Blog November 2018

BOAT HEATERS AND WINTERIZING

Posted On: November 29, 2018

Heaters and Winterizing

In parts of the country that don't usually get too cold, plugging in a heater in the engine area seems a lot easier than lugging gallons of antifreeze to the boat and filling the engine(s) with it. In fact, using a heater can destroy your engine. When these places do get cold, it's often accompanied by an ice storm that takes out the power. No power to the heater equals unprotected engine, which equals permanent damage and a new engine.

A destroyed engine may actually be much better than what else can happen when you use a heater for winterizing. An overloaded electrical system, a damaged extension cord, or a faulty heater can all cause your boat to catch fire and burn. Your boat neighbors are not likely to be happy to learn that your "shortcut" destroyed their boat, too. Take the time to winterize your boat properly this winter.

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WINTER WATER DECISIONS

Posted On: November 27, 2018


HAPPY THANKSGIVING

So you have stalled and delayed, and actually gotten a few fall days out of the season. But with Friday off, now you are facing your big decision.

Pull the boat out or winterize in the water?

Okay boys and girls, the northeast generally isn’t to kind to boaters who decide to keep their boats in the water all winter. Yet, many of you say that with de-icer, you can survive. It can help, but only in some instances.  I don’t recommend keeping it in the water, but if you do:

Here are three winter disasters a de-icer can help prevent:

  1. Hull Damage

Normal current and wind speeds naturally make water rigs tip, rock and pitch in the water. When freezing temperatures and a layer of ice are added to the equation, the result is a nasty grinding action that can scratch and tear away the gel-coat along the waterline of fiberglass boats. This allows water to sneak into the laminate and further damage the hull. Ice can also get into the plank seams or the bilge of a wooden boat and cause anything from minor cosmetic damage to major leaks.

  1. Dock Lifting

Ice, wind and current are no friend to docks, either, especially if all three elements are thrown together. Because ice expands during the freezing process, the water levels will fluctuate, making it difficult for dock piles to stay firmly in place. Heavy ice flows and ice pressure can shift the dock pilings – or worse, pull them out of their footings entirely. Any watercraft near the dock could be damaged as the dock shifts.

  1. Ice Expansion

Like most substances, water at ordinary temperatures contracts, increasing in density as it cools. At about 4 degrees Celsius, however, water reaches its maximum density and then decreases in density as it reaches its freezing point. Because of this, ice forms on the top of the water first, allowing it to freeze and float, and then the rest of the ice forms below. This simple sequence can be disastrous for both docks and boat hulls. The pressure from ice expansion can crush a hull or dock, causing major damage and compromising the structural integrity of the craft.

Old Man Winter can try as he may to freeze lakes and rivers, penetrate boat hulls and crush docks – but he’ll have a much harder time succeeding if a de-icer is on hand to protect your goods during the winter.


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TURKEY FACTS

Posted On: November 22, 2018


Turkey Facts

  • At one time, the turkey and the bald eagle were each considered as the national symbol of America. Benjamin Franklin was one of those who argued passionately on behalf of the turkey. Franklin felt the turkey, although "vain and silly", was a better choice than the bald eagle, whom he felt was "a coward".
  • According to the USDA, more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the U.S. at Thanksgiving—that's one sixth of all turkeys sold in the U.S. each year. American per capita consumption of turkeys has soared from 8.3 pounds in 1975 to 18.5 pounds in 1997 and has remained stable at about 16 pounds since 2011.
  • In 2014, 235 million turkeys were raised. Compare this with the record low of 17.1 million birds in 1930, and the record high of 302.7 million in 1996.
  • Turkeys are fed a diet of mainly corn and soybean meal along with a supplement of vitamins and minerals. They grow to full maturity in about 4 to 5 months, depending on the desired market weight.
  • Only tom turkeys gobble.
  • Age is a determining factor in taste. Old, large males are preferable to young toms (males) as tom meat is stringy. The opposite is true for females: old hens are tougher birds.
  • A turkey under sixteen weeks of age is called a fryer, while a young roaster is five to seven months old.
  • Turkeys are the only breed of poultry native to the Western Hemisphere.
  • Turkeys have great hearing, but no external ears. They can also see in color, and have excellent visual acuity and a wide field of vision (about 270 degrees), which makes sneaking up on them difficult. However, turkeys have a poor sense of smell (what's cooking?), but an excellent sense of taste.
  • Domesticated turkeys cannot fly. Wild turkeys, however, can fly for short distances at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. They can also reach speeds of 25 miles per hour on the ground.
  • Turkeys sometimes spend the night in trees.
  • Turkeys can have heart attacks: turkeys in fields near the Air Force test areas over which the sound barrier was broken were known to drop dead from the shock of passing jets
  • The ballroom dance known as the Turkey Trot was named for the short, jerky steps a turkey makes.
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CARVING THE BIRD THE RIGHT WAY

