Your Maintenance Regime Should Include Detailing: Here’s How & Why

Boating season is in full-swing here at Port Annapolis, but here’s a quick thought before you hit the open water: Have you adequately maintained your boat this summer? Many boaters think they’re doing everything right in terms of maintenance—but are ignorant of the finer aspects of boat maintenance that can greatly impact the longevity of their vessels. One such oft-neglected detail is the detailing process. Here are a few tips on how to incorporate both engine and all-around detailing steps to ensure you are doing the utmost to keep your boat looking and performing great for years to come.

ENGINE DETAILING

Like most avid boaters, your boat is most likely one of your most prized possessions–but remember it’s the engine that makes all those cool boating adventures possible. A clean engine makes visual inspections more effective. And the process of detailing your engine will make you more familiar with and force you to examine every inch of your engine. So treat your engine right by caring for it with these maintenance tips that incorporate engine detailing measures.

Clean: Use paper towels to remove big globs of grease. Then apply a solution of soap and water with a rag or sponge: Dawn dish detergent is an effective and inexpensive degreasing soap. Rinse thoroughly with a light spray of water. Allow to air-dry.

Paint: Color-matched engine paint is available from your dealer or the engine-maker’s website. This includes paint for inboard and sterndrive engines, as well as for the gear cases of sterndrives and outboards. Painting staves off corrosion and can also enhance the resale or trade-in value.

Lube: Be sure to lubricate all control linkages with grease, remembering that a little goes a long way. Also apply grease to outboard cowling latches. Check your owner’s manual for the location of any grease fittings (Zerk fittings) specific to your engines. Spray the entire engine block with a silicone-based aerosol lube.


Replace: In the process of cleaning, painting and lubing your engine, you might discover some fasteners that have corroded. This is especially true for coastal boaters. Remove and replace (or clean) these now, before you need to remove them and can’t because of corrosion.

ALL-AROUND DETAILING

Here are some tips gleaned from the pros on how to make your boat look great by taking the time to detail.

Remove the Old Wax: Wipe the hull down with acetone or a dedicated product like Pettit’s D95 Dewaxer. Use several rags, and turn them frequently so you don’t reapply the wax you remove.

Use a Machine: Save the “hand-rubbed” finish for woodwork. A polisher makes quicker work using less material and does a better job of removing compound and wax. And it’s in the removing that these products achieve the fine finish. We recommend using a rotary polisher, which is quicker, spatters less and doesn’t “kick” when working around transom rings, rub rails, vent fittings and other obstructions. But if you’re inexperienced, consider a random orbit polisher, like Shurhold’s Dual Action model, which is more forgiving and doesn’t allow you to goof and create swirl marks.

White-Glove Treatment: There are many areas aboard that require you to apply compound and wax by hand. The areas between gauges and instruments, the narrow borders surrounding hatches and companionways, and beneath cleats and grab rails are some of these. Instead of using a rag, don a pair of clean cotton gloves and use your fingers like custom-conformable polishing pads.

For most, a boat is a major investment that pays back through years of fun and memories. To realize the greatest return on your investment, and optimize your experiences, take care of your boat by detailing. Clean, paint, lube and replace fasteners for engine detailing, remove old wax, machine polish, and give the white-glove treatment for all-around detailing. If you need a detailing boost, contact the Service Department, (410) 269-1944 x18 or (410) 269-1944 x11.

How to Keep Cool Aboard Your Vessel

We’ve all been there before: excitedly leaving the dock in the cool evening summer air only to find yourself constantly sweating moments later in the open water. Yes, here at Port Annapolis, boating is our favorite way to beat the heat. But sometimes, the weather is just SO hot that even the relief found aboard the boat needs a little something extra for boaters to get comfortable and make it an enjoyable experience. The next time that happens, try these tips to raise your boat’s chill factor:

Splash the Deck
The process of water evaporating emanates a cooling effect to offset the hot weather aboard your vessel. Use the wash-down hose, or a bucket, and splash down your fiberglass or wood cockpit sole. (Note: If your boat’s sole is covered in glued-down carpet, this tip may not be for you). Doing so will noticeably drop the “local” temperature and provide relief for you and your crew.

Install Hatches Hinged Aft
Deck hatches, or those in hardtops, are best installed so that they are hinged aft. This way, while anchored, any breeze will flow into the boat when the hatches are open. Although some hatches are installed, hinges forward on the premise that they will simply close, instead of ripping out. Should a careless captain take off into the wind, you might still consider altering their configuration and being a bit more responsible with your acceleration habits in exchange for some much-needed cooling during the summer months—that’s a trade-off your guests will be thankful for! You can also install a wind-scoop to make your hatches even more effective.

Hydrate
Drink lots of water. It’s what your body needs to cool down when the temps heat up! Always stock up your cooler with plenty of water and ice before leaving the dock. Stop by the Ships Store or The Wet Dog Café to fill your cooler before heading out on the water!

Cover Hatches and Ports
A dark cabin is a cool cabin! While you can have custom hatch and port covers sewn by a canvas fabricator, simply draping towels secured by lines or weights will reduce the solar gain and keep the cabin cooler.

Just like a car sitting in the sun, your boat can also be a hot spot. These few simple steps can help improve your boating experience and make sure you have a cool and fun time on the water!

Time to Check Your Boat’s Fire Extinguisher

Ask any marine surveyor, one of the items they always check is a vessel’s fire extinguishers. Unfortunately, more often than not, they find equipment that is old and in poor condition. Keeping this equipment in working order is vital to the safety of a boat and its occupants. Still, few owners pay much attention to the fire systems onboard. To be honest, these are not very exciting pieces of equipment, and hopefully you will never have to use them. However, in the event of an emergency, it is vital that they are operational. Checking your system is not difficult, but it does require some time and possibly some expense. The first step is to understand your fire extinguishers, what types are available and what is required by law.

