Hurricane Preparedness

It has been a busy hurricane season in the United States. We’re all still reeling from the impact of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and now here in Florida we’re getting ready for Hurricane Irma.

There are many resources for preparation checklists and information. Below is a quick rundown of some of the items boaters in particular have to pay attention to, as well as additional links and tools for general preparedness further down below.

 

For boaters:

– Move your boat inland if at all possible. As in real estate, location is one of the most (if not THE most) important thing you can do to safeguard your vessel. Try to place your boat in a sheltered area as far from water as possible. Read this article for more information on the importance of boat location during a hurricane.

– Use plenty of duct tape to secure hatches, drawers, cabinets, vents for fuel and water tanks, seams in doors and windows, etc.

– Make sure to have extra lines for your boat and strap it down securely. Check out BoatUS’s article on strapping down your boat during a hurricane.

 

Other items to have on hand:
– Water for 3 days per person
– Non-perishable items like canned goods, peanut butter, energy bars
– Candles and matches
– Flashlights and extra batteries
– Prescriptions refills
– Toiletry items and a first-aid kit

 

And other things you might want to do, in addition to putting up shutters:
– Top up the gas in your cars
– Bring toys, bikes, plants, etc indoors
– Get extra cash from the ATM

 

This list is by no means exhaustive. For more information, checklists, and tips, please visit the links below.

– NOAA Hurricane Center for general preparation. It’s best to have your hurricane supplies on hand well before a storm is on the horizon.

 

– BoatUS has a terrific section on their website dedicated solely to Hurricane Preparation for Boaters. There is a separate section for every separate thing boat owners need to pay attention to.

 

– FloridaDisaster.org offers many tools and information for planning and prepping before a natural disaster. Just click here and scroll to the section titled “Be Prepared”.

 

– For boater-specific checklists, you can visit BoatSafe or Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection. They have a Hurricane Preparedness Plan here and a Boating Hurricane Checklist here.

No one knows how a hurricane is going to turn out, and the best course of action is to be as prepared as possible. Please be sure to start early and finalize all preparations before the storm arrives. Hurricane preparedness must be taken seriously. Stay safe, friends!

OSHA: Ensuring a healthy work environment for happy employees

 

Dolfab Metal Fabricators is OSHA Authorized to ensure worker’s safety

Every conscientious employer believes that safety in the workplace should come first and that every employee is entitled to a safe and healthy work environment. Truly progressive and forward-thinking businesses believe in rendering a healthy work environment where their team feels cared for, boosting morale and ensuring a positive culture. To this end, many companies in the marine industry are interested in becoming OSHA authorized, and Dolfab Metal Fabricators is no exception.

What exactly is OSHA? What does it mean to be “OSHA authorized”? What is an OSHA authorized business required to do?

What is OSHA?

OSHA, an acronym of ‘Occupational Safety & Health Administration’, is an American Governmental Agency that works for the welfare of the employees. It was created in 1970 to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance”. According to OSHA, no company and organization has the right to harass or put their employees at risk. The lives of the employees are more important than the organizational benefits; with these fundamental ethics in mind, OSHA was created.

OSHA is part of the United States Department of Labor covering most of the private sector and some public sector businesses and workers. OSHA provides businesses with education, consultation services, compliance assistance, and cooperative programs to help prevent injuries and fatalities in the workplace. OSHA agents are also tasked with conducting random inspection checks whenever there is a complaint or reason to believe employees are at risk.

What does it mean to be “OSHA authorized”?

To become OSHA authorized, a business must abide by a series of rigorous OSHA standards and regulations, comply with strict communication requirements, and maintain meticulous records.

Management must sit through specialized training and then schedule a meeting with an OSHA consultant who will conduct a physical on-site inspection to identify possible hazards, whether mechanical and environmental. During this inspection the consultant ensures that the company is not currently violating any OSHA rules and that it will adhere to future standards as well.

What is an OSHA Authorized business required to do?

