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Captains’ Club


Captains’ Club – Members Entrance

Naming names so to speak, the Captains’ Club exclusive access pages include specific recommendations on gear, equipment, service providers and manufacturers as well as the ‘SDMC bookshelf’ and web links.


About the Captains’ Club 

I recently received a call from a vessel owner who had been living with a severe running gear-related vibration for several years. He’d purchased the twin screw 48-foot boat new and from the day he took delivery the vibration was difficult to ignore. The manufacturer made several attempts to resolve the problem and then gave up. He’d been to three boat yards, all of which carried out inspections and modifications to eliminate the vibration, none of which were successful. After a few phone calls and email exchanges I believed I knew the cause of the problem. I directed him to a yard where, following my detailed instructions, they were able to carry out a series of tests and measurements, which identified the root cause of the problem. With only a few days’ work the vibration was completely eliminated and the owner began to enjoy the boat as he’d never enjoyed it before.

How many times have you found yourself in a position of needing accurate technical information regarding service, maintenance or repair of what is perhaps your most prized and valuable possession, your cruising vessel? Regardless of whether you’ve recently purchased a vessel or you’ve owned it for several years, whether it was new when you acquired it or pre-owned you’ll no doubt have questions about how it should be properly maintained, repaired and operated. With SDMC’s Captains’ Club program (some customers refer to it as “Steve’s 911 Service”), you can call or email for the information you need.

Because you are particular about the maintenance and upkeep of your boat, you have questions, lots of them. You’ve asked friends
and fellow boaters about them for years and it seems like every time you ask you receive a different answer. The advice offered by dockside and internet sages may be free and entertaining; however, it’s quite often incorrect, inaccurate or anecdotal at best. The peace of mind you’ll be afforded by receiving accurate, clear and insightful answers to your vessel-related technical questions from an acknowledged industry professional will be tangible and invaluable. You’ll also benefit from countless industry contacts and support resources carefully cultivated by SDMC over the course of two decades. And, we don’t accept commissions or kickbacks from any recommended vendors, brokers or service providers.

Now, getting the answers to these questions is as easy as sending an email or picking up the telephone. Here are a few examples of questions fielded on a daily basis.

  • I hear a clunking, rattling noise I’ve never heard before when I’m cruising at 120509073idle speed. A friend on the dock says it means my transmission is getting ready to fail and another cruiser said it’s probably my damper plate. What is a damper plate and which one of these guys is right?
  • My fuel tank keeps leaking regardless of what I do. I’ve taken it to several boat yards and they keep using sealant on the gaskets, paying them for the “repairs” each time, but the leaks always return. Why has this happened and what’s the right way to permanently fix this problem?
  • I’ve been told by at least two electricians that the wiring for my electrical panel is too small and it’s not properly fused. Everything works fine, do I need to do anything and if I don’t is there a danger of causing a fire?
  • I have a strong vibration when I’m underway. I’ve had my propeller balanced and the engine aligned at considerable expense, but the problem remains, what else could be causing the shaking and rattling?
  • I’m told it’s necessary to connect my engine room fire extinguisher to my engines and generator. Why?
  • My boat is at a boat yard now and they are telling me my fuel tanks need to be cleaned. They say they can save me money and do it without actually opening the tank but friends have told me this isn’t possible. What should I do?

Periodically, there will be opportunities for Captains’ Club Members to attend a special program with Steve open only to Captains’ Club Members and specially invited guests. These may include small group technical discussion sessions at Trawler Fests or other events, the opportunity to “shadow” Steve on a boat inspection, or a specially scheduled session on specific topics requested by Captains’ Club members.

The Captains’ Club program is available to a limited number of subscribers for an annual fee of $5000. Call or email for additional details on the Captains’ Club program.