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Monthly Archives: April 2011

TECHNOLOGY

 

Power Play!

Are You Maximizing Your Power Sources?

By Don Wilson
TECH DOCTOR DON WILSON has worked in technical capacities in the marine, automotive and RV fields and for the military since 1989 and has extensive experience in designing and troubleshooting onboard electrical systems. A former customer service manager dealing with electronic issues, Wilson currently serves as a technical instructor for the RV industry’s RVIA Trouble Shooters Clinics and is a full-time sales application engineer for Xantrex Technology, Inc. POWER PLAY! is the first installment of TECH DOCTOR articles being presented by the Boat and Yacht Report.

 When you’re out on the water, do you take full advantage of all of the power sources on your boat in the most effective manner possible? Unless you have a complex, automatically controlled system, you probably don’t. Consider of all the power sources you may have: shore power, generator, inverter, alternator, solarpanels, wind turbines, nuclear (okay, maybe not yet). What are the primary benefits and limitations of each, and how can you maximize your efficiencies?

 Shore Power

Obviously, the key benefit of shore power is that it is constant, so long as you’re docked and the power grid is not interrupted.

Eaton Admiral Shore Pedestal

This doesn’t necessarily translate into “unlimited” power however (since it varies according to the shore breaker size), but at least it’s not intermittent. The good news is that you can power all of your onboard devices and charge renewable storage (batteries) as fast as possible, or slower if other demands on the boat increase, while holding them at full charge in preparation to unplug. The main limitation to shore power is that it’s not portable, which is kind of the point of owning a boat, isn’t it?

 

 

Generator

Onan QD 60Hz 27.5kw

 

The main benefit to the generator is that it’s an onboard source of AC current. It’s like taking your shore power with you, except it uses fossil fuels which are limited in supply until you can return to shore. The best way to use a generator is to use it at full bore and shut it down when demand drops below 50% of the generator’s capacity (more on this in the inverter section).

Alternator

When you are underway, your alternator is spinning relentlessly, providing amperage for charging the engine batteries and running electronics. However, once the engine battery is fully charged,what do you do with the alternator? Here’s a nifty tip! If you have a 200A alternator, and the electronics draw less than 50A, consider engaging your battery combiner to channel some of the available amperage to your house batteries. It will charge just like your generator would, but without another engine running!

 

Solar and Wind

Solar and wind are related since the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. These would be supplemental chargers for the battery bank just like the alternator as described in the previous paragraph. Once the house battery is charged, can that excess current be used for another bank? Combine them to take advantage of the free resource…okay, it might not have been free when you priced the components, but since you already have it…use it!

Inverter

Xantrex Freedom HF Inverter

The inverter is a smart substitute for the generator and can even partner with it to produce an efficient use of resources. An inverter really shines when used in two conditions. First, it delivers a low power draw for a long period of time, ideal for use with entertainment systems, or small electrical devices. Second, it is perfect in providing a large draw for a short period of time, say for usage with a microwave, or perhaps a short-term motor. Both of these scenarios are terrific applications for an inverter, whereas using a generator would be totally inefficient. Running a 15kw generator for 500W of electronics doesn’t make sense, and running a generator at 50% capacity for two to five minutes doesn’t allow the engine to warm up, and will eventually wear out engine components. These types of conditions are best suited to the inverter, until the batteries are in need of a charge. At this point run the gen for air conditioners, and charge those batteries back up, then go back to invert.

The Bottom Line

The key to maximizing your power efficiency is to use the available power sources you have to the full benefit of your system. Don’t let a power source go idle when that resource can be directed to another component of your system to be used later.
  

POWER ON!

Next up from Don Wilson: Why is Regulatory Compliance Such a Big Deal? What’s the risk if your onboard electronics lacks it?

 

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Maintenance

This is what I call a company using its head! 

Marine ventilation company Delta T Systems has set a standard for excellence and innovation and following suit, its long-awaited Head Vent System is now in full production. My friends over at the Martin Flory Agency sent me this information and I will be following up with Delta T for a more technical and behind-the-scenes look at what went into its development. But for now, this should be sufficient information for you if you are interested in this kind of equipment.

