Blog April 2017


Posted On: October 22, 2018
Posted On: September 10, 2018
Posted On: June 11, 2018
Posted On: April 23, 2018
Posted On: April 02, 2018


Via Email:    


Posted On: April 26, 2017

It all begins with your electrical system. Your electronics performance depends on it.

Here are some key inspection points and procedures for checking your electrical and other systems.

When were your batteries last replaced? Consider replacing them after three to four years. Ensure battery terminal connections are tight and free from corrosion buildup.

 Check that the wiring connections for all electronic and electrical devices make solid contact. Terminal connections can and do come loose from normal impact and pounding when underway. Also, check that all electrical connections are free of corrosion.

Get a voltmeter and learn to use it. It can help spot problems in the making. Be sure there is no more than one volt drop from your battery terminals to the closest connection point to your electronics when the equipment is on and operating.

Replace all nonrechargeable batteries in your portable gear and keep a fresh supply of spare alkaline batteries on board.

Perform a “self-test” on EPIRBs and PLBs per the manufacturer instructions, and check the battery replacement date as well

Preseason Electronics Checks
It’s a good idea to test your marine electronics at the beginning of each boating season. Here are tips for testing your critical navigation and communications electronics.

VHF Radio
Make on-the-air radio checks. Automated radio checks are offered by Sea Tow as a public service in many areas across the country. Go to and type in your location, and you will be advised if service is available in your area and which channel to use.

Confirm your GPS’s accuracy by making a positional check at familiar locations. Perform range and bearing checks to known waypoints. Call up the GPS status screen on your set. It is a positive indicator of signal strength and accuracy. It also monitors the number of satellites being received, which is a good indication of your set’s performance.

Confirm the clarity and resolution of short and long radar targets. View the shoreline as you leave your marina or anchorage. Does it appear as clear as in the past? Steer your boat directly at a buoy or other object and see if it appears directly in front of you or off to one side. If it looks off, your manual will show you how to adjust your radar’s heading.

Be sure that your autopilot holds a straight course, responds to steering commands and follows your GPS waypoint instructions. Check your pilot’s heading reading and compare it with that of your GPS while underway. If it is noticeably off, most autopilots can be adjusted by performing a simple calibration procedure, which can be found in your owner’s manual or online.

Depth and Fish Finder
Check shallow- and deepwater readings in familiar locations. Look for bottom detail, structure and fish detection to confirm your depth instrument is in normal working order. Be sure the face of your transducer is clean and without marine growth buildup.

Make sure your AIS is picking up targets in your area. Get a confirmation from another boat that your transmitted AIS signal is being received. Also, be sure your AIS is programmed to send all important data, including your boat’s name, vessel type (pleasure), your MMSI number, and boat’s length, beam and draft, as well as your radio call sign, if you have one. This information will add to your boating safety and can be critical for first responders in the event you need to issue a Mayday call. Check with your electronics dealer on reprograming your AIS if necessary.

Check the software versions in your GPS, chart plotter, depth/fish finder and autopilot. Compare those versions with the latest versions listed on the manufacturer’s website. Most current models will allow the latest software versions to be downloaded online and installed by boat owners. Do the same with your navigation cartography. Some software updates can be downloaded by the user. Older chart cards can often be updated by a dealer at a reduced price, while others can be updated online.



Posted On: April 24, 2017

If you’ve got an aging or damaged boat that has sentimental value, you might be contemplating a restoration.

Before you get too far, here are some tips to keep in mind.

  1. Take an inventory of your tools, and then roll up your sleeves and start. It’s that simple.
  2. Clean the boat from stem to stern so you can see exactly what you have to work with.
  3. Remove all the water, leaves and debris from the boat. Organic material is your enemy.
  4. Identify what’s broken. Seat bases? Fiberglass components? The steering system?

Here's a good time to pause and ask yourself if you know what you are doing or will you need help. Assuming you are okay, let's continue.

  1. Remove the old fuel from the fuel tank, as well as the old oil from the engine and gear case.
  2. Remove the old belts and hoses on the engine and replace them with new ones.
  3. Check the through-hull fittings to make sure they are still properly sealed. Also check the seacocks to make sure they are in working order. Replace any broken ones.
  4. Look for cracking and crazing in the fiberglass around fixtures and fittings, such as cleats. Make sure load-bearing fixtures have a proper backing plate.

Deep breathe, are you sure you know what you doing? There are competent pro's to help.

If you are still game, lets continue.

  1. Old boats may have lots of rotting wood. Check the deck floor, seat bases and especially the transom for sagging, rot or decay. Strip old wood out of the boat and replace with marine-grade plywood or a modern cored composite.


