Blog October 2017


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Posted On: October 31, 2017

Day After Halloween

All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day are also closely linked with Halloween, which is a shortened for the name “All Hallows' Eve”.

In the United Methodist Church, All Saints' Day is observed on the first Sunday in November to remember deceased members of the local church congregation. A candle is lit as each person's name is called out, followed by a prayer offered for each soul. 

Many Latin American communities in the United States hold celebrations around November 1 and 2, linking with All Saints’ Day and All Souls' Day (November 2). These celebrations are part of the Day of the Dead, also known as Día de los Muertos.

Public Life

All Saints’ Day is not a federal public holiday in the United States.


According to some sources, the idea for All Saints' Day goes back to the fourth century when the Greek Christians kept a festival on the first Sunday after Pentecost (in late May or early June) in honor of all martyrs and saints. Other sources say that a commemoration of “All Martyrs” began to be celebrated as early as 270 CE, but no specific month or date is recorded.

Pope Gregory IV made All Saints' Day an authorized holiday in 837 CE. It is speculated that the chosen date for the event, November 1, may have been an attempt to supplant pagan festivals that occurred around the same time.


Symbols commonly associated with All Saints’ Day are:

  • A sheaf of wheat.
  • Rayed Manus Dei (hand of God).
  • The crown.
  • Symbols / images of saints.

The liturgical color is white on All Saints' Day.



Posted On: October 26, 2017

The Story of Halloween

Halloween is one of the oldest holidays with origins going back thousands of years. The holiday we know as Halloween has had many influences from many cultures over the centuries. From the Roman’s Pomona Day, to the Celtic festival of Samhain, to the Christian holidays of All Saints and All Souls Days.


Hundreds of years ago in what is now Great Britain and Northern France, lived the Celts. The Celts worshipped nature and had many gods, with the sun god as their favorite. It was “he” who commanded their work and their rest times, and who made the earth beautiful and the crops grow.


The Celts celebrated their New Year on November 1st. It was celebrated every year with a festival and marked the end of the “season of the sun” and the beginning of “the season of darkness and cold.”


On October 31st after the crops were all harvested and stored for the long winter the cooking fires in the homes would be extinguished. The Druids, the Celtic priests, would meet in the hilltop in the dark oak forest (oak trees were considered sacred). The Druids would light new fires and offer sacrifices of crops and animals. As they danced around the the fires, the season of the sun passed and the season of darkness would begin.

When the morning arrived the Druids would give an ember from their fires to each family who would then take them home to start new cooking fires. These fires would keep the homes warm and free from evil spirits.


The November 1st festival was called Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”). The festival would last for 3 days. Many people would parade in costumes made from the skins and heads of their animals. This festival would become the first Halloween.



Posted On: October 19, 2017

Fell or felt?

Fell is the past simple of the verb fall: … Fall or fall down?

We can use fall as a noun or a verb. It means 'suddenly go down onto the ground or towards the ground unintentionally or accidentally'. It can also mean 'come down from a higher position'. As a verb, it is irregular.

It then began to pick up steam and became common in the 16th century—about the same time “fall” popped up as the name for the season.

Before the season was autumn or fall in English, though, it was called “harvest.” “Winter,” meanwhile, derives from the Proto-Germanic wentruz.

Both farmers and animals are busy during fall harvest season. Hibernating animals such as groundhogs, chipmunks and bears feast on nature's buffet of berries, apples, nuts and seeds to build up reserves of fat that will keep them warm during their long winter's nap.



Posted On: October 17, 2017

It's the time of year where many of you are hit with the boat buying bug.

It can be a daunting experience and costly if you don't prepare.

Here is an article based on one by Charles Fort.

Lessons Learned In Buying A Boat

­Education and research helped make the purchase a smooth process.

After years of cruising and sailing, you decide it was time to trade it in.  Suddenly you find yourself on the other side, you think you have extensive knowledge of the buying process, after all you read all the magazines and see and talk to everyone on the dock.

That may be true, but maybe you could still learn a few things that just may help you when it's time to go boat shopping.

Make sure you know what you want. Your boat-buying criteria:  your must haves: type, age, amenities, and budget.

Lesson 1: Make a realistic offer.

After locating a suitable boat, don’t cheap out. If it seems super-clean and perfect. Make a good offer. Don’t assume a low-ball offer will be countered. All too often, another offer may already on the boat. Even if you raise your offer you may still lose your perfect boat for seemingly chump change.

