Shelter Cove Marina - October 2009 Newsletter
April 2014 - Marina eNewsletter
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Shelter Cove Marina
2240 Shelter Island Dr.
San Diego, Ca. 92106



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Spring Commissioning Your Boat - West Coast Style
- By Richard Benscoter
Yet another Winter is under the keel, and to assist you in the West Coast version of the hallowed East Coast seafaring tradition of spring commissioning your boat, here is a check list I have used for some number of years:

In Southern California, warmer weather is a year-round reality, so this check list will hopefully provide a reminder that spring is a good time to do some looking and fixing. Remember - Catalina, the Channel Islands and lots of other memories are waiting to be made!

  • Check engine oil level and coolant level - make a visual inspection for any fluids in the well or leakage; check oil pressure, coolant temperature and alternator voltage with your engine operating.

  • Engine water strainer - Clean and remove debris.

  • Shaft Packing Gland - Depending on type installed, it should be visually inspected for excessive leaks. The standard gland should drip one drop every minute at rest and once every 15 seconds while in gear.

  • Belts - Inspect for hairline cracks - if you find any, replace immediately. Buy a spare.

  • Exhaust Riser - Look for corrosion, hairline cracks or water. Remove/inspect; probably replace - they last about 5 yrs.

  • Change oil & filter - First, start the engine to warm it up. Turn it off; remove the drain plug; drain the old oil or use a pump to siphon it out; change the filter; replace the drain plug and fill the engine with new oil. Check your owner's manual for proper oil and viscosity.

  • Water Pump Impeller - Inspect and replace at least once per year - especially if temperature gauge rises - Some suggest replacing every 100 hours. If the vanes lack flexibility or show hairline fractures, change it.
  • Transmission Oil - Replace.

  • Fuel Filters - Replace both.

  • Check engine mounts for cracking or delaminating.

  • Anti-siphon Valves - Take off top fitting; blow into hole on top to be sure air can get through.

  • Holding Tank Flush - Back flush holding tank vent after rinsing holding tank.

  • Lubricate head using Super Lube.

  • Wet Cell Batteries - Check water, add distilled and fill to split "rings"; clean battery posts. Gel/Agm Batteries - Make sure battery post are clean and tight.

  • Toilets - Pour about 10 ounces of vinegar in toilet & pump 1/2 of it out (let it sit as long as possible).

  • Pumps - Run all pumps - especially macerators & sump pumps; be sure to "open" the discharge valves.

  • Sea Cocks - Work each one (move handle open/closed a few times).

  • Bilge - Cleaned and dried and bilge pump run to make sure it works - the manual pump should be hand pumped as well.

  • Propane - Check for leaks - after use, turn off solenoid, close valve - should retain pressure for at least 1 hour.

  • Fire Extinguishers - Be sure all gauges are in middle, take off bracket, shake vigorously, break up caking (dry chemical).

  • Inspect shore power connection for corrosion/overheating. Check both ends of the cords for signs of wear, corrosion and especially any signs of burning or heat.

  • Sails - Washed and inspect and frays or loose stitching - have any found repaired by your sail loft.

See you on the water!

Richard BenscoterEditor's Note: Richard Benscoter is a long time avid sailor. He and his wife Debbie are both avid sailors and members of the Silver Gate Yacht Club and owner of the Mariners Woodshop. If you have a sailing question for Richard, send your e-mail to

Mariner's Book Corner
This month's reading recommendations are for those adventurous mariners who plow the world's oceans to far flung destinations.

How to Sail Around the World: Advice and Ideas for Voyaging Under Sail
A new classic from one of the world's most respected sailing authors.

More than 35 years ago, Hal Roth quit his job as a journalist and went sailing. Since then, he's logged more than 200,000 sea miles.

World Cruising Essentials: The Boats, Gear, and Practices That Work Best at Sea
This comprehensive third volume in Jimmy Cornell's acclaimed and successful World Cruising series is the ultimate authority on boats, gear, and techniques for long-distance cruising under sail.

Distilled from surveys of 15,000 sailors by the world's leading promoter of blue-water voyaging, it answers in detail the most frequently asked questions on world cruising, including what boats people are sailing, what navigation and seamanship practices work best, what equipment is really essential, and more.

World Cruising Routes: 7th Edition
Since the publication of the first edition of this book offshore navigation has undergone a number of major changes, and this new edition has been thoroughly revised to meet the requirements and expectations of the current generation of offshore sailors.

Some of the most important changes have been dictated by the effects of climate change on global weather and the availability of the data gathered over the last two decades by meteorological satellites. This data resulted in the publication of Cornell s Ocean Atlas, which was produced jointly with Ivan Cornell, and contains monthly pilot charts for all oceans of the world.

Christian Marine Surveyors

Tommy's Favorite Boating Product of the Month - – Racor's New Snap-In Disposable Fuel Filter
- By Tom Jarvis
Racor has released two new products this year and this is one of their latest creations - a simple efficient on-piece snap-in disposable fuel filter water separator (SNAPP).

It snaps right into a stainless steel bracket and comes with two easy quick connect/disconnect hose-adapters for the fuel line designed to attach to the filter.

The filter contains the same patented Aqua-bloc filter media found in all of the Racor filters that has a 99% success in separating water and containments from the fuel. The SNAPP is the perfect protection for small engines up to 26 GPH and the process to change the filter is literally a snap, it is fast easy, clean and no tools are required.

This is a great product and it is readily available at most Marine Stores and Distributors. For more information on this product go to

Editor's Note: Tom Jarvis is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of the SuperYacht Association, and he also performs outside Marketing and Sales for the San Diego Marine Exchange.
Click Here to email your boating product questions to Tom.

