employed full time
  • A nearby Park Fishing Station (Bait, Fuel, Ice, Food and Beverages, and Tackle Store with all you fishing needs)
  • A stocked Parts Department with integrated warehouse to supply you with any parts you need for repair, or just toys to enhance your boating experience.
  • Walking distance to shopping, restaurants, and public transportation.


Steve ‘s Marine slips are all floating finger docks to keep your boat protected and to allow easy access on and off your boat. All of the slips have access to water and electric and the larger slips have 30-amp service.

The floating docks are maintained every winter to keep them safe and reliable for you and your family. Our facilities also offer a picnic areas and bathrooms.

Our location is a few quick minutes from the Great South Bay. Easily get to the state channel, Captree, Fire Island, Jones Beach, and Long Island’s nightlife.

Join the friendly atmosphere and  see what Steve’s Marine has to offer.



Posted On: March 27, 2017

Avoid Spills

So you have the right fuel, you know how much you need, and you put the nozzle in the correct deck fill. Now you can sit back and relax, right? Not quite. Most gas docks don't have the convenient hands-free clip on the nozzle allowing you to pump mindlessly, and for good reason: They often don't click off in time. The venturi mechanism in a roadside gas pump works in closed fuel systems, as in a car. When fuel enters the tank, air is forced out at its opening as it's displaced by the fuel.

In boats, you have a vented fuel system. The vent allows air to escape so the automatic shutoff doesn't work as you'd expect. Take your time and pay attention, and while you're at it, keep a fuel-absorbent absorbent cloth with you to hold around the deck fill and vent in case any fuel burps out. Ask for one if you don't have one.

Follow basic fueling safety practices while fueling. Be sure all smoking materials are extinguished, and ask that all passengers move onto the dock. This is a good time to use the shoreside restrooms one last time or pick up some more bait from the marina store. With gasoline engines, be sure to run the blower for five minutes before starting the engine. 

— Published: BoatUS December 2016



Posted On: March 22, 2017

Did you Know That more vessels sink at the dock while unattended than sink while underway and manned.  A common reason for this is when cockpit drains get clogged and the vessel takes on water from heavy rains or waves slapping over a low transom.  The added weight of this water lowers the vessel in the water until a through hull fitting or cut-out transom is forced under water.  Sea water then spills into the hull from the fitting or floods over the transom sinking the vessel. 

The average vessel's bilge pump system and battery capacity is not designed to deal with this amount of flooding, especially when unmanned.  The amount of flooding that occurs when a prop shaft falls out of a vessel, or from a lost sea cock, is substantial

The second most common source of sinking at the dock is snow and rain.  I had this happen to one of my clients’ boats because the self-bailing scuppers clogged from leaves. Rain followed, and followed, and followed—until they had a submarine. Also, many skippers believe that Bimini tops and canvas covers prevent water from entering the boat.  Wrong again. They slow it, but don’t stop it.  In the winter, stow them someplace dry and shrink wrap the boat.

So, more than 80 percent of the boats sink for two reasons—all of which adds up to checking the boat from time to time. Or paying the dock hand to, or your teenager who wants some extra spending money. But check it.

Your best defense against a dock side sinking is to check on your vessel often, and ensure that cockpit drains are kept clear of debris.  In addition, it is important to check and maintain all through hull fittings.  Plastic through hull fittings are notorious for degrading from UV exposure and snapping off at the slightest pressure.  If your plastic fittings leave a chalky residue when wiped with a finger, replace them now!  And take the opportunity to upgrade to a bronze fitting.  Hoses connected to above water through hull fittings should lead upwards if possible.  The higher the hose is lead above the waterline, the lower your vessel can be submerged without creating a back siphon. 

 Finally, if your vessel has a low transom (as found on many outboard powered vessels) be sure to dock it with the bow of the vessel pointing to any exposed stretch of water.  That way, storm waves will break on the bow rather than over the transom.




Posted On: March 20, 2017

The Origins of Spring Cleaning

According to Wikipedia, spring cleaning refers to "the yearly act of cleaning a house from top to bottom which would take place in the first warm days of the year, typically in the spring."

It has been suggested that the origins date back to the Iranian Norouz, the Persian new year which falls on the first day of spring. Iranians continue the practice of "khooneh tekouni" which literally means "shaking the house" just before the new year.

Other cultures which participate in full house cleanings are:

  1. The Jewish culture cleanses the home in preparation of Passover (I don't remember my Kessler family doing this one!!)
  2. The Greek call the week before lent "Clean Week" and clean their homes thoroughly inside and out.
  3. "New Years’ Cleaning" is a tradition that the Scottish practice on Hogmanay which falls on December 31st.

So no matter how long ago it started, get out there and get cleaning!



Posted On: March 15, 2017

The Ides of March is a day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to 15 March. It was marked by several religious observances and became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The death of Caesar made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history, as one of the events that marked the transition from the historical period known as the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire

Although March was the third month of the Julian calendar, in the oldest Roman calendar it was the first month of the year. The holidays observed by the Romans from the first through the Ides often reflect their origin as new-year celebrations



Posted On: March 13, 2017

NASA tracks down two lost spacecraft

You might think that losing a spaceship would be tricky, given how big they are, but NASA has announced that it’s found not one but two errant spacecraft thanks to a new telescope technique.

The craft – the tiny and dormant Indian Chandrayaan-1 spaceship, launched in 2008, and a NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched in 2009  – were both orbiting the moon, which made it hard to spot them “hidden in the bright glare of the moon”, said NASA.

“Finding LRO was relatively easy as … we had precise orbit data where it was located,” said Marina Brozovic, a radar scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Finding India’s Chandrayaan-1 required a bit more detective work because the last contact with the spacecraft was in August of 2009.”

The scientists used a new application of interplanetary radar to detect and track small spacecraft, which could in future play a part in missions to the moon.   naked security



Posted On: March 08, 2017

Oil is the lifeblood of your engine, and like a blood test, an oil analysis can identify potential problems before they become major ones

An oil sample analysis (OSA) evaluates the levels and types of metals and the presence of such contaminants as abrasives, soot, water, fuel, and engine coolant in the oil of gas and diesel engines. A lab report will flag any suspected anomalies, state possible causes, and offer some plain-English recommendations. Typical conditions that can be found by analysis include abnormal wear of metals, fuel dilution, dirt or water contamination, coolant contamination, and incorrect lubricant. Discovering any out-of-range condition early can prevent expensive repairs later on. For instance, fuel dilution will accelerate cylinder and bearing wear. High levels of solids will cause wear on bearings, pistons, cylinders, and the valve train. Excessive soot in a diesel engine can be caused by dirty injectors, weak ignition, low compression, or restricted intake or exhaust, among other things. Simply servicing a dirty injector can save an engine rebuild if caught in time.

Most OSAs will include the following:

  • Spectral Exam: A spectrometer is used to find the quantity of various metals and additives in the sample — useful for finding excessive wear in bearings, pistons, rings, cylinders, valve train, and gears. It also determines the composition of any oil additives.
  • Viscosity Test: The thickness of the oil at a specific temperature is tested — useful for finding fuel dilution, the breakdown of viscosity enhancers, or other contamination.
  • Flash Point: Tests the temperature at which vapor from the oil ignites — contamination can cause a specific grade oil to flash higher or lower than the design flash point.
  • Insolubles Test: Insolubles are typically abrasive solids — high readings are usually byproducts of incomplete combustion.

OSA is more useful as a tool to monitor a specific engine and/or transmission over time rather than as a one-time evaluation. Small changes, which may not look significant in a single analysis, will stand out if there are prior samples on record. For example, a higher lead or tin level than in past reports, while still within normal ranges, could alert you to accelerated plain bearing wear. That's not to say that OSA on a one-time basis isn't useful. A single sample (often performed in the course of a pre-purchase survey) will indicate a serious condition that deserves further investigation. However, a one-time analysis has to be carefully reviewed and interpreted prior to waving a red flag. The machinery total hours, type of machinery and use, type of oil and hours on the oil, knowledge of average baselines common to a particular unit—such context is important. This is where you may need the services of a knowledgeable marine-engine technician or surveyor; she can review the report in light of all known information, and then make recommendations.

