Invest In Boat Cover

By Asaf Stanger

If you own a boat, then it becomes your priority to take care of its maintenance and care for it avoiding any kind of damage. This is possible if you get the right accessories for your boat. One of these accessories includes the boat cover. A boat cover is a necessity and worth investment for a boat owner. Boat cover can serve the purpose for any kind of boat be it a ski boat, pontoon, fishing boat, deck boat, v-hull, bass boat, or even a runabout.

Such types of covers are usually made up of durable weather proof material. These are quite useful if you are not using your boat for a while or you keep them hitched for some time. This ensures that your boat is protected from weather and other hazards. This can increase the life of your boat.

The boat covers are available in a number of sizes and you can choose the appropriate boat cover. However, you must ensure that it covers the mast, rails and other appliances of your precious boat. One of the main requirements of a boat cover is that it should be water proof. It can be made up of canvas or even a combination of polyester materials. Choose the appropriate material such that it can resist fungus and mildew. In fact such boat covers are also available that protect your boat from ultraviolet rays and even stop the color of the seats and other boat accessories from fading. Boat covers are designed for a number of purposes. These include mooring, storage or trailering. These boat covers are available in a number of colors and fabrics and can be chosen for any kind of boat. Besides, you will get these boat covers in a variety of fabrics.

While getting a boat cover for your vessel, you would need to take into account a number of factors. The most important requirement is that the boat cover must fit well on your boat. If any gaps are left, then this might pose a danger to your boat since this may let in dirt, water or other harmful elements into your boat.

A custom fit boat cover would be the best for your boat. While making your purchase, you need to make sure that you have been provided with a proper warranty period. This may last between one to five years. You must also see to it that the boat cover you choose is breathable and waterproof.

Choosing fabrics that avoid the UV radiation of the sun, can serve as an added advantage to your boat. The Sunbrella fabric can perfectly serve this purpose. In case, holes start appearing in your boat cover then you can follow reinforcement. This can be done by putting double layers of fabrics in the specific areas.

Thus you can purchase boat covers online or even in the local stores. You simply need to keep in mind the above facts while purchasing your boat cover. Your boat will have a long life span once you start caring for it. - 30297

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Have fun while spending quality time on your pontoon boat

By Asaf Stanger

Pontoon boat is basically a flat bottomed boat or the floats used to support or the floats used to support a structure on water.

These types of boats can be constructed using pipes or barrels or even metal and concrete. These are cheaper as compared to normal boats and easier to insure. Such boats are basically used for pleasure and entertainment boating rather than fishing.

As already mentioned, pontoon boats can be used for pleasure purposes. So you will find no other location better than the pontoon boats to party with your friends. You can organise your pontoon boat party and have lots of fun the next time you meet your friends. You can organize the most wonderful party by employing a proper combination of decor, food and mood lights.

To add spice to your party and make it more exciting you can purchase accessories for your pontoon boat. These accessories will you give you a feel of being home. In fact by buying the right accessories you can make your guests feel as if they are seated in your guest room. You can get enclosures; seat covers as well as additional furniture for your pontoon boat. You can also add stoves and refrigerator in the boat and can give it a completely homely feel to your guests.

Besides, pontoon boats can also serve the purpose of a picnic at a hot afternoon. You can bring along your family and can serve as an amazing spot for swimming, sunbathing, fishing or any other recreational activity. You can also make your evenings beautiful by spending some quality time in your pontoon boat. To make the mood light, put some beautiful lighting and bring along some drinks and light appetisers to complete the evening. When you are surrounded by water from all the sides, them I am sure you might be willing to have some fun by fishing. It would be a fun-filled experience relaxing on your pontoon boat and fishing. You will come across different sizes of pontoon boats that would be ideal for fishing.

You can go with your friends for fishing and thus organize group fishing on your boat. Pontoon boats can be used for various purposes. You can devote a specific section of your pontoon boat for fishing while make other sections for playing games or dining.

