1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: May 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014

SUPER Deal on Catalina 27

 This is not my normal post, but I think that, given the circumstances here - and the fact this is MY blog, I'm going to do this just this once. Someone in this group is looking for a nice boat, and this just might be the one.
I've come across a sweet little boat, a 1984 Catalina 27, that I've picked up from the owner and can pass on to you for a very good price.
The boat's name is Little Soul, and she is currently in south Florida. The current owner can't afford two boats, so he's let this one go. The engine is new, has about 10 or so hours on it. Runs beautifully. The genoa is in good shape. The main needs two small patches (which I can easily do on my Sailrite), she comes with a new depth sounder, nearly new VHF, tiller pilot, has wheel steering, 25# CQR anchor, bimini, Plastimo bulkhead compass.

On Yachtworld, the identical boat is listed at $15,990 -http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1984/Catalina-27-2696357/Southeast/MI/United-States#.U4C3X5TO2e9
What does this boat need? A good cleaning, which I'll have done professionally here. You can see photos here on LiveBloggin at http://bloggingtheicw.blogspot.com/p/catalina-27-for-sale.html
This boat is selling for $4k, and I can arrange delivery if it's needed. A couple of people have been curious about trailering this boat - as you can see by the photo, it's do-able, even with a smaller vehicle like the one shown.
If you're looking for a great first sailboat, this boat is the one.  Just google Catalina 27 and see what others have to say. You can email me at northchannelsailing@gmail.com

Saturday, May 17, 2014

ANOTHER Florida anchoring fight....

Sunset in Miami
As many of you know, I never discuss politics.....much! Here's a political issue that cruisers need to be aware of, and an issue that I've been fighting against, personally, for the last several years.
Southeast Florida isn't particularly cruiser friendly - unless you mosey on up to a dock and shell out $3 or $4 a foot. Many of us choose to anchor out, and that means that the wealthy people who own the waterfront homes get all upset with us for not realizing they own the view all the way to the horizon. Who knew?
Recently, an article was published in the Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale about anchoring - here's the article - and following this, here, is my rebuttal to this article and the people quoted in it.

