Saftey at sea 

Look after youKeeping warm and dry is important. Once you start to get cold your ability to think and function properly will deteriorate.

Wear clothes made from man-made fabrics rather than cotton which soaks up body moisture and makes you cold. Always take spare clothing with you so you can add layers if necessary as well as a waterproof jacket and trousers, and a hat.

Conversely in hot weather remember your sun cream and hat and keep yourself hydrated.

Alcohol and boating don’t mix

Alcohol will impair your coordination and your ability to think clearly, particularly in an emergency situation. It influences your behaviour and affects your judgement.

The RYA does not condone the drinking of alcohol whilst in charge of a vessel and encourages all boaters to act responsibly in this regard.

Care should also be taken when at anchor, transferring to and from a tender or when walking to and from a boat along a pontoon.

Lifejacket or buoyancy aid

Make sure you and your crew have the right personal safety equipment, that they are well maintained and fitted correctly. More information on lifejackets and buoyancy aids.

Wear your kill cord

If you are on an open powerboat or RIB make sure you wear the kill cord. If your boat is not fitted with one then get one fitted. The kill cord should be attached around your leg. Always check your kill cord works before you go out on the water. Watch how to attach a kill cord correctly and read more about kill cords and powerboating safety.

Carbon Monoxide

Often dubbed the ‘Silent Killer’, Carbon Monoxide can kill quickly if inhaled in high concentrations. Check your on-board appliances are safe. If you don’t have a CO alarm, install one and test it regularly. More information on carbon monoxide.

Fire

If a fire does occur, it is imperative that you have sufficient firefighting equipment to hand and that you know how to use it, if the fire is to be extinguished quickly and effectively. Read more about fire fighting equipment.

First aid

It’s a good idea to have two well-stocked first aid kits on-board; one for day-to-day use and one for incidents. Know how to use it and keep the contents up to date. More information on first aid.

Cold water shock can kill

Cold water shock occurs well before the effects of hypothermia and so it is far deadlier. It can cause a number of instant and powerful involuntary respiratory reflexes that can lead to death in minutes. It can happen at any time of the year; it only takes a water temperature of 15°C and below. Read more about cold water shock.

Safety briefing for your crew

A skipper should ensure that everyone on board knows where the safety equipment is stowed and how to use it. Talk them through your plan as well as your contingency plans should something go wrong. Other aspects are: check that they know how to start the engine, how to send a Mayday and to make them aware of any on board hazards.

Share this post!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmailby feather

Diesel Engine Myths

The Truth Be Told

Five common myths about your marine diesel.
Diesel engine on yachtSome years ago Power & Motoryacht conducted a series of focus groups with our readers in order to get a better idea of who they are and what they were looking for in a boating magazine. We got a number of interesting revelations, including one in which half of the respondents thought we should show more pretty women on the cover and the other half thought we should not.

Fortunately, we were able to glean other, more useful insights, particularly on the subject of how you keep up with changes in systems, technology, and skills. When we asked you to name your main source of information concerning these subjects the most frequent answer was, as we suspected, boating publications. But a close second was talking to fellow boaters. This came as no particular surprise—and I’m sure it doesn’t to you—but what we didn’t expect to learn was that when there’s a conflict between what you read in a publication and what you hear from fellow boaters, a sizable minority of you will side with what you hear on the docks.

Most of what I’ve learned from my fellow boaters has been valuable, but every once in a while someone tries to pass off something that’s totally bogus. My particular area of expertise is engines, so I’m pretty sensitive about pontifications on that subject. And year upon year I keep hearing five particularly egregious fallacies making their way through the boating community.

1
It’s okay to let your diesel idle for extended periods because it burns so little fuel.
This one is not restricted to mariners. I’ve seen lots of diesel pickup truck owners leave their engines running while they’re absent. The genesis, I think, is from seeing unoccupied long-haul trucks with their engines running, and the practice does have some basis in fact. Diesels do burn very little fuel at idle because unlike gasoline engines, their throttles do not restrict the amount of air they ingest. As for truckers, the practice seems to have stemmed from the need to keep diesel fuel from getting too cold in winter and gelling. In any case, letting your diesel idle for anything more than a short duration is a bad idea because while the engine will use little fuel, what fuel it does burn will not combust completely because the operating temperature is too low. Unlike gasoline engines, diesels need to be under load to reach optimum operating temperature—if they’re not, unburned fuel can cause needless pollution and even can dilute the lubricating oil, increasing wear. Plus, every time a piston travels up and down a cylinder, the rings and cylinder walls wear just a little bit. The best rule is, if you’re not underway, turn off the engines.

