Saturday, October 4, 2014

Inventor Cruisers

Rob & PJ’s trawler “C” Y A

At Pete’s Pub in Little Harbour, Bahamas we met Rob and PJ over sundowners.  They were cruising and fishing - mainly fishing the Bahamas.  Looking at Motivator, Rob said I bet you have a few RACOR fuel filters on that boat.  I responded yes, six to be exact.  He told me he invented FilterGuage®, a product that would tell me when to change the fuel filters. 

I said I had gauges on the RACORs for the main engines.  He responded that the ones I have are notoriously inaccurate even when you read them correctly, and that he would give me one of his to try.  After a little research, I determined that I indeed was reading them incorrectly.  After starting the engines, I would do an engine room check that included a glance at the RACOR gauges.  To tell you anything, the gauges must be read underway with a full load on the engines, not at idle.

The next evening, Rob gave me a FilterGauge®.  The big advantage of Rob’s gauge is that you can read it with the engine off.  It registers the highest filter contamination level until reset.  It is reset simply by pressing the button on the top.

When the yellow indicator inside FilterGauge® is at the bottom of the green area, change your diesel filter and push the reset button.  Do not wait for the indicator to be in the red!  Rob was able to demonstrate this to me at the bar by sucking on the bottom of the T-handle.

I gave the FilterGauge® a test run on Motivator’s small generator.  Removal and visual inspection of the filter when it reached the red (above) confirmed its accuracy.  Damn, he only gave me one.  Now I have to order more from Defender Marine.

Abby & Steve on Who Cares

Another inventor cruiser we have met is Steve Skulnick on E-dock here in New Bern, NC.  Several years back, Steve invented the Freedom Fender after watching regular fenders slip off when used against pilings.

The Freedom Fender eliminates the need for fender boards

The Freedom Fender is concave on one side so that it stays centered on the piling.  In 2004, Steve licensed his patent on the Freedom Fender line to Taylor Made Products so he could go cruising.  The Taylor Made Freedom Fenders are available at most chandleries.  Motivator’s crew was wishing we had a couple when we were sliding off the piling during Hurricane Arthur.

Soon after purchasing Motivator, I cable tied a yardstick to the fuel tank sight tubes.  On the upper three quarters of the tank they give a fairly accurate reading of the fuel status.  With the yardstick cut off at the 35” mark, one inch equals 10 gallons on our 350 gallon tanks.  I wonder if I can get a patent on this?