Response to Sun Sentinel Article - feel free to republish, with credit and links please.
Look out.  Hide the women and children, lock up the silverware. The lowlife sailboat hordes are coming. No, wait! They’re here, right amongst us, in Middle River.
That’s what Carol Eich would like you to believe. She believes that her property rights don’t end at the property line, that they continue all the way to the horizon, and that sailboats, and their scummy owners, have no place being in that view.
Well, Ms. Eich - let me give you a little hint: if you don’t like looking at boats at anchor, buy a house in Arizona and move there. Boats have been anchoring in your back yard for a lot longer than your home has been there. We have rights too. And we aren’t scummy either.
I do hope you were misquoted by the writer of Sunday’s article about water skiers not having room to turn here. Because if you weren’t misquoted, then you’re lying. Yes, I said it. You’re lying and you know it, because all weekend you and I watched dozens of water ski boats go round and round out here.
And Mr. Sprague, you want to put moorings down to protect the bottom of the river? Mind if I ask what you’re protecting it from, and why? I’m quite serious. If you’re going to blither like an idiot, then you need to be prepared to defend your words.
All you want is a shot at my wallet, to charge me for mooring here. Money that will go to the city, so that politicians and bureaucrats can waste it, instead of letting us spend our money with local businesses where it can do them some good. So now that I’ve brought up money, let’s talk about it. 
Mayor Seiler, I suggest that you listen closely here. From your remarks, you appear to need an education in Cruising Sailboat Economics 101 as well. 
For starters, moorings are a net drain on tax dollars. They cost more to install, maintain and monitor than they bring in. I’m sure your local tax base will appreciate you wasting still more of their hard earned dollars on this sort of thing, won’t they, as you save them from we sailboaters. Don’t believe that? Ask the City of Marathon in the Keys what their mooring field costs their taxpayers annually. 
Each of us here in the anchorage eat. Yes, it’s true. We actually purchase, cook and eat food. And we buy it from the Publix which, as the writer noted, is conveniently located near George English Park. 
In three days, my current guest aboard has spent $100 on wine and snacks on top of what I buy for groceries. Perhaps we should ask Publix shareholders if they are unhappy with that? For those anchored in Lake Sylvia, it’s the Winn Dixie, just in case you think the cheapskate sailboaters there don’t bother eating. I assure you, they do.
Or perhaps we should ask the Starbucks here if they don’t want the money that a half dozen of we skinflint sailors bring in every day for our coffee and muffins? 
Or gee - how about the True Value Hardware, where another boater and I spent over $250 just yesterday for tools and other items? Maybe you should ask Chuck, the owner of Sailorman’s, about how much money we spend at his business. Or how about West Marine’s local manager? Do you need their phone numbers perhaps? Lots of us have them, on speed dial no less.
How about the Serafini restaurant, where three of us had a lovely dinner the other night? How about the CVS? How about the Yanmar dealership where I bought engine parts the other day?
Are you getting the picture? We contribute to your economy. We are not freeloaders, Ms. Eich, Mr. Mayor, Mr. Sprague.
Nor are we all transient boaters who are anchored here. Oh no. Fact is, the two largest boats in the Middle River anchorage belong to Florida residents. One owns a home and large business, the other owns a home in Seminole. Care to tell them what their rights are, since they pay taxes to the state? I thought not.
Dear, dear, Ms. Eich, those are public waters. The owners of those two boats have an absolute right to anchor in the public waters of their state. How about we tear your ugly house down so they can look at a much prettier natural landscape instead? They have as much right to demand that as you do to demand that they be gone.
Seriously speaking, what Ms. Eich wants is exactly the same as someone who demands that no one enjoy the park lands behind her home anywhere she can see them. 
What? You say that isn’t happening, that no one complains if someone picnics on public  land where Ms. Eich and her ilk can see them? Then how about acknowledging that we boaters have the same rights in public waters?
Do I sound annoyed? I sure hope not, although it’s only in Florida that state representatives accuse us, in public speeches, of peering into people’s homes with binoculars, or imply that your children aren’t safe, that we’re dangerous. Yeah, one of your dirtball politicians actually said that a couple of weeks ago. (ed. note: the link for the videoof this is available on the Florida.gov site)
Well. Let’s examine that bit of crap. Two of the people here in the anchorage have full time jobs in town. Another one just got a good construction job. Another is retired, former military. Another, as mentioned, owns a business. Another retired cruiser owns a house in another part of the state. 
Three of us are cruisers - on land, you would call us tourists, and every winter, this state spends millions of dollars in advertising to get tourists to visit. I really wish you’d told us to leave our boats at home. Who knew that southeast Florida is full of people like Ms. Eich, miserable nasty souls who hate sailboats? We really didn’t want to annoy you.
And who am I? I write for several prominent boating publications, and at one time, as a newspaper owner in Canada, wrote many lovely things about Florida for my readers who visit here. I was courted by tourist associations, feted about, wined and dined, to encourage people to come here. 
Things are not quite the same. Quite frankly, I cannot wait to get out of this state and away from the miserable, small minded people who inhabit the waterfront homes, and the politicians they’ve bought who, like little ventriloquist’s dummies, harp about us and make our lives unpleasant, who accuse us of being perverts and thieves and more.

Every year, I speak to over 1000 people at boat shows and seminars about making the trip south. I assure you, I now have very little good to say about Florida, and especially Fort Lauderdale, other than that it’s a nice place to stay for as little time as possible until you can go to someplace that appreciates your business, like the Bahamas.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New pub, new crew, boat repairs - all is normal!

