Boat Repossession Team Grabs Wrong Boat

Walter and Joann Dethier feared the worst when they realized their boat was being taken from the marina.

A couple enjoying a quiet night on their boat in the Florida Keys were rousted from bed when a stealth repo team cut the dock lines and water hose, disconnected the shore power, and began to tow them away from the dock.

Not only were the couple still below as their Magnum 40 Sport Cruiser — appropriately named Magnum — inched away from the dock, but the night raiders had grabbed the wrong boat. Same year, 1984. Same make and model. Wrong Coast Guard documentation number. Wrong hull identification number, which was clearly visible in white on the green transom.

“We were kidnapped; we were hijacked,” says Walter Dethier, 65, of Warren, Conn. That, in any case, was their worst fear. Dethier and his wife, Joann, were interviewed at Magnum’s winter slip at Marina del Mar, a resort facility in Key Largo.

Walter Dethier, a semiretired auto racer and publicist, was asleep, and Joann was watching television when the power went out at about 10:30. She nudged her husband. At first, they thought it was a blown fuse or a power outage. Then they heard the thump of power cables dumped onto the foredeck. Dethier ran topside, leaped six feet across the water onto the dock, and confronted three black-clad figures. Two others were in a tow boat. Magnum’s bow line already was secured to its bitt.

Advised that this was a repossession, a frightened and outraged Dethier wouldn’t let the men take the boat. The Magnum was free of liens and mortgages, paid for by check seven years earlier, according to Denier.

The Dethiers’ Magnum 40 Sport Cruiser was twice mistaken for the wrong boat by National Marine Liquidators.

Meanwhile, a neighbor, retired police officer Lawrence MacDuff, heard the commotion, joined Dethier on the dock, and asked to see documents authorizing the repossession. A Monroe County sheriff’s incident report says one of the team responded that the men didn’t need any paperwork. Advised that sheriff’s deputies were on the way to straighten things out, the repo team scattered, according to the police account. The Dethiers reported the Nov. 2, 2008, incident to investigators as an attempted theft.

On Jan. 22, the Dethiers were back home in Connecticut when they got a phone call from an agitated Candi MacDuff, dockmaster at Marina del Mar, reporting that a team claiming to be repo agents had cut Magnum’s dock lines and water hose, disconnected the power cables, and was towing the boat away — at 2:15 in the afternoon. MacDuff had seen a tow boat idling in the Port Largo canal in front of the marina. After a few minutes, “a light bulb went off,” she says. She hustled down the dock to the Dethiers’ boat. “They’d already cut the lines” — again, she says. “I told them, ‘This can’t be right. You don’t have the right boat.’ ”

This time they showed her paperwork authorizing the repossession, though as it became evident later the authorization was for a 40-foot Magnum with a different name, HIN and documentation number than the boat they were taking. MacDuff called the sheriff’s office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation police. Her boss, resort manager Patty Manuel, alerted the Coast Guard.

“Once [the Coast Guard] understood what was going on, they were out there,” Manuel says. A Coast Guard law-enforcement team stopped the tow boat and its prize a mile south of Port Largo and escorted them back to the marina. By now, boaters up and down the docks had heard what had happened. When the Magnum glided back up the canal with an armed Coast Guardsman on its bow and a conservation officer in the cockpit, boaters and diners at nearby Bogie’s Café gave them a standing ovation.

Police reports identified National Marine Liquidators, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., boat repossession and auction firm, as the company that attempted both snatches for Wachovia Bank, and Jason M. Barroncini as the repo team leader.

National Marine’s recovery log for the case clearly indicates that the Magnum they were looking for had a different name, different owner and different hull identification number than the Dethiers’ Magnum. Both Jason Lessnau, head of National Marine’s repo division, and repo team leader Barroncini say they couldn’t comment on specifics of the case. The Monroe County state’s attorney’s office decided not to file theft charges since “there was no intent to steal the vessel or hijack the victims,” according to the police report.

An attorney for the Dethiers has demanded that National Liquidators pay for damages, which include loss of two sets of lines and hoses, jimmying the cabin door, and damage to the boat’s hull and electronics. Dethier also has filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Agriculture, which licenses repossession agents. The department’s Web site in early May indicated unspecified administrative action was pending on the licenses of both National Marine Liquidators and Barroncini.

“This vigilante attitude of cutting and slicing and stealing in the night in black clothing and with unmarked vehicles is positively ludicrous,” says Dethier. “The simple fact is my wife and I have been terrorized by this company.”

He says the mix-up could have been avoided had any of the repo crew checked the HIN on Magnum’s transom or its Coast Guard documentation, which is public record.

According to the police reports, Barroncini found the Dethiers’ Magnum through an online brokerage listing. He contacted the broker and said he wanted to buy the boat. The broker put him in touch with the Dethiers. Barroncini told Walter Dethier over the phone he was looking for a boat for his “uncle,” Bill Odell, who he said was in Dubai working for the contract firm Halliburton, according to police. He wanted to come down to Key Largo and take some photos of the boat to send to his uncle.

Dethier said OK. That was Nov. 1. The next night the repo team struck.

Dethier wants the Agriculture Department to tighten guidelines for the way boat repo teams operate, because in Florida it is legal for people to use deadly force to protect themselves if they believe they are threatened — faced with death or significant bodily harm — by someone in the process of committing a felony.

“They’ve got to enforce guidelines,” Dethier says. “Bring police with you, bring marina management people with you, determine that no one is in residence on the boat before you mess with it.” Otherwise, he says, “someone’s going to get hurt.”

Joann Dethier says the couple have become paranoid about strangers on the dock since the night they jumped from their berth to find five men absconding with their boat.

“I sleep with my semiautomatic rifle by my right shoulder from this point forward,” Dethier says.

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By using StarTron Fuel Additive you can keep Ethanol Phase Separation at Bay, so your boat can leave the Harbor..

Last year I wrote an article titled “Dealing with E-10 Ethanol Gasoline in a Marine Environment with StarTron” on This Old Boat Blog. For those who have followed my advice, the chances of those being hit with Ethanol Phase Separation have been greatly minimized. To simply recap, most of the fuel on the water today is E-10 fuel, that’s 10% of Ethanol. In a marine environment, with fuel tanks vented to the atmosphere, moisture can get into the fuel via everyday condensation. That little bit of water has a chemicaStarTronl reaction with the Ethanol, attaching the water molecules to the Ethanol. When this happens, the Ethanol separates from the fuel, creating a jelly like substance that floats in the fuel. The fuel loses octane and has a cloudy appearance. The separated Ethanol eventually clogs the fuel filters and damages the carburetors and/or fuel injectors.  As the boats start to run rough and stall out, it’s too late…you’re headed for costly repairs.

For about four years, I have been using Startron in my fuel and I have not had any issues related to the fuel. Recently a friend of mine was hit with Phase Separation. In this case, the owner did not use the boat that much, thus the fuel in the tank was more than a month old. He went our for ride, but came back immediately after leaving the dock, as he noticed the boat was not acting her normal self. Sure enough, it was discovered that the fuel has Ethanol Phase Separation. The tank has to be drained and his carb had to be rebuilt. By using StarTron, it’s my opinion that this issue could have been averted.

