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Old 02-27-2015, 05:57 PM   #21
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Since you're goint to Snead Island anyway, I'd do the extra Racor there. That boat is more than capable of handling any normal conditions, including the occasional squall. An Epirb, Spot or any of the other similar devices would be handy. Design your ditch bag in the meantime.
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Old 02-27-2015, 06:02 PM   #22
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Proposed trip to the Keys-- trying to get ready

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Originally Posted by healhustler View Post
Since you're goint to Snead Island anyway, I'd do the extra Racor there. That boat is more than capable of handling any normal conditions, including the occasional squall. An Epirb, Spot or any of the other similar devices would be handy. Design your ditch bag in the meantime.

I guess I will. I'm such a cheap-ass I want to do all this stuff myself when I get back to Texas, but I like the idea of having the extra switchable Racor now. Plus, I'm really just a car mechanic so I probably wouldn't know what I was doing anyway.
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Old 02-27-2015, 06:44 PM   #23
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Why can't you install the Racor yourself in Florida?
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Old 02-27-2015, 06:53 PM   #24
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I guess I could I could take a separate flight down early before the rest of the family arrives (or drive maybe so I could bring more tools) and do it. I'm probably being lazy.
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Old 02-27-2015, 08:05 PM   #25
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We did a similar trip in 2010, in March, we went from Sanibel Marina to Marco Island where we went in back of Marco Island by Goodland on the marked channel "old ICW" We anchored for the night at the south tip of Coon Key. Well protected by mangroves, the next day we went out Coon Key Pass into the Gulf and continued on to Little Shark River where we spent another night also well protected. The next day we kept South to Marathon where we stayed. We visited Key West from Marathon by car. The weather was good, there were crab pots but they were visible and we fortunately did not wrap any if we did the "Shark Cutter" clipped them with out us noticing?
This made for about 50 miles per day. The route inside is not real deep, our draft is 4' we never touched bottom or have close encounters I recall.
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:15 PM   #26
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For weather info use weather apps with your smart phone and Passage Weather online.
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:02 AM   #27
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You mentioned you are such a "cheap ass" and my sense is that you are somewhat new to this activity. Both of these can get you in real trouble.

What you are attempting to do is relatively easy and safe but unless you are prepared to handle things yourself without immediate help you could be in for a real surprise. In the FL straights SEA TOW will take awhile to get to you -- if you can reach them.

The whether in June in south FL is usually great but just ask SKI and a few others what happened to them in late June last year. Personally we were holed up in Ft. Lauderdale for a week waiting for that early season hurricane to pass. Hurricane's are well predicted and predicted paths generally accurate, but just know that all the good hurricane holes and marina's will be taken by the locals. Watch the weather and don't allow yourself to be in a remote area if one is predicted. Thunderstorms generally occur over the coast and inland but can happen anywhere. They are usually not a problem, but expect lots of cold rain when it hits. If your anchored, disconnect your VHF and Plotter from the boats electrical system before it hits.

A second racor is your judgement. A dozen or so racor elements is a no-brainer. A vacuum gauge on the racor will tell you when you need to change it, and if it's in a location on the boat that's easy to do I would go that route and spend the saved money on a PLB. Hey dude what's your life worth, $250.

Right after I purchased my boat I installed a dual raw water alarm, +- $120 bucks perhaps $70 for a single engine. I personally wouldn't own a boat without one. I doubt you will hear the alarm at the helm if it's in the engine room, so wire it to the helm. Yes it's a pain but a little prep now will save you a lot of aggravation late. Ski mentioned the sea grass in the water around the Keys. I'll second that and another very good reason to install a raw water alarm on a single engine boat.

Your wife and kids are depending on you to keep them safe, so do the right thing. Boating's not cheap, as my wife reminds me constantly, but adrift in 3-4 ft swells waiting for Sea Tow will make those saved bucks seem worthless.

You are definitely on the right track by asking lots of questions, good luck and safe boating.
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:37 AM   #28
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Yes. New to large power boats with diesel power. Have owned houseboats and smaller "express" style boats but nothing designed to cross big water. So I have sooooo many questions.

For instance, comparing an EPIRB to a PLB, which one is better. Seems like the fact you have to manually activate the PLB is a negative, but I also wonder if someone could steal my externally mounted EPIRB. Also, what's

And to the raw water flow alarm, are you talking about something like this?

http://aqualarm.net/cooling-water-fl...n-fpt-p-2.html

Does it just mount after the sea strainer? This seems like an excellent idea. I like the idea of a buzzer.

