Seacock Maintenance

The long forgotten seacock….yeah the valve in the bottom of the bilge that separates the world’s oceans from the inside of your boat! If this valve has such a BIG job, why is it that most of us never pay any attention to it?

At least four times a year minimum (and best to actuate them monthly) all of your seacocks or ball valves (depending on what was installed in your boat) needs to be “worked” to ensure that the valve is in working order. Additionally, a spray silicon lubricant should be sprayed on the moving parts to help keep working smoothly. If at all possible it would be ideal to check all of these valves when the boat is out of the water. If there is a problem with one of them, then it is more convenient to repair or replace. However, don’t delay opening and closing each ball valve or seacock to ensure proper functionality just because your boat is still in the water.  If you do have a problem with one of the valves, it obviously is better to find out when you are at the dock and not 50 miles offshore!

There are several types of these valves, each requiring slightly different care.

First there are gate valves. Let’s hope you don’t have any of these as they are the most prone to fail and have been prohibited to be used byNational Marine Manufacturers Association http://www.nmma.org/ approved boat manufacturers by American Boat and Yacht Counsel http://www.abycinc.org/.  It is advisable to replace any of this type of valve at the earliest possible opportunity. It is best to have skilled marine technician that is familiar with ABYC Standards replace the valves. http://www.proboat.com/2010/02/sweating-the-small-stuff/

Ball Valves- Pretty simple for routine maintenance. First make sure that the component that the valve supplying water to is turned off. Now, simply close and open the valve several times to ensure smooth and easy operation. If the valve is stuck either in the open or closed position, you may want to employ a certified marine mechanic to see if he/she can “free” it up. If not, then it needs to be replaced. In the event that a hose or seal fails “down stream” of this valve and it can NOT be closed, it gets to be pretty exciting on board as you have to “MacGyver” a field fix out on the water before your boat sinks!  Also,  while opening and closing the valve, look closely at the bronze housing for signs of corrosion and/or electrolysis. If it has any pitting or is pinkish in color, have it replaced!

Seacocks- Again, pretty simple and is treated the same as a ball valve (see above). The only real difference between the two is that some seacocks can be disassembled for inspection and greasing of the interior housing and valve assembly. Newer seacocks are designed and constructed in similar fashion to ball valves and are actually a version of a ball valve. Older and some larger seacocks have a cone shaped rotating inner valve assembly that sits inside of the housing. It is held in place with a nut and washer on the opposite of the handle along the rotating axis. When the boat is hauled, the seacock should be disassembled to have the housing and valve assembly cleaned, inspected and lubricated with water proof grease before being reassembled.

When your boat is hauled this is the time to carefully inspect all seacocks. Remove the hose attached inside. Have someone inside the boatactuate the seacock while you are outside looking up into the seacock with a flashlight. Remove marine growth and any other obstructions and insure smooth operation. And finally, completely remove seacocks for disassembly and inspection every four years, which also ensures that you’ll be renewing the bedding compound when they’re reinstalled.

 

Richard Strauss is a broker with Galati Yacht Sales, and has been around boats nearly all his life. He has a degree in Marine Technology from Florida Tech, and has worked for well-known boat manufacturers as well as operated his own boat repair facility for fourteen years. When he is not busy helping customers find the boat of their dreams or sell their existing boat, he can be found cruising the waters of Sarasota Bay. You can contact Richard at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-strauss-82425926 or 239-633-5724.

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

With the Snook season closed here on the west coast, I think many people are forgetting how much fun big Snook are.  They jump, thrash, and pull.  Everything you really enjoy about fishing all rolled up in one striped package.  Snook will eat top water, jigs, swim baits, spoons, if you throw it they will eat it.

And right now they are kind of easy to catch, The rain which is coming every few days has them bunched up at the spillways, waiting for the easy meal to get pulled over the dams.  Try small white lures, 3 to 4 inches, cast right at the falling water.  Rapala X-rap 8 size is a great one to start with.  If you are thinking of doing this, take an extra couple of minutes to flatten the barbs on the treble hooks of the lure. Do not smash them just bend the tip of the barb down.  Makes it easy to get out of the Snook and they do not come off.  And consider that when you are grabbing the lip of a Snook with a lure there are lots of barbed hooks.  If the flattened down, the barbs come out of your hand easy also.

