Sunday, April 19, 2015

Next Stop: Newport! What's In Store For The Sailors?
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 6: A Primer

'Challenging and intense'. Those are the two words being used to describe this next phase of the Volvo Ocean Race. With yesterday's tricky In-Port Race in the [sail] bags, the fleet shoves off this afternoon, leaving ItajaĆ­ around 1400 hrs local time, facing some 5000 nautical miles to their next stop: Newport, RI. And here's a summary of what's in store.
'Challenging and intense'
Best of luck to all the sailors and especially to Team Alvimedica! Fair winds and favorable seas, mates!

For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday Tip: Water-Tank Hygiene
~ Spring Cleaning Continues!

From: Power and Motor Yacht

Eww! Is your water smelly or slimy?
There’s no way of getting around it—potable water onboard cools its heels for much of the time. So, given bacteria’s exuberant nature, there’s no question that that potable-water tank of yours, down in the engine room, needs to be addressed in some shape or form at this time of year, whether it happens to be made of plastic or some sort of metal.

For starters, drain off most of the water in the tank, pop the inspection port—most potable tanks have them—and run your finger around inside. If there’s slime and/or a bad smell, figure on draining the remaining water and thoroughly cleaning the interior of the tank. From the standpoint of hygiene, this is necessary even if you only drink bottled water onboard.

Cleaning can be handled in a couple of ways. The first entails swabbing as much of the inside of the tank as possible with a soapy sponge, flushing the grubby contents, and then, after refilling the tank with clean water and a small amount of dishwashing detergent—overdoing it can extend the rinse cycle into eternity—agitating the mixture with a long-handled brush, a propeller-type paint stirring device secured in the chuck of a powerful cordless drill, or some other mechanical means.

The second method’s more fun. It entails swabbing and flushing as before but then refilling the tank only about halfway and going for a little boat ride in conditions sporty enough to thoroughly clean the inside of the tank, washing-machine style. The longer the boat ride—the cleaner the tank!

In any case, after you’ve returned your water tank or tanks to like-new condition, you may want to add a “Whole House” filter system from Home Depot or Lowe’s downstream of the pump that pressurizes the entire freshwater system. If you decide to do this, one of the best options pairs an activated-charcoal-based unit with another that removes particulate matter. A slightly less complex option simply adds a filter to the faucet you designate for drinking and dishwashing alone.

Just remember: Most experts advise taking a pass on drinking any kind of water (filtered or not) after it’s languished in a boat’s tanks for weeks on end. Of course, using a fresh-water system every day, during a liveaboard stint that constantly renews what’s in the tanks, engenders quite another story, especially if filters are involved.


For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!

Friday, April 10, 2015

"Building Boating's Future ... Today!"
MIASF Encourages Young Boaters With Plywood Regatta

When our Capt. Ben first heard about the Plywood Regatta his eyes sparkled. "That's something I would've LOVED to do when I was a kid," he enthused. He then went to his giant chart table and, after a spot of rummaging, unfurled before us a very large drawing of a very seaworthy-looking trawler he designed when he was 8 years old. [We're not allowed to post a pic of his boyhood naval architecture endeavors, he said. In fact, he has since hidden the item.] And so, our desire to support this wonderful annual event undocked and went full throttle. Read all about it:

What IS The Plywood Regatta?

Image via Plywood Regatta
The Marine Industries Association of South Florida founded the Plywood Regatta in 1996.

The Plywood Regatta honors the craft of boat building and the excitement of recreational boating in an effort to continue “Building Boating’s Future … Today!”

A maximum of 40 teams of middle school, high school and marine technical school students will attempt to build sea-worthy vessels on Saturday, April 11 using simple hand-tools and only the supplied materials of plywood, 3M 5200 fast cure caulk and zip ties. Once the boats are complete students will then paint and decorate their boats. On Sunday, April 12, participants will compete in a fun-filled and friendly rivalry when the finished, decorated boats line up and race in a series of heats to determine an event champion.

All Plywood Regatta proceeds benefit South Florida’s marine industry education programs and the Plywood Regatta Scholarship Fund. The aim of these programs is to encourage marine education and develop students’ interest in the marine industry.


