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!

LEG 4 RESULTS

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

Monday, February 23, 2015

"Cuba Ahoy!" Not So Fast ...
Captains Await The All Clear To Head South

Plotting On Pause:
Course to Cuba Remains Cluttered
As we wrote in December, word from the White House about re-establishing diplomatic ties with Cuba sparked a lot of interest in our industry. That said, how does the phrase go ..."stand by to stand by"? It seems like yacht owners, captains and crews are doing just that as they await official word confirming U.S.-Cuba travel restrictions have been lifted.

But there's more to cruising to Cuba than simply finding an open slip at Gaviota Varadero. Between specialty visas requirements, narrowly defined permissible trip purposes, and the legality of insurance coverage for vessels and crew members alike, the course to Cuba remains a tricky one to chart. Read more about the procedural considerations here:

Open Cuba talks have U.S. yachts and crew poised to set sail
Current obstacles aside, mariners seem eager: ready at the dock, lines singled up, shore cords unplugged and coiled up on the foredeck (metaphorically speaking, of course). We certainly wouldn't mind docking our charter yacht at one of the proposed new marinas in Cuba when everything is sorted out. What about you? Do you have plans to point your bow south? For recreational, charitable, or professional visits? Let us know in the comments below!

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

Friday, February 20, 2015

How To Dismantle A Disaster
Consortium Presents Recycling Plan For Costa Concordia

One rock started it and now hundreds of men will finish the job - the tear down of the Costa Concordia. Following "one of the biggest maritime salvage operations" in history, the dismantling project is expected to take nearly two years for a ship recycling consortium to complete in Genoa, Italy. Here are details provided by the two companies in charge - Saipem and San Giorgia del Porto:
The Four Phases of the Costa Concordia Dismantling Project - gCaptain Maritime & Offshore News With a vow to safeguard the environment and all involved personnel, the joint venture aims to recycle about 80 percent of the metal and other materials from the wreck.

This video illustrates the maneuvering of the wreck from slip-to-slip and finally to drydock during the process:


"It must be so eerie to work on that," our own Capt. Ben Stanley mused, solemnly. He then added, "I wouldn't want that boatyard bill." Indeed.

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

Monday, February 16, 2015

Divvying Up The Yacht
Is Fractional Ownership Right For You?

Just a few of the yachts for sale at last year's
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show
As we walked the plank dock at the Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show yesterday, we marveled once again at the number and variety of beautiful yachts for sale and/or charter. Our cursory inspections of several listed vessels left us wondering, "Why is this beauty still on the market?" Of course, we know the answer: In the absence of subjective limitations such as design, the number one obstacle to yacht ownership is usually the price tag.

Let's face it, taking sole ownership of a luxury yacht is no small feat. Between the initial outlay and the subsequent cost of maintenance (some industry veterans suggest an annual expense of as much as a third of the purchase price), no matter how great a deal you got at the boat show, you're looking at signing lots of checks with lots of zeroes. That thought alone can be off-putting for many. Which begs the question: Is fractional ownership right for you? If you're not familiar with the concept, read on ...
Buying a Yacht: Has Fractional Ownership Found its Niche?
So what do you think? Would you be willing to invest in a "time share" yacht or would you prefer to own it outright? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and remember, whichever method you choose, we're here to keep your boat afloat!

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

Thursday, February 12, 2015

That's An Interesting Place To Dock A Hinckley ...
Maggie Mae Snowbound On Summer Street

And that's just ironic. Fortunately for the yacht's owner, it seems snarled traffic was the worst of it when the 43-foot Hinckley was stranded on the bed of a the disabled truck transporting it to this weekend's New England Boat Show. No damage, according to reports. Lovely boat - we've always been fans of Hinckleys.
Big boat blocks traffic in downtown Boston
For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

UPDATED: Costa Concordia Captain Pleads For Leniency
Schettino Claims He's A Scapegoat

UPDATE [2:13 p.m.] Sky News on Twitter Sky News is reporting Capt. Schettino has been found guilty on manslaughter charges, sentenced to 16 years in prison.
******************************************************
Closing arguments are over and Capt. Schettino's fate is now in the hands of the trial judges. The verdict on manslaughter and abandoning ship charges against the former master of the doomed Costa Concordia may be announced later today. Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino Makes Tearful Plea at Trial
At times sobbing loudly, Schettino peppered his final statement to the panel of judges with claims he has been hounded and persecuted while living in a "media meat grinder" for the past three years. Facing a 26-year prison term, the Italian captain blamed his crew and company policy for the shipwreck which claimed 32 lives. He also asserted he did not intentionally abandon the vessel ahead of fleeing passengers but, rather, fell off and was ordered by the ship's owners not to re-board.

As usual, we'll be standing watch and keeping you updated. In the interim, feel free to let us know your thoughts on Capt. Schettino's case in the comments below.

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

Monday, February 9, 2015

New Boater Demographics Means New Business Tactics
Welcoming Aboard A New Generation

As a yacht services company, we obviously welcome new boaters of all ages. That said, and as James Nolan pointed out in the article below, our industry must be prepared to adjust marketing strategies and tailor communications to seduce a younger clientele - namely, the so-called "millennials".

The Importance of Millennials to the Recreational Boating Industry | Marine Marketing Tools
While we might not be up on all the new texting lingo and "emojis", we do know how to plug an iPod in to the central audio system on our charter yacht and we've figured out how to "stream" movies. Baby steps, friends. Baby steps.

All jokes aside, the marine industry as a whole, not just the recreational boating component, needs to keep up with the ever-changing times to encourage new boaters to sail the ever-changing tides.

For our part, we do our best to stay abreast of current trends affecting everything from the economy to technology to popular culture. We utilize any number of readily available resources to do this including, of course, social media. We've also found it useful to attend non-marine industry networking events (such things do exist) to listen to and learn from younger professionals and business leaders. And, of course, we'd love to hear from you! What ideas to you have to keep our industry and all that it offers relevant and attractive to a new generation of boaters? Let us know in the comments below.

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

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