Posted On: November 20, 2018

I repeat this every year, your welcome guys!!

Every year, countless families cringe as the annual carve the turkey debate rages on. So in the interest of harmony and Thanksgiving, here's what the pro's say.


Six steps to serving the perfect Thanksgiving bird

by Gerry Brown

Carving, and serving, the perfect turkey

 

Many beautiful Rockwellian Thanksgiving feasts have been spoiled when the golden brown turkey is hacked to pieces by an improperly trained carver. Whether you are looking to improve your technique, confirm that you are doing it right, or getting ready to pass the knife to Junior this year, here's a quick look at the proper way to look good slicing up and giving your family the bird.

 

What you'll need:

         a turkey; (duh!!)

        a good, long, sharp knife (an electric carving knife is nice but unnecessary and can often be more trouble than it's worth; if you're just starting out, go with an old fashioned manual model);

        a carving fork;

        an apron;

        a spot to place the meat as it's cut.

 

Step One

A Perfectly Cooked Turkey

Make sure the turkey is done!

Sounds simple but several variables can conspire to throw off the pre-cooked time calculations. You want to make sure that you use a real meat thermometer, not one of those pop-up deals. Most times you'll end up with an overdone, dried out turkey and that's a nightmare for carvers. The meat will shred and crumble.

 

Assuming the turkey is stuffed, stick the tip of the thermometer into the stuffed cavity of the turkey. If the turkey is not stuffed, put the thermometer into the thigh pointing toward the body, but make sure it doesn't touch bone. If you are using an instant-read thermometer, don't leave it in while the turkey is roasting. The turkey is done when the thermometer says 160°F in the center of the stuffing or 180°F deep in the thigh; also, the turkey's juices should be clear, not reddish pink when thigh muscle is pierced deeply.

Step Two            

The turkey is done. Now take it out of the oven and let it "rest" for 20–30 minutes on the cutting board. Wash and dry your hands and put on your apron if you haven't already. Remove the stuffing from the bird and keep it warm. You are now ready to begin carving. The first thing you'll want to do is remove the leg on one side.

 

Some will tell you to steady the turkey with your big carving fork and use your knife to slice between the leg and the body of the turkey. Others will say to pull the leg gently away from the turkey while you cut with the other hand. Either way, you'll want to use the tip of the knife to probe the area just above thigh to find the joint that connects the leg to the turkey. That's the magic slice point.

 

Once you find the joint, cut it firmly but smoothly. Usually it will cut through with relative ease but if not, check to make sure you are not trying to cut through bone. Once you get the leg off the bone you can cut some meat off the leg. But first separate the thigh from the drumstick by cutting through the joint that connects them. The thigh is simple to carve—just slice the meat parallel to the bone.

 

A lot of people just leave the drumsticks intact because that's the way the kids like them. But if you want to carve them, here's how: hold the drumstick by the small end and rest the big end on the cutting board and slice downward. Don't try to get slices that are too thin. Go for medium-sized pieces.