I have 2 boats, a 17 foot Formula Ski boat and a Bertram 30. I use StarTron on my boats religiously. Unless you use a tank of fuel every 2 weeks, I would strongly recommend the use of Startron and if you have fuel injectors, do mess around and be penny wise and dollar foolish, use Startron.

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Sandpaper and Screwdriver helps stop a Crusader 454 from stalling at idle…Say What?

Recently I had an issue with one of my Crusader 454s on my Bertram 30, Scuba-Do. The engine was running fine, but then shortly after bring the throttle down to idle, the port ending stalled at idle. After repeated tries, the engine refused to idle without stalling.

The ignition system for my 454s is the old points system. While electronic ignition is the way to go, my 454s have Mallory 624av distributers in them. The 624av cannot be converted to electronic ignition.  Good thing with points is that when they start to go, they go slowly. When the electronic ignition goes, you can’t start the engine at all and the electronic module needs to be replaced.

Anyway, going back to my issue, while at anchor, I removed the distributor cap and cleaned the contacts of the points with a piece of sandpaper….BE SURE TO HAVE YOUR IGNITION KEY OFF TO AVOID BEING SHOCKED.  After the contacts for the points were cleaned, I put the Distributor Cap back in place. The engine fired up in a second and idled without any issues. Needless to say, the points in that engine needs to be replaced, however with this quick fix, I was able to continue my day with no interruptions, as well as, make it back to the dock with 2 engines.

Having a flathead screwdriver and a piece of sandpaper on This Old Boat is a good idea  if you have points in your old boat….

Posted in Bertram, Bertram 30, Boating, Crusaders, Marine, Mercruiser, This Old Boat | Leave a comment

The EPA Seeks Comments on the proposed Ethanol Increase to E15 – Just Say No !!

The Environmental Protection Agency is accepting comments on a proposal to increase the allowable ethanol content of gasoline to 15 percent, a move opposed by many in the marine industry.

In March, Growth Energy and 54 ethanol manufacturers submitted a petition for a waiver to allow ethanol blends of 15 percent, or E15, compared to the E10 currently in use as part of the EPA’s renewable fuels standard.

Both the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Marine Retailers Association of America oppose the petition.

Ethanol in gasoline has been shown to damage marine engines, fuel-handling systems, fuel tanks, and pollution control and safety equipment.

“It’s been pretty well devastating,” Ed Lofgren, president of 3M Marine Service and chairman of the MRAA, previously told Soundings Trade Only.

“The biggest repair costs for my customers have been fuel, and these fuel problems have been exacerbated by ethanol in the last few years,” he said. “If they increase ethanol in fuel, the problem could get worse.”

Ethanol supporters are trying to circumvent the Clean Air Act process and get an administrative action declaring that E15 is the same as E10, according to the NMMA.

“That’s a slippery slope where it is gradually increased over time,” NMMA legislative director Matthew Dunn previously told Soundings Trade Only. “We will take firm action to prevent that from happening.”

Click here to comment on the proposal.

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Dealing with E-10 Ethanol Gasoline in a Marine Environment with StarTron

For the past few years E-10 Gasoline (10% of Ethanol) has been introduce in the Northeast. While the idea of Corn based fuel is exciting to the “Green” community, for many in the marine community E-10 fuel is a nightmare. StarTron is the only Product that I know of that makes the claim that it helps prevent Ethanol related problems with the E-10 Fuel and in some cases can reverse existing Ethanol problems. I have been using StarTron for 2 years religiously as preventive maintenance to protect from E-10 related issues. I have not had any problems in the past 2 years, while other around me have been hit by the Ethanol bug.

In Automotive applications, the fuel tanks are pressurized from the outside environment. As a result, the E-10 fuel remains stable. In a Marine environment, the fuel tanks are vented, thus exposed to outside environment. Simple things such as daily changes in the temperature create small amounts of condensation in the fuel tanks. Eventually over time enough condensation can be created which results in a chemical reaction with the E-10 fuel. Ethanol molecules are attracted to water, so any water in the fuel can result in the Ethanol molecules separating from the gasoline. This lowers the fuel Octane and creates a jelly-like substance at the bottom of the fuel tank that will clog your fuel filters, fuel lines, injectors and carburetors. This separating of Ethanol in the fuel is known as “Phase Separation”. For those who have experienced this, Phase Separation equates to Hundreds to Thousands of dollars in repairs, and not to mention, the lost time in your boating season.

I have 2 boats, a Formula One with Mercruiser 470 and a Bertram 30 with twin Crusader 454s. With the Mercruiser 470, I was hit with Ethanol Phase Separation. As result of this phase separation, I had to rebuild the Carburetor and replace the fuel pump at a cost of $500.00. Since that time, I have been using StarTron for both of my boats as preventative maintenance. My recommendation to anyone who has E-10 fuel in their boats is to use StarTron as preventive maintenance and protection against E-10 Phase Separation in your fuel. Whether you have a Yamaha Outboard, Mercury Outboard, an old Johnson or Evinrude, Inboard / Outboard or just a straight Inboard, it is my opinion that you are taking a huge risk if you don’t treat your fuel with StarTron. If you wish to buy Startron, you can click any of the Startron images in this article or just go to your local Marine supply store.
Aside from the E-10 issues, StarTron also alleviates the octane failing from absorbed water, by removing the water from the bulk fuel. It will still accumulate on tank bottoms. Fortunately, E-10 is self-curing for bulk water as long as there is no aftermarket detergent additive emulsifying the water. StarTron will also dissolve the varnish and gum sludge that forms when the ethanol water mix dislodges it from tanks sides and it will keep filters from plugging.

For boaters, preventative maintenance is more important than ever with E10. Keep tanks full to keep airspace down, and use Startron to prevent the fuel from deteriorating. Use water traps on all fuel lines, not just large boats. Replace all old hoses and gaskets, and never use aftermarket additives with synthetic detergents. Non-detergent additives, such as octane boosters or stabilizers, don’t appear to have any negative effects. I feel that StarTron is capable of handling all E-10 housekeeping and maintenance requirements.

The following is information I got off of the StarBrite web site which will give you more of an understanding of E-10 Fuel related issues and how StarTron is the answer.


New Fuel Is Arriving at Pumps Across the Country
The sale of ethanol blended fuel, commonly referred to as E10 gas, is on the rise in the US as more states are mandating its use to help improve air quality. Also promoting the growth of E10 is the need to phase out the current additive MTBE which has been found to contaminate ground water supplies. E10 gas has been in use for many years and with smart fuel management boaters can learn to live with it.