Yanmar 2QM20 Mixing Elbow
You've likely not even heard of a mixing elbow, or perhaps you think it's a bartender's thing....but if you're a boater, it's part of your exhaust system and, thus, prone to break! Imagine that. So mine rusted through here in Lauderdale....in front of a bridge....with the current against me....that was the only good thing.
So, shut down the motor and sailed back to the Middle River anchorage and anchored the way REAL sailors do, under sail....(that would be REAL sailors only because we have no other choice...)
I suppose I could have called Towboat US, I do have a membership, but seriously, doing it this way was much more fun.
So, I went online to find the part - and yow!, they aren't cheap...so on to Facebook, where someone had the part, hardly used, mine for $20 postage! That's a deal, and thank you Dave! The gasket cost me $50!
So there I am, deep in the hold, in 90° heat, sweat pouring off of me....breaking bolts that have been long abused with engine heat and salt water.....this is not going well. It's time to call Super Dave!
Yes, this anchorage has it's very own Super Dave....he lives on his Pearson sailboat in the Middle River anchorage in Lauderdale and he loves to fix stuff. Personally, I think he needs a lobotomy if that's what he enjoys, but what do I know?
So Dave clambers below and many hours, plus liberal applications of a butane torch and a hammer and wrench, later, the old rusty elbow is off, and the new one installed, and all for an extremely reasonable price. I may just have won the 'World's Cheapest Sailor' award for this deal! Now, would anyone like to purchase an old, rusted out mixing elbow....going cheap!
Seriously, if you're in the Lauderdale area and you need some work done, I heartily recommend Dave....he's neither cute nor classy, but he really knows his stuff and is more than willing to work. Contact me via the contact widget that keeps popping up in the lower right hand corner if you want to reach him.
I mentioned new crew....here's a shot of good friend Doc Hogan, from Urbanna VA, and I in this great little corner pub that he found....the Hut. It's a little bar in the back corner of a shopping mall, friendly staff, good music, cold beer and within staggering distance of the anchorage!
Tomorrow morning, we are setting off on the trip north - winds are 15 - 20 S-SE, so this will be a fun romp up the coast.
It's time to go sailing again.....

Thursday, May 8, 2014

ICW Questions - and Answers

I'm sure you've noticed that annoying little question box that pops up in the lower right hand corner of the page, right? Well, it's garnered a lot of response and some GREAT questions about the ICW - things I've never perceived as an issue - but that, for some, are actually of great concern.
So, let's take a look at some ICW questions and answers - and if you have a question of your own, just grab that little box and send it to me!

An interesting question I've never been asked...

Message - If my Nonsuch 30 is registered in Canada, what do I need to do with my tender (2 horse power) to cruise the ICW to Florida?

Response - GREAT question, I've never been asked that one previously. As long as you are legal in Canada, you're legal with your dinghy wherever you go. A lot of Florida water cops don't know this however, and you'll have to explain it to them (slowly!). I had an officer on the Chesapeake Bay ten years ago insist I MUST get a Maryland registration for my dinghy since I didn't have a Canadian one. I simply told him 'fine', since it was the weekend and I was leaving the area before the offices re-opened. Most of them aren't that stupid. They DO have guns though....
Be patient... but seriously, you don't have to do a thing. Some people put their boat registration number on their dinghy, which isn't strictly legal - I haven't and don't recommend it.
(Note to American boaters - you may face tax issues if your boat is in Florida or other states for too long a time. The subject is too complex to get into here, I'll save it for a later discussion after further research).

New, and nervous, cruiser...

Message - would 75 feet of galvanized chain plus 150 feet of half inch rope,pulled up by hand do.with a cqr anchor. i do have an old dingy inflatable avon type with soft bottom and motor.will these do in the bahamas.the thout of doing the erie canal single handed is bad enough.
i do wear a safty harness all the time,so i em some what safty conius. bad speller 
thanks for any help

Response - Hi David - spelling isn't counted, lol! the chain and rode will be fine for your boat....an old dinghy takes a lot of abuse on these trips, if you can upgrade there, you should. Nothing more frustrating than an old dink that is starting to leak air or water, keep in mind, it's your ONLY transportation to shore. fyi, the Erie Canal is very easy once you get the hang of it, I've singlehanded it half a dozen times with no problems. The lockmasters will work with you to make it simple.

This is probably the most common ICW question I get...

Message - Wally, my draft is 6' 9", can I get down the ICW?

Response - Hi Wayne - you're pushing the limit, but yes - at certain of the inlets, and places such as Little Mud River and Jekyll Creek, you'll absolutely HAVE to go through at half tide rising, which will give you a minimum of an extra 4 feet of water. I don't suppose I have to tell you to be sure to get Boat US for towing insurance with that draft? Even though it's easily do-able - even some good sized cruise ships do the ditch - as a first timer, you'll likely go aground at least once with that draft. No shame in that though, we all go aground there eventually, and it's only sand anyway...

How do we keep in touch while on the ICW? 

Message - Communications on boat. to and from other vessels and land via internet.

