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Southern Spars

Lewmar Deck Switch Advisory Notice

by Lewmar Marine on 28 Jun 2011
.. .
Electric deck switches operate in a hostile environment and are subject to salt water, extremes of temperature, direct sunlight and UV effect. They are also susceptible to wear and tear following repeated use and can in some instances suffer accidental damage during boat operations. It is therefore recommended that regular visual and functional inspection of the switch, the circuitry and the equipment being controlled is carried out by a competent qualified person on a regular basis.

If any defects are noted on the switch (see point 2.0 below), replacement is mandatory so as to avoid the possibility of a malfunction. It is further recommended that an item of this nature is not intended to remain in service forever. The lifespan will depend upon the weather and UV conditions to which the switch is exposed as well as the amount of use. Therefore, a service lifespan of 3 to 5 years from date of purchase can be expected, after which time it should be replaced. Shorter lifespans could be experienced and the following inspection recommendations are therefore important in ensuring continuing safe operation.

Inspection
1.0 The deck switch and the system it controls should be fully tested in a ‘No Load’ condition prior to full functional operation as per it’s design purpose, before every trip, activity or task. Only after the skipper has satisfied themselves of the safe and functional operations should the equipment be used.

2.0 The deck switch should be inspected pre-departure or use paying particular attention to the following:
2.1 Ensure there is no visible damage to the switch
2.2 Ensure there is no noticeable wear to the switch, it’s housing, it’s button or fixings
2.3 Ensure the rubber membrane over the switch is not sticky or has any deposits or residue from cleaning fluids or other prohibited materials
2.4 Ensure the rubber membrane over the switch does not show any signs of cracks, splits or signs of degradation. This includes a change in colour from shiny to a matt finish
2.5 The main switch housing should not have any visible chips or cracks
2.6 The switch should have a smooth positive feel with a distinct click that can be felt at the point of operation
2.7 There should be no signs of water ingress on any part of the switch assembly
2.8 Ensure that the fixings screws and seal to the deck bulkhead or coach roof are secure, and remain effective in both securing the switch and preventing water ingress
2.9 The switch should not feel spongy and should not make a squelch or bubbling noise due to water ingress when depressed and operated

Note
If any of the points highlighted in 2.0 through to 2.9 are detected during inspection, the deck switches should not be used and should be replaced.

3.0 On an annual basis the deck switch should be removed by a qualified electrical technician to carry out the following:
3.1 All the checks detailed in 2.0 – 2.9 of this product service update
3.2 Inspect the underside of the deck switch for signs of corrosion, damage or water ingress
3.3 Inspect the wiring for signs of loose connections or corrosion
3.4 In open circuit mode (OFF) condition the resistance should be checked for a recording on the test meter beyond measurement to confirm no electrical connection.
3.5 In closed circuit mode (ON) condition, the resistance should be less than 3 ? (ohms)
3.6 If the switch shows any signs of excessive wear, degradation in it’s action, water ingress or loss in it’s electrical resistance properties, it should be changed immediately

Additional Guidance
4.0 It is the responsibility of the skipper to ensure that crew members are trained in the operation of powered deck equipment and use it in a safe and appropriate way within it’s designed operating parameters. This includes what to do in an emergency.

4.1 It is the responsibility of the skipper to ensure that crew members are appropriately briefed on all three methods of equipment isolation in event of emergency, i.e :-
4.1.1 The switch itself and it’s operation
4.1.2 The circuit breaker on main panel
4.1.3 The main battery isolation

4.2 Crew briefings should always cover the following issues pertaining to deck switch operated equipment:-
4.2.1 Safe operation of any powered deck equipment.
4.2.2 What to do in the event of an emergency
4.2.3 What not to do in event of emergency
4.2.4 A practical demonstration of the effective isolation of deck equipment as highlighted in point 2 above

