Well of course you are. Even SoCal boaters should winterize some systems by sealing and waterproofing and covering against the rainy season.
But if you live in the rest of the world, where there actually is winter, and temperatures fall below freezing, there are a couple of hints, one large and one small:
First, Marelon® plumbing systems from Forespar© don’t require winterizing like bronze does. Marelon won’t freeze and crack. The small amount of water trapped in the ball valves won’t expand enough to cause damage, as the dynamic seals can hold up to the small expansion. So, while you’re in there in the spring, if you find a suspect valve and/or pipe section, replace it with Marelon. For operation and winterizing purposes, it’s much better than our old school bronze.
Second, if you’re using anti-freeze for any purposes try not to use ethylene glycol-based anti-freeze. It is not environmentally or human health friendly. Try to find virgin propylene glycol blend product (there are a couple of major brands) made for marine purposes. They will give you excellent cold weather and corrosion protection for your drinking water systems and engines, without the potentially toxic side effects. And with an additive, the propylene glycol version will prevent corrosion of aluminum and copper pipe, brass and solder, and will not harm rubber and other seals, or hoses.
It is usually fashionably pink – giving excellent blow-through visibility. And, it will not harm the water strainers and lids from Forespar and other manufacturers.
Hope this helps a little in waters where snow and ice are the norm. Both are still good ideas for year-round boaters too.
POV – Mike Dwight
The obvious benefit is the ability to hoist your inflatable dinghy up on the swimstep while it’s inflated. That way, you’re not fighting to unroll, inflate and float the dinghy using the limited deck space on a small to medium sized boat, and then reverse the process. Often, that means you’re spending as much time setting up the supposedly convenient dinghy as you did on the voyage.
Plan B is to tow the dinghy. For a longer trip, especially at sea, this can be an adventure of its own. Speed, tow distance from the boat, cleats (often not designed for those loads) and tow lines and yokes can be a real pain. We haven’t even mentioned the motor, gas can and cargo.
With the swimstep davit system, you can simply bring the dinghy alongside, clip it on and tilt/hoist it in. A side and actually major benefit is overnight stays. By clipping the dinghy into the Davit, we can be sure that it sits quiet in the water. There’s no banging on the hull, drifting into the fairway, worrying about the painter, etc. Easy passenger boarding from the swimstep, and easy back onto the boat.
We’re using the Forespar QuikDavit ™version on two boats. One on the Grand Banks, used for hoisting and parking the smaller dinghy, and with the mounting pads the same distance apart for docking the bigger Caribe.
The Wellcraft uses the full QuikDavit kit as designed. It is easy for Pat (the real Skipper) to use, and was easy to install on both the wood step and the thicker step on the smaller boat. It makes for a much more pleasant cruise, and has proven to be well worth the money.
POV – Mike Dwight –
“My Forespar 50/50 Whisker Pole is a workhorse, no other piece of equipment on Quetzal is more useful for efficient off the wind sailing. I would not go to sea without it.”
Marelon® is a proprietary formulation of polymer composite compounds used to produce superior marine-grade products for above and below the waterline.
Created specifically for precision molded plumbing systems, Marelon® offers complete freedom from corrosion and the ravages of electrolysis.
At least half the weight of their bronze counterparts, Marelon® plumbing components provide strength, light weight and internationally approved underwater systems that provide years of trouble-free, corrosion-free and electrolysis-free use.
Routine lubrication of marine seacocks (Marelon®, bronze or stainless steel on all valves) in any boat is vital for their prolonged life and ease of operation.
If ball seals are allowed to dry out, you will experience increased drag caused by marine growth which scores the seals and ultimately leads to leaks, difficulty in operation and/or blockage – potentially harming the equipment they serve.
Lubricating a Marelon® Valve with the Boat Hauled
This procedure is easy and should be done at the beginning of the dry storage season and again before launch. The MareLube™ liquid will leave a PTFE coating throughout the line and help keep hoses clean.
