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Florida Anchoring Update webinar - Jan. 6

Date Reported: Dec 18, 2014

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

phil-Johnson.jpgAs we all wait to see what happens with the Florida state legislature this coming spring, the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) is presenting a webinar updating Florida anchoring issues – Jan. 6, 2015 at 8 p.m. EST. The 90-minute live webinar is free for SSCA members, and just $10 for non-members:

Whether you reside in Florida, pass through Florida on your boat or you are just concerned about boaters rights in general, you will not want to miss this presentation. Florida has some real issues with abandoned boats, but that issue should be confused with anchoring regulations.

Phil is the chair of the concerned cruisers committee and he will update you on the very latest attempts for local Florida communities to restrict your ability to drop the hook in a safe anchorage. Everyone needs to be informed and involved to ensure our anchoring rights are preserved.

After attending this presentation you will:

  • Understand why this issue is important to SSCA members and all boaters
  • Understand the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) plans
  • Understand why it is so important to keep anchoring regulations at the state level
  • Hear the results of the August-September Anchoring Survey and their implications

Phil originally presented this information at the Annapolis Gam in September and now this is a chance to bring this information to all the membership.

Phil plans to bring an update to Seven Seas U and any call to action based on the latest Florida Anchoring Survey when the results are published later in 2015.

Visit the Seven Seas U. webpage to register for this webinar.

Other live webinars in January:

COM100: Communications Alternatives for Cruisers

Wednesday, 14 Jan 2015 

SYS102: Evaluating Your Rigging for Going Offshore

Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015

COM101: Marine SSB/Ham Radio Workshop with Dave·Skolnick

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015

Source: SSCA

Comment submitted by Fred Read - Thu, Dec 18th

Mike, Thanks so much for the great news letter and info that you put out. As cruisers, we have a very disorganized and weak voice in government. Because of this we are often bullied by others as is happenig if FL. right now. Because of your newsletters I have filled out the FL questionaire and left a lot of comments. This is dear to me because I am from Ft Lauderdale and have seen the changes (for the worse) for boaters. I have since living there cruised much of the atlantic and pacific and coastal US. As you may have read in a couple of other comments on this topic that I have written, in my opinion, among the few cruiser FRIENDLY areas left in this country are the Carolinas especially North and the Chesapeake bay area. I have anchored in front of multi-million dollar homes and have usually gotten a friendly wave form the owners! In Prickly bay Grenada a home owner waved us in and invited us to dinner. In all our travels I have never seen such a problem as FL.
Yes, derelicts on derilict boats are a problem. But should be a SEPARATE problem from anchoring cruisers.
Again, thanks for making this information so widely availabe and hopfeully giving cruiser a little more chance of joining together and changing this situation.

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Easily serviceable hull strainers

Date Reported: Dec 18, 2014

Reported by: Steve D'Antonio

Hull-Strainer-Serviceable.jpgIn previous Photo Essays, specifically July 2014 and November 2014, I reviewed hull strainers gone awry, including clogging as a result of both marine fouling, and overzealous anti-fouling paint application.  This month we'll look at the preferred strainer, as well as installation techniques.

The attributes of hull strainers are clear; they prevent large debris, plastic bags, seaweed etc. from being drawn into engine and other intakes.  The drawbacks, as discussed previously, are the difficulty of cleaning and painting the inside of the strainer.  These issues can be eliminated by using a serviceable strainer, an example of which is shown here, from Groco Marine Products.  Its trap door arrangement... 

To view the remainder of this post, please follow this link:  

http://www.stevedmarineconsulting.com/photo-essay-easily-serviceable-hull-strainers

This is an excerpt from Steve D' Antonio's "Marine Systems Excellence" blog. With nearly 25 years of experience as a marine mechanic, electrician, consultant and boatyard manager, Steve ranks as one of the most knowledgeable boating experts in the country. His ability to explain highly technical information on a wide array of boating topics in a clear, easy to read and easy to use manner has made him one of the most widely read boating writers and lecturers today. Steve's commitment is to strive to improve the safety and reliability of boating products while increasing the confidence and enjoyment boat owners. In short, Steve strives to help bring the fun back to searching for, building, maintaining, repairing and owning a boat. Text and photo by Steve D'Antonio - © 2014

Upcoming Events

Steve will attend the 2015 Miami Boat Show from February 12th - 14th. For more information on the show, please click here.