The Side-Effects of Ethanol
The first problems encountered with transitioning to E10 is the loosening of sludge from the fuel tanks. Ethanol is a very effective solvent and it will attack varnish, gum, and resins: the sludge that can build up in fuel tanks. Once cleaned off the fuel tank walls this build up leads to poor performance and frequently clogged fuel filters and injectors. The enzymes in Star Tron® will safely break down and disperse this sludge. After a filter change or two the fuel tanks will be clean and boaters can move on the next, more serious, ethanol related issue…

Understanding Phase Separation
Ethanol has a great affinity for water, and will attract moisture from the atmosphere through the vented lines of a marine fuel tank. The water molecules form an electro-chemical bond with the ethanol that is stronger than the fuel’s original bond with the ethanol. Water is heavier then gas so the water/ethanol molecule is dragged to the bottom of the tank and separates from the more buoyant fuel molecules. This is referred to as phase separation and occurs when the water content in the fuel reaches roughly .5%. Ethanol provides a significant boost to the octane rating of the fuel, so when phase separation occurs you end up with a corrosive water/ethanol layer on the bottom of the tank, under what is now substandard fuel.

Preventing Water-Related Engine Damage
In a boat that is being used regularly, Star Tron® prevents most phase separation that occurs from daily condensation. By neutralizing the electrical charges between water

molecules in a process called de-ionization, Star Tron® prevents the water molecules from forming huge clusters, large enough to form drops, and settle, taking the ethanol with it. The octane rating and the combustion characteristics of the gas are protected, and the suspended water molecules are harmlessly burned along with the fuel. In order to understand this process, start by understanding that water does not exist in nature as its textbook single molecule, (H2O). Water consists of hundreds of water molecules bound together in huge “macro-clusters” which are much larger than a fuel molecule. Star Tron®’s enzymes break the electric bonding that holds these macro-clusters together, reducing the molecular size of the water cluster sufficiently to where microscopic amounts are suspended harmlessly in the gas.

Not All Additives Are Equal
A new breed of fuel additives has recently cropped up to capitalize on ethanol-blended fuel problems. These additives are known as emulsifiers. Ironically, some of them are made of ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, or one of the many alcohol cousins. Some emulsifying products will use chemicals such as “ethanolamides” (or anolamides), which are basically just common detergents.

Adding More Alcohol Isn’t The Solution
Alcohol has been used by boating consumers for years to “dry” out gas, but that was when gas was all gas. E10 already has a huge amount of alcohol in it, and adding more can cause operational problems and increase the water problem. Adding additional alcohol can also violate the EPA regulations on limits of oxygenates (alcohol) allowed in the fuel, as well as the ASTM fuel specifications. The EPA sets those limits to prevent damage to the engine. Today, all engine manufacturers have certified their new engines on a maximum of 10% ethanol. Any additive taking the fuel over 10% alcohol may void your warranty.

Why You Want to Avoid Emulsifiers
Before using a fuel additive, review the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by the manufacturer to determine if they contain any alcohols or other harmful waterbonding components. Adding more alcohol to E10 fuel is not the solution and in fact can compound the problems as emulsifiers have a long history of causing engine damage. These additives have the ability to absorb their own volume in water, thus allowing more macro water clusters to bond with the fuel. These “new” additives have been demonstrated via a neat sideshow trick in which water is added to gas in a test tube. The two fluids separate, and by adding the emulsifier and violently shaking the test tube, the water appears to vanish. In reality the water still exists. What emulsified water can do to an engine can be far worse than the original problem. Water, when sucked into an engine in volume, will shut it down. It must be cleaned, and the oil changed, but little else happens. Emulsified water/ethanol causes a more serious problem because instead of shutting down, the mixture can be partially combusted, but not effectively, which can damage the engine. Therefore, a mixture of water and ethanol is worse than just water. When emulsified water runs through an engine over a period of time, it causes excessive abrasion and wear, corrosion, and the emulsifier alone causes excessive carbon deposits, which cause wear on rings, pistons, and valves.

Water In The Engine Causes Many Problems

Emulsified water in the fuel can have several negative effects. Water displaces gasoline, which lubricates the fuel pump. Water pits and corrodes the plated metal surfaces causing premature wear on the fuel pump. Water reacts with various components in the fuel and forms acids, which corrode the fuel injector tips as well. Water/gas emulsions were tested by the SAE with ethanol, and they eat the plating off the pump’s internal moving surfaces. (SAE 2005-01-2196, Rovai, Tanaka, Sinatora)
Bonding Water To Gas Causes More Problems Than It Solves
This is just the effect the wetted fuel has. The real harm comes during combustion. The earliest reference to experiments with gasoline and water emulsifications (water chemically bonded to an oil is called an emulsification) we know of is 1913. Every few years since then, somebody thinks they have invented the solution to eliminate water from fuel by adding an emulsifying chemical to gasoline. General Motors conducted a lot of research back in the 1970s, and more attempts were conducted for a few years after that. Each time, the deleterious effects of water/gas emulsions outweighesd any benefits.

Thickened Fuel Can Void Warranties And Damage Engines
Water emulsions immediately increase the fuel’s viscosity. Even “micro-emulsions”, that look to be clear and stable as opposed to the milky look we generally associate with oil/water emulsions still thickens the fuel. Thickened fuel can destroy a fuel pump and fuel injector. The ASTM specifications for fuel viscosity are very tight, and thickening the fuel with water can take the fuel outside its specifications, which will void your warranty. How thick is thick? You can’t tell in the field by looking, unless the emulsification has turned to gel, which it can do if overdosed. A boater can not be expected to dose with an emulsifier, for a water level he can’t assess, and be certain his fuel is still in spec.
Emulsifiers Cause Excess Carbon Buildup
Because the emulsified water lowers the flame temperature in the combustion chamber the combustion efficiency is greatly reduced and the unburned hydrocarbons soar. This forms carbon deposits in the engine, especially on the piston crowns and on the spark plugs. Further, in the General Motors tests, (SAE 760547, Water-Gasoline Fuels, Their Effect on Spark Ignition Engines Emissions and Performance, Peters and Stebar) the deposit buildup was so rapid that the engine had to be disassembled for cleaning approximately every 20 hours. Additionally, they found shiny black deposits linked to the emulsifier. They noted the spark plugs were coated black and appeared wet. Drivability plummeted as well, and fuel economy suffers in a direct ratio to how much water is in the fuel. All effects were increased as the water level increases. GM abandoned their efforts with water in gasoline, as have many others over the years. They also noted in the GM study they never even bothered to investigate the lubricity issues or long-term engine durability, because the performance characteristics were so bad. Star Tron®’s various enzymes in fact de-emulsify water, which is exactly what you want for contaminated fuel. The advantage to removing water in microscopic amounts is that our enzyme technology is totally harmless to an engine and does not change the ASTM specifications for fuel. Star Tron® will not remove water from a glass jar but it will remove the water layer in an operational boat.

