Here are some Handy Tips from Outbreak Marine and RV
Restoring the Shine to
By Don Casey
Revised by BoatUS editors in April 2012
The outer surface of a fiberglass boat is normally a special resin called gelcoat. Gelcoat has little structural value--the underlying laminates of resin-saturated glass fabric provide that--but
gelcoat protects the hull and gives it its color and shine.
When the gelcoat was originally sprayed into the hull mold, it--like all gels--took on the shape and texture of the mold surface. The ultra high gloss most new boats exhibit is due entirely to the
highly polished, mirror-like surface of the mold used in the original construction of the boat.
"How often should my boat's hull be cleaned?"
The fact is that relatively frequent, gentle cleanings are
better for the boat, better for the environment and better for your wallet than less frequent, more abrasive cleanings. Ask your hull cleaner if he is a member of the California Professional Divers Association. CPDA divers are trained and certified in the use of industry standard
In-water Hull Cleaning Best Management Practices, making them the best trained, best educated hull cleaners in California.
This is a question hull divers are often asked. It is a common misconception that frequent hull cleaning reduces the length of time your
anti fouling paint remains viable. But by employing an experienced, knowledgeable hull cleaner using Best Management Practices, quite the opposite is true.
The key to making your anti fouling paint last a long time is to never let it get so dirty that it cannot be cleaned with the softest
cleaning media (and by that we mean carpet or a white pad.) A typical hull cleaning frequency here in the San Francisco Bay Area is every three months. This schedule virtually ensures that within the
first year, your diver will have to clean the boat with something more abrasive. And that means scrubbing paint off unnecessarily which, of course, shortens your paint's lifespan. A typical bottom
job cleaned on a quarterly schedule will last about two years.
You paid a lot of money for your bottom job and you want it last as long as
possible. Here in the Bay Area, a 2-month cleaning frequency is
recommended. This ensures that your diver can use the softest pad when
cleaning your hull, often for the entire life of the paint. A less frequent regimen means a more abrasive pad will have to be used, which not only shortens the lifespan of your anti fouling paint but
releases more copper into the water than otherwise would be. Further, with the 2-month cleaning cycle, your hull is clean more of the time, thereby improving performance both under power and sail and
reducing your fuel consumption and carbon emissions. By gently
cleaning your hull just 6 times per year (as opposed to 4 times) your bottom paint can last three years or more, potentially saving you thousands of dollars in haulout/bottom painting
Here's the math for 10 years of ownership of a 40'
3-month hull cleaning schedule (painted every 2
$2700 bottom job X 5 = $13,500
$90.00 hull cleaning (4 times/year X 10) = $3600
Total expenditure (10 years) = $17,100
2-month hull cleaning schedule (painted every 3
$2700 bottom job X 3 = $8100
$90.00 hull cleaning (6 times/year X 10) = $5400
Total expenditure (10 years) = $13,500
Total savings = $3600
That's quite a savings. Not to mention your fuel cost savings from operating the boat
with a clean bottom more of the time. And consider also that the cost of the bottom job is only going to increase in the future.
Vessel Safety Checklist. What do the inspectors look
for? Use the following checklist to test your own boat.
USCG Auxiliary SEAL OF SAFETY Checklist
The following is a list of safety equipment that will be checked during a Free Courtesy Marine Examination(CME) - conducted by the USCG Auxiliary.
Boats meeting the requirements will receive a CME dec
USCG Auxiliary SEAL OF SAFETY
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Marine Radio Communication
VHF Marine Radio Service
The Marine VHF radio is installed on all large ships and most motorized boats. It is used for a wide variety of purposes, including summoning rescue services and communicating with harbors and
marinas and operates in the VHF frequency range, between 156 to 174 MHz.
A marine VHF set is a combined transmitter and receiver and only operates on standard, international frequencies known as channels. Channel 16 (156.8 MHz) is the international calling and distress
channel. Channel 9 can also be used in some places as a secondary call and distress channel. Transmission power ranges between 1 and 25 watts, giving a maximum range of up to about 60 nautical miles
between aerials mounted on tall ships and hills and 5 nautical miles between aerials mounted on small boats at sea level. (Frequency modulation is used).
Marine VHF mostly uses ‘simplex’ transmission, where communication can only take place in one direction at a time. A transmit button on the set or microphone determines whether it is operating as a
transmitter or a receiver. The majority of channels, however, are set aside for ‘duplex’ transmissions channels where communication can take place in both directions simultaneously. Each duplex
channel has two frequency assignments. This is mainly because, in the days before mobile phones became widespread, the duplex channels could be used to place calls on the public telephone system for
a fee via a marine operator. This facility is still available in some areas, though its use has largely died out. In US waters, Marine VHF radios can also receive weather radio broadcasts, where they
are available, on receive only channels.
