Category Archives: Uncategorized

Never Assume They Can See You…

Home | Uncategorized | Never Assume They Can See You…

I know it’s not sailing, but the lesson is clear.  These folks were salmon fishing on the Columbia River, and saw the boat coming at them.  After the usual waving and yelling, they took appropriate action and dove into the cold water.  The cruiser driver was sitting down driving, and couldn’t see the fishing craft over the dashboard and bow.  You can see why.

Anything With a Swim Step

Home | Forespar Products in Use | Anything With a Swim Step

It’s 2 a.m.  You’re on a mooring in your favorite getaway harbor. The party on the boat three cans down has finally died away.  And, you still can’t sleep.  Something’s missing.  You jump up and dash topside, flashlight in hand, looking over the side and around the anchorage.  The dinghy got away!  It’s not banging on the side at the end of the painter!  That’s what’s missing….

You glance over the transom, and there she is, firmly clipped to the swim step.  Not swinging, not banging on the side, not trying to escape.  Easy to board, easy to release, and easy to attach and exit. That’s a side benefit of the Forespar Quik Davit.  Quik Davit Installed 1

We added the Quik Davit to the swimstep of our Grand Banks so we’d have an easy way to hoist in the dinghy when moving to a new spot, rather than use the the topside power hoist, etc.  It works perfectly as the name implies, and as our private, mobile dinghy dock.

Friends use the Quik Davit on a variety of smaller and larger power boats as the primary davit because it’s easier to inflate the dinghy at the home dock, hoist/tilt it onto the step, and drive away – and reverse the process when back at the home dock.  Sailboat owners do the same, usually for shorter cruises, and for the above-mentioned reason.

Check Quik Davit out.  It installs easily on both the dinghy and the step of just about any boat, is easy to use, the price is right –  And you’ll sleep better.

A Really Bad Day

Home | Uncategorized | A Really Bad Day

Boat and houseSo you think you had a bad day….A post hurricane mess from Cudjoe Key.  This among the many, many horror shows coming in the wake of Irma.  We can hope no one wa home, either ashore or afloat.

Charlene Norris Joins Us

Home | Uncategorized | Charlene Norris Joins Us

We are pleased to announce that Charlene Norris has joined the Forespar Sales Team as our Customer Service and Sales Assistant for the Company, beginning October 2017.  Her role is to assist with OEM orders and issues, become the liaison between the department and Field Sales Representatives, and to help with the overall administrative operations with the Sales and Customer Service areas.

 

For Our Sales team members in the field, Charlene’s primary goal is to answer questions, meet the needs of and make life easier and better for you and for our customers.  Sales and purchase orders will continue to be processed in the normal way with Linda and Randy on the Sales Desk.  If you have any additional administrative needs for yourself or for your customers, let Charlene know.

 

Charlene has a broad background and comes to us with more than 30 years of administrative and customer service experience in a variety of industries.  She is technologically savvy and understands the importance of communication within the team and with Field Sales Representatives, the Sales Department, and our Customers.  Charlene’s modus operandi is “See it through to the end, no matter what obstacles may come my way.”

 

Many of you may already know Charlene, as she has been working closely with Bill Hanna, David Levesque, and Randy Risvold for several months.  Going forward, if you have questions about New Customer Setups, Service Issues, Information Requests, Literature & Sample Requests, Show Support, Account History, YTD/PYTD Sales Numbers, Sales Trends, Outstanding Invoices, Commissions and all follow-up, please contact Charlene at: 949.858.8820 ext: 107 or email: CharleneN@forespar.com.

Boat Tow or No?

Home | General Content | Boat Tow or No?

towmanship

BOAT TOW OR NO?

The obligation to render assistance is as old as the sea.  You see another vessel in danger, and you go to help.  Generally, there’s no excuse to not at least try, even if it’s a boat tow.

Reasons To Say NO

Even though boats seem to float and drift easily, they’re still heavy. That means some interesting loads on the towing boat.  A few thousand pounds of boat at the the end of a lightweight tow line can get “western” in a hurry, even in flat water and no wind.  Add some seas or a heavy chop and some real breeze  and the tow goes bad quickly.

Most boats have relatively lightweight cleats, and most boaters don’t carry heavy lines – snapping lines and ripped out cleats aren’t helping your boat, or the boat you’re trying to help.  It’s also likely that your power and props are just fine for fishing or skiing, and just aren’t suited for generating the torque necessary for towing a heavy load at lower speeds.  Think about pulling another car on a wet road, spinning your tires the whole way.  Probably not a good idea.

What About the Line?

A tow line should be eight or ten boat lengths (call it 250 to 300 feet) if you’re pulling a 30 foot boat.  Most pleasure boats don’t carry line long enough or strong enough for serious towing.  If you do have line, the worst to use is the standard three-strand nylon, since it has too much stretch, and tends to part explosively under load.  Double-braided nylon is a better choice, but like any line that sinks, you’ll run the risk of fouling your props, if you allow too much slack.  Your best bet is probably your anchor line, as it’s usually the longest and strongest line aboard.

Points and Cleats

Before you use that cleat or pad eye, first make sure it’s up to the task at hand.  A cheap cleat or poor installation can and will break, and can become a lethal missile if it snaps under load.  Then, when you’re setting up the tow rig, use a “bridle” set forward with the length of each leg at least twice the width of your boat, distributing the tow load to both side of the boat, allowing you to maintain control, since a single line attached to the transom will truly degrade your steering.  Then, adjust the tow line length so that your boat and the tow are in sync with the waves and troughs (remember that if you’re towing, the other boat probably doesn’t have brakes, so the tow tine may need to be slightly longer than you think).

A Knotty Issue

Knots used in towing are subject to heavy loads, so avoid knots that cinch tight.  Cleat hitches and bowlines are ideal, as they won’t come untied under load, but are easy to release when required.  And, no one stands in direct line with a loaded line (or should be dumb enough to straddle it), because if the line lets go, someone gets hurt.

Wait It Out

If there’s only one thing to take way here, it is to err on the side of caution.  If you aren’t very sure of your ability to tow the other boat safely and effectively, don’t do it.  The last thing the Coast Guard wants is two boats in trouble at the same place and time.  Get on the radio and stand by for help, preferable a vessel with the equipment, know-how and insurance.

And thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard for their guidance, and not least, being ready to help us when and where it’s needed.

 

 

Trafalgar Revisited

Home | General Content | Trafalgar Revisited

Transcript of conversation on the quarterdeck of HMS Victory  on October 21, 1805 off the coast of Spain near Cape Trafalgar, between Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson and his Flag Captain Sir Thomas Hardy.   Twenty-two English ships of the line faced a combined French and Spanish fleet of thirty-three ships of the line.  The English won a dramatic and history-changing victory.

We assume a more modern regulatory environment.

Sir_Thomas_Hardy_ Admiral H Nelson

Nelson: “Order the signal, Hardy.”
Hardy: “Aye, aye sir.”
Nelson: “Hold on, that’s not what I dictated to Flags. What’s the meaning of this?”
Hardy: “Sorry sir?”
Nelson (reading aloud): “‘ England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.’ – What gobbledegook is this?”
Hardy: “Admiralty policy from the Human Capital Management team, I’m afraid, sir. We’re an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil’s own job getting ‘England ‘ past the censors, lest it be considered racist.”
Nelson: “Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco.”
Hardy: “Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free working environments.”
Nelson: “In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the mainbrace to steel the men before battle.”
Hardy: “The rum ration has been abolished by the HHS Department, Admiral. It’s part of the Government’s policy on binge drinking.”
Nelson: “Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we’d better get on with it ………. full speed ahead.”
Hardy: “I think you’ll find that according to EPA there’s a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water.”
Nelson: “Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch.  Report from lookouts in the crow’s nest please.”
Hardy: “That won’t be possible, sir.”
Nelson: “What?”
Hardy: “Health and Safety have closed the crow’s nest, sir. No harness; and they said that rope ladders don’t meet regulations. They won’t let anyone up there until proper scaffolding can be erected.”
Nelson: “Then get me the ship’s carpenter without delay, Hardy.”
Hardy: “He’s busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the foredeck Admiral.”
Nelson: “Wheelchair access? I’ve never heard anything so absurd.”
Hardy: “Health and Safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently abled.”
Nelson: “Differently abled? I’ve only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn’t rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card.”
Hardy: “Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is underrepresented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency.”
Nelson: “Whatever next? Oh well – Order full sail. The salt spray beckons.”
Hardy: “A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and Safety won’t let the crew up the rigging without hard hats. And they don’t want anyone breathing in too much salt – haven’t you seen the memos?”
Nelson: “I’ve never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy.”
Hardy: “The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral.”
Nelson: “What? This is mutiny!”
Hardy: “It’s not that, sir. It’s just that they’re afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There are a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks.”
Nelson: “Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?”
Hardy: “Actually, sir, we’re not.”
Nelson: “We’re not?”
Hardy: “No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn’t even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation.  And, sinking ships puts us into environmental trouble again.”
Nelson: “But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.”
Hardy: “I wouldn’t let the ship’s diversity co-ordinator hear you saying that sir. You’ll be up on a disciplinary report.”
Nelson: “You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your King.”
Hardy: “Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it’s the rules. It could save your life”
Nelson: “Don’t tell me – Health and Safety. Whatever happened to rum and the lash?”
Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there’s a ban on corporal punishment.”