Star Tron: The Solution to Fuel Concerns
The real Star Tron® advantage goes beyond just how it eliminates water, or even how it cleans up sludge. Star Tron® is also a combustion catalyst, improving emissions, including reducing carbon monoxide, while it increases power and fuel economy. Star Tron® cleans out combustion chamber carbon deposits, reducing an engine’s octane demand and eliminating engine knock, as well as cleaning the entire fuel system. Star Tron® disperses bacteria, breaks down and safely disperses sludge, varnish, and gum, and outperforms conventional chemical-based gas stabilizers because Star Tron® not only prevents new fuel from aging (gasoline can be stabilized for one year), it can bring back stale fuel. And no product can compete with the cost effectiveness of Star Tron®.

The following is a White Paper I got from the StarBrite web site:

E-10 Ethanol Fuel Problems


The gasoline we buy for our boats and cars is in the process of a major reformulation. Ethanol, an alcohol derived primarily from corn, is both a domestically produced, and renewable fuel. E-10 (10% ethanol) has become a critical component of our fuel infrastructure, but it requires better housekeeping, especially in the boating industry. Ethanol is being phased into the fuel supply across the country.
The problem is all alcohols are hygroscopic. That means it likes water, and it attracts and couples with moisture in the air, resulting in greater amounts of water collecting in the fuel tank. Since water is heavier than gasoline, the water and ethanol mix settles to the bottom. This is referred to as “phase separation”, and eventually the water/ethanol phase is drawn into the fuel delivery system. If there is no water separator in the line, the water goes into the injector/carburetor and the engine does not run properly. In extreme cases, the engine will stop running. For automobiles, this is not a common problem in that an entire tank of fuel will most likely be used up within one week, well before a water/ethanol build up takes place. Also, automobiles have smaller gas tanks, leaving less air space for condensation to accumulate. Boats usually do not use up their fuel for many weeks, if not months, and their large gas tanks, when left low in fuel, readily form condensation. This presents a problem for most boaters.

An additional problem boaters will face is loss of octane, which is critical to an engine’s performance. Ethanol is over 100+ octane, and provides the fuel with much of its octane rating. Once water reaches about a .5% level, it will phase separate. With the ethanol drawn to the bottom along with the water, the fuel will lose octane, and this can cause a loss of performance, including pinging and engine knock, which can damage your engine. It also severely worsens fuel economy and power.
There are other problems with E-10 fuel. Ethanol is a powerful solvent and readily breaks up tars and organic sediment found in many marine fuel tanks. The ethanol/water mix also makes a potent stripping agent for old varnish and gum accumulated from years of gasoline sitting in the tank. These organic contaminants, once loosened from tank walls, can plug filters and injectors quickly, disabling your boat’s engine. In cold weather, the water/alcohol phase can also freeze, turning into a syrupy mix that plugs filters.

To assist boaters, Star Brite has introduced Star Tron, a revolutionary fuel additive based on enzyme technology that can prevent these water-related fuel problems. The enzyme package in Star Tron disperses water derived from normal condensation into microscopic clusters, and allows the water to pass through the fuel system and engine harmlessly, preventing the buildup on the tank bottom that can contribute to poor performance, fuel gelling and corrosion. This de-watering effect prevents potential phase separation. If large amounts of water are already present it will be de-emulsified and drop out of the body of the fuel, improving overall fuel performance. Over a period of time, with fresh gas loads treated with Star Tron, even large accumulations of water will be totally eliminated. Star Tron can also counter the effects of lost octane, greatly improving the combustion performance of E-10 fuel that has had water contamination. Star Tron can also prevent filter plugging from old gum and varnish. The enzymes help break down the dislodged sludge and other deposits into sub-micron-sized particles that usually pass through the fuel filter and are burned away as part of the combustion process. Tank deposits that would cause gelling are solubilized so that fuel flows uninterrupted through the filters.

What is StarTron
Product Description
Star Tron® is an amazing fuel treatment based on naturally occurring enzymes. Although this is a very unique application of enzyme technology, we encounter various enzymes in our everyday lives. For example, enzymes in laundry detergents break down dirt and stains so that they may be easily washed away, even in cold water. Enzymes in the human digestive system break down food into components that are easily used by the body to produce energy. Functioning as biocatalysts, enzymes increase and control the rate of chemical reactions. Star Tron® uses highly specialized enzymes to modify how gasoline and diesel fuel burns, the end result being more complete and uniform combustion. This same enzyme package, cleans the fuel delivery system and combustion chambers, stabilizes fuel chemistry and reduces engine emissions.

Increasing Power & Improving Fuel Economy, Reducing Emissions
Engines are not very efficient at burning all of the fuel that is fed into the cylinders. The result of this incomplete combustion is reduced power, production of harmful emissions and carbon formation. By changing the bonding structure of the hydrocarbon molecules that make up fuel, enzymes in Star Tron® allow more oxygen to attach to the fuel at the time of ignition, resulting in a more complete burn of the fuel charge. Star Tron® treated fuel therefore produces greater power, dramatically increases fuel economy and shows up to a 90% reduction in commonly encountered emissions. Carbon monoxide is reduced up to 40%. Diesel soot is now classified as a carcinogen and a toxic air contaminant. Enzyme modified diesel fuel can reduce soot by over one half in just a day and continued use can reduce soot by up to 80%.

Cleaning Injectors, The Fuel Delivery System & Combustion Chambers While Removing Carbon Build-Up
When more of the fuel charge is burned there is a dramatic drop in the formation of performance robbing carbon deposits. After several hours of operating with Star Tron® enhanced fuel, the engine’s concussive forces will blow all existing carbon off the pistons, completely cleaning the combustion chamber without the use of solvent-based carbon removing additives. As the enzymes in Star Tron® are naturally powerful surface-active agents, deposits are removed from the fuel tank, fuel lines, injectors, valves, pistons and spark plugs. Star Tron® accomplishes these cleaning tasks quickly and at the lowest per gallon cost of any product on the market. Once existing carbon deposits are removed and future deposit formation is prevented, knocking and pinging (pre-detonation) are eliminated. Engines develop full power while running smoother and quieter. An added benefit of a deposit free combustion chamber is that fuel burns at a properly controlled rate, helping to greatly boost fuel economy.

Microbial Growth In Fuel
When gasoline or diesel fuel sits in a tank with excessive air space, the daily temperature changes produce condensation (water formation) on tank walls. This water falls into the fuel where it sinks to the bottom providing a breeding ground for microbial spores that feed on hydrocarbon fuels. Known as “diesel algae” these are primarily fungi, yeast and mold contaminants. If left untreated, diesel algae will ruin the fuel causing clogs in filters, fuel lines and injectors. Common treatment for this problem up until now has been the use of a biocide to kill existing growth and prevent a future infestation. The use of a biocide can however cause other problems. Once the growth is killed, the resulting biomass settles to the tank bottom where it decays forming organic acids. The acids then deteriorate the fuel and cause corrosion of the tank walls, injectors and fuel delivery system. Additionally, biocides can be harmful to all those who handle them or come in contact with treated fuel, plus they can cause environmental damage if spilled. Star Tron® uses its enzyme technology to disperse microbial growth throughout the fuel. These microbial particles are then either safely burned away or filtered out.

