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!

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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.

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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/.

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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!

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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

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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!

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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!

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