Let's have a look over pontoon boat seats. Pontoon boat seats are famous by many different names like fishing chairs, captain's boat seats, drop away seats, swivel seats and bucket boat seats. The pontoon boats seats can be designed or even manufactured and you can choose your own fabric, color and style depending over your requirements and choice. While choosing fabric, you need to make sure that it won't get damaged due to the sunlight and salt water.

So, on the whole the pontoon boats can serve as a complete entertainment package and a good hangout for your friends and family. So get ready to spend some quality time on your boat. - 30297

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Book Review: Arctic Drift, by Clive Cussler

By Britt Hellman

As always, Clive Cussler's latest novel stays right on top of current geopolitical events. Arctic Drift, set in 2011, centers on global warming and the financial crisis.

The crook in Arctic Drift is a Canadian energy empire billionaire by the name of Mitchell Goyette who is publicly admired for his green technology businesses, while concealing his heavy involvement in natural gas and oil.

The United States faces a financial meltdown, aggravated by the threat of an international boycott if the country does not decrease its carbon dioxide emissions from coal fired power plants. Canada holds the key to America's salvation in the form or an enormous wealth of natural gas reserves.

The sitting American president, who in 2011 is neither Democratic nor Republican but an independent, hopes to use Canadian natural gas to replace coal for producing electricity and even for powering cars converted to run on natural gas.

But of course, this desperate play by the U.S. gets exploited by Goyette to the fullest. Publicly, he's a hero to the environmentalists because of his role in developing wind power and finding solutions to carbon dioxide sequestration. Out of the public eye and unknown to all but a few, Goyette has major holdings in the Melville gas field of the Canadian Arctic, as well as the Athabasca oil sands of Alberta.

The unconscionable Goyette strikes a deal with the American government to sell nearly limitless supplies of Melville natural gas at market value, which would help the U.S. avert the escalating energy crisis, a financial meltdown, and an international trade boycott. But when Goyette is able to secretly work out a better deal with China, he does not hesitate to break his agreement with the U.S. and leave the southern neighbor high and dry.

(In the real world, any business in breach of such a huge and important contract would probably not survive. But it's a good set-up for an intriguing story line.)

Even so, the backstabbing of the United States as a business-partner is the least of Mitchell Goyette's shenanigans. He also bribes high ranking Canadian officials, creates toxic waste that kills wildlife and people, pays to have property stolen or vandalized, and for his opposition to be assassinated.

Of course, what Goyette fails to take into consideration is Dirk Pitt, the hero of twenty novels by Clive Cussler, including this most recent installment. In the end, Pitt manages to wreak havoc with all of Goyette's ill-willed plans.

Arctic Drift is a seamless joint effort between Clive Cussler and son, Dirk Cussler. It is difficult to tell their penmanship apart. Whatever sections of the book were written by Dirk Cussler, he did an outstanding job of emulating his father's inimitable style. (Oxymoron intended!)

Arctic Drift is a thrilling read in classic Clive Cussler style. You will not be disappointed. It may not be the edge-of-your-seat non-stop action from cover-to-cover as in some of the older Cussler works, but it's still an exciting, intriguing and brilliantly written story that keeps your attention and makes you want to keep reading. The thugs are as smart as they are sinister, and the heroes as pure as Arctic ice. - 30297

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Christmas Message Has Been Read On Cuban National Television.

By Aaron Maurette

For the second year running a Christmas message has been read on National television by the Roman Catholic of Cuba, it seems that once an atheist communist government has now become highly interested in Religion. During the broadcast, Cardinal Jaime Ortega expressed his thanks as the Island's families were able to reunite with their families living in the United States. This came upon as President Barack Obama removed restrictions that forbid any relationship between the Americans and Cubans.

A Christmas concert that had taken place at the National Cathedral was proposed to be shown - a representative Orlando Marquez, Havana's Conference of Bishops confirmed this on behalf of the authorities. The entire communication was aired on the government controlled television in Cuba.

The best thing happened to a retired 67 year old mother Elisa Ramos. She was totally ecstatic as this was the first time in 12 years she was going to see her son again.

After Jaime Ortega's broadcast, there have been some growing signs of some improvement between the relationship of the government and the church.

In November 2008, President Raul Castro astonishingly joined thousands of faith believers for the beatification of Friar Jose Olallo Valdes in the city of Camaguey.

Raul took over his brothers place Fidel Castro as president earlier in the year of 2008. His first diplomatic meeting was with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Pope Benedict XVI's secretary of state. Bertone was commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Pope John Paul II's visit in Cuba.

Since the power of presidency to Fidel Castro in 1959, religion was not totally ruled out however priests were expelled and religious establishments were closed down. In the early 1990's, the tension reduced and the government removed any reference to atheism from its organization and allowed believers of all faiths to join the Communist Party. The situation improved later in the year when they had a visit from Pope John Paul II. - 30297

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Cuban Marine Life

By Perucho Ochoa

Cuban and Spanish Scientists from the Cuban Oceanology Institute and the Spanish University of Oviedo respectively will broaden their research on the Cuban seabed. One of the areas with the largest bio-diversity in Cuba - Peninsula of Guanahacabibes - has been selected to start the project which will then extend to other areas such as Cienaga de Zapata and Jardines de La Reina also rich in marine species.

Jesus Ortega a Spanish Biologist and Professor of the University of Oviedo in an interview conducted by Prensa Latina affirmed that they will keep researching on the west of Cuba where around 700 species are still pending for classification. So far in the area 50 specimens have been acknowledged as new species.

One of the most significant discoveries in the region is the striking Emiliotia Inmaculatus (tiny mollusck with semi-transparent shell) and the Cubalaskeya Machoi both found at Cueva Pedro( undersea cavern almost 33 meters under sea level).

Not surprisingly a strong similarity has been found between mollusks found in the Bahamas and South Florida Keys and the species found in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula in the western part of Cuba.

Peninsula de Guanahacabibes, rich in Flora and Fauna, has been declared Protected Area of The Biosphere in the late 1980 and the least human interaction can be found in this region which has been accountable for the documentation of 50 percent of all mollusk species found in Cuba.

This is a part of Cuba with a shocking wonderful natural wealth, with an enormous species variety still to determine said Cuban ecologist Jose Espinosa, and continued - Cuba might be a centre for plankton larvae that could favour the most needed healing the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea.

Maria La Gorda is the only tourist resort that can be found in the vicinity of peninsula de Guanahacabibes and it is very popular amongst snorkellers, divers, oceanologists and holiday makers in general. - 30297

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Book Review: Spartan Gold

By Britt Hellman

Spartan Gold is the first in a new series by New York Times bestseller Clive Cussler in cooperation with action novel writer Grant Blackwood.

Referred to as "Fargo Adventures," the new series is, as the name suggests, based on the adventures of the Fargos, a married couple by the names of Sam and Remi.

Independently wealthy, the Fargos have devoted their lives to their obsessive passion for archeological treasure hunting, and they do not shy away from any obstacles to find what they are looking for.

While this new series features a new set of characters and a different venue - archeology - the typical Clive Cussler calling cards that we have come to expect still remain: Exotic foods and drinks, rare collectors' vehicles, and a lot of action taking place in water, above or below the surface.

Spartan Gold follows Sam and Remi on the trail of Napoleon Bonaparte and twelve bottles from his legendary lost wine cellar, each with a clue written in code on the back of the label.

Of course there are also adversaries to be faced and dealt with. A former Soviet freedom fighter turned mafia billionaire sends his hired hooligans to interfere with the Fargos' investigation, several times imperiling their very lives.