Some of the responsibilities of the OSHA-certified employer include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

  • Providing a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and comply with standards, rules and regulations issued under the OSH Act.
  • Examination of workplace conditions to make sure they conform to applicable OSHA standards.
  • Making sure employees have and use safe tools and equipment and properly maintain this equipment.
  • Using color codes, posters, labels or signs to warn employees of potential hazards.
  • Establishing or updating operating procedures and communicating them so that employees follow safety and health requirements.
  • Providing safety training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand.
  • Employers with hazardous chemicals in the workplace must develop and implement a written hazard communication program and train employees on the hazards they are exposed to and proper precautions (and a copy of safety data sheets must be readily available). See the OSHA page on Hazard Communication.
  • Posting, at a prominent location within the workplace, the OSHA poster (or the state-plan equivalent) informing employees of their rights and responsibilities.
    Source

 

This is just a summary of the many responsibilities bestowed upon a business that chooses to become OSHA authorized. They also must stay informed and in compliance of any changes in regulations. All of these responsibilities, and the initiative to undertake them, is a demonstration of good faith and will on behalf of the employer toward the employees.

Dolfab Marine Metal Fabricators is proud to be an OSHA authorized business. Our good standing with the OSHA allowed us to become one of Lauderdale Marine Center’s preferred vendors. We take our employees’ safety seriously and we want to make sure they work under the best possible conditions.

Learn more about OSHA Standards: https://www.osha.gov/law-regs.html

Yacht repair highlight: New transmission mounts for Troy

Superyacht Repair highlight: 90′ Maiora S/Y Troy is getting new transmission mounts courtesy of Dolfab, Inc.

In this video, Jim Doll explains the importance of a properly aligned transmission in superyacht applications. Troy’s transmission was misaligned after a series of events, and the shafts snapped. Listen to how it all happened:

 

 

S/Y Troy has been undergoing these yacht repairs for a few weeks now, as repairs conducted on superyachts are usually extensive and require vast amounts of knowledge and refined expertise.

 

Dolfab Metal Fabricators (part of Doll Marine) is well experienced in performing and managing super yacht refit projects from start to finish servicing all of Fort Lauderdale and parts of Palm Beach, Florida. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn to see updates from this and all our other projects.

 

 

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Welding Techniques – Part 2 of 2

In our last article, Welding Techniques – Part 1 of 2, we discussed two types of welding: Stick and MIG. These are two of the four most popular welding techniques used today. As promised, here in Welding Techniques – Part 2 of 2 we will talk about the other two techniques: TIG and Flux Core Arc welding.

 

TIG Welding

TIG welding, also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding is a form of arc welding that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode in conjunction with an inert  shielding gas. The gas (helium or argon) is used to protect the weld from airborne contaminants. TIG welding was developed in the aircraft industry and patented in 1941. TIG welding is used to weld thin non ferrous metals such as stainless steel, magnesium, and copper.  While slower than some of the other types of welding TIG welding produces a stronger weld and gives the user more precise control of their work. Tig welding, being a more precise type of welding, requires practice and patience before it can be mastered.

 

Flux Core Arc Welding

Flux Core Arc Welding- otherwise known as  FCAW or FCA is a semi-automatic or automatic welding technique. Flux core arc welding was developed in the 1950s as an alternative  to shielded metal arc welding. FCAW uses a tubular flux filled wire instead of a shielded gas. Added to the flux are chemicals that when heated produce a gas to protect the weld. This type of welding is very similar to MIG welding as it uses a continuous wire feed during welding. The main difference between the two types of welding is that MIG welding uses a shielded gas, and FCAW does not need a shielded gas to protect the weld  from contaminants in the air. Flux Core Arc Welding is versatile and fast and can produce up to 5 times more welds per hour than MIG welding. This type of welding was patented in 1959, and to this day is very popular for non-critical welds.

 

Dolfab’s welders are well versed in the techniques necessary for custom metal fabrication in all manner of applications: t-top construction, fuel tank construction, fuel tank repair, RV repair, yacht refits, and even delicate staircase railings.

 

Photo courtesy of Hotrod.com

Are you in love with your yacht? When a yacht refit makes sense and how to choose a refitter

Yacht owners: If you’ve owned your yacht for any length of time you may find yourself at a crossroads of whether or not it’s time to start shopping for a new yacht or make necessary repairs to your existing vessel. It’s likely you have been on many memorable trips with friends and family that have built lasting memories. When does it make sense to do a yacht refit? How do you go about choosing the right yacht refitter to do the job?

 

There are many things to take into consideration. Most newer yachts are loaded with new technology and systems. While these are great selling points, are these new systems in your best interests? The answer is not so simple. Most of the time a yacht owner or crew members know every inch of you vessel. When presented with a new yacht with new technologies they will find new issues will not be as easily rectified because of lack of knowledge, which can be costly and can certainly rack up lay days at the shipyard while your crew and or contractors learn on your dollar. This is where keeping and refitting you older vessel will be more cost effective in the long run.