Treating Water In Fuel
As mentioned before, water can wind up in your gas or diesel fuel as a result of condensation in the tank. Because water is heavier than fuel, it sinks to the bottom of the tank and forms a distinct water layer. The fuel pick-up tube is located at the bottom of the tank so, once this happens, water is supplied to your fuel pump. Obviously the engine can not burn water; soon it starts to sputter and eventually stops running. Additionally, water is corrosive so it deteriorates tank walls and metals in the fuel delivery system. The enzymes in Star Tron® prevent the water molecules that are in fuel from combining and forming a distinct water layer. Water is reduced to sub-micron size particles that cannot cause corrosion and are safely burned during normal combustion.

Ethanol-Enhanced Gasoline
The emissions-reducing additive MTBE that has been put into gasoline for years was found to contaminate water supplies. As a result, MTBE is being eliminated throughout the U.S. and replaced by up to 10% ethanol. When used up quickly, ethanol-enhanced gas does not present difficulties for users. In boats and RVs that tend to use up fuel less frequently however, the new ethanol gas does in fact create problems. Ethanol has a great affinity for water and as a result, this new formulated fuel can cause a water layer to form and gelling to occur. Additionally, ethanol is an excellent solvent that can attack sludge buildup in fuel tanks and cause fuel filters to clog frequently. Star brite Star Tron® can prevent these problems from occurring and can also reverse the problems if they already exist.

Stabilizing Fuel Chemistry
Diesel fuel and gasoline are not formulated to be stored for more than 90 days. After this period of time, they begin to oxidize, forming sludge, varnish, gum and other harmful deposits. The ability of the fuel to burn properly is diminished as chemical components start to break down. Star Tron® uses its enzyme technology to maintain fuel quality and prevent the deterioration of fuel components. Diesel fuel treated with Star Tron® has a shelf life in excess of two years. Gasoline, which tends to evaporate volatile components more quickly than diesel, remains stable for one year. Once hydrocarbon fuels deteriorate, the process of cleaning and rejuvenating them is extremely expensive. Enzymes contained in Star Tron® can in fact “repair” old fuel, restoring cetane and octane ratings, dispersing water and breaking down sludge and other deposits. Star Tron®’s enzyme formula may well be the most cost effective fuel remediation technology in the world.

After being a user of StarTron for more than 2 years, I’m a believer !! With the price of Gasoline these days and the cost of repairs, the few dollars spent on StarTron is well worth the investment. If you would like to purchase StarTron, you can find it in any marine store or if you wish, click on any of the Startron images in the article and it will take you directly to a vendor on that will ship it direct to your home.

The StarTron’s previous life:

Star brite officials say Star Tron has been marketed to industrial and commercial users for about 10 years by Solpower ( ), as Soltron and XBee. Solpower says it “has conducted many ‘industry-standard’ empirical studies on the performance and environmental safety of Soltron Enzyme Fuel Treatment (XBee and Star Tron) in laboratories around the world.” However, it also says some Soltron claims do not have a standardized fuel-lab testing protocol that “accurately duplicates real-world application of the enzyme technology.” The claims of removing sludge and dispersing bacteria are based on fuel modification analysis or field studies of customer experience and opinion, it says.

Posted in Boating, Ethanol, Marine, Product Review, Startron, This Old Boat | 3 Comments

Used Boat Review – The Correct Craft Air Nautique SV 211 Crossover Water Ski and Wakeboard Boat

Since 1985 I have owned a 1983 Formula One that is approximately 17 feet powered by a 170 Horsepower Mercruiser 470. While “This Old Boat” has given many years of hard core waterskiing in waters of Long Island Sound, she does have some short coming. In my research for a replacement boat I came across the Correct Craft SV 211 as a potential candidate. The production of the Correct Craft Air Nautique SV 211 Crossover Water Ski and Wakeboard Boat is from 2004 to today (2009). This is very popular boat so I expect the production to continue for years beyond 2009.

The following are criterias that I am looking for in my next water ski boat. Lets see how the Correct Craft Air Nautique SV 211 Crossover Water Ski and Wakeboard Boat meets these requirements:

  1. Size and Comfort – A boat that can accommodate at least 8 adults comfortably, and most importantly provide comfortable lounging areas for the ladies.
  2. Power and Handling – A Boat that has more than enough power to pop a 220 LB slalom skier out of the water with 6 to 8 Adults on board, as well as , have the power to cruise easily at 35 MPH and have a top speed that is close to 45. The boat should also handle a chop without getting swamped when weather conditions turn, or in turbulent waters cause by other boat and yachts. Since I boat in Long Island Sound, the V Drive helps raise the bow out of the water at low speeds, which is important when negotiating large wake from Yachts. Also a V Drive provides more space in cockpit while someone is waterskiing.
  3. Wakes – A boat that has a smooth wake for Slalom Waterskiing and has built in wake control features, but is also rigged for Wakeboarding with ballast tanks and a tower.
  4. A Family Boat – As my children are getting older, I need a boat that can accommodate my family’s differing needs, while keeping me happy.

The Correct Craft Air Nautique SV 211 Crossover might be the ideal candidate to address my needs. Correct Craft advertises these boats as the ultimate crossover boat and the ultimate family boat. The Correct Craft Air Nautique SV 211 Crossover is their most popular boat. Correct Craft prides themselves with the SV 211’s special designed hull that results in this boat being a true crossover boat that can deliver both a soft slalom wake and a serious wakeboard wake from one hull design. The 211 features Correct Craft’s exclusive Fusion Hull in combination with Hydro-Gate™, which controls the water directed through the hull’s strakes, creating different levels of lift and letting you control the wake’s size and shape. Part of the design of this boat’s hull is to create a tunneled shaped area along the shaft, prop to the stern. The Hydro-Gate is a special Correct Craft Trim Tab that works with this channeled water that is coming from the tunneled section of the hull near the stern. With Hydro-Gate you can flatten out the wake for aggressive Slalom waterskiing. Crossover Nautique 211 is the only V-drive that is USA Waterski-certified to pull Class C water ski tournaments. If you get one of these used, try to choose one of the Limited Edition or the Team Edition models, they come with Flight Control Tower®, 3-tank ballast.

Let’s investigate how the Correct Craft SV 211 address the various requirements I have listed above:

Size Comfort

First in term of size, I’m looking for a boat that can accommodate at least 6 to 8 people comfortably. The Correct Craft SV 211, which is a bow rider, can seat up to 9 adults, including the bowrider area. Optional equipment for the Bow Rider is a filler cushion that turns the bow area into one large seat for lounging. With the V Drive the cockpit has an open seating arraignment with wrap around bench seating in the main cockpit.

The SV-211 makes its 20-foot, 9-inch length and 93-inch Beam seem a lot more spacious than those compact numbers let on. The removable jump seat in the walk-through to the open bow provides an extra place to sit without wasting any useful space. There’s also a comfortable rear-facing seat back in the lounge to ensure no one misses the action behind the boat. The SV-211 has very low decibel readings in neutral and cruising at 36 mph.

