Session Details

Hands-On Diesel Service – Steve D’Antonio – 90 min.

How well do you know your way around your engine?  Can you identify key components, starter, alternator, fuel injection pump and injectors, raw water pump, circuit breaker and starter relay?  In this hands on and lecture demonstration you’ll learn to identify all of these key components and more.  We’ll then move on to key service procedures such as fuel filter replacement and fuel system bleeding, as well as removal and replacement of the raw water impeller and belts.  You’ll also learn basic mechanic and electrical troubleshooting technique.


The Weather Wise – Ralph Naranjo – 90 min.

This session focuses on forecast acquisition and how to turn weather information into sound seamanship based decision-making. Attendees will become familiar with the Ocean Prediction Center’s weather maps and text guidance. We will also delve into the National Hurricane Center’s tropical weather early warning system, and the value of monitoring the Storm Prediction Center’s real time thunderstorm watches—a probabilistic approach to severe weather alerts. These resources are available free of charge and can be acquired at sea via cellular, satellite and SSB radio links. Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase “the weather wise and the otherwise.” This session helps you become part of the former.


How to Avoid the Most Common, Costly and Dangerous Systems Failures – Steve D’Antonio – 90 min.

Nearly all of the systems problems and failures boat owners face are avoidable.  In this seminar Steve will share with attendees guidance and wisdom that will help them… avoid fuel tank contamination and corrosion, running gear misalignment, saturated fiberglass core, batteries that die prematurely, clogged heat exchangers and unreliable electrical systems, to name a few.  Steve will also share tips on avoiding disputes and working effectively with the marine industry.   The session is interactive, so come prepared with your questions.


Navigation’s New and Old Techniques – Ralph Naranjo – 90 min.

In an age of electronic fixes, digital charting and vessel tracking systems, some cruisers forget where they left their hand bearing compass and roller plotter. But others see good reason to blend traditional techniques with satellite fixes, and continue to think like a navigator rather than completely abdicate the process to a flow of electrons.  The intent of this presentation is to layout a sensible routine that keeps a navigator engaged in the process and ready to step in when and if the proverbial lights go out.  It also explains why he or she still holds sway over a networked MFD displaying an electronic fix. The value of such an approach was made even more clear in the wake of the collisions the USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain, incidents that underscore the importance of bridge resource management and prudent seamanship.  In both cases, an avalanche of electronic position defining information was available, but cascading human error resulted in a failure to operate in accordance with International Navigation Rules.


Hands-On Multimeter Use Demonstration – Steve D’Antonio – 30 min.

Many onboard electrical faults and failures can be quickly and easily identified using a commonly-available and inexpensive multimeter.  While many cruisers own such meters, few have taken them out of the box or learned to use them.  In this introductory session, you’ll learn how to use the basic functions of a multimeter to measure volts, amps and resistance, as well as the practical applications associated with each.  Learn not to be afraid of your multimeter, and if you have one feel free to bring it with you.


Safety Underway – Ralph Naranjo – 90 min.

Successful passage making has as much to do with ongoing vigilance as it does with vessel preparation. In this segment we will explore the concept of “forehandedness,” a trait put to good use by most competent mariners. It’s our opinion that avoiding a storm at sea is better than enduring the onslaught.  Risk mitigation begins with hazard awareness and is inextricably linked to effective decision making. Running inlets, crossing bars and coping with currents all test seamanship skills and are comingled with decision making. Volatile weather systems drive go (no-go) decision making, and no commentary on safety underway is complete without mention of how to handle a building seaway. Crucial topics such as Man Overboard prevention and recovery, boat handling in heavy seas and other concerns of ocean passage making will be covered.


Diesel Fuel System Design, Installation and Failure Avoidance – Steve D’Antonio – 90 min.

Clean fuel, it’s the very lifeblood of any diesel engine and for that reason its importance cannot be overestimated.  Contaminated fuel not only raises the risk of unexpected engine shut down, it increases the likelihood of damage to metallic fuel tanks.  One of the most effective ways of making certain the fuel that reaches an engine is clean is to ensure the fuel delivery system, plumbing, manifolds, tanks, as well as primary filtration, are properly designed, installed and maintained.  Beyond that, there’s fuel polishing, supplemental, stand-alone filtration that operates before it gets to the engines.  In this photographically intensive, interactive PowerPoint presentation you’ll learn about the details of fuel systems, from how they operate to how to design and install an efficient, reliable and effective system.  You’ll discover why all fuel systems are not created equal and how to distinguish between supplemental filtration and true fuel polishing systems.  Making heavy use of images from the field, an emphasis will be placed on material selection as well as proper design and installation techniques.


Oil Analysis, The Mechanic’s Crystal Ball – Steve D’Antonio – 90 min.

It’s an invaluable tool that’s been effectively used by the aviation and rail industries for over half a century.  Today, most manufacturing facilities and over the road trucks as well as commercial, institutional and military vessels rely on oil analysis, to reveal defects and impending failures long before ordinary potentially costly or dangerous problems manifest themselves.  In this presentation the “mechanics” of oil analysis will be detailed, including establishing an oil analysis program for your vessel, sample taking procedures, selecting analysis labs, reading analysis reports (and avoiding miss-reading these reports), and the value of establishing a condition-based maintenance protocol.  Oil analysis is no longer cutting edge technology, it’s proven and common place where ever users of internal combustion engines wish to extend equipment life, prevent failures and save money.


Planning a Summer Cruise or The Great Escape – Ralph Naranjo – 90 min.

Cruise planning involves an understanding of navigational constraints, climatology, vessel readiness and crew capability.  Ironically, more great cruise plans suffer from too much rather than too little of a good thing. These itineraries end up with too many miles at sea and too little time to savor the landfalls.  To sharpen your long voyage of short summer cruise planning ability, we’ll analyze the factors involved and double check some real-world alternatives. We’ll start with a swap of home waters and weekend cruises for a summer getaway that keeps you within a 100 mile radius of home port. Next comes a look at an inside passage to Alaska or a turn in the other direction and a downcoast quest along the Oregon and California coastline.  Finally, some thoughts about pointing toward Panama or tackling the big hops toward the South Pacific and meandering along the “steppingstone” route between Tahiti and New Zealand.