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Archive for May, 2008

Bolzan & Pilot Team Win Melges 24 Pre-World Regatta

Friday, May 30th, 2008

PORTO CERVO, ITALY – The second and final day of the Volvo Melges 24 Pre-World Championship Regatta at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo brought respite from yesterday’s storms. In sparkling Costa Smeralda sunshine with a breeze that built steadily from 12 to around 20 knots, racing concluded with two outstanding races.
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Boat Smart 23rd Season Begins with Timely Life-Saving Rescue

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

What a great way to launch the Boat Smart column’s 23rd season with a story of a timely life-saving rescue. Now the story.

Friday, May16, 2008, Station Ludington, Lake Michigan. Coast Guard Station Ludington received a call on the International Distress Frequency, VHF-FM Channel 16, at 5:25 p.m. The captain of a 28-foot powerboat reported he had lost his starboard engine and was proceeding towards Ludington on his port engine. He provided his GPS position and requested that the Coast Guard monitor his progress. Soon after his initial call the captain reported that his port engine had failed and that the boat was now adrift and taking on water with five people aboard.

Coast Guard Station Ludington launched a 30-foot rescue boat and within 17 minutes reached the disabled craft 7.8 miles due west of Ludington Harbor. “The boat was listing to port,” said Coast Guard coxswain, Tim Evans. The Coast Guard crew removed a 15-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl, their mother and father and the captain. All were wearing life jackets.

Two Coasties then boarded the boat with a dewatering pump. “When they lifted the engine hatches water was at the deck, “ said Evans. A series of six-foot swells rolled over the stern driving the stern down and bow up. The boat sank, with the pump, leaving the two crewmen floundering in the 46-degree water.

“We pulled the crewmen aboard. It’s a good thing they were wearing dry suits,” said Evans.

The 410 foot long car ferry S.S. Badger transiting from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Ludington also picked up the distress call over Channel 16. “My second mate on watch, Allan Chrenka, intercepted the call and at the time the distress vessel was about six miles off our bow,” said Captain Dean Hobbs. Captain Hobbs notified his company officials of the situation and requested permission to assist the distressed vessel if necessary.

Authorization was granted. Captain Hobbs placed the engine room on standby and directed his deck crew to make ready their rescue boat. As it was the Coast Guard rescue boat reached the vessel moments before the Badger arrived on scene. The Badger continued on to Ludington Harbor
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Boat Smart Brief

What a joy it is to pass along smart boating behavior that resulted in the timely rescue of five people. I love writing these stories.

Much of the success of this rescue is due to Bob Boyd, captain of the ill-fated 28-foot boat. Let’s review some key factors that led to a successful rescue.

Float Plan. Mr. Boyd and friends come over on the car ferry Badger to Manitowoc, Wisconsin to pick up his 28-foot Carver from winter storage. His plan was to follow the Badger on the 60-mile track across Lake Michigan to Ludington. Earlier while aboard Badger he had advised Badger officials of his intentions. Although the Badger was not responsible for tracking his voyage at least somebody other that the captain was aware of his voyage and his expected time of arrival in Ludington.

It can’t be stressed enough that boaters inform family or friends of why, where, and when the boating will take place, the boat’s description and name, and whether it carries a marine radio or cell phone and the number. Should an emergency develop, that information will allow searchers to execute a timely rescue.

Boat Checks Before departing Manitowoc, Mr. Boyd made sure all appropriate safety equipment was aboard especially life jackets; electronics including the radio were properly functioning along with bilge pumps and navigation lights. While departing Manitowoc harbor he had opened the deck engine hatches to make sure he was not taking on water. A prudent move especially after a long winter storage.

Immediate Notification When Mr. Boyd, lost his starboard engine, he immediately called the Coast Guard on VHF-FM Channel 16 and advised them of the causality and his position. The Badger also picked up the distress call. I urge boaters to call immediately should they have concerns about the boat, health issues of people aboard, or weather. Mr. Boyd had no idea soon after making the initial call the other engine would die nor that the boat was taking on water. When he placed the second call the Coast Guard and the Badger knew his position and were ready to respond. Having a marine radio is a huge advantage because other vessels can hear the distress call.