 

Types & Sizes of Fire Extinguishers:

While there are many types and sizes of fire extinguishers available, we’ll stick to the most commonly found onboard your average pleasure boat in the 20-60’ range. The types or classes of fire extinguishers are based on letter designations for the type of fuel a fire is burning and are designated by the National Fire Protection Agency as follows:

Type A: Common combustible solids such as wood, paper, cloth, canvas, cushions, and many plastics. Dry chemicals and water work well on these fires.

Type B: Fires involving oils, greases, paints, solvents and gases. These would most commonly be engine, galley, and stored liquid chemical fires. Dry chemical and clean agents work well. Never use water.

Type C: Electrical fires. Dry chemical and clean agents work well. Liquid agents should not be used as they present a shock hazard.

 

What’s Inside the Fire Extinguisher:

These are the agents you are most likely to find on your average pleasure boat:

Dry chemicals: Can be used on B,C and A,B,C fires. The label will indicate which. They are the most common type for small portable fire extinguishers found on most boats. All have a B,C rating which is the minimum required by the USCG. Some are rated for A,B,C and this is preferred for marine use, but not required. Dry chemicals work by cooling and smothering the fire with heavy smoke. The powder can be caustic and if discharged, be sure to completely clean anything the power has come in contact with.

Clean agents: Called clean agents because they leave little or no residue after being discharged. The most common of these are CO2, Halon and now Halon substitutes. The Environmental Protection Agency has banned the use of Halon due to its Chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs. Halon is now being replaced with FE 241, FE200, HFC-227 and Halotron 1. Clean agents are not as common in small portable extinguishers as is dry chemical but you can find some units that use it. They work by displacing oxygen in the air thereby smothering the fire. The advantage is that they do not leave any residue. The disadvantage is that because they displace the oxygen, they are a suffocation hazard when used in confined spaces such as the cabin of a boat.

 

Sizes of Extinguishers:

Sizes for portable fire extinguishers are set by the US Coast Guard and use Roman numerals, I being the smallest and V being the largest. It’s rare to see anything bigger than a size II on the average sized pleasure boat.

 

Size I is 4-5 pounds clean agent and 2-3 pounds dry chemical. Commonly, this size is not serviceable, meaning it cannot be recharged should it be used or lose its charge. Check the label to see if it can be serviced or not. These are by far the most common size found on the average boat.

Size II is 15 pounds clean agent and 10 pounds dry chemical. As these units are larger and more expensive most (but not all) are serviceable. Once again, check your label. Serviceable units can be recharged by a certified fire extinguisher service center if they lose charge or are used.

 

The US Coast Guard by law requires all pleasure boats with engine compartments, and or with permanently installed fuel tanks to carry fire extinguishers. The minimum number and type are as follows:

16-26’:    One B-I

26-40’:    One B-II or Two B-I

40-65’:    One B-II and One B-I, or Three B-I units

The “B-I” and “B-II” are USCG designations for fire extinguisher types and sizes. The “B” is based on a complicated system set up by the USCG and the “I” and “II” are for the size. Suffice to say, always check the label to make sure it is USCG approved. At minimum it should be for B, C fires with A, B, C preferred.

 

Extinguisher Inspection:

All extinguishers should be professionally inspected and tagged at least once a year and a quick visual inspection done monthly. However, for pleasure boats this is a recommendation and not a requirement. Unfortunately, most boaters rarely do either of these. The USCG requires you have onboard “approved” fire extinguishers; this leaves it up to the boat owner to maintain their equipment in good working order. If you are boarded by the USCG or local waterway officers and you have fire extinguishers that are not fully charged, or are old and in poor condition you are likely to get a citation. It is not cost effective to have a service company come down to your boat once a year for only 3-4 small hand held extinguishers. It would be more efficient to take them to an approved service facility to have them checked. The average cost for this is $35-$75 per extinguisher depending on size and type. For the small disposable units, this might not be cost effective and it might be more realistic to just replace them on a regular basis. Most companies provide a 6-year warranty and a 12-year shelf life. After 12 years, they should be disposed of. We recommend replacing after no more than 6 years. You can tell the age of your unit by looking on the bottom, where you will find a 2-digit date number indicating its manufacture date. It is a good idea to look at this when you purchase a new unit, as you want to make sure you are not getting one that has been in stock for 2-3 years. Whether you take your units in for professional inspections or not, you should know how to inspect them yourself so that you can be sure you have safe working units. How should you inspect them? Here’s a handy step-by-step guide:

 

  1. Remove the extinguishers from their bracket and check the gauge. If the needle is in the red, or even very close to it, you should replace it.
  2. Visually inspect the canister and nozzle. Check for rust, corrosion, and dents. Look into the nozzle to be sure it is not blocked by anything. Make sure the safety pin is intact and that the handle is not bent or broken.
  3. Check the bracket to make sure it is in good condition. Too often, units are tossed into a locker or cabinet, unsecured. Check the label to verify it is USCG approved; this is often in very small print.
  4. For dry chemical units, turn the fire extinguisher upside down and tap the cylinder with a rubber mallet. You should feel or hear the powder move inside. This is important as the powder tends to get packed down at the bottom.
  5. For clean agent units you should weigh the extinguisher to verify it is within manufactures specifications. The minimum and maximum weights will be on the label, make sure it falls within that range. Even with these self- inspections, it is still important to have professionals look at all units at least once a year.
  6. Lastly, consider the number and location of your fire extinguishers. Just because the USCG has set a minimum number to be onboard doesn’t mean this is all you should have. When installing fire extinguishers, think about likely places a fire could start. The galley, the engine compartment, battery compartments and electrical panels are all places fires commonly start. Place fire extinguishers near these areas and near all exits from the cabin. You want to make sure if there is a fire you are not trapped inside so have units placed so that you can use them to clear your exit. Also, it is a good idea to have units in all sleeping spaces so that if a fire should break out at night, you will not be trapped. Lockers containing fire extinguishers should have a red label on the outside reading “Fire Extinguisher Inside.” As skipper, it’s your duty to make sure your guests know where all safety equipment is kept as well.