2
You should let your engine idle for a few minutes to warm up before getting underway.
As noted above, a diesel will not warm to operating temperature until it is under load. Thus you need only let the engine idle long enough to fully circulate the oil—30 seconds is plenty. But don’t immediately put the pedal to the metal. A few minutes of idle speed will warm the oil so it flows better.

3
When shutting down, it’s a good idea to goose the throttle once or twice before turning off the engine.
I have no idea where this one comes from, but I suspect it has something to do with watching Harley owners goose their engines whenever they get a chance. I’ve heard some boaters aver that doing this makes sure there’s a good supply of oil throughout the engine before it shuts down. Poppycock. An idling diesel circulates more than enough lube to keep everything well oiled, and revving the engine then shutting if off can leave unburned fuel in the combustion chambers and even starve the turbocharger bearing, because the turbo will keep spinning after the oil supply dies. And again, this practice wastes fuel.

4
Coolant temperature is the best way to measure whether a diesel engine is fully warmed up.
This one’s obviously derived from our experience with automobiles, and it’s not really a critical error unless you’re one who can’t wait to mash the throttles. Because a diesel needs a load to warm to full operating temperature, coolant can reach 180 degrees Fahrenheit while the lube oil is not at optimum viscosity. Not all boats have oil-temperature gauges; if yours does not, play it safe and bring your engines up to speed slowly, even if your coolant temperature is where it’s supposed to be.

5
Most of the wear incurred by a marine engine takes place at high rpm.
This certainly seems logical. Running an engine at WOT has to be harder on it than running it at idle, no? But in truth, the highest wear rates take place at startup, especially if you’re imprudent. Lube oil is designed to cling to interior components, but the film is micron-thin. And once an engine is running, it takes a few moments for the cold oil—even modern multi-viscosity oil—to flow freely. That’s why commercial diesels have block heaters and pumps that circulate lube oil before the engine starts. If your engines have neither, your best option is to give them 30 seconds to a minute before you advance the throttles.

The modern marine diesel is a pretty durable piece of machinery, and it can no doubt withstand any or all of these bad practices. But eliminating them will help yours live longer and run stronger—no matter what your dockside pals say.

With thanks

http://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/engine/diesel-engine-myths#.VLMJ4EaQHCR

Share this post!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmailby feather

Prop Guard

The decision on whether or not to fit a prop guard is a personal one and one that should be made only once a full appraisal of the pros and cons of prop guards has been carried out.

 

Prop guards are intended to serve 2 purposes:

  1. To protect the propeller and gear box from damage in the event of a prop striking a rock or other hard object.
  2. To protect a person in the event they come into contact with a moving propeller.

Some prop guards are designed with both purposes in mind whilst others are specifically designed for one or the other. There is very little data available as to the effectiveness of prop guards in achieving either of their intended objectives. This is not to say they are not effective, simply that there is little or no evidence to support an objective analysis. On this basis, the best one can do is to assess the facts and make a decision based on the information that is available.

Prevention is better than cure

Essentially, the most effective way of avoiding prop strike injuries is by avoiding a person being in the water anywhere near a moving propeller in the first place. The RYA therefore believes that the focus should be on following several basic and essential good practices, including:

  • Keep a proper look out at all times
  • Check the area around the engine for hazards before starting the engine
  • Use a kill cord whenever the engine is running
  • Stop the engine when there is a risk of a person in the water coming into contact with the propeller
  • When swimming around a boat ensure the engine cannot be started inadvertently
  • Ensure passengers and crew are aware of the need to maintain good handholds whilst under way
  • Communicate changes in direction or speed to passengers
  • Warn passengers when approaching wash or areas of rough water
  • When operating at speed, ensure passengers are not positioned or seated in the bow where they can be easily thrown out of the boat if it stops suddenly
  • Operate at a speed appropriate to the conditions
  • Observe restricted or no go areas designated for swimmers
  • Utilise a spotter when towing water skiers or inflatables
  • Where dedicated seating is available have passengers use it in preference to sitting on gunwales or sponsons
  • Warn passengers of the hazard associated with falling in, in particular prop strike
Share this post!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmailby feather

Battery Trouble?

Every Had A flat Battery? Everybody has!
And it’s always on the nicest day after some bad seas and you’re left behind!
Battery problems can be avoided
marine
You should check the clamps and connections to the battery are secure and free from corrosion, but there are a few simple tips you can follow to reduce the chance of your battery letting you down in the depths of winter;

Age

If your battery is more than five years old and there’s any sign of it struggling to start the engine, get it replaced. Some will struggle on for a bit longer but many won’t. It’s much better done at your convenience than as an emergency.

