Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Tips: Winch Preventative Maintenance

We thought we would start a series of DIY Posts called "Tuesday Tips"  that walk you through some of the most commonly asked questions we receive on our service desk.  This one is a recent one from one of our owners that called and asked about how to disassemble, check and lube his Lewmar Ocean Winches.

While the specific disassembly might vary from brand to brand- the essential components of the winch are similiar and the routine maintenance should be done routinely (i.e. seasonally at minimum or if you race the boat perhaps on a bi-seasonal schedule).

We thought that we would start with winches because it's often one of the most used, yet most neglected part of the sailboat.  When the fail (eg. lock or jam) it is usually because of a few reasons:

1. Lack of routine maintenance
2. Palls break. (fatigue due to low lubrication (see #1)
3. Excessive dirt/grime build-up (see #1)

So at the end of the day, by spending a few minutes this Spring, you might save yourself a bigger headache or worst yet, a failure when you need them most.    Spare parts can be ordered from Lewmar or Harken or obtained through your local ship store (eg. West Marine).

Bring in a photo of the winch (smartphones are great for this) and know the size (usually stamped on the head of the winch. 

Some other supplies you will need before you start:

1. Polyvinyl gloves 
2. Shop rags
3. Plastic bin to hold the parts
4. Winch lube

The videos we've enclosed here breakdown the process for each of the major brands of newer winches.  You tube has an assortment of other makes models etc. 

Have fun! 

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Friday, April 11, 2014

St. Barths Bucket Regatta

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 773.294.3180

I recently spent a week in St. Barthelemy (St. Barths) in the French West Indies, performing as crew on a 112 ft. ketch-rigged Alloy Yacht (Ron Holland-designed) named Blue Too.

This was the third year I have been lucky enough to crew on this boat for 'the Bucket', and it is still a bit surreal to spend a week in March racing in a Superyacht regatta, surrounded by some of the largest sailboats ever made (Maltese Falcon, Panthalassa, Seahawk, Zenji, Hyperion to name just a few) alongside some of the best, most prominent sailors in the sport.  It is truly a week of fantastic sailing. 

What I love the most about this week is the reminder that sailing is completely a team sport and that camaraderie is something that sailing breeds better than most sports I have ever played.  When you race sailboats larger than dinghys, you quickly get used to the fact that not much can be accomplished without good teamwork, acting in concert with one another.  When you are on a 112 ft. boat that has all of its power supplied hydraulically, takes almost 2 minutes to complete a tack, and requires five  crew 30 minutes to 'wool' a spinnaker, you become aware of how important each member of the team is, and that each 'job' has to be completed in order for the boat to accomplish anything, and has to be done nearly flawlessly for the boat to perform well.

We on Blue Too have done very well in this regatta each year. In 2012, we ended up Third overall (2-6-2); last year we had to drop out of a race when a crew member was injured (he was injured but is now OK), but still finished Fourth (1-13-2). This year, the expectations were high, and we didn't disappoint-coming in Third (8-3-1).

What this regatta offers a Lake Michigan sailor like me is a great deal of perspective; perspective on how different but how similar a boat three times the size of my own can be; how the camaraderie of our sport so easily transcends language, bodies of water, and level of experience - as most sailors are just great people, wherever you are. 

I consider myself lucky to have 'found' sailing, as it has provided me many memories, opportunities, successes, and even failures.  This is exactly why I am in the business of helping others 'find' this sport/lifestyle, too. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

KYS Launches Facebook Social Media Experiment on April Fool's Day

April 3, 2014 
By KYS Editor

On April 1, 2014 Karma Yacht Sales set out to accomplish a few things in the form of an April Fools 'joke'.  The 'joke' was launched in the form of a mock Press Release laced with Google Analytics to track the results and to measure to what level 'followers' on Facebook and Twitter would go.  It sought to verify what they were liking or following and to what degree followers would read the 'prank' link.  It was also a guerrilla marketing tactic as one of the outcomes was that it lead to increased web traffic originating from both social media channels - Facebook and Twitter. 

The post went live at approximately 10:32am on April First with the heading " PRESS RELEASE- this news broke late yesterday. Boat Entrepreneurs expand offerings. Karma Auto Group to Open May 1st." #getbusydriving #getbusysailing" 

The post was placed on Facebook and cross-posted to Twitter.  The results were varied over the first two hours of tracking the post:

In the first 2 hours  there were 800 clicks on the link out of 2300 views. 47 likes. 4 shares 12 comments. 10 comments without clicking on the link to read. 

Breaking down the Statistics:  65% of social media traffic resulted in views only.  A smaller percentage (35%) actually took time to read the press release itself.  83% of the individuals that commented on the post did so without clicking through to read the content of the release. 

The post was amended at 5:49 pm that evening to reveal the April Fools prank with corresponding Facebook /Twitter posts.  

The 'prank' was the idea of Karma Yacht Sales Co-Owner Lou Sandoval who manages the marketing for the boat dealership and serves as the social media manager. 

"It was a bit risky- but in the end it reflects the light hearted nature with which we operate.  We try to not take ourselves to seriously."  said Sandoval "I got the idea from listening to an NPR story that morning.  You really wonder if individuals really read what we put on our social media outlets." 

While the group is not looking to make any conclusions or correlations- it does provide an insight into what 'followers' activities might mean. 

To see the original Post/Prank
For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)