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Boating Tips

Boating Tips

The importance of a good dealer

The importance of a good dealer - We encourage new boaters to "buy a dealer" instead of buying a boat. Many first timers buy a used boat from the want ads but we strongly discourage that unless they have grown up in a boating family and already have a lot of boating experience.

They lose the safety net a good dealer provides. Ask around, shop around, and visit with other boaters and dealers in your area to find a reputable, honest, dealer that provides good service. Then take your general list of intentions for the boat (My wife and I want to fish and my two teenage boys want to tube, we expect to trailer it our to lake XXX most of the time and take it down to the ocean once a summer) to the dealer along with what you expect to spend for the whole boating experience. A good dealer can put you in an appropriate "first boat" and help you have good boating experiences. He (or she) will help you with questions, parts, repairs and winterization.

Ceremony for Renaming Your Boat By Capt. Pat

Everyone knows that renaming your boat will bring nothing but bad luck and make your boating experience something that you will want to forget. But what happens when, after months of searching, you find your dreamboat with a name that you just cannot live with. For example, my first love was a 28-foot Alden with the most beautiful lines I'd ever seen. She was named Perfidious. How could anything this graceful be named betrayer of trust? Well, I never bought her, but I often thought that if I had, I would have renamed her Magic, after my wife.

Renaming a boat is, of course, not something to be done lightly. Since the beginning of time, sailors have sworn that there are unlucky ships and the unluckiest ships of all are those who have defied the gods and changed their names. So, is there a way to change a name and not incur the wrath of those deities that rule the elements? Yes, Virginia, there is.

According to legend, each and every vessel is recorded by name in the Ledger of the Deep and is known personally to Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea. It is logical therefore, if we wish to change the name of our boat, the first thing we must do is to purge its name from the Ledger of the Deep and from Poseidon's memory.

This is an involved process beginning with the removal or obliteration of every trace of the boat's current identity. This is essential and must be done thoroughly. I once went through the ceremony after the owner had assured me that every reference to his boat's old name had been purged from her. A couple of weeks later, he discovered he had missed a faded name on her floating key chain. I advised him to start over, perhaps with a little extra libation for the ruler of the sea. Unfortunately, he declined. Since then, his boat has been struck by lightning, had its engine ruined by the ingress of the sea, been damaged by collision and finally sunk! It pays to be thorough.

In purging your boat, it is acceptable to use White-Out or some similar obliterating fluid to expunge the boat's name from log books, engine and maintenance records etc., but it is much easier to simply remove the offending document from the boat and start afresh. Don't forget the life rings and especially the transom and forward name boards. Do not under any circumstances carry aboard any item bearing your boat's new name until the purging and renaming ceremonies have been completed! Once you are certain every reference to her old name has been removed from her, all that is left to do is to prepare a metal tag with the old name written on it in water-soluble ink. You will also need a bottle of reasonably good Champagne. Plain old sparkling wine won't cut it.

Since this is an auspicious occasion, it is a good time to invite your friends to witness and to party.

Begin by invoking the name of the ruler of the deep as follows:

Oh mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, implore you in your graciousness to expunge for all time from your records and recollection the name (here insert the old name of your vessel) which has ceased to be an entity in your kingdom. As proof thereof, we submit this ingot bearing her name to be corrupted through your powers and forever be purged from the sea. (At this point, the prepared metal tag is dropped from the bow of the boat into the sea.)

In grateful acknowledgment of your munificence and dispensation, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court. (Pour at least half of the bottle of Champagne into the sea from East to West. The remainder may be passed among your guests.)

It is usual for the renaming ceremony to be conducted immediately following the purging ceremony, although it may be done at any time after the purging ceremony. For this portion of the proceedings, you will need more Champagne, Much more because you have a few more gods to appease.

Begin the renaming by again calling Poseidon as follows:

Oh mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, implore you in your graciousness to take unto your records and recollection this worthy vessel hereafter and for all time known as (Here insert the new name you have chosen), guarding her with your mighty arm and trident and ensuring her of safe and rapid passage throughout her journeys within your realm.

In appreciation of your munificence, dispensation and in honor of your greatness, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court. (At this point, one bottle of Champagne, less one glass for the master and one glass for the mate are poured into the sea from West to East.)

The next step in the renaming ceremony is to appease the gods of the winds. This will assure you of fair winds and smooth seas. Because the four winds are brothers, it is permissible to invoke them all at the same time, however, during the ceremony; you must address each by name.

Begin in this manner:

Oh mighty rulers of the winds, through whose power our frail vessels traverse the wild and faceless deep, we implore you to grant this worthy vessel (Insert your boat's new name) the benefits and pleasures of your bounty, ensuring us of your gentle ministration according to our needs.

