Tuesday, November 18, 2014

You Leave Your A/C Running ... But Is That Cool?

THE PROS & CONS OF KEEPING IT COOL [INFOGRAPHIC]

Stepping into a perfectly climate-controlled wheelhouse or main salon can set the tone for your entire cruise. After all, who wants to invite guests into a floating sweat lodge? And, if you're like some of our clients, you know there are certain benefits to leaving your air-conditioning system running at all times.

That being said, before you tape the A/C breaker in the "ON" position, you should be aware of some of the pricey pitfalls this cool convenience can present. From plastic bags and jellyfish, to equipment failure and bad luck, several factors should be seriously considered lest you sink your boat. Literally.

A/C Pros & Cons

There are several steps you can take should you opt for the more cautious approach of turning your A/C off when you leave your boat for an extended length of time. For example:
  • Set up a dehumidifier - place it in the galley sink so excess moisture pulled from the air drains away safely. Products such as DampRid® are also helpful.
  • Plug in simple electric fans - these can be used throughout your boat to keep air moving. Place air fresheners nearby for clean, fresh scent.
  • Install solar vents on hatches - to facilitate the escape of hot air in the cabins.
  • Fasten solar screens to windows - fabrics such as Textilene® can protect your interior from glare and excess heat, protecting your wood finishes.
On the other hand, maybe you prefer to keep your floating paradise cool and crisp at all times. If you plan on running your A/C non-stop after you leave the dock, you might want to:
  • Insert chlorine tablets in sea strainers - this will cut down on barnacle growth, etc. in raw water intakes and hoses.
  • Double clamp those raw water hoses - routinely check for proper placement and fit.
  • Inspect hoses for cracks - a deteriorating hose can burst unexpectedly.
  • Keep a close eye on sea strainers - be prepared to remove & clean regularly.
  • Schedule regular bottom cleanings - unplugging thru-hull intakes is part of the job.
If you're ready to make a bigger investment, you may even favor a remote integrated system controller. The ability to remotely monitor and control your boat's systems is becoming increasingly popular and financially feasible. From high-end Internet-based interfaces, such as the one offered by Dometic, for example, to Marine Control Systems' more moderately priced Yacht Guard SMS-8 controller, solutions are available that allow you to start your A/C in advance of your arrival or turn it off in the event of say, a high water alarm code sent to your cellphone. So, problem solved, right?

Not so fast.

No matter what, when it comes to running your boat's A/C, whether you choose to keep it on "at all times" or "only as needed", you should always consider hiring a competent management team located near your vessel to maintain and inspect your systems and/or take corrective measures as needed. Nothing beats a set of real eyes and hands on board and at the ready! And, you know what we're going to say ...

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


Friday, November 14, 2014

Over 6,000 Miles Down; A Whole Bunch To Go
VOLVO OCEAN RACE | Leg 1 Highlights [VIDEO]

Over the span of almost a month, they sailed 6,487 nautical miles non-stop from Spain to South Africa, racing against the clock, the winds, the seas, and themselves. And, at last, the weary and weather-worn travelers docked. Here are some highlights from Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race - Alicante to Cape Town.


With the longest leg of the race safely past stern, the seven valiant VOR teams enjoyed some well-deserved rest while their vessels were hauled out for inspection. With any necessary fine-tuning and repairs complete, the fierce competitors are now ready for Leg 2 - Cape Town to Abu Dhabi. Yesterday, the teams were given the all-clear by VOR security experts so they should be able to sail the entire course without undue interference from would-be ne'er-do-wells on the high seas.

All-clear from piracy threat

But, before they sail off, there's a bit of business to be taken care of - Saturday's In-Port race. With a windy weather forecast for the start at 2:00 p.m. in Cape Town (7:00 a.m. Eastern), it looks like we'll get to watch a thrilling go-round. The young American crew, Team Alvimedica, is hoping for an improvement on its fourth place finish in the practice run which took place earlier this week. So, early risers, want to see how the lads do? Tune in here to watch the live video stream.