Had Mr. Boyd not lost the second engine the Coast Guard would have monitored his passage until he was safely moored. Let me stress again immediately call the Coast Guard should trouble arise. It’s a win, win for all.

Life Jackets Not only were there enough life jackets aboard for the crew, Mr. Boyd, after the second engine failed, directed all aboard to don life jackets. At the first hint of trouble with the boat or weather, don life jackets. Recreational boats can quickly sink as illustrated in this case.

Kudos I salute coasties Tim Evans, Mike Smith and Michael Williams who manned the rescue boat, and Captain Hobbs and his crew.

Mishap Cause: The boat sank in 350 feet of water so the exact cause will never be known. Mr. Boyd asked me what I would have done differently. I advised I would’ve followed Coast Guard standard operating procedures and made engine checks every hour. Although he did open the engine deck hatches when he initially got underway, thereafter with two to four-foot seas and with an inexperienced crew, we agreed that engine checks were no longer an option.

Mr. Boyd’s situational awareness and timely action resulted in the quick rescue of five people. Boat Smart, follow his lead, take command.

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Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s 2008 Superyacht Regatta

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

PORTO CERVO, ITALY – The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s (YCCS) inaugural Boat International Superyacht Regatta, scheduled for 22-26 June, has guaranteed its first-year success with a roster of impressive entrants, a world-class alliance of hosts and organizers, and a breathtaking setting.
(more…)

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Yale Retains Lead at 2008 ICSA Championships

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Newport, Rhode Island – With the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms in the forecast for day two of the 2008 ICSA Women’s National Championship, racing was underway by 10:00 a.m. in a moderate southwest breeze that allowed both A- and B-Divisions to complete four races each by the break for lunch. As the morning haze burned off, the 15-20 southwesterly gave the competitors plenty to work with on Narragansett Bay as four additional races were completed just as a line of clouds threatened to bring showers to the racecourse. (more…)

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NYYC – Newest IRC Boats to Compete

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

NEWPORT, R.I. – Some of the world’s hottest new IRC designs are gathering in Newport, R.I., this summer, and the New York Yacht Club 154th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex promises to provide the first glimpse of their collective-competitive prowess. “It’s going to be ultra competitive,” said Dan Meyers (Boston, Mass.) about the on-water action he expects at the June 13-15 event, which precedes the 2008 Newport to Bermuda Race, a high-profile ocean race for which these same boats are preparing. “It’s the first time in years that a new group of race boats like this has formed, and it will be our first real go at each other.” (more…)

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Costa Smeralda YC to Host Volvo Melges 24 Worlds

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

Porto Cervo, Italy – When Melges 24 sailors dream of the perfect regatta venue, you can be sure they are visualizing crystal clear waters, great surfing waves, strong breezes, world class race management, a welcoming host club and competing against the very best sailors in the world.

That dream will come true in spectacular fashion for over 100 teams when they gather in Porto Cervo on Sardinia’s legendary Costa Smeralda from May 28-June 6 to compete for the Volvo Melges 24 World Championship 2008. Hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) this eleventh Melges 24 World Championship looks set to break records for the overall number of competitors, the number of nations represented and the number of Corinthian (all amateur) teams racing.

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s reputation for hosting some of the most prestigious sailing events in the world is well-established and second to none. Founded in 1967 in one of the most beautiful locations in the world, YCCS looks forward to welcoming the Melges 24 fleet for it’s first world championship to be held on Italian waters.

“The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda is delighted to welcome such a large and international fleet of Melges 24 sailors for what is sure to be a thrilling world championship,” said YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo. “This is a highly competitive class and the regatta course off Porto Cervo provides varied and challenging conditions; we are looking forward to some spectacular racing in what will be one of the highlights of our 2008 calendar.”

Title sponsor Volvo’s support of the class is already well established through the hugely successful Italian Volvo Cup regatta series. The Melges 24 joined the initially multi-class Volvo Cup circuit in 2004 and for 2008 the Volvo Cup is exclusively focused on the Melges 24 class. The IMCA is delighted that Volvo is continuing this generous support through the title sponsorship of the Volvo Melges 24 World Championship 2008.