A few minutes later, Nelson was struck down by a musket ball.  His last words were:  “Kiss me, Hardy”, which opens another channel of regulatory inquiry.

 

Thanks to and cribbed and edited from a post on Cruisers Forum….

Taking Your Friends Out for A Beer Can Race

Home | Uncategorized | Taking Your Friends Out for A Beer Can Race

My Song picFurther to Beer Can Racing….

Suggested taking along friends neighbors, and dock denizens.  You’re going to need a bigger boat (like this new Baltic 130), and a fat wallet for the bar tab at the club.

10 Commandments of Beercan Racing

Home | General Content | 10 Commandments of Beercan Racing

Forespar ProductsSailors and clubs across the world hold casual races on weekday evenings.  In the US, we often refer to them as “Beercan Races”, supposedly because back in the day you could track the race course by the trail of beer cans floating in the bay.  We’re a lot greener today, but the concept holds true:  Race to win, but if you’re not having fun, go home. There are basic commandments that govern the sub-sport:

I.  Thou shalt not take anything other than safety too seriously.  Relax, have fun and keep it light. Late to the start?  So what.  Over early? No big thing. Too windy?  Quit. No breeze?  Break out the beer.  The point is to have fun, but stay safe.  To overquote, “Safe boating is no accident”.

II.  Thou shalt honor the rules if thou knowest them.  US Sailing amends and publishes the Racing Rules of Sailing on a regular basis, and unless your Sailing Instructions say otherwise, this is the racing Bible.  Few sailors other than PRO’s, Judges and rabid racers have studied it cover to cover, since it’s about as interesting and exciting as the Tax Code.  For beer can racing, you can get by if you remember the biggies (port tack boats avoid starboard tackers, windward boards avoid leeward ones, and outside boats give room at the marks). Another major is the Law of Tonnage: Stay out of the way of the bigger boats, because even if you’re right, getting run over by a big kid still hurts.  So, pay your insurance premiums, and keep a low profile unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing.  In other words – Common Sense.

III.  Thou shalt not run out of beer.  Self explanatory. There’s a reason these are not called milk bottle, coke can, or hot chocolate races.  However, our club does have a tequila sponsor for our Taco Tuesday series.

IV.  Thou shalt not covet thy competitor’s boat, sails, equipment, crew or PHRF rating.  No whining; If you’re lucky enough to have a sailboat, go out and use it!  You don’t need that latest in zircon bearing diamond encrusted widgetry or unobtanium sailcloth to have a great time on the water with your friends (unless it’s a Forespar pole).  Even if your boat is a heaving pig, set modest goals and work toward them.  Or don’t – it’s only beer can racing.

V.  Thou shalt not amp out.  Save that stuff for the freeway or, if you must, Saturday’s “real” race.  Remember what happened to Captain Bligh, and realize that if you lose it on Wednesday night, you’re going to run out of crew – and friends – in a hurry.  Chill out.  Nobody’s going to read about this race in Sailing World. 

VI.  Thou shalt not protest thy neighbor.   This is extremely tacky (pun intended) at this level of competition. It’s justifiable if there’s damage, and blame needs to be established, but on the whole, tossing a red flag is the height of bad taste in something as relatively inconsequential as a beer can race.  Besides proving that you’re clueless about the concept, it screws up everybody’s evening.  Don’t do it – its bad karma.

