April 29, 2013
Tips From Hinckey

Elliot Anderson, Manager Annapolis and Oxford, Maryland Yards

The best piece of advice I have for boaters is spend a few extra minutes before and after a trip making sure all systems are in good order. If you can't dedicate the time to a full inspection, just

* Check all fluids & belt tension prior to departure.
* Check bilges for water or fluid leaks.
* When leaving a boat hooked up to shore power, make sure connections are sound. And, make sure pedestal breaker is on!
* When leaving a boat on a mooring or not on shore power, make sure batteries and electrical panel breakers are off. This ensures your batteries won't be dead next time.

Tim Shields, Director of Customer Service, Hinckley Yacht Services

Spring waters are cold and there are fewer people out on the water. Below are safety items that I encourage you to act on before you cast off the lines this spring.

* Obtain a commercial towing membership. They keep you safe when your boat breaks down or you have a mishap. It's great peace of mind insurance.
* Check on board safety gear to make sure it is in good working order. Don't wait until an emergency to find out if you have enough pfd's, flares or other safety items. A good check list can be found on the Boating Foundation website here
* Get in the habit of filing a float plan. The system works for pilots, both commercial and recreational. Print and complete this page before going boating and leave it with a reliable person who can notify the Coast Guard should you not return as scheduled. Do not file this plan with the Coast Guard.
* Keep your eye on the weather. Make the home page of your internet browser the this marine weather page.
* Brush up on the rules of the road every spring here with the US Coast Guard.

Eric Roos, Service Manager, Southwest Harbor, Maine Yard

When it comes to Yachts and keeping them pristine, a number of products are available however, most are harsh on the environment, budget and the surfaces they tackle. Marine soaps can do more long term harm (crazing in the outer layers of varnish or removal of protective wax) than good. So, while some boats do truly get dirty after a weekend of use, many simply suffer from a buildup of salt and calcium or limestone-based sea minerals and are easily removed with a mild acid salad vinegar!
As a result, many high-end yachts keep gallons of every day white vinegar with their cleaning supplies. Just add a quart or less to a bucket of water and hand wash every surface (stainless steel, fiberglass, dodger Eisenglass, Awl-grip surfaces, even varnished woodwork) then thoroughly rinse. Moving a chamois around all surfaces will leave the best finish.
For tougher lime-stained topsides and boot tops, use a higher concentration of vinegar and let the solution sit for 5 minutes or more before rinsing. You will be pleased with the results.
And, if while cleaning you find a bit of sea lettuce or Irish moss on deck...... voila, you have yourself a salad!

Guy Gauvin, General Manager Hinckley Portsmouth, RI Yard

My favorite new piece of gear will save you plenty of headaches this season and deliver lots of fun besides: meet LifeProof's Apple iPhone Case and Apple iPad Case. Each has a unique design that makes it waterproof to IP-68 standards, the highest 'International Protection' rating. They are actually submersible! The company also sells a "lifejacket" that fits around the case so if you drop your phone overboard, it floats and protects your phone. Perfect if you're using GPS apps!

When you pick up your boat this Spring, make sure to look for a gift bag from Hinckley containing useful gifts and information from the sponsors above!

Hinckley Yacht Serivces
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