Power and Handling

For any Ski/Wakeboard boat, power is the key. Many of the Correct Craft SV 211 are equipped with PMC Engines that range from 330 hp to 375 hp. If you ever have the option when searching for a Ski/Wakeboard boat, always go with the maximum Horsepower Available. With 300 plus HP, these boats have power to pull a skier out of the water with no problems while carrying 6 to 8 Adults. When equipped with the PMC 375 HP Engine, the SV-211 has a top speed of 45 MPH at 5300 RPMs and Accelerates to 30 mph in 5.0 sec. 115.7 ft. and Accelerates to 36 mph in 6.2 sec. 173.4 ft.

When you first look at the Air SV-211 all tricked out with the wakeboarding-oriented Team package, it’s pretty obvious that you can expect a respectable wake from this V-drive. What is not so obvious is the impressive handling capability of this agile near-21-footer. Even with a rider in tow, this boat tracks like a champ. It stays solid through choppy water without heavy jarring, and the narrow deep-V hull cuts through double-ups and keeps the ride nice and soft. With this boat you could not only tweak the wake with the Hydro-Gate but could also adjust the running attitude of the boat on the fly with the quick move of a lever. The SV-211 boasts awesome maneuverability.

Wakes – Wakes for Slalom, Wakeboarding and Wake Surfing

Another very interesting point that confirms the quality of the waterskiing behind this boat is that, the Crossover Nautique 211 is the only V-drive USA Waterski-certified to pull Class C water ski tournaments. Correct Craft claims that the SV-211 is the only V-drive that can create launching power for wakeboarders at all levels of the sport, but let’s be real…any quality wakeboard boat can do that!!

SV 211’s special designed hull that results in this boat being a true crossover boat that can deliver both a soft slalom wake and a serious wakeboard wake from one hull design. The 211 features Correct Craft’s exclusive Fusion Hull in combination with Hydro-Gate™, which controls the water directed through the hull’s strakes, creating different levels of lift and letting you control the wake’s size and shape.

When it’s outfitted with Correct Craft’s Team Package (which includes a beefy tower, Perfect Pass speed control and additional ballast, among other features) the SV-211 screams for some wakeboarding action. But this boat’s style isn’t the only thing that makes it a wakeboarding machine. With wakes worthy of even advanced riders, this V-drive will please most riders and their families. The shape is not only nice for wake-to-wake moves because of its long transition, it’s also versatile enough to suit riders from beginner to pro level with wide landing zones. Beginners should beware of the steep peak, though, which might be slightly intimidating at first. But every rider will appreciate the flat trough, which makes it really easy to edge. Limited Edition or the Team Edition models, they come with Flight Control Tower®, 3-tank ballast.

A Family Boat

Correct Craft Air Nautique SV 211 Crossover might be the ideal candidate to address my needs. Correct Craft advertises these boats as the ultimate crossover boat and the ultimate family boat. This boat has smooth wake for me and can spit out, in just moments, a radical wake for my kids when wakeboarding. This boat has lots of room and is very comfortable with the seating in the cockpit and bow. The SV-211 also has a build in Cooler, which is very important. The SV211 also sports lots of storage for Ski equipment and additional coolers. At 3500 pounds, she offers a smooth ride for the ladies and the weak at heart.


The Nautique SV-211 Team Edition is equipped to do it all. Decked out with Correct Craft’s driver-controlled stainless-steel plate called the Hydro-Gate at the stern, the SV-211 is capable of changing its running angle and as a result the size and shape of its wakes. Just slide the control to go from amplified wakeboarding ramps to mellow advanced recreational ski wakes. In fact, it’s the only V-drive with USA Water Ski class C tournament approval.

But for all the SV-211′s crossover ability, it’s hard to deny that the Air Nautique Team Package gives it an unmistakable wakeboarding attitude. With 730 pounds of ballast and the Flight Control tower, it will be hard to resist launching off the swells behind this versatile V-drive. But at least you know you have the option.

The Nautique SV-211 layout and seating leave lots of room for your family and friends to comfortably enjoy a day of skiing and wakeboard.

This boat is on the top of my list for someone who is looking for a Crossover Boat with a smooth wake for Slalom Waterskiing that can transform into a launching pad for the Wakeboarders.


Length: 20 ft. 9 in.

Beam: 93 in.

Seating capacity: 9

Fuel capacity: 38 gal.

Test Prop: Acme 13.25 x 16 4-blade

Test Engine: PCM ZR6 6.0L, 375 hp

Top Speed: 46.9 mph 5,300 rpm

Accel. To 30 mph: 5.0 sec. 115.7 ft.

Accel. To 36 mph: 6.2 sec. 173.4 ft.

Noise Levels (db): Neutral 59 D 58 R, 36 mph 85 D 86 R

Posted in Correct Craft, Nautique SV 211 Crossover, This Old Boat, Used Boat Reviews | Leave a comment

New Boat review – The Riviera 41 Flybridge

While owning “This Old Boat” has many rewards, at times I often research potential replacement for my 1985 Bertram 30. Over the years, I have always admired the designs and styling from Riviera Yachts. I surfed the net, I came across this New Boat Review of a future “this Old Boat” candidate from Soundings Magazine. Soundings is an excellent resource for general marine information, Boat and Product Reviews, Cruising information and cruising ideas and boat listing. This publication is geared for those who boat in Northeast. It’s one of my favorite magazine. The following is from

New boats
Michael Hauenstein


41 Flybridge

Australia-based boatbuilder Riviera Yachts continues to introduce new models at a fever pitch. These models include express cruisers, open express-style sportfishing boats, and open- and enclosed-flybridge convertibles to 70 feet.

The Riviera 41 Flybridge is one such boat. Built and tested in Australia, the two-stateroom, two-head convertible measures 46 feet overall and 43 feet, 3 inches on the waterline. It has propeller tunnels in the hull to reduce draft and propshaft angle, an underwater exhaust system, and engine room vents molded into the hull sides (a first for Riviera).

On the flybridge, there’s a helm station aft with helm and companion chairs; an L-shaped lounge on the starboard side, forward of the helm, with an optional filler cushion; and more lounge seating to port. The company says the cockpit, which can be accessed via ladder from the flybridge, is designed for entertaining and fishing. It has a nonskid sole, multiple storage lockers and an optional live well.

The 41’s saloon contains an L-shaped leather lounge seat to port and a raised dinette to starboard. For safety at sea, there’s a stainless steel overhead grab rail recessed into the saloon headliner, and the galley is located forward and a step down from the saloon.

The portside galley comes equipped with a solid surface countertop, a stainless steel sink, a recessed two-burner electric stove, a convection/microwave oven and a two-door refrigerator/freezer.

The below-deck accommodations include a master stateroom forward and a second stateroom along the starboard side. The master stateroom has a centerline island berth with storage beneath, a hanging locker on the starboard side and a private head compartment with a stall shower to port. The second stateroom has twin berths and a hanging locker, and there’s a second head compartment located on the starboard side.

