What to Do in an Unforeseen Critical Event

GCSMarineLogo_WhiteBG_576x144Boating season is in full swing and families everywhere are enjoying time on the water, but what if that time is marred by your boat hitting rocks or other unseen debris in the water?  What if rocks or other debris get sucked into the intake?  What should you do?  How do you keep your family and your boat safe?

Life Jackets and Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

Stohlquist Escape Life JacketAlways have enough life jackets for every crew member and passenger on board.  In many states here in the U.S., children under a certain age must were life preservers at all times while on board and on the docks.  Adults and crew members may want to always wear theirs as well to set a good example for any minors.

No one wants to hit an object in the water accidentally, but even the most diligent of captains may not see hidden debris under the water.  Wearing a life jacket ensures, if the boat is jarred violently or if the engine stalls suddenly, anyone knocked overboard will be much safer.

Never BUI (Boating Under the Influence)

Operation Dry WaterRemember to “launch like a boss” and “dock like a boss;” never boat under the influence (BUI). Per Operation Dry Water, alcohol:

  • is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents
  • was the leading factor in nearly one-fourth of recreational boating deaths (21%) in 2014
The “National Boating Under the Influence Awareness” campaign starts June 24, 2016 – June 26, 2016.  Join Operation Dry Water in taking the pledge to #NeverBUI.

If You Do Get Stuck

boat stuck on sandbarIf you do get stuck on some unseen debris or rocks, or worse yet if you run aground, don’t try to force the boat over the spot.  You might wind up just getting yourself stuck further.  Neither should you try to back off the debris immediately either.  You may wind up sucking bits and pieces, mud, or plant-life into the engine, which could lead you to our next two pointers; you may have to replace your impeller or drive shaft as a result.

First, make sure the boat isn’t leaking or taking on water.  If you’re sure you can back up safely without damaging the engine (i.e., nothing will get sucked into the engine that shouldn’t), reverse with the engine carefully or better yet with a mainsail if possible.  It’s even better to wait for the tide to rise and raise the boat off the spot, if you can.  If there’s no tide or the tide isn’t in your favor, you may have to ask another boat or call for a tow.

Keep an Extra Impeller or Two On-Board

Globe High-flow ImpellerImpellers are small, yet integral parts of your boat’s engine.  Keep an extra impeller or two on hand at all times on the boat.  Typically, they’re small enough that an extra impeller or two won’t prohibit keeping any other safety gear.  Power & Motoryacht magazine advises to keep at least one extra impeller “for each and every pump onboard” your boat.  After all, Globe Marine Impellers are reasonably priced and affordable.  Besides, it beats waiting for a tow!

Find the Right Impeller

Install a Globe Marine DRIVESAVER®

Globe Marine DRIVESAVERIf rocks or small debris do make their way into the engine, replace the impeller.  Also, be sure to check that the drive shaft isn’t damaged, bent, or broken.  A great way of preventing the latter is to install a Globe Marine DRIVESAVER®.  Globe Marine DRIVESAVER®s can spare your engine and transmission in the event that foreign objects make their way past the intake and into the engine, potentially saving you costly repairs or even having to replace the transmission.

See below for what can happen without any protection for your drive shaft installed:

Damage to motor without Globe Marine DRIVESAVER
What Happens To Motor w/o DRIVESAVER

What Happens to Motor without DRIVESAVER

To Sail to Cuba, Would You If You Could?

Map of Cuba, smallHavana is only 90 miles from the southern coast of Florida and a little over 1,200 nautical miles from Globe Marine’s headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s a trip just long enough to carry a spare Run-dry Impeller® and DRIVESAVER® before leaving. So, if you could sail to Cuba, would you?

Thought You Could Go to Cuba Already, Can’t You?

SailboatYes and no. While the economic sanctions and travel restrictions to Cuba were loosened this past December and then again in January, technically you still can’t ‘vacation’ there. You can sign up for what’s called a ‘people-to-people’ tour, as long as the tour falls under one of the accepted travel categories. The most common categories are:

  • To visit family
  • Governmental or Diplomatic meetings or visits
  • Journalism
  • Professional research & meetings
  • Educational activities
  • Religious activities
  • Public, athletic, & other performances or competitions
  • Humanitarian aid or projects

Old Havana, CubaTour-members no longer have to apply for a license to travel to Cuba under one of these categories and there aren’t many established guidelines for meeting category these requirements.

Unfortunately, you still have to fly into Cuba on a chartered flight and tour (which would imply that tourism in Cuba for US tourists is now open). You still can’t sail there casually without risking a fine, your boat impounded, incarceration, etc. However, it can be done through the right channels by obtaining a “temporary sojourn permit” from the U.S. Department of Treasury. This is like an “export/import license” for your boat and may take up to six months for approval (Sailing to Cuba, SpinSheet, Feb. 25, 2015).

Why Bother?