Charge

If you mostly do short journeys or leave the boat standing for days at a time, invest in a modern battery conditioner/intelligent charger. These can be left connected to the battery indefinitely via shore power and can prolong its life without overcharging it.

Load

Check that everything electrical is turned off when you’re finished – even a navigation light or radio left on overnight can kill a battery when it’s cold.

Give the battery a chance

Switch off everything electrical when starting and wait for the engine to pick up before switching on heavy draw components such as heaters on a cold morning as your engine is like a stiff old man on a morning like this wanting any excuse not to get up! .

Need a new battery?

If you think or would like your battery checked then contact us today and we will arrange to come out and inspect your battery.

Share this post!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmailby feather

What is a CG 66 ?

Coastguard Voluntary Safety Identification Scheme (CG66)

Registering your vessel with the Coastguard Voluntary Safety Identification Scheme could save valuable time and lives in a rescue situation.liferaft-flare

 

Why should you join the scheme?

If you get into difficulty, details of your vessel can be accessed by the Coastguard and will greatly assist rescue teams in identifying your craft. Friends and relatives ashore know who to contact if they are at any time concerned for your safety and can be confident that the Coastguard has your details.  A quick call can establish your safety and give reassurance to those ashore. It is free and the information is used for search and rescue purposes only.

How do you join the scheme?

You can register and update your CG66 on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) website.

If you are in any doubt about how the data you supply to the Coastguard will be used, it may put you a little more at ease to know that the MCA’s Head of Search and Rescue has stated in a letter to the RYA’s Cruising Manager that “the information provided to the CG66 Scheme is used solely for search and rescue purposes by its Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres and Maritime Sub Centres and is not, and will not, be divulged to any other Government Department, Agency or other Authority”.

Don’t forget to keep your CG66 registration up to date

You need to confirm to the coastguard every two years that your information is still correct otherwise your details may be removed from the database.

Share this post!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmailby feather

Look after yourself at sea

The best piece of safety kit you have is you. Keep a clear head so you can react to any situation.

look-after-yourself-head

Look after you

Keeping warm and dry is important. Once you start to get cold your ability to think and function properly will deteriorate.

Wear clothes made from man-made fabrics rather than cotton which soaks up body moisture and makes you cold. Always take spare clothing with you so you can add layers if necessary as well as a waterproof jacket and trousers, and a hat.

Conversely in hot weather remember your sun cream and hat and keep yourself hydrated.

Alcohol and boating don’t mix

Alcohol will impair your coordination and your ability to think clearly, particularly in an emergency situation.  It influences your behaviour and affects your judgement.

The RYA does not condone the drinking of alcohol whilst in charge of a vessel and encourages all boaters to act responsibly in this regard.

Care should also be taken when at anchor, transferring to and from a tender or when walking to and from a boat along a pontoon.

Life jacket or buoyancy aid

Make sure you and your crew have the right personal safety equipment, that they are well maintained and fitted correctly. More information on life jackets and buoyancy aids.

Wear your kill cord

If you are on an open powerboat or RIB make sure you wear the kill cord. If your boat is not fitted with one then get one fitted. The kill cord should be attached around your leg. Always check your kill cord works before you go out on the water. Watch how to attach a kill cord correctly and read more about kill cords and power boating safety.

RYA Information

Share this post!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmailby feather

Know your limits

RYA content.

Keep within your experience and ability. Be honest with yourself and get the necessary training to help you be safe and enjoy more.

Its far to easy just to buy a rib or jet ski and head out into anything for some fun!

But what will you do when your engine cuts out or you run out of fuel?

Do you have any plans in place other than it wont happen to me?

 

Know your limits

Be safe

Many accidents happen as a result of going beyond your knowledge and ability.

It’s one thing to potter about an estuary but it’s quite another to take a trip along the coast– each requires a different level of knowledge and experience.

Be honest with yourself and get the necessary training to help you be safe and enjoy more.

RYA courses range from the absolute beginner to those looking to extend their knowledge for sailing boats, windsurfing, jet skis, powerboats and motor cruisers.