The Head Vent System uses a single powerful blower to extract air from multiple heads on a vessel.  It is compact, quiet, highly effective and fully automatic. The entire system including the blower, the control unit, and the dampers are housed within a central, remotely-located plenum box. The plenum box measures only 16″ L x 12″ W x 13″ H.  A single Head Vent unit is capable of ventilating up to four heads. The system is fully automatic and requires no input from the user.  Each head is fitted with a highly sensitive motion detector. When someone enters one of the heads, the system automatically initiates the flow of air from that head. When leaving, the system remains on for a preset length of time in order to fully ventilate the space, and then shuts down automatically. The Head Vent System is also available in a manual version where the flow of air is started and stopped using a wall-mounted switch within each of the heads.

The new Head Vent System runs on 24 volts DC and requires only one exhaust port through to the outside of the vessel. It is simple to install, seamless to operate, and it will add value and true functionality to vessels. 

Contact Delta “T” Systems, 858 W 13th Ct., Riviera Beach, FL  33404.  561-204-1500; Fax: 561-848-1611.  info@deltatsystems.com; http://www.deltatsystems.com.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Dock News

Interlux Press Release

Interlux® To Paint Manufacturers: “Put the Tributyl-tin–containing Antifoulings To Bed”

UNION, NEW JERSEY (USA), APRIL 28, 2011 – Interlux, a world leader in antifoulings, says it’s surprised to find companies are still promoting the harmful organotin compound for use in American waters. Prompted by such irresponsible activities, the company issues the following update & advice:

On September 17, 2008, the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships (“AFS Treaty”) was enacted on a global basis (for all countries that have ratified the treaty), banning the presence of Tributyl-tin (“TBT”) on boats. While ratification by the US Congress is still due, this global ban does affect many American boat owners.

Key Facts:

• The harmful environmental effects of organotin compounds were recognized by IMO in 1989.
• In 1990, IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) adopted a resolution recommending that governments establish measures to eliminate the use of antifouling paint containing TBT on hulls less than 25 meters in length.
• In 1999, IMO adopted an Assembly Resolution that called for a global prohibition of TBT-containing antifouling by January 2008.
• In October 2001, the AFS Treaty was adopted.
• On September 17, 2008, the AFS Treaty was enacted. The treaty provided that boats shall not have TBT-antifouling or such compounds on their hulls and external parts and surfaces or shall bear a coating that forms a barrier to such compounds leaching from the underlying, non-compliant antifouling system.
• To date (March 2011), 50 parties have ratified the AFS Treaty, representing over 78% of the world’s shipping tonnage.
• The AFS Treaty bans the sale, application and presence of TBT-based antifoulings.

Considerations for American Boaters

Don’t

• Enter Antigua, Barbuda, Bahamas, Saint Kitts & Nevis with TBT paint on your boat. This is illegal.
• Enter European waters such as the Mediterranean. It’s illegal. The ban has been adopted by the European Union.
• Have TBT-based antifouling applied in the geographical areas noted above. It’s illegal.
• Forget to carry paperwork onboard to show compliance*.
• Try and transport your boat using International Boat Shipping services without confirming and declaring antifouling compliance for the destination port. Port Authority Control can decline entry and/or issue significant fines for breach of Treaty!
• Let other paint companies tell you TBT-containing paint is the right choice. With today’s technology, it is not.
• Forget that Our World is Water.

*The AFS Treaty covers all ships regardless of size but in order to ensure compliance to the treaty only ships over 400 gross tonnage will be required to carry a Certificate showing the current coating is in compliance with the treaty. Ships greater than 24 meters but less than 400 gross tonnage shall be required to carry a Declaration signed by the owner along with an appropriate document such as a paint receipt to show compliance.