 

Remember, keeping your boat’s fire extinguisher in working order is vital to the safety of your boat and its occupants. Key points to be aware of are:

  1. Purchase only USCG approved fire extinguishers. The minimal rating for your extinguisher is B,C. A rating of A,B,C is recommended.
  2. It is recommended to professionally inspect and tag your extinguisher yearly.
    1. This can be accomplished by taking the extinguisher to an approved service company.
    2. A more expensive option is to have a service company come to your boat each year.
    3. Finally, for small disposal units, the most cost effective way might be to replace them each year.
  3. In addition to the yearly professional inspection, extinguishers should be visually inspected monthly.

The most important thing to consider is, when you need your extinguisher, you want it to work! If you have any questions about the fire extinguishers you have onboard, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Service Department!

4th of July Boating Safety Tips


Photo by Visit Annapolis

The 4th of July Holiday is the busiest, and often most dangerous time of the boating season. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is urging all boaters to exercise extra caution while boating during the upcoming July 4th holiday. 4th of July, along with Memorial Day and Labor Day, typically account for more than one-third of all boating-related accidents and fatalities. Still, the holiday is a terrific opportunity to gather with fellow boating enthusiasts and enjoy the festivities in the comfort of Port Annapolis Marina’s premium facilities. Here are seven tips on how to stay safe this Independence Day.

Always Wear a Life Jacket: While it can be hot and steamy in Annapolis, don’t be tempted to forgo wearing a life jacket. Accidents happen quickly, and often there isn’t time to put on a life jacket once an accident has happened. Statistics consistently show that 80% of those who perished in boating accidents were not wearing life jackets.

Make Sure Your Boat is Properly Equipped and Equipment is Functioning Properly: The 4th of July is sometimes the first and only time people venture out on the water after dark. Make sure your navigation lights work so you can be seen. Better yet, request a free Vessel Safety Check to make sure your boat has all the legally required and recommended equipment onboard.

Be Prepared for Emergencies: Accidents happen quickly, often with little or no warning. Take the time to familiarize your crew with basic emergency procedures, and show them how to contact authorities for help via marine radio or cell phone. Make sure your flares are up to date, but never use flares as a form of fireworks. Doing so constitutes a false distress call, which is a class D felony, punishable by up to six years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines, plus the costs associated with the false distress.

Boating and Alcohol Don’t Mix: Boaters are also reminded of the dangers of drinking and boating. Along with decreasing the operator’s ability to make good judgments, the consumption of alcohol also negatively affects the ability of passengers to respond in the case of an emergency on the water. The effects of the sun, wind, waves and a boat’s motion in the water can add to an operator’s impairment. Intoxicated boaters can face both federal and state charges with penalties of up to one year in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.

File a Float Plan with a Friend: A float plan for a boater is similar to a flight plan for a pilot. It lists who is going, where you’re going, what the boat looks like, and when you expect to be back. Don’t file this with the Coast Guard; rather, share it with a friend who will be staying ashore, and instruct them what to do in the event that they don’t hear from you within a reasonable time of when you expect to return home. CLICK HERE for a complete plan along with instructions

Keep a Sharp Lookout for Other Boats, Weather, or Anything Unusual: The Coast Guard asks the public to be more aware of their surroundings, including carefully watching the weather, celebrating responsibly and understanding the hazards of boating under the influence of alcohol and misusing emergency flares as fireworks. Report any emergencies to local authorities by calling 911 or VHF-FM Channel 16. Any suspicious activity that might involve terrorism should be reported to America’s Waterway Watch at 877-24-WATCH.

Practice the 3 Cs – Caution, Courtesy, & Common Sense: Use caution, especially in close quarter maneuvering situations with other boats. In such situations, slow speeds are better. Be courteous to your fellow boaters, and use common sense. Don’t cut people off at the launch ramp, and never light fireworks from your boat!

By following these seven simple tips, you could save your life, the life of your passengers or fellow boaters and swimmers – and will make your Independence Day less stressful and more fun!

Fire Prevention Tips: Stop On-Board Fires Before They Start

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What’s the best way to deal with any problem? Stop it before it starts—and the same maxim hold true when it comes to boating. Experienced sailors are some of the most cautious people you’ll meet—and for good reason. While boating is an exhilarating and enjoyable pastime, there’s no getting around the inherent risk involved with heading out on the water, miles away from medical and professional assistance in the case of an emergency.

Fires are perhaps one of the most dangerous, yet preventable, potential threats to safety that can occur onboard a boat. Nothing can replace the effectiveness of fast, efficient action combined with a cool head—critical procedures of effective on-board fire management for dealing with fires before they spread out of control. Following these procedures can not only help sailors prevent a fire, or contain it in the event one breaks out, but they can additionally help them save the lives of their crew members.