Step Three

 Before you attempt to carve the breast you need to cut off the wings. Do this in the same way you did the legs. Find the joint near the turkey's body and cut through the magic slice point.

Step Four

Carving A Perfectly Cooked Turkey

Now, this is one of the most crucial and controversial steps. There are two general schools of thought on the best way to carve the breast. Most people like the white breast meat, so this is the step that makes or breaks your carving reputation.

 

There is the traditional method, in which one cuts the breast one slice at a time away from the bird. Another method, sometimes called the "kitchen method" because it is usually done out of view of the guests, involved cutting the entire breast away from the bird and then slicing it into pieces.

 

The traditional method is a little easier and by far the most popular. In the kitchen method you may be able to regulate the thickness of each individual slice a little better, but it should be done by only those who have mastered the traditional method first.

If you're sticking with the traditional method, steady the turkey with your fork and slowly and smoothly carve the turkey breast in downward-slanting slices. Start with a small slice, roughly the diameter of a soda can, and as you cut, the slices will get larger. As you are cutting periodically check to make sure that the slices are even and not thicker on one end or the other. As they come off the bird, stack the slices as neatly as possible on a serving platter. Sliced meat cools fast so serve it quickly or have some piping hot gravy on standby if things cool off.

Step Five

 Repeat step four on the other side of the bird.

Step Six

 Serve it up, say grace, and dig in with the satisfaction of knowing that you are the best carver at the table.

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ALMOST TIME TO GIVE THANKS, BUT FIRST ....

Posted On: November 15, 2018



Okay, so let’s assume you tended to your boat, got it out of the water, winterized, and put away till spring. Now its' time to relax……...not so fast cowboy! You have two weeks till Thanksgiving, and if you want to keep the peace, you have some chores to address.

Clean your gutters
Clearing your gutters of fallen leaves and other debris is a crucial task before temperatures drop and snow begins to fall. Do it safely with these tips:

  • Alert your family or a neighbor that you'll be cleaning the gutters, and check in with them at a planned time.
  • Practice ladder safety—always keep one hand on the ladder, and avoid reaching too far. Enlist the help of a family member or neighbor to hold the ladder base.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from potentially harmful bacteria or thorns.
  • If you have to get on the roof to access part of your gutters, wear nonslip shoes.1

Rake leaves
Removing debris such as fallen leaves from your yard helps maintain a tidy landscape and gets rid of material that might kill plants and lawn underneath. But even the simple task of raking leaves can cause back injuries, falls and more. Follow these tips to help keep leaf-raking safe:2

  • Warm up your body for 10 minutes before you start raking.
  • Wear gloves and long sleeves to protect against any thorns or poisonous plants that you might collect.
  • Avoid twisting from your back to rake in a new direction; turn your feet first.
  • Use your knees when lifting, and stop working if you feel pain in your back.
  • Wear shoes with strong traction—wet leaves can be slick.
  • Stay hydrated and take frequent breaks.

Trim branches
Storms and wind can snap dead branches, which can injure people or damage items in their path. Keep your trees and shrubs in good shape using the right tool and a ladder, if needed.

  • Choose a tool that's made for trimming, such as hand pruner, loppers or a pruning saw.3 Make sure the tool is sharp.
  • Follow proper trimming procedure according to the size of the limb, Check pruning guidelines (widely available on the internet) for more guidance on pruning to achieve healthy growth.4

Wear gloves and long sleeves to protect your hands and arms, and follow the guidelines for ladder safety above.

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ERASING THOSE EXHAUST STAINS

Posted On: November 13, 2018


Exhaust stains can turn a white transom gray and make an otherwise clean boat look dirty. As you probably already know, exhaust stains don't always come off in the wash. Some spray cleaners are strong enough to remove exhaust stains; however, if they're strong enough for that job, then they're probably also strong enough to eventually strip that area of wax, only making it harder to clean the exhaust stains off over time. The best way to remove exhaust stains from gelcoat is to wax them off. This is something that can easily be done by hand with cleaner wax. Use a terrycloth rag to apply the wax, and wipe or rub it in until the exhaust stains are gone. Then use a microfiber rag to wipe the hazy wax residue off. If the exhaust stains cover a large area, you'll want to use several terrycloth rags as you go, so you're not rubbing the exhaust soot from the rag back onto another section of your boat. When you're finished, you'll be left with a clean, white surface, and it should be a little easier to wipe exhaust stains off next time because they'll be sitting on top of freshly waxed gelcoat.

