Blog May 2016


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Posted On: May 31, 2016

Protecting Metals Underwater Zincs From A to Z

The surveyor's report mentions that the boat's owner first noticed pitting on the shaft in the spring of 1987. The following season, "some degree of corrosion was evident" on the same outdrive, so the owner slapped on a fresh coat of paint and hoped for the best. Finally by 1989 the owner reported that he was unable to put the badly corroded outdrive in gear. The reason, after a brief investigation, had to do with the zinc, or lack of a zinc, which should have been acting as a "sacrificial anode" to protect the outdrive from galvanic corrosion. The last zinc, it seems, had been placed on the outdrive in 1985, an eternity when two dissimilar metals are immersed in saltwater.

The scientific explanation as to why galvanic corrosion occurs has to do with things like migrating electrons and electrical potential, but as a practical matter a boat owner should be aware that dissimilar metals, especially dissimilar metals left unprotected below the waterline, can cause horrendous corrosion problems to the least noble or "anodic" metal. The more dissimilar the metals (see chart), the more likely galvanic corrosion will occur.

Saltwater is a more effective electrolyte than freshwater, which means that galvanic corrosion takes place more quickly in saltwater. Galvanic corrosion can even occur when dissimilar metals are joined above the waterline. A sportfisherman in Florida, to use one dramatic example, had a Zamac (chrome plated zinc) fuel fill mated with a galvanized steel nipple below the deck. Saltwater washing over the fittings eventually destroyed the Zamac fitting and gasoline poured into the bilge. The boat exploded when the engine was started but fortunately nobody was hurt. (Claim #897640A)

Above the waterline, you'll want to avoid using Zamac fittings on critical parts like the fuel fill when a boat is used in saltwater. And whenever possible, avoid using dissimilar metals, especially metals that are far apart on the galvanic scale. If this isn't possible, which is frequently the case, you can often insulate one metal from another, for example, an aluminum mast from a stainless steel fitting, by using zinc chromate, polysulfide, a wood pad, or an inert insulating material like nylon or tufnol.

But below the waterline, when you have a stainless steel shaft and a bronze prop, which can't be isolated, you'll need a sacrificial anode. A zinc.

Shafts, rudders, outdrives, and trim tabs are likely candidates for zincs. Replacing these zincs is typically done annually, sometimes semi-annually. (The exception may be on boats kept in uncrowded, northern water where the water is colder and zincs typically last longer.) Zincs that are crumbling should be replaced in the Spring before launching and again midway through the season. Conversely, a zinc that doesn't appear to be worn at the end of the season is suspect and may contain impurities that kept it from doing its job. Before changing suppliers, make sure the zinc was snug against the metal it was supposed to have been protecting. A loose zinc won't do its job. Check also the metal beneath the zinc to make sure it is smooth and unpainted. Never paint a zinc.



Posted On: May 24, 2016

Boating Safety

It’s National Boating Safety Week and I thought it might be a good idea to visit what you should do after you purchase your equipment, See it’s one thing to have it on board and be in compliance with the rules and regulations, but it’s a whole other thing knowing how to utilize it correctly.

When it comes to safety equipment, most boaters start out doing just the right thing: We purchase products with a reputation for saving lives. However, after taking this crucial first step, we often just hang the gear on the rail or pack it away in a locker, assuming that our job is done. But it isn't. Buying proper safety gear simply initiates our comprehensive, planned, and practiced on-the-water safety regimens.

Life Jackets

It's one thing to buy a quality life jacket. It's another to practice putting it on and taking it off, then trying to climb back into a boat with one on. If you've never pulled the cord on an inflatable, getting an idea of what it's like to land in the water and have your comfortable inflatable life jacket burst into a couch cushion-sized flotation device can be an eye-opener. There are two ways to get this real-world experience: 1. Jump into the water and try your life jacket yourself, which will also give you an opportunity to learn how to replace your CO2 canister and bobbin. 2. Attend a hands-on boating-safety seminar or course near you. Many programs give you a chance to try out a variety of different life jacket types in a safe environment so you can build familiarity through practice.

Crew-Overboard Gear

Specialized crew-recovery equipment, such as a throw rope or a Life preserver requires not just practice but planning that's specific to your boat. Each boat and crew needs to have a well-conceived plan that everyone is ready to implement, and it's important to play this plan out in advance when things are completely calm on board your boat. Your plan may be as simple as the skipper designating a spotter who points continuously toward the victim in the water while the crew tosses flotation to the victim, then returns on a reciprocal course, shuts off the engine, and makes contact with the victim using a throw rope or life ring. Boats with swim platforms have a built-in advantage, but you still have to know how to get your crewmember safely to the stern while avoiding the prop. Fortunately, this drill is easy to practice on the water by attending a hands-on-safety course or doing it on your own by using a seat cushion or life jacket as a stand-in for a person in the water.