Do:
• Select the high performance replacement technologies that work (without the TBT), such as the Self-Polishing Copolymer technology that provides longevity and peace-of-mind. The Interlux product is Micron® 66®.
• Consider the environment and the condition of your local waters. International Paint used TBT in antifouling paints until 2001 when we revolutionized the market with the break-through of the first, copper-based, true Self Polishing Copolymer (SPC) Technology. We found a replacement and we voluntarily withdrew TBT from all our manufacturing sites world-wide, prior to the ban. A responsible company is a pro-active company.
• Refuse stocking or purchasing of TBT-containing antifoulings with the objective of environmental improvement. Great performing replacement technologies are available. Would you paint your kitchen with a lead-based paint, knowing what we know today?

To fully understand the AFS treaty you can view or download a copy from the IMO web site, www.imo.org or at www.antifoulingpaint.com.
AkzoNobel

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The Salty Life

The Salty Life

Winter Blues Finally Turn to Green

I had a thought back there while I was getting my Palm Beach Dock Walk posting together. I mentioned how we here in the northeast, and in particular in New York City, have just come out of a pretty awful winter. Now I know my friends in the midwest, those same stalwart buddies who have, for years, been trying to get me to visit in the vast hinterlands of Michigan and Wisconsin, to sit around a hole in the ice in a shack out on a frozen lake with unlimited amounts of Jaggermeister and other swill at the ready,  laugh most heartily at my complaining. To those wonderful folks then, I do dedicate the following memoir of the New York City Winter of 2013/14, the ones past and those to come. I hope you enjoy it and the spirit in which it was written. It goes something like this:

The Adventures Of An Urban Fisherman

 Braving the wilds of Gotham’s cavernous streets, I take on the Big Apple’s angling challenge.

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

fishing-752584_1280In November, when the north winds blow and the jet stream dips down from the wilds of Canada across the island I have called home all my life, it brings with it the icy chill that stays with this part of the country until well into March. All of my hearty fellows anglers have long since packed up their fishing gear, stripped and oiled down their reels, and put all things pertaining to piscatorial pursuits away until next spring. Some will patiently wait out the winter until they hear that the first flounder has poked its eyes up out of the mud while other unfortunate souls will sadly have at the family fish tank.

It’s different for me. I have long since had my seasonal fill of multi-million dollar, cushy battlewagons outfitted to the hilt with every conceivable electronic instrument, the likes of which can also be found on the space shuttle. And as well, those fishing rods with broomstick-thick tips, high-speed and yes, even electric reels with line capacities capable of girdling the globe. Instead, I have decided to even out the ichthyologic playing field some by becoming an out of the ordinary kind of angler. I am a New York City ice fisherman.

Yes folks, I live in Manhattan, one of the five boroughs that make up the Big Apple. For those of you who slept through the Enlightenment, Manhattan is an island. And while it’s joined to the hinterlands and the neighboring state of New Jersey by no less than 18 bridges and three tunnels, it is indeed surrounded by water. I know. I’ve circumnavigated my island home many times.

We islanders are as tied to the sea now as we have always been. And one of the strongest bonds we have is fishing the waters that surround us. Pshaw, you say? Well, I do admit that even though we’ve gotten a rather bad rap in recent years as to the quality of our local tributaries and the denizens that inhabit it, I haven’t seen a two-headed, six-eyed, glow-in-the-dark fish landed in quite some time now. I’ve had bass in the Bronx, bluefish at the Battery, and flounder in Flatbush. But I digress.

As far as I know, I am the only ice fisherman fishing the island. Given the population of Manhattan hovers around 1,541,150, I’d say I occupy a fairly unique position here. While my fellow metropolitan dwellers scurry hither and yon along the concrete sidewalks of our cavernous city, I, garbed in gear suitable for the purpose, set out for several of my favorite sites that have been the scene of epic battles. Ones that in the past have seen me pitted against the elements and my finny combatants in contests with but one outcome. Always, it’s all or nothing. Take no prisoners. Failure is not an option. Semper Fi marine. Hoo-Rah!