First of all, make sure you have the proper size and classification of marine fire extinguishers on board your vessel. You may be required to have more than one depending on the size of your boat—the U.S. Coast Guard has published these requirements along with other highly useful safety information in its Federal Requirements brochure. The document is available for free online and can be accessed at www.uscgboating.org. Ensure that all fire extinguishers are mounted in such a way so that they are readily accessible and positioned in locations that you can get to quickly in the event of a sudden emergency. As with all on-board equipment, regular inspection and maintenance is key. You need to inspect your fire extinguishers at regular intervals to verify they are fully charged and have not exceeded their expiration dates. If your boat has an internal fixed firefighting system along with sprinklers, be sure that it is also inspected and professionally serviced annually in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The majority of on-board fires are caused by fueling and electrical complications or errors. Prior to fueling your boat, request that all passengers disembark the vessel and shut off all open flame sources such as stoves or grills. Close all windows, doors and hatches to prevent excess gasoline fumes from entering the boat and providing a potential source of combustion. During the fueling process, make sure the nozzle maintains in direct contact with the tank in order to prevent contact sparks and avoid overfilling the tank so the fuel has adequate space to expand. Obviously, do not smoke while fueling. After you’ve completed fueling, be sure to wipe up any spillage and dispose of the rag in an off-board, designated location. Re-open all the windows, doors and hatches and run the exhaust blower on full power for approximately four minutes. Prior to turning the engine over, perform a “sniff” test of the bilge and engine compartment. If you detect the odor of gasoline, turn the exhaust blower back on until it dissipates.

In order to prevent electrical-based fires, routinely inspect all electrical connections. Furthermore, inspect any shore power connection lines that you may be accessing prior to connecting them to your boat’s power system. If any wires appear to be fraying or if you see sparks, quickly disengage the main power source and have the problem repaired before attempting to use the device again. As the weather gets colder, be careful when using heaters in enclosed spaces and never leave one running unattended.

In the event that a fire breaks out, be sure that all those on board are fitted with a life jacket in case they have to abandon ship. If possible, steer the boat so that the flame is downwind and direct all passengers and crew move upwind away from the fire. Never attempt to use water to extinguish a gasoline, oil, or grease fire as it will only spread the flames and if there is an active electrical current there is a very real threat of shock—access one of your on-board fire extinguishers and use it instead. To use your fire extinguisher, simply remember the saying “PASS”:

                  Pull pin

                  Aim at the fire’s base

                  Squeeze the handle

                  Sweep from side to side

Finally, radio for help on your VHF radio or cell phone if you have service and prepare to abandon ship if unable to prevent the fire from spreading out of control.

Cruising into Fall: 2016 United States Sailboat & Powerboat Shows

 

Looking to kick off the fall season with a bang? Join Port Annapolis Marina and thousands of fellow boating enthusiasts from around the world for seminars, prizes and more at the 2016 Sailboat and Powerboat shows! We’ll be representing the local seafaring community—be sure to stop by Tent C39 to support your favorite Annapolis marina, learn more about our outstanding staff and services and join the area’s premier full-service boating location. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming festivities so you can enjoy a stress-free day at the largest in-water sailboat and powerboat shows in the world!

Sailboat Show

2016 United States Sailboat Show

The economic upturn and subsequent industry growth means boaters will be out in full force this year—the collection of attendees is ever-changing so there’s never a dull moment regardless of how many times you may have attended in the past. There’s something for every interest: last year the show featured over thirty boats under thirty feet—a trend that will be continued this year with several entry-level cruising boats, custom-designed race boats, trailerable monohull and multi-hull boats and more registered. On top of all the wonderful boats and cutting-edge equipment featured, the show is jam-packed with educational opportunities for boaters of all ages and levels of experience. Those new to sailing can register for a brief training on board a brand new Beneteau First 22 in the First Sail Workshop. For those looking to potentially purchasing a boat can learn more about their buying options during the interactive “Take the Wheel” workshops that features an all-inclusive day of classes; sea trials on two of eight demo boat choices ranging from 35 to 54-feet; and breakfast, lunch, and an evening reception. Here’s the need-to-know info for those looking to partake in what promises to be one of the most exciting shows in the event’s history! Still have questions? Visit the show’s official even page at: www.annapolisboatshows.com.