At the end of the trail await two ancient Greek statues of pure gold, which were looted from Greece by Persian conqueror Xerxes the Great. Bondaruk has discovered through genealogy research that he is a direct descendant of Xerxes, and believes the treasure is his rightful inheritance, never mind that is was stolen from Greece.

The trail laid out by Napoleon through the wine-bottle riddles leads Sam and Remi Fargo from a German WWII submarine in Maryland to Rum Key in the Bahamas and through many European countries, including Germany, Monaco, Italy, Croatia and Ukraine.

In the end, Spartan Gold is a solidly written treasure hunting action novel in the spirit of The Da Vinci Code, and also a distinctly Cusslerian novel undoubtedly destined for a top-spot on the New York Times best-seller list. - 30297

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Adverse Physical Conditions in a Dredging Contract

By Mike Rutter

The assessment of a dredging projects soil conditions are the most important factor to determine dredgeability, the choice of suitable equipment, production rates and ultimately the associated investment for the works.

A prudent tenderer when analysing the site data needs to be assured that the data has been collected and prepared by a competent soil investigation company in accordance with relevant international standards such as BS, ASTM or others.

Rather than rely on the basic adverse physical conditions clause in the case of significant capital works involving excavation of varying subsoil, weathered or solid rock it is suggested to apply reference conditions in the Contract based on the actual information from the soil survey transposed into production rates which can be easily measured and reviewed, beyond which the Contractor is entitled to claim for additional compensation. Of the contracts available for use on dredging contracts only the FIDIC 1999 Red Book and the UK's NEC 3 Engineering and Construction Contract deal with the broad concept of reference conditions.

The concept of how adverse physical conditions are dealt with verges on the holy grail of marine infrastructure projects. On the one side they are part of a Marine Contractors 'must have' clauses whilst it is often viewed by Clients as the equivalent of a 'get out of jail free' card. The balance of risk has been hotly debated and fought over the years with the results little published or revealed due to disputes being resolved in arbitration or adjudication.

Added to this mix are the notion of unforeseeability and what an experienced contractor can expect its no wonder that the vast majority of marine infrastructure claims revolve around the issue of sub-surface conditions.

Even a full-scale and technically perfect soil investigation can only test a fraction of the volume that is to be dredged by the Contractor. Combined with the fact that natural conditions like rock strength, grain size, permeability, plasticity, presence of rock outcrops or boulders (to name a few) vary enormously, it is no wonder disputes on dredging contracts often focus on soil conditions that are claimed to be different from what "an experienced Contractor could reasonably have foreseen" .

The basic principle of adverse physical conditions this that a contract clause will give the Contractor the "right to claim for additional time and money in case unforeseeable physical conditions which may occur, which were not reasonably foreseeable by an experienced contractor". This simple principle is present in one way or the other in virtually every dredging contract.

A dual purpose lies hidden behind this contract principle, namely to :

Compensate the Contractor for encountering conditions more severe than could be derived from investigations available at the time of preparing his offer. Employers must not and should not expect the Contractor to gamble: Taking a risk provision covering for every imaginable situation would make an offer non-competitive, whereas the absence of a risk provision is a denial of the fact that dredging has significant uncertainties by its very nature. Employers tend to be overly biased towards achieving the lowest contract price for their work by passing all conceivable risk to the Contractor whether he is in a position to dealt with it or not.

Protect the Employer from Contractors who may try to claim additional compensation for interpretation or calculation errors mistakes made by the Contractor and resulting in a loss on the project. A loss in itself is no justification for additional compensation, and furthermore the Employer has very limited possibilities to assess the factual cause of the loss. In between the relative simplicity of the two extremes lies a gray area, and it is here that disputes are generally fought out. The author supports the view that a sufficiently high threshold for additional compensation should be present, balancing the interest of the Employer (by not having to battle over every minor issue) and of the Contractor (by having capped his risk and defined additional compensation above threshold). It is further suggested that a risk matrix framework could be established to assess the magnitude of the additional compensation before award of the contract. - 30297

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