Well good luck & have fun out there.

Fishin’ Frank

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

(FT. MYERS BEACH TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR) Last Saturday I was off to the Keys (Islamorada) for some time with my 1st Mate Vicki (wife) to enjoy dragging some lines for Dolphin, Tuna and anything else that I could coerce to ‘hit the bait’. We had a wonderful time catching and eating fish as well as doing some relaxed snorkeling around Alligator Reef. I am home now looking forward to a productive week in both ‘off-shore’ and ‘back country’ fishing for Red Grouper and Permit as well as Snook, Reds and other species respectively.

Charter Captains report that ‘off-shore’ has been good for Red Grouper in 20-25 ft of water on hard bottom with Permit being taken over structure in the 20 to 30 pound range in approximately the same depths. I suggest that with the beautiful weather we are having and forecast to have, that this will be a good week to ‘fish the gulf’ for your favorite summer catch!

Moreover, I predict that with the new moon and good tides, that the ‘flats’ and ‘back country’ fishing opportunities will be second to none from Punta Rassa to Bokeelia for Snook, Redfish and a variety of other species this week for both the experienced and beginning angler.

If you want to get in on the action or need some information to make your trip a success; give me a call at 239-357-6829/239-471-7332 or email me at fishfacecharters@yahoo.com. Check out my website at www.fishfacecharter.com for fishing articles and additional information for booking a charter.

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

Well there is good news for all you big game people, The Tarpon are holding good in the Harbor, and it is easy you can use any lure you wish as long as it is a D.O.A. , Bait-buster or Swimming Mullet.  This is a crazy year for Tarpon, live bait, cut bait, all is good to use but the hook-ups keep coming on The D.O.A.

OK here is what you do, Start early at the Gilchrist bridges or as we call them the 41 bridges, Start casting the pilings then keep an eye open for the rolling fish, they do not like outboard engines too much, so you will need an electric motor to keep up with the Tarpon.  Sometime about 8:am or so they will show up along the southern shore line to fisherman’s Village, where they will hang out on the west side.  By 10:am they are on the move again. The most common destination is the mouth of the Myakka River, after that it is on the holes of the Harbor,

When moving from the bridge to Fisherman’s Village to the Myakka you will have to use your out board or it would take you forever to get there.  Just remember to shut down before you get to the Tarpon, and get back on the electric,

It is just a matter of casting, casting.  Several retrieves are working but check your depth finder.  If you are in 10 feet of water, cast the lure, then count to 10 before you close the bail on your reel.  If you close the bail, the line will come tight and often the lure will come back to you.  Better if it just sinks, once you have done your count start a slow up wards jigging motion, hard upward pulls then let it sink, take up the slack repeat, I can tell the guys who are hookin up lots of Tarpon.  Their hands are swollen from casting.  75 casts per hook up is better that a fish-less day.  There are many other types of retrieves you can use to get these Tarpon to hit but try the one I suggested it has worked before.

Good luck out there, Have fun

Fishin’ Frank

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

By Captain Terry Fisher, Fish Face Charters

(FT. MYERS TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR) As reported in my last weekly update and forecast; the fishing has remained good all week, notwithstanding that we are now off the strong full moon tides. The best action was last weekend (just coming off of the full moon) with currents and tide levels still strong enough to produce monster strikes from both Snook and Redfish alike, regardless of the tide predictions and water depths for the areas I have been fishing with clients. They were ‘hitting’ jigs and top water lures at most every logical location.

During this time, I had the opportunity to be hired to assist Mark and Linda Roberts of Bokelia aboard their vessel to show them to some ‘hot spots’ and ‘techniques’ so that they may more  enjoy their recent retirement in our beautiful and bountiful waters of SW Florida catching lots of big game fish. We all had a wonderful day on the water and most of all, I had the satisfaction of showing them where and how to catch large Snook and Redfish.

Later in the day, I switched my game plan and went for the other species that are more receptive to live bait fished in the deep cuts under the mangroves and on the flats. They caught Mangrove Snappers, Trout and a number of other species at different locations only to wet their appetites for future fishing trips.

Even though the tides are not as strong, the fish are still there and active. Pick your time and place with tide movement and you should have good success.