United States Coast Guard
Tips for Better RVing source KOA
There’s nothing better than traveling with your dog. Cats are pretty good, too.
Strongly consider a diesel engine for any motor home over 37 feet.
There’s nothing worse than idling in rush-hour traffic with 1/4 tank of gas. Keep your tanks full and your mood will lighten.
Kinko’s, libraries, and travel plazas and KOA Kampgrounds are great places to go online.
medications cause drowsiness, which may lead to lackadaisical driving.
cell phone is a must for extended travelers. Pre-paid phone cards are good, too.
9. Use a
portable space heater to aid an overworked propane-gobbling furnace at night when temperatures dip.
Consider a water filter a must onboard your RV.
backing up is still a problem, practice in an empty parking lot until you’re comfortable.
beams are useless when traveling through fog.
Water leaks are one of the great downers of RV ownership. A likely culprit is worn rubber seals around doors and windows.
avoid tracking in a mess, wear one pair of shoes outside your RV and another pair inside.
8’x10’ plastic cover comes in handy to shield supplies during a rain, for use as a ground cover under a blanket for an impromptu picnic, or as a table cloth.
Backing into a snug campsite at night is one of the greatest threats to a marriage that I know of.
Suspect the air conditioner first during roof leaks. Double check seals and bolts, and tighten when necessary.
you let your dog sleep in bed with you once, he’s there for life.
Practice the same cold-weather tricks you use on your RV as you do at home. Weather-strip around doors, add rugs for extra insulation, and consider heavier drapes and curtains.
buying a new RV, go through the motions. Sit on the toilet, stand in the shower, and lie in the bed.
those of you behind the RV during back-ups, if you can’t see the driver, he or she can’t see you.
Using a polarity tester before plugging in the electrical cord tells you if the hookup is wired properly and keeps you from possible shocks or worse.
you’re worried about incoming calls at home, get an answering machine that allows you to access messages from the road.
Visit Washington D.C. and be proud.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a pre-departure walk-around. Check all lights and signals. Examine tires for wear and take their pressure. Double check trailer hookups, dollies, or tow
down. If you’re in such a hurry, you should have left yesterday.
Hot-weather driving is hard on your vehicle. Travel during the morning and in the late afternoon to lesser impact on you and your vehicle.
buying a tow vehicle, get the biggest engine you can.
tubing is an inexpensive and safe way to transport fishing poles.
Never buy an RV, no matter how good the deal, from someone selling them in a vacant lot.
Realize that it might take your motorhome or larger fifth wheel the length of a football field to come to a complete stop.
Treat plumbing systems kindly. Always buy biodegradable toilet paper.
Electric steps equal bruised shins.
aerodynamic RV will save you lots of money in fuel prices over its lifetime.
professional driving instructor Dick Reed tells it, reverse is spelled “S-L-O-W.”
Clean your engine once a year. Cover all sensitive components (air intake and filter, distributor, fuse box, etc.), warm up engine to loosen gunk (don’t’ let engine get hot) and spray with
at roadside diners, greasy spoons, and any place with the word “EATS” spelled out in neon.
Somebody, anybody, please fix that flashing “12:00” on the VCR.
oxidation of your RV’s rubber roof (best exemplified by ugly streaks) is unavoidable, but keeping your roof clean should lessen the effects. Start by removing all debris and wash the roof with water.
Take your choice of a cleaning agent designed for EPDM rubber and follow the directions to the letter. Do this three to four times a year. Patch kits are available for rips and tears.
slide topper, which keeps moisture and debris off slide-out rooms, is a good idea.
Spend a little more money to get electronic mirrors, cruise control, and a good stereo system.
you don’t know something, ask the people in the next campsite.
can rustproof your chassis through undercoating at specialty shop or by using an aftermarket spray. Either way, it’s a good procedure to keep your RV’s foundation in good working order.
Accept that your RV won’t have all the conveniences of home.
Visit the beach. Any beach.
your RV a good cleaning before or after putting it into storage. Steam clean the carpet and launder all clothing items, blankets and towels. Clean all drawers, spraying for bugs if necessary. Clean
the furnace, AC, and fan filters, too.
up after pets, keep them on leashes at all times, and take them for a good walk every day. An occasional cookie wouldn't hurt, either.
traveler should know the ins and outs of map reading.