  1. Go to YouTube and find at least three step-by-step DIY videos that say the same thing. These guys might not be “experts,” but they at least have experience.

If you don't feel comfortable, opt for the pro.


Asteroid 2014 JO25

Posted On: April 19, 2017

A massive asteroid, the largest in a decade, will pass close to the Earth on April 19. There is no danger to Earth, but it is a reminder that asteroids pose a significant risk to human civilization


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Asteroid 2014 JO25 will pass by the Earth on April 19, at the comfortable distance of five times the distance from the Earth to the Moon. That's over four million miles beyond the Moon.

What makes this asteroid notable is its size and the fact it is coming closer than any other asteroid of similar size for the next 


What if this humble rock were to strike Earth?


Asteroid 2014 JO25 is sixty times larger than the meteor that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013. That asteroid sent over 1,000 people to the hospital, despite blowing up high in the atmosphere.


Should the asteroid hit Earth, it would impact the ground. The shockwave and impact would destroy even a large city. The dust and soot cast into the air by the cratering and subsequent fires would blanket the Earth, cooling the surface temperature and disrupting weather patterns.

Famine in the wake of such a disaster isn't just likely, it's inevitable. The economic shock would also disrupt the world causing financial disaster for billions of people.

By the time the world recovered, possibly years later, millions to billions of lives could be lost in the disaster.

NASA and other world agencies are working to deal with this problem before it happens. Telescopes around the world monitor the sky, looking for asteroids that cross Earth's orbit and potentially threaten us. Scientists think they've discovered most, but not all, of these threats. There's also a chance that a comet or asteroid from farther away could fall towards Earth.

The likelihood of such an event is extremely small, but it is also inevitable, given enough time. And when it does happen, it could destroy the planet. Therefore, a robust program to deal with any threats is prudent.

Should such a threat develop, engineers think they can redirect the asteroid out of harm's way, if given enough time. If there is no time, then humans may have to figure out a way to survive the impact and the difficult years that will surely follow.




Posted On: April 17, 2017


There are many logo’s we see every day, but do you know what they mean or where they were derived from? Here’s a quick look at five famous logos.

RCA's famous logo of an adorable dog named Nipper with his head in a phonograph can be traced back to the late 1890s. RCA's first corporate logo was taken from a painting titled "His Master's Voice" by Francis Barraud.


The story of Domino's is a tale right of a mainstream politician's book of campaign speeches. Tom Monaghan, who grew up in an orphanage, secured $900 to buy a tiny pizza place called DomiNick's in Michigan in 1960. Five years later, he bought two more locations. The previous owner refused Monaghan the right to use his name for the new restaurants, so a delivery driver suggested the name Domino's and the rest is pizza history. The three dots on the domino on the pizza chain's logo represent the three original Domino's locations.


The cluster of stars in the Subaru logo aren't just there to look sparkly: they're actually a group of stars in the Taurus constellation called Pleiades. In Japanese, this constellation is called Subaru, which means "unite."


Lacoste has cemented itself as the shirt worn with the collar up by every preppy dude who was kind of a jerk in an '80s movie, but before the infamous crocodile was a status symbol, it was simply a cute representation of a tennis player's nickname. In the 1920s, René Lacoste was a tennis super star who ditched his bulky attire for a cotton, short-sleeved shirt primarily worn by British polo players. His nickname in America was The Alligator, but because even back in the 1920s nobody knew the differences between alligators and crocodiles, when he returned to his native France, they called him The Crocodile.


At the dawn of the new millennium, Amazon unveiled the logo that they continue to use today. It may look like a smile, as in, "I'm happy I don't have to leave my house ever again to buy whatever I need!," but the curved line under the Amazon logo is actually an arrow that starts at the "a" and points to "z," meaning they sell everything from A-to-Z.




Posted On: April 12, 2017

The Easter Bunny & the Tale of the Eggs

From the name to the bunny, it's all German. The name Easter was first appropriated by the Christian calendar. First it was the pagan festival Ostara, celebrated on the vernal equinox, around March 21 in the Northern hemisphere. Ostara was named for the pagan goddess of spring, Eostre. According to legend, she once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could lay eggs. And so it became the Easter Bunny.

The bunny as a symbol for Easter is first mentioned in writings in 16th century Germany. The first edible Easter bunnies, made of pastry and sugar, were also produced in Germany in the early 1800s. Around that time, children made nests of grass and settled them in their parents' spring gardens for the Easter Bunny to fill during the night with brightly decorated eggs.