4.3 Deck switches are designed to be used in conjunction with Lewmar equipment only. If they are to be used for the powering of any other electrical equipment the intended use should be checked against the specification of the switch.
4.4 Deck switches should only be operated with fingers, bare feet or soft soled shoes.
4.5 Switches should be left with the lid closed to minimise environmental degradation and the potential for accidental operation.
4.6 Powered deck equipment should always be isolated when not in use to prevent accidental start up.
4.7 The instructions for the equipment being operated should always be read and followed.
4.8 Power washers should not be used on or near any switch.
4.9 It is acknowledged that deck switches will need to be washed down as part of a deck cleaning process.
However, direct flow from a non pressure hose should not be aimed at the switch.
4.10 The deck switch itself should only be cleaned with a mild soap and washed off immediately with a light application of fresh water.

4.11 The following (non exhaustive) list of substances should not be applied, or used on or near any deck switch. Products include but are not limited to:-
4.11.1 Chemicals
4.11.2 Deck cleaners
4.11.3 Petroleum based fluids/cleaners
4.11.4 Deck polish
4.11.5 Deck brightener
4.11.6 Varnish/lacquers/paints
4.11.7 Oil

Specific Considerations for Winch Operation Manual B2303 Issue 7

Winch Operation
Please ensure that you thoroughly understand the operation and safety requirements of the winch before commencing the installation. Only persons who are completely familiar with the controls and those who have been fully made aware of the correct use of the winch should be allowed to use it. If there is any doubt of how to install or operate this unit please seek advice from a suitably qualified engineer.

• Winches used incorrectly could cause harm to equipment or crew.

• Winches should be used with care and treated with respect.

• Sailing, like many other sports can be hazardous. Even the correct selection, maintenance and use of proper equipment cannot eliminate the potential for danger, serious injury or death.

• Lewmar winches are designed and supplied for line control in marine applications and are to be used in conjunction with appropriate clutches, cleats and other manual controls and stoppers.

• It is the unavoidable responsibility of the owner or master or other responsible party to assess the risk of any operation on the vessel.

• Under no circumstances should any self tailing winch be used in self tailing mode for any lifting operation;
rather suitable and adequate manual tailing should be arranged with proper means of manually cleating or stopping the hoist.

• Every winch should be installed with adequate means of manually cleating or stopping the loaded ropes.

Specific Considerations for Windlass Operation Manual 65001201 Issue 2

Windlass Operation
Classification Societies and Lewmar require that a vessel at anchor must have its rode held by a chain stopper or equivalent strong point at all times!

At all times it is the responsibility of the boat user to ensure that the anchor and rode are properly stowed for the prevailing sea conditions. This is particularly important with high-speed powerboats, because an anchor accidentally deploying while under way can cause considerable damage. An anchor windlass is mounted in the most exposed position on a vessel and is thus subject to severe atmospheric attack resulting in a possibility of corrosion in excess of that experienced with most other items of deck equipment. As the windlass may only be used infrequently, the risk of corrosion is further increased. It is essential that the windlass is regularly examined, operated and given any necessary maintenance.

Please ensure that you thoroughly understand the operation and safety requirements of the windlass before commencing the installation. Only persons who are completely familiar with the controls and those who have been fully made aware of the correct use of the windlass should be allowed to use it. If there is any doubt of how to install or operate this unit please seek advice from a suitably qualified engineer.

• Windlasses used incorrectly could cause harm to equipment or crew.

• Windlasses should be used with care and treated with respect.

• Sailing, like many other sports can be hazardous. Even the correct selection, maintenance and use of proper equipment cannot eliminate the potential for danger, serious injury or death.

• Lewmar windlasses are designed and supplied for anchor control in marine applications and are not to be used in conjunction with any other use.

• It is the unavoidable responsibility of the owner or master or other responsible party to assess the risk of any operation on the vessel.

Additional Information
Lewmar recommends the use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and hands free communication equipment by any person going aloft, and only then where the person going aloft is properly trained in the use of that equipment and where there remain sufficient trained and experienced personnel on deck to ensure constant observation and the continued safe conduct both of the vessel and the hoisting operation. Lewmar website
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