News

Photo Contest Winners

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December 2020
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By
Susan
Elnicki Wade

WE ARE PROUD TO announce the winners of Marinalife's 20th Anniversary Photo Contest. Choosing three finalists and four runners-up was no easy task after receiving a gamut of noteworthy images from around the country. But those top seven shots, presented on the following pages, caught our eye because they exemplify what we love about boating – the breathtaking power of nature, the joy of family gatherings on the water, the elegance of an old vessel, and the whimsical charm of pets and aquatic creatures.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the photo contest by submitting memorable pictures of life on the water. We hope these winning shots rekindle fond memories of summer boating during this chilly winter season.

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Nature's Fury on the Horizon - Photo Contest Winners - Marinalife

Nature's Fury on the Horizon by Larry Tibbe[/caption]Nature's Fury on the Water, Larry Tibbe ⊳After an early evening cocktail cruise at Longboat Key Club Moorings in Florida, Larry Tibbe saw a perfect storm rumbling on the horizon. We were just walking the docks and checking out the boats, when I looked up at a big cloud formation in the sky, remembers this Vietnam veteran, amateur photographer and avid boater. Just as suddenly as the storm appeared, it began to dissipate, so he pulled out his camera and caught the shot before it was just a lovely memory.

Nearly a half century ago, Larry taught himself to sail by reading books and magazines on the topic, and later joined the University of Michigan's sailing team. He now lives in Sarasota Bay and cruises around Florida's West Coast and Keys in his Sea Ray 40 Sundancer. In this part of the country, awe-inspiring displays of nature are as regular as the tides. When it comes to photographing them, he admits, Sometimes you just get lucky.

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Small Boat, Big Memories - Photo Contest winners - Marinalife

Small Boat, Big Memories by Katinka Domotorffy[/caption]

⊲ Small Boat, Big Memories by K. DomotorffyKatinka and her family were heading back into Catawba Landing Marina after a long day of tubing, swimming and fishing in the waters of Lake Erie when her son and his two cousins turned around and flashed big ear-to-ear smiles.

The boys embodied the reason she crams provisions and people into her 18-foot Zodiac as often as possible in the summer. You don't need a big boat to have a great time, says this Ohio resident. It's all about building memories on the water with each generation of our family. Away from the distractions of work, school activities and video games, the kids get to be kids, and we all take time to enjoy the simple pleasures we share in boating. She took the photo with her iPhone camera.

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Reflections on the Eastern Shore - Photo Contest Winners - Marinalife

Reflections on the Eastern Shore by Kimberley Kelly[/caption]

Reflections on the Eastern Shore by Kimberly Kelly ⊳At the crack of dawn, Kimberly launched from Gargatha (population 381) on Virginia's Eastern Shore, eager to begin a photography workshop. The instructor, renowned photographer Jay Fleming, led her group of novice shutterbugs into the Chesapeake Bay. The tide was out, and the waters were dead calm.

The subject of their photo shoot was a wooden hull skiff, recently painted red, white and blue and anchored next to an old oyster watch house in the remote marshlands near Wachapreague. The contrasting images set an idyllic scene that captured an old seaside way of life, refreshed with bold colors to represent the ever-changing waterfront lifestyle.

Fairwinds Marina in Annapolis is home to Kimberly's 21-foot Boston Whaler that carries her and her husband into the Bay for pleasant days of fishing. Kimberly brings her reliable Canon cameras along to document her journeys as she explores the hidden gems of the region.

Marinalife also extends congratulations to the four runners-up in the 20th Anniversary Photo Contest. Their images remind us that the water often brings out the child-like wonder and rebellious spirit in both two- and four-legged visitors.

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CD Wheatley

Steve is knowledgeable in all aspects of boat maintenance and design that affect fuel consumption. I had the opportunity to ask Steve recently to dispel commonly held misconceptions about fuel use in popular styles of recreational boats. 

Bob: When boaters talk about fuel consumption, they mostly speak in terms of gallons per hour, not miles per gallon. What’s the difference?