Pennsylvania Dutch settlers brought the Easter bunny to America in the 1700s. Their children, who used their hats or bonnets to make their nests, believed that if they were well behaved, the "Oschter Haws" (literally Easter Hare) would fill their upturned headgear with colored eggs.

The Easter egg hunt remains as much a tradition in German towns and cities as it is on the White House lawn in Washington, D.C. Children race to find the Bunny's colorful eggs across the world every year.



Posted On: April 10, 2017


Passover is a festival of freedom.


It commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, and their transition from slavery to freedom. The main ritual of Passover is the seder, which occurs on the first two night (in Israel just the first night) of the holiday — a festive meal that involves the re-telling of the Exodus through stories and song and the consumption of ritual foods, including matzah and maror (bitter herbs)

What foods are eaten on Passover?

Matzah, or unleavened bread, is the main food of Passover. You can purchase it in numerous stores, or you it can be home made. But the holiday has many traditional, popular foods, from haroset (a mixture of fruit, nuts, wine, and cinnamon) to matzah ball soup — and the absence of leavening calls upon a cook to employ all of his/her culinary creativity.

The first Passover is on the evening of Monday, April 10, and the second Passover seder takes place on the evening of Tuesday, April 11.



Posted On: April 05, 2017

When there's  a fire on board it gets bad quickly. Burn Tests reveal that in each fire, you'd have three or four minutes — to make a VHF radio mayday call, locate and use extinguishers, don life jackets, and prepare to abandon ship — before likely being forced overboard.


Having a working VHF with digital selective calling is critical. DSC messages provide coordinates, so anyone aboard can summon help and give rescuers your location by pressing the radio's red distress button. A waterproof handheld VHF with DSC is a smart idea as well, because in the event of a fire, an installed VHF will probably lose its power source quickly or be inaccessible.

Fire Drill

Do your guests know how to use the radio? The location of the fire extinguishers? Do they wear or keep life jackets close by? Do they know how to shut off the electrical system quickly? A five-minute guest briefing improves fire safety.

Water Drill

Beyond flotation and waterproof handheld VHFs, personal locator beacons, flares, and other signaling tools provide a lifeline from the water.

Fire Extinguishers

How many do you carry? Are they accessible in seconds? Are they rated ABC for all fires? Having several ABC tri-class extinguishers that go beyond the minimum U.S. Coast Guard requirements could save you and your boat.

Built-In Support

An engine-compartment fire-suppression system or, at minimum, an installed engine fire port into which you can discharge fire extinguishers can both contribute to the quick extinguishing of a fire, or at least buy you time in your fight against an engine-room fire.


Follow these four steps when using a fire extinguishers: Pull the safety pin. Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire. Squeeze the handle. Sweep the hose from side to side while discharging.

Life Jackets

Many boaters bury them among the gear, then waste precious time locating them in an emergency. Regulations say that if jackets are not worn on board, they must be readily accessible.

Exit Route

Can you get out of the boat if the exit is blocked by fire? Carpet, headliner, cushions, curtains, and other flammables ignite when introduced to an open flame.

The Power Of Prevention

Are your electrical and fuel systems maintained to American Boat & Yacht Council ( standards? Electrical faults are the No. 1 cause of boat fires. What's the condition of your fuel lines? If they're 10 years old or emit a gas smell from a rag rubbed down their length, replace them.


How many minutes should you wait to start the engine after filling up at the fuel dock? Answer: At least four, with the blower on and windows and doors/hatches open for the entire time. End the four-minute period with a sniff test. 




Posted On: April 03, 2017

Solar Battery Maintenance


A lot of underwater corrosion problems stem from leaving a boat plugged into shore power. There are solutions, but if you plug in at the dock just to keep your battery charged, the simplest thing is to unplug and charge your battery with solar power. Unplugging an unattended boat has safety benefits as well.

For a boat on a trailer, solar charging means that when life keeps you off the water for several weekends running, your next outing won't be spoiled by a dead battery. Solar charging works equally well on a mooring or even in a storage rack as long as you can expose the panel to direct sunlight.

The size solar panel you need depends on the size of the battery bank you are maintaining. In sunny climates, about 3.5 watts of solar power will maintain a 100-amp-hour battery. If you live where it is overcast half the time, you may need twice the wattage, i.e. 7 watts per 100 amp-hours of battery capacity. Extra charging capacity is simply wasted, so don't buy a bigger panel than you need. A regulator is not required as long as you don't exceed around 15 watts of solar power for every 100 amp-hours of battery capacity, but you must include a fuse in the positive side of the circuit installed as close to the battery as possible.