Blog September 2014

THE BEST TIME TO TAKE A CRUISE

Posted On: September 25, 2014

THINKING OF A CRUISE?

I ‘m often  asked,   When is the best time for a cruise vacation ?

It's a question that really has a lot of answers. Really, it's not an easy one If you want to see  Fall foliage  for instance, you will find September and October the best time to take that Canada/New England cruise. If you are into water sports or have a young family you probably prefer to sail the region in the summer when school is out and temperatures are warm for swimming.  Then again if you are interested in an Alaskan cruise, your optimal sail dates will vary depending on your preferences for wildlife-viewing, fishing, bargain-shopping, sunshine, warm weather and catching the Northern Lights.

So what factors influence your timing?

Do you need to schedule around school breaks? Is a holiday week the best time for your cruise? Is your main goal to escape winter temperatures? Or maybe you have lots of flexibility or a budget and don't mind making a few tradeoffs in timing for a steal on a cabin. Your answers will influence which sailing season is your best option.

 Most cruise regions have periods of peak demand (high season), moderate demand (shoulder season) and low demand (low season). Not so long ago, high season tended to be when the weather was best in a particular area (and when all the northerners flocked to the sun), but as more families take to cruising, the summer months have become a peak-demand period, regardless of the weather .  Families especially need to book high-season sailings as early as possible because some cruise lines limit the total number of children per sailing, and each ship has a limited number of cabins that can accommodate three or more people.

Slow and shoulder seasons often give you the best bargain opportunities in year-round destinations where the off season is longer.

Low seasons have shrunk in many areas, thanks to the boom in new cruising destinations and homeports, and the smart thinking of the cruise lines in repositioning ships to the places people want to sail and at the times when they want to sail them.

The great thing about a cruise ship iIs that they don’t have to wait it out for the season to change; they  can move the ships to where people want to go..

   

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WINTERIZING YOUR BOAT PART 2

Posted On: September 11, 2014

SOME MORE TIPS FOR GETTING READY TO WINTERIZE

                                                               

Part 2

I started on Tuesday with some winterizing tips. Here's some more....

5: REPLACE GEAR OIL

 

Drain the lower unit of old gear oil and replace with a fresh supply. Whn changing the gear oil, be sure to check for moisture. If water comes out first, or if you see milky or lumpy oil, this is an indication your boat is experiencing moisture contamination and will need new seals before next season.

 

 6: GREASE AND LUBRICATE

 Find your engine’s grease fittings (most will be located in the steering

mechanism area), then use a quality marine lubricant to protect against rust,

corrosion and oxidation. Check your owner’s manual to be sure you don’t miss any

important areas that need to be greased before winter storage.

 

 7: REMOVE VALUABLES

 Boatyards receive little traffic in the winter, which makes break-ins easy.

Remove all valuables, including expensive electronics.

 

 8: CLEAN AND WAX

  9: COVER

 The best place to store your boat is in dry storage, but this can be expensive—especially in areas with long winters. At a minimum, you’ll need to cover your boat with a durable cover. Another good option is to shrink wrap your vessel.

 

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TIME TO THINK ABOUT WINTERIZING YOUR BOAT

Posted On: September 09, 2014

Winterizing Your Boat

 PART 1

As you enjoy the season’s final weeks of sunshine, start thinking about preparing to winterize your boat.

 

Here are nine steps to make your spring startups more enjoyable.

 

STEP 1: REPLACE ENGINE OIL

 

Moisture and acids in old oil will pit bearings and other engine parts while in storage, so you need to drain it. First warm up the engine, while in water, so more of the dirty oil will drain out and impurities will flush out more easily.

 Use high quality oil and filters as recommended by your engine’s manufacturer. For 4-stroke outboard motors, change the oil and filter before storing for the winter.

 

STEP 2: FLUSH AND DRAIN COOLING WATER

 To prevent damage from expanding water when it freezes, you must drain water

from your engine.

 

For inboard and stern driven engines: Flush the engine with clean water by using water muffs or a similar device to connect a garden hose to your cooling system. (Never run a water engine without water). Then flush until the engine reaches normal operating temperature.

 

Remember, remove drain plugs. These are usually located in the engine block and manifold. You may also need to remove the water pump hose to drain remaining water.

 

STEP 3: STABILIZE YOUR FUEL

 

Fuel can deteriorate in as little as 60 days, causing gum and varnish to build up in your engine. This results in hard starting, poor performance and reduced engine life.

 

The easiest way to prevent these problems is by adding a high quality marine

fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel deterioration. Then fill the tank with fresh fuel to prevent corrosion-causing water condensation. Simply run the engine for a few minutes to get treated gas throughout system—either when your boat’s in the water or while using a fitting designed to run the engine with a garden hose.

 

Here’s A Myth Buster: Simply draining gasoline does not prevent varnish formation in engines, since some fuel is always left behind. In addition, gaskets can dry out and that can cause leaks in the spring.

 

STEP 4: PROTECT INTERNAL ENGINE COMPONENTS

 

Remember, While in storage, engine oil drains away. This exposes internal engine components to harsh elements in winter and can lead to corrosion and metal-to-metal contact, called cylinder scuffing, come spring.  To prevent these issues, use a fogging oil spray. This type of product isspecially formulated to penetrate deep into the engine and coat parts with a protective layer of anticorrosive compound.

 

More on Thursday in Part 2!!

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