Steve: Many boaters focus solely on gallons per hour (GPH); however, in determining how much fuel you use to cover a given distance on your boat, we have to bring speed into the equation. For example, if someone asked which is more efficient, a boat burning 11 GPH or a boat burning 22 GPH? The answer is it’s impossible to say without calculating miles per gallon (MPG) 

If the boat burning 11 GPH is traveling at 10 knots (nautical miles per hour), we divide 11 GPH by 10 knots to see it is getting 0.9 nautical miles per gallon (nMPG). If the boat burning 22 GPH is traveling at 22 knots, 22 divided by 22 equals 1.0 nMPG. So, in this example, we see that although the difference is minor, the boat burning double the gallons per hour achieves better mileage.

Bob: If people are considering a new boat, are some designs more fuel efficient than others?

Steve: All boat hulls require a certain amount of energy to move through water. The more easily they move through the water, the less energy is required. The primary factors that influence how easily the hull can be moved include hull shape, length, total weight and drag. Hull shapes are sorted into three basic categories: full displacement, semi-displacement and planing. To determine which offers the best fuel economy, we introduce the most important variable of all: speed.

Bob: So, the faster a boat goes, the more fuel it burns?

Steve: Usually that’s true, but not always. Different hull forms respond differently to the demand for speed. As speed increases, boats move through the water in three basic ways. At slow speeds the boat sits fully in the water, riding between a wave at the bow and a wave at the stern. Full displacement boats live in this zone. As soon as speed increases, fuel burn rises sharply. 

Semi-displacement and planing hulls can apply more horsepower and begin to climb up onto the bow wave. In this phase the bow rides awkwardly high, and fuel economy plummets. By applying even more power, these hulls ride more on top of the water. The bow comes down, speed increases, and fuel burn levels off. All get better fuel economy at the slower speeds, but the penalty for higher speeds varies substantially between hull types.

Bob: Can you explain how different hull types vary of fuel use?

Steve: Yes, let’s look at the most common hull forms used in recreational boats:

  • FULL DISPLACEMENT
    Let’s look at some actual numbers from a full-displacement trawler in the 40- to 50-foot range. At a speed of 7.5 knots, if it’s using 3 GPH, that equals 2.5 nMPG?  If we push for a little more speed, the fuel burn changes, at 9 knots, burning 11 GPH, it’s down to 0.8 nMPG. Notice that by going just 1.5 knots slower, it’s using 300% less fuel. 
  • SEMI-DISPLACEMENT
    Now let’s look at a semi-displacement boat of similar size. If this boat is going 8.5 knots and using 3.4 GPH, it’s getting 2.2 nMPG.  If we increase to 10.5 knots, using 14.2 GPH, we’re down to 0.74 nMPG. Once again, going just 2 knots slower increases fuel economy 300%. If we push this boat into higher speeds though, the fuel burn differs significantly. At 15 knots, fuel use goes up dramatically to 23.5 GPH, and our efficiency is down to 0.64 nMPG. At 20 knots, using 35.0 GPH, we’re down to 0.57 nMPG. When more of the boat’s hull is on top of the water, the penalty for increases in speed diminishes dramatically and economy levels off. As speed increases, fuel economy will gradually decline in small increments. 
  • PLANNING
    Finally, let’s look at a boat designed for speed, a lightweight planing hull. When going slowly at 7.5 knots, burning 2.6 GPH, that equals 2.9 nMPG.  When we increase to 11.0 knots, burning 9.2 GPH, that lowers the fuel rate to 1.2 nMPG. At a top speed of 25.0 knots, burning 27.5 GPH, that gives only a small decrease in fuel burn to 0.9 nMPG.

Notice that at the slow displacement speeds, a slight increase in speed causes a large decrease in fuel economy. But once the boat is out of the water at planing speeds, a significant increase in speed had a smaller effect on fuel consumption. 

It should also be pointed out that weight matters, but it matters considerably less at displacement speeds. A full displacement trawler can pack on the cruising weight without much of a penalty. The other hull types won’t pay a penalty at lower speeds, but at higher speeds the additional weight will take its toll.

Bob: Generally speaking, going slower saves fuel?

Steve: For all cruising powerboats, when it comes to fuel economy, speed trumps all other factors—but only at slow speeds. At full-displacement speeds going a knot or two slower can double or triple your fuel economy. 

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