(Facing north, pour a generous libation of Champagne into a Champagne flute and fling to the North as you intone:)

Great Boreas, exalted ruler of the North Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your frigid breath.

(Facing west, pour the same amount of Champagne and fling to the West while intoning:)

Great Zephyrus, exalted ruler of the West Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your wild breath.

(Facing east, repeat and fling to the East.)

Great Eurus, exalted ruler of the East Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your mighty breath.

(Facing south, repeat, flinging to the South.)

Great Notus, exalted ruler of the South Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your scalding breath.

Of course, any champagne remaining will be the beginnings of a suitable celebration in honor of the occasion.

Once the ceremony has been completed, you may bring aboard any and all items bearing the new name of your vessel. If you must schedule the painting of the new name on the transom before the ceremony, be sure the name is not revealed before the ceremony is finished. It may be covered with bunting or some other suitable material.

How to reduce Boat Fuel Consumption

Boat fuel efficiency has never been more important! With the world in economic turmoil and the rising price of oil sparking rapidly increasing fuel prices, many powerboat owners are being hit hard financially and are seeking ways to save money on boat fuel consumption. So, to help you start saving money by managing your boat's fuel economy, follow these ten boating tips and increase your boat's fuel efficiency.

Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Boat's Fuel Efficiency

1. Clean and Paint: When the boat is laid up, first take the opportunity to remove barnacles, weeds and other sea debris. Next, coat the hull in a smooth antifouling paint - the purpose of doing this is to reduce friction or water-drag on the hull.

2. Maintain the Engine: If your boat's engine is leaking oil, has an unusual odor when running, makes any unfamiliar noises or is producing black or white smoke, then there may well be something wrong - a boat mechanic should be used to correct anything in which you're not experienced.

3. Reduce Weight: Your boat's weight is another important factor –it goes without saying that the heavier it is, the more fuel it will burn. On short trips, why not only partially fill your fuel and water tanks, reducing weight and increasing boat fuel efficiency. Also, leave any supplies and boat equipment which you're not intending to use on the journey ashore- they can also add unnecessary weight.

4. Weight Distribution: However, on certain classes of boat, extra weight distributed around the boat could improve its performance, particularly in displacement boats which aids steering the boat more directly through the water.

5. Emergency Boat Equipment: Whatever you do, remember not to save fuel costs by travelling without essential emergency boat equipment such as buoyancy aids, life rafts and flares. Also, you should always make sure you're carrying some surplus fuel in case you require it.Now that you've maintained your boat to increase its fuel efficiency and to help you begin saving money on boat fuel consumption, you can consider other ways to help save on boat fuel costs. One really simple method of doing this is learning how to adjust your steering and driving style across the water:

6. Slow Down: Probably the simplest thing to do to save money on boat fuel costs is to slow down (although this is often the hardest thing to do when you have the wind in your hair!). Boating at a sensible cruising speed can drastically reduce boat fuel consumption when compared with travelling at full throttle throughout your journey.

7. Speed Up – 'Planing Vessels': If you own a 'planing vessel', going too slowly may be detrimental to your cruising. Because these boats rely on speed to plane along the surface of the water, it's important to maintain speed to reduce drag and increase boat fuel efficiency.

8. Use the Tides: Taking advantage of tidal currents is more often than not something that only sailboats need to worry about, but this need not necessarily be the case when you're trying to save money on boat fuel costs. Boating against the tide requires a far greater effort from your boat's engine, than if you're travelling with the tide. Remember, it's highly advisable to check tidal timetables before departure.

9. Use the Wind: The same applies to the direction you take through the wind – boating with the wind may seem to produce negligible gains in speed or time in the short term; but measured over several journeys, you can save a lot of money. As with the tides, you should ensure you have up-to-the-minute weather reports before departure.

10. Autopilot & Navigation: The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but at sea, it's not always as easy as it sounds to achieve. Over long distances, many extra miles can be added unintentionally to a journey's total by poor navigational planning. By investing in an autopilot, you can ensure that you don't end up going round in circles, preventing you clocking up needless and potentially fuel-costly boat engine hours. Similarly, good boat navigation skills are a must for any boat enthusiast!

If you master the art of using your boat efficiently and put some or all of this advice into practice, you'll be well on your way to reducing your boat's fuel consumption. Monitor Your Boat's Fuel Performance However, the only way you can be completely sure about achieving improved boat fuel efficiency is if you keep records of how much fuel you use, what distance you travelled and at what speeds. Even if you only manage to change one thing at a time you should still make savings on your boat's fuel economy, and be able to monitor the difference in your boat's fuel efficiency that each change makes.