Posted On: May 19, 2016

How Long Is My Boat?


How is a boat's centerline measured?

 Well, the centerline is just that, the boat split in half down its length, and it is not used in and of itself as a boat measurement, but as a reference point for other measurements.

 Measuring parallel to the centerline at various points (e.g., at deck level, at the waterline) can give you LOA (length overall), LWL (length of waterline), and so on.

 LOA is defined as the straight line measurement from the foremost part of the boat to the aftermost part of the boat at deck level, measured parallel to the centerline and to the design waterline, including any integrally formed, molded, or welded components.

 ABYC standards carry definitions of these items. The document titled "S-8: Boat Measurement and Weight" is the one you may be looking for. Very often, property-owners' associations contact ABYC to settle slip or mooring disputes, and this is the perfect document for that.

Brochures and online sales specs for boats often talk about terms that really don't exist in the design world but sound great at boat shows.

They may quote LOA but really mean what we call "maximum length," which is the tip-to-tail measurement including any accessories installed.



Posted On: May 17, 2016


How To Remove A Fish Hook

Many of you are avid fishermen, Even more of you venture to try it just because you are out on the boat . You would be shocked to hear how many stories I hear about “getting hooked”

Here’s a good article by Lenny Rudow to help you all out.

It happens. Here's what to do when you hook the least desirable catch of all.

If the hook is near an eye, vital organs, or (yikes!) private parts, leave it in place and seek medical attention on land. If you're dealing with a treble hook, cap the points that aren't already embedded in you with pieces of cork or a cut-up pool noodle to prevent a second and possibly even a third hook in your skin.

Show me an angler, and I'll show you an inadvertent pincushion. I've personally been hooked in three fingers and a thumb, one earlobe, and a leg. That is, of course, only counting incidents in which the hook penetrated past the barb. Unfortunately, once the barb is sunk, there's no backing out — literally. Fishhooks are designed not to pull out, and they do a pretty darn good job of it. If a hook has entered your epidermis, follow these steps, and make sure your tetanus shots are up to date.

Cut the hook free from the fishing line. Otherwise, you might give it an unintentional yank and cause additional pain. If the hook is attached to a lure, remove it so the lure's body doesn't get in your way or swing around and jerk the hook. Usually you can do this by slipping the hook's eye through a split-ring, but sometimes it requires cutting the eye off with snippers or cutting pliers.

Now you're going to have to cause some additional pain on purpose. Rotate the hook point up as you push it forward, so it pops back out through the surface of your skin — OUCH! It should now form a U with the point and shank exposed, and the bottom of the U under the skin. You can dull the pain by icing the area down first, but you'll probably still yell "Mommy!" Do this in a quick, fluid motion. Try to be gentle and you'll discover it actually takes quite a bit of force to pop through. The longer you take, the more it hurts.

Clip the barb off the hook with a pair of snippers or a similar tool. This may be easy or tough, depending on what type of tools you have at hand and how thick the hook is. If you have only pliers or de-hookers and no cutting tools aboard, use them to mash the barb of the hook completely flat against the shank.

With the barb disabled, back the hook out through both of the holes in your skin. Disinfect the area, and protect it with a bandage.

If there is any question of infection, see a doctor immediately



Posted On: May 12, 2016

The Invaluable Phonetic Alphabet

To make sure you're clearly understood, especially when using the VHF radio, words often need to be spelled out using what's known as the phonetic alphabet. On a radio transmission, static can produce mistakes. In audio communications, mistaken words can be disastrous. Here is the phonetic alphabet, I suggest you memorize it and be able to recite it by heart so that you can easily spell out names and words quickly, especially in emergency situations.

A    Alpha

G    Golf

M    Mike

S    Sierra

Y    Yankee

B    Bravo

H    Hotel

N    November

T    Tango

Z    Zulu

C    Charlie

I    India

O    Oscar

U    Uniform


D    Delta

J    Juliet

P    Papa

V    Victor


E    Echo

K    Kilo

Q    Quebec

W    Whiskey


F    Foxtrot

L    Lima

R    Romeo

X    X-ray




Posted On: May 10, 2016

All to often, I hear stories about boat buyers, or sellers for that matter, getting scammed. here's a few red flags that should make you suspicious.

