Boating Safety in the Fall

Life Jacket. Image Source: Life Jackets and Vests Blog.

Boating is a wonderful, satisfying hobby, but people often forget that it can be a huge responsibility. Now that fall is here, many boaters are trying to make the most what’s left of the boating season before the cold weather hits. That doesn’t mean that caution should be thrown to the wind; the best way to ensure the safety of a boat’s captain (and its passengers) is by exercising caution when out on the water.

First and foremost, always keep the environment in mind. If you’re looking for tips to reduce waste when out on your boat, check out the Clean Boating Program. This initiative is designed to protect the environment and its website offers many great tips and earth-friendly products to keep in mind.  There is an environmentally-friendly alternative to nearly every aspect of boating, from cleaning the vessel to maintaining fuel and bilge.

Click here to read more about eco-friendly boating solutions.

Make sure that boating equipment is in working order before taking a trip (pay special attention to the boat’s engine, propellers, lights and other key components), and never set sail with a captain who does not know how to properly operate their boat or boating equipment.  Avoid setting sail on overly windy or stormy days, and never, ever operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol.

It’s normal for government bodies to legislate some degree of boat safety.  In Canada, for example, a sail boat must be equipped with a sound-signaling device and a watertight flashlight.  Life jackets and fire extinguishers are other common requirements.  There is, however, much more that can be done to keep boating excursions safe. Talk to a professional about what you can do to ensure a safe ride for your boaters.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recommends keeping light flares on board as well as a fire extinguisher, and stresses the importance of learning to properly use an anchor.

Remember: A happy boater is a cautious boater.  Here’s to safe and fun-filled travels for many years to come!

Posted in Boating Tips and Maintenance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

United States Sailboat Show 2011

The crowd at the United States Sailboat Show. Image Credit: United States Sailboat Show.

The United States Sailboat Show is now in its 42nd year. Set to take place from October 6-11, the United States Sailboat Show attracts more than 50,000 boaters from around the United States and the world. The event will take place at the waterfront in Annapolis Maryland.

According to the website, this year’s features include:

•             Daily Seminars by Cruising World and Chesapeake Bay Magazines;

•             Take the Wheel Interactive Workshops including Boat Demos;

•             Smaller Boats from One Designs & Trailerables To Sailing Dinghies & Inflatables;

•             Sailing Equipment, Rigging & Accessories;

•             Maintenance Products & Services;

•             Cruising & Vacation Charter Information;

•             Hottest Domestic & International Racing and Cruising Boats;

•             One of the Largest Collections of Multihull Sailboats on the Planet; and

•             a grand prize drawing – One week charter in the British Virgin Islands provided by Sunsail with airfare sponsored by BVI Tourism Board

Sponsored by BoatU.S., guests can expect to see some of the latest boats and marine technology on display including Dinghies, racing hulls, cruisers, and catamarans. There will be free seminars from Friday-Sunday. At the Powerboat Show, see a full range of vessels including inflatables, sportfishing, trawlers, and luxury yachts will also be at the show. More than 100,000 people are expected to attend.

“It’s a magical time of year here in Annapolis. There is no better place on earth to browse, to tour, and to buy the boat of your dreams,” Paul Jacobs, general manager of U.S. Yacht Shows, said in a press release. “Our shows are shaping up to be very strong this fall. They are growing back to the glory days of pre-2008. With all the various activities and show features, attendance should be strong again this year. We draw an audience from all 50 states, with over a dozen foreign countries represented as well. This is truly an international event.”

To learn more about the United States Sailboat show, visit: www.usboat.com.

Posted in Marine and Boat Shows | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Canada’s Environment Minister Voices Support Over Lake Simcoe Clean Up

Lake Simcoe. Image Credit: Bosintang via Wikipedia.

Boating enthusiasts should always keep the environment and preservation of the water in the forefront. Now, thanks to an announcement last week by Canada’s Environment Minister, it looks as if the Canadian government is stepping in to help preserve one of the country’s precious waterways.

On September 9, the Honourable Peter Kent announced that the Canadian government will continue in its efforts to clean up Lake Simcoe via a $2.9 million investment. This new funding will mark the seventh round of the Lake Simcoe Cleanup Project, which is designed to preserve and protect the lake, its wildlife and surrounding area.

“This government is committed to ensuring cleaner waters from coast to coast for all Canadians. Since 2008, the Government of Canada’s $30 million Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund has allowed Canadians who work, live and play near Lake Simcoe to enjoy the benefits of a cleaner lake,” Minister Kent was quoted saying in a press release.

This latest round of cleanup initiatives will continue supporting local organizations that are working to preserve the Lake Simcoe watershed. The town of Aurora, Ontario will receive $650,000 that will go towards creating engineered wetland and reduce up to 60 kilograms of phosphorus each year from entering in the Tannery Creek, which runs into Lake Simcoe. This project is comprised of new technology and will be the first of its kind in the province. This serves as a continuation of previous cleanup projects in the area, all of which have made great strides in sustaining the environment and boosting recreation and boating in the area.

This financial investment represents the last round of funding from the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund as part of the Canada’s Action Plan for Clean Water an initiative by the Canadian government designed to clean up the great lakes and “areas of concern” throughout the country.

For more information, visit Environment Canada’s website at: http://www.ec.gc.ca/.

Posted in Boaters News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Propeller Wear and Tear

Propeller. Image Credit: Eris Propellers.

Even the best boat propellers will wear down over time. Luckily, most boat propeller issues can be repaired, provided they are attended to in a timely fashion.  Here are a few of the most common causes for propeller wear, tear, and signs of malfunction.

Inaccuracies/Noise. A misaligned propeller can cause loud, vibrating sounds when a boat is turned on.  This can be attributed to inaccuracies with a propeller’s pitch.  Luckily, this can be fixed with relative ease by a trained boat mechanic.  Once addressed, vibrating sounds will cease. It a propeller is making a high-pitched noise when the engine stars, this could also signify a misalignment or signs of wear and tear. There are many causes for these noises, but again, the problem can be diagnosed and easily fixed by a boat mechanic.

Erosion. Over time, every boat propeller will start to show signs of erosion. Water – along with fragments of rock, sand and sediment – have abrasive properties, which can affect a propeller’s performance. Eris Propellers has a highly-trained staff that can assess and repair a propeller so that it functions like new.

Thick, black smoke. While it is common to assume that thick, black smoke is a result of an engine issues, it is actually more often than not a propeller – related issue. When a propeller is not in peak working condition, it causes strain on the rest of the boat, and black smoke can be one of the side effects.

Fuel inefficiency.  A good boat propeller will help a boat to become more fuel efficient. A poor-quality or malfunction boat propeller will, obviously, have the opposite effect.  If your boat outings require more and more fuel, this could signify a worn out propeller, which should be checked out by a professional. 

Keeping a propeller in good working condition improves the overall efficiency of a boat and, because it can make a boat more fuel efficient, can translate into huge money savings over time.  Never neglect your boat’s propeller – a good propeller truly makes all the difference!

Posted in Boating Tips and Maintenance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Southampton Boat Show is Just Around the Corner!

Southampton Boat Show Logo. Image Credit: Southampton Boat Show.

We love boat shows here at Eris Propellers, and the Southampton Boat Show (September 16-25, Park/Town Quay, Southampton, London) looks like it’s going to be a great one that’s jammed packed with fun activities!

This year’s show has a wide array of attractions for all boating enthusiasts planned – from the beginner to the novice.  The “Try a Boat” attraction is promising to be a big one this year, as always for suppliers and the public.  Here, visitors will be allowed to test drive a boat of their choice out on the water.  Book ahead and reserve a chance to take a spin on a power boat, yacht or sail boat.

Children who are interested in participating in the day’s events should check out the “Get Afloat” attraction.  At this attraction 8-16 year olds will be given the opportunity to participate in a 90-minute dinghy sailing lesson!  All equipment will be provided and young ones can expect to enjoy a hands-on, invaluable boating experience.

Guests of all ages are encouraged to sample scuba diving at the “Try a Dive” booth.  Fully-qualified instructors will be on hand to show kids and adults alike the ropes of scuba diving.  Sign up is free and equipment will be provided.

Active Nation, a Southampton-based charitable organization, will be sponsoring a “Active Zone” which invites guests to partake in a variety of activities, such as wall climbing, boat racing in a mini pool, or kayaking with an inflatable kayak.

On Thursday, September 22, ladies will be invited to compete for the title of “Best Dressed Lady” and win a prize that includes a luxury spa day, bed and breakfast and a two-course Sunday lunch for two.  Thursday marks the show’s “Ladies Day”, where boating demonstrations and watersports will be helmed by local female boating enthusiasts.

Two children get into the show free when accompanied by a paying adult.  Tickets can be purchased in advance or by visiting: www.southamptonboatshow.com

Posted in Marine and Boat Shows | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What You Need to Know About Boat Propellers

Here at Eris Propellers, we pride ourselves on being experts in the field of boat propellers, and we are pleased to say that wee have held this fine distinction for close to 40 years!

We get a lot of questions from first time (and seasoned) customers about boat propellers.  Many people are unsure about what they should be looking for, and what makes a good boat propeller.

Here is one of the most important take-away points when purchasing a boat propeller (or any piece of boat equipment for that matter):  Good quality boat equipment is a necessity.  Well-made equipment will help your boat function at peak efficiency and last for years.

A good boat propeller should be a non-negotiable.  Here are some tips to help you find the right one for you.

Thrust.  Propellers help your boat navigate through the water.  A propeller’s thrust helps give a boat a “push” once its engine has been ignited and keeps it running smoothly.  A propeller helps a boat achieve a maximum thrust, and improves overall efficiency.

Fuel Economy.  Some propellers are harder on fuel economy than others, especially inexpensive, poorly-made ones.  Speak with a professional about how you can maximize fuel efficiency with your propeller.

Minimize Vibrations.  Poorly-made propellers can be noisy, uneven and create a lot of movement.  A good propeller will minimize noise and help provide the smoothest ride possible.

Longevity.  It is far better to invest in a propeller that will last a long time, than to buy a propeller at low cost which will need to be replaced or repaired many times throughout the years.  Look for a propeller that is made of good-quality materials from a manufacturer and distributor you can trust.

Have some propeller or boating questions? We would be happy to help you out.  Contact us to learn more about how we can help you get your boat fitted with the perfect propeller!

Posted in Boating Tips and Maintenance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Keeping Boating Alive After the Boating Season Has Ended

Where does the time go?

It is hard to believe that summer is already winding down.  “Back to school” is on a lot of people’s minds and some stores have already begun to display Halloween merchandise!  

For many boaters, the changing season means putting the boat away for a few months. 

Fortunately, that does not mean that the boating spirit has to take a break.  Here are a few nautical-themed household that are guaranteed to help keep the boating spirit alive after the boating season has ended.

A cozy fleece jacket will help make chilly fall nights a little more comfortable.  The Bass Pro Shop has always been my go-to shop for boating gear, and I highly recommend the XPS Blackcountry Fleece Jacket.  It is well-made, comes in a variety of colours, and it is sold at a price point that cannot be beat.  Click here to check it out!

Incorporating a nautical theme into one’s home is another way to help keep the boating spirit alive, even when it is cold and snowy outside.  Seashells are a simple and economical way to implement this theme, as are nautical-themed throw pillows – which provide an affordable, non-permanent way to jazz up a dull room and add a bit of personality. 

Home decorating does not have to be time consuming and when done right, it can dramatically change the look and feel of a living space.  By bringing a few simple accessories into your home, you can easily surround yourself with the feel of the ocean, each and every day.

TheMarineGuide.com has a great gadget called the Suunto, which boaters can wear year-round.  This is a great product that we’ve featured on here before. The Observer wristop is a stylish, eye-catching watch that’s equipped with a stopwatch, compass and calendar.  Made out of durable, lightweight titanium, it is built to last and makes a great accessory, whether you are on the water or off.

We hope that everyone is enjoying the boating season and that you are making the best of the warm days we have left!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Newport International Boat Show

Browsing at last year's Newport International Boat Show. Image Credit: Newport International Boat Show.

We love boats, which means we love boat shows! Newport is gearing up for a big one that’s sure to be a great time!

The 41st annual Newport International Boat Show is set to take place September 15-18 at multiple waterfront facilities including the Newport Yachting Centre, Oldport Marien, Bannister’s Wharf and Bowen’s wharf.  All sites are accessible by land or water taxi and will feature sailboats, powerboats, as well as thousands of products and services from exhibitors from all around the world.

Cited as one of the “top largest in-water boat shows in the country” the Newport International Boat Show will be displaying over 600 boats, including an 82’ luxury cruiser.

More than 750 vendors have signed up to attend.  In addition to boats, engines, sails, boating equipment, electronics and accessories will be on display.  The Newport International Boat Show will also feature seminars, demonstrations and workshops.  Acclaimed authors, journalists and accomplished sailors are set to give informative talks on their areas of expertise.

A special VIP day for industry press and buyers is slotted for Thursday, September 15.  Special activities are slotted for this day, information for which can be found on the boat show’s official website.

This year’s charitable partner is Sail for Pride, an organization founded in 2001 in response to the 9/11 attacks.  Since becoming established, the group has raised money for victims of the attacks and their families as well as for dozens of charities.

An added bonus of this year’s show is the free Saturday night party.  The Newport International Boat Show will commence the party at 6 p.m. and offer guests free beer, pizza and soft drinks while they listen to live music performed by the Eric Stone Band.

This sounds like a great time and we’re sure that the attendees will have a memorable (and informative) experience!

To learn more about the Newport International Boat show, click here.

Posted in Marine and Boat Shows | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sydney International Boat Show

Sydney International Boat Show. Image Source: TimeOut Sydney.

Boating enthusiasts in Sydney, Australia are in for a treat!  The Sydney International Boat Show kicked off yesterday and it will run through the weekend until August 1. It is an amazing gathering of some of the most prominent boat enthusiasts in the world and   guaranteed to be a great time for anyone who loves to sail the seven seas!

Touted as the “biggest event of its type in the southern hemisphere”, the Sydney Boat Show has more than 280 exhibitors packed into all six of the Darling Harbour Marina’s halls.  Fashion shows, a walk of fame “discover boating” tours, historic boating information and marine photography and cooking demos are going to be on display.

Visitors will be able to obtain information on purchasing boats, view concept and next year’s models, network and inquire about insurance.

Cardiff Bluewater Yachts is displaying a beautiful 420 Raised Saloon yachted named the Southern Belle.  The stunning vessel was launched only two weeks ago on Lake Macquarie.

The boat show will have a variety of different boats from a diverse range of brands and will heavily promote the boating lifestyle, both to new and experienced boaters.  Exhibitors include both local and international boat manufacturers as well as industry leaders promoting the most current innovations in marine equipment and supplies.  Thousands and thousands of visitors are expected to attend, from all over the world.

There will dedicated displays at the show which will feature some of the industry’s most sought-after brands from around the world.

Catering to all boaters – from fishermen to occasional boaters to yachters – the show will have something for every skill level and budget! With countless experts and industry professionals present, the Sydney International Boat Show provides an opportune time to learn more about boats, secure insurance and financing for a major purchase and stock up on the latest gadgets.

Click here to learn more.

Posted in Marine and Boat Shows | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Boating in Canada

Lake Louise. Image Credit: Andrea Schafthuizen.

Canada is a great place for boating.  It has such a diverse range of terrain and vegetation.  From mountains to waterfalls, to forests to flat lands, Canada truly has it all.

Discover Boating is an informative website and public awareness effort that was established by the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) to represent the North American boating industry.  It focuses on creating interest in recreational boating in Canada while promoting an affordable and accessible boating lifestyle and, in the process, educating established and potential boaters.

The website is a repository of information about buying and maintaining a boat, Canadian boating regulations and safety legislation and information on boating certification.  The website also highlights Canadian boating hotspots, which have been rated by users.  Top destinations include:

  • Muskoka and the Haliburton Highlands, which is described as the “experience of a lifetime” and noted for its “glorious sunsets, crystal clear waters and active community”;
  • Desolation Sound, which was given a 77% overall user rating, specifically for its picturesque mountain landscape and
  • Howe Sound, a beautiful area in British Columbia that is best known for its “beautiful vistas, and mountains with sparkling, snow-capped peaks”.

We’ve been supporters of Canadian lakes for a long time – they truly are beautiful.  If you plan on boating in Canada, don’t forget to check out the Muskoka Lakes, a stunning region of Ontario with 1,600 lakes, beautiful waterfalls and sprawling forests spread out in 2,500 square mile area and Lake Louise, an area rich with folklore and geology.

Discover Boating is also active in the Canadian boating community by organizing promotional events and educational seminars both online and across the country.  The website also has an extensive resources section that includes tips on green boating, a glossary of commonly-used boating terms and other miscellaneous resources.

Click here to discover this website for yourself! Once you’ve got your next boating expedition planned, contact us to get your vessel fitted with the right equipment!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment