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Photo Op

vintage cameraHey Capt. Ken, enjoyed catching up with you at this past Ft. Lauderdale boat show. Good to see you again. We are on our way back from our trip through the Abacos and took this sunset shot for your Photo Op section. Hope our paths cross again as we will be cruising up north late in May and are planning a stop over in New York City before we head to New England waters including Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, Mt. Desert, Maine, and then up into Nova Scotia. Either way, going to or coming from, we’ll be sure to look you up. – D. and M. Smith, Chicago, IL

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Posted by on March 31, 2015 in Photo Op

 

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BoatUS Report

BoatuslogoMedia Alert:
If You Don’t Want More Corn In Your Gas Tank,
BoatUS Says Boaters Need to Speak Up Now

Always on the alert for issues that affect the boating community, BoatUS has had its collective ear to the ground on this particular news for quite some time now. Here at the Boat & Yacht Report, we also feel it is important to get the information out as well. You decide. Thanks for listening. -Capt. Ken

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THE ISSUE: The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is the 2005 federal law that requires the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. When it was written, it assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to rise and mandated escalating amounts of biofuels to be blended with our fuel. Since 2005, however, gasoline usage has actually declined steadily, which today forces more ethanol into less gasoline.

To keep up with this RFS mandate, in 2010 the EPA permitted E15 (fuel containing up to 15% ethanol) into the marketplace. Even though E15 is prohibited from being used in marine engines, snowmobiles, motorcycles, small engines like lawnmowers and leaf blowers, as well as any vehicle made before 2001, this fuel can now be found at over 100 stations in 16 states at the very same pumps as E10 and ethanol-free gasoline.

Over 60% of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) half million members as well as millions of recreational boaters fill their boat’s fuel tanks at roadside gas stations where the higher blend ethanol fuels are often the cheapest fuel at the pump. This creates a huge potential for misfueling and puts boaters at risk.

ACTION NEEDED NOW: For years, BoatUS has been battling in Washington to make sure recreational boat owners can buy gasoline that works with their recreational boat engines. Senators Diane Feinstein and Pat Toomey have now introduced S. 577, the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015″ in the US Senate.

This bill, which has both Democrat and Republican support, will effectively remove the government mandate for higher blends of corn-based ethanol fuels (more than 10%) and allow for investment in other more compatible biofuels. BoatUS believes it is a critical step to solving the ethanol issue and urges America’s boat owners to contact their Senator now to become a co-sponsor and supporter of S. 577. Boaters can easily do this at: http://goo.gl/S4bWMu. For more on the Renewable Fuel Standard go to www.BoatUS.com/gov.

WHO: Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its over half million members with government representation, fighting against unfair federal taxes, fees and regulations that single out boat owners. BoatUS is also non-partisan working on both sides of the aisle as well as with state agencies to promote boating laws that make sense.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in BoatUS Report

 

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Products

images-1SUNNY ATTITUDE

Solar Power Adds More Benefits To ShoreStation Boat Lift

ShoreStation FlexPower Hydraulic Lifts are known for their speed and reliability. DC power is the brawn behind both of these benefits. The charge of the system’s marine deep-cycle batteries can be maintained by a 20W solar panel, transforming a boat lift into an environmentally friendly and electrically safe, hydraulic system that is economical to install and simple to operate.

More than just a battery charger, the solar panel completely removes the need for an AC power circuit on the dock, creating a safer environment. In addition, this eliminates the high, up-front costs of installing AC power with the required GFCI equipment and the inconvenience of running power all the way to a slip. Owners can also say goodbye to annual electrical safety inspections and maintenance.

mid22275hEric Sager, with the help of Ocean One Docks and Boat Lifts, recently installed a ShoreStation lift with solar panel at the end of a canal near his home for his 22′ Pro-Line. “A more traditional, AC powered lift would have cost $600 a year just for the needed electric meter,” said Sager. “The solar charger makes the ShoreStation Lift totally independent from AC power. The cost-savings are excellent. This lift is the best money I ever spent. Ocean One was great about installing everything, too, even for such a unique application.”

With a self-contained solar panel, users can recharge the lift battery with a clean, free and renewable power supply. Simple to use and hassle-free, the solar panel automatically charges the battery with no daily maintenance. It also protects the battery from draining and over-charging. ShoreStation’s 20W solar panel even charges faster than traditional 10 watt models, ensuring a quick recovery time so it’s always ready for use.