So bid realistically, or you may lose the boat you want.

Lesson 2: Search deeper.

Exhausted the listings of two or three area yacht brokers, check out several local marina websites. You may find what your looking for.

Lesson 3: Educate yourself.

Research the vessel you are considering. Read every blog, forum, owner's manual, and service manual you can get your hands on. Watch videos.  Check the Consumer Protection complaint database to see if the boat, engine, or dealership had any complaints.

Lesson 4: Negotiate.

Ask about current offers on the boat, and make what you consider a reasonable offer based on the facts. If the owners counter, make sure the offer is contingent on a satisfactory survey and sea trial.

Lesson 5: Focus on the big picture.

All used boats (and many new ones) will have some problems.  You can't expect everything to be perfect. "If a sea trial and survey don't reveal anything serious or alarming, ( just the normal small items found on all surveys) it usually a good idea not to nitpick the sellers. The engine and other major systems on the boat should be the primary focus.  

Lesson 6: Get it in writing.

If your offer includes repairs, get everything in writing. Make a list of what needs to be performed.


"Before settlement, get an invoice of items the sellers paid for. Read the boatyard's repair-warranty policy and make sure it transfers to a new owner. One more nugget: "There's no standard-length warranty for service work, and don't assume a yard is going to extend it if something breaks later. Check the work right away."

Lesson 7: A good dealer or broker will go the extra mile.

During our research, we learned that our dealer had a good reputation. The salesman spent an hour removing the old registration stickers for us, gave us some spare oil, flares, and a horn, and got the techs to power wash the cockpit carpet. I'd expect this more from a dealer who owned the boat, but consignment sales, where the sale is just based on a straight commission, often have less room for such extras."

Lesson 8: Go with a known entity.

An established repair facility can mean the difference between a day on the water and a day stuck at the dock. "The best thing you can do is to mitigate any surprises up front. Even a survey and sea trial are not guarantees that everything possible can be found, but without them, you may be faced with far more expensive repairs."

Lesson 9: Now educate yourself — some more.

If your invited us to join a class on boat maintenance for your new possession, or further education on things like docking and line handling, take them. Even if you're just moving up in size on the same kind of boat, maintenance and boat handling may be quite different from what you're used to.




Posted On: October 12, 2017

Gas Hose Fail

The weather is changing. Hot one day, cool another. Still your not ready to store your boat away just yet. make sure you inspect your hoses.

On quick inspection, a gas-tank setup may look fine. But peer a little closer (see photo above) and you'll see that it's everything but fine. Where the hose makes a bend, it's cracked and a failure is imminent. This kind of hose failure can send gas into the bilge, where vapors can build up and then be ignited by the smallest spark.

The next time you're in your boat examining the fuel system, follow every hose and make sure there's nothing like this hiding around a dark corner. If you're not sure how old your fuel hoses are (manufacturers typically say 10 years is their useful life), they are marked with the year they are made.

If your hoses are more than 10 years old, they're due for replacement.

If they're not marked, it means they aren't Coast Guard-approved and should be replaced right away.



Posted On: October 10, 2017

The Basics of a Survey

Not all surveys are the same, but they generally begin by describing the boat overall.

This part of the survey lists the year, make, model, hull identification number (HIN), and the basic specs of the boat, such as length, beam, and weight. It should also explain the scope of the survey, which describes the limitations. For example, it may say that hard-to-access areas were not inspected, that electronics were only powered up and not tested, or that engines were not part of the survey

From there, the survey goes into meatier stuff. It will document the condition of structural components, such as hull and deck, running gear, bulkheads, and engine beds. Things like the fuel, plumbing, and electrical systems are inspected and discussed with respect to relevant standards; living spaces are inspected; and safety items are noted, such as the existence — or the lack — of carbon-monoxide alarms and fire extinguishers.

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.

Don't select a surveyor on price alone; find one that has experience on your type of boat and one with whom you feel comfortable.

1. Boats don't pass or fail a survey. The buyer determines if the boat is acceptable or not, and the insurance company will list what must be done in order to provide coverage.

2. Even a brand-new boat will almost certainly have some recommendations from the surveyor, though most of them should be addressable through the builder's warranty.