  • WHEN: OCTOBER 6-10, 2016
    • Thursday, October 6, 2016 (VIP Day): 10:00am – 6:00pm
    • Friday, October 7, 2016: 10:00am – 6:30pm
    • Saturday, October 8, 2016: 10:00am – 6:30pm
    • Sunday, October 9, 2016: 10:00am – 6:30pm
    • Monday, October 10, 2016: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • WHERE: CITY DOCK, ANNAPOLIS MARYLAND
    • Directions & Parking
      • United States Sailboat Show is located 1 Dock Street, Annapolis MD 21401.
      • For safety reasons, strollers are strongly discouraged.
      • Absolutely no pets.
      • Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium:
        • Boat show visitors are encouraged to park at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and take the free shuttle bus from the Navy Stadium to the United States Sailboat Show. Buses run continuously from 9:00am until one hour after the show closes.
          • Stadium Parking: $10.00
          • Stadium GPS Address: 550 Taylor Ave, Annapolis, MD 21401
        • Directions to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium: Take Route 50 to Annapolis/Rowe Blvd (exit 24). Follow signs along Rowe Blvd. to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
        • On Saturday October 8 ONLY** boat show visitors should follow signs to alternative parking. Shuttle buses will deliver attendees to the City Dock free of charge.
  • THINGS TO DO:
    • FREE COCKTAIL & WINE TASTINGS
      • Free cocktail and wine tastings throughout the show Sponsored by HENDRICK’S GIN, NOBILO WINES and PAPA’S PILAR
    • FIRST SAIL WORKSHOPS
      • Experience the joy of sailing on a Beneteau First 22. Taught by expert instructors, this two-and-a-half-hour class is designed for the beginning sailor.
    • PREMIER LAUNCH PARTY: OCTOBER 6TH
      • Celebrate opening night and kickoff the Sailboat Show with a star-studded cast from the sailing industry at an evening filled with island music, delicious food, complimentary wine all evening, rum and gin tastings, cocktails, chocolate, door prizes, and fun.
    • VIP PREVIEW DAY
      • A special day for the serious sailor, the VIP Preview Day is the best day to shop. Take advantage of a day ideal for talking with exhibitors and touring sailboats. Be the first for the unveiling of new boats and products, and shop opening day specials. Avoid the crowds.
    • VACATION BASIN
      • Dedicated to chartering, travel, and vacations and charter boat ownership in the Chesapeake Bay and exotic island locations.
    • GRAND PRIZE SPONSORED BY MOORINGS
      • A lucky boater will win a 6-night, 7-day charter in the British Virgin Islands aboard the award-winning Moorings 4800 Sailing Catamaran, ideal for up to 8 guests. Charter valued at approximately $15,000. Airfare for two sponsored by British Virgin Islands Tourist Board.
    • BROKERAGE COVE
      • A show within a show, overflowing with previously owned sailboats presented by regional boat brokers and available for immediate sale.
    • LARGEST COLLECTION OF MULTI-HULLS IN THE WORLD
      • Miles of docks are constructed to exhibit the largest collection of catamarans and trimarans in the world. Visitors also tour new cruising sailboats, kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes.
    • PREMIERING BOATS
      • The most exciting new sailboats from major manufacturers, including many new designs and models, make their debut.
    • SAILBOAT MANUFACTURERS
      • Only boat show in which virtually every major sailboat manufacturer is represented. Sailors have the unique opportunity to board and inspect most new models on the market, make side-by-side comparisons, and talk to industry representatives about all aspects of buying and owning a boat.
    • ACRES OF ON-LAND EXHIBITIONS
      • The sailboat show has the latest in navigational equipment, high-tech electronics, boating accessories, clothing, gear, and related services such as boating clubs, charter companies, insurance firms, and lending institutions. Boat show goers shop from a vast display of boating products and services.
    • EXCITING HIGH-PERFORMANCE RACING SECTION
      • A sailboat show venue is dedicated to sexy high performance racing sailboats.
    • CRUISER’S UNIVERSITY: OCTOBER 10-13TH
      • A comprehensive and expanded curriculum on cruising and boat preparedness for sail and power cruisers. More than 40 courses taught by expert instructors. Register for 1- 4 days of classes.
    • FREE SEMINARS ON SAILING
      • Daily programs presented by the Chesapeake Bay Magazine and Annapolis School of Seamanship.
    • TWO CAN SAIL COUPLES CRUISING SEMINAR
      • Individualized cruising lifestyle training, includes boat shopping, surveying, and personal training aboard your boat.
    • 74-FOOT SCHOONER SAILING CRUISES
      • Cruises will be available aboard the 74-foot Schooner Woodwind. All cruises depart from inside the Unites States Sailboat Show and pass by the United States Naval Academy and then into the Chesapeake Bay. Additional fee required.
  • TICKET INFO:
    • VIP Preview Day – $35
    • VIP Preview Day + Additional Day – $48
    • Adult One Day – $18
    • Adult Two Day Combo – $31
    • Children – $5 (6 & under FREE)

 

 

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2016 United States Powerboat Show

The powerboats are back with a bang at the 2016 United States Powerboat Show. The Annapolis Boat Shows have gotten bigger and better every year—and this year is looking to keep that trend going! Hundreds of inflatables, small trailerable boats, kayaks and paddle boats, along with express cruisers, sport fish, and long-range blue water cruisers are all being featured this year—virtually all styles of boats from eight to eighty feet are powering into Annapolis from far and wide! Besides the jaw-dropping array of featured vessels, there’s a full range of events to keep attendees engaged. The Demo Dock offers potential boat buyers an exclusive opportunity to try out boats before purchasing; Cruisers University gives power cruisers all the info they need to know before hitting the water; and you can meet Paul Hebert, the Wicked Tuna captain of the Boat Wicked Pisah at the party at Brokerage Cove. Here’s the event details for the largest powerboat show north of Florida—additional information can be found on the show’s official page: http://www.annapolisboatshows.com/united-states-powerboat-show/