“We are pleased to be supporting the Porto Cervo event,” said Michele Crisci, Managing Director, Volvo Auto Italia. “Volvo has a strong commitment to sports in general and sailing in particular, Volvo Ocean Race being the most prestigious example of that commitment. Furthermore, we are also particularly proud of our support to the Melges 24 class, which has already proved to be a sailors’ favorite and one of the most interesting competitions in the sailing world.”

As always the fleet will include a host of Olympic and America’s Cup stars along with champions from many other classes. There will also be an exceptionally strong Corinthian division of all amateur crews racing head-to-head against professional and semi-professional teams and at the same time competing for the Corinthian honors.

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Electrical Consideration Relative to Engine Starting

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

A lot of things can contribute to hard starting engines that are electrically related. Assuming that the internal workings of the engine are as they should be, we will look at the electrical problems that relate to starting. We will stay away from charging and electrical ignition circuits for now.

The starting battery(ies) must be in good condition. Once a battery used in the marine environment gets three years old, it should be considered suspect. Most batteries have a life curve that stays relatively flat in the beginning, starts slowly down for a short period and then drops dramatically towards the end. An engine that ordinarily starts promptly can get by with a battery in the declining portion of the curve. However, if a battery being used beyond the flat part of the life curve is called on to do a little extra work, it can fall flat. Extra work would fall in the category of colder temperatures, recovering from a fuel outage and other reasons for something other than a quick engine start.

The starting motor must be in good shape. Starters have moving parts that wear, bearings that need lubrication and electrical components that build resistance to electrical flow. Usually starting motors are used until they fail completely. To preclude this spurious failure, preventive maintenance is required. How often a starter should be rebuilt is hard to say. The interval relates to how much the starter is run. If the engine typically starts right up, the starter only runs for a second or two for each use. If the starter is required to run for longer intervals because of reasons not internal to the starter, the time-in-use can rise dramatically. Starter performance usually decays slowly so that diminishing performance may be hard to recognize. The starter solenoid must be in good condition and have the battery cable and the connection into the starter motor clean and secure. The solenoid actuator wire must have clean connections and be firmly affixed at the solenoid. The solenoid has a contact plate internally and it can sometimes get contaminated to a point that it will not reliably make the connection. This is usually the case when the solenoid clicks in but nothing else happens. The same symptom can indicate bad or sticking brushes in the starter motor itself or poor battery cable connections.

All wiring must be of adequate size, in good condition and properly connected at the ends with all connections clean and tight. Tight by itself does not count. Good contact requires intimate contact of the surfaces within the juncture. Oxides build up over time that result in poor contact and increased resistance in the circuit. This resistance will reduce the current carrying capacity and the efficiency of the circuit. Oxides must be removed by undoing the juncture, cleaning the wire end and the surface to which it will be reinstalled and then reconnecting tightly. Spade terminals sometimes need to be pinched closer to assure a good connection. Switches in the circuits can oxidize resulting in voltage drop. Wire conductors, inside the insulation, can corrode and lose area resulting in lessened current carrying capacity. Wires that are too small, corroded or badly connected can sometimes be detected by feeling for warm spots.

A frequent cause of electrical problems can be found in the harness connectors. These connectors are there because it made installation of the engine more simple when the boat was built. The engine was installed with a connector, the instrument panel was installed with a connector and then the harness was plugged in between them. The pins and sockets in these connectors oxidize over time and the resistance increases until intermittent problems arise and can get worse to the point of melting the connectors and to even starting a fire. Removal of these connectors is highly recommended. Cut off the male and female connectors and reattach the wires using crimp butt connectors, preferably with heat-shrink insulating tubes, or soldering, again with heat shrink applied. Quite often several feet of wire can be eliminated with this operation which also improves electrical function.

Starter switches can be push button or key turn but they all have contacts that can oxidize. The usual repair is to replace the offending switch. Isolating switch and/or electrical problems away from the engine can be done by shunting the starter actuating circuit directly at the starter solenoid. This can be crudely done by sticking a conductor (usually a screwdriver) from the battery wire terminal at the starter to the starter wire terminal adjacent to it on the starter. Push button remote starter switches with alligator clips and a push button can be clipped to the same points. This can be left connected and when a malfunction occurs can be used to bypass all the other stuff and possibly isolating the area of the trouble. If use of the bypass push button doesn’t make the starter turn, the problem is in the solenoid or the starter itself.

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Standing Rigging Life Expectancy – Part 2

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

In the March issue of the Torresen Marine e-newsletter we discussed factors associated with the life expectancy of 1×19 stainless steel standing rigging. The idea is to explain the variables so that you can better understand the life span of rigging. The main variables are; sailing conditions, loads, cycling, marine environment, and care/maintenance. It’s safe to say that having your rigging inspected seasonally is a good start to understanding the effects of these factors on your standing rigging. By applying a numeric value to each of these variables, relative to your boat, can give you an end result to compare to the “base” life expectancy of rigging.

In this discussion we look at rod rigging and it’s life expectancy. To get to a base life expectancy we have to assume that each variable is in average condition rather than some extreme. This “base” life span is 10 years of 40,000 sailing miles (Navtec Rigging Matters).

Factors:

Sailing conditions refer to the type of sailing to which your boat is exposed. Light day-sailing, coastal cruising, offshore cruising, passage making, club racing, and aggressive offshore racing define some basic sailing conditions.

Load refers to the pressures that are applied to your rigging for tuning purposes. Standard sizing of rod rigging usually has a load of 15-25% of the breaking strength of the rod size. If rod is specified “undersized” due to weight, windage, or cost constraints this load can exceed 50% thus reducing the life expectancy of the rigging.

Cycling: This refers to the loads that are imposed on rigging from light harmonic vibrations while the boat is at dock or stored mast up outside, to heavy pumping while on a mooring in various wave conditions. If a boat is moored, the life expectancy of any rigging is greatly reduced.

Environment: Marine environments include fresh water/moderate humidity, moderate salinity/moderate humidity, and heavy salinity/heavy humidity. These variables mostly effect corrosion factors associated with rigging materials.

Care and maintenance: Obviously a rig that has seasonal inspections, care, and repairs will tend to last longer than rigs that haven’t had inspections or maintenance at all.

A boat that is going from a less severe factor to a more severe factor such as environment or sailing condition should have its rigging thoroughly checked or replaced as a safety factor.

The parts that make up rod rigging are the rod itself, the heads that are machined onto the rods, the mast socket connections, the spreader connections (tip cups), and the turnbuckle systems.

The rod itself should be free from bends, dings, or dents. Rods can be straightened if the bend is light. Dings or dents cannot be repaired and the rod section may need to be replaced. The rod heads are a vital part to be inspected. Polishing the rod heads can reveal cracks. If a rod head shows damage it may be re-headed as long as the rigging screw has enough throw to accommodate the shortening of the rod length. Rod heads should be cleaned and lubricated seasonably if possible. The hardware that terminates the rod at the mast should be inspected for proper mounting, possible cracks, or misalignment. The terminations at the spreaders are either a rod that bends over the spreader end or terminates in a tip cup. Bends need to be inspected for cracks. Tip cups should be disassembled, cleaned and lubricated from time-to-time. The stainless on stainless treads of a tip cup are prone to galling and need to be carefully disassembled, cleaned, inspected, lubricated, and reassembled. Tip cups also need their rod heads inspected for cracks. The turnbuckle, it’s rigging screw and the toggle jaw should all be checked for damage. It is recommended that the turnbuckle screws be replaced every ten years as the threads can loose their integrity sooner than the rest of the rod system.

Torresen Marine recommends a seasonal rig inspection. This service provides a customer with a documented report of the integrity of their rigging. Furthermore, the riggers at Torresen Marine can help you determine to what extent the above variables effect your rig’s life expectancy. Contact Torresen Marine Service Department by phone 231-759-8596 or e-mail to discuss your rigging needs.

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Brady Leads Kiwi Contingent to Top of Fleet – Congressional Cup

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

LONG BEACH, Calif. – For a day that opened with what his opponent called “a big crash,” Gavin Brady’s Wednesday turned out fine in the Long Beach Yacht Club’s 44th Congressional Cup presented by Acura. (more…)

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