Contact ShoreStation, a division of Midwest Industries, 122 E State Hwy 175, Ida Grove, IA 51445. 800-859-3028;
Fax: 712-364-3361. www.shorestation.com

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Products

 

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Technology

tech pictureQCamPro: A Security App making waves from Down Under to Down Home

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

qcampro

This report on QCamPro, a relatively new Smartphone security app that is getting rave reviews around the docks worldwide, has a personal back story that concerns its founder, British born and now Adelaide, Australia-based John Convill and myself and is one that began some 25+ years ago in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

At that time, being mid-November of 1989, I had just brought a 93-foot yacht down from New York to participate in that particular year’s holiday boat parade, start a cosmetic work project, and offer her services for some charter work.

Meanwhile, along with his lifelong friend Alan Brown, John, with whom he had spent many high school holiday times in Majorca, Spain and in the South of England, decided it was time they paid a visit to the U.S. of A. After getting all the proper documents together, and booking their plane tickets, the lads were off.

images-1They flew from London to New York and then, after meeting up with several friends, traveled to Orlando and then to Miami where John found work at a car wash. Quickly deciding there was little future in this industry, he and Alan tried their hands at washing boats and soon migrated a bit to the north and Ft. Lauderdale.

The very night of the boat parade, someone they had just finished up some work with was sporting the boys to a dinner at the Bahia Cabana, a popular local watering hole serving relatively decent fare. And as fate would have it, my crew and I, having just gotten back to the dock and with things squared away, decided to do-drop-in. Several beers later, I was introduced to John and Alan by the person they had been working for; who, by the way, I knew casually, and as I was looking for two crew, took them down to the boat for a look-see.

“We’re sorted, Alan and I, and, tired of cheese and bread sandwiches, have decided to come aboard.” They set up the forward quarters to their liking and for the next three months, turned out to be stellar crew. Come spring, the boat returned to New York and the boys were off to England.

A true kindred spirit and fellow sufferer of terminal wanderlust, John returned to the States in the summer of 1990 and began an almost two year travel odyssey taking him from finding work in Bar Harbor, Maine, to Barbados, to Sweden, and finally, on a one-way ticket, to Australia. After three weeks of picking grapes at a local vineyard, and his total assets of $70 just about exhausted, he landed a job, having had some background in the past working with Alan, as a security technician. Since then, John now heads up his own successful company, Vision Security Services, and went on to develop the QCamPro App.

John and Capt. Ken, c.2005, Sydney Pub

John and Capt. Ken, c.2005, Sydney Pub

In 2005, while attending the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show in Sydney Harbor, Australia, John and I were able to catch up, and in 2013/2014 he attended the Ft. Lauderdale and Miami International Boat Shows, QCamPro in hand, for its Stateside launch. While attending these two premier shows, he was in contact with top integration partners such as Mobotix, AXIS and FLIR. The QCamPro App is now spanning across the globe in 60+ different countries with 30+ companies ‘branding’ the app as their own.

And just why did I go through this lengthy introduction of the QCamPro App? I wanted you to get to know what kind of self-

John proudly displays his app, QCamPro.

John proudly displays his app, QCamPro.

motivated and visionary entrepreneur was behind this product. At the same time, I believe full disclosure is in order and given my background with John, did not want our friendship to get in the way of helping him get the word out. To the point, I have no stake in the company and neither have nor will receive any compensation for this report. As with other relevant products that come across my desk, this information deserves to be shared by my readers.

So, let’s get into it. Many have grappled with the concept of remotely monitoring video cameras or being alerted when a virtual staff member, marina manager, dockmaster, or security officer first detects activity on a protected site. The notification comes if there’s a problem onboard or site changes like a spike in temperature, perhaps indicating a fire, a power failure, or some other indication that something is wrong.

iPad+QuadQCamPro works very much like an alarm system with one big difference: You receive a visual ‘push’ notification direct to your IOS device allowing you to have live video and two-way voice communication with speaker-equipped cameras when an event occurs (Android App is available but without event notification). With this app, you can have remote video security right in your hands. And as far as camera compatibility is concerned, QCamPro works with the full Mobotix range, including the new T25, Q25 and S15 models, Axis, Bosch, Panasonic, Sony, DLink, Grandstream, Toshiba, and Vivotek equipment. During my time with John at both the Lauderdale and Miami shows, I personally watched as he powered up an iPad and checked in on a boat at a marina in Sydney Harbor, Australia, in real time, remotely controlling the lights onboard through QCamPro.

The majority of camera/surveillance systems have their own app that allows you to have a look whenever it suits you. QCamPro also allows you to use this but the key feature is it ‘notifies you’ when an event occurs. Rather than have multiple apps for multiple sites, QCamPro has a multi-view option allowing different cameras to be set up in different camera layouts across multiple sites.

