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

Time to Replace Your Boat’s Impeller

GCSMarineLogo_WhiteBG_576x144It’s time to replace your boat’s impeller, if f you haven’t already done so and Spring is the beginning of your boating season.  Globe Marine recommends that every boat owner replace their engine impeller once every boating season to get optimal use and reliability for your boat’s engine.  Here’s why…

Stored Impellers Can’t Run at Their Best

No Worn Impellers

No Worn Impellers – an impeller that’s “taken a set”

If you stored your boat this winter, the impeller shouldn’t be left in your boat’s engine or pump when first opened for spring.  Why?  Leaving impellers in the boat engines over the winter, especially in cold climates, can cause the impeller to “take a set.”  More than likely, the impeller will still work, but you won’t get optimal water or diesel flow from it.

Likewise, if you tried to store your impeller in a special fluid to preserve it over the winter, it may still “take a set”, or worse, degrade due to the fluid.  Besides these preservatives not being recommended by most manufacturers, re-installed impellers almost always are warped or damaged — not to mention challenging to re-install.  The re-installed impeller still may work initially, but you won’t get optimal performance out of it.  It’s bound to let you down when you need it the most.

If it’s Common Advice, it’s Good Advice

Globe High-flow ImpellerAlmost all impeller manufacturers recommend replacing impellers at least once per season, so it’s a safe bet that you should probably do so at the beginning of each boating season.  These recommendations have come from rigorous testing and development. Manufacturers know what the best operating conditions — and the not-so-great conditions — are for your particular impeller to run at its best.  It may seem smart to save $20-$30 by re-using an old impeller, but you’ll spend more on gas and possibly even engine or pump repairs. In the long run, you’ll save money by replacing your impeller now while getting your vessel ready for the new season.

Impellers Are Affordable

Depending on your engine size and model, impellers are a small portion of the total maintenance costs for your boat.  It really isn’t too much to pay for optimal engine performance and may even save you a little on fuel consumption and efficiency.  It’s better than waiting for a tow or getting stranded out on the water with an overheated engine or broken pump.  With those benefits, a new impeller may even pay for itself in just a few short weeks.

red-blue_overlay-med450x308Globe Marine has 71 different sizes of our famous Run-Dry® Impellers, the only impeller guaranteed to run-dry for up to 15 minutes, from which to choose.  Nearly half of our impellers come with matching gaskets and O-rings included in their see-through packaging and almost all impellers have corresponding models for both water or diesel transfer applications.

Chances are, there’s a Globe Marine Run-Dry® impeller to match your boat’s needs. To find the right Globe Run-Dry® Impeller for you, see our easy-to-use search feature, allowing you to match your existing engine or pump model by manufacturer or impeller dimensions:

Find the Right Impeller

References

Highlights: 2016 New England Boat Show

NEboatshow_logo_300x117This February marked the 59th year of the New England Boat Show. As the Northeast’s largest boat show, it’s argued by many (along with the Miami Boat Show) to kick off the boat show season.

According to marinesource.com, the New England Boat Show with its “property of over 300,000 square feet displaying an array of hundreds of boats from some of the best dealers” is the premiere boating expo for the region.

Check out Globe Marine’s list of show highlights linked below. Then, once you’ve found your perfect boat, get the perfectly matching impeller with our comprehensive Find the Right Impeller tool.

Find a Globe Marine Dealer Find the Right Impeller Find the Right DRIVESAVER

Fun Fact: No one got stuck in the snow on the way to the show this year!

Boston-yacht-stuck-in-snow

Yacht stuck in snow on way to 2015 New England Boat Show in Boston.

References:

Sailing South? Avoid Being a Sloop John B.

Tips for a Safe Voyage from Cruising Compass and Others

“The first mate he got drunk
And broke in the Cap’n’s trunk
The constable had to come and take him away…
…I want to go home”
— “Pet Sounds,” The Beach Boys

Sailboat in CaribbeanSailing south for the winter? Whether this trip is your first winter migration or you’re an old salty dawg at making the southern passage, below are some good tips from the experts at making the voyage safe and fun — and avoid any Sloop John B. moments and that feeling of “I want to go home.”

1)   Is your vessel big enough?

Pearson 30 - Sailboatlistings.comIs your sailboat or powerboat big enough for a winter crossing to the southern area of your choice? Capt. Jack Morton of the Maryland School of Sailing writes for BWsailing.com’s blog, Cruising Compass, that at minimum a 30-foot vessel is ideal for most. Of course, there are always exceptions, but he writes most people will feel safe and comfortable on at least a 30-foot boat if not larger. If your vessel is a sailboat, make sure it has sails for a variety of wind conditions, either for while underway or for while heaving to.

