From the Marina Office!
Greetings Shelter Cove Marina mariners - Here is your April 2015 newsletter.
What a difference a year makes! Last year this time, we had an abundance of open slips for boats between 28-39' LOA and a long list of people who had been waiting 1-2 years to get into a 40'+ slip. Now, most of our docks have only 1-3 open slips, with the exception of our dock for large 58'+ yachts. The Boat, Bed and Breakfast fleet has two new boats which are already booking for June and July. We are at capacity with live aboard tenants, but continue to get multiple requests every week from people desiring an alternative (read "affordable") housing lifestyle in San Diego. (It is an on-going battle for most marinas in the San Diego Bay to squelch the illegal sub-leasing of boats on airbnb.com and similar sites.)
Construction will finally get underway April 2 thru 9 to replace our air conditioning units and the roof of the marina office building.
As seen in news reports recently, we have had a number of abandoned sea lion pups at the marina over the past few weeks. Everyone needs to be reminded that although the pups are adorable, they are nevertheless wild animals and should not be fed or petted. The hotline for Sea World's Animal Rescue unit is 800-541-7325.
Spring has arrived and the weather has been near perfect on most days for boaters and land huggers alike. Despite all of the activity around us, the marina remains a peaceful, quiet community.
The Staff at Shelter Cove Marina
Tommy's Favorites - Planet Safe Lubricants
- By Tom Jarvis
I was recently introduced to PlanetSafe Lubricants by John Barson, and what an eye opener. It is always refreshing to find products that actually do what they claim to do, and after 17 years as a Distributor Representative, I am very impressed with the products from PlanetSafe Lubricants.
I took the time to meet with some independent contractors and business owners to get their feedback on the PlanetSafe Products. The following are just a few comments from a wide variety of marine industry companies that I interviewed:
"I've never seen anything perform on a lathe like your products. Less heat, less galling, and I can make deeper cuts with a smoother finish. It saves me time and money, love the results" Dave Gardner, Owner/Operator of Dynamic Marine Machining, San Diego, CA.
"Absolutely the best product I have used for drilling, tapping, and threading applications. In addition the clean-up and wipe down is a breeze, and it is toxic free!!! I love the fact that the product has no odor, you cannot smell anything." Pete Cogswell, Owner/Operator of Cogswell Marine, San Diego, CA.
"I tried to separate a seized deck hardware product with heat and it just was not responding to any product or any amount of muscle and heat we applied to it. I tried the A.I.M. product and let it set overnight and the next day it released without any trouble at all and it was bright shiny metal after we wiped it clean. This product really works and works in many applications in our business of maintaining yachts for our customers. I highly recommend this product." Ken Morton, Owner/Operator of Morton Marine Services, San Diego, CA.
PlanetSafe Lubricants for marine and industrial applications are manufactured in St. George, Utah. PlanetSafe Lubricants are the result of nearly 20 years of research and development of patent pending lubricant technologies, which are the newest and the next generation of penetrating lubricants.
A.I.M. combines the penetrating qualities needed to free rusty parts with the lubricating qualities needed to allow moving parts to function with less friction, heat, and wear as well as the protecting qualities needed to ward off rust and corrosion. A.I.M. cleans rust, corrosion, and oxidation off of aluminum, steel, brass, and bronze surfaces. PlanetSafe A.I.M. solves real world problems in industrial, commercial, and marine related applications.
What is PlanetSafe A.I.M. and how does it work?
PlanetSafe A.I.M. includes a bio-synthetic active ingredient specially formulated to lubricate, penetrate rusted parts, and clean rust and corrosion from surfaces. Once the rust and corrosion are removed A.I.M. protects surfaces from further rust and corrosion.
The synthetic components provide extreme protection and lubrication while the bio-components form an ionic bond that attracts the lubricant to the surfaces. Together the components complement each other to provide lubrication and protection second to none.
The penetrating qualities come from the low viscosity formulation coupled with the bonding nature of the bio-component to overcome surface tension it literally finds its way inside the moving parts. A.I.M. combines the penetrating capability of a light duty lubricant, Home Shop and Sport - L6, with the extreme duty, protection and performance of aconcentrated lubricant treatment - L8. L6 and L8 are related to A.I.M by relying on the same active ingredient with L6 designed for lighter jobs and L8 designed to treat other lubricants to provide the qualities of A.I.M to other lubricants. A.I.M. forms a molecular bond and therefore is drawn to heat and friction whereas most lubricants wear or move away from heat and friction.
Why is it called PlanetSafe A.I.M.?
The A.I.M. product does not include any toxic substances like other penetrating oils and lubricants have in their ingredients. A.I.M. is toxic free. They labeled it A.I.M. after feedback from mechanics, auto-marine shops, garden maintenance companies and industry. The company realized they needed a heavy duty lubricant with industry leading penetrating capability for industrial applications. Thus A.I.M. was born for Automotive/Industrial/Marine applications.
How effective is PlanetSafe A.I.M. at lubricating?
PlanetSafe A.I.M. includes the same active ingredients that provide outstanding lubrication in their oil treatment, PlanetSafe OT, and fuel treatment, PlanetSafe FT. This is easily validated through independent laboratory tests that compared lubrication effectiveness for off-the-shelf oil with and without PlanetSafe OT. The results from the industry standard ASTM D-4172 Four Ball Wear and Coefficient of Friction Test demonstrate the lubricating effectiveness of PlanetSafe's active ingredients.
The Four Ball Wear Test spins four ball bearings under constant pressure and heat with the test lubricant. The coefficient of friction is measured during the 60 minute run and the average wear scar is determined. Results show that treating off-the-shelf oil with PlanetSafe OT reduces the wear scar by 23% - that translates directly into longer life for marine deck hardware, sailboat winches, windlasses, tools, marine engines and equipment.
The last, but significant, advantage of A.I.M. is the fact it is non-hazardous with virtually no smell. Almost every product for sale in the marine industry today comes with serious hazard and health warnings with the most popular being "do not use in enclosed spaces." You can use A.I.M. bow to stern with great confidence and zero health risks. If you only have one can/bottle of a penetrating lubricant and rust inhibitor on board take A.I.M. at PlanetSafe.
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.
There's Something in the Water
- By Peggy Bodenreider
Balboa Island in Newport Harbor is one of my favorite walking routes - fresh sea air, friends on the boardwalk, boaters having fun. I may do a little window shopping or stop for a latte or frozen banana.
On a February afternoon my husband and I rounded the west end of the island and were hit with a whiff of not so pleasant smells. 'Whew what's that?' I asked. Then we noticed thousands of tiny red crabs washed up on the beach.
A king tide carried these miniature crabs up onto the sand, apparently most already dead. As weak El Nino conditions have warmed water temperatures off our coast the 2"-long pelagic crabs migrated north from Baja California. Experts have not concluded why so many had died, but the red crab event is one of many unusual sightings in Southern California waters in recent months.
For three straight years beach-goers continue to find sea lion pups near death, lying in the sand with their sad puppy-dog eyes looking up for help. Sea life rescue centers have taken in dozens of starving and sick pups; many appear too young to have been weaned. They are not strong enough to dive for fish and fend for themselves, so they swim ashore and often die before rescuers spot them.
My friend Annie and I were walking along Corona Del Mar Beach early one morning and came across a very thin seal pup resting on the sand near a bench. Just as Annie pulled out her phone a park service employee walked over and indicated he had already notified authorities and help was on the way.
Some marine biologists believe the warmer waters have made food scarce, causing mother seals to abandon their pups in search of prey. Stories have been published lately about boaters and kayakers who have experienced seal pups jumping into their boat for a snuggle, hug, or sleep. Though infrequent, these surprise happenings seem to validate the theory that pups are being abandoned and are looking for a warm body and a little rest.
After returning from a hike on Santa Barbara Island a couple of years ago we notice a sea lion pup following our dinghy out to the boat. While we pulled anchor to continue our cruise, the pup tried tirelessly to jump into the dinghy. I was concerned he had worn himself out and wouldn't make it back to shore after we motored away. His little head was bobbing out of the water as we left, then he leapt out and dove deep. He was a brave and curious little pup and I think he soon joined his pals back on the beach.
In January my husband and I joined friends on a private boat for a whale watching excursion. It was the perfect day, as the seas were flat and visibility was excellent.
Reports from Captain Dave's Dolphin Safari of orcas and humpbacks being plentiful this year made us hopeful. We had heard the count for gray whales and calves was up, as well as shark sightings. Even the rare fin whale, which is second only to the blue whale in size, had been seen in the San Pedro area, confirming the idea that a pod is now living near the Channel Islands. But this was not our day for whales. We did see the remains of a large seal that had been attacked by a shark, though he left much of his dinner behind. Not what I was looking for!
While cruising from Santa Cruz Island to Santa Barbara in December we were fortunate to have a visit from a large gray whale, giving us a long look as she glided along the surface. We spotted a pod of small Minke whales further south and have enjoyed a couple of blue whale sightings in the Catalina channel. The giant mammoths appear to be more plentiful in our local waters than ever before.
Earlier I mentioned the king tide that washed ashore all the tiny red crabs. That's a term I hadn't heard until the past couple of years. So what is a king tide? Well, it seems when the perfect alignment occurs of the gravitational pull between the sun and the moon we experience the very highest tide.
Though not a frequent occurrence, king tides are predictable and are not some omen that the end is near! Observing the water level during a king tide gives us insight into what a permanent rise in sea level could mean. The concern of rising oceans and flooding waterfront communities has caused changes in building codes and the need for higher sea walls throughout Newport harbor.
Then we've got the record-breaking heat to talk about. The rainiest months in Southern California are December through March, but much of the area is well below average this year. Offshore winds have kept it warm and dry, thought we have had some odd weather events like a recent hailstorm that covered the sands of Huntington Beach in white ice. The first week of 2015 brought very cold temperatures and snow to the Temecula Valley.
I have found it to be a winter of discontent. I like cold clear nights and mornings that are brisk. I like to splash around in the little puddles of water after a good rain. I love to be outside when it is raining to breathe in that cool fresh air and feel replenished! I equally love being inside with a cup of hot tea and a good book, watching the water droplets slide down the window. I found it unsettling to be at the beach and actually in a swimming suit in February! It felt wrong to be enjoying such warm temperatures when our earth is so dry.
Our small bursts of rain have painted green the hills above Newport Coast, splashing bright colors of wild flowers along the trails. Yellow stalks of wild mustard and plump red prickly pears stand out on the hillsides. I've hiked through El Moro and Laguna Canyons this winter and found trickling streams, even frost one morning. I know all this beauty is short-lived and will quickly fade to brown.
But I've come around to accepting this weather as a gift. It has brought sad endings to tiny red crabs and many sea lion pups. But also the warmer sea is sharing its bounty of whales and sharks and dolphins, giving us a peak at these beautiful creatures.
This weather has increased my awareness of the impending rise in sea level due to melting glaciers and polar ice caps and a glimpse at the brutality of nature. It's all one big glorious cycle of life that has been influenced, and not always in a good way, by our presence. Please celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd with an act of kindness to our amazing planet.
Peggy Bodenreider is an avid boater and West Coast Regional Manager for Sterling Acceptance Corporation and a 30-year veteran of marine finance.
Call Peggy at 877-488-5568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on competitive financing programs for purchase money or refinance loans.
Conscientious Boating and Living
- By Kells Christian
Boating and conscientious living don't have to be mutually exclusive. There are unavoidable contradictions, the fuel burnt will contribute to greenhouse gasses and the material of the boat and supplies used will eventually be waste, but as we have raised our awareness on land, so we can at sea.
The emission issue is being actively addressed by our local community. California has bought and continues buying low emission engines for many commercial boats that qualify under the Carl Moyer Grants program. Buying modern, efficient engines and keeping them maintained reduces emissions.
There was a full sized electric boat at the 2015 San Diego boat show and it was nice. There are many small electric boats. We can run the generator less, use an inverter or solar or wind.
Choosing the "higher good" often comes with a price, less speed, less range and more money, but mother earth, our descendants, fisheries and coral reefs are worth it. Sailboat owners get a nod in the never ending battle with power boaters, but boating footprints encompass much more than engine emissions.
Thankfully more and more companies are able to provide green choices at the retail level and will continue to do so if they are supported. When we buy products for our boats (and homes) consider their impact. Soaps are important, there are so many, boat washing, dish washing, body washing, bilge washing, and it all goes into the ocean. Paint choices are also important and the industry and the San Diego Unified Port District have and are subsidizing environmentally friendly anti-fouling paint.
Re-use, re-purpose, recycle. If we keep this in mind when we shop and consume, we can reduce waste. Reusable water bottles, dishes that we wash rather than throw away, cloth instead of paper wipes, rechargeable and/or longer lasting batteries and yes, there is a cost of both time and money. There was a marine surveying company giving away reusable shopping bags at the boat show :>).
Our boating group consciousness has been raised regarding trash in the water. Like the crying American Indian of our youth, the Pacific trash gyre and the tireless efforts of many are keeping our trash contained. Good job boaters, now let's all go that extra step and keep a recycling container aboard too.
Some actions save money and are good for the environment. We can change settings on refrigeration units, air conditioners and water heaters. We can service systems so they operate efficiently and we can turn them off. Did you know your refrigeration devices should never "ice over". If you have ice buildup in a refrigeration unit, it likely has a bad seal, compressor or thermostat. "That's normal" is incorrect.
I am a wooden boat lover, but we are a plastic boat community. In Chula Vista, fifty foot wooden boats are being cut up daily. While the wood is organic and will eventually deteriorate, it goes to the dump to do so. I tried to re-purpose one into a deck and the labor cost was too high, I am looking for suggestions and if you have any you may be able to help the cause and your bank account. There is plenty of source material for "distressed boat wood". The same company is trying to acquire a fiberglass recycling machine to keep our exhausted fiberglass boats out of the dump, kudos to San Diego Bay Marine.
For the good of all, let's keep the boating community thinking globally and acting locally.
Kells Christian has been an accredited Marine Surveyor since 1990. His expertise extends to both recreational and commercial vessels. Kells was Regional Director of Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) for 2 years and a prominent member of numerous other industry organizations. You can e-mail your marine surveyor questions to email@example.com or Click Here to visit his web site.
Proper Care For Your Sails Starts With Your Boat
- By Brad Poulos
As sailors, we are acutely aware of the cost of sails as part of the total investment in owning and operating a sailboat. Experience has also shown that the treatment of new sails after they are delivered can greatly extend or shorten their useful life.
Naturally, one of the main determinants of a sail's life span is the quality of the materials used and the workmanship of the sailmaker. Regarding proper treatment of sails to promote a long useful life, there are many steps that can and should be taken. These can be divided these into three main areas:
- Preparation of the boat and rig
- Proper treatment of the sails on board
- Care and maintenance.
In this article we will look at how to prepare your boat and the rigging:
- Tape all cotter pins, sharp corners and other points that can tear or chafe sails. Give particular attention to the pulpit area. Make sure you tape off the turnbuckles where the lifelines attach.
- Place boots or tubes over turnbuckles, both to prevent chafe and to keep grease and oil off sails.
- Be sure the lifelines are clean and free of meat hooks. Give particular attention to the stanchion tops. Acetone is a good cleaner for vinyl-coated lifelines.
- Install rollers or padded boots on spreader tips.
- Be sure wire halyards have no meat hooks or open wire on the shackles which might chafe or snag the sails.
- Position guards to close off any "V's" in the rigging that may catch the sails when they are being hoisted or lowered.
- Wash the deck before each weekend of sailing, and polish the spars periodically so that sails don't pick up any of the aluminum oxidation.
- Dry out your sails before leaving them on the boat for any period of time. One way of doing this is to simply spread the sails around the main cabin and forepeak so that the air can circulate and dry them between outings.
- Avoid the practice of drying sails by hoisting them to flog in the breeze.
- Finally, minimize exposure to direct sunlight when drying your sails.
Taking these steps will ensure and extend the life and strength of your sails allowing you to get the most out of them in terms of speed and appearance.
It's What the Wind Whistles Through
- By Richard Benscoter
Spring is here and the preparations for the sailing season have begun in earnest . Personally I think we skipped Spring and just went straight to summer .
One of the rituals I do every year is the checking of the standing and running rigging. For the standing rigging, I do a visual inspection of all the hardware and stainless steel cabling for cracks broken wires and elongated fittings. The importance of this rigging cannot be overstated - it the backbone that makes everything work together. So let's start with the checklist for the standing rigging:
1. Check the interior of the boat for signs of leaking around chain plates. Leaks mean the chair plate is moving or working and needs attention.
2. Check terminal fittings (swage fittings), ensuring they are free of cracks, bends, and rust. DO NOT use steel wool for rust removal - it will leave ferrous metal in the stainless steel fittings and promote corrosion. Use a fine 3M pad instead.
3. Check that turnbuckles turn freely. If they don't, they need to be lubricated.
4. Check that turnbuckle barrels are secured so they won't back completely off with either split rings, cotter pins.
5. Using a clean cotton rag, run it up and down the standing rigging. If the cloth catches, it means there is a broken strand in the cable. DO NOT do this with your bare hand, or when you find a broken wire, it will hurt.
6. Stand away from your boat and sight up and down the mast. Is it straight? - Not cocked to either side or bowed in the middle?
