water quality is everyone's business, while we at COOPER normally focus on oceans, many of our boating enthusiasts also spend tim on the lakes of BC & ALBERTA
water testing is done by volunteers interested in having fun while they learn something new
individuals or groups sign-up to take water clarity readings throughout open-water season
testing is done using a SECCHI DISC - a water clarity measuring device used worldwide
it can be combined with ALBERTA WATER QUALITY AWARENESS DAY test kits for measuring additional water quality parameters
for more information or to sign-up contact:
• ALBERTA: PHIL SUTTON - (780) 433-8664 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• BRITISH COLUMBIA: BC Lake Stewardship Society - (250) 717-1212 or toll-free 1-877-BC LAKES
Subject: marina approach tips from the DOCK RATS themselves
(Posted on Apr 25, 2013 at 07:07PM by Colin Jackson)
MARLA & many of our cruising instructors become well known at all the local marinas in the GULF ISLANDS, SUNSHINE COAST & DESOLATION SOUND
its always fun for us to chat to the wharfingers & 'dock rats' - & it is kind of interesting what comes up in discussion!
to share - here are a couple 'rat' reminders as the season heats up:
marina staff relay that boats coming to the assigned slips do not have fenders & lines ready ahead of time and the staff end up trying to hold the boats OFF the docks to prevent damage and TO the docks while the crew get lines attached (skippers and crew should be more concerned about the boats!)
TIP …. pre-planning is the sign of a great skipper …… as you approach the marina:
* take the time to slow down, bring the boat to a stop in a safe place all the while keeping an eye on approaching traffic and you’re the movement of your own boat
* allow your crew the time to get the fenders set up at the correct height, get the dock-lines attached so they run from the cleats and below the life lines but back onto the boat and out of the water whilst approaching the dock
*brief your crew BEFORE you approach the dock & as skipper, give yourself a chance to look at the set up so you are happy with what you see
"RATS" also commented that boaters approach docks in gear & with speed increasing the chances of damaging the boats, the docks & with a menacing poke of a boat hook (a-la-'jousting') ….. THE RATS THEMSELVES!
TIP …. it is always easier to handle boats around docks and pylons & other stationary boats, from a position of being in neutral gear sooner rather than later ~boats still slip through the water with MO (momentum) & as MO decreases, give your self some forward or reverse gear to deliver you in the direction you need to go ….. that’s all it takes ~ in gear & out of gear~ no speed, just movement ~ only as much as you need ~ with finesse!
if you have no idea what we are talking about ~ talk to our office crew about a docking clinic (asap!)
Subject: BOATING ACADEMY AWARDS - life is better on a boat
(Posted on Mar 28, 2013 at 11:07PM by Colin Jackson)
with the big award shows gone by, unreal reality contests brewing ~ let us get to the important awards:
BOATING ACADEMY AWARDS ~ (the BAA's- sheep anyone?) as contemplated by you & the other judges at COOPER BOATING
~ our finalists ~ grab your popcorn & help us judge the from the top 4:
~ GOOD RUN ~
(LIFE'S JUST BETTER ON A BOAT)
warning ~ starts slow & knocks you out part way along if you love boats
~ BOATLIFT ~
who doesn't love TOM HANKS & he tells a story that reminds us of all the COMPULSIVELY HELPFUL people on the water
~ COWICHAN ~
just one of many fantastic destinations here (while it needs more boating, seeing a grand piano on a dock is a home run!)
~ COOPER 2013 ~
our newest video to overview what we do on this spectacular coast (helpful to remember as we're all getting older)
~ CALL OUR JUDGE CREW (604.687.4110 or 888.999.6419) for your thoughts & book that boating experience of your own at the same time ~ remember ~ life's just better on a boat
perhaps the most dreaded device on the boat OUTBOARD MOTOR ~ whether they are powering small yachts or tenders, the 'kicker' may have derived its nickname from the fact that folks would like to punt it off the boat down to DAVEY JONES' locker
the move to four stroke models seems to have escalated the tempermental nature of these critters (& some of us feel bad looking forward to finding the less environmentally sensitive old 'two strokes' in hopes we won't need a priest to get them started)
if forklifts can pull off reliable service with lower impact, why not an outboard?
the folks at LEHR thought so - here is a bit of their story:
"Aboard ship, portable gasoline powered generators drive everything from air compressors to scientific test equipment to running lights. Gasoline is dangerous to use, difficult to store and the carbon monoxide fumes it produces can have a devastating effect on the well being of a ship’s crew. Galley stoves are powered by cleaner burning propane. “Why not the generators?” thought Captain Herzer. A great idea but, at the time, small generators that ran on propane were not being commercialized. Undeterred, Captain Herzer funded his own research. With desire, determination and an unwavering belief in the project, just 2 ½ years later, Captain Herzer found a way to make small, commercial engines run cleaner and more efficiently on propane. Patent applications were filed and LEHR was born."