Response - Hi Tex - that's a fairly complex question and I'm not a techhead but there are three or four basic methods. First, there's your smartphone. If you have data, you can also set the phone up as a hotspot for your computer. Next, there's the wifi from whatever marina you are at. They all have wifi, so if you're at a dock, you're good. If you're anchored out, you can often pick up a wifi signal and use it - although many now require passwords. You can improve your range and signal using an antennae - I use a wirie, but there are quite a few different models about - expect to pay about $250 for one of these. I'm online with mine now to the city of Miami Beach wifi signal, which is only marginal without the antenna.
You can also purchase a mifi, which is a unit that gives you a wireless hotspot on your boat. You can secure that signal with encryption, by the way.
Hope this helps - the thing about this aspect of cruising is that it's constantly changing - today's answer is not much good by the week after next. I'm going to have a webinar on this topic featuring an expert at a future date, so stay tuned.

...and what would a post like this be without the mandatory anchor question???

Message - We are currently outfitting our hunter 45ds for a cruise to the bahamas, caribean... My question is on the ground tackle that we would need. The dealer gave ua a delta anchor with 20 ft of chain. I am thinking on adding a cqr with 200 ft. Do i need j2 anchors both with 200 ft of chain? Wont that be heavy? What are your recomendations

Response - Hi Murray - nice boat! What size CQR? I'd suggest a 45, and the 200 feet of chain sized to the boat is a good choice. You might want to consider another 100 - 150 feet of three strand in addition to that. While this is a lot of line for the Bahamas, there will be anchorages in the Caribbean where you'll need more rode. The chain of course means that coral can't cut through.Be sure you have a snubber also. Check with your West Marine catalogue for the appropriate chain and rope size for your boat's weight, or Calder's cruising guide. 
I have 75 feet of chain plus 150 feet of rope on a 34 foot boat with a 35 pound CQR and I'm going to add another 75 feet of chain. You might consider keeping the Delta if it's appropriately sized and put it on 100 feet of chain with another 100 feet of three strand. If you decide to bring a third anchor, give a Danforth style some thought - there are some anchorages where it will be the only thing that will hold. Just don't trust them anyplace where the currents swing you around, they can foul too easily in those conditions.
Yes, this will all be fairly heavy, but when the winds kick up, you won't mind, believe me. I dragged the other night in a blow, and the only reason I did was because I had too little rode out. I reanchored with 135 feet in 10 feet of water and had no problems. 
You'll rarely need the extra anchor - but should you lose your primary, having that chain on the secondary will be very useful. 
Lastly, I'm hearing very good things about the new anchors available - Rocna and so on. You might want to take a look at them before making any final decision. Keep in mind, when it comes to anchors, everyone has a favourite - you'll get lots of advice. Just remember - weight is the key. 
(note please, this was written before I got my Mantus anchor)

So, what's YOUR question - ask away. I'll answer as quickly as possible.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Names of the Guilty WILL Be Published.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to try a variety of gear on both my own, and others, boats. I’ve developed some favourites - gear that I respect because it does its job well, is dependable, and long lasting. This page will discuss a few of what I consider to be top notch products. They may or may not have a place on your boat  because your needs may differ, but they’re on mine to stay. Also, this page will go into the pages index here on LiveBloggin' and be updated as required.

