November 10, 2014
5 Ways to Heat Your Boat
Cooling temperatures can keep you off the water, but adding a cabin heater can warm your cabin and heat up your next boat party. There are many ways of heating your boat, lets explore some of the more popular methods of staying warm that can keep you on the water all winter long.
1. AC Heaters
One of the simplest methods is to use an AC electric heater plugged into the boat’s AC electrical system. Many models are available, but heaters designed for a marine environment are usually preferable. Electric heaters designed for the marine market are usually made of stainless steel and/or other materials that resist the corrosive marine environment. They should have some sort of safety switch that will turn off the heater if it is tipped over. Some models are ignition protected, meaning that they are safe in gas-powered boat engine rooms. Models without ignition protection certification should not be used in areas where gasoline fumes are present, for obvious reasons. Electric heaters are best suited to boats that either have an AC generator or are usually at the dock where shore power is available. It is not practical to run an electric heater through your inverter, as it will draw the battery bank down too quickly.
2. Fuel Burning Heaters
Fuel burning heaters are among the most popular. Diesel heaters are commonly used with boats that use diesel fuel for propulsion engines as they have a ready source of fuel for the stove. They are available as bulkhead mount as well as floor mount, and may or may not have a fan to circulate the warmed air. All require a flue (stovepipe) that exits the cabin of your boat to dispose of the exhaust. Some heaters use natural convective draft, while others use fan-assisted draft to assist the removal of the toxic exhaust. Some of these heaters have a window, which allows you to enjoy the sight of the burning fire inside the stove. Propane (LPG) space heaters are available with “direct-vent” through fitting and flue cap, where the combustion process is completely isolated from the inside of the boat. Some of the better designs have an oxygen sensor, which will shut off the fuel supply if the oxygen in the cabin reaches a dangerously low level. A few solid fuel heaters burn charcoal briquettes or wood. These also require a ducted flue or stovepipe, as well as a source of wood or charcoal. In the past, coal was used, but modern solid fuel heaters are not designed for coal burning, as it burns too hot.
3. Hydronic Heat
Heated water can be circulated by a pump through tubes or hoses running through the boat to small radiators (heat exchangers) located in the cabin areas that require heating. The heat from the water is transferred to the air by small fans blowing through the heat exchangers, thus heating the boat. These fans can be thermostatically operated, so you can have separate zones of heating, allowing different levels of heat in the individual cabins. The source of the heated water can be from your main engine cooling system, heating coils installed in diesel or propane stoves or ranges, or it can come from your domestic water heater via heat exchangers installed in the water heater. Most marine water heater manufacturers offer optional heat exchanger loops in the water heater, allowing you to heat your galley and head domestic water from the engine, or the heating of water for space heating with the above-mentioned fans/heat exchangers. Multiple zones also are a feature of this type of heating, but add to the complexity and cost of the system. An added benefit is that the bilges, lockers and stowage areas that the hose or tubing runs through will be warmed and de-humidified, decreasing mold and odors common in the colder months.
Hydronic furnaces, which use diesel or kerosene fuel to heat water that is pumped throughout the boat in the same manner as the engine/water heater/radiator system described above. These heaters usually require less maintenance than the forced air furnaces, as the thermal cycling is not as extreme. These types of heaters have a delay between the starting of the heater and when you begin feeling the warming of the cabin, because the water takes some time to heat and circulate out to the heat exchangers and fan that will be warming the air. This hydronic method has many optional ways of connecting to other components, allowing the furnace to serve multiple heating purposes.
4. Forced Air Furnaces
There are several makes and models of forced air furnaces available. These heaters burn diesel or kerosene fuel, exhaust fumes are ducted overboard, and the heated air forced through ducts installed in the boat to distribute the heat. These require rather large ducting in the boat from the heater to the areas of the boat that require the heat. You will feel nearly immediate heat output once the furnace is started.
5. Head South
One other method should be mentioned, and that is to point the boat south, and keep going until it gets warm enough to sit on the deck in your swim suit. If you live in the cold northern climes you may even get a few extra willing crew members to come along for the voyage.
Whatever way you go, keeping your cabin cozy can keep you out on the water even when it’s cold outside. Even the most thin-skinned companions may be persuaded to go out with a toasty heater onboard.
“We’re on this little island in the Puget Sound, but we’re reaching boaters all around the world.”
Jeff Adams, Go2marine Operations Manager
Google recently featured Go2marine in an Economic Impact Report showing how businesses use the web and eCommerce tools to grow business and a world wide customer base.
Go2marine has called a small island in Washington State’s Puget Sound home since 1999, but does business with customers around the world. Bainbridge Island was selected as a 2013 Google eCity Award recipient for Washington state as one of the strongest online business communities.
Read what Google had to say about Go2marine here!
May 6, 2014
The schooner Adventuress was designed by B.B. Crowninshield and built at the Rice Brothers Yard in East Boothbay, Maine. She launched in 1913; a two-masted, gaff-rigged schooner owned by John Borden II of Chicago. Borden commissioned the vessel for his personal use in the Arctic, where he planned to collect specimens including a bowhead whale skeleton for the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Borden’s efforts to acquire a whale never reached fruition, Adventuress was later sold to the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association where she was used as a work boat for the next 35 years.