A good point raised in forums, too: Make sure your boat has a heater. If staying within a temperate/mild climate but an area that still has a ‘winter’ season, you’ll need a heater to keep the boat warm and comfortable — especially while it’s surrounded by colder, if not cold, water.

2)   Filters and fuel are of the utmost importance.

“The engine is critical and should have adequate spare parts to enable you to be self-sufficient for the most common problems like impellers or belts.”  — Capt. Jack Morton, for BWsailing.com’s blog, Cruising Compass

Globe Marine's Run-dry Impeller 270We couldn’t have written this sentiment better ourselves. Make sure you engine is flushed and clean. That means removing any gunk or buildup that may have collected over the warmer months and that can gum up your engine potentially. Replace the fuel filter. Do a full systems check and tune-up. You won’t want to waste time waiting for a tow or worse a rescue.

Globe Marine Run-Dry Impellers, variousBring some essential spare parts. Here’re some basic spare items to be sure to bring. They may seem like common sense, but it’s best to have a checklist:

  • an anchor
  • Spare fuel filter
  • A spare impeller or two for each pump on board

For a complete list, see “Essential Spare Parts to Keep On Your Boat,” by Mike Smith for Power & MotorYacht.

3)   How much crew and which crew members do I need?

Dana 24, Interior - Dana BrochureHow many crew members you can take depends on how many will fit in your rig. Be aware that sea-faring vessels get knocked about much more than coastal cruisers. So, make sure all of your crew berths will keep them snug in their perches, not ending up on the cabin floor.

As to whom you should bring? Bring the best team you have that works and gels together the best. With space at a premium, on a longer journey for some, privacy and personal space will be out the porthole. So whomever you choose for your team, they’ll have to be able to work as a team at all times.

4)   When’s the best time to go?

Fall is the obvious choice, but who wants to makeway during hurricane season? This razor’s edge leaves everyone planning this trip with the difficult question of when to leave. September whether in many places is ideal probably, except for the hurricanes. But, waiting ’til hurricane season is over completely runs the risk of running into freezing winter conditions in many places.

5)   Plan for weather, adequate time, and then some.

Yacht in Rough Seas - YachtPals.comAll of the blogs and forums we’ve read here at Globe Marine stress the importance that you’re going to run in to weather and probably nasty weather — be it hurricanes or nor’easters. So, plan a couple extra days into your travel timeline, just in case. Even leaving from a more southern port, like Florida, to head even further South, you’re going to run into some crazy weather possibly out there on the open ocean. It’s unavoidable, especially in winter, so be prepared for it.

This last point really hammers home point #2. You don’t want to get stuck out on the open ocean without an extra part, like an impeller. To find the right Globe Marine impeller for your boat, just click the red button below and use our handy cross reference to find the perfect fit.

Find a Globe Marine Dealer Find the Right Impeller Find the Right DRIVESAVER

References:

It’s Spring! Time to Replace Your Boat’s Impeller

Why You Should Replace Your Impeller Every Season

Globe High-flow ImpellerGlobe Marine recommends to every boat owner to replace their boat engine impeller every season. This recommendation stems from several reasons and much research. Below is a short list of why the beginning of the boating season is the best time to replace your boat engine’s impeller.

Almost All Impeller Manufacturers Recommend Replacement Once per Season

Merlin Engine Production, Rolls Royce, 1942Sometimes there’s something to be said for groupthink. If 4 out 5 dentists say you should chew sugar-free gum, maybe you should chew sugar-free gum over the sugary kind? Since almost all impeller manufacturers recommend replacing your boat engine’s impeller at the beginning of the boating season, it’s a safe bet that you should probably do so. These recommendations have come from rigorous testing and development. It’s a safe bet that the manufacturer knows what the best conditions — and the not-so-great conditions — are for their particular impeller models.

If You Stored Your Impeller Over the Off-Season

No Worn Impellers

No Worn Impellers – an impeller that’s “taken a set”

If your boat was winterized, your impeller should no longer be in your boat’s engine when first opened for spring. Leaving impellers in the boat engines over the off-season, especially in cold climates, can cause the impeller to “take a set.” More than likely, the impeller will still work, but you won’t get optimal water or diesel flow from it.

Likewise, if you tried to store your impeller in a special fluid over the off-season, it may still “take a set.” There aren’t any developed fluids recommended by most manufacturers for the proper storing of impellers, especially in colder climates. Re-installing impellers that have been stored over the off-season without the package directions can not only be challenging, but also are almost never aligned correctly causing warping or damage to the impeller at best and engine damage at worst. That being said, the impeller may still work, but you won’t get optimal performance out of it.