~~ with the order of a tender outboard for our new DUFOUR 45e today, we're officially underway with this new technology & we'll be testing the long shaft version on the MARTIN 244's shortly - APRIL is the month for this exciting new technology at COOPER
when thinking of the battery bank aboard a cruising yacht, I like to think of a bank account (seems a very convenient analogy)
when your battery bank is FULLY CHARGED, you are comfortable & can use equipment at will ~ not unlike the great feeling of that full bank account
as you make withdrawals from this bank, you need to start considering how you will make deposits back ~ that same uncomfortable feeling associated with a dropping bank account comes to mind (see how relative this analogy is?)
* the alternator on the engine is one way to bring the batteries back up
* the shore power charger is another way
* some boats use solar & wind generators
unlike my cel phone, which seems to still work when the gauge says 2%, the battery bank on the boat shouldn't go below 50%
conversely, it is very hard to get right to 100%, especially when out at anchor or motoring
every boat is a little different, but you might come up with a zone between 50 - 90% - meaning you make sure you start recharging as you approach 50% & you keep that charging going until you reach 90% (knowing below 50% will hurt most batteries and above 90% might just be too hard unless you are alongside with great shore power)
BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW?
some people talk about measuring voltage, but that's going to throw you bad information if you've just been charging or drawing (making deposits or withdrawals) - so we're working to add BATTERY MONITORS to our fleet - these 'battery fuel gauges' are the only sure fire way to know where in fact the bank is
don't ROB the BANK ~ related MYSTERIES & MISCONCEPTIONS
~ some people over the years think that when you plug the boat in, DC appliances magically change over to AC appliances because the boat is plugged in ~ this is not the case ~ but you may be making withdrawals & deposits at the same rate and holding your bank balance 'even'
~ be aware of multiple chargers when they exist and make sure you have engaged all charging devices you need
~ also be aware that a big invertor/charger may take everything the dock can throw at it - so not the best time to also have hot water tanks & other high load items pulling too
when staring at a boat and wondering how she'll handle, one of the first questions at a basic basic level (the best level to begin by the way) should involve how much of the boat is IN the water and how much is ON the water
large, heavy boats that displace a lot of water are effectively IN the water and behave very differently than lighter boats that sit mostly ON the water
HOW do you use this concept?
as you turn, boats that are ON the water, offering less lateral resistance, will slide sideways MORE than boats that are heavier and offer greater resistance
as you approach the dock, knowing how much sideways distance is involved can mean the difference between docking in style and something that more closely resembles a crash
but even different ends of the same boat will behave differently - in our DOCKING clinic, we show (with certain pizzazz) the difference between the pointy end and the blunt end when it comes to boat handling - part of the reason it is the fact there is way MORE boat IN the water near the stern and relatively LESS boat IN the water up forward at the bow ~ the bow can change direction far quicker than the stern ~ an asset in certain circumstances & a liability in others
a BOW THRUSTER and a STERN THRUSTER cannot be the same size on the same boat if you want the boat to move directly sideways ~ why? ~ there's a lot more STERN to push
TAKE IT A LITTLE FURTHER
catamarans come with inherent efficiency ~ they get stability by something very different than just displacing water - they are more ON the water than IN the water
lightweight RIGID INFLATABLE BOATS (RIB's) gain stability from the pontoons, but also designs work to keep those as much out of the water as possible in ideal condtions ~ they work to stay ON the water, but when coming off a large wave & not landing directly on centreline, the tubes kick in and hep the boat from becoming further IN the water
at the most extremes lay the submarine - entirely IN the water when submerged - & hydroplanes - working to be as far above the water as possible without losing control at the other end of the spectrum - ON the water
hope you enjoyed this tidbit - we're very keen to show you more out ON the water soon (or IN... not sure, now we're getting confused!)
think back to the movie and remember how those f14’s barreled towards the rolling deck of the carrier and came to a sudden halt with the assistance of an cable they call an ‘arrestor’ wire?
that little piece of imagery can work for you as well
you see boats have gotten wider – especially in the stern – and getting a line off the back corner with some forward pull can spin the boat alongside all on its own
we’ve watched our founder cruising his 64 footer with only his wife aboard and what they work with is basically their own ‘arrestor wire’ ~ two people ~ one gigantic boat ~ 55 years of marriage in tact ~~ how?
let’s say they want to be alongside portside to the dock ~ MR. COOPER gets the port aft corner of the boat safely to the dock and MRS. COOPER steps ashore and ties her one magic knot (well, nothing magic about it ~ just a proper figure eight cleat knot)
once secure, MR. COOPER can put the starboard engine in slow ahead and the boat will pull forward and in alongside the dock ~ it is so effective that if one were to leave the boat this way overnight, providing she has enough fuel, the boat will still be sitting there in the morning ~ lots of time to properly secure the balance of the lines and adjust fenders with ease
this example works for twin engine boats and can be used effectively with single engine boats as well, especially when some rudder angle towards the dock is added to the equation
magic docking ~ be up there with the BEST OF THE BEST!
for your first trip on our magnificent coast, why not take a routing specifically designed to be simple and straightforward?
the DREAMSPEAKER team put together this great cruising itinerary for people that are NEWBIES (either to boats as skippers, our experienced boaters who are new to our BRITISH COLUMBIA coast)
SAILORS and POWER BOATERS alike can enjoy this routing - reference with your very own GUIDE BOOK
seems a lot of people look at boats and wonder ‘how can I do that?’
~ and this leads to our favourite question: ‘what courses can I take that will allow me to charter a boat’
the simple answer is ‘any of our multi-day on the water programs’
complete the CREW & BAY SKIPPER programs and we’d love to see you out chartering the daysailing boats on the bay
complete the cruise & learn and start your overnight charters on larger boats ~~ or step up from BAY SKIPPER by taking CRUISING NUTS & BOLTS
looking to explore more distant harbours and be more self sufficient? ~~ that’s what GUNKHOLING is all about ~ that’s the special name we use to cover the more in depth cruising programs that can lead to CYA INTERMEDIATE or IYT INTERNATIONAL BAREBOAT SKIPPER
we’re really excited to see you progress to chartering ~~ after all, we have an incredible collection of the finest charter boats in the area
sometimes people get through the program and have the certification, but they wonder if there is some ‘middle step’ between courses and chartering all on their own ~ we have three stepping stones to ‘going it alone’:
1) some people take a skipper / instructor for the first day or two on their charter ~ they jettison this helper (preferably at somewhere they can buzz back home and not middle of the strait) and continue on their holiday
2) others join a flotilla and have their own family and friends but a resource boat nearby and some ‘good coaching’
3) others follow an itinerary, especially our fresh ‘newbie’ itinerary from the authors of the DREAMSPEAKER CRUISING guides – complete with some of the most straightforward routes and harbour entrances
WHAT SIZE OF BOAT SHOULD YOU CHARTER?
~ your instructor will make recommendations, but in general, the size you did your course on and/or what you are comfortable with are the starting points
simply put - we collect experts for various YACHT and CRUISING topics and get them together to kick our BOATING TIPS & TRICKS philosophy to the next level
whether you are just starting out or contemplating crossing an ocean - one of these (or all of them) will amaze you, inform you or get you that AHA moment over something that puzzles you when afloat
at COOPER BOATING, we have to be generalists in order to keep a whole bunch of different boats in top form - but we have a collective team of strategic partners that are the true specialists and yacht experts - from building entire boats to BC boat sales experts who know how to scour the planet to get you the best deal
we have people specialize in rigging, engines or boat wiring as well
these sessions represent a building wave in shoreside boat clinics - and an opportunity to test drive for some of our classes
everyone wants to share their expertise and make those all important face to face connections to truly make you READY for FUN on the WATER -
what does it cost?? we cover all the expenditures but want to do something great at the same time - so please bring something for the FOOD BANK so we can give something back - from those fortunate enough to enjoy time afloat to those who need a helping hand at this time
in a recent ALBERTA session one participant said "it's like drinking from a fire hose" -- we're adjusting the format to keep these passionate experts to a manageable pace!
check out the next one
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