If you would like to get in on the action, I am easily reached by phone at 239-357-6829 or via email at fishfacecharters@yahoo.com. Check out my website together with my monthly and weekly fishing reports and articles at www.fishfacecharters.com.

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

The heat is on here in Charlotte Harbor.  It is all about getting out early if you can. Red fish are thick throughout the Mayaka cut off and the Mayaka River. Question is, can you cast up under the trees? If you can get your bait 4 to 6 feet under the mangroves you will catch a lot of Red fish.

Spanish Mackerel and Pompano are doing well along the beaches. Casting small silver spoons and or Git-cha’s will produce good results.

Tarpon are still hanging out in the holes of the Harbor.  DOA bait busters & swimming mullet are the key to a good day of Tarpon fishing, Just keep casting.

Snook fishing in the canals and the Peace River is very good right now, big monster Snook Rapala X-rap 10 series or The 15 bombers darker colors.  Pitch right along the shore.

Get out there and enjoy yourself.

Fishin’ Frank

Cruising the Caloosahatchee River

By Legacy Harbour Marina

If you are planning on making a trip to downtown Fort Myers, Legacy Harbour Marina is a great place to stop and dock your boat. To make your experience more enjoyable, here are a few tips on boating to Legacy Harbour Marina.  Make reservations by telephone or email in advance, so that we may place you in a slip best suited to your boat!  Legacy Harbour Marina is located on the Caloosahatchee River in the Downtown Fort Myers area.  The river has a number of Manatee Protection and Boater Safety Zones.  Always be aware of these zones and slow or idle as mandated. The marina lies within the quarter mile rim of the river which is a slow speed zone.

We monitor the marine radio on Channel #16.  After hailing the marina we will ask you to change to our working Channel #12.  The entrance to the marina is on our eastern side between Channel Marker #49 and the Caloosahatchee Bridge.  We are happy to give you directions to your slip and help you with your dock lines.

It is a beautiful marina with all floating docks.  Since the marina docks float up and down with the tide, it allows for easy access on and off your boat.  Boats can be tied snug to the dock without worry of tidal changes.  When arriving at the marina have fenders and dock lines ready: bow, stern and spring lines.

After you arrive you can relax and enjoy gatherings under the Chickee Hut, use the Heated Swimming Pool, our Captains Lounge or exercise in our Fitness Room. We provide two sets of Restrooms, Showers, Laundry, Free Wi-Fi and TV.  Walk to Groceries, Shopping, Restaurants, Park, and Downtown Events.

 

 

Protect Your Boat’s Gel Coat

By Richard Strauss, Broker with Galati Yacht Sales

An effective care and maintenance program should be implemented from the beginning to maintain the overall appearance and value of your vessels gel coat. Consider that your boat’s gel coat is exposed to salt, dirt, pollution, soot, and exhaust on a daily basis. In addition to the destructiveness of forces of these elements is the sun. Removing them by weekly washing will prevent attack and breakdown of the finish, reducing gloss and reduced overall appearance. Additionally, valuable time is lost because it is more difficult to clean a damaged surface. In addition to a good weekly washing using the proper soap, it is wise to thoroughly rinse your boat with clean fresh water after each use.  Employing the extra pressure of using a pressure washer at least once a month helps in forcing out trapped dirt and salt deposits in tight areas,  around deck hardware and rub rails.

Cleaning your Gel Coat

When washing your boat use products designed for gel coat, not house hold products like Sno- Bol® and Soft Scrub® as they scratch as they clean. Also, if using a brush make sure it is a soft bristled brush designed for use on gel coat or painted surfaces. Tiny scratches will speed oxidation and dull your boat’s gel coat quickly. Once a boat oxidizes, the hull is vulnerable to greater damage from water penetration.  Additionally, house cleaning products like toilet bowel cleaners are very harsh and tend to break down the oils in the gel coat which is a petroleum base, thus speeding up the aging process of gel coat. If your boats gel coat has been well maintained and is waxed regularly, you may want to use a boat soap that has wax in it to help maintain the shine and life of the applied wax.

After washing your boat dry it off with a chamois to remove water spots after washing or use an in-line water softener such as Wet Spot® http://www.softwetspot.com/ or Yacht-Mate http://www.yachtmate.com/ .