  • WHEN: OCTOBER 13-16, 2016
    • Thursday, October 13, 2016 (VIP Day): 10:00am – 6:00pm
    • Friday, October 14, 2016: 10:00am – 6:30pm
    • Saturday, October 15, 2016: 10:00am – 6:30pm
    • Sunday, October 16, 2016: 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • WHERE: CITY DOCK, ANNAPOLIS MARYLAND
    • Directions & Parking
      • United States Sailboat Show is located 1 Dock Street, Annapolis MD 21401.
      • For safety reasons, strollers are strongly discouraged.
      • Absolutely no pets.
      • Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium:
        • Boat show visitors are encouraged to park at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and take the free shuttle bus from the Navy Stadium to the United States Sailboat Show. Buses run continuously from 9:00am until one hour after the show closes.
          • Stadium Parking: $10.00
          • Stadium GPS Address: 550 Taylor Ave, Annapolis, MD 21401
        • Directions to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium: Take Route 50 to Annapolis/Rowe Blvd (exit 24). Follow signs along Rowe Blvd. to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
  • THINGS TO DO:
    • EXPLORE HUGE RANGE OF FISHING BOATS FROM 40 MANUFACTURERS
      • From Everglades to Boston Whalers and everything inbetween. Click below for complete list of fishing boat manufacturers displaying at 2016 boat show.
    • MEET CAPTAIN PAUL HEBERT OF WICKED TUNA
      • Sponsored by Maui Jim, Wicked Pissah’s Captain Paul Hebert will be at the United States Powerboat Show October 14-15, 2016.
    • GRAND PRIZE: EDGEWATER 170CC DEEP-V CENTER CONSOLE
      • This year the Annapolis Boat Shows is celebrating the 45th birthday of the United States Powerboat Show and center console fishing boats by giving away an EdgeWater 170CC Deep-V Center Console Power Boat.
    • GRAND PRIZE: MARINEMAX VACATION
      • Win an exotic 7-day and 6-night charter vacation aboard a luxury bareboat MarineMax Power Catamaran!
    • DEMO-DOCK—TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
      • Dealers and manufacturers will be offering demos and sea trials from inside the boat show. Try before you buy new models, engines, and stabilizing systems.
    • CRUISERS UNIVERSITY FALL SERIES: OCTOBER 10-13TH
      • Come to the show a day or two early. Cruisers University offers a comprehensive curriculum on cruising and boat preparedness. The expert instructors will help you plan your cruise, equip and maintain your boat.
    • PREVIEW DAY: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13TH
      • This is a special day for the serious boater to take advantage of any opening day specials. Preview Day is by far the best day to shop for new and previously owned powerboats and an ideal day to talk with exhibitors.
    • BROKERAGE COVE
      • Brokerage Cove, a show within a show, is overflowing with previously owned boats, presented by regional boat brokers and available for immediate sale.
    • PUSSER’S PAINKILLER PARTY BARGE
      • Enjoy an Annapolis favorite, the Painkiller, on Pusser’s Painkiller Party Barge.
    • FEE SEMINARS ON BOATING
      • Free daily seminars on boating are presented by the Chesapeake Bay Magazine and the Annapolis School of Seamanship
    • ARES OF ON-LAND EXHIBITORS
      • The powerboat show has the latest in navigational equipment, high-tech electronics, boating accessories, clothing, gear, and related services such as boating clubs, charter companies, insurance firms, and lending institutions. Boat show goers shop from a vast display of boating products and services.
  • TICKET INFO:
    • VIP Preview Day – $35
    • VIP Preview Day + Additional Day – $48
    • Adult One Day – $18
    • Adult Two Day Combo – $31
    • Children – $5 (6 & under FREE)

Pre-Sale Boat Prep: A Little Effort Goes a Long Way

Guide to selling your boat

When it comes to selling a used boat, first impressions are essential to attracting potential suitors. Just like selling a house, the boat must be properly “staged” in order to sell for a premium price. Boat owners looking to put their vessel on the market should ensure that their boat is in tip-top condition from bow to stern. A well-cared for boat will not only be more appealing to customers, it will help it sell faster and avoid potential repercussions from aggravated customers claiming they bought a so-called “lemon.” Here are some factors to consider when prepping your boat for sale.

Rev Your Engines

Your boat’s horsepower is one of the most vital—and expensive—features that buyers will surely pay attention to when giving your boat the once-over before making an offer. Likewise, you should thoroughly service your engine beforehand. Ensure that it is in overall good working order and has fresh oil and oil filters. Gas-powered engines should also be outfitted with clean carburetors that are calibrated to a proper idle setting. Meticulously clean your engine room including the bilge and operating bilge pump to give a ship-shape appearance to discerning customers.

Call the Pros

Unless you’re willing to let your boat go for a fire-sale price, you should address any major electrical or mechanical problems currently ailing your vessel. Regardless of whether you have any specific concerns in mind, it’s a good call to consult a trusted, certified marine technician or hire a marine surveyor to check your boat for any problems lurking below the surface. Overlooked mechanical issues can potentially ruin a solid sales opportunity if the buyer discovers them during the closing process.

Give the Exterior a Makeover

A clean exterior not only looks good to would-be buyers, it shows that you as the owner take proper care of the boat in all aspects—an encouraging signal in the marketing process. Give your boat a thorough wax and polish job so it’s at its glistening best when the buyer first lays eyes on it. It’s also worth considering to invest in a few minor inexpensive cosmetic repairs that could go a long way in tipping the scales in your favor when showing the boat to prospective buyers. Refurbishing torn canvases, broken canvas zippers, worn-out interior carpeting and damaged seating upholstery are relatively easy fixes that may make a considerable difference to a buyer’s perception of the overall condition and desirability of your boat. 

Kick Clutter to the Curb

Another significant selling point when it comes to closing boat sales are vessels that feature interior cabins with lots of storage space—and the more cluttered your cabin is, the smaller it looks to buyers. Do your best to eliminate any non-essential personal belongings to give your boat’s interior a more spacious visual effect. A neat and neutrally-styled boat interior provides a more inviting environment for potential customers and helps showcase additional features and amenities that might have otherwise been hidden or overlooked in an over-cluttered setting. Removing your personal effects will lessen possible distractions for buyers and more aptly enable them to imagine their future escapades in their future boat.

Showcase Add-Ons & Extras

Have you made significant improvements to your boat? Then highlight them to the buyer! Let buyers know that the boat is safe by prominently featuring well-kept personal flotation devices, up-to date fire extinguishers and distress signals, and first-aid kits. Show off any state-of-the-art electronics by providing them with a list of operating gear by date, manufacturer, and model. If you have an on-board galley, stage it with well-kept plates, bowls and mugs and make sure all appliances are clean. And last but not least, docking gear is almost always included in the final sale of used boats—if yours is well-maintained, it can make a significant impact on the selling price. New fenders and dock lines can cost hundreds of dollars, so it’s definitely worth at least cleaning them up with detergent and molding the ends of dock lines and then coiling them neatly to give a great appearance to the buyer.

Looking for some other ways to get more bang for your boat? Schedule an appointment with our service department to have our awesome team give your boat a once over! We’ll help you determine what is essential to upgrade before listing your boat for sale. Contact Christina Davidson to schedule your appointment today!