Best of luck to all the salty sailors and may the winds be ever in your favor!
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For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!©

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

BOATING IS BACK!

You may have read about, or even experienced first-hand, the decline in sales and other revenue the boating industry suffered during the last recession. Well, according to industry experts and observers, it looks like that trend has reversed and we're well on our way back to smooth sailing. Between a healthier economy, concerted marketing efforts and outreach programs, the tide has turned in the industry's favor.

Not only are sales on the rise - up by 4.7% for power boats in 2013 - Americans are flocking to the water in record numbers, with some 88 million participating in recreational boating last year. According to Carl Blackwell, a spokesman for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), "Florida, Texas, Michigan, Minnesota and New York were the leading boating states" in 2013.

This is good news for everyone for, as NMMA's infographic shows, recreational boating has a significant impact on Florida's economy.

Economic Significance Of Recreational Boating In Florida

So, get on board and let's cruise together. Boating is back!

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




Friday, November 7, 2014

Freedom - The Other One - Locked Down
Delayed 8 Days By River Lock Repairs

Docked by the Tennessee Aquarium
Photo | Tim Barber
Not to be confused with Stanley Yacht Service's 61-foot charter yacht, Freedom, this bearer of the wildly popular boat appellation measures 151 feet and is worth a purported $20 million. Formerly known as Bella Bri, the 2008 Northern Marine tri-deck motoryacht was recently hampered by an unexpected lockdown of the Chickamauga Lock on the Tennessee River. As the Times Free Press reports:
A routine lock inspection by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Oct. 27 found a crack in one of the anchors to the upper gate. The Corps immediately shut down the lock, idling barge, yacht and recreational boat traffic through Chattanooga until the lock could be repaired. 
Those repairs, originally expected to take up to three weeks, were completed within eight days. The Chickamauga Lock reopened last Tuesday, allowing Freedom to resume a two-week journey to Fort Lauderdale.

To read more, click here:-->  $20 million yacht gets stuck on Tennessee River | Times Free Press


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


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Coast Guard Hoists Injured Woman From Bimini Superfast Ferry

USCG NEWS RELEASE

Click for video of hoist | USCG
MIAMI — A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami hoisted an injured woman Wendesday night from the Bimini Superfast ferry approximately 10 miles off the coast of Bimini, the Bahamas.

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard 7th District command center received the request for a medical evacuation at 6:20 p.m., Wednesday. The 40-year-old woman aboard the Bimini Superfast ferry had reportedly suffered a head injury.

An MH-65 Dolphin search and rescue helicopter from Miami was launched and arrived on scene at 7:15 p.m. The injured woman was hoisted into the helciopter and then transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital for further treatment.

/ / /

For breaking news, follow USCG on Twitter @uscgsoutheast. We wish the injured passenger a speedy recovery and, as always, thank the Coast Guard for all they do!

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"Just Another Day At The Office"
Cheeky Video By Volvo Ocean Race Sailors

We think everyone will enjoy this glimpse into a day in the life of the hardy sailors currently racing around the globe in the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race.


We wish all teams the best of luck - fair winds and friendly seas! And we are certainly following and cheering on the sole American entry, Team Alvimedica!

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

ALERT: Tropical Storm GONZALO
TS Wind Probabilities & The Mariners' 1-2-3 Rule

Keep A Weather Eye On The Horizon!