Other key features include live monitoring of video and audio across both 3G and wireless, a speak-to-camera function with frame rates as high as 25 frames per second depending on the camera and network configuration, PTZ controls, native IOS controls (multitouch zoom, swipe, etc), single, and multi-view of cameras, including a 16 camera view assigned to groups with no limit on the number of cameras or views that can be monitored, six action configuration to open doors, switch lights on and off, etc., and playback of recorded video and audio (not yet available on Android).

There is a full tutorial video available at www.mxinstaller.com.au as well as a wealth of information on the company site at www.qcampro.com.au

If you’re interested in speaking with John about the QCamPro App, or have any questions, you can contact him at john@qcampro.com.au

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2015 in Technology

 

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Maintenance

tool_box_250x251Exhaust System Maintenance Tips
For A Worry-Free Spring Launch

Taking care of this vital part of your boat’s operating system can provide peace of mind and a safe boating season.

For those of you who regularly launch their boats in the spring time, my industry friends at Centek have sent over this important article of tips and information for making sure, if so equipped, your wet exhaust system is being properly maintained. Just like every other critical system on your boat, it needs attention and should something be amiss, you could be headed for some big problems. -Capt. Ken

Centek Industries, leading manufacturer of marine wet exhaust systems, offers the following pre-launch maintenance tips to help boat owners avoid problems with their exhaust systems during the boating season.

This is what can happen to a boat exhaust system if it isn’t properly maintained, according to leading exhaust systems manufacturer Centek Industries.

This is what can happen to a boat exhaust system if it isn’t properly maintained,
according to leading exhaust systems manufacturer Centek Industries.

• Inspect and replace worn impellers
• Check water pump and replace or repair as needed
• All screens and traps should be free of debris
• Check all hoses and clamps for wear and make sure clamps are tight and secure
• Visually inspect the muffler for these signs of damage from excessive heat: bubbling or flaking paint; discoloration; melted stickers and/or salt deposits.
• Check external rubber flappers for cracks, dry rot or other damage
• Thru hulls should be free of obstruction. Check to make sure a critter hasn’t made a winter home in the exhaust tube or muffler.
• Make sure seacocks are open and functioning properly before startup

Spring is also a good time to consider improvements to your exhaust system. If your boat’s muffler is made of plastic, consider upgrading to Centek components which are made from high–temperature, flame retardant resin and which are also Lloyd’s Register Type approved and meet or exceed the ABYC-P1 standards.

-Sound attenuation. Options are available to make the system quieter or give it a more pleasant tone.
-Install a check valve to help prevent water from flowing back into the engine or genset.
-If you’re re-powering or upgrading your generator, make sure the exhaust system is properly sized – existing parts and components may not be compatible with your new engine(s) or genset.
-Get rid of the splash and gurgle you hear when the generator is running. The Centek GEN-SEP™ is specially designed to reduce this common source of exhaust noise.
-Get rid of the sheen. A Centek Gen-Kleen™ system eliminates the sheen around your boat when the generator is running and a Centek BilgeKleen™ filter system does the same thing when your bilge pump is running.

Centek’s engineering staff has more than 80 years of marine wet exhaust system design and innovation experience. The company has designed, engineered and built more than 15,000 custom marine exhaust systems for ski boats, yachts, workboats, military and law enforcement vessels and many of these designs are used continuously to build exhaust systems for thousands of new boats and refits annually.

For more information about Centek Industries and to download a copy of the Centek catalog, visit www.centekindustries.com or call 1+229.228.7653.

 

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2015 in Maintenance

 

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Photo Op

vintage cameraCapt. Ken: We are on our way back north from spending the winter in South Florida and, knowing our home port weather is still not very good, are taking it very slow aboard our 60 foot Hatteras Motor Yacht. Currently staying at the Jekyll Harbor Marina in Georgia, we are enjoying the sights, the food, the golf, and meeting up with friends and family. Our plan is to stop at Tybee, Hilton Head, and Charleston for a few days each, maybe longer, before pushing on. Have enjoyed your articles over the years in the boating magazines as well as your video work. Most entertaining and informative. Your site is also very good and would ask that you post more of your creative work. Both the SALTY LIFE and LITERARY CORNER writings are worthy of attention. We were walking our dog the other morning and noticed the light fog hanging in the midst of a nearby wooded area. I always have my camera with me when we travel and after loading the photos on my laptop, I thought you might like it enough to share it here on your site. Thanks again for all your efforts. -J. and L. Banks, Cape May, NJ

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Posted by on March 19, 2015 in Photo Op

 