VII.  Thou shalt not screw up thy boat.  We all know a hardcore warrior who blew out his main on Thursday and had to sit out a big race on Saturday.  It’s just not worth risking your boat and gear in such casual competition.  Avoid other boats at all costs, and stay away from hard objects – buoys, docks, pilings and paddleboards.  If you have two sets of sails, use the old ones.

VIII.  Thou shalt always go to the yacht club afterward.  Part of the gestalt of beer can races is bellying up to the yacht club bar post race.  Corinthian etiquette demands that you congratulates the winners, and buy a round for your crew.  And, the bar is the logical place to meet old friends and make new ones.

IX.  Thou shalt bring thy spouse, kids, friends and whoever else wants to go.  Beer cans are great for introducing folks to sailing – neighbors, house guests, co-workers, the dog, and there’s usually someone hanging on the dock that would like to go.  When has there ever been an overabundance of crew?  Of course, there’s one our regulars who sails with as many 18 souls on a 45-foot boat for the inside the harbor races.  And, remember the “No Passengers” adage.  Give everyone a job on the boat.  it’s more fun that way.

X.  Thou shalt not worry; thou shalt be happy.  Leave the phones in the car, bring some tunes.  Relax, it’s not the America’s Cup.

See you out there.

 

Mike Dwight

Thanks to Latitude 38 for the original and illuminated texts

Really Nice Yacht Club

Home | Uncategorized | Really Nice Yacht Club

We all tend to think our yacht clubs are the best, with outstanding locations, views and often, history.  We are often partially right.

Then, there’s the Royal Yacht Squadron, at Cowes, in England.  The building is a castle, built in 1539 by Henry VIII to defend against the French.  The club itself was formed in 1815 by a group of “gentleman” yachting enthusiasts, and was given a Royal warrant by George IV (he was a member) in 1815.  This  was BF (Before Forespar).  The crenelations in the wall were built for cannons, and are still used for the race guns (brass cannons).Royal Yacht Squadron RYS 2014

The white structure on the right of the photo below was added in the 1800’s to accommodate the start/finish line end, and race committees And is now know as “The Verandah”Royal Yacht Squadron RYS Verandah Cowes July 2014

Membership is by invitation, and consist largely of Dukes, Lords, Honorable and Knights (Sir Ben Ainsley).  Sir Thomas Lipton of America’s Cup and tea fame was turned down in 1898 because he was “in trade”, but admitted later in his life..
The burgee is the Royal Navy White Ensign, granted by warrant in 1829 (Now that is definitely cool).
The original race for the Hundred Guineas Cup, donated by the RYS, was hosted here in 1851 with the same start/finish line as Cowes Race Week, etc., that is used today.
It should be noted that no British crew has ever won that trophy, known as the America’s Cup, in 160 years since.  Sail Fast, Oracle…
Mike Dwight

Two Anchors in Easy Water?

Home | Uncategorized | Two Anchors in Easy Water?

Using two anchors is usually a bad weather practice, or used for security where there are current or wave issues.  But how you deploy two sets of ground tackle depends on your situation and a number of variables, including the wind, water depth, sea state, and other boats in the area. For example, do you set both off the bow, or one off the bow and the other off the stern?  That tried and true practice does keep the boat from swinging, and keeps your bow in the preferred direction.  Most of us use the bow/stern because of current, wind, etc., or in an anchorage where the boat’s swing is likely to be limited by other boats.

The easy way to hook is the simplest.  Set the bow anchor, pay out excess rode, and drop the stern hook, then set that by powering forward toward the original hook while taking in the original excess rode.  Once the boat is where you want it, cleat off both rodes, making sure you have adequate scope on both anchors.

A second, and confortable way to use two anchors to limit swing is a Bahamian Moor.  Set the anchors as above, then walk the stern line around to the bow, and cleat accordingly.  Yes, the rodes can get twisted, so check and adjust regularly.

Bahamian Moor

One last item:  Remember to buoy/mark the anchors when you can.  You never know when a less experienced boater will come in and anchor on top of yours,

 

Mike Dwight

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