7732 results for "staying warm onboard: the do's and don'ts"

  1. Staying Warm Onboard: The Do's and Don'ts

    Zuzana Prochazka
    Dec 7, 2017

    From oil lamps and heaters, to shrink wrapping and tropical getaways, here's your all-inclusive guide to staying warm onboard your boat this winter season. …Read More

  2. Dynaplate Do's and Don'ts

    Ed Sherman
    Apr 13, 2010

    The Dynaplate is nothing new, they've been around for years. In the days of LORAN C the Dynaplate was a staple as part of any complete installation to ensure a good solid ground for the system and keep RFI noise at a minimum. Today many people still have a Dynaplate installed for grounding purposes, but the truth is not that many people really understand the design premise surrounding this seemingly simple little plate. I think its safe to say that the majority of boat owners just see the plate, think nothing of it and surely don't consider it as an item that requires periodic maintenance. In the photo below you see a new Dynaplate: The Dynaplate is made of what is known as sintered bronze, think of the plate as a metallic 'sponge". Looked at under a microscope it will look like thousands of bronze colored BB's all contected together. When new the sintered bronze is extremely porous and will absorb water, which is the exact premise for its function. You see grounding requires a specified surface area of conducting metal to the ground, whether it be on land under your lawn, or in the water attached to your boat specified values are given for effective ground surface area. To that end, the manufacturer, Guest, recommends three different sized Dynaplates for three different uses. The basic model is 6"X2"X1/2" and is suggested for basic electrical bonding purposes, whereby all of your underwater metals are tied together via a bonding system on your boat. Bonding is a topic for another entry here and i'll certainly get to it at a later date. The second size Guest offers is 12"X3"X1/2" and is recommended for LORAN C use and to serve as a radio frequency ground. The largest plate is 18"X6"X1/2" and is recommended as a suffieient ground plane for SSB or Ham radio use. The simple idea here is that since the plate is absorbing water it is actually exposing a much larger surface area to the ground than the plate's actual physical dimensions imply. For example, with the largest plate mentioned above, the manufacturer claims it provides the equivalent of 12 square feet of ground surface area. In theory this is logical, sound thinking, but marine life realities kick in here and that's where the maintenance side of the Dynaplate comes into play. You can clearly see the DO NOT PAINT labeling on the above plate, yet we see many that end up with a nice liberal coat of anti-fouling bottom paint smeared all over them. Once that's been done, the plate is effectively useless. The sintered bronze will do just what it's supposed to in that event, absorb the paint, blocking all of the pores in the metal and reducing the exposed surface area. I've seen some where the boat owner realized the error in their ways and tried to get all the bottom paint off the plate with acetone or similar solvent. Trust me, its too late, all you do when you try to clean the plate at this point is drive the paint a little further below the surface. The pores in the metal are forever blocked. You need a new plate. In the photo below, you see a plate that has had more usual treatment over the years, as in no maintenance. The plate above can be saved. Its going to need some scraping to get the barnacles off and then a good scrubbing with a wire brush and some bleach. Scrub until you get it back to its original bronze color. This should be done annually if you are going to rely on a Dynaplate to provide adequate grounding surface area under your boat. …Read More

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  4. Warm Weather Scatters Manatees

    Feb 5, 2002

    Unseasonably warm weather this winter has altered the normal winter aggregation habits of manatees and may be a factor in January having the highest one-month total of boating-related manatee deaths o …Read More

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  7. Onboard Camera Storage

    Ed Sherman
    Nov 26, 2010

    How can I protect sensitive camera equipment from environmental damage while stored onboard? …Read More

  8. Electrical Don'ts

    Ed Sherman
    Mar 18, 2010

    Well we're finally getting a break in the weather here in Rhode Island and people are beginning to uncover their boat's and start an early spring assessment of work to be done. This made me think about some things you need to be looking for on your boat, today in the electrical area. One of the advantages of being an industry insider is that some of us trade horror photos of things we see. Today I want to share with you one photo that came in from Derek Rhymes, the principle at All Boat & Yacht Inspections LLC, a marine surveyor in Annapolis, MD. This particular photo holds a dear spot in my shop of horrors collection and represents the sort of thing you need to be making sure does not exist on your own boat. Scenes like the one below could be the cause for some truly shocking experiences on board. What you are looking at is a commonly used marine water heater. It is powered by the shorepower system and the power is supplied by the three wires you see in the center of the photo. Black, white and green represent 110-Volt service. Notice how the wires are routed through a stamped out hole on a metal bracket extending outward from the case of the heater. The stamped out hole has no chafe protecting grommet around it's perimeter and let me tell you, the edges of that hole are sharp! The wiring is laying on the sharp edge. What will ultimately happen here is that due to normal vibration on the boat, the edge of the metal is going to chafe through the wire insulation and create a short circuit. If the boat owner is lucky, it'll be a really good connection and trip the circuit breaker protecting the heater circuit. If the boat owner is unlucky, the short circuit will have a poor quality connection and although leaking current directly to the case of the heater, the connection will not be able to carry enough current to trip the breaker. So, the short circuit will just quietly wait for the boat owner to reach down into the locker where the heater is installed. As soon as the boat owner touches the case of the heater. ZAP! Electric shock. The moral of the story here is to visually inspect your wiring system and add chafe protection whenever you see a situation like this on your boat. Don't wait to get zapped! …Read More

  9. KEP Barracuda: An Onboard Computer with Teeth

    Lenny Rudow
    Oct 9, 2011

    This series of marine computers takes up far less space than the norm, without giving up one iota of brain-power. …Read More

  10. Postcards Next Year: Puerto Rico and the Spanish Virgins

    John Burnham
    Dec 26, 2016

    The boats.com holiday week tour of places you could be on the water right now begins in Puerto Rico. Photos by Neil Rabinowitz. …Read More

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  12. How to Sweeten Your Onboard Water System

    Ed Sherman
    Dec 5, 2011

    Using readily available household products, here’s how you can drastically improve the taste of your potable water. …Read More

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  14. (Ice) Fishing Friday: Keep Your Toes Warm!

    Lenny Rudow
    Feb 21, 2014

    Fishing during the winter and early spring months can be a chilly affair, but Heat Holders help keep your toes warm. …Read More

  15. Baja and Donzi: Back at the Dance

    Matt Trulio
    Jul 15, 2016

    With new models being built under new ownership, two iconic go-fast boat brands are poised to put the throttle down. …Read More

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