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VETERANS DAY

Posted On: November 08, 2018


Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans. It is marked by parades and church services and in many places the American flag is hung at half-mast. A period of silence lasting two minutes may be held at 11am. Some schools are closed on Veterans Day, while others do not close, but choose to mark the occasion with special assemblies or other activities.

Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be "filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory".

Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day.

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DISPELLING SOME BOATING MYTHS

Posted On: November 06, 2018

SOME Boating Myths Dispelled


Ethanol gas (E10) works fine in my car so it should be fine for my boat, too.

Cars go through gas much faster than most boats. You probably fill up your car once a week or so. But ethanol's Achilles heel is that it's hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water. Car fuel systems are closed and under slight pressure, meaning they absorb very little water, and any small amount that gets in will just burn through the engine until it's replaced by fresh fuel next week. But most boat fuel tanks are open to the atmosphere. That little vent you see in your hull allows air to replace fuel as it's used, but it's also an inlet for moisture. A deck fill that even slightly leaks can put a lot of water in your boat's fuel. As enough water gets into your boat's gas tank, the ethanol combines with it, and when there is enough, the ethanol/water mixture separates to the bottom of the tank, right where the fuel pickup is. The result is a stalling — or even a damaged — engine.

Boats stored ashore can't sink.

This one is sort of true. Technically a boat on land can't sink underwater, but it can get filled with water during a major storm, which can cause nearly as much damage as if it sank. After a hurricane hits, there are always claims for boats that have submerged engines and electronics even though they're stored ashore. Given enough rain and wind, water will find a way in.

Larger boats need to have all openings made watertight before a major storm hits. Leaking hatches and portlights can also allow lots of water in over time, with a moldy mess the result. Smaller boats often fill with water due to a leaking seat hatch or sole cover. Over long periods of time, a bad enough leak can eventually destroy a boat. Close-fitting covers can avoid "sinking on land," and for small boats, leaving the drain plug out, with the drain clear of debris, is the safest bet. Only in extreme surge events should you leave the plug in so rising water can't come in through the drain. One more thing: Visit your boat often to make sure leaks don't turn into a catastrophe.

You don't need a life jacket if you're a good swimmer.

Maybe this statistic will change your mind: 90 percent of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket. Not some, but the vast majority of drowning victims had no life jacket on.

If you fall off of a boat, you may strike your head on something, leaving you dazed and unable to swim. If the water is cold, you may experience caloric labyrinthitis and/or hyperventilation, as well as hypothermia. Caloric labyrinthitis is an inner ear disturbance associated with sudden temperature drop and causes a person to become disoriented, which explains why someone thrown into the water may sometimes swim down instead of up. Hyperventilation can cause a person to gasp and breathe in water. In very cold water, a swimmer without a life jacket can only survive for a few minutes. Even if you're a champion swimmer, consider wearing your life jacket whenever you're aboard. You can't predict when you'll fall overboard.

Older boats are money pits.

This one may have a ring of truth to it for anyone who's ever tried to restore a "classic." But a well-cared-for older boat doesn't have to cost an arm and leg to maintain and may actually be cheaper to keep than a newer boat.

Systems (e.g., plumbing, wiring) are less sophisticated, which means someone who's handy can often do more maintenance and repairs than he or she could on a newer boat with computer controls, electric doodads, and complex engines.

The best older boats to hang onto are often those that were made in large numbers; parts are often easily available and there is usually a large group of enthusiastic supporters online who are willing to share money-saving parts-sourcing and repair tips.

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