Scott Marine Surveyor Blog

ALMOST TIME TO GIVE THANKS, BUT FIRST ....

Posted On: November 15, 2018



Okay, so let’s assume you tended to your boat, got it out of the water, winterized, and put away till spring. Now its' time to relax……...not so fast cowboy! You have two weeks till Thanksgiving, and if you want to keep the peace, you have some chores to address.

Clean your gutters
Clearing your gutters of fallen leaves and other debris is a crucial task before temperatures drop and snow begins to fall. Do it safely with these tips:

  • Alert your family or a neighbor that you'll be cleaning the gutters, and check in with them at a planned time.
  • Practice ladder safety—always keep one hand on the ladder, and avoid reaching too far. Enlist the help of a family member or neighbor to hold the ladder base.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from potentially harmful bacteria or thorns.
  • If you have to get on the roof to access part of your gutters, wear nonslip shoes.1

Rake leaves
Removing debris such as fallen leaves from your yard helps maintain a tidy landscape and gets rid of material that might kill plants and lawn underneath. But even the simple task of raking leaves can cause back injuries, falls and more. Follow these tips to help keep leaf-raking safe:2

  • Warm up your body for 10 minutes before you start raking.
  • Wear gloves and long sleeves to protect against any thorns or poisonous plants that you might collect.
  • Avoid twisting from your back to rake in a new direction; turn your feet first.
  • Use your knees when lifting, and stop working if you feel pain in your back.
  • Wear shoes with strong traction—wet leaves can be slick.
  • Stay hydrated and take frequent breaks.

Trim branches
Storms and wind can snap dead branches, which can injure people or damage items in their path. Keep your trees and shrubs in good shape using the right tool and a ladder, if needed.

  • Choose a tool that's made for trimming, such as hand pruner, loppers or a pruning saw.3 Make sure the tool is sharp.
  • Follow proper trimming procedure according to the size of the limb, Check pruning guidelines (widely available on the internet) for more guidance on pruning to achieve healthy growth.4

Wear gloves and long sleeves to protect your hands and arms, and follow the guidelines for ladder safety above.

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ERASING THOSE EXHAUST STAINS

Posted On: November 13, 2018


Exhaust stains can turn a white transom gray and make an otherwise clean boat look dirty. As you probably already know, exhaust stains don't always come off in the wash. Some spray cleaners are strong enough to remove exhaust stains; however, if they're strong enough for that job, then they're probably also strong enough to eventually strip that area of wax, only making it harder to clean the exhaust stains off over time. The best way to remove exhaust stains from gelcoat is to wax them off. This is something that can easily be done by hand with cleaner wax. Use a terrycloth rag to apply the wax, and wipe or rub it in until the exhaust stains are gone. Then use a microfiber rag to wipe the hazy wax residue off. If the exhaust stains cover a large area, you'll want to use several terrycloth rags as you go, so you're not rubbing the exhaust soot from the rag back onto another section of your boat. When you're finished, you'll be left with a clean, white surface, and it should be a little easier to wipe exhaust stains off next time because they'll be sitting on top of freshly waxed gelcoat.

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VETERANS DAY

Posted On: November 08, 2018


Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans. It is marked by parades and church services and in many places the American flag is hung at half-mast. A period of silence lasting two minutes may be held at 11am. Some schools are closed on Veterans Day, while others do not close, but choose to mark the occasion with special assemblies or other activities.

Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be "filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory".

Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day.

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DISPELLING SOME BOATING MYTHS

Posted On: November 06, 2018

SOME Boating Myths Dispelled


Ethanol gas (E10) works fine in my car so it should be fine for my boat, too.

Cars go through gas much faster than most boats. You probably fill up your car once a week or so. But ethanol's Achilles heel is that it's hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water. Car fuel systems are closed and under slight pressure, meaning they absorb very little water, and any small amount that gets in will just burn through the engine until it's replaced by fresh fuel next week. But most boat fuel tanks are open to the atmosphere. That little vent you see in your hull allows air to replace fuel as it's used, but it's also an inlet for moisture. A deck fill that even slightly leaks can put a lot of water in your boat's fuel. As enough water gets into your boat's gas tank, the ethanol combines with it, and when there is enough, the ethanol/water mixture separates to the bottom of the tank, right where the fuel pickup is. The result is a stalling — or even a damaged — engine.