We're excited to announce that this year, in celebration of our 10th anniversary and in honor of the late Nick Stanley - one of Fort Lauderdale's first and finest yacht brokers, a gifted yacht designer, and Capt. Ben's beloved father - Stanley Yacht Services is proudly sponsoring the Spirit Award for Most Innovative Design!

The Regatta takes place at Dania Beach Marina and we wish all the young boat builders and racers the best of luck! See you on Sunday - it's sure to be a fun day!

For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!

Monday, April 6, 2015

406MHz Beacon Awareness Day Highlights The Role Of EPIRBs
NSBC Spearheads #406Day Event

406MHz Education Sparks 4/06 Celebration

This year, the National Safe Boating Council rolled out its Saved by the Beacon initiative, which is designed to educate recreational boaters about the importance of 406 MHz beacons and how to use them correctly in the case of a boating emergency.

The national campaign aims to teach boaters the difference between EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) used on boats versus PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons) used on life jackets. NSBC will also compare the benefits of beacons and other commonly used mariner’s communications devices such as: VHF radios, GPS trackers and cellphones.

This April 6, or #406Day, NSBC invited boaters to celebrate the lives that 406 technology has saved. In addition to submitting photos to show where they take their 406MHz beacons, mariners were urged to test their beacons, check batteries and expiration dates, and to update beacon registration with NOAA.

Press Release | National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration

Infographic | NOAA
NOAA’s fleet of weather satellites helped save 240 people last year from potentially life-threatening situations throughout the United States and its surrounding waters.

In addition to their vital role in weather forecasting, NOAA’s polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites can detect distress signals from emergency beacons carried by downed pilots, shipwrecked boaters, and stranded hikers.

Information captured from these satellites, including location, are then relayed to first responders on the ground who assist with search and rescue efforts. Of the 240 rescues in 2014, 112 were waterborne rescues, 15 were from aviation incidents, and 113 were from events where small handheld devices called Personal Locator Beacons or PLBs were used.

Other rescue highlights from 2014 include:
  • Alaska had the most SARSAT rescues, with 78, which was lower than last year’s total of 99. Most of the incidents involved disabled snowmobiles in the North Slope region, and four people were rescued after their small plane crashed into a lake near Galena. 
  • Florida had the second highest number of rescues, with 26. 
  • Signals received by the NOAA satellites helped the U.S. Coast Guard to rescue five people from a capsized fishing vessel 20 miles off the Oregon coast. 
  • The pilot of a small plane was rescued after he crashed into the sea, while flying from the Bahamas to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and another pilot was saved when his plane crashed in the sea on a flight from Florida to the Bahamas. 
  • Four children and four adults were rescued off the coast of Hawaii in Kaiwi Channel after their boat sank.
NOAA satellites are part of the international Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking System, known as COSPAS-SARSAT. This system uses a network of spacecraft to detect and locate distress signals quickly from emergency beacons onboard aircraft and boats, and from PLBs.

When a NOAA satellite finds the location of a distress signal, the information is relayed to the SARSAT Mission Control Center based at NOAA’s Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland. From there, the information is quickly sent to a Rescue Coordination Center, operated by either the U.S. Air Force for land rescues, or the U.S. Coast Guard for water rescues.

"From helping rescue a lost hiker to finding a capsized fishing vessel to providing the data and information that underpins our daily weather forecasts, NOAA satellites help protect lives and property every day," said Chris O’Connors, NOAA SARSAT program manager.

Since 1982, COSPAS-SARSAT has been credited with supporting more than 37,000 rescues worldwide, including more than 7,492 in the United States and its surrounding waters.

By law, owners of emergency beacons are required to register them with NOAA at: That registration information often helps provide better and faster assistance to people in distress. It may also provide information about the location of the emergency, how many people need assistance, what type of help may be needed and other ways to contact the owner. At the end of 2014, NOAA’s registration database contained more than 430,000 entries.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on TwitterFacebookInstagram and our other social media channels. Visit our news release archive.


So we hope you have a safe and happy #406Day. Celebrate all the souls saved by purchasing/renting, registering, and/or testing your EPIRB today!

For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!

Friday, April 3, 2015

What's For Easter Dinner On Board Team Brunel?
Volvo Ocean Race Cuisine: Freeze-Dried Lasagna Never Tasted So Funny

Stefan Coppers:
Team Brunel's On Board Comedian?
Team Brunel's On Board Reporter, Stefan Coppers, delivers a bellyful of laughs with this how-to guide for preparing dinner below deck in the middle of the Volvo Ocean Race.
"Make an effort to reach the little galley monkey style, swinging from handle to handle."
Well, that's a start. Seems a little extreme but we'll give it a go. What's next?
"Start by picking yourself up, because a wave has just catapulted you backwards into the water."
Aw, come on! This is getting ridiculous... Alright, alright, we'll keep trying. After all, the crew needs to be fed! Here we go...
How to prepare freeze dried lasagna on a V65
Sounds delicious! Um, one quick question: What's it taste like ... on the way back up?

For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!

WEAR IT! National Safe Boating Week Is May 16-22, 2015
Wearing A Life Jacket Is The Simplest Life-Saving Strategy For Safe Boating

Manassas, VA – Boating safety advocates across the U.S. and Canada have teamed up to promote safe and responsible boating, including consistent life jacket wear every time boaters are on the water, during National Safe Boating Week, held from May 16-22, 2015.

National Safe Boating Week is the launch of the 2015 North American Safe Boating Campaign. This yearlong campaign promotes safe and responsible boating and the value of voluntary, consistent life jacket wear by recreational boaters through the national theme, Wear It!

“What looks like a perfect day for boating can quickly become hazardous if you end up in the water,” said Rachel Johnson, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council, the lead organization for Wear It! “You can have a great time while choosing to always wear a life jacket and being a responsible boater.”

U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities in 2013, and that 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

“Each year hundreds of people lose their lives, and they may still be alive if they had been wearing a life jacket,” said John Johnson, chief executive officer of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. “You never know when there may be a boating mishap, so it’s important that everyone onboard always wears a life jacket.”

New life jackets are much more comfortable, lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters know. There are innovative options, such as inflatable life jackets, allowing mobility and flexibility for activities like boating, fishing, paddling or hunting, and are much cooler in the warmer weather.

Throughout the campaign, Wear It! will remind boaters of the importance of boating safely, including consistent life jacket wear, boating sober, knowing navigational rules and having a proper lookout. Partners will host local events, teach classes, offer on-water training, distribute educational materials, and perform free vessel safety checks.

Wear It! unites the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates, including the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and Canadian Safe Boating Council with the National Safe Boating Council. It is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. Follow Wear It! on Twitter at @boatingcampaign, like on Facebook at, and share your boating story at

For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

To Zinc Or Swim - A Boater's Sacrificial Ode
Pssst! Have You Checked Your Zincs Lately?

Working on and by the ocean, we're no strangers to the paradox of salt life; it can be both fulfilling and frustrating. Needless to say, corrosion has a lot to do with the latter aspect in our industry because between salty air and salty water, there's no escape, only sacrifice. So bring on the zincs.

Put The Metal To The Metal

Galvanic corrosion, electrolysis, stray currents, dissimilar metals ... start spewing off these words around any boater and watch the involuntary twitching begin. While it is currently impossible to prevent corrosion, we at least know how to postpone the inevitable thanks to the magic of science (which we won't attempt to explain in depth here).

For example, and as you probably know, zincs are "sacrificial anodes'" which, by design, attract electrical current away from other surrounding metals. Their underwater job is to protect your through hulls, props and struts from corrosive damage that would otherwise be caused by stray current. Blame other boats, blame the marina, stray current's down there waiting to nibble at your nodes and your zincs are happy to oblige. They corrode for the cause and have to be replaced regularly to keep up the good deflective work.

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

Given their underwater location, zincs are easily overlooked and boaters may forget to check them at regular intervals. However, just like your sea strainers, zincs need to be routinely inspected and replaced - after all, they are protecting some very expensive gear. Ignore them and you might not be facing just the loss of a strut or a prop, but a through hull fitting, the thinnest area of metal on your boat's bottom. If one of those gets eaten away, you could sink your boat.

So, remember to check your zincs! (And while you're at it, make sure your through hull bonding is adequate so as not to be even more susceptible to stray current.) You know how it goes: Better safe than sorry.

As for us here at Stanley Yachts, when it comes to the vessels in the fleet we manage and maintain, we always rely on the professionals at Mrs. G Diving for hull inspections, bottom cleanings and zinc replacements - they "dive right in" with prompt and thorough service. Give Maureen a call and tell her we sent you.

For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!

Read more:
Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats | David H. Pascoe
Negative Effects of Corrosion | Southern Boating

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"Pam" Has Sailors Stuck
Super-cyclone Delays Start of Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5

Infrared satellite image of "Pam" | The Weather Channel
Recently upgraded to a category 5 - the highest possible rating - a super-cyclone dubbed "Pam" is currently bearing down on Vanuatu, packing maximum sustained winds estimated at 160 mph, according to the U.S. military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The storm is expected to cause widespread damage and local officials are warning residents of the possibility of tsunami-like storm surges.

Given the size and strength of the formidable system in the South Pacific Ocean, Volvo Ocean Race organizers have postponed the start of Leg 5 and the fleet's departure for Brazil.
“Safety first,” said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad today. “We’re making this decision now because we don’t know the exact track of this tropical cyclone yet. “It’s unusually big and essentially it’s blocking the road for our sailors, so it’s prudent seamanship from our side to leave them with options.”
Delayed Auckland departures
In the interim, In Port races will continue as planned this weekend.

As mariners, we all know our activities are weather dependent. Smart sailors know safe harbors. We hope for the best and that Pam passes by with minimal impact on those in her path.

For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Ferry Tale Beginning?
Catamaran Company Would Offer The Keys To Cuba

A high speed ferry service from the Florida Keys to Havana, Cuba could begin as early as this year.
Ferries to set sail between Florida and Havana for the first time since 1963
It hinges on whether (and how fast) outfits such as CubaKat and Havana Ferry Partners of Fort Lauderdale can get through the red tape.

To begin with, U.S. Customs and other regulatory agencies will have to approve safety measures for ferry operation. Presumably, this would include factors such as the construction, design and capacity limits of the vessels, as well as requirements for emergency equipment, procedures and protocol. Then, according to U.S. Treasury spokeswoman Hagar Chemali, "Ferry service could only occur via a specific license from the Office of Foreign Asset Controls, in consultation with the State Department, and upon approval from the Department of Commerce and Customs and Border Patrol." Finally, Cuba would have to grant the ferries access to its ports.

Nonetheless, would-be ferry operators are optimistic. Assuming all goes according to plan, CubaKat's owner Brian Hall envisions lots of tickets sales for the four hour trip from Marathon to Havana aboard the $6.5 million ferry his company plans to purchase.

¡Buena suerte, amigos!

For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Volvo Ocean Race Fleet Arrives In Auckland
Leg 4 Brought To You By The Number 4

First off, congrats to Team Alvimedica on their fourth place arrival to Auckland! The past couple of weeks showcased some of the young American crew's best sailing to date and we're really looking forward to tracking their continued and steady improvement as the race continues.
It was an epic battle of historic proportions at the end of Leg 4, with MAPFRE crossing the finish line in New Zealand first. The Spanish boat landed just four minutes ahead of Abu Dhabi, which was - you guessed it - four minutes ahead of Dongfeng! Can you imagine? Sailing for weeks and it came down to the narrowest of margins for podium places.
Spanish eyes are smiling
After some gutsy tactical maneuvering midway through the leg, Team Brunel and the ladies of Team SCA completed the fleet's arrival and now it's time for everyone to get ready for In Port Herald race this weekend.

Good job, lasses and lads! Best of luck to all the sailors for Leg 5. Next stop: ItajaĆ­, Brazil!


Image | Volvo Ocean Race website
For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!

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