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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.

Get The Gear Here!

Shop Go2marine.com

 

From boating on the lake to tying up at the dock...

Go2marine with Taylor Made Marine Products is offering a drawing of $500 Gift Card for one lucky boater. Enter the Taylor Made Sweepstakes.

Taylor Made manufacturers a complete source of marine products and accessories. From the dock edging and guards right next to your boat to the fenders, buoys and mooring whips that keep your boat from contacting the dock. Taylor Made offers bimini tops, anchor shade umbrellas, misting systems and other products to protect you from the sun while on your boat as well as boat covers to keep your boats finish looking like new.

Tenara Thread - Lifetime Seam Warranty

Tenara thread is now used in all Ultima and Hotshot fabric products including boat covers, biminis and motor hoods. Tenara thread is guaranteed to outlast ANY fabric that it is used to sew – this means no more seams separating because the thread has failed to live up to the sun or weather.

Sweepstakes ends June 15th, 2011. No purchase necessary. See details below**

**You must be 18 years or older to enter. No purchase necessary. $500 Gift Card will be issued from a major credit card company. See full sweepstakes rules and details here.

Keeping Cool

 

The Taylor Made Bimini Comfort Zone Misting System can be used to reduce the air temperatures in a local area by as much as 30 degrees. This innovative stand-alone misting system can be attached to a dodger, bimini, radar arch, wing, tower or any overhead area to supply you with a steady, cooling mist.  

The misting systems usefulness extends far beyond the weekend boater. Any hot weather boater, from a small sport fishing boat to a waterski tournament boat to an off shore cruising sailboat can benefit from this simple system. Additionally, and vehicle that uses a 12 volt power source and is able to carry water can take advantage of misting cooling. This portable misting system can be used with an RV while camping, while off-roading at Moab or to keep you cool in your cart when golfing. 

The Taylor Made 1420 Comfort Zone Misting System contains:  

  • 130 psi 12 volt booster pump w/mounting bracket
  • Quick “Push to Connect” tee connectors
  • 25′ of 1/4″ diameter black misting line
  • 7′ red water inlet tubing w/screened weighted anchor
  • 4 misting nozzles w/T-connector push-to-connect fittings
  • 4 mounting clips to attach nozzle to top
  • AC adapter plug
  • Pre-inline sediment filter

All that you supply is the electricity and water**. The water source must be clean, fresh water (not salt or brackish water). While running, the system uses approximately 1 gallon of water per nozzle per hour. Go2marine offers this useful product as well as over 160,000 other useful boat parts to make your boating enjoyable! 

** Never mix electricity and water, you will need to supply both the source of each as well as their dispensing containers.

Lighthouse windlasses are built for the recreational boating market BUT their design is rugged like a commercial vessel windlass. Go2marine is a proud supplier of this industrial strength marine windlass. They are available in 12-32 volt electric power options as well as hydraulically powered. A windlass is not only necessary for lifting the heavy ground tackle during anchoring, it is useful in kedging your vessel. All windlasses should have a manual backup in case of a power supply failure.

Lighthouse Windlasses at Go2marine

Lighthouse Windlasses at Go2marine

Lighthouse Anchor Windlasses, made in the USA, feature stainless steel construction; won’t corrode away like aluminum winches or rust like steel units. No chrome plating to peel off like others made of brass. The only winch with 3 manual back-ups. Can be tailed just like any sheet winch. Has rapid manual rewind with use of a standard or ratcheting winch handle in capstan end.

A second winch handle socket on top of the winch is provided for kedging and allows a maximum pull manually through a 60:1 gear ratio. This means if only 35 lbs. of pressure is exerted on a standard 10″ winch handle in kedging socket, a potential of 10,500 lbs. Is available at the capstan. For example; 35 lbs. X 10″ = 350 lbs., 350 lbs. X 60 (gear ratio)= 21,000 lbs., divide 21,000 lbs. By the radius of the capstan (2″)=10,500 lbs. On most boats, this could be the most powerful device for winching available.

Lighthouse Windlass Cutaway

Lighthouse Windlass Cutaway

Lighthouse windlasses are are rated at continuous duty, not maximum pull as with most other winch manufacturers. Optional reversing is available without changing motors, and can be added at anytime. When powering out chain, it can not pull chain out of the locker, therefore cannot damage the deck, hawser pipes or winch. It only allows chain to fall at a controlled speed. The only winch to use urethane clutch materials. This will allow gradual take up of friction plates and can provide controlled slip rates, unlike others that are either on or off. Clutches should last indefinitely and are impervious to salt water and are protected from sunlight. Installation of the Lighthouse windlass is the simplest of any on the market, as told to us by riggers and owners alike.

Motor extension housings up to 48″ are available from the factory. No other winch fits the bill for sail vessels due to its low profile (4″ lower than comparable verticals). The lighthouse windlass fits a variety of sail and power vessels. The Lighthouse windlass does not require deck blocking like most vertical winches. Therefore the Lighthouse windlass is not subject to failure, due to overhung, unsupported loads associated with vertical winches.

The Lighthouse windlass can be mounted flat to the deck in most cases and does not require the spacers and pads usually required for aligning vertical winches to the bow rollers.

Lighthouse w/ twin wildcat's & capstan's

Lighthouse w/ twin wildcat's & capstan's

Go2marine supplies Lighthouse and other windlass manufactures windlasses to the recreational and commercial boating market. For our complete line of windlasses, windlass accessories and other marine boating parts, visit Go2marine.

Sully StickTaylor Made Product’s Sully Stick, on sale through Jan. 31, 2008 for $59.99 (while supplies last) at Go2marine.com,  is a long tapered buoy that can be used to replace the standard round mooring buoy during the winter months. The shape of the Sully Stick prevents it from getting stuck in ice better than a round buoy and can extend the useful life of a mooring buoy by protecting it from ice damage. 

The Sully Stick buoy has a molded-in eyelet at the top for easy retrieval. The base eyelet is reinforced with a galvanized metal bushing to attach a rope and connect to the anchor chain.

 View more information about the Sully Stick at Go2marine.com.