Classic Cars in CubaBarring all of those licenses, and requirements, would you sail to Cuba if you could? What’s the point, you may ask? Just go to Bermuda or the Bahamas instead? Here are the most common tourist (i.e. not family, religious, humanitarian ones) reasons why:

  • Lure of the here-to forbidden locale.
  • To be amongst the first to see “Fidel’s” Cuba before there’s a Starbucks and McDonald’s on every corner.
  • Romanticism for the pre-Communist Cuba — remember, it once rivaled Vegas.
  • The history of the place!Cuban beaches
  • The unspoiled waters and beaches (although some argue this reason is marred by the downtrodden economy).
  • You’re a seasoned traveler who’s been everywhere else, why not here?

But, in all honesty, it’s so close; why not?

References

Rebirth of TrawlerFest New England!

TrawlerFest, the premiere cruising boat show from PassageMaker magazine, is coming back to New England! They’ll be stopping in Essex, Connecticut this summer 2015 for five days from June 2, 2015 to June 7, 2015.

TrawlerFest is a boat show “specifically designed for cruising enthusiasts” per PasageMaker’s website.   After not having a venue in New England for  a short while, they’re back by popular demand.  The venue new to TrawlerFest, Brewer Yacht Yards, boasts a “13-acre island, offers 125 slips” and is “located just five miles from the mouth of the Connecticut River.”

To top it all off, PassageMaker magazine has the good sense to value Globe Marine Run-Dry® Impellers, the only impellers guaranteed to run-dry for up to 15 minutes. See PassageMaker’s review of our Run-Dry® Impellers in their magazine.

 

2014 in review — Our 1st blog year

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 380 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Globe Marine’s Seasonal Tips for Boat Engine Care

For those of us in a four-season climate, Fall is upon us. It’s time to start thinking about off-season boat engine care. Here are 5 basic tips for keeping your boat engine, whether outboard or inboard, in tip-top shape for many seasons to come.

1)   Wash and dry your boat regularly.Boat Cleaning

Not just at the end of the season, but throughout, wash your boat regularly — especially if you boat in saltwater. We’ve all seen what road salt can do to a car; saltwater can do the same to your boat. A soap formulated for marine boat wash is best, but car wash soap can be used just as well. And, dry off your engine if it’s outboard.

2)   Change the oil, check the coolant, and flush and drain the motor.

Changing the oil and checking the coolant lines almost goes without saying — just like with a car — but flush and drain the motor as well. Be especially sure to flush outboard engines whether they’ve been run in saltwater or fresh. Drain any fuel still in the engine before storing it for the end of the season. Leaving the fuel in the engine to stagnate can damage the engine. Lastly, be sure to dispose of any old fuel, coolant, or oil according to your local waste or recycling regulations.

3)   When the boat is stored for off-season, remove the engine impeller.

Globe Marine Run-Dry Impellers, various

This step may sound like over-kill, but almost all impeller manufacturers recommend replacing the impeller at the beginning of each season. Leaving the impeller in the engine during the off-season, especially in colder climates, can cause the impeller to take a “set” and decrease water or diesel flow when next used. That’s not to say the impeller will no longer work; you simply won’t get the most out of it.

To get optimal use out your boat’s engine, replace the impeller at the beginning of each season. Globe Marine makes over 100 different models of Run-Dry® Impellers. The most popular of these impellers come with matching gaskets and O-rings for ease of use and installation.Globe Marine Run-dry Impeller 270

To find the impeller that’s right for you, simply use our handy impeller search tool or check our list of impellers including gaskets and O-rings to see if your model is listed. Globe Marine Run-Dry® Impellers can be purchased at a dealer near you.

4)   Store your boat in a covered dry space or in dry-dock.

Winter Boat StorageWhether you have a small boat or a yacht, store your boat in a covered dry space. Depending on the size of your boat, that dry space can be as simple as covering it with a tarp or as elaborate as a real dry dock. Regardless of the size of your boat, here are a few tips to winterize any boat:

  • Open any drains and openings to prevent damage from freezing.
  • Boat trailers that hold the boat should have some support for the boat hull as to not damage the trailer’s tires.
  • Remove any accessories, electronics, cushions, etc.
  • Put moisture absorbers in the cabin and lockers.
  • For boats on blocks, check stands and blocks now and then to make sure they’re secure.

5)   Before next season, make sure to install a DRIVESAVER®

Globe Marine DRIVESAVERsIf you have an inboard motor, before launching your boat next season, consider installing a Globe Marine DRIVESAVER®. Sometimes called a flexible marine coupling, Globe’s DRIVESAVERs® can create a barrier between your transmission and your propeller shaft to reduce drivetrain vibrations and absorb extreme shock and torque optimizing your transmission and engine power. Even better, Globe Marine DRIVESAVERs® are designed to break apart if you strike an unseen rock or log, leaving your transmission and engine intact.

 

References:

Globe Marine in Power & MotorYacht magazine’s: Essential Spare Parts…

Power & MotorYacht MagazineRead about Globe Marine’s impellers and other parts in Power & MotorYacht magazine’s excellent write-up for this month’s Maintenance section in the October 15, 2014 issue.

The article by Mike Smith titled, “Essential Spare Parts to Keep on Your Boat,” discusses which parts are absolute must-haves, like Globe Run-Dry Impellers® and DRIVESAVERs®, for cruising on your boat or even small trips and which parts you can comfortably leave behind making more room on your boat for fun, family, and friends.