What to Do if You Run Your Boat Aground

What to do if you run your boat aground

Caught Between a Rock and a Wet Place?

Regardless of how careful you are, sooner or later it will happen to you—unfortunately, as anxiety-inducing and potentially dangerous running aground is, it is an inherent risk of the boating lifestyle. Whether they’ll admit it or not, most experienced boaters have “touched bottom” so to speak. But whatever you call it, accidents happen, even to the most capable seafarers, so it’s important to be prepared. Grounding-induced damage is often needlessly compounded by panicked reactions from the skipper who hasn’t developed a coherent course of action in advance. Here’s some tips on how to stay safe and limit costly damage to your vessel when you run aground.

Stay Calm

The first step when running aground is to calmly assess the situation. Your first reaction might be to apply throttle power and attempt to push your way across the obstruction. Unless you’re absolutely sure you only hit a small shoal with deeper water beyond, doing so will only put yourself harder aground and cause greater damage. Conversely, don’t immediately shift into reverse to try and ease off the blockage as you run the risk of clogging your engine intake with mud or sediment or inflict more damage to the propellers. Shut down your engines immediately and leave them off so that the cooling water intakes don’t get jammed with sand or silt.

Check for any hull damage, if there is a considerable breach, cast anchor to keep you in place. Prioritize safety. If they aren’t already, ensure that all passengers have donned lifejackets and even if you think you don’t need immediate help, radio the Coast Guard or local marine authority and inform them of your location, assessed damage and planned course of action.

Take Action

If the hull damage is minimal and the tide is rising, the increased water level should be enough to float your vessel without further assistance. While getting towed off by another ship might be faster, this option is safer for both your hull and passengers—just make sure you set out an anchor in the direction of the wind to prevent the incoming tide from running your further aground. If you are less fortunate, and the tide is falling and there are no fellow boaters in the vicinity to help tow, you may attempt to “kedge off” by casting an anchor in the direction in which you intend to move and then use an anchor windlass or sheet winch to take in the line.

If there is serious damage to your hull and you find yourself taking on water, you can use a bunk to keep your sinking boat afloat. When assessing hull damage after running aground, keep in mind that just a three-fourths of an inch hole situated two-and-a-half feet below the waterline lets in water at 24 gallons-per-minute, or 1,440 gallons-per-hour! Even if you have a bilge pump handy, it would have a hard time stemming the flow long enough for you to reach shore. An effective method to stop a leak is to plug it with a tapered piece of softwood commonly referred to as a “bung” that swells to fit the hole and form a watertight seal. Be sure to manually push the bung in place, hammering it into place can cause more damage or enlarge the hole.

3 Boating-Safety Steps When Celebrating the Red, White & Blue

3563866 - u.s. flag at back of boat

A nautical safety primer for Annapolis 4th of July celebrations

July 4th is right around the corner, and for many boaters this means watching fireworks, family get-togethers, barbecues . . . and a trip to the emergency room? Unfortunately, that’s the stark reality for many patriotic seafarers.

Research conducted by the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) indicates more than half of Maryland’s annual total of boating accidents occurs between July and August. Last year, Maryland recorded 130 boating accidents that resulted in 12 fatalities and 96 injuries. These daunting statistics prompted the NRP to focus on a simple, yet obviously essential goal for this July 4th holiday: fewer boating accidents. Their game plan is straightforward, with officers deploying in full force to all state waterways from the Atlantic Ocean to Deep Creek Lake.

“Maryland has seen eight boating fatalities so far this season and that’s eight too many,” said Col. George F. Johnson IV, NRP superintendent. “Our officers will be aggressively targeting reckless and negligent boaters, and those whose judgment is impaired by alcohol or drugs.”

In 2015, the NRP conducted Operation Dry Water, a nationwide campaign to curb alcohol- and drug-impaired boating in the weeks leading up to and including July 4th. Officers arrested six people for operating under the influence of alcohol and three for drug-impaired boating while issuing 87 tickets for other violations and conducting 727 vessel safety checks. Despite these efforts, Maryland recorded four boating accidents, three of them fatal, but the NRP aren’t giving up—and they’re turning to YOU to reign in these less-than-stellar statistics.

This year, the NRP is urging Maryland boaters to take precautions to ensure the safety of passengers and those in other vessels during their 4th of July celebrations—as Johnson puts it: “When it comes to safety, you are the first line of defense, by using common sense and following simple safe boating rules you can help NRP make this a safe and happy holiday.” So avoid a citation, and more importantly, the risk of serious injury or death, by following these safety measures this holiday weekend!

1. KEEP CALM AND FLOAT ON

Before heading out, ensure your lights are in working order. Even if they worked the night before, double and triple check. With the heavy boat traffic, don’t risk your safety! Will you have enough lines and fenders for the day? Bring some extras as backup; chances are good you or a fellow boater will end up needing them!

Make sure there are enough life jackets for ALL passengers on board and that they fit well. While it may be warm and unfashionable, don’t be tempted to forgo wearing a life jacket. Remember, children ages 12 and under are required by law to wear a life jacket at all times while the boat is underway. Accidents happen quickly, and often there isn’t time to put on a life jacket once an accident has happened. Statistics consistently show that 80% of all boating fatality victims were not wearing a life jacket.

Don’t overcrowd the boat. Heed the boat’s capacity plate on the transom or by the helm, or look up the passenger capacity in the boat’s manual.

Don’t rush to get home after the fireworks display. Allow some of the boat traffic to dissipate before raising anchor.

Take the time to thoroughly brief your crew with basic emergency procedures, and show them how to contact authorities for help via marine radio or cell phone.