I will have 10,000 follow up questions BTW, so be ready. ;-)
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:44 AM   #29
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Perhaps some one more knowledgeable will pitch in but for the type of boating you're going to do I would think a PLB would be enough, certainly much cheaper. I've attached my PLB to my inflatable life vest which we wear any time we're in open water or the weather kicks up.
We also have a EPIRB in our ditch bag, along with a portable VHF, but the EPIRB came with the boat and the battery is out of date.

I'm no expert on raw water alarms but this is the one I have:Wet Exhaust Temperature Alarm by Borel Manufacturing Inc.
much easier to install.
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:45 AM   #30
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2 theories on PLB/EPIRBs....mounted, auto release great....unless it becomes entangled from freak accident, poor mounting location.


Other theory is have one in a ditch bag and have it handy at all times.


Neither is perfect, redundancy has its benefits.


I bought an aqualarm for last year's trip and it gave me great warning on the only clog I had in nearly 7000 miles...3 dang finger mullet blocking everything.
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:48 AM   #31
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You should be fine with just an engine high temp alarm. I'm pretty surprised your engine doesn't already have one. Are you 100% you don't have one?

As to EPIRBS, just rent one from Boat US.
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Old 02-28-2015, 09:01 AM   #32
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You should be fine with just an engine high temp alarm. I'm pretty surprised your engine doesn't already have one. Are you 100% you don't have one?

As to EPIRBS, just rent one from Boat US.
He's talking about a raw water alarm not a coolant alarm.
Last summer I had one of my borel alarms go off - scared the **** out of me. We were at and had been cruising at 1400 rpm for an hour or so. I shut the engine down immediately and noticed the coolant temp was normal. Checked the exhaust elbow where the alarm sensor is located with a temp gun and it confirmed the overheat. Checked the strainer it was clear. Jumped in the water and checked flow from the engine, it was fine.
Fired it up again and got the alarm again but coolant temp was normal. Increased rpm to planing speed - 2300 rpm and the alarm went away.
Later determined that the sensor just happened to be located at a hot spot on the elbow where water did not flow at low rpm. Moved the sensor 1/2 inch and the alarm hasn't gone off since.

Good point about renting an EPIRB.
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:56 PM   #33
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Yeah I know which alarm he was talking about. But in post #12 he mentioned he didn't have an engine over temp alarm either.
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:59 PM   #34
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Yes, you're right. Sounds like he has a gauge but no buzzer.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:15 PM   #35
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Yes I have a temperature gauge but no buzzer.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:19 PM   #36
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Quote:
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Yes I have a temperature gauge but no buzzer.
That's a cheap fix that I highly recommend you consider getting done before you go.

http://tinyurl.com/qeuphbr
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Old 02-28-2015, 05:01 PM   #37
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Take a look at what's involved in deploying and using/maintaining a PLB while you are in the water. I think installed on your person, they are a great back up to an EPIRB, but no substitute for one. I keep my EPIRB at hand, easy to turn on manually (or throw in the water and auto-on) and in the water self-maintains itself and has longer battery life.

Its one of those things, when you're there in the water in a bad situation, you won't be consoling yourself with "gee, at least i saved all that money!"

Make sure your VHF DSC function is working properly as well.
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Old 02-28-2015, 07:00 PM   #38
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I think you'll be fine, you have a first class boat, quite new. Maybe do a filter change just to see what is involved and to have a fresh one have some spares a vacuum gauge is an easy add on you can do before leaving. Make sure your radio and nave gear is working well, it is a well traveled route and not that far off shore probably in VHF reach of the Coast Guard or other boats along that route. Just watch the weather, you don't want your wife or kids first big trip to be scary! If the weather is iffy stay up in protected water.
Good luck !
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Old 02-28-2015, 10:31 PM   #39
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Folks have been doing this for years with a lot less, don't over think this.

Prepare and allow for safe passage sure but many do this with an outboard and a cuddy cabin and peanut butter and a loaf of bread.

It's the Keys, with proper weather watch, and good charts traveling in daylight this is a fun and safe trip.

I did it the 80's in a 20' Wellcraft with only a VHF a depth finder (flasher) and a Loran. I had a cooler, bucket with a toilet seat and a 5 gal. solar shower. From Miami to KW and back taking 2 weeks.
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Old 03-01-2015, 02:54 AM   #40
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I know I know. If it was just me and some buds I wouldn't care. But with the wife and kids I'm trying to be safe and prepare.
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