She transferred pilots to and from cargo vessels before being commissioned during WWII as a United States Coast Guard vessel assigned to guard San Francisco Bay.
In the 1950’s, the Adventuress was brought to Seattle and the Puget Sound. In the early 1960’s, Monty Morton acquired her, restoring much of her original lines which had been altered during her years as a working boat. Her topmasts, gaff rig and bowsprit returned and the main boom was lengthened to increase her sail area. She was then used for sail training by Youth Adventures, a non-profit organization closely tied with Scouting. In the late 1980’s, Sound Experience, another educational non-profit, began conducting educational programs aboard Adventuress continuing the ship’s youth mission. In recognition of her national significance, she was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
She is currently owned and operated by Sound Experience, a Seattle area nonprofit organization who’s mission is to Educate, Inspire and Empower their community to make a difference for the future of our marine environment. Over 3,000 participants each year experience hands-on, experiential, on-the-water programs encouraging stewardship, teaching sustainability and promoting awareness of the ocean and estuarine environment.
In the past two decades alone, more than 60,000 have sailed aboard learning about the marine environment, and how their daily actions make a difference in its future. She is one of only two National Historic Landmark ships still sailing on the west coast, and one of the region’s most recognizable maritime icons.
Rig: Gaff Topsail Two-masted Schooner
Over all Length: 133 feet
Deck Length: 101 feet
Length at the Waterline: 71 feet
Beam: 21 feet
Draft: 12 feet
Rig Height: 110 feet
Sail Area: 5,478 sq. feet
Sail Number: TS15
Gross Tonnage: 98 tons
Auxiliary Engine: 250 hp diesel
Designer: B.B. Crowninshield
Builder: Rice Brothers East Boothbay, Maine
The project spanned a number of years and funded by grants and donations. January through April of 2010, Phase I of the restoration replaced forward port topside frames and planks (67 new futtocks and 840 feet of planking), fore chain plate, stem, fo’c’sle bunks, and anchor & headrig configuration.
Phase II & III took place November 2010 through March 2011, resulting in the re-framing of the starboard bow and the restoration of the Counter Stern. In January 2012 Phase IV began, focusing on the propeller shaft. The following November through March of 2013, the below water-line port side was re-framed.
Schooner Adventuress “Splashes” with State of the Art Refrigeration
The 101 year old gaff-rigged historic schooner Adventuress re-launched April of 2014 in Port Townsend following the completion of a $1.2 million, five year Centennial Restoration Project.
Go2marine’s Mark McBride (a leading expert on marine refrigeration) worked alongside national designers, engineers and manufacturers to design an efficient, safe and ecologically sustainable refrigeration system for the 1913 schooner. Her galley now includes a fine touch of modern convenience, new Frigoboat Keel-Cooled AC/DC Refrigeration Systems supplied by Go2marine and Coastal Climate Control, North America.
Frigoboat Marine Refrigeration, renowned world-wide as one of the best possible solutions for on-board refrigeration needs, provides a little modern day cruising comfort to a remarkable, historic vessel.
At 133 ft in vessel length, one might think the Adventuress has plenty of space in the galley for this system. Fortunately the two Frigoboat systems nested easily in the only available nook of the galley where the systems supply refrigeration to two new hand crafted 15 cubic ft lockers, one of which houses a smaller freezer.
“Once I learned of their requirements, Frigoboat was really the best choice for the Adventuress” according to Mark, who added “Coastal Climate Control is a top notch company providing support and service to the marine markets for over 25 years and this was also an important factor in choosing Frigoboat systems.” Mark goes on to say that there must be literally thousands of Frigoboat systems in the world, and Frigoboat was chosen in Practical Sailor’s (June 2009) as the winner in the “Frig Chill-off” survey.
January 29, 2013
In the boat and yachting electrical world, it is not enough to merely strip the insulation off the end of a wire and wrap it around a screw that gets tightened. Wire terminals are the approved method of connecting wire ends to the source of electricity and to electrical devices that require it.
Marine wire has specific qualities that make it superior for use on boats and yachts. Marine wire should be finely stranded copper, for flexibility, as marine wiring must be able to survive long periods of vibration without failure. The individual strands making up the wire should to be tin plated to resist corrosion. The wire insulation must be able to withstand the heat, moisture, salt, fuel, oil, acid, and abrasion which are usually present in this harsh environment.
Marine wire terminals also should be made of copper, and have tin plating for corrosion resistance. Marine wire terminals should be insulated and of the crimp-on type electrical connection.
The wire terminal must be selected to match the size (gauge) of wire being used. In the smaller wire terminal sizes, the terminals are often color coded, RED for 22-18 ga., BLUE for 16-14 ga., and YELLOW for 10-12 ga. Always use the correct sized terminal for the wire gauge being used.
