Saturday, June 18, 2016

Find the Golden Ticket and stay Grounded .

Sailing Classes at Marina Park
While working at Marina Park I have noticed an extremely good value for anyone who is interested in leaning how to sail or paddle. I have to assume that while looking out over the harbor every summer that you have noticed all the junior sailing programs offered by the different yacht clubs. Lets say you our maybe just one of your kids are looking for a way to learn how to sail or paddle this summer? The University of California, Irvine operates the sailing base at Marina Park. Look up the Marina Parks web site then notice all the boats, SUP and kayaks that you can take and lean how to boat safely. The highlighted words to look for are education, safety, access and fun. All the equipment is brand new and UCI has put together a staff that can be compared to any sports dream team. I have personal watched the staff and they are very good at what they do. Class to look for when you get to the web page are Parent & Me sailing, Family Fun Night at Marina Park and Ladies Who Launch. You have to check this program out, I have never seen a greater value or opportunity to access our harbor. When you get down to the docks say Len Bose sent you and ask about the sailing association. If you do this you will be shocked to have earned a golden ticket to the harbor and everyone will ask how you did it.

Speaking of being shocked, I attend the Marine Recreation Association seminar last week on Corrosion, Electrolysis and Shock Hazards in the Marina. I am still trying to figure out why I always babble about the topic I have just attended but this information is important and I have to share it with you.

Now I am really stepping out on a wire here trying to explain electrical systems and stray current to you because I have no clue what I am talking about. But while at this seminar the first item that caught my attention was the National Fire Protection Association codes and standards. I sat up in my chair when I heard it is recommended to complete an annual inspection of all electrical wiring, grounds, connections, conduits and hangers. One of these items is “splicing of flexible cord/cable shall be prohibited.”
What does this mean to you and I? All those household extension cords, that you see on every dock you walk on, should not be used for charging the batteries on you Duffy or Harbor 20. One of my very good friends Harbor 20 caught on fire from an electrical fire and damaged the boat and they used a household extension cord. I recall our instructor stating that these cords will not hold up to the weather and are not strong enough to throw circuit breaker.

As the seminar continued we talked about a strict no swimming policy near boats especially in fresh water. This is when I started to understand that salt water conducts electricity and fresh water does not. That means the odds of drowning from electric shock is much greater in fresh water. So after hearing this, I am all charged up, and called my electrician to come and inspect my pool at home.

So in keeping everything simple and reviewing my notes these are some of the other things I am going to try and remember. If you have a sail drive on your sailboat or your boat is built of carbon ask you marine electrician how an isolation transformer works and find out why it is a good idea to install one on your boat.

When walking the docks notice that all the electrical connections should be one foot above the dock. Large pig tail connections should be strapped to the dock, we have all stepped on a line on a boat and understand how easy it is to slip when stepping on line. Note how power is supplied to the docks and were. It is a good idea to look for chafing in the electrical lines. Talk to your boat bottom cleaning divers they know when there is loss current around your docks. If your tripping your docks power circuit the odds are good it could be your relay in your inverter is probably failing.

When to call for help: Anytime an AC ground fault condition is suspected. Anytime DC stray current damage is observed. Anytime your diver or others report shock or tingle. Anytime you suspect problems with dock wiring.

Boat name of the week “ Knot for Sail”

Sea ya

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