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BoatUS Report

BoatuslogoPeer-to-Peer Boat Rentals: What Do You Need To Know

10 Tips From BoatUS for Owners and Renters

As boat clubs and rental opportunities have gained momentum, my industry friend Scott Croft of Boat US has forwarded this brief guide to me in hopes that some questions can be answered if you are considering entering into an agreement with a boat owner or if you are thinking of renting your vessel out. Cross your ‘t’s’ and dot your ‘i’s’ and things just might work out. -Capt. Ken

Boaters have some new options to get on the water with online rental services. (Photo Credit: Boat US)

Boaters have some new options to get on the water with online rental services. (Photo Credit: Boat US)

Airbnb may be a popular “peer-to-peer” lodging site on the web, but if you want to rent a boat in your local area or away, you’ve got options too. Boatbound.com, Boatsetter.com and Cruzin.com are just a few of the new crop of online websites offering a chance to rent a boat for the day or weekend. These services, which connect private boat owners to renters, can help owners recoup some expenses, and can also give non-owners a chance to get on the water with friends without the cost of full-time ownership. So what do you need to know? Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has some information for both boat owners and renters.

  • Renters do not want boats that are not safe and or can barely get out of the marina, so these services are often better suited to newer vessels less than 10 years old. Older, larger or faster boats may require a survey or inspection. Rental costs vary widely based on boat size and location, and renters typically are required to have some boating experience as well as a deposit.
  • These peer-to-peer boat rental websites generally handle every part of the transaction, including taking deposits and payments. They typically take 30%-40% of the rental fee, which covers overhead, profit, as well as insurance and on water towing services (more on both of those in a second … read on).
  • For boat owners, most boat insurance policies don’t provide coverage during the rental period and some companies may not provide coverage at any time simply if you list your boat with a rental program. If you happen to own and insure your boat but desire to rent another, your insurance company (including BoatUS Marine Insurance) may offer a temporary endorsement for liability coverage while operating the rental boat — but damage to the rental boat still is not covered. That’s why these “peer-to-peer” boat rental companies often provide additional insurance coverage. However, it’s up to owners — and renters — to read the fine print. For owners, know what happens if your boat is damaged, the claims process, how depreciation may figure in, and, in the event of total loss, how the insurance will value your boat. For renters, ensure you are OK with the level of liability coverage being offered during the rental, know how much you would have to pay if you damage the boat, and whether injuries to both you and your passengers would be covered.
  • TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist towing fleets provide on water towing and assistance service to some peer-to-peer rental services at no additional charge to the renter or owner. For the renter that means simply calling BoatUS’ 24-hour nationwide dispatch (800-391-4869) if there is a breakdown.
  • Renters need to ask about any other costs or fees, including fuel or other charges like pump-outs. They should also clarify with the owner what happens if the boat breaks down and becomes unusable.
  • Boat owners have the full right to say “no” to a renter, starting with an initial phone call. BoatUS member Bob Kellet, who has successfully rented his 30-foot sailboat, says owners are in full control of the process, from pricing to vetting renters. After speaking to a potential renter on the phone, if he’s comfortable, Kellet will meet at his boat for a full run-through. He may even take the renter out for a few minutes to show how everything works.
  • Kellet also suggests having a detailed instruction guide for the boat’s equipment and a step-by-step guide for things like starting the engine. Be sure to include safety gear.
  • Having a walk-through, pre-rental checklist is good for both parties, as is taking a few date-stamped photos showing the condition of the vessel.
  • While there is a certain element of trust, owner and renter reviews tend to weed out bad apples quickly, so be sure to check the renter’s history or the owner’s reviews from past renters. “Reviews are the best indicator of whether there will be a positive rental experience,” says BoatUS Consumer Affairs Director Charles Fort, who adds, “These services may also help those looking to buy a certain boat to try it out, if you will, before they purchase.”
  • One man’s experience: BoatUS Member Kellet said he was apprehensive the first few times he rented his sailboat to a stranger, but after a couple rentals he realized the renters cared about his boat, too, and they were there for the same reason: a love of the water and boating. A couple rentals a month easily pays his Seattle, Washington, area moorage fees. The only downside Kellet reports are scheduling conflicts when he’d like to use the boat himself.

For more, see the BoatUS Magazine story, “Is Peer-to-Peer Boating for You?” at BoatUS.com/thinkingofrenting.

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About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS)

BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with over a half million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We help ensure a roadside breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins, and on the water, we bring boaters safely back to the launch ramp or dock when their boat won’t, day or night. The BoatUS insurance program gives boat owners the specialized coverage and superior service they need, and we help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2015 in BoatUS Report

 

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