Monday Minute

Monday Minute - When the Outboard Goes Overboard

Monday Minute - When the Outboard Goes Overboard

How to save a two-stroke outboard after it goes underwater. Scott Flanders explains how you can save a two-stroke.

Submerged four-stroke outboards are a different story and unlikely to be fixable. The replacement of an outboard is expensive, assuming you can even find one while cruising.

Monday Minute - Extending Anchor Chain

Monday Minute - Extending Anchor Chain

If you need to connect two lengths of anchor chain, there are numerous ways to do so. Here is one product I found that seems to be the best of available choices.

Monday Minute - Form Must Follow Function

Monday Minute - Form Must Follow Function

The design of a recessed waste fitting proved to not allow us to use a nearby pumpout station. Perhaps a future boat project?

Monday Minute - Cruising to Stay Close

Monday Minute - Cruising to Stay Close

The struggles of many of today's young parents are quite a contrast to the families who choose to take the family and go cruising. The dynamics of living and working together on a boat are more intimate and focused than the hurried routines of family life ashore.

Perhaps more people could benefit from the synergy of living together aboard a boat. 

Monday Minute - Summary of the Navy's Official Incident Review

Monday Minute - Summary of the Navy's Official Incident Review

We've heard the unbelievable reports of Navy warships colliding with merchant ships, with loss of life among the Navy crew. How can this happen in our modern world, with all of the technology and control systems at our disposal!?!

Here is a comprehensive review of the four recent incidents in 2017, which reveal amazing issues and problems to be addressed at all levels. Reading these summary review findings gives insight into the complexity of today's warships.

And please take away from this that the initial fears of Russian cyberattacks did not occur, yet such a threat adds a chilling, what-if component to the reported scenarios.

This is serious business in a world that is increasingly dangerous, with threats we have yet to experience.

Monday Minute - The Right Tool for the Job

Monday Minute - The Right Tool for the Job

With so many choices out there, it is easy to get into more boat than you need, or even the wrong boat entirely. It is best to identify what your needs really are and search for a cruising boat that best matches that mission statement.

Monday Minute - Using Technology to Watchdog Systems

Blue Angel's  helm is compact but I added some great utility with the NEMA 2000 network. If your engines can be connected to a network, you can monitor so much more than having a few analog helm gauges.

Blue Angel's helm is compact but I added some great utility with the NEMA 2000 network. If your engines can be connected to a network, you can monitor so much more than having a few analog helm gauges.

On my last two boats, I created an onboard NEMA 2000 network, as the engines were contemporary enough (aka electronic) to allow me to connect their electronic control modules (ECM) into a network through one of Maretron's excellent gateway interface and bridge modules. While I have not yet fully expanded on the potential possibilities of this network beyond engine information on a small Maretron display, I have the basic essentials to create some pretty neat control and alarm functionality.

Whether you have a sailboat or cruising powerboat, if your engine is electronic, you have the opportunity to create a vastly useful network over which all sorts of useful information can be tracked and monitored. Even some older engines can be successfully connected. Check out Maretron's website to learn all about information networks. https://www.maretron.com/ 

Steve Dashew showed me an example of what is possible on his FPB 78, Cochise, which also has a NEMA 2000 network. He was especially happy to explain how great a particular Maretron product is and how he takes advantage of its ability to keep an eye on his engine room.

He installed Maretron TMP100 black box modules (https://maretron.com/products/tmp100.php) into his boat's network, and each TMP100 can monitor temperatures using up to six accessory temperature sensors. 

TMP100_web.jpg

He put these sensors on his shaft logs, so he can monitor if the temperature increases if the packing gland nut is too tight. He has temperature probes on the engines' raw water pumps, Aqualift mufflers, and exhaust injection elbows. By having these sensors physically in contact with critical components, he knows real time when something is amiss, as any significant increase in temperature means something has happened, such a sudden loss of raw water flowing through the cooling circuit.

Temperature probes in the exhaust system of one of the FPB's John Deere diesel engines.

Temperature probes in the exhaust system of one of the FPB's John Deere diesel engines.

He also has temperature sensors on the engines' alternators, so he will know right away if one of the alternators is failing, as an alarm will sound through the ship's network.

I could have used this temperature monitor last summer, after I ran Blue Angel WOT for a brief time to check that it still hit the top speed of 42 knots. It did, but the high rpm caused a hose to came off the outlet of the heat exchanger. Raw water continued to pump through the heat exchanger, but instead of moving into the exhaust manifold to cool down the engine exhaust gases, it discharged into the bilge. Engine temperature remained normal, as it was being cooled just fine, but without raw water in the wet exhaust system, temperatures soared quickly. Before I realized there was an issue, a ECM alarm sounded as the exhaust gases were too high, and the rubber hose connecting the manifolds were already melting. The bilge pump ran all the while but there was nothing to alert me that it was on, keeping the boat afloat. The water stopped as soon as I shut down the engine, but not before I ruined three hoses on the Volvo Penta 8.1 liter gas engine.

Smoke and the smell of melting rubber is not what I planned for this day. Note the blown crossover hose. Very sad.

Smoke and the smell of melting rubber is not what I planned for this day. Note the blown crossover hose. Very sad.

So an upcoming project will be to install a Maretron TMP100 temperature module, with probes located to notify me if something like this happens again, before I cause any damage. I believe I can set up alarms in my Garmin multifunction display so that any increases in temperature in an exhaust elbow or raw water pump are quickly detected and set off a specific alarm.

I already have a Maretron DMS150 multifunction display at the helm to provide engine information coming from the ECM, so perhaps I can duplicate this temperature information on this display as well.

I've been reading a lot recently about digital electricity and it seems we will soon be able to monitor most every system on a boat, including a ship's electrical system. Using new algorithms that sample and measure the flow of electricity, it will be possible to identify a piece of electrical equipment, even a lightbulb, before it fails because we will be able to detect a change in its digital footprint. Yup, pretty cool stuff on the horizon.

Have a great week.

Great morning run.JPG

Have a great week.

Monday Minute - Life in the Fast Lane

Monday Minute - Life in the Fast Lane

The pace of change has picked up and we need to move a little quicker to keep current. This used to the case in one's professional career, but now it reaches every aspect of our lives. 

Monday Minute - Safety on the Water using IoT

Monday Minute - Safety on the Water using IoT

Weems & Plath introduced a new safety device at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis. I think it is pretty creative as it uses Bluetooth connectivity to link a smartphone to a wearable transponder. If the signal is lost, or the unit is immersed in water, the smartphone sounds the alarm with sound, strobe, and vibration.

It is a new application of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.

Monday Minute - Benefit Party to Help Hurricane Victims

Monday Minute - Benefit Party to Help Hurricane Victims

A special hurricane relief event is scheduled for the first day of the sailboat show in Annapolis. For those who donate $75 or more to several relief organizations, the Donor Appreciation Party will be held at the close of the show, with free food and drinks. The donations will go directly to relief efforts in the BVIs.

Monday Minute - An Admiral's Secret to Running A Ship

Monday Minute - An Admiral's Secret to Running A Ship

The Recovering Warrior Sailing Regatta took place this weekend in Annapolis. It takes disabled military out for a day of sailboat racing with midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy, put on by the USNA, National Sailing Hall of Fame, and Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB).

I got a chance to spend time with Admiral Phil Cullom, who shared his approach to commanding a Navy destroyer.

Monday Minute - Hurricanes and Cyclone Pits

Monday Minute - Hurricanes and Cyclone Pits

We still have two months to go in hurricane season and the weather is not playing nice. We just survived Harvey and now Irma is out there. Can we please just fast forward to November?

Monday Minute - A Damn Fine Measure of Engine Durability

Monday Minute - A Damn Fine Measure of Engine Durability

Monitoring fuel consumed instead of engine hours is how Caterpillar measured its workhorse 3208 diesel engine for mean time between overhauls. That was a very sensible approach, providing a better view of how hard an engine has worked during its life. 

Monday Minute - Cleaners That Really Work

Monday Minute - Cleaners That Really Work

Doing the Loop? Been on the Tenn-Tom or Carolina ICW recently? Then you know about the dreaded mustache that forms on your boat's bow.

Now that the trip is done, or that section is behind you, how best to get your hull clean again?

Monday Minute - Time to Repaint!

Monday Minute - Time to Repaint!

When elbow-tiring, hand-rubbed compounding and waxing no longer does the job, it may be time to paint your boat. Gelcoat is not intended as a forever finish, and 11 years was perhaps waiting too long. No worries, striking beauty is only a paint job and $$$$ away. And it is the start of the effort to take this great Hunt design and make it into the great boat it should be. 

Monday Minute - How Hard to Run Your Diesel

Monday Minute - How Hard to Run Your Diesel

Knowing how to properly run your propulsion engine is the key to long term health care in your engine room. I share great advice from Alaska Diesel that relates to all pre-ECM diesel engines, both power and sail.

Monday Minute - Exhaust Systems, The Achilles Heel of Boating

Monday Minute - Exhaust Systems, The Achilles Heel of Boating

Marine exhaust systems are not perfect, and each system variation has its good and bad points. Awareness is key, and knowing you must address this on a regular basis, regardless of engine hours.

Monday Minute - Keeping Your Batteries Clean.

Monday Minute - Keeping Your Batteries Clean.

Our first Monday Minute, sharing a piece of useful information from traveling around the world, visiting boat builders and suppliers to our industry. Due to the enormous diversity of the global marine world, spanning commercial, recreational, and military segments, many of these professionals know much more than we will ever experience during our boating years.

I find their tips and comments worth considering.