Tropical Storm GONZALO | tropical storm force wind probabilities

Hurricane warnings, meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 24 hours, are now in effect for:
  • British Virgin Islands
  • St. Martin
Hurricane watches, meaning hurricane conditions are possible in the next 24 hours, have been issued for:
  • St. Maartin
  • Anguilla 
  • Puerto Rico
  • Vieques and Culebra
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
Meanwhile, tropical storm warnings are in effect for:
  • St. Martin
  • St. Barthelemy
  • St. Maartin
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Saba and St. Eustatius
  • Anguilla
  • Nevis and St. Kitts
  • Monsterrate
  • Puerto Rico
  • Vieques and Culebra
  • U.S. Virgin Islands


The Mariners' 1-2-3 Rule


Chart | www.nhc.noaa.gov
The Mariners' 1-2-3 Rule, or "Danger area", is indicated by shading. The 1-2-3 Rule, commonly taught to mariners, refers to the rounded long-term NHC forecast errors of 100-200-300 nautical miles at 24-48-72 hours, respectively. The contour defining the shaded area is constructed by accounting for those errors and then broadened further to reflect the maximum tropical storm force (34 knot) wind radii forecast at each of those times by the NHC. The NHC does not warrant that avoiding these danger areas will eliminate the risk of harm from tropical cyclones. 
Users operating in the vicinity of these systems are advised to continually monitor the latest Forecast/Advisories from the NHC and proceed at their own risk. Areas are also shaded for systems in which NHC forecasters believe there is an adequate chance of tropical cyclone formation within the next 48 hours.
With many of our fellow boaters and charter crews in the zone of concern, we urge everyone to beware and be safe! Stay tuned to local broadcasts and weather alerts for regular updates!

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



Saturday, October 4, 2014

Baluchi Rescued From Bermuda Bound Bubble

Known for running all over the world in the name of peace and unity, Reza Baluchi's latest venture ended prematurely Saturday morning when the United States Coast Guard rescued the exhausted man from his drifting "hydro pod" about 80 miles east of St. Augustine, Florida. It was the Coast Guard's second interaction with Baluchi.

USCG Cutter Webber arrives on scene
Wednesday off the coast of Miami.
Photo | U.S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard At Work

Three days earlier, watchstanders at the USCG's District 7 Command Center in Miami had received a report of a disoriented individual floating offshore in an inflatable bubble. Dispatched to the scene, Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber crew members located Baluchi in his specially designed globe, with protein bars, bottled water, a GPS and a satellite phone in his possession. He asked for directions to Bermuda and declined to leave his vessel despite being warned about the dangers of his intended passage.

Thereafter, watchstanders continued to monitor Baluchi's progress along Florida's Atlantic coast until he activated his Personal Locating Beacon (PLB) on Saturday morning. Search-and-rescue crews out of Air Station Clearwater reached the defeated Baluchi and a rescue swimmer safely hoisted him into the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. Baluchi received medical evaluation in Clearwater. No injuries were reported.

Baluchi aims to run in 194 countries
Photo | runwithreza.org

Run Reza, Run

Having completed running events for charity in 55 different countries so far, Baluchi's latest goal is to traverse the Bermuda Triangle to raise money for children in need. He designed the hydro pod to enable him to "run across the sea" and tested the floating orb in 2013, traveling 33 miles from Newport Beach to Catalina Island. The first leg of his Bermuda Triangle journey would have covered 1,033 miles from Miami to Bermuda but for the forced abandonment on Saturday.

While he acknowledges the difficult physical conditions inside the bubble, Baluchi asserts his mental fitness will ultimately propel him to his goal.  We admire his tenacity and wish him the best of luck going forward.

And thanks, as always, to the men and women of the United States Coast Guard for all they do!

To learn more about Reza's mission, click here.
_______________________________________________

UPDATE: Audio | SAT call between USCG and Baluchi

UPDATE: ‘I want my bubble back,’ says man rescued by Coast Guard | The Miami Herald


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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cruise Into Fall Aboard Freedom

There's no better time to book your luxury cruise aboard M/Y Freedom
Enjoy 10% off 4 hour cruises, a complimentary bottle of wine & hors d'oeuvres.

This offer is valid for charters through December 15, 2014. Certain restrictions apply.

Limited bookings available so make your reservations early!
Use promo code: FALLFLING

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

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