4 tips for hiring a marine surveyor

If you're in the process of shopping for a new boat or replacing the one you have, you'll most likely have to call on the services of a marine surveyor. Just as you would normally take a used vehicle you're purchasing to a mechanic to have it inspected for any engine problems, so should you have boats you might buy looked at by an expert.

But if you've never hired a surveyor before, you may not know where to start. Luckily YachtWorld.com has some tips that can get you started on the right path:

  • Check marine surveyor organizations for names: There are several trade organizations whose members must meet certain standards in order to receive certification as a marine surveyor. These include the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors and the National Association of Marine Surveyors.
  • Don't rush your hiring decision: Check out multiple surveyors and ask for their inspection fees, as well as how much experience they've had in the business. Don't simply hire the first person you call.
  • Go to the inspection appointment: Unless you absolutely can't make it, try to attend the inspection itself and listen to the surveyor's observations.
  • Take the boat for a spin before the test ride: The test ride – when the surveyor actually evaluates the engine and boat performance – shouldn't be the first time you take the vessel out for a ride. You should already be familiar with its power and speed beforehand.

Once you purchase your new boat, you'll want to make sure that it's loaded with the latest marine accessories and instruments. If you're thinking about installing new communication and navigation equipment, ePal is your best option for procuring these items.

2 dead after boat flips in Westport River

Two duck hunters are dead and another is recovering from hypothermia after their aluminum boat capsized in the Westport River near New Bedford, Massachusetts. The bodies of the two deceased were recovered about a half mile from where the vessel flipped, while the survivor was found on the banks of Corey's Island.

CBS Boston reports that the air temperature at the time of rescue was 8 degrees, while the water temperature was 32 degrees. Wind speeds were as high as 35 mph. Rescuers stated that the conditions were pretty extreme for duck hunting, and that it was inadvisable to be out in such weather.

"It's tragic that this case resulted in two lives lost, and it is nothing short of miraculous that one hunter was saved," Lt. Bryan Swintek, the Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England public affairs officer, told the source. "It took teamwork between the Coast Guard rescue crews and our interagency partners to get him to safety."

A similar incident occurred in the same area just a week earlier, when a duck hunter went missing after his kayak was found on New Year's Eve. The hunter, Dana Dourdeville, has yet to be found.

These events are a sad reminder that piloting any kind of vessel, particularly if it is small and without shelter, during adverse weather is risky and should only be attempted if absolutely necessary. Of course, sometimes weather conditions can surprise you, with calm waters and clear skies quickly giving way to rain and wind within a matter of minutes. To avoid getting stuck offshore in such situations, make sure your boat is equipped with the right instruments that can warn you about approaching weather conditions. You can find the latest Garmin and Lowrance marine electronics at ePal.

Tips for preventing boat theft

Your boat is one of your most prized possessions, which means that you're probably perpetually concerned about it getting stolen. Unfortunately, boats are hot commodities with thieves, but the good news is that you're not powerless to prevent these thefts. By following these tips for securing your boat, you'll make it much less likely that someone will steal it, and if they do you'll have a much easier time tracking them down and getting it back.

  • Install a GPS tracking device in your vessel. There are a number of solutions that allow you to follow the movements of your boat so that you can inform law enforcement of its location, as well as its historical route, speed and the duration of stops.
  • Keep a copy of your boat registration, title, license numbers and any other information that can be used to identify your vessel. Share this information with police in the event that it is stolen.
  • Take many photographs of your vessel and any unique identifying markers.
  • Unhook your fuel lines so that your engine can't be started. You may have done this already anyway, as it's a common way of winterizing boats.

If you're concerned about your boat's safety and security, the best thing you can do is make sure it is equipped with high quality marine GPS and electronic components that can send you messages when the vessel has been operated without authorization. At ePal, we carry a wide selection of security accessories that are easy to operate and effective at preventing theft.

3 tips to help you take care of your wooden boat

Wooden boats are a blessing and a curse. They're often the most beautiful vessels on the water, but they're also a nightmare to take care of if you don't have a lot of experience working with wood. Before you invest in a wooden boat, it's important to know what you're getting into and how you can make the experience a positive one.

We've assembled a list of three tips that will help you keep your wooden boat in tip-top condition so that you can do more actual boating and less maintenance:

  • Keep it ventilated: Airing out the interior of the hull will go a long way toward preventing mold and rot from wreaking havoc on your wooden frame. These problems can cause deterioration that makes your vessel unsafe. If your wooden boat has enclosed areas, make sure you use fans to air them out routinely.
  • Reapply varnish and paint frequently: You should repaint and refinish your wooden boat at least every year or two, as this is your main protection from boat rot.
  • Store properly: If you're keeping your wooden boat outdoors, make sure to cover it and prevent rain water from collecting in pools anywhere on its decks.

In addition to keeping your wooden boat in good condition, you should make sure that any electronic boat parts such as your VHF radio are functional. These products are vital tools if you're ever stranded and in need of assistance from the local Coast Guard or Port Authority. If you're in need of a new radio, make sure you check out the inventory at ePal today.

Rescue off Loynes Island reinforces necessity of good marine electronics

Four men were rescued off the coast of Adolphustown, Ontario, in Lake Ontario on December 21 after their fishing boat sank. The men were discovered by the captains of two separate charter boats that happened to stumble upon their wreckage just in time to save the men from near-freezing water temperatures. The rescue demonstrates the importance of equipping your vessel with marine electronics and communication instruments that can be lifesavers in the event of an emergency.

The rescued boaters were floating in the water using body suits, but the suits had become water logged and the men were dangerously close to dying from hypothermia. Local news source The Belleville Intelligencer reports that Scott Walcott of Bay of Quinte Charters was trolling the waters around Loynes Island when he began to see debris in the water.

"I looked up and saw what looked like the bow of a boat in the water and a bunch of debris," he told the source. "There was a planer board and a cooler and a piece of pizza floating."

The men were quickly rescued and taken to Prince Edward Memorial Hospital in Picton, where they were treated and released.

Boating in the waters around the Canadian coast and on the Great Lakes in winter is an incredibly dangerous and risky task, as not only will you be dealing with freezing temperatures and inclement weather, but ice as well. In these situations, making sure you have all the communication equipment you need, such as a powerful VHF marine radio, is vital to your safety and that of your crew. The best place to procure these items is ePal.