Boats stored ashore can't sink.

This one is sort of true. Technically a boat on land can't sink underwater, but it can get filled with water during a major storm, which can cause nearly as much damage as if it sank. After a hurricane hits, there are always claims for boats that have submerged engines and electronics even though they're stored ashore. Given enough rain and wind, water will find a way in.

Larger boats need to have all openings made watertight before a major storm hits. Leaking hatches and portlights can also allow lots of water in over time, with a moldy mess the result. Smaller boats often fill with water due to a leaking seat hatch or sole cover. Over long periods of time, a bad enough leak can eventually destroy a boat. Close-fitting covers can avoid "sinking on land," and for small boats, leaving the drain plug out, with the drain clear of debris, is the safest bet. Only in extreme surge events should you leave the plug in so rising water can't come in through the drain. One more thing: Visit your boat often to make sure leaks don't turn into a catastrophe.

You don't need a life jacket if you're a good swimmer.

Maybe this statistic will change your mind: 90 percent of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket. Not some, but the vast majority of drowning victims had no life jacket on.

If you fall off of a boat, you may strike your head on something, leaving you dazed and unable to swim. If the water is cold, you may experience caloric labyrinthitis and/or hyperventilation, as well as hypothermia. Caloric labyrinthitis is an inner ear disturbance associated with sudden temperature drop and causes a person to become disoriented, which explains why someone thrown into the water may sometimes swim down instead of up. Hyperventilation can cause a person to gasp and breathe in water. In very cold water, a swimmer without a life jacket can only survive for a few minutes. Even if you're a champion swimmer, consider wearing your life jacket whenever you're aboard. You can't predict when you'll fall overboard.

Older boats are money pits.

This one may have a ring of truth to it for anyone who's ever tried to restore a "classic." But a well-cared-for older boat doesn't have to cost an arm and leg to maintain and may actually be cheaper to keep than a newer boat.

Systems (e.g., plumbing, wiring) are less sophisticated, which means someone who's handy can often do more maintenance and repairs than he or she could on a newer boat with computer controls, electric doodads, and complex engines.

The best older boats to hang onto are often those that were made in large numbers; parts are often easily available and there is usually a large group of enthusiastic supporters online who are willing to share money-saving parts-sourcing and repair tips.

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ELECTION DAY IN THE USA

Posted On: November 01, 2018

Election Day in the United States of America is the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. It can fall on or between November 2 and November 8. It is the day when popular ballots are held to select public officials. These include national, state and local government representatives at all levels up to the president.


What Do People Do?

On Election Day, citizens of the United States of America can vote by popular ballot for candidates for public offices at local, state and national levels. In even numbered years, federal elections are always held. In years divisible by four, presidential elections are always held. Elections for local and state officials may be held in odd or even-numbered years, depending on local and state laws.

The way in which people vote depends on the state in which they live. In Oregon, all votes are cast by post and all votes have to be received at a given time on Election Day. In the state of Washington, nearly all people vote by post and the envelopes containing the voting papers have to be postmarked with the date of Election Day. In other states, people vote at voting stations, where long queues can form.

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A SURVEYOR SPEAKS OUT

Posted On: October 30, 2018


A marine survey is also a useful tool for buyers when negotiating price based on what repairs or upgrades the boat needs. And finally, insurance and lending companies that need to know the true condition and fair market value of a vessel often require it. Insurance company underwriters carefully read through a marine survey to make a determination as to whether the vessel is a good risk, and may require an owner to address certain deficiencies.

But a good survey is more than just an inventory of the boat's equipment. The surveyor will comment on each section of the inspected boat. Finally, near the end of the survey are the recommendations, arguably the most important part.

Recommendations are just that — issues the surveyor found on the boat that may need to be addressed. It's the "may" part that's important here. Typically, a surveyor will list recommendations in order of importance, often as A, B, or C. A-list recommendations (more properly called must-dos) are the most important ones to pay attention to, and you can be sure your insurance company will — not just for your boat, but for the safety of you and your crew. These are issues that, unaddressed, can cause your boat to sink, burn, become involved in an accident, or cause serious injury

Keep in mind that while surveyors inspect a boat with an eye toward industry safety standards, such as those written by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), they recognize that newer standards were not in place when older boats were built. But some of those standards, like the need for carbon monoxide alarms or proper wiring, are critical enough that insurance underwriters may still require boats to comply with them

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HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN MASKS

Posted On: October 25, 2018

Halloween Masks - History of Halloween Masks

Halloween has originated from the old Celtic festival and even before that. In those times, a man painted a mask on their face with blackened ashes from the sacred bonfire and dressed up as fearsome beings.

 It was believed that this is the last night for the dead to have their vengeance before moving on so people wore masks and costumes not to be recognized, to scare away evil spirits and to prevent them from entering homes. They believed it was important to honor dead, so Halloween developed from Pagan ritual to Masquerade party night.

It is believed that in this celebration days the souls of the dead roam the earth. So the most common costume is the white ghost sheet, and the common mask is the ghost or spirit mask. People believed that wearing masks and costumes protected them from ghosts. This night represents the border between the living and the death. The souls of the dead were meant to revisit their homes.

Today, Halloween masks and costumes represent supernatural, saints, biblical figures, folkloric and frightening beings. They can also be inspired by celebrities, pop culture figures, characters from mass media like movies, comic books, literature, and science fiction characters like superheroes and aliens. Monster masks and costumes are skeletons, ghosts, devils, zombies, vampires, Dracula, Frankenstein, witches, mummies, and werewolves.

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WHY DRY RACK STORAGE

Posted On: October 23, 2018

There are many benefits in using a dry rack storage facility:

It’s especially popular in warm weather locales. However, its available everywhere.

Here’s an excerpt of an article that appeared in Boat US a while back covering the pluses and some drawbacks.

First, ease of use. You call ahead to have your boat brought down and even fueled. Then you arrive, hop in, and go. When the day is over, you return to the marina, dock the boat in the designated area, and leave. The marina washes it down and puts it back up on the rack.

Second, it may save money. Since you don't have a trailer, you're not spending money on gas, launch fees, or upkeep on the trailer. Also, because your boat isn't sitting in the water, you won't have to clean off the marine growth or bottom paint the hull every year.

Third, it keeps your boat in better shape. If your boat is sitting in a big steel barn and not constantly being bombarded by the sun's UV rays, you are lessening the possibility of gelcoat damage. However, keep in mind that if your boat is in a three-sided shed or a rack with just a roof, some sunlight might get on your boat.

Fourth, it's good protection for your boat. Most buildings have security measures like electronic security systems to stop vandalism and outright boat theft. Many of the newer buildings have fire suppression systems from sprinklers and even synthetic fire retardant foam systems. Also, many buildings in hurricane-prone zones have been built according to local hurricane codes. If you keep your boat in a hurricane-prone area, check to see what kind of protection the rack facility offers.

Fifth, it provides alternatives to keeping a boat and trailer sitting in the driveway. Due to homeowner association by-laws or city ordinances, some small boat owners can't keep their boats in their driveways. In addition, dry stack storage is good for owners who find themselves being kicked out of marinas to make room for larger yachts.

Last, it may be environmentally better in some circumstances. According to Delaware State Parks' Indian River Marina, dry stack storage "Minimizes need for dredging, minimizes water quality and flushing concerns, and reduces the amount of contact time between pesticide-containing bottom paints and the water."

Of course, as with everything, there are some downsides. Most places only allow you one launch and retrieval per day. That launch time can get long if the dry stack is extremely busy that day. Also there usually isn't any place at the facility to park your boat in the water and use it overnight. Also, you can't just show up at the facility and tinker around on your boat. Most dry stacks don't allow boat owners to work on their boats in the facility.

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