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June, 2013

As I type this, the weather is a very pleasant 75 degrees and the river has come up to an almost swimmable 66 degrees. There were a ton of boats out on Memorial Day weekend, and this past Sunday's traffic was pretty strong as well.


Above, a recent sunset viewed from Harrods Creek. Photo provided by Theresa Lewis

Summer Events

The Port KY events page has been updated to include several of the bigger upcoming events. These include the HCBOA Dinghy Run, the K of C Cornroast, information on fireworks and events at the Louisville Waterfront, as well as Madison's big events such as their Regatta and, later, the Chautauqua of the Arts.

Some use the site to keep abreast of the next big event, while others use it to find peace and serenity in the opposite direction. Whichever is your case, keep an eye on the Events page: link

TV Trivia

Many of us grew up watching Gilligan's Island, and recall the S.S. Minnow. Did you ever stop to ask yourself what the S.S. stands for?

In the strictest nautical tradition, "U.S.S." would be Navy, and a steam ship would be "S/S." A fishing vessel would be F/V, such as the F/V Northwestern that you see on Discovery, and motor driven boats use the prefix M/V, or M/Y for motor yacht.

A recent internet search revealed a Wikipedia note that the Minnow was named after the FCC chairman at the time, a Mr. Newton Minow. So where did the S.S. come from? For now, I'd say it looks like it's another thing to think about when you're trying to sleep at night.

Marine Safety Alert - from the USCG

Would you believe that counterfeit Amerex-brand fire extinguishers are starting to show up? That got my attention, as we use them in our home and on our boat. Also affected is the Buckeye brand.

For more information on how to identify a counterfeit, please visit this article from the USCG: link


Above, a typical Amerex fire extinguisher that you would see around your home, office or boat

Are you up to date?

The Port KY River Forum continues to grow, and now includes over 130 members. Come rain or shine, it's a great place to log-in every day to keep abreast of the latest information.

Recent topics include everything from weekend weather, to which grills work the best. Safety items include towboat discussions and, sadly, a recent electrocution in a KY marina.

It's the boaters that make it interesting, so the more the merrier! If you're not already there, you're encouraged to bring your friends and climb aboard: link

How to make your Fresh Water System Fresh

Contributed by William Glass of RIYC

Our boating season must be ramping up since I've gotten several requests for my signature "Non-Smelling Fresh Water" recipe. You know, that wonderful rotten egg smell permeating from the galley faucet? I thought I'd go ahead and share it with you guys once again.

Here's how to do a total kill on your fresh water system. You will need the following:

Measuring Cup


1. Turn Off the Hot Water Heater.

2. Mix 1/4 Cup Bleach to every 15 gallons of water. (Example: One Cup Bleach For 60 Gallons) You can now put the calculator away.

3. Fill water tank to the top allowing it to run out of the vent till you smell bleach.

4. Run every faucet, hot & cold till you smell bleach, including the fresh water wash down and transom shower.

5. Top off the water tank.

6. Leave the system pressurized for 24 hours.

7. After the 24 hours, flush the system till the bleach odor is gone. Turn on the hot water heater and make yourself a cocktail. Your job is done!

(Editor's note: if that doesn't do the trick on the hot water side, check to see when the anode was last replaced.)

If you have an ice maker, leave it on to allow the bleach to clean the line leading to it. Just remember to toss the next few buckets.

Freshwater flushing heads: Try not to allow bleach to enter the holding tank. That's one place bleach is not permitted on a boat.

Other odor problems.

1. Sink and shower drains. An ounce of bleach down the drain works wonders here. There's some major gross stuff in those drain hoses!

2. Pull that furniture, bedding, mattress, ETC away from the wall. Mold and dirt builds here. I've actually found mushrooms growing behind a couch before.

3. Stagnant bilge water can be a major odor contributor. This can be eliminated simply by rinsing it out with fresh water and allowing the bilge pump to cycle. And in doing so, one can find out if their bilge pump even works.

4. If I've left material onboard over the winter such as towels, bedding, throw rugs, pillows, ETC. I'll take all items home and wash at the same time.

Disclaimer: Check with your manufacturer to determine if your vessel has any components that could be damaged by the above procedures. (Had to throw that out there -Ed)

Next month: A View from the Pilothouse

While the rest of you were celebrating Derby, I had the pleasure of being a guest aboard the 155' J.S. Lewis for a 400-mile cruise from her home in Charleston.


Above, a view from the pilothouse of the J.S. Lewis, taken in the evening hours in the Markland pool. Photo by Capt. Eric

Arriving in Louisville the day after Derby, it was difficult leaving behind such a nice boat and great crew. You may have seen the boat in front of Joe's Crab Shack, where she gave VIP tours and rides before heading home.

The trip gave me insights to share from the perspective of a towboat captain, and also provided incredible photo opportunities in both Charleston and Cincinnati. I look forward to sharing more in the next newsletter!

Slips for Sale

As the weather heats up, so does demand for boat slips!

There are still some listings for slips for sale or lease. There were recently seven slips that sold as a direct result of the Port KY site, and the "Slips" page has been one of the most popular destinations: link

That's it for now--Stay safe, and we'll see you on the water!

Eric Grubb
USCG Licensed Master
Webmaster, PortKY.com

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