Accessibility to all valves is important and essential for the safety of the vessel should disaster strike. Any marine valve regardless of material, if not activated periodically, will seize, have marine growth build up inside and be rendered inoperable due to neglect.
It is strongly recommended to be particularly watchful of those hard-to-reach valves and find a way to reach them, since regular activating, servicing or closing them in an emergency is important.
Forespar® provides Marelon® plumbing systems to the world’s top boat builders and continues to develop modern alternatives to age old heavy bronze fittings. We are the only manufacturer to offer motorized Marelon® seacocks (ROV systems) that meet and exceed all Marine U.L., ABYC and ISO standards.
Forespar® has products to answer every boaters needs! To learn more, visit http://www.forespar.com/what-is-marelon.shtml.
POV Pat Dwight
While the 2015 Blind National Sailing Championship won’t take place until September in Newport RI, last year’s 2014 blind sailing championship regatta was a fabulous event. The 2014 regatta provided two days of great racing between Rose and Goat islands with fierce competition between seven teams over 12 races.
Congratulations to Duane Farrar, Solomon Marini, Denis Bell and Amy Bower for winning and being named the 2014 Blind National Champions.
Sail Newport will be hosting the 2015 Blind National Championships this coming September. For details contact Sail Newport’s Regatta Manager
The Florida Marine Patrol bagged Scott recently. It was like a simple traffic stop, only on the water.
About 9:30 p.m. Scott was making his nightly six-minute dinghy trek across the harbor back to his boat. He had dutifully stuck a little red/green split flashlight up on the front of his rubber inflatable. However, to the Marine Patrol approaching from the rear it appeared Scott was running without any lights at all. Technically, in addition to the red/green light shining forward, he should have had a white light visible from the rear; either that or a single 3600 light on the boat’s highest point. He knew of this regulation, but didn’t believe anyone would be that nit-picky. Acknowledging that the forward lights showed at least an attempt to comply, the patrol sent Scott on his way with a warning.
The following night he repeated his daily trek armed with a bright white suction mount 3600 flashlight. This new light was so bright it ruined Scott’s night vision. So, he proceeded to hold it high above his head and ventured legally across the harbor. Quickly his arm got tired so he tried sticking it to the dinghy, but being lower than the motor and his torso, the required 3600 coverage was blocked from several angles.
Scott had a brilliant idea – there is an advantage to being bald. It was dark enough that from land no one could see how odd this may have seemed. Scott wet the inside of the light’s suction cup and squished it down upon his skinhead. Perfect. Scott now had both hands free, the light was well above everything on the boat, and his night vision was unaffected; he forgot the light was on.
Later, reaching to his head, Scott grabbed the flashlight in hopes of removing it. He tugged, but the light didn’t budge. He tried prying it off at an angle; it didn’t budge. Raising one edge of the rubber lip; it didn’t budge.
Finally with a loud pop the light came off. According to Scott, the top of his head felt like a can of ravioli, for the suction cup had drawn up his scalp in circular ridges that held their shape.
Undaunted he headed to the shower where he noticed that there was something on the top of his head. When he looked in the mirror, he saw directly in the middle of my head the world’s largest, world’s most perfect, most crimson hickey.
-Pat Dwight (Forespar POV)
Several times during the past 10 years, friends asked us if we would use our 42’ Grand Banks for a sea burial of a recently deceased loved one. We naturally said yes. Though two of those events were far apart in time, there was an event on both that left me with a sense of awe and disbelief.
Off the Southern California coast about three miles out, we stopped engines and turned the deck over to the family and friends to move through the service of their deceased loved one and say their final goodbyes.
In both services, the ashes were spread from the transom by the designated family member. Watching the ashes swirling in the water was surprising and fascinating, since the particles turn a beautiful fluorescent silver float near the surface for an extended time. Along with flowers also tossed in the water, the effect was moving.
