( 9 balls)
BoatUS-Seaworthy & Practical Sailor (July 08)
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A. While BoatU.S. supports the current standards set by the
American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) on portable generators, I
believe recent developments in the design of some small, gasoline-fueled gensets have made certain “packaged” units eminently
suitable for onboard use. I believe ABYC should consider a new
position regarding the carriage and use of these devices. Many of
these units, such as the Honda IS series, are already widely used
on recreational boats.
The gensets recommended for ABYC review are typically
entirely enclosed in a non-metallic case, use air-cooled, four-stroke
engines that run on gasoline (including E- 10), and have few, if any,
exposed parts that become hot during operation. The units are
typically well sound-proofed and the exhaust emissions are clean
enough to meet the California requirements. There is some carbon monoxide in the exhaust, therefore any comment from ABYC
should include a warning and recommendation for location of the
unit on board and the need to secure the unit on deck.
I Want To Take You Higher
Q. I will soon be buying a used sailing catamaran with radar,
which I have never used before. Do you have to run it when under
power? The dome is mounted on the arch at the stern of the boat.
I have seen domes mounted on arches, mini-masts and high on
the main mast. Would it be beneficial to mount the radar dome
high on the mast? Positives: it will “see” further, no mast in the way
of the signal forward, microwaves far above our heads. Negatives:
weight aloft, cost to mount and run fresh cable. Suggestions?
— William Hudson
A. Radar may be used at any time a vessel is underway and
should be in operation and monitored whenever there is any
limited visibility. It’s a collision-awareness and navigation tool and
is invaluable when properly interpreted — a skill best developed
by using it in clear weather so that visual targets can be correlated
with the “blips” on the screen.
There’s no need to locate the radar higher than its present
position. The radar will be primarily used on short ranges, typically a maximum of six miles and most often at less, perhaps the
one- to three-mile range. Your objective is to identify and avoid
traffic that’s close by and aids to navigation. Increasing the height
of the radar above the water will provide little to no advantage; the
distance to the radar horizon only increases with the square root of
the increase in height. Doubling the height increases the distance
by a factor of 1. 41. It’s important to recognize that the value of the
radar data depends on your keeping track of the progression of the
target blips as they move in relation to the center of the screen —
your boat’s position.
Q. I have a 23-foot center console which I trailer with dual
batteries and a 250-hp Evinrude, but I’m always concerned that
the batteries may die or not have enough charge to restart the
boat after being out and anchored for awhile with the electronics
going and the engine off. I would like to get a portable jump-start
booster, like those for cars. What capacity device, in starting or
cranking amps, would I need for this type of application?
— Alex Martinez