Greetings From the Marina Office
Welcome to Shelter Cove Marina's April 2014 eNewsletter.

This month's newsletter is all about getting you and your vessel ready for the prime boating season.

Yes - it's Spring, so the tarps are coming off; the hatches are opened to the fresh air; the sails are unfolding into the breeze; the yacht clubs are celebrating Opening Day; the fair weather boaters are returning to the marinas; the parties are beginning; and the fishing season is moving into full swing.

To be sure you're ready for the good weather fun, check out this month's newsletter's Spring commissioning tips for your boat, and check out your permits, licenses, certificates, insurance and other documents to make sure they're up to date.

We look forward to seeing you all at the marina, and happy Spring 2014!

Happy boating,
The Staff at Shelter Cove Marina

Tech Tip of the Month - "Siri-ously" Cool
If you have an iPhone, one of the things that Siri can do that most people don't know about is that "she" can read your email aloud to you.

Just push her button and say "Siri - Read my email" and she will oblige.

Day at The Docks - It's All About Fishing!
The 35th Annual Port of San Diego's Day at the Docks is a free event, happening on Sunday, April 13th from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

The one day event showcases an "open house" of the world's largest state-of-the-art sportfishing fleet, which offers first-class accommodations while traveling to some of the world's most prolific fish-filled waters.

Throughout the day there are sponsor contests where attendees can try to match casting abilities or knot-tying skills against winners.

The event is family friendly and also features numerous exhibits geared toward kids. Enjoy live local entertainment and raffles of fishing equipment valued at thousands of dollars donated by sponsors and exhibitors.

Day At The Docks is produced by the San Diego Sportfishing Council and sponsored by the San Diego Unified Port District and County of San Diego. For a complete event schedule, Click Here.

News From the Bilge
By Rick Krug
This month we are going to talk about bilge pumps, float switches, and sump pumps.

Your bilge pump and float switches are some of the most important pieces of equipment on your vessel, and as such, should be checked on a monthly basis. The basic bilge pump components are - a bilge pump, a float switch and an electrical 3 way switch with a fuse to turn them on and off.

Let me answer some questions that I have been asked in the past in regards to bilge pumps.

1. What does the number mean on the pump? The number indicates how many gallons an hour the bilge pump will pump from the boat.

2. Why are there "Off" - "Momentary" and "On" positions on my bilge pump switch?

The "Momentary" or "Manual" position is only there to allow you to get the last few inches of water out of the bilge.

The "On" position is normally hooked to your float switch and provides power through the float switch circuit. When the float switch rises up due to water in the bilge the circuit is completed, causing the pump to turn on.

The "Off" position is for when you don't want the bilge pump to come on. For instance if there is oil or fuel in the bilge that need to be removed.

3. How do I know when my float switch is not working and what safety procedure can I do to check it?
The best way to check a float switch is to just lift it up and see if the bilge pump comes on. Due to the switch being in water and the wiring being in the bilge area, the float switch and wiring are susceptible to corrosion. Check you wiring often and make sure it is not corroded.

I like to put a second float switch on top of my bilge pump and tie it into an alarm system with a bell or buzzer that can be heard from the dock. If the float switch or bilge pump goes bad, as the water rises over the bilge pump, the float switch on top will rise and turn on the alarm telling you that you have a problem.

4. How can I get all the water out of my bilge?
First figure out where the water is coming from and fix the leak. Next, your bilge pump won't get all the water out of it. Get a bilge sponge and dry up your bilge.

5. Why does my sump pump for my shower smell so bad?
When you take a shower all the soap and oils from your body go down the drain as well as your hair and creates a breeding ground for bacteria in the sump.

You need to clean your sump pump every month or at least pour some bleach or chlorine down the drain to allow it to kill the bacteria. When you are using your shower, let it run for about a minute after you are done showering to allow the sump to flush itself out.

I hope this answered some of your questions about how a bilge pump system works.

Rick Krug is a boat yard manager and boat repair specialist with over 35 years experience. He has written articles for Sea Magazine as well as The Log and gives seminars on boat maintenance at national marine boat shows as well as local yacht clubs. You can contact Rick at

Boating "App" of the Month
Boater's Guide
The Bay Foundation has created this user-friendly, interactive Boater's Guide for those embarking on a Southern California cruising adventure.

The Guide provides comprehensive information about each harbor in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties, including each harbor's unique features, how to get a guest slip, locations of waste disposal and fueling facilities, what to see and do in and around the harbor and much more.

What Not to Do If It's Time To Renew
- By Captain H. G. "Rags" Laragione
Before the cruising season starts in full swing and everybody gets really busy, this is a great time to review the status of your maritime licenses and certifications and make sure they're current and accurate.

Most maritime credentials need to be renewed every five years, but all too often we see people make the decision not to renew because they believe they don't have the proper prerequisites to qualify for renewal - usually, it's that they feel they don't have the required sea time.

In many cases this is unfortunate, because the fact is, there are many situations where you can actually renew your license or certification without the specified sea time.

For example, the U.S. Coast Guard Deck License (up to 200 ton) can be renewed in two ways - with an 8-hour course by satisfactorily completing the one day classroom presentation and end of course examination, or by requesting the exam from the U.S. Coast Guard with your application for renewal - and no sea time is required in either case. All you have to do is complete the open-book examination with a score of at least 90%.

So if your maritime credential is about to expire, check out what exactly is and isn't required to renew before you make the decision to let it lapse - it might be easier than you think to save that investment of money and time you have made in your career.

Captain Laragione is the President of The Maritime Institute which offers USCG approved courses for mariners. Curriculum ranges from the maritime rules of the road to the 1600 Ton Captain's License. Captain Laragione is well known for his motto - "The key to safe boating is education; so let's get educated! I Like
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