Most of us are familiar with the vessel information transmitted by AIS. Identity is the key to the system. Radar shows you a target but doesn’t tell you what or who it is. AIS provides that information and a lot more.
By Dave OsmolskiWe’re heading into the season where many of us begin to put away our boats for the winter. Those with trailerable boats disconnect the trailer from the car or truck and leave the trailered boat on the trailer jack and jack stands under the axle to take the weight off the tires.
By Gino C. Bottino, M.D.Whether you own a powerboat or sailboat or just drive a car, you should be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and know how to detect and treat it.
Silent, odorless, invisible and deadly
Difficult to detect, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that’s heavier than air. It’s made whenever carbon-based fuels are burned, such as in internal combustion engines like gasoline-powered generators and car and boat engines. Although diesel-fueled engines produce CO in smaller concentrations than gasoline engines, they still produce enough to be dangerous.
By Dave OsmolskiOne of the oldest and ubiquitous polymers, PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is used for water toys, rafts, boat curtains and many other marine applications. I have used it to hold propane cylinders on deck, make flagstaffs and hold trailer light fixtures. The list of things you can make from PVC piping is endless.
Readily available at most hardware stores, PVC pipe comes in two grades, or schedules. Schedule 40 has a thinner wall and is probably the easiest to work with. Schedule 80 has thicker walls but the same outside diameter. I suggest using schedule 40 for your projects, as it’s tough enough to withstand almost any abuse.
By Dave OsmolskiI retired last September with plans to spend more time at my homemade tropical paradise in Flamingo Bay, Florida. We are right on the water, and I keep my boat in the canal in my backyard. However, because my boat doesn’t have marine bottom paint, within five days, barnacles and small, calcified worm-like creatures will fasten themselves to the hull, trim tabs and all of my boat’s other underwater features.
Last spring, I contacted several different contractors that specialize in installing boatlifts. I don’t have a seawall. At the canal edge of my property, a mangrove forest provides food and shelter for birds, fish and all manner of creatures, including alligators and snakes. Because of a sloping bank and high tide line up into the mangroves, the zoning laws would not allow me to install the lift where I wanted.
Troubleshooting problems with marine wiring
By Dave OsmolskiLast spring I installed a new combination sonar (depth/fish finder) and GPS on my boat, which replaced separate units. The new unit has a 7-inch screen, and the older units each had 4-inch screens, so I didn’t reduce the footprint at the helm.
I replaced the old units with the same brand and used the wiring from the old unit to power the new one. Installation went well, and I used my new unit to explore the waters around Pine Island, Florida.
By John SchwabDespite all efforts to stay off shoals, sandbars or rocks, groundings happen. It’s said there are three types of skippers: Those who have run aground, those who will run aground, and those who have but will never admit it. Every boater should prepare for the inevitable grounding.
By Dave OsmolskiManufactured by a reputable local manufacturer, my boat trailer gets the job done, but the submersible lights, or more correctly the electrical system, suffers and has issues after almost every launch.
I put about 3,000 miles per year on my trailer. That’s a lot of bouncing and banging, particularly for lights with plastic housings.
By Bill AllenMany trailering accidents could be eliminated by selecting the proper tow vehicle, trailer and hitch for your boat; performing routine maintenance; and practicing before taking out a trailered boat for the first time.
By Dave OsmolskiWhen you’re out cruising this summer, you may find yourself at a marina slip wanting to use shore power to charge your batteries and run those devices you wouldn’t normally run through your inverter.
“If I fall into cold water, someone will throw me a life jacket, and I can put it on. I’m a good swimmer.”
These words aren’t valid in cold water. U.S. Coast Guard research reveals that when a boater falls into frigid water, the following is likely to happen: