23 BOAT TIPS & TRICKS

Updated: Dec 3, 2018



1. dew is distilled water: Wipe off your boat with it and it will be ­spot-free. dew is distilled water: Wipe off your boat with it and it will be ­spot-free. dew is distilled water: Wipe off your boat with it and it will be ­spot-free. dew is distilled water: Wipe off your boat with it and it will be ­spot-free.

2. For a mirrorlike shine, remove last season’s wax with a dewaxing solvent before applying wax

3. Want a green alternative to bleach? White vinegar kills mold. Apply with a spray bottle.

4. Need to clean a RIB or shore-power cord? Citrus pumice-style hand cleaners work well

5. Have a scratched windshield, clear-vinyl curtains or sunglasses? A fine polish like 3M Finesse-It works well (so do counter-top polish

6. For safety, always move an orbital polisher in the direction of its rotation, usually clockwise (or left to right). The machine may jump if the pad strikes an obstruction when used opposite its rotation

7. Oven-cleaner spray will remove paint and adhesive residue from gelcoat without damaging

8. Make a splash guard from cardboard when using a drill-operated paint mixer.

9. Scraping paint or caulking? Use a file to round the ­corners of a putty knife “scraper” so it won’t gouge; you can sharpen its edge too!

10. Punching holes at “N-S-E-W” around a paint can’s rim allows paint to drain back into the can and ensures a better seal for the lid.

11. You can make a drill-operated paint mixer by installing long screws through the end of a stick and then ­whittling the other end down till it fits the drill’s chuck

12. Invert a can of ­anti-fouling paint the night before painting to help get the solids in solution prior to mixing.

13. For a crisp waterline, “burnish” masking tape by rubbing its edges down with a dowel or paintbrush handle.

14. To fix a clogged ­aerosol paint can nozzle, remove it and soak in mineral spirits for an hour. Then install on a can of lubricant and spray to finish the cleaning.

15. To prevent clogging of aerosol anti-fouling nozzles, shake the can per the directions and, when done spraying, invert the can and spray until the stream is clear

16. A safety pin makes a good tool for removing a bad hydraulic steering seal — which is usually a “quad

17. There’s lots of talk about pantyhose and duct tape serving as a spare emergency belt: Why not just carry the spare belt

18. Primer bulb doesn’t get hard no matter how much you squeeze it? Replace it, and buy a spare, plus clamps, to carry aboard.

19. A section of rigid hose or PVC tubing, cut to length, can protect outboard and sterndrive prop shaft splines from damage during storage and transport.

20. Free play in hydraulic steering can often be eliminated by simply adding fluid to the helm pump.

21. Check engine belts for proper tension; also look for cracking and glazing, which are harbingers of failure.

22. Exhaust systems carry a lot of ­water; check all fasteners, supports and plumbing to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as sinking.

23. T-clamps are more expensive but clamp hoses evenly; worm-gear hose clamps can distort.


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