One of the most overlooked problems that boat owners have is leakage. Whether your vessel is leaking outboard motor oil or water into the interior, this is a serious problem. Leakage can cause some severe problems if not detected quickly. If an issue like leaks is ignored, it can cost you thousands of dollars if your boat is assessed. Depending on where and what is leaking, repair can range from something that you can do yourself to calling a professional. The key is to catch it before it becomes an expensive problem.
With the boating industry facing an uncertain summer, bulk oil prices went down under $130 a barrel on Tuesday, after the traditionally vacation-heavy Memorial Day weekend. Prices sank amidst reports that demands for gas had dropped due to high costs; others speculate that it was simply a high peak in the normally high holiday weekend.
With these declining prices, analysts are now claiming that gas prices may not reach $4 a gallon, after all.
As reported by NPR, the summer season in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region is just getting started, but as gas and outboard motor oil prices continue to set records on land, some boat owners are keeping their vessels in storage or selling them altogether.
That’s already starting to affect marinas that store, dock, rent and sell boats. Other businesses, such as charter boats and tourist cruises, are setting their summer rates and weighing whether to swallow high fuel costs or pass them on to customers.
Of course, this sudden conservative attitude towards boats means that with a waning demand, the waters are clearer for a more personal boating experience. Though the price of outboard oil is slightly up, the experience of a relaxing boating trip may be worth the hit. However, if you’ve planned your finances accordingly, then boating this summer won’t be such a worrisome activitiy.
As mentioned in an earlier post, the summer boating season is ready to start and you’ll no doubt have filled your boat with marine engine oil and anticipation to hit the waters. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind before you take her out on the water:
• Be weather wise. Sudden wind shifts, lightning flashes and choppy water all can mean a storm is brewing. Bring a portable radio to check weather reports.
• Bring extra gear you may need; a flashlight, extra batteries, matches, a map of where you are, flares, sun tan lotion, first aid kit, and extra sunglasses. Put those that need to be protected in a watertight pouch or a container that floats.
• Tell someone where you’re going, who is with you, and how long you’ll be away. Then check your boat, equipment, boat balance, engine and fuel supply before leaving.
• Learn to swim. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. This includes anyone participating in any boating activity.
• Alcohol and boating don’t mix. Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance, and coordination — over 50 percent of drownings result from boating incidents involving alcohol. For the same reasons it is dangerous to operate an automobile while under the influence of alcohol, people should not operate a boat while drinking alcohol.
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the summer traveling season and is usually the time when oil prices slightly rise. With less than two days until the weekend begins, bulk oil prices hit a record high of $132 a barrel. This shot up gas prices to $3.80 for the national average. The news comes in light of a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that claims gas and oil stocks had declined, as well as President Bush’s unsuccessful trip to the Middle East, requesting a higher production rate.
Analysts are now predicting a national average of $4 for gasoline within the next month and $140 a barrel come September.
In addition to cleaning your boat and changing out your outboard motor oil, there are some other little things you can do to prepare for a summer of taking your vessel out on the water.
• Update your first aid kit
• Make sure lifejackets are in working order
• Replace batteries on GPS
• Inspect engine
• Make sure you have a cell phone charger for your boat
Yamaha Marine Group announced earlier this month that it has put its marine care products under the trusted Yamalube brand.
Products affected include fuel additives, adhesives and lubricants, which will now bear the name Yamalube. With the change comes color-coded packaging designed to improve the customer’s ability to choose the correct product for the job at hand.
Yamaha is creating and launching an extensive campaign for dealers and customers as part of the rollout.
The price of bulk oil – yet again – continues to rise to new heights as it reaches near $128 a barrel, pushing the average to roughly $3.79 per gallon. The price of diesel fuel has also gone up to due to China’s demand to refuel their power plants in light of this week’s earthquake. This news comes as President Bush journeys to Saudi Arabia to push the production of oil in the Middle East. Analysts expect the national average for gas to reach $4 a gallon within the coming weeks, though some states are already paying that.
Most boat owners have to keep their vessels at home and as is such, there can be messes made due to the general maintenance that happens there. One such mess can be spilling boat motor oil everywhere. Cleaning up oil can be a pain; here are some tips that will help and make it slightly easier:
• Pour cola on the oily or dry stained areas, and leave the cola on overnight. Squirt a generous amount of dishwashing liquid into a bucket until you have a good lather. Rinse with the soapy water, then with a garden hose.
• Sprinkle baking soda or an absorbent powder such as cornmeal or sawdust on the oily spots. If the stain is dry, wet it first to make a scouring paste. Scrub with a stiff brush or push broom.
• Sprinkle automatic dishwasher detergent on the oily concrete. Leave it for several minutes, then pour boiling water on the stained area. Scrub with a stiff brush or push broom, then rinse.
• Try a commercial concrete cleaner such as Garage and Driveway Cleaner by Red Devil Co. or a grease solvent such as Benzine. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Sprinkle trisodium phosphate (TSP) on the oily concrete. If the stain is dry, wet it first. Let it stand for 30 minutes. Scrub using a stiff broom. TSP is a dangerous product; if you must use it, wear rubber or latex gloves, safety goggles and protective clothing. Also, never wash a TSP product down storm drains.
• As a last resort, combat tough spills with muriatic acid and a pressure washer. Apply the acid following the manufacturer’s directions, and let it soak for several seconds. Follow with a pressure washer set at 2,500 to 3,000 lbs. per square inch (psi), or 176 to 211 kg per square cm. Like TSP, muriatic acid is a dangerous product; likewise, if you must use it, wear rubber or latex gloves, safety goggles and protective clothing, and never wash such a product down storm drains.
• After trying any of the strategies above, sprinkle baking soda over the cleaned area to neutralize the solution you’ve used.
Last year, Boating Industry reported that 2007 was the worst year for boat sales, with 2008 projected to decline further. While this report may seem a bit on the grim side, it may also be a good time to take advantage and buy a new boat or replace that engine and give your boat some new parts.
While some may consider this kicking the small business owner while they’re down, a surge in these kinds of purchases could very well help in reviving sagging boat sales. Whether you buy a boat, replace a steering wheel or buy large amounts of marine engine oil, every contribution will help and ensure that there is a viable boating community out there.
Today oil prices surged, yet again, to $127 a barrel. On the heels of this news are the concerns that oil prices will not go down as Memorial Day weekend (the unofficial first day of summer travel) looms closely. That said, outboard motor oil prices are also scheduled for a slight price increase. Do yourself a favor and start buying oil for the summer now. Don’t wait around or you’ll be apt to spend your summer on land.
Today, the Washington Post reported that the American Petroleum Institute, the industry’s main oil lobby, is embarking on a multiyear, multimedia, multimillion-dollar campaign.
The intended audience is elected officials and the public, with an emphasis on the latter. The industry is trying to convince voters — who, in turn, will make the case to their members of Congress — that rising energy prices are not the producers’ fault and that government efforts to punish the industry, especially with higher taxes, would only make pricing problems worse.
The campaign has stirred outrage among consumer groups. They complain that the industry is using its outlandish profits to make even more money, and that its advertisements use statistics selectively.
The news comes on the heels of a brief record high of bulk oil prices coming in at $126 a barrel, before falling back down to $124.