alone-1839190_1280For today’s outing, I have chosen Central Park. The Park, as we islanders know it, was conceived, designed, and built by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux after winning the commission to do so in 1857. They transformed the then swamps, bluffs, and rocky outcroppings into the magnificent 843-acre haven it is today. Among other features, it has equestrian paths, two ice skating rinks, one swimming pool, roadways, open fields, a reservoir, more than 40 bridges, 51 renowned sculptures, statues, and fountains, a conservatory garden, tennis courts, the Delacorte outdoor Shakespearean theater, a castle, a zoo, a model sailboat racing pond, restaurants, one of the greatest art museums in the world on its eastern boundary—that being the Metropolitan Museum of Art—and three lakes. It is the lakes that I will fish today. And my quarry? No less that the scrappy golden shiners, the aggressive largemouth bass, big-shouldered pumpkinseed and bluegill sunfish, fighting carp, and the elusive chain pickerel. All worthy opponents.

My first stop is Rowboat Lake. At 22 acres, it is the largest of The Park’s waterways. Turtle Pond, the smallest, is at the foot of Belvedere Castle right next to the Delacorte bordering the East 79th Street transverse, and the Harlem Meer is uptown at 110th Street and Fifth Avenue. When I arrive, much to my dismay, there is only patchy skin ice covering the placid waters. I expected more of a challenge as the daytime temps have been hovering around the freezing mark and plummeting at night. No need for the hammer and chisel. Undaunted I ready myself for work.

When it comes to this kind of action, I carry two rods with me. In one hand I hold a St. Croix six-foot Legend Elite that I wrapped myself with distinctive patterns taken from Native American motifs.  My reel of choice is nothing less than a Fin-Nor Steel River SR1000 with a spool of four-pound test on it. But slung on my back, in its custom carrying tube with a crush test weight of 600 pounds per square inch, is my pride and joy: An Orvis two-piece, eight-foot-four-inch T-3 with a mid 6.5 flex paired up with a Bat Large Arbor IV reel. Yes, life is good.

With rod and reel ready, I begin with one of my favorite hand tied lures; a perfect replica of a juvenile Blattaria Americanus—the American cockroach, indigenous and prolific to this area—tied with a basic non-slip knot for more natural lure and hook action. I cast. A double whip-out-and-in followed by a full arm push. It hits an open water area with a solid plop. I peel off some line. This “fly” been a good fish raiser in the past and I watch as the splash rings move out from the center. I give the rod tip a little flick, then another, in hopes of coaxing a fish up. I wait for the strike.

A rustle in the bramble to my left diverts my attention for a moment. But that’s all it takes in this kind of game. I hear a splash. Quickly turning around I think I glimpse the tip of a tail disappearing in the inky water. All I see are expanding concentric rings. Time to bring Blattaria in and swap it out for a Lepidotrichidae, one of 370 species of silverfish living in North America. Mine is a work of art.

“Hey buddy,” a raspy voice calls out to me from behind. “Got something for an old veteran?” I really don’t have time for this right now. Any break in concentration will surely mess up my rhythm. But I am a humanitarian at heart and so I turn around to face a fellow human being who has not coped well with life’s ups and downs.

“Tell you what sarge, I have no money on me but I’ll gladly give you something to eat,” I said. It is the absolute truth, as I have no legal tender on me but for my Chase ATM card. Hey, you never know.  He paused for a moment and seemed to ask a question of someone standing off to his left. When the phantom did not give him the answer he was expecting, he steadied his gaze once more on me. “Yeah. Okay. Whatchagot?”     

I pulled out the other half of a great big gourmet sandwich I had left over from Dean & DeLuca, that truly wondrous and fabled food store that opened up a branch east of The Park’s Fifth Avenue border on the corner of Madison Avenue and East 85th Street, and offered it over. “What’s that?” “Honey glazed turkey, avocado, sprouts, red and yellow bell peppers, and romaine lettuce,” I answered. “And this heart-of-palm salad,” I added, holding up the small plastic container, as if that would surely end this exchange. I was eager to see my fellow human being not go without a nourishing meal but just as motivated to get back to the business at hand. I was burning daylight. 