Ensure that you have flares and that they are up to date, but never use flares as a form of fireworks. Doing so constitutes a false distress call, which is a Class D felony, punishable by up to six years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines, plus the costs associated with the false rescue response!

2. IF YOU’RE A SKIPPER, YOU’RE NOT A SIPPER

Appoint a sober skipper to remain at the helm all evening and be responsible for returning the boat and its passengers safely to shore after the conclusion of the fireworks display. Simply put, boating and alcohol do not mix—in addition to impairing the operator’s ability to make sound judgments, intoxication also negatively affects the ability of passengers to respond in the case of an emergency on the water. The combined effects of the sun, wind, waves and a boat’s motion in the water can add to an operator’s impairment. Intoxicated boaters can face both federal and state charges with penalties of up to one year in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.

3. BE THE MAN (or woman!) WITH A PLAN

Follow the directions issued by NRP, the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary and local police as to where you may safely anchor to view the fireworks away from sparks and ash. For Annapolis-area boaters, keep in mind that the drawspan of the Eastport Bridge will be closed to boat traffic from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Boaters must avoid the 1,000-foot SAFETY ZONE around the fireworks firing area which will be established and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. At approximately 9:15 p.m., the fireworks will be launched from a barge in Annapolis Harbor.

Also be sure to file a float plan with a shore-bound friend that lists all passengers aboard, your intended destination, what the boat looks like, and when you expect to return. Instruct them what steps to take in the event that they don’t receive notification from you within a reasonable time of when you expect to reach shore at then end of the evening. Visit http://floatplancentral.org/ for a complete plan along with instructions. Select in advance the route to your fireworks-viewing destination and use a GPS to help keep you on course. While on the water, be on the lookout for other boats in the vicinity, stormy weather, or anything that appears unusual. The Coast Guard advises the public to stay aware of their surroundings, including monitoring watching water conditions, celebrating responsibly and not misusing emergency flares as fireworks. Report any emergencies to local authorities by calling 911 or VHF Channel 16.

Boating’s ‘Great Divide’: Sailors vs. Powerboaters

Which Side Are You On? 

Ever since the advent of the outboard engine, powerboaters and sailors have largely regarded each other with disdain. Virtually every member of the boating community falls firmly onto one side or the other—with the rare exception of those who good-naturedly refer to themselves as “bi-boaters” or “transvesselites” that have the financial means and open-mindedness to straddle the party lines and practice both forms of aquatic exploration. Powerboaters equate sailors with the stuck-up bourgeois, while sailors feel powerboaters are classless adrenaline junkies. While these generalizations are perhaps a bit exaggerated, you get the idea: there’s undoubtedly some tension between the two groups. In reality, there’s nothing wrong with either form, it’s just a matter of personal preference based on what your preference is while out on the water. If you’re new to the boating scene and have yet to pick a side, here are some pros and cons of each type of boating experience to help you make up your mind.

POWERBOATS

PROS:

  • Powerboats are generally bigger across the board, and thus more suited for entertainment and extended trips. That’s because more of the boat is above the water line, allowing for multiple levels, stand-up galleys and roomy heads.
  • Powerboats have a high cruising speed allowing you to make significant headway even in less-than-desirable weather conditions and complete long trips in a shorter amount of time.
  • Since you’re not dependent on the wind, a powerboat allows you to sail any time, in any direction and be able to predict your time of arrival with considerable accuracy.
  • Powerboats feature shallower drafts, which means you’re less at risk of running aground—giving you increased access to shallow water areas and allowing you to get closer to the beach.
  • If you plan on fishing, powerboats allow you to trawl—a big drawing factor for anglers.
  • Powerboating is less physically demanding, no cranking winches or hauling sails. This more hands-off approach allows you to sit back and enjoy the company of your friends and the pleasure of being out on the water.

CONS:

  • The obvious trade-off for all that power and autonomy you get with an engine is the noise—which can get pretty intense depending on the size of your motor.
  • The engines are also highly technical, making maintenance and operation somewhat complicated if you don’t have the requisite experience.
  • Fuel—it’s EXPENSIVE!
  • Powerboats can be a bit trickier than sailboats in windy conditions because of their higher center of gravity.

SAILBOATS

PROS:

  • For those environmentally conscious individuals: sailboats are eco-friendly as they obviously don’t rely on fossil fuels like power boats do.
  • Sailboats operate on a combination of manual labor and wind: both are FREE!
  • Sailboats are quiet, allowing you to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the open water.
  • Teamwork: operating a sailboat is a highly interactive activity that requires everyone to work in unison. Sailors like to think of it as an art form and gain a sense of satisfaction from working with the elements instead of against them.

CONS:

  • If you compare a sailboat and power boat that are equal in length, the sailboat offers considerably less inside space because its lower center of gravity and design structure.
  • Winds can be unpredictable, meaning you could be stranded if that once-healthy breeze shifts or dies out completely.
  • Sailing is physically demanding and requires complete attention; this time consuming process means you have less time to socialize with your guests and relax.
  • Sails and rigging require constant maintenance and repair.
  • Sailboats have a deeper draft, meaning you have limited access to shallower waters and always be on the guard for running aground.

IN CLOSING…

It doesn’t matter which side you pick! Although there’s a healthy rivalry between the two groups, they’re united in their mutual love of the water—as Steve Tadd, director of the National Marine Manufacturers Association observes: “There’s a big difference in personalities, but it’s a friendly rivalry. I get kind of a kick out of it—like college football.” When all is said and done, sailors and powerboaters alike usually end up at the same place at the end of the day: the local marina! For a great place to rub shoulders with all types of seafarers, check out all the amenities the Port Annapolis Marina has to offer; including: family friendly pool and sun-deck, onsite restaurant, private shower facilities and much more!