The second Trawler and Motor Vessel Technical Training Workshop led by Steve D'Antonio and assisted by Keith Ruse, with guest lecturers Ralph Naranjo and Jeff Merrill, will be held on April 18th - 19th, 2015, offering two more instructors over two days and a variety of new topics and hands-on sessions. We have reached our attendance limit of 26 students. To be added to our waiting list, please e-mail katie@stevedmarine.com, or for more information on the class, please click here.

Source: Steve D'Antonio Marine Consulting, Inc.

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Seven tips to get more out of a marine survey

Date Reported: Dec 18, 2014

Marine-Surveyor-BoatUS.jpgGreat advice, as always, from BoatUS:

In 2013, over 955,000 boats changed hands on the pre-owned boat market. That meant for a nearly a million boat buyers, hiring an accredited marine surveyor to inspect their potential dreamboat was often the first step after finding it. Boat Owners Association of The United States has seven tips on how to get the most from a marine survey:

1. The only good survey is a current one: Relying on an old survey is a bad idea. The marine environment isn’t nice to boats and sometimes a “little” maintenance issue can quickly turn into more serious problem. If you need to have the boat insured, you’ll usually need a survey less than six months old – after that, it begins to smell like dead fish.

2. Don’t miss your own survey: Just like your wedding, you need to be there. Attending and asking questions will reap reams of information about the boat you’re buying, and most surveyors are happy to talk about what they are finding and what needs to be done to fix things.

3. Experience trumps price: Don’t select a surveyor on price alone. It’s important to find one that has experience on your type of boat that can tell you what you need to know. Surveyors who are members of the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) or the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) are wise choices as these professional organizations have certification processes and provide educational training. 

4. It’s not pass or fail: A survey is only a guide to determine if the boat is acceptable to the buyer. An insurance company may also use it to provide a list of corrective actions needed to provide coverage.

5. Surprise, surprise: Boats are a series of complex systems and even brand new boats sometimes have recommendations from a surveyor. The difference is that with new boats, corrective actions are often taken care of through the builder’s warranty. 

6. Use the survey to negotiate: Surveys include an approximate fair-market value for use by lenders and insurance companies. If the numbers warrant it, there’s also nothing wrong with using this value in an attempt to negotiate a better deal with the seller. 

7. A survey gives you a great punch list: A survey can guide planning for upgrades, repairs and help you prioritize.

For a list of surveyors and more boat buying information such as sales contracts, sea trials, and boat prices, go to BoatUS.com/surveyandseatrial.

Source: BoatUS

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Man to pay 'full restitution' for misuse of flares

Date Reported: Dec 18, 2014

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

Flare-Gun-Shot.jpgA reminder that false or hoax distress signals cost us all a lot in tax money and emergency response resources – occasionally, the "source" bears the burden. From a Coast Guard News article:

An Ormond Beach, Florida, resident is paying the Coast Guard full restitution for the misuse of flares from a February 2014 incident in St. Petersburg, Florida.

On Nov. 30, Sean C. Moran made his first payment toward the $12,752.35 that he must reimburse the Coast Guard for the cost of responding to his false distress signal.

Moran agreed to pay the restitution as well as abstain from alcohol use, write an apology letter to the Coast Guard, complete 70 hours of community service and attend a boating safety course. These conditions were part of a pretrial diversion agreement made between Moran and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, in cooperation with the Coast Guard, in October 2014. If Moran does not fulfill the terms of the agreement within a period of 18 months, the U.S. Attorney’s Office may initiate prosecution for the offense.

Individuals who make false distress calls may be fined up to $250,000 and serve up to six years in prison.

“Shooting a flare in a non-distress situation is no different than dialing 911 and hanging up. Flares alert the Coast Guard, first responders, and other mariners of a distress situation on the water,” said Lt. Holly Deal, deputy chief of response at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “It’s a call for help. Every time a flare is fired and reported we respond, so we are asking the public to only use flares when there is an actual distress situation. This avoids unnecessary searches and ensures people in real distress get the help they need as quickly as possible.”

Source: Coast Guard News

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New policy would open up Cuba to U.S. cruisers

Date Reported: Dec 17, 2014

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

Cuba-Policy.jpgToday, President Obama announced a major change in U.S. policy toward our neighbor to the south, including opening an embassy in Havana and opening trade and travel to the country. The policy change was prompted by the release of Alan Gross, an U.S. citizen who was imprisoned there for five years.

"With the changes I'm announcing today, it will be easy for Americans to travel to Cuba, and Americans will be able to use debit cards on the island," said President Obama in a televised address.

What does this mean for cruisers who are U.S. citizens? If these new policies take root and the embargo is lifted, we will be able to freely and legally enjoy Cuban waters (and cigars), as our Canadian cousins – and just about everyone else – have been able to do all along. Havana is a mere 90 nm jump from Key West.

If you're thinking "let's head over there this winter," you may be jumping the gun. "Licenses" are required for a U.S. Citizen to legally travel to Cuba. General licenses are granted for specific family, business, or diplomatic needs. Other licenses are currently granted on a case-by-case basis, but will be replaced by "general" licenses which will no longer need "case-by-case" scrutiny (for educational exchange, public performances, workshops and athletic competitions, human rights and humanitarian work, private foundations and institutes, and a few other purposes – groups, usually sponsored by universities, have used these licenses for the last several years. The constant patrol of the U.S. Coast Guard a dozen miles off the Cuban coast ended about the same time, allowing American cruisers to sneak over there with less of a chance of getting caught).

However, a complete lifting of travel restrictions will require an act of Congress.

If and when it happens, the opening of Cuban travel to U.S. citizens may be a boon to the economy of the island nation – but will Cuba's unique charm be lost forever?

If you missed the speech, you can watch it online at C-SPAN: President Obama Statement on Cuba Policy.

See the Key West to Havana passage on the Waterway Guide Planner Chart.

Source: WG Staff

Comment submitted by Fred - Thu, Dec 18th

That's really great news. Now, if congress would just do thier job, we could all enjoy a great new cruising ground!!

I lived in Miami for 8 yrs and had wonderful experiences with the Cuban community.
I also cruised both Venezuela and Columbia and enjoyed them too and I can't help but think how much closer and more accesible Cuba is! And what a wonderful culture.

Comment submitted by Paul Dias - Thu, Dec 18th

Viva President Obama, hopefully the Congress will follow your footsteps and open the door to allow US travel and "influence" to Cuba. Where did 50 years of isolation get us?
I worked in Vietnam when the embargo was lifted in 94'. It was absolutely wonderful to be greeted with such open arms. I would put money on it that the a Cuban people will be just as accommodating. My wife and I are ready to sail... Hopefully before McDonalds and Dinsey gets their hands on the place!

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AGLCA Radio: Weather resources for the Great Loop

Date Reported: Dec 17, 2014

Reported by: Janice Kromer

Wind-Map-Florida.jpgEditor's Note: The America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association Blog Talk Radio Show airs at 10 a.m. each Friday – but each show is archived so you can listen anytime you want after the air date. From Janice Kromer, Executive Director, AGLCA:

I'm sure you're all familiar with Capt. Chuck Baier. Chuck is a frequent contributor to the AGLCA Discussion Forum and a recognized expert in all things cruising! On this coming Friday morning, December 19, 2014, Capt. Chuck will be discussing various weather resources for the Loop and the importance of monitoring the ever-changing forecasts. Please listen at 10:00 AM.

