Celebrating to his contribution to the UK marine Industry – Tony Johns

Every committee works as a team, your BMEEA committee comprises a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and committee members, sometimes it is interesting to put faces to the team and the attached article very comprehensively sums up the BMEEA Secretary – Tony Johns!

We have been lucky to have benefited from Tony’s services  for the past 25 years and is a veritable fountain of knowledge, freely divulged to all enquirers!  Please read the attached synopsis published courtesy of Boating Business ,  in celebration to his contribution to the  UK marine Industry.

Article in the magazine

The article is also available online at: https://www.boatingbusiness.com/news101/people/profile-tony-johns

Summer Boat Tips

Summer is definitely here in all its British glory, here are some summer tips to keep you going:

·         Check all hull fittings and especially the transducers/sensors used by the onboard electronics, keep the screw threads of through-hull housings well-greased with silicone or water pump grease. Ensure that the outer surfaces of the housings are properly coated with anti-fouling paint NOTE that Depth and Sonar transducers should be hand painted – not sprayed, with a thin coat of a non-metallic containing, non-ketone based anti-foul.  Check with the manufacturers because some anti-foul will damage the sonar face of the transducers or impair the operation of the transducer.  Speed impellers should also be hand painted with a thin coat of anti-foul, be careful not to impede operation of the paddle wheel.

·         Check the operation of the speed transducer paddle wheel, use a transducer service kit and fit a new paddle-wheel, paddle-wheel axle and O-Rings if the speed transducer looks worn or fouled in any way.  The requirement to replace the paddle wheel is determined by local water conditions, the sandier and muddier the water, the more the paddle wheel bearings will wear and a service kit might be needed every season to ensure accurate speed through the water.

·         Inspect the O-rings on both the sensor and the blanking plug and replace if damaged or worn, and then lubricate with an inert silicone lubricant or petroleum jelly (Vaseline®).

·         Check the sacrificial Anodes on the outside of the hull, excessive deterioration, or corrosive damage to other metallic hull fittings suggests there is an electrical issue onboard the boat associated with grounding or earth leakage currents and a qualified professional engineer should be engaged to investigate further.

·         Check the security of all earth bonding or grounding strips, ensure connections are secure, that grounding strips are undamaged and that grounding plates on the outside of the hull are clean and in good condition.

·         SSB radios use a sintered plate on the outside of the hull underwater to ensure an effective ground, check the security of this plate before the boat is refloated, ensure it is clean – DO NOT antifoul it.  These plates or blocks are usually made of thousands of small Bronze spheres to maximise the surface area and the gaps between them can become clogged with marine life or debris, ensure the plate is secure on the hull and in good condition.

·         Check all exterior electrical cabling, plugs and connectors are in good condition, replace any which appear damaged.

·         Check all exterior lighting and replace any lenses or fittings which are defective, cracked or leaking.

·         Check all cable runs through the boat, ensure all cabling is undamaged, secured correctly to avoid chafing, does not run through areas where it will be subject to excessive temperatures or lie submerged underwater for extended periods.  Locate and check all junction boxes  – this is a good opportunity to ensure you know where all the cables run and where connections are located which could help when trying to diagnose issues at sea.

·         Check the status of replaceable batteries in all handheld devices, Radios, GPS’s, EPIRBs, check the battery terminals are clean and replace with new batteries as necessary.  Ensure any rechargeable batteries will hold a charge and ensure they are fully charged.  Test correct operation of all devices.

Latest Spring update for Boat tips

Some more Spring tips for your boating pleasure:

·         Damp is the enemy of every electrical and electronic system, ensure the boat is well ventilated or installed with a dehumidifier.

·         Equipment left unused for extended periods of time can become erratic in operation due to damp affecting switch contacts, internal circuit boards, signal processors or even computer chips, so regular power up checks and operation during extended idle periods can help maintain correct operation. Part of the spring check is to operate every switch and circuit breaker onboard to ensure they operate as designed.

·         Switch contacts can accumulate Verdigris/ Corrosion over extended idle periods and this can create high resistance connections or even complete isolation of switch contacts. Repeatedly operate all switches and check the device being controlled to ensure it is receiving the full undiminished supply voltage and current

·         Carefully check all cables and Junction boxes to ensure the cable insulation is not damaged, cables are secured to bulkheads and not showing any signs of chafing, ensure all junction boxes are securely mounted and correctly sealed and no cables or junction boxes are mounted such that they remain submerged for extended periods of time. Replace any cables or junction boxes that show any signs of damp, wear, damage or overload.

·         Carefully check all electrical connections to ensure they are tight and secure against vibration, check fuses and fuseholders to ensure fuses are secure and making good contact with the cables and fuseholders and no corrosion has occurred over the winter. Add spare fuses to the boat’s spares inventory in case a fuse burns out at sea.

·         If additional equipment has been added over the winter, this may now overload the original fuse or cable. If in doubt, get the local qualified engineer to check and either redistribute load or install correct cabling and fusing to safely support and protect the electrical load.

·         If the mast has been un-stepped over the Winter, carefully check the cables in the mast for damage or chafing, check the masthead electrical/ electronic equipment and replace if in doubt – BEFORE the mast is re-stepped. Mast cables can stretch and fatigue over a period of time, causing random faults, replace if unsure of the condition or history of the boat.

·         Check the VHF antenna and cable/plugs/connections.  If poor remake.  If the antenna is 7-10 years old, then consider replacing.  It’s easier to pull the new cable thru the mast and fit the antenna when the mast is in the mast rack.  If in doubt, ask a dealer to check VSWR reading. (Ideally before the mast is stepped).

·         Check all electronic/electrical items that may need service and don’t leave it to the day you relaunch your vessel to contact your local dealer or supplier for service. 

·         Consider electronic chart card updates for the new season.  Contact your supplier or manufacturer and do not leave to the last minute.

·         Go online and check for manufacturers software updates.  There could be enhancements or new features at no extra costs.

·         Check normal operation of all electronic and electrical equipment onboard, a cold damp winter will highlight weaknesses in products and the first few power cycles can throw up a wide range of issues not seen before.

·         Browse the handbooks prior to when the boat is being launched.  Saves time calling your dealer or manufacturer on ‘how to enter a route in my chart plotter’ or ‘my instruments keep alarming and how do I stop it’.

·         Plan ahead for any service work required and notify your local dealer asap so they can help book it into their busy schedule.

If you need any help or advice regarding your boat, please contact a local BMEEA Member.