Here is where the hummingbird enters the story. After the ashes were dispersed, in both services the group aboard Enchanter was joined by a beautiful hummingbird. Mind you we are three miles out at sea and there were no other boats in sight. Remarkably, the hummingbird didn’t just fly randomly around our boat. It purposefully flew up to the family members and guests – up close to their faces – hovering for a few moments and then moving to the next person.
Whether you are religious or believe in things mystical, the effect of this tiny bird apparently communicating in such a lovely way was remarkable and something I’ll never forget.
Since then I’ve asked fellow boaters if they had ever experienced this when participating in a burial at sea. A few said, “Oh yes,” and others mentioned that they had been visited by seals, who stopped their forward drive to stay near the boat for a spell.
Whatever the explanation might be, the experience was truly special. Today I see hummingbirds in a completely different way.
~ Forespar POV
Yup, you read it right. In September 2014, Intrepid Powerboats announced a new natural gas hybrid fuel system technology. The new fuel system is already being used by commercial fishermen, charter boats, ferries, tugs, as well as larger ships, the military and recreational users.
Boaters can save as much as 50 percent on fuel immediately by making the change; these savings directly impact high-fuel-usage boaters, many of whom rely on their boat for business. In many cases, the fuel savings recover the cost of the fuel system in one year for frequent boaters.
Performance of natural gas on a boat is the same or better than with its original fuel, with the added benefit that natural gas emissions are 90 percent cleaner (green alternative fuel) than diesel and 70 percent cleaner than gasoline and do not produce any exhaust odor or smoke.
This will become more important in the next few years when regulatory requirements for emissions are expected to be a lot more stringent.
~ Forespar POV
In February, 2015, US Sailing and AmericaOne announced a very exciting initiative, called Project Pipeline. I want to give you a little personal perspective on the initiative and pass along the link to the press release.
AmericaOne is a long time supporter of the US Olympic Sailing Team. Bob “Buddah” Billingham was a passionate Olympian, a Silver medalist, and A1’s representative who initiated this support and oversaw it. He served on the US Olympic Sailing Committee Board for many years.
Bob was excellent at identifying a need and then recruiting the support to make it happen. We all know that not only did Bob have great ideas, he would get them done!
Bob’s last target for improving US Olympic sailing was identifying our deficiency in the development of young sailors. As Bob’s cancer worsened, he asked me to take his place in working with the US Olympic Sailing Team on this important project. Sadly, Bob passed away last March.
In the last year, we have developed a plan to increase training, support and opportunity for the youth of America. Project Pipeline is about getting America back on the Olympic podium but also about raising the level of sailing talent in the US across the board.
US Sailing and AmericaOne are proud to launch this Project. The AmericaOne grant of $5M means Project Pipeline will be initiated immediately. It is our expectation that over the next 10 years, Project Pipeline will grow in breadth and depth, and that others will join in and support this worthy cause.
“The top winning nations in sailing share the common trait of a well-formed talent development system,” said Josh Adams, Managing Director of US Olympic Sailing. “This is critical to sustainable success in Olympic sailing. With the extraordinary commitment of $5 million from the AmericaOne Foundation, we are in a position to launch a long-term initiative that will transform the way top young sailors train in the US.”
Targeting the best American youth talent, Project Pipeline is the strategy behind a new-look Olympic Development Program, which aims to better serve young sailors, lead them into high-performance boats earlier in their development, and build well-rounded sailors with complete skill sets. Providing training/racing opportunities with world-class coaching and the highest level of technical standards are the core principles of the initiative.
– Paul Cayard, Director, AmericaOne Foundation
Pat Dwight ~ Forespar POV
Catamaran Finds Fair Winds with Forespar® Leisure Furl™
Forespar’s Alan Massey says “Don’t just dream your life…get out and live your dream.” Massey shares novel tips on preparing your boat for fair wind sailing, including downwind reefing steps to make it easy and comfortable.