You can listen live by going to our website at www.GreatLoop.org, clicking on AGLCA Radio in the Free for Everyone section of the top navigation bar, then scrolling down to the Great Loop Radio player. Then, just left click on the arrow below the name of the show to start listening. Be sure not to tune in too far in advance or you will be listening to the show from the prior week. If you have a question or comment during the show, please use our toll free number of 877-497-1815 to be connected to our host. 

You can also listen to the show on Blog Talk Radio's website. Just click here, or go to www.BlogTalkRadio.com and type AGLCA in the search box. That will take you directly to AGLCA's page where you can listen live, or, check out the archives. The show is also available on iTunes.

Source: AGLCA

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AGLCA Spring Rendezvous - Norfolk, VA, May 4-7

Date Reported: Dec 16, 2014

AIWW Mile: 0.0

Reported by: Janice Kromer

AGLCA-Spring-Rendezvous.jpg

Registration is now open for the AGLCA Spring Rendezvous. The event will again be held at the very popular Sheraton Waterside/Waterside Marina in the historic port of Norfolk, VA from Monday, May 4 through Thursday, May 7, 2015.

Experience the camaraderie that makes our organization so unique! Attend the Spring Rendezvous & Reunion and see what all the buzz is about! Our Rendezvous consistently receive ratings of 4.5 or above (out of 5) for the overall Rendezvous experience.

The wealth of information available at this event is unparalleled. You will have the opportunity to attend educational seminars on navigation and information on the portion of the Loop between Norfolk, Virginia, and Rogersville, Alabama, site of the Fall Rendezvous, presented by experienced cruisers. Previous Rendezvous have had additional sessions on topics as diverse as insurance, purchasing and selling your boat, provisioning for your cruise, and the ABCs of Looping! Keep an eye out for the agenda to see what exciting side sessions will be scheduled for this year!

Read all about it take advantage of the early bird rate:

http://www.greatloop.org/spring-2015-re ... n-cms-1515.

See location on the Waterway Guide Planner Chart.

Source: AGLCA

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No room for a rigid kayak onboard? This one might fit!

Date Reported: Dec 10, 2014

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

oru-bay-plus.jpgNeed a kayak that stows away to suitcase size, but those inflatable ones just don\'t cut it for you? Check our the Oru "Bay" – or the brand new "Bay+" – 12-foot kayaks that the company claims perform like pros, set up in about 5 minutes, and fold up origami style in no-time-flat.

I remember seeing this on the TV show Shark Tank.  From the website:

The original Oru Kayak, launched on Kickstarter and now in retailers around the world; it’s even the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

oru-bag.jpg

On the water the Bay glides like a dream. It's stable enough for beginners, while the length and contouring make it fast and sporty for expert kayakers. There's plenty of room to stash gear (or a picnic) for day trips and short camping excursions. Best of all, transforming it from box to boat takes just a few minutes. 

The Bay+ packs in a whole list of new features— for added comfort, convenience and style. A new adjustable seat keeps your back and legs happy for the long haul. Extra deck straps and an easy-to-reach deck hatch make storing gear easy. Stainless steel ratchet buckles make assembly smooth and fast. And custom deck graphics add extra flair. Whether you’re out to conquer the wilderness or just wow your neighbors, the Bay+ has you covered. 

The "Bay" retails for $1,195.00, and the "Bay+" for $1,495.00. I'd be happy to get one for Christmas!

See the Oru Kayak website for full specs and descriptions, or to order one, or two.

 

 

Source: Oru Kayak

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Ask Steve - Painting a windlass motor

Date Reported: Dec 10, 2014

Reported by: Steve D'Antonio

Steve,

The windlass motor gets corroded from all the salt water. I've got it out of the boat now and would like to repaint it.

Any suggestion on which type of paint could help with keeping the corrosion down. I painted it less than two years ago.

Thanks,

Walter Conner
S/V Flying Cloud
Taswell 44
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA

Windlass.jpgWalter:

Windlass motors are often glorified starter motors, their casings are steel, and they frequently live in a 100% humidity environment that would put a terrarium to shame. The results are, therefore, predictable. Making matters worse are chain lockers that also store rope rode, which acts like a sponge, keeping the environment wet and, in the tropics, steamy, further challenging any painted surface.

