What’s The Plan?

IMG_5386 chain let go2015 is gone. The stock market really took the world stage and the oil industry found “It’s” reality once more. So little by little, time slips on without much surprise. I wonder if making any big plans will prove beneficial. Maybe waiting until more interests on the horizon come into view, such as the next generation energy sources. So to error on the side of caution, our plans usually pause. We hold off. You really can’t blame us. We have the ‘truth’s protective layers’ to uncover from Apollo missions moon landing. Less people are convinced that anyone has experienced true space travel. More people are convinced that fossil fuel is actually renewable as it’s resource locations seem to replenish. Less people agree “this land is your land, this land is my land,” and world leaders are becoming more transparent to us.

So where do we set our sights? It wasn’t too long ago, the words “go west” created an exodus. Even compared in low numbers of today’s refugee migration, a bustle of anticipation and planning for the future was a wonderful time of life for settlers planning ahead for a better world. Even before winning the wild west, imagine taking possession and convincing the North American Aboriginals that they, too, were settlers. Eventually some common ground was settled on, but I don’t think anyone planned on the disagreements, over who is who and what is what.

I believe if we are to feel more secure in our plans for the future, education is the key. We can always find a good line on historical fact, learning about revolution or cold war, oil spill or volcanic eruption. Something with direction to help improve the planet for healthy and happy living. There are some ‘long term’ plans and agendas out there with nothing but possession or greed in mind. I wonder if we have a historical lesson coming.

Sure, making concrete plans far into the future right now, could be like a “day late and a dollar short.” Also, pointing out what we think is not correct, may not help any more. Today’s situations with diplomacy and government practices are being masked just as fast as some long time anomalies are being uncovered. Diversion at this point is very tactful. Media sends fanfare over the airwaves with only one thing in mind, their survival. You may get the truth in riddles or smoke and mirrors and if we are interested enough, we have to try to figure out the plan by reading between the lines. It does not matter whether you heard it first or saw it on TV. What you see, is not what you get. What you hear might even be further from the sun, the moon and the stars.

Here is a novel thought __no radio and T.V., no internet and daily press. Take in some fresh air. Find out if there is there something just staring at us in the face that help keep the future more meaningful. Find out if there still be a time to enjoy, just the space of our local daily life? A plan just for us, without getting the feeling of making the wrong move? Never has the saying “can’t see the forest because of the trees,” been so true.

In this age of ultimate communication, any plan can very much set you up to a ‘damned if you do’ and ‘damned if you don’t,’ consequence. Truth is, many are having trouble with so much taken for granted, the decision making process is hampered. What will be right for me and what will be right for you? Will I be okay with that, will you be okay with this? The statement, “be careful what you wish for,” just took first place in the contest “What’s taking so long?”

Then, not to be too overwhelmed in planning, old adages and anecdotes can offer support. And what about “you snooze you lose?” Did you forget to look under the hen when counting your chickens? Do you think we have too many doors open in our country? Do you think too many doors open in our education system are creating procrastination for the learner? …………More work related, do you think that anchor chain will hold for another year or should there be a plan to take action? Avoiding disappointment is good idea, when ever and where ever it can be applied.IMG_5385 chain let go

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2015 The Great Chase for Value

 Turning a Page to 2015

“Value.” It’s big word and is described many ways. Value can be written and referred to as a noun and as a verb. This caught my attention. What’s up with trending on something as profound as “Value?” It must certainly be a hidden agenda of the Media or could I be wrong.
Ads suggest the discount on the MSRP price means you get a great bargain and that’s value. I felt the same as the rest of consumers, happy with roping in the latest and greatest at a discount. Searching for the best value became the chase before the kill and that made it all the more attractive to get out there and do some bargain hunting. It didn’t matter from where or when just as long as the task was met.  So, now we have online bargains to brag about and end up with hordes of crap (I mean merchandise) because it was value priced.
From what I see in my cupboards and closets, new light is shining on all the monitors, computers and cables, TV’s and stereos, cell phones and chargers, modems and cable boxes. I’ve about had enough of 32 gigabytes is better than 16 GB. I have had enough of 3 Terabytes is better than 1 TB.  Advertisements repeatedly explaining to me that I’m not up to speed if I don’t have a new one of “those” to get more attention in my circles. I think of the money spent over the years sending a note by the next generationIMG_0002 PC and we are not much further ahead then the ‘telex‘ machine. If I step back and look at the brain washing that we’ve taken just to get that last ‘selfie‘ or 1 millisecond faster download to view on you tube, where is the value in that? What stimulation have we come to embrace.
Have we ever heard,  “That stuff you bought value priced, it is just collecting dust and you’re not using it, maybe new stuff will get you back into it.”  And the pile is up to the ceiling, destined for recycle. We are victim to the media suggesting we hurry and pre-order a new one. Don’t miss out on this great offer today. Careful what you wish, the first run product 102.1 will certainly be replaced by next updated version 102.2.
I would like to get back to smart choices for the long haul. Good value starts by demanding lasting quality at arm’s length, using local management and local labour input . I like to think fully serviced communities with all the amenities is good value in trade commerce. A hand shake and a smile is value, ‘word of mouth’ is value.
Far from a perfect world, how long can we ride the “Big-Box” wave and the “On-line” wave? Distortion in material values is evident. Weigh the value in examples of $700.00 eye glasses cost the same as a good digital camera. One $1500.00 personal portable computer will equal a crowned tooth. I have heard of smart shoppers cutting these differences down to size by crossing the border. Returnable within 30-Days of Purchase date. Go figure.
When you’ve been there done that, the chase for something you can find at touch of the screen has short-term elation. You generally end up getting something that is more likely cheaper from another site in the next day or two. Also, we need to seriously search out  manufacture practices and quality of materials. Things like environment impact and child labour concerns.
In my opinion, we should value our time that it takes to research and buy lasting quality that is less frills and more function. Create the wave for Value. Support lasting qualified workmanship. This is what makes all the wheels go round curbing instabilities and crashing markets.
For now, think about a little petition similar to this:

                                      I’ll try to buy less, but research more. Buy less, but longer-lasting and benchmark quality.  Less, but at local store-fronts and dealerships. Try to spend a little more hard-earned money, less often.

Where we end up in 5-10 years time and beyond, will be much easier to manage. After all, if you value your time, if you value your future and if you value your families and value your quality of life, this trending should be right on track.

 Lasting View

http://www.leisureboatlift.com

Justifying Costs

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I was thinking about the cost of services and utilities we use everyday. Why do we pay so much, for Hydro Electricity, Water and Gas? If we actually weigh out the amount of convenience against the daily cost, I’m sure it is more than reasonable.

leadwaterI should think paying for good water is one of the easier cheques to write.

So how do they arrive at the total cost on an invoice? This is a good question especially if your shelling out the bucks for things you don’t see or directly touch and sometimes take for-granted. Take for example the gas bill you pay every month, even without consumption. How do they figure those charges? Well, in research I found we are all covered with emergency service 24/7 free of charge. Like if a tree in a wind storm knocks your meter silly, they fix it no charge even though it is on our property. Would you want to have to repair the gas meter own your own? Not when their interest is in control of safety, longevity and planned maintenance. Hydro and Waterworks with similar policy for their product.

2575774839_9c9647441fSwing the balance scale to other expenses and compare. The example being your vehicle maintenance and find the manufacturer does not keep charging you after the product is delivered. Do you think it would be cheaper to have them charge you monthly regardless of use? Or it might be cheaper to wait for something to wear out and break. I think it would take a lot of justifying to arrange how much to pay per year, either way. So here we are with two sides to the necessary evil costs of ownership. One of the costs you get to sweep under the carpet and the other is demanded in order to keep utilities flowing.

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From my perspective, I get to see where a utility charge for annual service would be handy. I also get to see where the Leisure Boat Lift products can withstand many seasons with zero maintenance and only get to service them on demand. I’ll probably never completely resolve this part of the boat lifting business. It is big business as long as the sun shines and temperatures soar, and small potatoes when the weather is cold and snowing.

What does it take to prolong life and smooth operation to your Leisure Boat Lift? Simple as it may seem, preparedness is the key and it is expensive. To do ‘what, when and how,’ especially on the water front is a timely matter. We have no less than tens of thousands of dollars trucked and towed to a boat launch, leaving a fully equipped fabrication shop with store front back on dry land. Our contest is to keep every aspect of the business running to it’s fullest potential in less than 6 months running time of high demand. In twelve months of the year, overhead commands those necessary bills, taxes and insurance to be paid.

Next time I’m obliged to answer the question of ‘what maintenance do we provide for our minimum charge?’, I wonder if a brochure prepared as a “quick answer guide,” would be appropriate. The list of what services we handle, is extensive, expensive and takes precious time to explain. It will always remain the consumers call, but awareness and friendly advice upon inspection, at minimal cost is never a bad idea.

Upkeep is our duty, for 29 years of production in the light of the future, lifting family vessels at a lake front setting. Leisure Boat Lift owners are not disappointed. www.leisureboatlift.com Lake front maintenance.

You’ll find this in your owners’ manual!

There are a few things that need your full attention when you’re operating your Leisure Boat Lift. When bringing your boat up or down, you need to keep an eye on the lift and its components. The lift is a specially designed piece of machinery that requires your attention. It is important to keep notice of the chain and make sure that it is straight and all of the links are lined up.

Another very important aspect of the lift is to watch out for the height limit – after each install, we draw a line that the lift cannot pass (as shown in the photo below.) If the line fades, you can simply re-draw it on with any thick felt pen. It’s important to watch for this line in any condition. Bad weather can make it a little harder to watch this line, or get everyone in a hurry, but lifting your Leisure Boat Lift above that line causes the chain hook to suck itself into the chain hoist and cause a big problem.

In normal conditions, you don’t even need to lift your boat as high as the line – as long the cradle is out of the water, you’re good to go.

The line in the photo shows the height limit for the lift.

When someone is operating for the first time (that isn’t the owner) it’s a good idea to supervise them and make sure they’re looking out for the chain and the height of the boat. Anyone who is operating the lift should be attentive and listen to the sounds being made by the lift.

If you hear a lot of clunking around, pausing / stopping as you lower the lift, abnormal whining or any other out-of-place sounds coming from the motor, or any other sound that seems irregular, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Sometimes all it takes is some advice from our crew over the phone, and the problem can be solved. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to ask our service crew to come out and fix whatever ails the lifter.

What Happens When The Chain Gets Sucked Into The Hoist

Not paying attention to the lift height can cause a bit of a mess!

The chain is very important to keep an eye on, as mentioned before – If the chain links aren’t in a straight alignment with eachother, you can get in the water and simply attempt to twist the links back into a straight line with each other. If this doesn’t work, again, do not hesitate to call for service. It can’t be stressed enough how important regular service and maintenance truly is for such a high quality, specially designed machine like the Leisure Boat Lift.

DNR Specialty Welding and the Lake Front


Often we’ve emphasized that service and regular maintenance are key to a long lasting Leisure Boat Lift. Like any quality machine, it requires care and upkeep. It’s easy to forget that DNR Specialty Welding is nestled right in Vernon, and not at the lake front , your boat lift can’t just be brought to us, or any other technician – it’s specialty work requiring our crew to head out and take care of the equipment; and when you factor in wages, fuel costs, equipment, and supplies, the costs for a simple job to go out and lubricate a lift can rack up.

A few requirements for a service call.

Although we are indeed detached from the lake front itself, we are certainly not seperate from the lake front community. Working in harmony with the community members is just as important as any other step in the process of Leisure Boat Lift.

Southern B.C. Mussels

A problem can arise when it comes to building and adding onto your lake front – an endangered species often forgotten about. Yes, the Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussel is one creature that really doesn’t get much attention – but the Canadian Wildlife Service has yet to forget about it and has rules in place that oversee the safety and habitat restoration of the mussel. It is the only known living kind left of its own genus, and can be the cause of a lot of distress if there happens to be a group on your lake front property – the construction of a dock would be completely prohibited. The problem stems from the construction of docks / lifts / other lake-front products stirring up and altering the habitat that these mussels reside in.

This small creature can cause quite a stir, so if for some reason you’ve got a hunch that some may be residing around your property, check that first before any construction happens. This could get you into a lot of trouble later on – dealing with an endangered species is quite a process. From the map pictured below, you can see that the residence of these mussels is found mostly in the western area of the states, but their habitat does reach into southern BC and just creeps into the Okanagan.

Only a couple of customers (out of 1300+) have ever run into this problem – but it’s still something to check in on. Make sure your lake front is the appropriate place to have a dock and Leisure Boat Lift!

It’s never too early for a maintenance request –

Regular maintenance is a big part of Leisure Boat Lift’s lifespan. At least once a year must a lift have its roller wheels lubricated by the 4 grease points. This is necessary for the lifter to have fluid, smooth up and down rolling motion. Without yearly lubrication, the lift may begin to chatter and struggle as it moves in either direction. Although this will not immediately harm the lift, it is highly advised to give us a call, or if you are equipped to do so, lubricate the lift yourself. It is not an extremely complex process but requires the correct tools and knowledge.

There are 4 different lubrication points on the cradle (which are situated inside of the tower) that are called grease nipples. The top 2 can be reached from the top but you must go underneath the cradle to reach the bottom 2. We are fully equipped to do this at any time of year, as cold water does not pose a challenge to our dry suits and other gear.

 

Another line on the maintenance checklist would be your lift’s brakes. The chain hoists we use have brake pads just like any vehicle would have – they wear away with use over time. The photo below is a case of very much use with no brake maintenance, it takes a long time to have the pads wear so thin. Over time with regular use, you may hear chattering / squeaking as you lower your lift – This requires a maintenance call but is not related to the brakes wearing too thin. We dismantle the chain hoist safely, and do not replace the brakes but instead clean them of the brake ‘dust’ which has accumulated over use, which is the cause of the brakes becoming shiny and glassy, and slipping just a little bit as it lowers.

 
To keep the brakes of your lift healthy, it is important to lower the lift in increments. Do not just simply hold down the wobble switch in the “down” direction for a few minutes until the lift has lowered – lower the lift 15 seconds at a time, pause for 10 or so seconds, and continue. This keeps the brakes from getting too hot and increases their lifespan.