Additional (and optional) sleeping accommodations comprise a trundle berth in the saloon and a filler cushion for the dinette.

Riviera Yachts of the Americas, Stuart, Fla. Phone: (772) 403-1060.

Posted in New Boat Reviews, Riviera Yachts, This Old Boat | 3 Comments

When the Mercruiser 470 Voltage Regulator fails

The Mercruiser 470 is an all Mercury designed engine and as a result there are some funky designs which results in expensive repairs for rare parts. One of the funky design issues with the Mercruiser 470 is the Voltage Regulator. Rather than incorporating an Alternator with a built-in voltage regulator, the Mercury Engineers designed the charging system for the Mercruiser 470 with a Stator and external voltage regulator, similar to the system used in Outboard engines. The Voltage Regulator for this engine has Fresh Water / Coolant running through to cool it.

When the Voltage Regulator goes, it usually goes out in a very noticeable way. Many times when they go, internal components of the Voltage Regulator burn up, resulting in smoke in the engine compartment and the obvious smell of an electrical fire. The Voltage regulator may still work, but the reading may be inaccurate.

In my case, I was taking my 17ft Formula One out for Water Skiing one recent morning, when we smelled an electrical burning / fire when I was cruising at 3500 rpms. I looked down to the Voltmeter and it was charging at 16 Volts. As I increased RPMs, the volts increase to 18 volts. When I pulled back, the Volts then read 13 Volts. The Voltage Regulators are not very reliable and are expensive. If your systems is charging at less than the 13.5, I was told that it’s ok. Charging over 13.5 could cook a battery and cause a fire.

I tested the volt gauge with a digital Multimeter I bought at Radio Shack a few years back. With the meter, I tested the input to the Volt Gauge and found as the engine increase in RPM, the Meter and Volt Gauge had the same readings.

To replace the Voltage Regulator, I have 2 options. One is to purchase for about $400 a new Voltage Regulator or Buy an Alternator conversion kit for the Mercruiser 470 at $450 to $600. The Alternator kit will by-pass the Stator and fresh water cooled Voltage Regulator for a common Alternator with internal Voltage Regulator System. The Alternator kit is the way I wanted to go, however there is very little room in front of my engine, thus restricting me from installing an Alternator in front of the Engine.

Though the Mercruiser 470 Voltage Regulator is very expensive, the good news is to replace it, there is very little labor involved. All you need to do is remove the 2 yellow Stator wire, the Red hot wire an Orange lead output wire. Then you need to take out the 2 top bolts and 1 bottom bolt, detaching the Voltage Regulator from the block. Then you need to remove on both sides the fresh water hoses. At this point, it might good to have at hand two rubber stoppers to plug the Fresh Water hoses, so that you don’t lose too much coolant. If you got this far, you should then be able to figure out the rest in re-installing of the new part.

Mercruiser 470 Voltage Regulator

If you need help in the installation of the Mercruiser 470 Voltage Regulator 99502A13 or 99502A12, please refer to the link below:

Wiring Diagram of MerCruiser Voltage regulator.pdf

Posted in Boating, Marine, Mercruiser, Mercruiser 470, This Old Boat | Leave a comment

Old Spark Plug Wires the Cause of a 470 Mercruiser Engine to lose RPMs.

Magstar Marine Spark Plug Wire Set for 4-Cylinder - Mercruiser 470, 485, 488, and 3.7L OMC 2.5L and 3.0LRecently, I was running my 1983 17 foot Formula One off of Playland Amusement Park in Rye, New York for an early morning water ski session. In Long Island Sound, finding flat water can be a challenge at times. This particular morning the condition were ideal , but my 470 Mercruiser had another idea. While skiing at 4300 rpms, the engine started to break up and misfire. To add insult to injury, the skier I was pulling at the time, wiped out face first into a Jellyfish with bites all over his face.

At first, with the ethanol in the fuel and the problem of dealing with phase separation being very common in the northeast, I thought my issue was a fuel related. I check the filter in the carburetor, replace the fuel filter attached to the fuel pump and added a 10 Micron Water Separator Fuel filter as an additional fuel filter. After all this work, I still had the engine breaking up at higher RPM with a load on the engine.

Since the points, condenser, ignition coil and plugs were all change with very little hours on them, I did not think the issue was ignition related. The one item that was not changed over in years (possible 10 years) was the Spark Plug Wires. In my case the #1 Cylinder spark Plug wire was malfunctioning, resulting in the #1 Cylinder to misfire. Once I replaced the Spark Plug wires, my 470 Mercruiser operated normally.

Also I found that the Volt Meter was charging at 13.5 to almost 14 volts. Prior to the change in Spark Plug wires, the volt meter was always below 13 volts. Since the charging system in the 470 uses a Stator and not an Alternator, the reduction of resistance in the old wire, resulted in the higher reading in the Volts.

An ideal set for the Mercruiser 470 is the Magstar Marine Spark Plug Wire Set for 4-Cylinder – which fits the Mercruiser 470, 485, 488, and 3.7L; OMC 2.5L and 3.0L. They claim to be designed Exclusively For Marine Engines and that Magstar is the only high performance marine wire set that practically eliminates radio interference with onboard electronics. They have Stainless steel spark plug terminals provide a positive corrosion-proof connection. They also have pure silicone boots provide maximum heat protection. They are guaranteed for as long as you own your boat.

Magstar Marine Spark Plug Wire Set for 4-Cylinder - Mercruiser 470, 485, 488, and 3.7L OMC 2.5L and 3.0LIf you have a Mercruiser 470 and need spark plug wires, I found them on

If I replaced these wires every 2 to 4 years, then I would not of had this issue and lost one perfect morning of water skiing. The lesson learned in my case is that some of the simplest bits of maintenance that can be performed are the most important in keeping “This Old Boat” operational.

Posted in Bertram, Bertram 28, Bertram 30, Bertram 31, Bertram 33, Boating, Chris Craft, Crusaders, Ethanol, Marine, Mercruiser, Mercruiser 470, This Old Boat, Thunderbird Formula | Leave a comment

Troubleshooting why a Mercruiser 470 Inboard/Outboard does not start

After a long winter layup for my 1983 17 foot Formula One with a Mercruiser 470 I/O, the engine would not turn over on the first start of the season. The engine was winterized properly and was running well at the time of winterization. An engine that is turning over, but is not starting has 1 or 2 possible issues. It is either a Fuel related issue or an Ignition related issue. For the non mechanic, to troubleshoot this is quite easy. I found this the inline spark plug tester with a light below on for about 7 bucks, however you can also go to you local auto parts supply store and purchase for about $8 to $12 dollars.

To use the tester is easy, you plug one end on top of the spark plug and the other end into the spark plug wire. When you try to start the engine, if you have power going to the spark plug, the inline light will light up, thus indicating that the problem is a fuel related issue. Obviously, if the light does not light up, then what you have is an ignition related issue. In my case it was an ignition related issue, as the light did not light up on start up.

