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Jeff Adams Go2marine Operations Manager

“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!

 

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Raft Up!

May 28, 2014

Rafting your boat is a great way to spend time on the water with family, friends and other boaters. Here are a few tips to keep you and your boat safe while rafting up this summer.

Raft Up!Gear:
Make sure you have the right gear for rafting up. Fenders, dock lines, spring lines and anchors are important. A boat hook is also handy to maneuver boats at close quarters while keeping hands and feet clear for safety.

Make a Plan:
Having a good plan will make the process of rafting multiple boats together go smoothly and safely.

  • Designate the heaviest boat (not necessarily the biggest) to be the host or ‘anchor’ vessel. This will be the first boat in the raft, setting a good anchor for the boats that will then tie along either side.
  • The total load on the center boat will be more than normal and extra scope is necessary. Make sure the captain of the anchor boat is familiar with his anchor and sets it good at 7:1 minimum scope, 10:1 is always a good idea especially for larger rafts.
  • Size up the boats that plan to participate in the raft up. It is best to place similar sized boats next to one another to best protect the vessels when tied and make crossing between boats easier. Place larger vessels near the center of the raft, on either side of the host or anchor boat, and smaller boats towards the ends of the raft.
  • When planning a larger raft, it is a good idea to have multiple boats set an anchor to secure the raft, every third boat is a good rule of thumb. Be aware of current, tides and wind conditions. Plan to either anchor your raft in place (forward and aft) or to allow for swing (which can tangle lines and anchors if you are not careful).

Raft Up

Communicate:
Use your marine radio or cellphone to communicate between boats as they are added to the raft up.

Be Ready:
Have your fenders deployed and lines ready. Take into consideration if you will be setting an anchor prior to easing alongside the raft. Be safe, look for swimmers and smaller watercraft as you join the raft up. Children and guests not involved with rafting up should be sitting out of the way.

Tie Off:
When in position, tie off to the other boat. Adjust bow and stern lines so your stern aligns with the rafted boats. This allows for safer and easier travel between rafted vessels. Use spring lines to prevent forward and aft shifting between boats.

Movement:
Movement, especially in wake situations is usually unavoidable. This is one reason some choose not to participate in raft ups, and is often a cause for the rafted boats dispersing before dark. How protected your anchorage is from wind and wake, how safe and secure your fenders keep your boat, and how securely lines were tied are all important factors that will contribute to a safe and damage free raft up experience.

HAVE A PLAN, HAVE THE RIGHT GEAR AND HAVE FUN THIS SUMMER BOATING SEASON!

Be Respectful: Respect the privacy and belongings of the boats next to you, especially when coming aboard another’s vessel to cross along the raft. Be mindful of where you step, avoid walking over hatches and through cockpits, etc..

Be Safe: Take your time when crossing between two boats, never jump! Climbing over bow rails, lines, gunwales or swim platforms pose trip hazards and safety concerns. Be careful of cleats and other sharp objects when barefoot. Keep arms and legs out from between boats, you never know when shifting may occur. Wear life jackets or PFD in case of a slip. Never swim between boats.

The Right Tools: Even if you only raft up with other vessels once in a while, it pays to have properly sized and shaped fenders, and the right kind of dock lines for the task. For rafting up with larger vessels, you might want to consider having a set of at least two slightly larger fenders. Having slightly heavier dock line is a good idea too, especially if some of the boats in the raft are larger. Make sure you are tying lines off securely. Checking and maintaining your boat’s cleats and other gear is a good practice to prevent damage while rafting up or dockside.

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Old Boat, New Tricks

May 6, 2014

The Adventuress

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.

 

John Bordon behind the wheel in 1913

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.

AdventuressIn 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
Hull: Wood
Designer: B.B. Crowninshield
Commissioned: 1913
Builder: Rice Brothers East Boothbay, Maine

Adventuress Boater's BlogIn January of 2010, Sound Experience began a $1.2 million dollar Centennial Restoration Project leading up to Adventuress’ 100th birthday in 2013.

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.

Mark

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.

 

Frigoboat

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“Green” Anodes

February 14, 2013

pencil anode

Navalloy Pencil Anode

We use sacrificial anodes on our boats to lessen the electro-chemical reaction between the submerged metal of our boats and the water in which it is used. The difference in electrical potential exists between any two different metals submerged in an electrolyte. For boats, this electrolyte is fresh, brackish, or salt water. This electrical potential is similar to that of a battery, in that there is an electrical current that passes through the water from one terminal to another, or in our case, one metallic material to a different metallic material

An anode is the negative “terminal” and the other metals are the cathodes, or positive “terminal.” The anode is sacrificial because the anode slowly corrodes and dissolves in water, preventing the cathode from corroding and dissolving. Since the sacrificial anodes eventually disappear, they have to be replaced at regular intervals.

Traditionally the sacrificial anode was made of high purity zinc, which does a good job of protecting most of the submerged metals of boats. However, zinc is highly toxic, even in very small quantities, and all of the boat zincs dissolving in our lakes, rivers, estuaries and oceans has a significant effect on the natural environment. Zinc is highly toxic to plants, invertebrates, and vertebrate fish. It is also known to be toxic when inhaled during welding or soldering of galvanized metals, causing “zinc shakes,” “zinc chills,” “galvie flu” or “metal dust fever.”