“What kind of bread?” he asked. “Sourdough.” “I’ll pass,” he said and walked off. Obviously, from the look on his face, he was more than content to continue the conversation with the phantom walking along side of him. Over 1,541,150 or so stories in Gotham, and I had to run into this one. 

I worked several spots near the Loeb Boathouse and around the back of the lake. winter-1592830_1280Both the Cherry Hill and Strawberry Fields spots produced nary a nibble. Time to pack up at head for Turtle Pond. Again, I am on the schnide. That’s city street talk for zero. Nada. Zilch. Not even my superb Musca Domestica Linnaeus, the common housefly, or a most wonderful rendition of Hemiptera Gerridae, the wingless water skipper, could entice my quarry up from the deep. And the same fate awaited me uptown at the Harlem Meer. Time for this fisherman to head for the barn. That’s home, in fish parlance.

It’s been a trying day and why they call it fishing and not catching. The sun is very low in a graying sky, and the lights of the buildings around The Park begin to glow amber as evening begins to take over. For me, it’s a short walk home to strip off my fishing gear, put on a pair of sweatpants, sneakers, t-shirt, and polar fleece jacket, and take the dogs—I have two Tibetan Terriers—for a walk.

In the waning hours of what is left of this day, I find that we have aimlessly wandered past Rowboat Lake. For a moment I stop and notice an expanding ring in the lake’s center where no stone had been tossed or breeze swept across its surface. 

 “You win, old fighter,” I whisper, my breath hanging on the night air, glowing with the slight mist of a gossamer web under the blue white light on the side of the lane. “This time.”

If you have your own SALTY LIFE experience and would like to share it with us, please send it in, along with any images, drawings, illustrations, maps, or photos. If it gets posted, I will send you two dozen of my world famous, hand made, chocolate chip cookies. Promise. And don’t forget to let me know if you have any food allergies, like with nuts, so I won’t load them up with pecan, walnut, or macademias. You’re going to love ’em. Fair winds shipmates! -Capt. Ken

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in The Salty Life

 

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Palm Beach Dock Walking

By Capt. Ken Kreisler

sailboat-747022_1280One of the reasons I enjoy attending the Palm Beach Boat Show is that I get the chance to leisurely stroll the docks, stopping to chat  and catch up with industry as well as boating friends without constantly looking over my shoulder at who is going to interrupt the conversation. It’s a ‘doable’ show and quite unlike Miami/Lauderdale, I never feel pressured to get it all in within a limited amount of time. Then there’s the usual great weather this time of year here, and given the kind of winter I had upon my island home of Manhattan, the sunshine and warm temps were greatly appreciated. Of course, with all this relaxed space in which to get things done, I can easily, and guiltless, knowing I can come back the next morning and pick up where I left off, get away in the afternoon and play nine holes of golf at a nearby club.

So, I arrived at this year’s show early on Thursday morning to attend the media meet hosted by Show Management’s Skip Zimbalist and the Pearson Grant PR group. The bagels were just okay–I’m a New Yorker folks, so don’t try to pass off a South Florida bagel with pre-packaged cream cheese on this boychik–and the pecan danish rated a respectable 6.8 out of 10 on Capt. Ken’s Breakfast Treat-O-Meter. The thought was there and greatly appreciated. The green tea was quite tasty, though. 

I ran into some familiar faces during that first morning breakfast on the beat; freelance journalist Liz Pasch, who with her husband Juan are two of the nicest folks you would ever want to meet;  long-time photographer friend Billy Black, with whom I’ve spent many a good time on both business assignments as well as just hanging out with no particular place to go; videographer Suki Finnerty, who shot many of my videos during my years at Power & Motoryacht, and former colleague Dean Travis Clarke. Familiar industry guy Mike Dickman was also there with an announcement that one of his entrepreneurial endeavors, that being his Boatquest.com, an online classified site, is now part of the growing concern headed up by the same man who runs Show Management and AIM Media; our very host, Skip Zimbalist. For those of you who slept through the Enlightenment and the Renaissance, AIM is a powerhouse in enthusiast magazines and related consumer shows, including the much-lauded and prestigious Ft. Lauderdale event, the Yacht & Brokerage Show at Miami,  this Palm Beach show, and the St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat show, among others. AIM is also into books and internet sites. Ergo, Dickman’s online project. I wish them well and hope this one plays out in the positive for both.

Anyway, with so many bagels and plenty of cream cheese packets left over (and no lox, by the way,) although I have to admit, the hazelnut spread was kind of tasty for packaged stuff, and the entire morning before me, it was time for this logo-free journalist to get out on the docks, to stroll the boards at a friendly pace, unhurried, and with no particular agenda to focus on. Just taking it all in and looking for some good copy and conversation with a few friends.

First stop was with Anchor Yachts’ Sandy and Forest Roberts at the Hampton display. I’ve known this amiable boating couple for many years now–Forest had a recent knee replacement and dropped enough weight to be quite svelte for an old salt–ever since I covered one of the first Hampton Yachts that started to appear Stateside. Capt. Forest, by the way, is one of the most accomplished skippers I’ve ever met and knows his boats better than anyone. In fact, he’s so good at it that Jeff Chen, Hampton’s dynamic founder and owner, listens carefully to Roberts’ input whenever a new model is being planned. Sandy does all the interior designing for the Anchor boats and has a loyal and admiring following among her boat owners.

With it still early in the morning, and the docks relatively easy to traverse–unlike Saturdays and Sundays, what with all the trophy wives and tire kickers crowding things up a bit enough for me to be forced to hanging ten and partaking in some nifty dock surfing–Sandy and I gave the interior of the new 620 a look-see. Hampton, always known for its excellent use of living and entertaining space, did not disappoint and afterwards, I met Forest in the engine room and lazarette space.

I’ve always contended that a boat should be looked at from the inside out, meaning engine room, and while I remarked to Sandy, when she pointed out a simple, and quite stylish locking device on the big refrigerator unit in the galley, that if Hampton took care of this little gadget, think of what they figured out for the big things. Case in point here folks, is the engine room on this boat. It’s everything the hands-on owner or skipper could want. Plenty of working room, redundant systems, and absolutely no cluttered spaces. Everything where it should be, within easy reach and all critical maintenance areas so well-placed that you couldn’t bang an elbow or skin a knuckle if you tried. I’ll be going into more detail about the Hampton 620 as soon as I get back on the boat and put her through her paces. www.anchoryt.com. (888) 221-1320.

Now, just before I said goodbye to Sandy and Forest, he pointed out a gizmo he found out there in the marketplace and liked it so much, he mounted one on the bulkhead in the 620’s lazarette and like most important pieces of equipment aboard, the Pipe Defender is now standard.

Basically, and as described by both Forest and Tom Bean, the company’s manager who just happened to have a display set up between the Hampton dock and the Maestro/Apreamare slips and gave me a pretty convincing demonstration, Pipe Defender seems to be a nifty, and green, way to combat the growth of clams and biological organisms in the raw water system. What Bean and his team have devised is that by installing a chlorine production cell in the sea chest or as an inline option, the controlling unit is able to create a salt chlorine generator using the available sea water and introducing DC current passed through Titanium fins. This is turn separates the naturally occurring sodium chloride–NaCl for you chemistry buffs–in the salt water and voila! Environmentally friendly chlorine, the nemesis of clams and biological growth, will keep the cooling raw water flowing and the system’s pipes free of restriction. Bean claims all safeguards have been taken with isolating the DC output from any other circuit and stands behind the system’s operational capabilities as long as it’s used in water temps above 60 F and not in fresh water. I’ll be doing a far more comprehensive evaluation of the unit in the near future as well as following up with Forest to see how it fares aboard the Hampton 620. In the meantime, if you have any questions for Bean, you can visit the company Website at www.pipedefender.com or give him a call at (772) 370-0866. Tell him Capt. Ken sent you.

