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Vol 47 | Num 21 | Sep 21, 2022

Offshore Report Ocean City Report Delaware Report Virginia Report Chum Lines Ship to Shore The Galley Issue Photos
Ship to Shore

Article by Capt. Steve Katz

Summer Summary

Another season of the Coastal Fisherman has flown by. Thankfully, there is still more fishing season remaining, along with less crowed waterways.

At this Mid-Atlantic seasonal crossroads, some boaters and anglers schedule trips to the Chesapeake Bay or even further destinations that are less crowed in the off season, such as New York and Massachusetts or southern destinations such as the Carolinas, and Charleston SC – a trending layover destination for those heading to Florida.
The remaining local boaters and anglers look forward to enjoying the waterways in our area as long as possible - until it gets too cold, or the fishing slows to a nibble.

Most of the tournament sportfish boats have a year-round itinerary that guides them to tournaments in a multitude of destinations. These boats usually schedule a “yard” period in the fall. This is when the boat is hauled out of the water for maintenance and upgrades in the shoulder season.

Even if you do not have a tournament sportfish, the fall is the best season to work on maintenance and upgrades on your own boat. Compared to the spring, the fall weather is often much more pleasant for outdoor boat projects, and you are not in such as rush to get the boat ready for the summer.

What are some of the best off season projects?

Keeping your boat seaworthy should always be top priority. Engine and propulsion systems need to operate in tip top condition for enjoyable and safe boating. The hull and topside structures should be tended to, whether just cleaning, painting or even repairing areas due to age, stress or damage. The electrical and plumbing systems are always a viable candidate for a refresh or upgrade.

Recently, I worked with a customer who has a low voltage error on the primary Garmin multifunction display (MFD). He thought he had a major electrical problem and started replacing batteries and cleaning connections, working his way to the helm. Through detailed troubleshooting we found a bad circuit on a fuse block. How did this happen? That single fuse and socket had some light corrosion causing the low voltage condition. That one bad circuit is an indication that the remaining 11 circuits are probably not far behind in becoming a problem. This fuse block and wiring is now scheduled for replacement during winter maintenance.

Plumbing systems include important bilge pumps, engine cooling systems, seawater circulation systems, fresh water and of course, black water or sewage plumbing. Hoses, fittings, and clamps do not last forever. A quick inspection usually reveals any needed maintenance. Tip – when replacing hoses, investigate using silicone hose. Silicone rubber will remain flexible and ageless after prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures, weather, or ozone - it will stay soft and pliable after years of use as compared to traditional rubber which will harden and crack.

Recently I worked with a captain who was battling (potable water) freshwater pump problems, this was important and immediately noticeable when you spend the day offshore. Unusual water pressure problems plagued all connected systems. After a review and testing of the system, we found that both accumulators tanks were defective. One accumulator failed in the past and was not too noticeable, then the second accumulator failed recently and suddenly lots of problems arose. Replacing both accumulators allowed the freshwater system to work like new. Checking your systems in the offseason or boatyard can help eliminate maintenance surprises during fishing season.

I am honored to be part of the Coastal Fisherman and thankful for Larry Budd and his crew for their hard work every week. Thank you to all the readers and advertisers of the Coastal Fisherman and also my customers and friends who often unknowingly provide the real-world content for these articles.

Each summer week, I still have the same anticipation I had as a kid in OC, awaiting the next delivery of the Coastal Fisherman to Shanty Town Marina, waiting to see who and what was on the cover, and of course reading each issue front to back. §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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