 

When weighing the pros and cons of purchasing a new vessel or moving forward with a refit you’ll have to do the math. Here is an outline to help you get started.

 

1. Cost: Is your vessel beyond repair? If not, can you afford a refit? A yacht refit can consist of many different variables that may be hidden beneath the superstructure of your yacht.

There may be things happening below the surface that may be missed or will pop up while in the middle of a large refit, so it’s important to choose the right refitter. That leads to part two…

2. Estimates:  When choosing the right yacht refitter, it doesn’t hurt to scour the internet looking for reviews of contractors. But your search will not end there! It’s important to get several estimates. The best estimate is not always the cheapest or most cost-effective. A bad refit can certainly cost more in the long run.

3. Planning: Choose a company that can build an estimate by planning the refit from prior refits along with experience. This is a crucial step in the process.

4. Skills:  The right yacht refitter will specialize in what they do. Many refit yards hire different sub-contractors that bid on the job, and not to anyone’s surprise the job will go to the lowest bidder. That being said, YOU as the owner of you vessel should have some influence on who is performing your yacht refit. You should be able to feel comfortable with the refitter and not wonder about the final outcome.

5. Job Timeline: Having a good estimated timeline of when your refit will be finished is a good indicator of the quality of the contractor you’re hired. if your contractor cannot give you a timeline, this might be an indicator that they are not the right contractor for the job.

Choosing a company such as Dolfab will ensure that all the steps above are covered. We will walk you through your job from the very inception and do our very best to ensure all issues (obvious and hidden) will be taken into consideration.  From the very beginning, we can even video document the entire refit job so there will be no questions that cannot be answered at the time of Commissioning.

Since 1984 Dolfab, Inc.  has provided quality work held to the highest standards ensuring your beloved yacht will continue to make memories for you and your family.

Coast Guard Certification on Marine Metal Fabrication

When hiring a welder for your vessel, make sure you are dealing with the US Coast Guard… the USCG has specific requirements that have to be met in order to be USCG Certified.

There are a series of tests that include different types of welding and may consist of welding different thickness metals, penetration of the welds and most likely a bend test. If your vessel is being repaired the you may need a “CFR”: Condition-Found Report. This is a report submitted to the Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative, either in written or electronic format, describing the condition(s) found while performing a task specified in the work item, such as an inspection.

After the “CFR” we have “CIR”: Critical Inspection Report. This report is submitted to the COTR within the first 25 percent of the availability contract period, either in written or electronic format, describing the condition(s) found while performing a task specified in the work item, such as an inspection.

When the time comes to make a boat or yacht repair, one may shop price but it’s important to remember you get what you pay for. Quality is everything when it comes to the safety of your crew and family. Dolfab is proud to be a USCG certified welding and fabrication facility. We employ only the finest welder and fabricators in the industry and maintain an experienced team of USCG & ABS certified welders on staff. Their experience with Stainless Steel, Carbon Steel, Aluminum and Cupra-Nickel is unparalleled in the industry. We have the expertise, equipment and facilities to perform all types of welding either on your vessel or in our welding shop.

Dolfab Metal Fabricators experts in custom metal services

Dolfab Metal Fabricators, part of Doll Marine, is a leader in marine metal fabrication, custom metal services, and yacht refitting based out of Pompano Beach, FL and servicing all of Fort Lauderdale, all of Broward county, and parts of Miami-Dade and West Palm Beach county as well.

Dolfab’s founder and owner, Jim Doll, has been in the metal fabrication industry since 1978. He has been responsible for massive yacht refitting projects on superyachts and megayachts as well as regularly creating custom metal pieces for vessels of all sizes. Take a look at our Project Gallery here for a taste of the various custom metal work we can do. Along with his wife, Sherry, this dynamic duo leads a team of skilled metal welders and technicians aboard some of the most challenging marine projects in our industry.

But we don’t only focus on the big toys- we do custom tee tops for center console boats, custom fuel tanks and tank repair, RV repair, water jet cutting, 3D printing, you name it. Please visit our custom metal Services to see a list of all the custom metal services we offer.

Thank you for visiting our website and our blog.