As long as I was there, I stopped in to see old friends Michael Landsberg and Marc-Udo Broich of the Maestro/Apreamare group. Michael, late of Vicem Yachts, where as president of the U.S. division, was very influential in establishing the brand here and  recruited by Marc, the former president of Aicon and now Maestro’s CEO and guiding Stateside force, to join his sales team. On display, the Maestro 65 American Series.

The philosophy behind the American Series is to enable the Italian builder to offer vessels that are more in tune with U.S. buyers who want something different, as in Euro styling to set them apart from cookie-cutter designs, but with features more common to  the American markets. These  include  hydraulic swim platforms, larger fly bridges, new interior layouts, and more choices in woods including mahogany, cherry, and teak offered in high gloss, semi or matte finishes. Look for a more detailed review and hopefully, a comprehensive video presentation as well. www.apreamareyachts.com

While I drifted down the docks, I say a quick hello to Jarrett Bay’s Randy Ramsey as he sat aboard his latest pride and joy, the 46-foot Persistence  built for NASCAR race driver Jeff Burton. As anyone in the custom and semi-custom circle knows, Randy and his crew build beautiful Carolina boats and this one is the builder’s  first pod drive-powered sportfish boat and features Caterpillar C9 ACERT diesels with Zeus Pods rated at 575-hp each. According to Jarrett Bay, the boat cruises at 30.5 and hit a top speed of 35.5 knots. “Hey Ken,” Ramsey says in that pleasant, delightful, and butter-smooth North Carolina drawl of his. “Good t’see ya. Everything okay? ” he calls over with a smile, a nod of his head, and a wave of one hand. “Looking good, boss,” I say, noting he is busy speaking with someone seated next to him. “Catch you on the way back,” I wave back and continue on. www.jarrettbay.com

And that’s when the Axcell 650 banner catches my eye. Now, I’m a self-admitted eclectic type of person and I find myself often drawn to anything that is more interesting and different from what is the usual and accepted. As my Website logo says: “Anyone can row with the current.”

From the outside, the Axcell 650 Catamaran Sport Yacht  offers a sleek, eye-catching low profile design with distinctive ‘gill-slit’ intakes on each side, which, by the way, and as I would soon find out, have been specifically designed for an additional and important performance function. But what really began to interest me was something written on the banner that stretched across the transom: “With Patented HybridAir™ Technology.” Now that was something that pinged my radar and waiting my turn to get aboard, listened carefully from dockside as I started to pick up some buzz words from someone wearing an Axcell shirt.

Brian Barsumian, who along with his dad Bruce, are the principals in the company responsible for this daring design and technology. They call it MACS Research Inc., the capital letters standing for Multi Air Cavity Ships™ and have been at it for some 13 years now with the result of their research and work sitting right there in the dock.

The 650, designed by J.C. Espinosa of Stuart, Florida-based Espinosa Inc., is a beautiful looking boat both inside and out. My opinion. Some simply do not like the catamaran styling nor the lines. However, I found her to be  a head turner and mine was going back and forth, looking here and there as I got the cook’s tour with Brian. I hope to get back on with both Bruce and Brian at a later date for a comprehensive sea trial and walk through, and perhaps a sit-down with Mr. Espinosa as well, but for now, I noted how well this prototype is finished off in yacht quality fashion with copious amounts of room available enabling her owners and guests to be away from the dock for long periods of time. And there’s a 16-foot, 90-hp RIB tender tucked into a garage in the stern.

With lots of folks queuing up for a look-see, and realizing of course that they had to show the boat, I slipped into the starboard sponson’s engine room with Brian for a quick tour. I got the layout and technology very quickly. The boat has been designed to pump low pressure air, much like a hovercraft does, via a pair of automated lift fans working off the twin C-18 Caterpillar 1,150-hp turbo diesels. And yes, those ‘gill slit’ intakes are all part of the technology that gets this 59,000 pound vessel cruising, according to the Axcell literature, along at a 38-knot cruise speed. This is a very cool boat and one that I am definitely coming back for. Stand by. I’ll let you know when it’s happening. www.axcellyachts.com

Well that’s it for today folks. I’m going to keep reviewing my notes and I’ll be posting some more reflections real soon.

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Uncategorized