Impellers Are Reasonably Affordable

Globe Run-dry Impellers with O-rings

Globe Run-dry Impellers with O-rings

Depending on your engine size and model, impellers are a small portion of your maintenance costs for your boat. It really isn’t too much to pay for optimal engine performance and may even save you a little on fuel consumption and efficiency. With those two benefits, the impeller may even pay for itself in a few short weeks. An old impeller, not working at peak performance, may cost you even more over the long-run.

Globe Marine has 82 different sizes / models of our famous Run-dry® Impellers from which to choose — the only impeller guaranteed to run dry for up to 15 minutes. Thirty-five of those run-dry impellers now come with matching gaskets and O-rings included right in the package. Almost all impellers have corresponding models for both water or diesel transfer. There’s a Globe Marine impeller to match almost any size boat engine and anyone’s needs. To find the right Globe Run-dry® Impeller, use our comprehensive online Find the Right Impeller tool, where you can search by model number, manufacturer, or dimensions.

References

Globe Marine in Boating Industry Canada NEWSWEEK

News Flash

Boating Industry Canada: Strigh-MacKay Ad See Globe Marine’s new ad posted by Stright-MacKay in this month’s issue of Boating Industry Canada’s Current News. (See the right sidebar, below the fold.)

Remember to find the only Run-Dry® Impellers guaranteed to run dry for up to 15 minutes, now complete with gaskets and O-rings, see Globe Marine’s comprehensive Find the Right Impeller search tool.

Thanks, Stright-MacKay!

(Boating Industry Canada, NEWSWEEK; May 5, 2015, Volume 9, Issue 18)

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.

 

Boating Safety, a New Year’s Resolution

New Year’s Eve may have come and gone, but hopefully your resolutions haven’t already. Whether you’re in it for the long haul, or you and your resolutions are fair-weather friends, it’s not too late to make a new New Year’s resolution. What better resolution to make than a recommitment to boating safety?

From the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to BoatUS to the American Boating Association, here are the top tips for staying safe on the water for you, your family and friends, and your pets in any season.

Safety Tips

1) Always be aware of the weather.

Indian Ocean Sat ImageNot only should you check the weather forecast to avoid dangerous weather conditions before you go, but while you’re out on the water, stay aware of weather changes. If you notice a sudden change, drop in temperature, rough or high winds, get off the water if you can. When cruising and sailing, always file/plot your course with the appropriate authorities for your area or country, like the USCG.

Track nasty weather with BostUS‘s Hurricane Tracking & Resource Center.

Checklist2) Keep and follow a pre-departure checklist and float plan.

Keep a list of the all your gear, where it’s stored, and check that it’s all there and in working condition. Besides filing your course, let someone close to you — a friend or family member — know where you’re going and with whom you’re going. Make a list of all your fellow travelers: their names, ages, and addresses/phone numbers (if different from yours).  Make a list of any stops and destinations and when you plan on departing and arriving at each.

3) Make us of life-jackets.

lifejacketThis tip almost seems like a no-brainer, but from the banter on social media, you’d be surprised how many people still balk at wearing life-jackets. We’ll leave that argument up to you to discuss amongst yourselves, but children under 12 must wear a life-jacket at all times on open water in most states in the U.S. SafeKids.org recommends:

  • Always have your children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports.
  • Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. Have kids make a ‘touchdown’ signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits a child’s chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.

And, if you’re bringing any furry friends, at least have a properly sized pet’s life-jacket for them, too. If your dog or cat can’t swim, they should probably wear it all the time on the water.

4) Don’t drink and drive.

According to the USCG, accident rates more than double when alcohol is involved with boating. Don’t forget: heat, sun, and sea can all exacerbate the effects of alcohol, too. So like when driving a car, it’s just best not to drink and drive.

USCG icon5) Take a boating safety course.

Take a USCG certified safety course or take courses online. Also, if you don’t already know how, learn to swim.

6) Have the proper/extra equipment.

Besides having and wearing life-jackets when needed and planning ahead, make sure your craft has all the needed equipment — especially if going on a long trip. Some items to be sure to have on-board in proper working order:

  • Enough fuel; if needed, an extra tank emergencies
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit
  • Fully charged engine battery
  • A working bilge pump
  • Make sure the boat’s blower, horn, and navigation lights are working (even if you’re not going out at night).
  • Have an anchor and line of the size and length to enable you to safeguard the boat in the event of a breakdown.
  • If you plan to be out of cell phone range, a marine radio is a must as is a GPS for navigation if you are going out to sea.
  • Before leaving, install a DRIVESAVER® to save your engine in case of a stall or mechanical failure and always be sure to bring an extra impeller.
What Happens To Motor w/o DRIVESAVER

What can happen to your motor after hitting some rocks without a DRIVESAVER® installed…

References

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.