So, the first thing I checked after that is if I had power going into the coil. With a mutimeter that I had bought at Radio Shack for $20 a few years ago, I confirmed that there was power going to the coil. What I did was I took off the coil the hot wire, then I turned the ignition key to the on position and tested the hot wire, which showed voltage of a little less than 8 volts. This normal as that wire is attached to a resistor, which keep the voltage to the coil in the high 7 volts range. So now I know the problem is either the ignition coil, condenser or points.

The first point of attack should be the points. FIRST THING IS MAKE SURE YOU TURN THE IGNITION TO THE OFF POSITION AND THE BATTERY SWITCH IS IN THE OFF POSITION OR DISCONNECT THE BATTERY. If power is going to the points, you could get a shock, so make sure you take this precaution. Now, I took the distributor cap off, then the rotor, exposing the points. With my fingers, I opened up the points and with some sand paper, I scratched up thoroughly both contacts on the Points. Then I put the Rotor and Cap back on. Then I turned my Battery switch to the On position. (if you disconnect the battery, you must make sure you reconnect the battery and turn all battery switches on). Now, with one crank, the Mercruiser 470 fired up and ran like a charm.

To help troubleshoot this issue, you need an inline spark plug tester with a light. To fix this issue, all you really need is a Phillips head screwdriver to get the distributor cap off and a little piece of sand paper. The test light is very cheap and a great tool to have at your disposal when owning “This Old Boat”.

Posted in Bertram, Boating, Crusaders, Ethanol, Marine, Mercruiser, Mercruiser 470, This Old Boat, Thunderbird Formula | 4 Comments

A Chris Craft 25 Woody Damaged in Hurricane Katrina Resurrected as a Bar

A Chris Craft 25 Woody from the 1950s era, similar to the photo to the left, that was severely damaged in Hurricane Katrina almost met it’s end, chopped up in a dumpster.

Fortunately for this Chris Craft, a home designer looking for something unique to add to a Lake Tahoe vacation home came up with the idea of converting an old classic boat into a Bar. The Bar would be part of large game room sporting a ping pong table and pool tables. In order to get the 25 foot Chris Craft into the room, the 25 foot Chris-Craft wooden racing boat had to be sawed in half, lengthwise, then she was rebuilt and finished.

To accompany the Chris Craft 25 Bar, you will find in this Bar/Game room a 50-inch Samsung plasma HDTV, two pool tables (one of which converts into a Ping-Pong table), a dart board, two pair of Sonance in-ceiling speakers to deliver a variety of music sources from the whole-house audio system, and in-wall Sonance K2 LCD touchpad used to activate selected music sources.

While the utilization of Chris Craft 25 as a Bar is very cool, it’s also sad to see an old boat be taken out service.

The chances are that “This Old Boat” may not have ever been giving another chance after being damaged in Hurricane Katrina. Hopefully the utilization of this Chris Craft 25 as a Bar and showpiece  to this Lake Tahoe vacation home may heighten the awareness of the treasures that one can find after refurbishing an old classic boat.

Posted in Bertram, Boating, Chris Craft, Marine, This Old Boat | Leave a comment

A Classic Bertram 31 Sinks in Nantucket Sound After Hitting Rocks off of West Dennis

While scouring the in internet, I came across an article posted back in August 16, 2007 by Cape Code Today. Apparently the operator of the Bertram 31, The Raven, on the evening of August 15, 2007 was leaving the Bass River going into Nantucket Sound when the Bertram 31, struck bottom off of the West Dennis beach. There is a cluster of underwater rocks marked with a buoy just to the northwest of the rock pile about half way between the beach and the rock pile. Other rocks are scattered throughout the area. The boat was between the beach and the “rock pile,” just beyond the buoys that demarcate the swimming area. The tide was low at the time of the mishap. The impact tore off the starboard rudder and damaged both props. Left picture below shows the starboard side with the rudder post sheared off at the hull line and the shaft strut dislodged, opening up a hole in the hull. Photo below also shows the badly damaged left prop.

The Operator of The Raven was plucked from Nantucket Sound that Wednesday night. Fortunately for the operator of The Raven, a Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod was on a night training flight when his boat began to sink. The helicopter arrived on scene 19 minutes after the first call and found the vessel listing to starboard with the deck flooded up to the pilothouse door. The Coast Guard initially communicated with the skipper on channel 16 but communication was soon lost. Judging that the vessel was sinking, the pilot sent the rescue swimmer into the water.

Following the swimmer’s instructions, the mariner entered the water and was hoisted to safety. Examined by the corpsman on board and found to be in good condition, the mariner was ferried to the West Dennis beach parking lot where he was met by the Dennis harbormaster.

Below is an Aerial Shot of the Inlet to Bass River in West Dennis

The irony to this Bertram 31′s fate is that Ray Hunt, who designed the Bertram 31, designed this hull to smooth out the square seas of Buzzards Bay and the shoals off Nantucket, unfortunately, did not factor in Pilot Error when striking shoals in Nantucket Sound.

Posted in Bertram, Bertram 28, Bertram 30, Bertram 31, Bertram 33, Boating, Chris Craft, Crusaders, Egg Harbor, Ethanol, Marine, Mercruiser, This Old Boat, Tiara | Leave a comment

The launching of “This Old Boat”

“This Old Boat” is a Weblog that will support the issues that are related to the ownership and maintenance of an older boat, hence “This Old Boat”. While it is wonderful to be able to buy a new quality boat, like a Bertram, Tiara, Hatteras, Egg Harbor, Black Fin, or Chris Craft, many times the only realistic entry into a quality boat is to purchase an older boat that is at the bottom of it’s depression curve. Many times these Old Boats are in need of TLC. With this Blog, I’m am going to document my past and present experience, as well as, share the silly and sometime dumb things that I have done wrong.

scuba Do

I currently own 2 boats, a 1985 Bertram 30 with twin Crusader 454s and a 1983 17 foot Formula / Formula 1 with a 170 hp Mercruiser 470. Like me, my friends also are owners of older boats. I will also be sharing with you our experiences in maintaining a 1965 Chris Craft Commander with twin Ford 427s, Chris Craft 21 foot Center Console with a 1989 200hp Mercury Outboard, 1999 Tiara 40 Express Cruiser, just to name a few.

Some of the issues we will address will be

  • Repowering Options
  • Used Boat Reviews
  • How to deal with Ethanol
  • Fiberglass Fuel tanks and Ethanol
  • Converting from points to Electronic Ignition
  • Fresh Water Systems
  • Places to Cruise on Long Island Sound, Block Island Sound, and Buzzards Bay
  • Mercruiser, Crusader, Chris Craft Engine Maintenance
  • And much much more……

With over 20 years of owning my own boats, coupled with the experiences of my friends, I have a wealth of information that can be used as resources to keep “This Old Boat” running!

Technorati Profile

Posted in Bertram, Bertram 30, Chris Craft, Crusaders, Ethanol, Mercruiser, This Old Boat, Tiara | 1 Comment