Posts Tagged ‘boat accessory’

Why does Lloyd’s Type Approval matter when it comes to Shield’s Hose?

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Type Approval from Lloyd’s Register (LR) proves that a product conforms to recognized industry quality standards and/or the LR Rules, through a process of independent design review, testing and verification of production controls.

There are two main steps to Type Approval. The first is Type Examination. Design data is submitted and reviewed to ensure it complies with the requirements of the specified standard(s) and/or LR rules. Then, samples of the product are tested to verify they meet the testing requirements of the relevant standards and any performance requirements associated with the product.

The second main step in the Type Approval process is Production Quality Assurance. This is performed to ensure the product (when mass produced) will be of an acceptable quality and will conform to the version that was prototype tested. Production controls are inspected to confirm that the product can be manufactured in accordance with the design data.

Once Type Approval is achieved, a Certificate is issued and is typically valid for 5 years. The product is then entered in the relevant part of the Lloyd’s Register List of Type Approval Products.

Why does this matter to you? It matters because this certification ensures you that our vendors and suppliers are capable of providing the highest quality product possible. You can trust your boat with Sierra.

Marine Starter VS. Automotive Starter… And the Winner Is…

Monday, November 24th, 2014

You pull the starter off of your Mercruiser (GM manufactured 5.7L) I/O and take it to the nearest auto parts supplier for a replacement. The starter for a car looks exactly the same as the one you just removed from your marine engine. You think to yourself, “I wonder how much difference there REALLY is between the marine and the automotive starter.”

Don’t be fooled by the fact that an automotive starter will bolt on to your marine engine. A marine approved starter has better seals and gaskets to keep water out. It also contains more corrosive resistant materials.

However, the primary consideration is safety, as there are deliberate design differences to contain sparks that could ignite fuel vapor in the bilge.  In an enclosed engine compartment, where volatile fumes exist, any stray spark could cause a catastrophic explosion, resulting in severe injury or possible death.  In order to prevent this, a marine starter is constructed with internal shielding to contain any sparks or stray electricity that could travel into the bell housing or bilge where gasoline fumes may be present. Another benefit from this shielding is that it protects the back half of the starter motor from moisture and contaminants which WILL decrease the life of the starter.

If the replacement starter you are buying does not have a tag or sticker on it that states it has been manufactured to SAE J1171 standards, you should ask if the product really is an approved marine grade product. You should always make every attempt to be sure that you are not being sold an automotive starter for your boat. In order to receive this certification, the manufacturer of this starter must submit a sample to pass three separate tests, each of which is performed fifty times. The tests include operation in an enclosed explosive atmosphere, high temperature tests and induced ignition tests.

Please remember the following:

  • Using anything electrical that is not marine rated is BOTH illegal and dangerous
  • The Coast Guard WILL ticket you for noncompliance
  • The risk of injury or death is incrementally higher when you elect to use automotive electrical parts on your marine engine

Stay safe out on the water and if you have any questions as to which start is best for your marine engine, call our Technical Support Line at 1-877-663-8396.

What is Optimus EPS?

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

For centuries, people have been steering boats by brute force. While cable steering, and more recently hydraulics, have made steering easier, the prime mover is still the arms and hands of the skipper at the wheel. All of that is about to change with SeaStar Solutions’ revolutionary Optimus Electronic Power Steering (EPS) for twin, triple and quad outboard engine boats.

This new and innovative product was developed because boating operators continue to ask for increased comfort, lighter steering loads and car-like steering response when on the water. Optimus EPS truly raises the bar when it comes to comfort, control and maneuverability, especially for the new breed of high performance powerboats, saltwater fishing vessels, catamarans, RIBS and high end pontoon boats.

Active Sensitivity

Lock-to-lock turns and wheel effort are programmed to change with engine RPM. At slow speeds, Optimus EPS can be set to reduce the number of turns lock-to-lock, for example, 4 and make it easier to steer. When you’re negotiating through traffic or in a tight spot, those smaller moves of the wheel give you precise control. When you’re running at speed in open water, Optimus EPS can be set to increase lock-to-lock turns, for example, 6 or 7 and increase steering effort giving the driver more stability to comfortably keep on course. And through it all, Optimus EPS does the work, so you can relax and take it easy.

The Technology Behind the System

The incredible feel you get when you’re behind the wheel of a boat equipped with Optimus EPS is the result of an incredible array of technology and engineering. Each component has been designed to complement the other, resulting in a seamless experience of steering control in virtually every situation on the water. The high level of engineering also extends to the reliability of the system, with quality materials, careful manufacturing and redundant systems, all to stand up to the rigors of life on the water.

Ackerman Steering

Intelligent programming allows the Optimus EPS system to individually control the steering angle of the inner and outer outboards. This reduces the effect caused by the outside outboard “pushing” against the curve of the turn. Ackerman steering is especially important in power catamarans where the engines are located further apart.

Autopilot Interface

The Optimus EPS electronic power steering system interfaces directly with the latest generation of autopilots from Garmin, Raymarine and SIMRAD, without the need for an autopilot pump, rudder feedback unit and the lengthy installation and purging procedure.

Optimus EPS by SeaStar is the ultimate choice for your twin, triple or quad outboard engine boat and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced when it comes to steering. If you’d like to receive more information about Optimus EPS, click here  and send us your details. We’d be happy to steer you in the right direction!

What a Jackplate does and why you NEED one, NOW!

Monday, June 30th, 2014
If you’ve ever asked yourself “Why would I need a Jackplate on my boat,” keep reading. 
 

A jackplate is a specially designed mounting bracket for an outboard motor that lets you to raise or lower the motor vertically.  Here are five very good reasons you need a jackplate for your boat.

It will make your boat go FASTER

A Jackplate will lift your engine and position your propeller closer to the water line.  This removes much of the lower unit from the water which reduces drag and increases the speed of your boat.  The additional setback of the Jackplate has the benefit of placing your propeller in cleaner, undisturbed water allowing your engine to work more efficiently.

Get INTO shallow water

With your engine up and your propeller closer to the water line you can safely get into and navigate shallow water.  This is especially good if you’re one to troll through shallow water searching for fish.

Get OUT of shallow water

Accessorizing your boat with a Jackplate will allow you to lift your propeller away from the bottom so you can tuck under and get up on plane in shallow water.

ENHANCE Handling

Having your engine up and set back from the transom enhances handling.  Additionally, putting your engine as low as it can go with a jack plate while navigating rough water gives the propeller more traction in the water.

IMPROVE Fuel Economy

Lifting the engine with a jack plate reduces drag and moves the propeller further away from the transom so as to avoid the boat’s turbulence as it travels through the water. Running with less drag means you will get further on less fuel.

Along with these benefits, there are many other reasons why a Jackplate would be a great accessory for your boat. If you’d like to learn more about Jackplates OR you’d like to speak with someone to learn more about our diversified Jackplate products, please visit us at http://www.seastarsolutions.com/products/jack-plates/detwiler-products/.