The first depth sounder on this boat was a unit from the mid 70s which came with it. It actually worked fine for a couple of years, even after seven years on the hard. I replaced it with a Uniden depthsounder, the small 2.5” unit from West Marine. I absolutely do NOT recommend this unit. 
I had two of them fail, both for the same reason. The connection for your wiring is not marine grade - it actually rusts. Knowing this could happen, I sealed the second unit with silicone to protect it. It slowed the corrosion down but didn’t stop it and the unit ultimately failed. And if that wasn’t enough, the unit wasn’t waterproof - one damp and foggy morning, the glass was covered in condensation.
Points however to West Marine, who made good on the unit. Since I already had a 2.5” hole in the cockpit for it, I purchased the Hawkeye depthsounder - admittedly with some reservations - mostly wondering if the units were from the same manufacturer.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. For about ten dollars more, this unit is an entirely different beast. The wiring connections are much better, the system to fasten it to your boat simpler and more robust and the unit itself works much more dependably. Couldn’t be happier with it. And if you want a factory reconditioned unit, you're talking way way wayyyyy under $100. This is a good deal.
For those who want it, this depthsounder also has an optional temperature sensor. I just stick my toe in - or used to, more on that later!
The only two issues I would comment on here would be that it would be nice to have a depth offset with more flexibility. I prefer my depthsounders to show true depth from the waterline so that they match what I see on the chart (hopefully!). This unit’s offset won’t quite get me there, but I’ve learned to live with adding one foot to the depths shown. The other issue is that there is no way to turn down the light for night use, and it’s a fairly bright light. Again, not a huge issue, but it would be nice.
Shortly after purchasing this unit, I came across two other items from this same manufacturer. Although I was initially skeptical of one of them, I’ve grown to love them both.
It's a portable depthsounder, ok?
No impish remarks here!
The first item was a handheld depthsounder. If you’ve ever gone aground and were unsure of how to get clear, you’ll love having one of these. Hop into the dinghy, and scout around taking soundings until you find a path back to deep water. After all, the water was deep enough for you to get there, right? 
I haven’t had to do that for Gypsy Wind yet, but I’ve done it for others, leading them out of their misery. Best part is, this trick is always good for a couple of beers from the ‘rescuee’!
If I want to know the temperature of the water, this unit will give it to me, in °C or °F. It even comes with a very bright LED light - and I do mean very bright - and can be used as your waterproof light for coast guard boardings. I’ve often used mine as a flashlight at night walking the dog.

The final item from NorCross was one I wasn’t quite sure of - an infrared thermometer. Over time though, it’s become an important tool. That’s because, while it doesn’t get a lot of use, when I need it, it does really important stuff for me.
Infrared thermometer
For example, every winter, we read of boats that burn at the dock, often due to the failure of the plug coming into the boat. You’ve seen these plugs, you may even have one, badly charred from overheating. If yours looks like this one, btw, you need to replace it NOW! That would be right now. Don’t take chances with your boat, or your life.
Last fall, I was concerned about the plug on one of my 30 amp cords, so I pulled out the NorCross thermometer and checked the temperature of it, using the laser beam to pinpoint where the sensor was reading. 
Yep! There was a problem. The temperature at the plug was well above the ambient temperature. Clearly, there was a problem with the cord, so I switched to my spare, which tested out fine.
The next time I used this unit was to test the wiring for my solar panels. I had been having some issues with heat in the wiring, and it turned out that the fuse holder wasn’t adequate for the power going through it. I actually had one melt on a previous installation but didn’t realize the problem at the time.
I discovered the issue by aiming the laser at the holder, which showed a temperature of 107° F, a good 25° above ambient. A larger fuse holder solved the problem.
You can also use this thermometer to check temperatures in your engine room - for example, of your mixing elbow, to make sure you’re getting adequate cooling water. Or check the temperature of the water coming out of the boat.
The most fun use of this unit? My pup loves to chase the little red laser dot around the boat! Turns out most dogs and cats love that game! Just be careful not to shine it in your dog’s eyes as, like any laser, it can blind them permanently. See http://www.hawkeyeelectronics.com/infrared-marine-thermometer/
For more information on these products, check out http://www.hawkeyeelectronics.com/

An Arch Decision...
For years, I’d wanted an arch for my boat. I’d considered building one from fibreglass à la Hunter, and decided my glass skills weren’t up to it. I priced out stainless steel arches at the boat shows and decided my earning skills weren’t high enough. 
In place, and ready to bolt in!
I finally ended up building a puny little thing using stainless tubing. It did the job, but I was never very happy with it. It looked amateurish, and I didn’t trust it in rough weather, even though I’d nailed it down to the boat every possible way I could imagine.
Then, I came across Atlantic Towers at the Toronto Boat Show. They manufacture a high quality arch for sailboats at an affordable price - we’re talking about $1500 and up. They can do this because their arches are adjustable. You get a custom fit without a custom price. Also, they build the arches with a high quality aluminum tubing. Looks just as good, it’s just as strong too, but a lot less pricey.
The big deal here is placement and measurement - you have to figure out how and where you want the arch to fit on your boat, then measure to make sure you get the correct unit. It’s not hard, but hopeless mechanical doofuses (doofi?) such as myself can get all kinds of telephone assistance from the company. We traded sketches, photos of the boat and measurements back and forth until we (Atlantic) were satisfied that we (Wally) had it right. 
It actually helps just to sit on the dock and look at your boat (with a suitable cold beverage in hand of course) and just think on it for a while before making any decisions.
Installation isn’t all that difficult. Again, if I can do it, anyone should be able to. 
Optional items include carriers for solar panels and wind generators, dinghy davits, lights and even stereo speakers. Mine has the davits, plus carriers for both my wind generator and solar panels. It’s an impressive setup when done, and I’m immensely pleased with it.
If you’ve ever thought about customizing your boat with an arch, these are the folks to talk to - http://atlantictowers.com. For more information, and photos, about these units, check out my article on them at An Arch for All Reasons, which is also reproduced at Atlantic Towers website.