Any one of these red flags should be enough to make you very cautious — more than one or two should be enough to make you slam on the brakes:

  • An offer to send a cashier's check for more than the purchase price, and a request that you send the difference back to pay for shipping — almost always by instant electronic money transfer, such as Western Union, which can't be reversed once the money is picked up. Sometimes scammers will have imaginative reasons to need to have a return of excess money, such as they just got a settlement and they want to send you the check and ask you to return a portion. Ironically, this tends to foster confidence — surely you'd trust someone who trusts you enough to return some of their money. This is the brightest of red flags and always signals a scam. Never agree to send excess money back to a buyer.
  • The buyer's lack of interest in inspecting the boat, verifying paperwork (often not even mentioning it), or negotiating price, even on expensive boats. Scammers are busy and usually have multiple scams going on. They don't have time to negotiate back and forth, and often forget which person they're dealing with. If a buyer isn't interested in title, registration, or a survey, and makes a full-price sight-unseen offer, stop.
  • Buyers, banks, and shippers from multiple geographic areas. If a buyer says he is from Connecticut, and his check is drawn on a bank in Texas, and the shipper is in Florida. The check may be a forgery. The Internet makes buying across the country easy, but scammers often work together in separate areas to better hide from authorities.
  • Communication via odd-sounding email addresses. Scammers prefer emails, though many will now use text and even phone calls. Emails, especially those with foreign domains (such as .ru) make hiding identities easier. But now, scammers often buy "burners" — prepaid untraceable phones — for calls and texting. These phone are bought with cash and then tossed after a few scams.
  • Demanding fast payment. Scammers may say that the shipping company will be in town soon, and you need to pay them right away or the deal's off. Ironically, some scammers will negotiate the amount for you to send back to them (anything they can get is a success), even if they won't negotiate the boat price. Their only goal is to get some of your money before you become suspicious. If you're not comfortable, it's OK to delay the sale. Dragging your feet might save you a bundle.


Posted On: May 05, 2016

The C&V (Condition and Value) survey is a survey prepared for a prospective buyer of a vessel or an owner looking for insurance. It includes a detailed visual inspection of the vessels hull, deck, and both percussion testing and visual inspection of reinforcing components (where possible). The installed systems of the vessel are inspected for operation and safety. This includes but not limited to, propulsion systems(engines, cooling components, exhaust systems, fuel tanks and systems, engine mounts and stringers, proper ventilation, props and shafts, stuffing boxes, and transmissions). Electrical systems (Both AC and DC systems) are checked for proper polarity, ground fault protection, batteries are examined as well as charging systems, routing and connections of conductors are inspected. Thru-hulls are tested for operation and for proper grounding. Safety equipment such as, personal flotation devices, life rafts, navigation lights, fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, first aid kits, and safety alarms are also inspected. For surveys of sailing vessels, the sails and rigging will be inspected from the deck only.

Sea Trial- Systems are checked for proper operation during the sea trial. Making sure that the engines start without excessive cranking, examining color of smoke from the exhaust and exhaust cooling water, excessive vibrations, steering systems, throttle and shifting, oil and coolant leaks, and navigation equipment are all checked during this portion of the survey. A back down test is performed to examine the condition of the engine mounts as well as checking that the vessel is able to reach its top speed and RPM. Scott Marine surveyors will not operate the vessel during the sea trial as they are busy conducting their inspection. The client is responsible for making sure that they have someone to drive the vessel.

It is highly recommended that a sea trial be conducted on any vessel for a pre-purchase survey, allowing the boats engines and other systems to be tested.

Surveys are conducted without the removal of any parts, including fittings, tacked carpet, screwed or nailed boards, anchors and chain, fixed partitions, instruments, clothing, spare parts and miscellaneous materials in the bilges and lockers, or fixed or semi-fixed items. Locked compartments or otherwise inaccessible areas would also preclude inspection. Owner is advised to open up all such areas for further inspection. No determination of stability characteristics or inherent structural integrity has been made and no opinion is expressed thereto. All surveys represent the condition and value on the date of the survey and is the unbiased opinion of the surveyor.

Surveys are conducted in accordance with, The mandatory standards promulgated by the United States Coast Guard, under the authority of title 46 United States Code, title 33 and title 46 Code of Federal Regulations, and the voluntary standards and recommended practices developed by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Our reports are detailed and thorough yet easy to read and understand.