Blog March 2017


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Posted On: March 23, 2017


Come April and May, a strange illness sets in. It’s a phenomenon that poets have documented for centuries. In a flurry of psychological and sexual renewal, millions of men and women of the northern hemisphere experience rapid increases in mood and energy in stark contrast to the lows felt during winter time. But is this so-called spring fever a real biological phenomenon or have the poets simply led us all to believe in fairy tales?

What is spring fever?

Generally speaking, spring fever refers to an onset of psychological and physiological symptoms associated with the arrival of spring. Its symptoms include a flushed face, increased heart rate, restlessness, daydreaming, and, of course, an increase in sexual appetite.

While “spring fever” is not a definitive diagnostic term, researchers are only beginning to understand how the change in seasons influences our mood.

What causes spring fever?

Although the exact cause of spring fever is still unclear, scientists agree that hormones are probably the driving force behind all this feverish friskiness. (Who would have guessed?) But different stimulants trigger our hormones in different ways, and there are at least three well-known stimulants that come knocking in April.

Cause No. 1 — Light

When seasons change, the retina (the part of the eye connected to the brain) reacts to increases in the amount of daylight. This information is monitored by a tiny region of the brain known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Considered the human biological clock, the SCN controls the secretion of melatonin, the well-known sleep hormone. As light during the spring months increases, the body produces less melatonin, causing a lift in mood, a reduced desire to sleep and an increase in libido.

While this is probably the most accepted cause of spring fever, there are a few simpler explanations as to why spring gets us so sprung.

Cause No. 2 — Exercise

Warm weather increases physical activity. Combine physical activity with healthy rays of sunshine and you’ll see an immediate improvement in mood. Whether it’s because of an increase in endorphins (the “feel-good” hormone), vitamin D, blood flow, or some other biological marker, scientists have long known that exercise is just as good as any antidepressant in lifting our moods. But this doesn’t necessarily explain the gender-specific boost for male sex drives.

For that explanation, we need to get real basic.




Posted On: March 16, 2017

A marine survey can prove invaluable. The key is to know what type of survey you need, how to best prep the boat, the time required and what a survey report can offer.

There are different types of marine surveys, “One is a Pre-Purchase inspection, which is the most extensive. The Condition & Valuation inspection, which is the one most requested, is mainly used for financial and insurance purposes. Specifically, it’s very useful to insurance companies to determine if the vessel is an acceptable insurance risk. It will also include the valuation to determine the fair market value of the boat. The Damage inspection consists of an inspection that will help establish the cause of a loss and settle on the extent of the damage.”

It’s a good idea to ask a surveyor if they are familiar with the type of boat to be surveyed.

Some surveyors may only survey modern boats typically used in charter, and may lack the specific knowledge of boats built using unusual materials, or older boats. If a boat is wood, or steel or alloy, then finding a surveyor with experience with these materials is important. Ask them for a sample survey too. Most surveyors will be happy to provide this.”

Prepare the boat for a survey

The boat should always be clean and free of miscellaneous items. Paperwork should be on hand and available to present to the surveyor. If it is required to have the boat hauled out or to undergo a sea trial, the arrangements should be made and scheduled by the owner. 

How long does a survey take?

It depends on the size of the vessel. I can take one full day to inspect a typical 45-foot sail boat. It takes then probably another half-day to write the report. Length of time also depends on the vessel’s overall condition.

A 24-foot runabout can likely have a survey completed in a few hours. A 140-foot mega yacht survey could take a week.

It’s not mandatory for a boat owner or potential buyer to attend a survey. 

The most common question marine surveyors are asked?