Hot hot hot!
The whole point of going south in the fall is to avoid cold weather, but cold weather has a habit of sneaking up on you...even as far south as Florida if you don’t get far enough south, fast enough. This past winter of 2013/14 was a prime example - it was cold right into February in northern Florida, and we’re talking not far above freezing.
A few years ago, I got caught in some cold weather coming south, and the next year, my good friend Tory Salvia (http://thesailingchannel.tv) loaned me his Mr. Buddy. Get your minds out of that gutter now, because it’s a portable propane heater, and a great unit. I was very impressed, and considered one for Gypsy Wind.
Warm is GOOD!
However, I ultimately went with a propane ice hut heater from Procom. An ice hut heater, for my southern friends, is a heater used in an ice fishing hut in Canada. NO NO, we don’t fish for ice, we fish ON the ice through a hole cut in it - awww, never mind....you know we Canucks are crazy anyhow!
This unit is about 20 inches by 16 by 6 deep and is mounted to a bulkhead. Above it is a Caframo fan from West Marine, which blows all that lovely hot air down to the cabin sole where it can warm my toes, and my pup. It runs off a 20 pound propane tank and uses about a pound per evening, so it costs me roughly $1 per night to stay warm. The units themselves run about $125 at Harbour Freight and similar outlets.
Although it has an oxygen depletion sensor, I don’t run it while I’m sleeping, but use it simply to warm up the boat. It’s efficient enough to quickly rewarm the boat in the morning, even at near freezing temperatures, and a bit of chill reminds you of why you’re heading south in the first place.
Typically, I run below and fire this unit up just before I come to anchor, then close up the companionway. By the time I get below for a glass of wine and some nibbles, the cabin is nice and toasty! YES!
The only drawback to propane is that it’s damp heat - which is exacerbated by the cold walls of your boat. You’ll get some condensation, but it’s not a big issue and a good fan eliminates a lot of it. I can assure you it sure beats being cold. I know of several cruisers this past season who took my advice and bought either a Mr. Buddy or a propane heater...the rest spent a lot of money at marinas! And one, I believe, did both!
You'll find more about this unit at Procom.

Wirie Internet Extender
Time to stretch your neck!
Free is Good®, but sometimes, you have to spend a few bucks to get free. That’s the case with internet wireless. Most of the places you’ll stop along the waterways you’ll find a stray internet wireless signal you can make use of. Some are inadvertent, some are meant to be there. A lot of private signals are encrypted, making them useless to you without the password. In busier locations, you’ll find good signals provided by companies that sell internet services to boaters. 
Very occasionally, you’ll pick up a megayacht’s signal, but they’re always encrypted. You can always ask the yacht’s captain if he’ll provide the password. That’s how I got online in Marina Hemingway, in Havana, Cuba, where there is no internet service available.
In almost every anchorage, you’ll get a better signal with a wireless antenna, or signal booster. What these units do is pick up the signals around you and amplify them. Often, the improvement is enough to do video calls, although it’s a rare signal that will let you stream video.
The unit I use is the Wirie. It’s entirely marinized, strongly built and encased in a waterproof Otterbox. My unit, an older one, operates via a USB cable to the computer; the newer ones are wireless and even permit you to establish a hotspot for other of your devices.
It’s not cheap - but it’s been dependable and the customer service has been superb the few times I’ve needed them over the last four years. I’m quite happy recommending this unit to you. Check them out at http://wirie.com

So what's with the title of this post? I won't hesitate to name products I don't trust, or have discovered I cannot depend on, or that are just essentially worthless. Such as that Uniden depthsounder. Despite my complaints to the company, I never heard back from them. So I not only got rid of the unit, I also got rid of the Uniden VHF I owned.