Saturday, September 29, 2007

Big win in Washington for recreational boaters

Though many recreational boaters have been unaware of the impending disaster that proposed legislation on ballast water would have caused, it looks like we may have finally dodged the bullet. According to Soundings Trade Only, here's what happened:

U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., unequivocally committed themselves to resolve the issue before a September 2008 permitting deadline.

“A recent court ruling has cast doubt on whether recreational boaters — people going out for a day of fishing, or waterskiing — can continue to operate without a permit from the EPA,” Nelson said in a statement. “They've never been required to have such a permit, and there's no reason for that to change. You shouldn't have to ask the EPA before you take your boat out on the water.”

Environmental groups and several states’ Attorney Generals successfully argued in a U.S. District Court case last fall that ballast water should not be exempted from government regulation as a pollutant because it introduces harmful invasive species into U.S. waters. Large ocean-going ships use ballast water for stability, taking on water to weigh the vessel down.

However, the court’s ruling also includes boat-engine cooling water, bilge water, gray water and common deck runoff. The court directed the Environmental Protection Agency to develop what the NMMA says is “a complex and costly permitting scheme” for the nation’s estimated 18 million boats by September 2008.

“I don’t think they should have to get these permits,” said Boxer, chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in a statement. “I’ve committed with Senator Nelson to make sure we fix this before that time. We are going to make sure that individual boaters do not need permits — that’s as simple as it gets. That’s my commitment, and it will happen.”

Friday, September 28, 2007

George Lee moves to Beacon Marine Credit

George Lee, a name synonymous with marine lending on the Gulf Coast, has moved to Beacon Marine Credit as their Southeastern U.S. representative. He handles the financing for my customers' boats and he is a great resource for figuring out how to get a boat paid for! His home office is in Jacksonville, Florida and he handles financing for Northern Florida, the Panhandle, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the Carolinas.

According to the statement released today by Beacon Marine Credit, "George brings over 35 years of marine industry experience to the Beacon Marine Sales team, spending the last nine years of his career offering retail financing solutions to dealers and brokers throughout the Southeastern United States. George can be reached at 904-629-5817 or toll free at 866-612-1184."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

How to change a water pump impeller...

The following was contributed by Randy Smith, owner of Attitude, a 1997 Beneteau 351 Oceanis. About 90% of overheating problems on diesel engines can be traced back to a bad raw-water impeller. Since the Yanmar 3GM30 is perhaps the most common diesel engine on mid-size sailboats built in the last 15 years, we thought it would be helpful to show you how to replace the impeller!

Even if you don't have a Yanmar 3GM30 on your boat (even if you have a
gasoline powered boat, for that matter), the impeller replacement is essentially the same on every engine. Find the raw water pump, take it apart, replace the impeller, go have a beer. Just like that!

Randy says:

The Yanmar 3GM30F is a wonderful 27 hp diesel used during the 90’s. She’s a solid performer if we stay on top of maintenance.

My Yanmar is a fresh water cooled engine, and the fresh water passes through a heat exchanger that is cooled with raw water. The most common failure of this system is the little rubber raw water pump impeller. Here’s how to replace it.

List of parts and tools:
Impeller: Yanmar part # 128296-42070 (Johnson #827)
Gasket: Yanmar part # 124233-4211
12 mm wrench
9/32” wrench
Impeller puller or needle-nosed pliers
Difficulty: Easy, less than 30 minutes.

The raw water pump has its own pulley and dedicated belt. The pump is on the forward starboard corner of your engine, or lower left as you look at the front.

It is necessary to remove the pump to get to the impeller. There are only two bolts and two hose clamps. Loosen the hose clamps (no need to remove). Remove the two bolts and lift the belt off of the pulley.

Pull the pump away from the engine far enough to spin it over so you can remove the 6 small bolts holding on the back cover. Be prepared for water from the hoses to run out of the pump when the cover is removed (Shouldn’t be more than a couple of cups).

Note the direction of the impeller flanges before pulling it out with an impeller puller or a pair of pliers. Also notice there is a key notch in the impeller when its time to install the new impeller.

Make sure the pump is clean and the pulley spins freely. Install the new impeller, again paying close attention to the direction of the flanges. I find it easier if I put a zip-tie around the impeller tight enough to get the flanges to lay over in the correct direction. The zip-tie will slip off as I push the impeller into the pump.

Using a new gasket, replace the cover and tighten the six small bolts. Spin the pump back around and slide the belt over the pulley. (Make sure it’s in the correct groove on the main pulley.) Install the two bolts, and adjust the belt as you tighten the bolts. Don’t forget to tighten the hose clamps.

I like to finish by cleaning out the strainer and filling up the hose with some water. It’s now time to fire up the engine and look for leaks!

For complete instructions on changing water pump impellers and any and all other repairs to Yanmar diesel engines, the new Yanmar shop manual was released on August 21, 2010. YOU CAN BUY YOUR COPY HERE.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

LifeTag - Now your GPS might just save your life...

Wow! Somebody over at Raymarine was really thinking when they came up with this!

Raymarine just introduced LifeTag, a wireless Man Overboard (MOB) system that can be fully integrated into all Raymarine C-Series and E-Series multifunction displays. Here is how it works:
The unit you see above is worn on each crewmember's wrist (or around a pet's neck, for our furry sea-going friends). The unit works on it's proximity to the base station. If the unit is immersed in water, travels further than 30 feet from the base unit, or the red panic button is pressed for more than 3 seconds the system's audible alarm is activated to alert the rest of the crew. Then the GPS kicks in and tracks the overboard crewmember, guiding the rescue to the exact location of the LifeTag.

The LifeTag starter system includes
2 LifeTag Wireless Pendants, LifeTag base station, batteries, straps, alarm module, power cable and handbook for $685. Additional LifeTag Pendants are $115 each. For larger boats that require more than a 30-foot range, additional RF Base Stations can be purchased to extend the range for $469. All these components are available through your local Raymarine dealer. I got the pricing from Raymarine's website, so I'm assuming that it is suggested retail.

On a side note, you don't just have to go overboard for this to be handy. If you're on a midnight watch and everyone is asleep when a fire breaks out on board, that panic button will come in mighty handy for waking everyone up and getting them to safety. You can bet one of these babies will be on my wrist for the next long-distance delivery I do!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Getting Right-of-Way all WRONG!!!

Makes me cringe just to watch it. Almost happened to me once with a barge in the fog. Not cool.

The Gulf Mariner is no more...

Some sad news to report, I'm afraid. The Gulf Mariner has decided to cease publishing immediately. The primary reasons for the decision are the current market conditions and the fact that their sales manager (and friend of mine and many) had a serious motorcycle accident in July and his injuries prevent his returning to work.

I spoke to their publisher Ken Brothwell and he told me that they'll be concentrating all their efforts on The Florida Mariner, the sister publication to The Gulf Mariner.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in our area to fill the gap left by the Mariner. It was the only really local magazine concentrating on Gulf Coast boating and boats for sale. There are some others that come close (Southern Boating, Louisiana Sportsman, Marsh & Bayou, etc...), but none with the Mariner's narrow focus on boating in this area.

They will be missed!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hunter leading the way with Certified Pre-Owned Boats...

Hunter Marine ( has always been an innovator. Its part of the reason they are the number one selling production sailboat in North America. (Full disclosure: I used to work for a Hunter dealer.) They were the first to introduce the B&R rig (a marconi rig with no backstay), the overhead traveler arch, and the sugar scoop transom.

It should come as no surprise, then, that they are leading the way once again with an idea whose time has come. They are currently in the process of rolling out their Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Hunter Program.

Certified Pre-Owned cars have been available for several years now, and it is widely recognized as a mark of quality. Hunter hopes to achieve the same ends with their line of sailboats. I spoke with Eric Macklin at Hunter on Friday and he gave me the details.

Hunter sailboats up to 7 years old qualify for the program. The boat will go through a rigorous 160-point inspection and reconditioning before it will be certified. Upon certification, the boat will then be sold with a one-year warranty on key parts and components. This will give buyers peace of mind and will no doubt increase the resale value of certified Hunters.

“The concept of CPO has been a standard of the automotive industry for years, and we’re very proud to be the first manufacturer to bring the benefits to sailboat buyers,” John Peterson, Hunter’s director of sales and marketing, said in a statement. “We’ve been working on this program for a long time and are thrilled that it has arrived at a time when the climate is favorable for our dealers to embrace it.”

Not all Hunter dealers qualify for the program, so be sure to check with your local dealer to find out. And be ready to start seeing CPO boats popping up for sale on the market. Hunter even plans to roll out a listing service that includes all the CPO boats currently for sale.

Welcome to Boat Wizard!

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Dave Guilford, an avid boater and the owner of True South Yacht Services in Mandeville, Louisiana. I started this blog because so many people ask me for the best solution to a given boating problem and I thought I could help more people by publishing those solutions. Also, it gives me a chance to highlight the boating products I've personally tested and found to be worthwhile, and provides a forum for news from the boating community and interaction among fellow boaters.

Feel free to email me with boating-related questions and I'll do my best to answer them. From time to time I may have some of the experts I use answer your questions if they are beyond my considerable experience. Between all of us, we'll figure it out!

Again, thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the blog!

Fair Winds..._/)