Protecting your Gel coat

Not all waxes are created equal, and there is a reason for this. The condition of your gel coat will determine the right wax for you. If your gel coast is new and/or in excellent condition (no micro scratches, dull spots and/or oxidation then use a high quality beeswax, carnuba or silicon based wax. If you have some oxidation you may opt for a cleaner/wax product. Depending on the level of oxidation and/or minor scratches there are different levels of cleaner/waxes. For mild cases a good product is Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax 50® http://www.meguiars.com/ . For more extreme cases you may need to use 3M’s Gel Coat Restorer and Wax® http://tinyurl.com/cce6u25. If using this product, I would recommend going over your boat again with a high quality Premium Liquid Paste Wax in addition to the 3M Gel coat Restorer and Wax for extra UV protection. For a quick refresher, there are spray waxes or quick waxes. These are good to use between regularly scheduled waxings to keep up the shine while removing light dirt and water spots. Check out Meguiar’s Quik Wax 59® or Lucas Slick Mist® http://taek.me/66739 . These two products are easy to use and can be applied to painted, gel coat or powder coated surfaces as well as stainless hardware.

Frequency of waxing your boat depends on where you live. The minimum recommended waxing frequency is twice per year. If you live in South Florida, as many of us do, the sun’s intensity is a lot higher (more UV). So, it stands to reason that 3 or 4 times per year is not out of the question.

 

Richard Strauss is a broker with Galati Yacht Sales, and has been around boats nearly all his life. He has a degree in Marine Technology from Florida Tech, and has worked for well-known boat manufacturers as well as operated his own boat repair facility for fourteen years. When he is not busy helping customers find the boat of their dreams or sell their existing boat, he can be found cruising the waters of Sarasota Bay. You can contact Richard at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-strauss-82425926 or 239-633-5724.

 

Charlotte County Fishing Report with Frank

By “Fishin” Frank of Fishing Franks Fishing Store in Port Charlotte

This would be a great time to get out in the gulf, Blue green waters, lots of fish, Barracuda, Sharks, Snappers, most within viewing distance from your boat.  Just put out a chum bag, and give it a few minutes. Do not worry about being right on a reef, if there are too many boats just move over a 1/4 mile.  Too many boats in a spot and you do not get the schools & schools of fish and bait fish massing under the boat.  Just seeing this is too cool, let alone being able to catch some.  Be safe, watch the sky, don’t let a surprise storm get between you and land.  Have fun!

Lee County Fishing Report with Captain Terry

By Captain Terry Fisher, Fish Face Charters

(FT. MYERS BEACH TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR)   Fishing was really good this last week for both ‘Off-shore’ and ‘In-shore’. Off-shore wrecks and reefs holding Permit, Grouper, Snapper. Big Pinfish, Squid and Sardines were my baits of choice and produced good results. I do not profess to be an expert at bottom fishing, but with the calm variable winds, I took the opportunity to go out 35 miles or so to confirm some of the other Captain’s off-shore reports. One of the most intriguing things to me about ‘Off-Shore’ is the fact that you never know what you might hook up on!

‘In-shore’ has been fantastic as well with a variety of species at almost every turn or good location providing current, deep cuts. Anything and everything from large Snook, Redfish Crevalle Jacks, Permit, Mangrove and Sea Trout are at your beckoning. Most success stories come earlier in the mornings before it gets real hot. On the top of the high tides, look for Sea Trout on the real shallow flats providing grass and sand holes (2ft) busting ‘bait’ fish. These areas may be found behind and between spoil islands where the wind can provide a little breeze. This is back country fishing and with our tides coming later in the morning hours, it gets hot out there, so take plenty of water and sunscreen to stay the course. You will need a shallow hull to get to most of these areas as well.

There are plenty of reasons to believe that this coming week will produce more great fishing. If you have any questions or want to go fishing in the ‘back country’ I am easily reached by phone at 239-357-6829 or via email at fishfacecharters@yahoo.com. Check out my website at www.fishfacecharters.com for all of my recent reports for fishing the bountiful waters of Lee County! Until next week, GOOD FISHING from Captain Terry Fisher of Lee County.