7. Check the mast for corrosion. Corrosion is indicated by bubbles in the paint usually around an attached fitting on the mast. On an unpainted mast, it will be a collection of white power around the fittings. Corrosion damage assessment and treatment is a specialized skill set. Improper treatment of corrosion can accelerate the corrosion and cause irreparable damage.
8. Check the sail tract for missing fasteners and slugs, and that it slides for freedom of movement and wear.
9. Check that the spreaders bisect the shrouds at equal angles. This is a sight alignment check.
10. Check that the spreader ends are secured to the shrouds.
11. Check that the cover for the spreader ends is intact and that it will protect the sail from damage.
12. Check that all cotter pins are turned so that they will not become a catch or injury hazard.
13. Check your rolling furling for any signs of damage and freedom of operation.
Running Rigging Checklist: Running rigging cleaning has as many do and don'ts, and these are dependent on who you talk to.
Running rigging accumulates salt and dirt in its fibers during normal use. Salt crystallizes and becomes very sharp, and will cut fibers when mixed with dirt because it becomes more abrasive. Here is the process I use to clean my running rigging.
1. Rinse all your running rigging on a clean deck or dock. Be careful on docks because they can be hard on lines due to their brushed finish.
2. Fill a large container with water and soak your lines, This will get the dried salt back into solution.
3. Remove your lines and rinse out the container and rinse your lines. Put your lines back into the container with some woolite and soak and agitate frequently.
4. Remove your lines rinse out the container and your lines fill the container with fresh water and some fabric softener and soak for an hour.
5. Remove and rinse your lines completely and flake along your lifelines to dry. Never store wet lines - that will cause mold and damage requiring replacement.
Happy sailing! - Check your rigging, and we will see you on the water
Editor'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 e-mail to richard@BlueSkyNews.com.
Flares and Flare Guns - Soon to be a Relic of the Past?
- By Bob Simons
Before I go on with this article, I feel it is only fair to disclose that I have a personal interest in the manufacture of an exciting new product which I am going to talk about here, that should revolutionize the distress signal world.
In my 30 plus years involved in the U.S Coast Guard Auxiliary, I have been particularly concerned about teaching boaters about the proper use and dangers of flares and flare guns.
As I mentioned in last month's article, "The Shotgun on Your Boat", I pointed out the Catch 22 situation in which the U.S. Coast Guard requirement that requires these emergency signalling devices to be understandably readily accessible in case of emergencies, that same requirement means that these potentially dangerous items could be readily accessible to unknowledgeable guests - or worse, children and grandchildren.
So currently, In an emergency when you need a signal, you have a couple of choices - either the pyrotechnic hand held flare or the flare gun. When I do Vessel Safety Checks on vessels I always ask if anyone has ever actually opened the flares or used the gun. In my 30+ years, I have never been on a vessel where anyone had used an emergency signal.
Frequently the flares have never been out of the package which is difficult to open even in non-emergency situations. In the attempt to open the flare, many people have a difficult time pulling the unit apart. If you were trying to do this at night with cold wet hands, let's just say its tough. Then, if you have not been trained in holding the flare and the striker in proper position, you will probably drop it.
Flares and flare rockets go out of date every three years. Most people keep the expired flares on board for additional insurance and because there is really no viable legal way to dispose of live pyrotechnic devices. The usual disposal method is via the dumpster which is very illegal and dangerous.
So the exciting new product I have become involved in producing is called the "SOS Electric Distress Signal". This new product meets Coast Guard requirements in 46 CFR 161.013 as your "nighttime" distress signal, instead of a Flare Gun or Pyrotechnic flare!
And this safe signal combined with an Orange Distress Flag also meets Coast Guard requirements in 46 CFR 160.072 for "daytime" signals, is all you need.
A bonus is that the SOS Electric Distress Signal and the 3 X 3 orange flag do not have 3 year expiration dates, and also you do not have to periodically safely dispose of them like you do with pyrotechnics - and most importantly, its potentially life-saving signal will last an order of magnitude longer than the life of a flare.
Under development for over two years, we expect to have the SOS Electric Distress Signal available by mid-May. Thanks for listening.
Bob Simons has been in the Coast Guard Auxiliary for thirty years and owns a sailboat as well as a powerboat. He teaches classes in Boating Safety & Seamanship as well as Basic and Advanced Coastal Navigation. Bob is also the co-owner of Seabreeze Books and Charts