Other materials traditionally used for sacrificial anodes are magnesium and aluminum. Magnesium has been used for boats located in fresh water, but should not be used on aluminum boats in salt water, as it will cause excessive voltage differences that can cause hydrogen bubbles to form on the metal that can lift paint off of the aluminum hull. Magnesium has a higher degree of anodic protection than zinc, but this higher protection is too great to be useful on aluminum boats or out-drives in salt water. Aluminum anodes have a slightly higher degree of protection than zinc, but without the harmful over-protection of magnesium. However, pure aluminum anodes will quickly form an oxide layer that electrically insulates the aluminum, defeating the purpose of the anode. (Zinc also forms oxides in fresh water, which insulates it and prevents it from working.) Toward the end of the twentieth century, certain aluminum alloys were developed to make them superior to other sacrificial anodes. One of these alloys is made of 95% Aluminum, 5% Zinc, and .02% Indium, and is marketed by Performance Metals Products under the trade name of “Navalloy®.”

hull anode

Navalloy Hull Anode

Performance Metals Products manufacturers a complete line of sacrificial anodes for boats of all types, using their aluminum alloy Navalloy.  Navalloy has many properties that make it ideal for sacrificial anodes on our boats. This alloy has all the advantages of aluminum, without the disadvantages of pure aluminum or the toxicity of zinc. Navalloy is lighter than zinc and lasts 30 to 50% longer than zinc anodes. It has a higher protection voltage than zinc, but not dangerously high as with magnesium.

Performance Metals Products anodes have built-in wear indicators in them. The more traditional anodes, such as hull anodes, shaft anodes, and rudder and trim tab anodes have a red dot cast under the surface of the anode, when the dot is visible; it is time to change the anode. Their pencil anodes, used on the inside of heat exchangers and other engine parts, have the anode cast around a stainless steel core, which allows the anode to dissolve without the remainder breaking off and potentially causing water blockage problems as it moves around loose in the engine. These pencil anodes also work well in hot water, typically found within the cooling circuits of marine engines, heat exchangers and refrigeration condensers. Zinc anodes provide greatly reduced protection in hot water. Zinc anodes form a non-porous layer when the boat is hauled out of the water, which must be cleaned before the boat is launched. Navalloy does not form this layer, and work immediately upon re-immersion in water.

Environmental agencies have determined that zinc anodes are a major cause of pollution in marinas. Maryland is currently considering phasing out the use of zinc anodes in favor of aluminum alloys to solve this problem with zinc in marinas and boatyards.

Navalloy anodes are made to military specification MIL-DTL-24779B(SH).

Mercury and Johnson/Evinrude/OMC started selling aluminum alloy anodes in the early 1990’s. Other outboard and out-drive manufacturers also are switching to aluminum anodes. Some of the manufacturers may void the warranty coverage of their products if zinc anodes have been used.

Since Navalloy anodes provide better protection, are less toxic, last longer, work in all waters and weigh less, are there any reasons to keep using zinc anodes?

shaft anode

Navalloy Shaft Anode

Mark McBride – February 14, 2013

Electrical Wire Terminations

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 terms and toolwire 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,electrical crimp connecting 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 theinsulation crimp connecting 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 completed crimpthe 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 heat shrink before crimpsupplied 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 electrical crimp on heat shrink terminalflame. 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.

heat shrinking ring terminal insulation with flame

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, andfinished heat shrink ring terminal 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

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.

Marine controls are an essential part of any boat (including auxiliary powered sailboats). After the wheel or tiller, there is nothing else that you touch as much. Your marine controls connect you to the thrust and direction of movement of the vessel whether docking or out on the open water at full throttle. A control may operate the throttle or shift or both; several choices and options are available. Reliability, smoothness, accuracy and response are all features to look for in a marine control.

Shift / Throttle Functions of Marine controls:

Single Function / Single Lever (Controls Only One; Throttle or Shifter) – This is the simple lever that controls just the throttle or just the shifter. Some typical applications are with a Berkley Jet, this lever is the shifter and a foot pedal is used for throttle.

Dual Function / Dual Lever, Binnacle Mount Control

Dual Function / Dual Lever (Controls Throttle and Shift for Two Engines) – This control sees typical use with a twin-engine vessel and offers the simplest to use setup. Like all dual function controls, the lever controls both the shift and the throttle. As you push forward on the lever, the transmission engages and the engine throttles up.

Dual Function / Single Lever (Controls the Throttle and Shift) – By far the most common controller available for virtually every inboard, sterndrive and outboard application. This control is suitable for only one engine. The mounting options for this style control can range from helm stations to the side box controls on an outboard to sailboat cockpit controls. Like all dual function controls, the lever controls both the shift and the throttle. As you push forward on the lever, the transmission engages and the engine throttles up.

Single Function / Dual Lever (One lever controls throttle, the other lever controls shift) – A more traditional approach to controlling the throttle and shift. Some manufacturers do not recommend this type of control because you could throttle up (first) then slam the transmission into forward while the throttle is high! For twin engines, you simple mount two of these. Not for novices and can be dangerous when operated in a panic situation.

Control Mounting:

Traditional Runabout w/ Side Box Mount Control

Runabout, Outboard or Sterndrive Controls – Smaller boats typically use a side box mount controller, fitted to the right of the helm. With the exception of some jet boats, most of these controls are dual function, single lever. There are specific controllers made for Mercury / Mariner / Force as well as OMC / Johnson / Evinrude. You may be able to use a more generic controller by choosing cables that have end options that work with your system.

Sailboat Controls – Most sailboats use a flush side mount marine control. Older sailboats typically operated with Morse single function / dual lever controls. Most sailboat auxiliaries setup since the 1980’s use the dual function / single lever control to manage the throttle / shift in a smooth fashion.

Inboard and Larger Vessels – These controls are most often binnacle mounted controls that may have two stations (upper helm and lower cabinhouse) and twin-engine setups. The common traditional setup is a single function / dual lever control at the helm station. Owners often want more response and a ‘make sense system’ to help when maneuvering larger vessels with twin engines.

With the right controls, nearly anyone can take the helm* – note that the boat below is not under power!

Upper Control Station - Twin Engine, Single Function / Dual Lever