3. Surveys include an approximate current fair-market value for use by lenders and insurance companies. This can serve as a price negotiation tool.

4. A survey is a useful guide for planning upgrades and repairs and allows you to prioritize your budget.



Posted On: October 05, 2017


Boating is seemingly filled with undecipherable abbreviations.

While most of these can be welcoming, landlubber friends can get lost in the often confusing and opaque jargon.

The boaters coded talk can be exclusionary, or it might just jeopardize a passenger’s safety.

For example, if the captain instructs everyone to “put on a PFD” so the boat can leave the dock, he’s concerned about safety. PFD stands for personal flotation device and it’s simpler to just tell everyone to wear a life jacket.


If the captain or a crewmember yells “MOB!” the cry is meant to kick everyone aboard into action. However, those not in the know won’t move until they know it means man overboard.


If you do fall overboard in chilly waters, it’s best to have learned the HELP position. That’s a heat escape lessening posture meant to conserve body heat.


If you’re heading for adventure on a kayak or SUP (stand-up paddleboard), wear a PLB to increase your chance of rescue if things go awry. It’s a personal locator beacon that sends a radio signal as to the wearer’s exact location.


Does your boat have an EPIRB? This stands for emergency position indicating radio beacon, another safety device that activates as soon as it is immersed in water. If the boat sinks without an opportunity to make a VHF (very high frequency) radio call, the EPIRB notifies emergency services by providing GPS (global positioning system) data that pinpoints your location on the planet by triangulating your position via satellites in space.


Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a GPS radio beacon that shows up on digital charts, detailing what a vessel is and where it is headed. In fog or at night, you will be able to tell whether a RADAR (radio detection and ranging) signal is a buoy or a tanker using AIS. While we’re at it, there’s also SONAR, which stands for sound navigation and ranging.


See the letters NDZ on a chart? That’s a no discharge zone where no sewage from your boat can be released into the waters. Everything must stay in your MSD (marine sanitation device) until it can be legally pumped out.


IALA is the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities. They specify what each navigation mark should look like, the meanings of colors of lights and shapes, and how each light should flash. By following these, you can triangulate your position using a hand compass and not, for example, hit a wreck guarded by a warning buoy.


Boaters say RRR as shorthand for red right return(ing). It’s our way to remember which side of the boat red navigation lights should be on when coming into the harbor from open waters.


If invited onto a RIB, you’ll be on a rigid inflatable boat. It’s a motor boat with a fiberglass hull and inflatable rims. What about an invite to ride on a PWC? It better be a two-seater, as it’s a personal watercraft (aka jet ski).


Should a tall ship with the abbreviation SSV before its name sail by, you’ll know it’s a sail school vessel.


Never be afraid to say to a boater, “I’m unfamiliar with that term.” On the whole, we’ll happily explain what we’re talking about. However, don’t ask what BOAT stands for, unless you’re prepared for at least two different answers. One is “break out another thousand,” but another is my favorite — “best of all times!”



Posted On: October 03, 2017

Fall has arrived. Boating weather may range from freezing conditions for New England frostbite to very hot and humid tropical weather for offshore fishing in Miami or cruising in California. Staying comfortable means staying safe.

Wearing layered clothing helps keep you dry and comfortable, because each layer is only required to do one thing well. A hydrophobic wicking layer of long underwear worn next to the skin disperses perspiration outward. A middle insulating layer traps warm air, providing a barrier from cold outside air or fabric, and helps funnel moisture to the weather protection layer. The breathable outside layer uses hydrophilic, water vapor absorbing coatings or microporous membranes like a heat-driven water pump, allowing water vapor molecules to escape. Solid water molecules are blocked, along with wind, from entering. With each layer performing its designed function you stay dry, warm and alert, however hostile the outside environment.

Many boaters have no incentive to spend more for high-tech synthetic socks, and will instead wear cotton. The problem with this approach is that cotton retains moisture, and it is this moisture that causes friction and blisters. For years, many in the healthcare field recommended all-cotton socks to prevent foot problems. This is the biggest myth out there! Cotton absorbs moisture and in socks, that moisture stays next to the foot creating an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to grow, and for blisters to form. Stay away from all-cotton socks!

The extremities, especially the head and neck, are where most of the body's heat loss takes place, so protection is critical for the head, neck, hands and feet as well.

Based on an article by By Tom Burden,updated: 08/25/2016 for West Marine