Share this post!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmailby feather

Disposing of flares

20131205-141921.jpg

Disposing of out of date flares

Flares are ultimately explosives, therefore once they are past their useful lifespan it is essential that they are disposed of carefully.
It is illegal to dump flares at sea, illegal to dump them on land and illegal to let them off in anything other than an emergency.
If you have out of date flares and need to arrange their safe disposal, in the first instance you should contact the supplier you bought them from to see if they will take them back.
A local liferaft service agent may also be able to take your out of date flares from you as they deal with the disposal of such items on a regular basis. It is also worth checking if your local port or marina will accept them.
Often referred to as Time Expired Pyrotechnics (TEP), they are hazardous goods not hazardous waste, there is therefore no requirement for councils to provide facilities for disposal, however some may and you should check with you local authority.
You can also check with the local police or fire brigade; of course neither is a ‘refuse collection and disposal agency’ but in some areas they will accept out of date flares.
Specialist hazardous waste disposal companies will generally be able to accept out of date flares, but the cost for such a service is unlikely to be as attractive as any of the previous suggestion.
Recreational boaters can as a final option contact the local Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) to make an appointment to deposit their out of date marine flares at one of the designated sites, although appointments will not necessarily be available immediately, as the HM Coastguard designated stores have limited storage capacities.
Contact details for centres that will receive your out-of-date or damaged flares can be found in the frequently asked questions on the disposal of out of date flares leaflet.
The Coastguard will not accept TEP from any commercial organisations. They will need to make their own arrangements either with the supplier of their flares or if they do not provide a disposal service, with a specialist hazardous waste disposal company.

Article Published: January 28, 2010 10:25
Courtesy of RYA

Share this post!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmailby feather

Life Jackets

Buoyancy Aids and Life jackets

capsize-2

Personal floatation devices come in two main forms buoyancy aids and life-jackets. Worn correctly a personal flotation device could save your life.

 

A buoyancy aid is designed to keep someone afloat. It allows the wearer full movement whilst an active sporting activity is carried out. However if unconscious, the wearer’s head could be face down in the water.

A life-jacket has a buoyancy distribution designed to turn the user to a position where their mouth is clear of the water, even when they are unconscious. Life-jackets come in different styles and sizes and some will work better for different body styles than others.

RYA guidance

Making the decision about wearing personal buoyancy is generally based upon factors such as weather conditions and the experience of the crew, however if you are a beginner or still relatively inexperienced, making these judgements is often not that easy. Therefore in order to help clarify when a life-jacket or personal buoyancy aid needs to be worn, the RYA recommends that you wear a life-jacket or buoyancy aid unless you are sure you don’t need to.

The RYA strongly recommends that you should always wear personal buoyancy:

  • If you are a non-swimmer and there is any possibility of entering the water
  • When the skipper deems it necessary
  • When abandoning ship
  • When you feel you want to wear one or if you are not totally sure that you do not need to wear one.

The personal flotation device needs to be appropriate to the activity and in general the following will apply:

Buoyancy Aids are suitable for:

  • Using personal water craft
  • When sailing a dinghy
  • Novice windsurfers
  • Providing safety cover for such an activity

Life-jackets are suitable:

  • When on an open boat (e.g. small powerboat or RIB)
  • When going ashore in a yacht tender
  • On a sailing yacht or motor cruiser

Levels of Buoyancy

In addition to selecting between a life-jacket and a buoyancy aid, consideration also needs to be given to the level of buoyancy that is required.

Buoyancy aids and life-jackets have different levels of buoyancy. These levels of buoyancy should be considered and influence your choice. There are four main buoyancy levels: 50, 100, 150 and 275.

In general terms, Level 50 is a buoyancy aid designed for when help is close at hand, whereas Level 150 is a general purpose life jacket used for offshore cruising and motor boating.

Specialist life-jackets are available for infants and children.

You should also consider fitting or buying a life-jacket that is fitted with:

  • crotch straps to stop the life-jacket riding up over your head
  • spray-hood to stop waves and spray entering your mouth
  • lights, dye-markers and personal locator beacons to aid location
  • harness D ring for harness attachment to stop you falling off in the first place

Crotch straps, spray-hoods and lights are frequently not fitted as standard to a life-jacket, but are really essential to actually keep you alive in the water and aid your location.

Life-jackets are intended to keep the wearer’s face and mouth clear of the water, even when unconscious. However, everybody is different and size, weight, shape and other physical attributes of an individual may impact on the life-jacket’s ability to perform as intended, in keeping the user’s mouth clear of the water. Even the clothing you wear might affect this. Where it is possible to do so it may be worthwhile to test your life-jacket in a controlled environment to check that it will work for you.

Where it was once rare to see people wearing life-jackets afloat, it is now an accepted norm.

Please remember that inflatable life-jackets and buoyancy aids require regular checks and servicing.

The levels of buoyancy information sheet includes further information on levels of buoyancy and the labelling of personal floatation devices.

Share this post!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmailby feather