Blog July 2017


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Posted On: July 27, 2017

Do You Sail The Long Island Sound?


Some Sound Facts                     


Many people around the northeast area sail or navigate the waters of the Long Island Sound. There are many facts about the Sound that you may not realize.


Did you know.....


The Long Island Sound is 21 miles wide at its widest point and 113 miles long.


It holds approximately 18 trillion gallons of water.


It’s an estuary — a place where fresh and salt water mix.


The Sound’s surface water area is 1300 square miles.


The salt water in the Sound comes from the Atlantic Ocean.


90% of the Sound’s freshwater comes from three Connecticut rivers: the Thames, the Housatonic and the Connecticut.


The depth of the water in the Long Island Sound averages 63 feet deep.


The Sound’s maximum depth is 320 feet at the Race.


There are four tides daily — two highs, two lows.



Posted On: July 25, 2017


Seasickness can quickly turn a day on the water into a miserable experience. Seasickness occurs when your eyes, your inner ear, and your body  send conflicting messages to your brain. Imagine you are below deck, your eyes are telling you the room isn’t moving while your inner ear senses motion. This conflicting message may result in dizziness, light-headedness, and nausea.


Prevention is better than treatment,try these tips:


   Stay on deck in a shady spot and face forward, focusing on the horizon.

   Keep your head still, while resting against a seat back.

   Eat light; avoid spicy and greasy foods and alcohol.


 Antihistamines are commonly used to prevent sea sickness. Frequently recommended over-the-counter antihistamines include Antivert, Bonine, Dramamine, and Benadryl.

The adhesive patch, Scopolamine (Transderm Scop), is available by prescription. The patch is applied behind the ear a few hours before traveling and provides 72-hour protection.

 Or try this:

 Mix a half teaspoon of ginger powder in a glass of water and drink it 20

minutes before heading out to sea.


If you still find yourself becoming nauseated, try the following:


    Get some fresh air. If you’re below deck, go on the upper deck and sit toward the middle of the boat where you’ll feel less movement.      Eat a few dry crackers.   Sip a clear, carbonated beverage.



Posted On: July 20, 2017


I digress. All too often I see and experience an all too common lack of common decency and basic boating right of way.

Heck, how about some common respect and manners.

This article addresses it very well and keeps my blood pressure in check.

How Close Is Too Close?

By Carol Newman Cronin

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That's the moral code, right? Maybe it's time to apply that to wakes and personal boating space.

Recently, I attended a casual boating get-together that reminded me of the importance of respecting personal boating space. A wide variety of boats showed up, and probably 50 crowded the docks. It was a little windier than ideal, so I wasn't too surprised when a young sailor came in slightly out of control and raked his boom along the side of my boat. There was no physical damage to either vessel, but he'd definitely made a mark on my attitude. I called, "Hey, be careful!" and sent an annoyed glare in his direction.

I could easily forgive the kid for ignoring me, especially since he seemed shaken up. But his dad, who'd come down to catch a bow line, didn't say anything to me, either. Then, after only a short pep talk, dad calmly pushed his son off the dock again, whereupon he and his boat ran into mine twice more before eventually finding a way out to open water.

Only a few minutes later, two boats that were tied up side by side at the dock were ready to leave at the same time. The inside boat pushed off before the outside boat was ready, failed to make a sharp enough turn, and BANG! Luckily, there was only cosmetic damage, and both vessels continued out to enjoy the day — but without a single word of apology from the offending skipper.

Obviously, collisions like these are unacceptable, even when they don't result in an insurance claim. But when we're maneuvering in tight quarters around unfamiliar vessels, how do we figure out what constitutes an appropriate amount of personal boating space? Right-of-way rules refer only to "passing at a safe distance."

The definition of "too close" will hinge on many factors, including the size and type of boat, the size of the harbor or channel, and probably the size of other things as well. As a result, different boating fraternities have developed their own rules of thumb for what constitutes "too close."

Large powerboats, for instance, can have blind spots under their bows big enough to swallow a small whale, so their operators understandably get antsy when another vessel strays too close. Racing sailors are accustomed to tacking less than a boat length away from a competitor's bow. Within the confines of each specific fraternity, both approaches may be "correct," but they're just plain incompatible — and for good reason. In any situation, therefore, thinking like the other guy can help everyone maintain a comfortable distance.

Another incompatibility occurs between boats of different speeds. When one passes another, both going in the same direction — say in a waterway, river, or channel — the faster boat's skipper might think it best to maintain speed and get the passing over as quickly as possible. But this wreaks havoc with the slower boat; a big wake will hurl kettles across galleys and topple unsuspecting crew. Ideally, the boat being passed should slow down, allowing the passing boat to maintain a moderate wake while still getting by fairly quickly. Checking in with your fellow boater on the VHF (or even waving hello to each other) doesn't hurt, either.

The plot thickens even more once we realize that what's considered polite by one group of boaters directly contradicts the preferred behavior of another. Fishermen think the polite way to cross another boat's course is to steer across the bow. Why? Because there might be fishing lines hanging off the stern. Sailors underway think other boats should know to cross their stern, if at all possible. Why? Because even a small wake in a sailboat's path will send it wildly bobbing or stop it altogether.

Communication is key to amicably sharing the water with other boaters. (Photo: Billy Black)

Is it any wonder there are so many rude hand gestures between these two groups? The only answer is to accept our boats as extensions of ourselves and then consider the other perspective. As soon as we do that, it becomes obvious that "too close" has a different meaning for each operator.