I've found that many brokers dislike one-time samples because of questions that can arise due to lack of experience and the lack of a detailed service history typical of many vessels. The less knowledge there is about the sample taken, the broader the interpretation of the results must be. I recommend OSAs every year, more often for high-usage engines or for those that have red flags from previous analysis.



Posted On: March 06, 2017

Here’s a  gem I read from Harvey Mackey

A woman received a phone call at work that her daughter was very sick with a fever.  She left the office and stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication, but when she got back to her car, she discovered that she’d locked her keys inside.
Desperate, she started to pray:  “Dear God, please help me get back in my car so I can help my daughter.”
Just then a man pulled up on a motorcycle.  He had a long beard and his arms were covered with tattoos.  He asked what the matter was, and the tearful mother told him.
“Don’t worry,” the biker said.  “I can get inside the car.”  He went into the drugstore and came out with a coat hanger.  In minutes, he had the door open. 
“Oh, thank you!” the woman cried. “I prayed for someone to help me, and God sent me the kindest man in the world!” 
Embarrassed, the man took a step backward.  “I’m not actually a good person, ma’am.  In fact, I just got out of prison last week for stealing cars.” 
The woman looked up toward heaven.  “Thank you, God, for sending me a professional!” 
Whenever I need to get something done, and I realize I don’t have the skills for the job,
I hire a professional.  Maybe you need help designing a marketing piece or a website.  Or you are writing a book and need a professional editor.  How about public speaking or planning a special event?  You will save yourself many headaches and mistakes if you hire a true professional.  After all, you want the best results possible.
And most of the time, the payoff far exceeds the expense.  
Professionals are knowledgeable, experienced, focused and most importantly, they are cool under pressure and used to dealing with the unexpected.  They are not infallible and still make mistakes, but they are better equipped with dealing with them.
We all have specific skills, but we can’t know everything.  There is no glory in trying to fix a problem if your efforts only make matters worse.  You think you will save time and money? It’s far less expensive to swallow your pride than to choke on arrogance. 
If I want to learn a new skill, I hire a professional coach to teach it to me.  I want to practice the right concepts, so I won’t get it wrong.  Practice makes perfect … not true.  You have to add one word … Perfect practice makes perfect.
Legendary Dallas Cowboys Coach Tom Landry explains, “A coach is someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, who has you see what you don't want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.”
Over my lifetime, I’ve had numerous professional coaches to help me develop whatever natural talent I may have.  I understand that I will never be as good as the coaches I’ve hired, but I can surely improve on my limited abilities.  So I go to the people who know what they are doing. 
I’ve hired professional coaches for public speaking, writing, ideas/creativity, foreign languages, running marathons, golf, tennis, water and down-hill skiing, swimming, dancing, bowling, boxing, scuba diving, ice skating, basketball and many others. 
I’m not spending a single penny; I’m making an investment in myself.  And, believe me, it comes back ten-fold.
Many times over the years when I’ve purchased a new electronic gadget, I’ve hired the person who sold me the device and paid them to come to my office to teach me how to use it.  Technology can be difficult for me, so I hire a pro to teach me and take copious notes.  Does that seem frivolous?  Not to me.  The sooner I can be up and running, the more efficiently I can work.
The old saying, “time is money,” is so true.  Why waste your time and money when so much help is available to enable you to save both time and money in the long run?    
I’ve been on the other side of the equation too.  I’ve been honored to be asked to be a mentor, usually not paid, to help aspiring salespeople and entrepreneurs hone their skills.  It’s so rewarding to pass along professional knowledge and experiences.  If I can steer someone away from making a monumental mistake, I’m satisfied.  I want to demonstrate the highest level of professionalism so that they understand the importance of seeking the best advice.