Boating Tips

Boating Tips 

Many of you have proven ideas and tips, that make your boating life easier. If you would like to share your tips with your fellow boaters, this is the place to do it.

-CO Exhaust Issues-If common sense were to prevail, this would be a non issue. However, with factors such as tired passengers exhausted from sun swimming and skiing, alcohol, or those with little boating experience, you have the potential for a very dangerous situation. Would you start your car engine while sitting in your garage with the door closed? Would you let your children play a board game, while sitting behind the exhaust coming from your car? Sounds silly, but that same dangerous effect is what you get when you swim behind a houseboat with the generator running, and the exhaust spilling out under the swim platform. A U.S. Coast Guard Advisory recommends CO exhaust be run through the side of the hull, rather than the back. Several houseboat companies will provide this service to you (free of charge). Do not mistake this change as a "quick fix". There are still dangers posed, especially while "rafting", or "tied up" side by side, with friends in other houseboats, or cruisers.
The exhaust is now venting sideways, and can be trapped between the boats, especially in stagnant air, and reach critically dangerous concentrations in cuddys, and cabin areas, where children, or adults may be sleeping, etc.

Below are some common sense ways to reduce CO dangers-
1-Never allow generator to run while passengers are swimming. This includes boats with side exhaust, or roof stack exhaust. Do not assume any are safe while swimming, and you will eliminate the potential for an accident.
2-Never run generator at night while tied up in a cove, with friends in other houseboats, or cruisers. Dangerous levels of CO exhaust may build up between the boats.
3-Never disconnect, or disable CO detectors on board your boat, and be sure to test them often.
4-Inspect all generator exhaust hoses for leaks, or cracks, and insure clamps are secure. There should be 2 clamps at each hose connection, to comply

with A.B.Y.C. Standards.

5-Use an expandable foam type sealant to plug holes in aft bulkheads where engine cables, and wiring pass through into engine compartment to reduce entry points for CO fumes.
6-Make all passengers aware of CO dangers when they board your boat, and explain how you plan to keep them safe.

-Canvas-If you find mildew or a stubborn stain on your Sunbrella fabric,
                 use this special cleaning mixture for the best results.
                -4 ounces (1/2 cup) of chlorine beach
                -2 ounces (1/4 cup) of natural soap
                -1 gallon of water
                -Clean the fabric with a soft bristle brush. Allow the mixture to soak for up to 20 minutes.
                 Rinse thoroughly. Air dry. Repeat if necessary.

-Selling-Don't strip the boat! Meaning price the boat so you can leave non personal items, such as towels, dishes, pots & pans, trash cans, wall hangings, decorations, etc. If you are moving to another boat, it will be nice to have new things, and if you are getting out of boating, you won't need most of that stuff. It sure makes for a nice transaction when the buyer feels like they are getting a good deal, and the boat hasn't been stripped. Our first nice houseboat purchase, included all the stuff, a sparkling clean boat, complete with a peach cobbler baking in the oven. We always sang high praises of the sellers, and learned a valuable lesson how to sell a boat with class.

-Head-When leaving the boat for an extended period, flush head at least 3 times. This insures there are no impurities remaining in the system, and the treatment system has filled all hoses. This will give you a fresh smelling boat when you return. Refrain from ever "dry flushing" heads capable of that, since it removes all chemicals from the system, and will cause obvious problems.

-Preheat switch on Westerbeke Generators-When you press the preheat switch it does a couple of things. First it activates the fuel pump to prime the system and second it by-passes all of the safety shut down switches until the unit starts and gets oil pressure.

-Propane Tanks-In April,  2002 Kentucky along with 26 other states, began enforcing new regulations requiring an overflow protection device on propane tanks. You can easily tell if your tank has the new device by the shape of the handle. The old tanks have a star shaped, or more round knob, while the new tanks have a triangle shaped knob. You will not be able to refill your old tanks in Kentucky any longer. You may exchange them for a fee running as high as $25.00 (Ouch)! Sources say Wal-Mart will exchange the tanks for only $4.00 + the price of the gas to fill the tank, ($12.95 in Somerset).

-Mosquitoes a problem-Try rubbing Bounce dryer sheets on your skin before exposing yourself to those pesky bugs. Though the dryer sheets are a bit rough feeling to your skin, they smell pleasant, and they seem to do a great job repelling mosquitoes.

-Wet cove ropes-Try storing your ropes in plastic clothes baskets. They have holes in them, which allows the ropes to air dry easily, as well as make a neat way to store them.

-Thunderstorm season-Never leave the dock without first checking the weather. In addition, turn off your radio or CD player every hour or so, to check the weather radio for fast approaching thunderstorms, which can pop up quickly this time of year, and spoil your day.

-Leaving Port-As Captain you are responsible for your ship. Never take your passengers word that all lines and hook-ups are removed, before throwing her into gear. This could save you an embarrassing moment, not to mention possible damage to your vessel.

-Docking-Boating and flying share a common interest, the wind!  To avoid windy docking situations plan to leave or return to your harbor before 10am or after 6pm.  These are calm periods that exist before the heat of the day begins producing thermals (wind).

-Docking-Always check wind direction before approaching your slip. Dock neighbor flags are your best resource to determine which way the wind is blowing, how hard, and which side of the slip you should aim for.

-Docking-Never turn your engine(s) off until the boat is completely stopped. Many large cruisers, and houseboats are more than a man can hold onto, or push away in a wind gust. Never relinquish your ability to control your boat until you are safely stopped, and dock lines are secured to your boat.

-Boarding Guests-As Captain of your ship you are responsible for the safety of every person aboard. Put together a quick orientation as guests board your boat that show them where all safety gear is stored (LIFE JACKETS etc.), your expectations and needs as the captain, and how to use the heads just to name a few. Your trip will be much more enjoyable, and everyone will arrive back to the dock safe.

-Volvo outdrives-Volvo outdrives should be parked in reverse, to protect the shift cables which recede up into the housing, and are then not exposed to potential water corrosion problems.

-Your tip here-