How Much? What’s the cost? Owners and buyers all too often look at a survey as merely a logistical ‘hoop’ to jump through. However, a good survey report serves as a tool to highlight deficiencies and plan future maintenance pre-purchase, to determine the cause and scope of damage (particularly if a third party is involved in an incident) as well as study costs for a complete claim and to represent the owner’s interest during the repair process




Posted On: March 14, 2017

Complete Your Pre-Launch Inspection and Maintenance

To help ensure a smooth, safe start to the boating season, have a certified technician or mechanic perform the recommended maintenance on your vessel. Whether or not you get a professional tune-up, be sure to complete the following checklist before leaving the dock:

  • Inspect all of the safety equipment on board, including fire extinguishers, flares, personal flotation devices and first-aid kits, and repair, recharge and restock them as necessary.
  • Check all lights on your boat to make sure they are in place and operating properly.
  • Open the engine compartment to check for excess water in the bilge.
  • Check for any electrical issues, such as loose, disconnected or corroded conductors.
  • Check that the battery is properly secured to the vessel.
  • Check the fuel tank for leaks, and ensure there is proper ventilation.
  • Check the fuel filters to make sure no water is present.
  • Fill your tank with the freshest, highest-quality fuel available.
  • Change and check the oil level before starting the boat for the first time.
  • If you will be towing your vessel to its launch point, you will also need to properly inspect and maintain your trailer prior to your first outing.

Get In, On and Out of the Water Safely

Once all tasks on your pre-launch checklist are complete, you can start your engine and get out on the water. It is important on your first, and every trip of the season, to:

  • Follow safe launching practices.
  • Monitor the engine temperature to make sure it is not overheating.
  • Monitor the cooling system to make sure it is operating correctly.
  • Ensure you and your passengers know and follow safe boating practices.

Remember: Every Vessel is Unique

The work required to get your boat water-ready will depend on, whether it is used in fresh or salt water, its size, manufacturer, model, and the state in which it is registered. Be sure to get the information you need, then develop and follow the right spring ritual to help ensure every trip of the boating season is safe and fun for all.




Posted On: March 09, 2017

Fire Extinguishers

Based on an article published by Don Casey for BOAT-US

Here is a statistic you better know about.

Those 10-BC dry chemical fire extinguishers we all carry (designated B-I by the Coast Guard) will discharge for maybe 10 seconds. Thats right.....10 seconds!

For an onboard fire with a head start, that won't be long enough to put the fire out. Then what?

If your boat is larger than 26 feet, Coast Guard regulations require a second B-I extinguisher aboard, that or a larger B-II. A second 10-BC gives you another 9-second shot-if the fire hasn't put this second unit out of reach.

A B-II extinguisher is better, carrying at least a 60-BC rating, which doesn't mean the extinguisher will discharge for six times as long, but does mean it has six times the extinguishing capacity. But if your single B-II is on the other side of the flames.

Meeting Coast Guard requirements equips your boat to extinguish only the smallest of onboard fires.

For real fire protection, take aboard B-II extinguishers, or at least the larger B-I, rated 40-BC. All but the smallest watercraft should have at least two extinguishers aboard, mounted in opposite ends of the boat.



Posted On: March 02, 2017

Read this interesting piece from Brandon Steiner, the collectible legend. 

Good stuff! What do you think?

Losing isn’t the opposite of winning, it’s a part of winning

By Brandon Steiner on Feb 24, 2017

Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.”

And, when talking about what there is to be proud of after a loss, Derek Jeter once said to me, “What did you accomplish, you lost?”

But to tell you the truth, I don’t necessarily agree.

The biggest obstacles in life are often the biggest springboards towards achieving something great.

Understand how important it is to have a winning attitude because you can’t have a positive and negative thought at the same time. The average person has 60,000 thoughts a day…that’s over 420,000 a week!

How many of them are you cluttering with negativity?

I think the biggest mistake people make is that they don’t think they should ever lose. Sometimes it’s a blessing to lose. With every loss there is silver lining to be found.

Losing is not the opposite of winning. The people who understand losing but don’t accept it are the ones on a fast track to success.

Ask yourself this: would you rather win the game by 30 points or play your best, most competitive game but lose by 2 points? Clyde Frazier told me some of his favorite games were the ones he lost against Earl Monroe because he liked the challenge and because earl brought out the best in him every time they played and he knew he had to pay his absolute best defense to stop and control his offense in order to win the game

In order words, embrace all results. No matter the outcome, think "what can I learn?" Sometimes it is okay to lose as long as you don't lose the lesson. 

Losing is a blueprint for winning. Being able to work through losing will make you an even biggest winner in thelong run. 

Winning may be everything, but losing is everything too. What is an important loss you encountered and what did you learn from it? Did it help you in the future?