However, there is hope. Ideally, if you could disassemble the motor completely, isolating the exterior shell/stator from the rotor and other parts, you could have it shot blasted. You would then have to thoroughly vacuum, blow and otherwise clean it out. An electric motor shop may do this for you; they often shot blast components during the rebuild process. Barring this, you would have to...

To view the rest of the answer and more, please follow this link: 
http://www.stevedmarineconsulting.com/ask-steve-december-2014

This is an excerpt from Steve D' Antonio's "Marine Systems Excellence" blog. With nearly 25 years of experience as a marine mechanic, electrician, consultant and boatyard manager, Steve ranks as one of the most knowledgeable boating experts in the country. His ability to explain highly technical information on a wide array of boating topics in a clear, easy to read and easy to use manner has made him one of the most widely read boating writers and lecturers today. Steve's commitment is to strive to improve the safety and reliability of boating products while increasing the confidence and enjoyment boat owners. In short, Steve strives to help bring the fun back to searching for, building, maintaining, repairing and owning a boat. Text by Steve D'Antonio - © 2014

Upcoming Events:

Steve will attend the 2015 Miami Boat Show from February 12th - 14th. For more information on the show, please click here.

The second Trawler and Motor Vessel Technical Training Workshop led by Steve D'Antonio and assisted by Keith Ruse, with guest lecturers Ralph Naranjo and Jeff Merrill, will be held on April 18th - 19th, 2015, offering two more instructors over two days and a variety of new topics and hands-on sessions. Registration is now open, please e-mail katie@stevedmarine.com for more details. Attendance will be limited to 26 students. For more information, please click here. Note: As of Thursday December 4th, the class is nearly booked, with 23 students registered.

Source: Contributing Professional

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Become a life jacket loaner site - help save a child's life

Date Reported: Dec 09, 2014

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

Life-Jacket-Loaner.jpgIf you, your company or your organization works regularly with kids, families and boating, consider being part of the largest, longest-running, nationwide life jacket loaner program. Deadline to apply is Mar. 1, 2015. From the BoatUS Foundation:

Waterfront businesses, local organizations or government agencies can help themselves, and at the same time, also possibly help save a child’s life. All they have to do is join the nation’s largest Kids’ Life Jacket Loaner Program offered by the non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. By becoming one of the Foundation’s new no-cost loaner site locations available for 2015, a local business or group can have positive interaction with the boating public when a jacket is needed for the day or weekend. However, loaner site applications will only be accepted at www.BoatUS.org/life-jacket-loaner until March 1, 2015. 

There is no cost to set up a loaner site and it’s easy to do. “We are looking for hands-on sites that will sign out the life jackets to boaters to help us track their usage,” said BoatUS Foundation Outreach Manager Alanna Keating. “This will help us make sure there are jackets always on hand.” Since the program began in 1997, the Foundation has learned that staffed sites have a higher rate of return for borrowed life jackets, which provide a better community service and continuing opportunities to discuss proper fit. Today, the Foundation supports over 550 sites nationwide that can be found at BoatUS.org/life-jacket-loaner/usamap.asp.

“We look to build an ongoing relationship with our sites and periodically ask them to check in with us to tell us how it’s going.” added Keating. “For borrowers, there is no cost. We know kids grow fast, and sometimes boaters need a correctly-sized jacket for a younger guest.”

Three children’s lives have been saved by wearing a borrowed BoatUS Foundation loaner life jacket and it has likely helped many others -- each year, jackets are loaned out over 140,000 times. “So, in addition to doing good work for the community, this gives groups or businesses that manage loaner sites a little additional foot traffic,” said Keating.

The most qualified applicants -- based on geographical needs as well as their ability to manage the program -- will be selected and notified in spring 2015. They will receive a “life jacket loaner kit” of 12 life jackets in various sizes from infant to adult, a protective container to keep them clean and dry, loaner program signage to display, promotional materials and easy-to-use sign-out sheets to track usage.

Source: BoatUS Foundation

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