When using ring terminals, always select the correct ring terminal for the size of the fastener used to attach the terminal. It is important to maximize the surface area between the terminal fastener and the wire terminal itself to improve the current carrying capacity of the wire and terminal connection. A 3/8” ring terminal attached to a #10 screw doesn’t allow much surface area for the current to flow and has little resistance to bending or vibration. It is possible to modify the size of the ring terminal on some of the larger sizes. A 2/0 x ¼” ring terminal can be drilled out with a step drill to a 5/16”, 3/8”, or larger. However, drilling out the terminal will remove the tin plating on the inside of the hole, which compromises the anti-corrosion properties of the plating.
There are actually two connections that need to be made for each wire terminal. The first is the ELECTRICAL connection, which is made by crimping the middle part of the terminal sleeve to the bared wire strands with the appropriate section of the crimping tool. This section is usually labeled or color coded for the specific terminal size being used. The second is the MECHANICAL connection, made by either crimping the end of the terminal sleeve to the insulation at the end of the wire before the bared strands with the appropriate section of the crimping tool, or by heating the adhesive lined heat shrink tubing around the terminal and wire end insulation.
It is essential to make the electrical crimp connection with enough force to tightly bond the terminal to the wire strands of the bared wire end. There should not be any play or wiggle between the terminal and the wire it is crimped to. It should be very difficult or impossible to pull the wire out of the terminal after it has been crimped to the wire end.
The mechanical connection is important because it moves the strain of flexing and vibration between the copper wire strands and the terminal to the connection of the terminal to the insulation, preventing the copper strands from work hardening and breaking when subjected to vibration and/or flexing.
The mechanical connection may be a second crimp to a crimping sleeve built into the terminal designed to crimp against the wire insulation. This connection uses a different section of the wire crimp tool than the electrical connection section. This section has a larger “hole” when closed, and allows the mechanical sleeve in the terminal to be crimped to the wire insulation without crushing the terminal as much as with the electrical connection crimp.
Another method of making the mechanical connection is with crimp-on terminals supplied with adhesive lined heat shrink tubing. The electrical crimp connection is the same, but the mechanical connection is made by shrinking the terminal heat shrink insulation around the terminal electrical connection using a heat source such as a heat gun or small flame. Be careful not to over heat the tubing if using a flame. Hold the flame about an inch or so below the terminal connection and roll the terminal over the flame to evenly warm the heat shrink tubing. Smoking and blackening is a sign of overheating or heating too quickly. The heat will shrink the tubing to form a tight seal, and when enough heat has been applied the adhesive can usually be seen oozing out from the ends of the insulation. The heat shrink process adds the benefit of very good water protection at the wire termination.
If the terminal being used is of the type without heat shrink and without a mechanical crimp connection, a short length of the appropriate sized adhesive lined heat shrink tubing should be placed over the end of the wire before the terminal is crimped, and heated to shrink around the terminal electrical connection and the wire insulation after crimp has been made. This will provide the necessary mechanical connection to the wire insulation as well as add water protection to the wire end and terminal.
Mark McBride – January 29, 2013
February 14, 2012
The number one reason that drive systems go out of alignment is that the engine mounts are worn or have sagged. The engine sits lower and lower and moves around more so there is increased wear and vibration on the entire drive of the vessel.
Marine engine mounts can make the difference between a low vibration engine, mounted stable in your boat or an iron monster that shakes the hull, produces noise and may lead to damage. Broken, damaged or worn engine mounts are not always obvious when 100’s of pounds of static motor are sitting on the mounts. Excess vibration can be caused by many things, including; mounts that are too soft or hard, worn engine mounts or how the mounts are attached to the bed. Of course, there are other things that can cause vibration, including; misalignment of transmission to shaft, worn components (cutlass bearing, transmission) or damaged components (propeller, shaft, transmission).
The forces of a high revving, high horsepower modern marine engine are passed directly onto the engine mounts. Even small one cylinder diesels really pound the engine mounts. For all their apparent simplicity, engine mounts are subject to a number of forces:
- Longitudinal – The forward / aft motion of the engine
- Lateral – The side to side motion of the engine
- Vertical – the up and down motion of the engine
Most of these forces on a motor mount act in a form of chaotic unison. Not only must the engine hold its own position based on motor and transmission weight, but it also must resist the shearing force of the propeller under thrust. What looks like a simple job for an engine mount gets complex, quickly when throttling up; the engine mounts on one side are ‘stretched’, one the other side they are compressed, they are also subjected to shear by the thrust of the prop. Now add to the equation of a boat throttling up in rolling seas, or depending on the vessel, being subjected to storm conditions or high-speed pounding. The simple combination of metal and rubber that makes up an engine mount sees real abuse in a harsh environment.
Figuring out what engine mount you need:
- Number of mounts. Most marine engine/transmission units use 4 engine mounts, some smaller/older units use 3
- Matching up the weight and horsepower to an engine mount
- Match the Make Model of your engine
Once you know how many mounts you need and a data about the engine/transmission then nearly every modern marine engine can be found with The Engine Mount Cross-Reference Guide. In summary, should you feel that your system has gotten out of alignment, check your engine mounts first. It is the sagging engine that puts pressure on the cutlass and shaft seal and wears them to the point of needing replacement.