So how do we learn to share the water amicably? Two ways. First, communicate. Use your VHF, hand signals, or anything else available to tell the other skipper what you're planning to do, and give him or her the opportunity to suggest a different approach. And ­second, whenever you have a chance to get out on another type of boat, take it. Appreciating other perspectives is much easier once you're standing in a different wheelhouse.

As a young kid learning to sail, I'm sure I occasionally came into contact with other types of boats, and harbors were much less crowded in those days. Mess about with boats long enough, and we inevitably end up on the receiving end of everything we once did to someone else. That's why it's important to understand that our own sense of personal boating space may not always be in sync with everyone else who is trying to enjoy the same body of water. We'll all make the most progress if we learn from our differences. Oh, and let's all apologize when it's appropriate




Posted On: July 13, 2017

photo credit Boat US

I read this informative but troubling piece about the tragic number of ESD occurences.

Thanks to Boat Owners Association for the article

Swimming Near Boat Docks Claims More Lives

How to prevent a tragedy with a summertime age old ritual

The recent fatalities of an 11 year old girl girl in New Jersey and 19 year old young man in Ohio are bringing scrutiny to an age-old summer ritual that’s common on waterfronts across America: swimming near boat docks. Initial reports say the youngster died when touching a dock’s electrified boatlift, and the Ohio teen died as a result of dangerous electrical current in the water while trying to save his father and family dog that also appeared to be stricken by the electrical current. The BoatUS Foundation, the boating-safety arm of the nations’ largest recreational boat owners group, has some tips to prevent an electrocution tragedy.

While swimming deaths due to electricity fall into two categories, electrocution and electric shock drowning (ESD), both can be prevented the same way. Electrocution can happen in fresh- or saltwater when swimmers make contact with energized metal dock fittings, boats or other structures due to faulty alternating current (AC) wiring.

ESD occurs when AC gets into freshwater from faulty wiring and passes through a swimmer, causing paralysis or even sudden death. Unlike electrocution, with ESD a swimmer does not need to be touching a boat or dock structure, and even minute amounts of electricity can be incapacitating and lead to drowning.

The risk of ESD is greatest in fresh- or brackish water, so some areas such as estuaries or rivers may only be in the danger zone after heavy rains. In saltwater, electrical current takes the path of least resistance, bypassing swimmers. Unlike a drowning swimmer, who typically can’t yell out for help because their mouth is mostly underwater, an ESD victim is often confused about what is happening, may be able to shout, and will feel numbness, tingling, pain and paralysis. Tingling in the swimmer’s body is one of the early warning signs of ESD.

What can you do to prevent an electrocution or ESD fatality? Here are 6 tips:

     1. Never swim around boats and docks that use electricity.
     2. Post "no swimming" signs.
     3. Have a qualified electrician with experience in dock electrical service inspect your private dock annually.
     4. Install ground-fault protection on your boat and private dock.
     5. Ask your marina if they have installed ground-fault protection, and if the electrical system is inspected and        
     tested annually just in case someone falls overboard. No one should ever swim in a marina.
     6. Periodically test your boat for electrical leakage into the water.

What do you do if you see a distressed person in the water near a boat dock? A drowning victim often looks “playful,” while an electric shock drowning victim looks “distressed.” It may be difficult, however, to immediately determine either, so play it safe by not jumping in. The first task is to shut off power to the dock at the breaker panel, and if equipped, disconnect any power cable to the vessel. If power cannot be shut down, follow the “reach, throw, row, but don’t go” mantra by using an oar, boat hook or throw a floatation device to reach the stricken person.



Posted On: July 11, 2017

What to Expect

No matter who you choose to do your marine survey, you should expect professional treatment. At Roy Scott Marine you can always expect that we will:

  • Be on Time for Appointments (or at least call to explain any unforeseen delays)
  • Inspect Your Boat Thoroughly.
  • Treat You Respectfully.
  • Respect Your Boat.
  • Avoid Conflicts of Interest.
  • Under Promise & Over Deliver.
  • Explain the Survey Process.
  • Prepare a Comprehensive Marine Survey Report.
  • Deliver the Survey Report Quickly – Normally Within 24-48 Hours.
  • Respect Your Privacy.
  • Be Available for Questions and Follow-Up.

Our practical approach allows you to get a good picture of the boats’ condition the day we inspect it. We go through all the parts of the boat in a systematic way, pointing out systems and issues and jotting down our observations and recommendations that we then use to create the survey. We encourage buyers and owners to be present at a survey.



Posted On: July 04, 2017

The Story of the Fourth of July

The Declaration of Independence

We celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation.

But July 4, 1776 wasn't the day that the Continental Congress decided to declare independence (they did that on July 2, 1776).

It wasn’t the day we started the American Revolution either (that had happened back in April 1775).

And it wasn't the day Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (that was in June 1776). Or the date on which the Declaration was delivered to Great Britain (that didn't happen until November 1776). Or the date it was signed (that was August 2, 1776).


So what did happen on July 4, 1776?

The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They'd been working on it for a couple of days after the draft was submitted on July 2nd and finally agreed on all of the edits and changes.

July 4, 1776, became the date that was included on the Declaration of Independence, and the fancy handwritten copy that was signed in August (the copy now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.) It’s also the date that was printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration that were circulated throughout the new nation. So when people thought of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 was the date they remembered.

In contrast, we celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th of each year, the anniversary of the date the Constitution was signed, not the anniversary of the date it was approved. If we’d followed this same approach for the Declaration of Independence we’d being celebrating Independence Day on August 2nd of each year, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed!