Tech Net G-H


Use Never Seez or Tef Gel when placing stainless screws into aluminum.
Use zinc chromate primer.
Use nylon washers as barriers. Microfasteners stocks a good variety.
In a pinch use grease, or silicone as a last ditch fix.

THINGS THAT WORK
Plastic placemats from the dollar store are just the right thickness to create a barrier. Cut to fit your needs. (Salty Paws)

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Query: Which material is best to use for a gas tank gasket?
Comments:
Cork.
Leather makes a good gasket and is tolerant of petroleum products.
RTV. But it can be difficult to remove if necessary.
Hylomar is a good gasket dressing for fuel applications. (Abraxis)
[note] RTV didn't cure properly when used on a diesel jug.

Query: How to revive dried rubber gaskets?
Comments:
Use silicone grease. (Mon Amie, Valkyrie)
Use Armor All. (C_Language)

Query: What's the best way to make a gasket for the water pump? It will be exposed to anti-freeze.
Comments:
Use old Canadian paper charts
Use Permatex#2 (an automotive product)
Use cardboard from a soft drink carton and high-temp RTV.
Use grease instead of a gasket.

THINGS THAT WORK
Thinner gaskets work best on impellers or macerator pumps.

A small socket and a hammer; a metal backing. Use as tools for creating your own gaskets. (C_Language)

Old paper charts can be used for making gaskets. Manila envelopes will also work. (Salty Paws)

Paper bags can be used as gaskets in some applications. (Valkyrie)
Comment:
Cover them in silicone grease.

After annealing a metal washer gasket, it can be sanded with 400 grit.

(also fuel tanks)


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Query: Is there an easy way to check the output of the generator?
Comments:
Turn appliances on one at a time to test the output. (C_Language)
The order in which you start things up is important. (Amazing Grace)
Use a clamp meter to measure.
Use a Soft Start device. Wire into your supply; Grainger carries them. (Amazing Grace)
Make sure the fan is properly running and check that the exhaust elbow is unobstructed.

Issue: Saltwater in the oil.
Comments:
Water may be entering through a clogged exhaust elbow by aspiration.
It may be a rupture in the water jacket in the exhaust elbow.

Query: 40 micro farad capacitor lasts only about a year. Would going to a 45 last longer?
Comments:
Increase the voltage instead of increasing the capacitor (C_Language)
Failure is also affected by temperature. Increase cooling. Try to have open air around them to help dissipate heat. (Salty Paws)
Use two 80 micro farad capacitors at 440 volt in series.

Use run capacitors, not start capacitors for this application.

Issue: A faulty reading of low oil on the sensor shut down the engine.
Comments:
Repair or replace the sensor.
Use a bicycle pump to re-pressure.

Issue: Northern Lights generator burns more oil on one tack than another.
Comments:
This is because the crank case ventilation hole is getting blocked with oil slosh on tack.
Attach a permanent tube to the hole to extend it's height.

Issue: Possible saltwater intrusion.
Comments:
There may be a pinhole leak in the heat exchanger.
Check end caps and replace.
Exhaust elbow may be needing replacement.
Use RTV on the end of the heat exchanger.
Elbow may be blocked.
Mark the boot with a sharpie to see if there's movement while clamping.
Clean the tubes to the heat exchanger.

Query: What is the temperature range for the exhaust water?
Comment:
150 - 200 degrees is the proper range.

Issue: The generator shuts itself down after awhile.
Comments:
Check the oil pressure sender.
Also check the water temp sender.
Check harness connections.
The electronic control module can shut down due to poor ventilation.
Also check the fuel lines, etc.
Check the sensor on the exhaust elbow.

Issue: The generator is producing 50 hz instead of 60.
Comment:
Controller needs adjustment.
Issue: Westerbeke generator started overheating.
Comments:
Thermostat could be stuck.
Take the thermostat out to let the engine run cooler.
If heat exchanger is cool, yet the generator is hot, that means the water is not circulating.
The belt that drives the fan on the fresh water pump may be old.
Hoses may be clogged.
Check the antifreeze.

Issue: Fischer Panda generator; mesh covering on wires are melting. Manufacturer responds, "Yep, it does that."
Comment:
Try heat shrink tubing.

Issue: Generator has a 15 amp DC alternator with start battery. Start battery died. Ran cables from house bank to generator start battery to start generator. Generator alternator got very hot and smoking. What is going on?
Comments:
If you have a dead battery, do not depend on the alternator to charge it. Alternator goes into overdrive and hurts itself. (Anania)
Recharge the battery on an independent source.
Battery may have been killed by a faulty alternator.
Put battery combiner between house battery and start battery, eliminating need for DC alternator on generator. (Salty Paws)
Hardwire charger onto the alternator. (Dyad)
Steal regulator from car alternator.(C_Language)
Modify a car alternator. (Naked Lady)
Use a clamp-on multimeter to check for current. (Zephyr)
Make sure your clamp-on multimeter reads DC as well.

Issue: The motor mount had too much movement. The rubber was still in good shape. The bell housing was in contact with the drip basin and it rattled.
The Solution:
I used lock washers, which raised the unit for more clearance. (C_Language)

Issue: Radiator cap on Northern Lights needs replacing often. I've changed mine four times in ten years.
Comment:
It seems to be a chronic problem with Northern Lights.

Query: How often should screens on generators be cleaned?
Suggestion:
About every 400 hours.

Issue: Had water contamination in oil many years ago. Ever since then, oil pressure goes up after each oil change and then fluctuates. It's an intermittent problem. Westerbeke brand.
Comments:
Check tight fit on oil cap.
Check the oil pressure relief valve.
Use motor flush fluid: change and drain to remove any residue.
Check the gauge too.
May be an electrical problem.
Could be a blocked ventilation valve.
Oil pressure sender unit may be blocked.
Oil pressure shut down switch - check by releasing the pre-heat switch quickly after engine start.
Update: Solved. Disassembled the oil pressure sending unit and cleaned it with carb cleaner.

If generator is overheating, check the thermostat first.

FYI
Northern Lights parts can be ordered from Jaz Marine in Riviera Beach, FL. (Scaramouche)

RECOMMENDED
Airstar Solutions is a good source for capacitors for Nexgen generators. (Discovery)

RPM Fort Lauderdale for parts. Good service, good prices, fast shipping. (C_Language)
THINGS THAT WORK
After the alternator on the generator died, I used an automotive battery charger as a fix. It's working well. (Island Dreaming)

I made a temporary replacement motor mount with thick rub rail cut to fit.

Some types of failing motor mounts can be inverted and reinstalled as a temporary fix to extend its life until your new part arrives. (Dyad)

On a Northern Lights unit, the high temp cut off switch is normally open. If it fails (stays closed), you can temporarily disconnect it to run the generator. (Destiny)

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Query: What sealant is best to install and seal glass windows?
Comments:
Butyl Tape is partially cured caulk. It stays in a nice soft mount. Lots of adhesion properties. It's used for mounting auto glass too.
Dow Corning 795 is great stuff. It's used to hold windows in buildings in place. (Discovery, New Attitude)
GE Ultra Glaze is equivalent to Dow Corning 795 (Cutter Passages)

Update: I used the 795 to secure the glass for the windshield. It has a 50% flex rating with fantastic adhesion. I also used 3M bonding tape for the acrylic side windows. I found butyl tape had too much wandering properties to be used by itself. (Valkyrie)

Having a windshield is so much nicer than using isinglass. Visibility improved incredibly. I used customized automotive glass. Comparable to the cost of a new dodger. (Valkyrie)


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Elmer's Ultimate Glue is nearly the same as Gorilla Glue as far as application and use. However, Ultimate does not clog the spout. Store this type of glue in the fridge. (Dyad)

Elmer's Wood Glue
Dilute it with water to make an equivalent of Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure.

FastCap 2P-10 is superior to Super Glue and works instantaneously. (Slow Mocean)

Goop comes in a variety of household formulas and all make a very good adhesive for soft goods. After a week or so, it's very strong; more or less permanent. (Dyad)
Used it to seal the space between the compression post and mast. Good sealant, waterproof. (Salty Paws)
Use for repairs of porous things. (C_Language)
Will repair bucket cracks and small holes. (Salty Paws)
Will repair Crocks.

Gorilla Glue worked well for securing velcro that holds screens on hatches. (I Wanda)
Carb cleaner will remove excess Gorilla Glue from hands. (C_Language)

Hot Glue Sticks are good for a variety of projects, ready-cured in only 2-3 minutes. (Salty Paws)

JB Weld Make a dam with duct tape when making small repairs with JB Weld to help build up the patch thickness without runs. For best results, clean your item with acetone prior to repair. (Ursa Minor)
If you ever need to remove it, apply heat then cold.(St Jude)
JB contains micro metal components and will actually rust after a few years on outdoor applications. (Salty Paws)

Loctite Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive Works well, dries clear. Water clean up before it dries. Dries to touch in 1 hour, cures in 24 hours. (Salty Paws)

Marine Tex is excellent for holding stainless steel parts together. (Fooling Around)

Plexus commercial adhesive is available from marine suppliers. Its a methacrylate type of adhesive [super-glue type] found in tubes. It cures hard like an epoxy. (Bayou)

Shoe Goo can be used to build up worn soles. Will wear just like the original. (C_Language)
It works well on Crocks and provides extra traction. (I Wanda)

Sugru It's glue, it's rubber, it's putty, it's amazing. A whole new product with a silicone base that can be molded to shape and dries firm and pliable. Waterproof, heat proof. Good for a multitude of uses. (Salty Paws)

5200
Query: How to remove 5200?
Suggestions:
BoatLIFE Release removes cured and uncured 5200. It comes in a 16 ounce spray bottle.
Goo Gone dissolves 5200.

Use a small wire, like a guitar string as a garrote to remove 5200.


Glue This to That
An interactive fun and useful guide for gluing different materials to each other.

Don's Glue Guide
Explains the properties of different types of glue, and what each type is primarily useful for.


FYI
5200 is still pliant in a deck fitting after 28 years. (Shining Star)

Strainer baskets can be repaired with 5200. (Dyad)

WATER-THIN SEALERS
The best are Zap CA and Creeping Crack Cure (Shining Star)
Make your own by diluting wood glue. (C_Language)

Creeping Crack Cure can repair hard plastic items that have shattered cleanly. We used this successfully on a soap dispenser backed up with plumbing Goop. (Salty Paws)

THINGS THAT WORK
Prevent sealants, like 5200, from 'going off' after opening. Load the cap with vasaline and screw down. Store in the fridge and it will last for months. (Moira)
Use lids from used containers for mixing epoxy, etc. (Salty Paws)
The bottom side of a soda can is also useful for mixing epoxy. (Dyad)

(also caulk)

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Goo Gone removes 5200 residue on new work. (Mon Amie)
Comment:
WD-40 will also work. (C_Language)

Goo Gone will not damage plastics. (Valkyrie)

Preserve paint brushes overnight. When a brush has been used with enamel or oil based paint, spray it with Goo Gone and wrap in foil. (Dyad)

Use it to remove tar from the bottom of shoes. (Mon Amie)

Removes tape residue. (Salty Paws)

Removes residue from dacron sails, such as old numbers. (Solitaire)

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Issue: GPS BU353 hockey puck is not communicating with my navigation program.
Comments:
Use a free program called Xport. It will create a virtual comport that will work.
Go to device manager and unplug the device to see if it's recognized by the computer.
It's caused by a problem with the drivers that come with BU353, especially on Win 7.
Update: Xport worked, it stabilized things.

Issue: Garmin GPS crashes.
Comments:
Check power connectors.
Reset internal settings.

Issues with Garmin GPS Model 126:
Problems with the unit accidentally resetting itself to January 1990.
Was able to download helpful instructions online.
Change settings to use NMEA protocol rather than Garmin proprietary.
Upgrade version 2.7 has a fix for 2200 and more recent.
Alternative was to send the unit back to the manufacturer.
Older Garmins have internal batteries that may need replacing.

Continued:
Found out from Garmin that a glitch happened over the weekend, they think it involves only their GPS antennas numbered "17." It does not affect the positions given, nor your boat's location on the chart. However, it resets the date to Jan 01 1990 and gives the wrong time. This is critical when using tides and currents. You can manually set the correct date and calculate a correct time, but this is tedious. Unless you are aware that the date and time are wrong, you would get the wrong data for your time and place and not realize it. Garmin is working on a fix. (I Wanda)

Query: On a new chart plotter install: Install wants all non Garmin equipment to go to RF ground. Where is it?
Comments:
It's the ground plate that's connected to RF radio.
Use braided shield. Braid wires to DC ground.
DC and RF should only go to the ground plate.
Connect RF ground plate to DC with foil.
Icom - tie grounding plate to boat's grounding plane.
Go to manufacturer for clarification.
Update: Success. Braided the ground shield, connected one end on ship DC ground and closer to panel. RF shield success. (Mon Amie)

Issue: Laptop connect software not finding the GPS.
Suggestions:
Find the comm port using hyperterminal.
Get a converter to get to the USB port.
Get the driver from the manufacturer.

Query: Where to buy GPS receivers?
Search e-Bay for deals.
Go to buygpsnow (Trumpeter)

THINGS THAT WORK
Refresh rate works very well at 5 seconds; nice and steady. Using GPS heading is better than using auto pilot. (Mon Amie)

A GPS mounted by the berth acts as an anchor alarm. The handheld GPS Map 76 (now discontinued) is a good brand that uses very little current. It can be used without an antenna. Very inexpensive on eBay. (C_Language)

RECOMMENDED
Global Sat BU-353 as a backup GPS USB receiver. About $35-40. Plugs in and works immediately. It creates a comm port. Small; about the size of a hockey puck. (Dyad)
If you need it to connect to a radio, get one with a standard serial port. (C_Language)

FYI
Loran was officially retired by the U.S. Coast Guard in Feb 2009.

(also emergency locater beacons,   waypoints)


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Ham Licenses
Study materials for the ham test can be found at arrl.org.
Beaufortradio has information about ham exams in Beaufort, SC.

There are several sites online that have free practice exams to test your knowledge and prepare for the ham exam . (Discovery)

THINGS THAT WORK
Turning down the VOX control solved the problem of delay in receiving reply. (Wind Chaser)


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Query: The black tighten-down knob needs replacing on my aluminum hatch. Where can I find a source for it?
Comment:
Goiot is the brand you're looking for. (Five and Dime)

Issue: Round ports collect water that gets dumped inside when opened.
Suggestion:
Use a yellow micro-fiber cloth to make a little wick that drains to deck outside.

PLEXIGLASS HATCH COVER REPLACEMENT
Rough up the cut edges of the Plexiglass with 80 grit paper.
Use denatured alcohol to clean it.
Never use acetone on acrylics as it will make it brittle and crazed.
Use Dow 795 Compound to bed the Plexiglass.
Use a little water to wet fingers to work the compound. You'll have plenty of time to work with it. (Valkyrie)
Comments:
After the compound starts to skim, leave it alone to fully cure. You can use a knife to trim the excess off later. (Serengeti)
Clean up the excess with soap and water, if using regular silicone. (Salty Paws)
If using regular silicone, don't use alcohol on it, as it will prevent full curing.

HATCH FRAMES
Painting and Caulking
1.  Paint 3/4" around the lower surface of the frame. This will help the silicone to adhere. Use the type of paint designed for painting plastic furniture.
2.  Do not use coarse sandpaper on the edge of Plexiglass.
3.  Avoid silicones that smell like vinegar. These will promote crazing later on. (Vayu)

Krylon Fusion paint works on plastic and is tough. (Salty Paws)
Automotive exhaust paint will work as well. (Valkyrie)

THINGS THAT WORK
10mm nylon (hydraulic) tubing has the right strength and springiness to hold up bug screens in round hatches. Just sew a pocket into the screen edge and spring into place. (Amazing Grace)

Translucent white Plexiglass for hatches affords privacy and allows for nice lighting inside. (Valkyrie, C_Language)

RESOURCES
Select Plastics Company out of Norwalk, CT has lots of useful information about installing hatches, etc. Visit online. (Discovery)

(also butyl tape,  caulk,  glass and glazing)

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Good low tide sand bars and places for short DIY haul outs:
Tenants Harbor, Maine (Blackfoot)
Provincetown has a nice sandbar and 13' tides. Also tidal grid.
Brickhill River at Cumberland, GA


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Issue: A voltage drop causes the electric head to flush improperly. When the generator is running, it flushes beautifully.
Comments:
If the problem started recently, it may be a connection problem.
If it's a long term problem, the wire may be too small.
Rewire it using the windlass ground and double the main wire.

Query: How to remove the crystalline buildup in the hoses?
Comments:
Use muriatic acid when the buildup is light.
Muriatic acid on a heavy buildup will release large chunks, which could block the system.
Disassemble and work it manually.
Use a fresh water flush.

Query: Replace or rebuild my Skipper head? My last rebuild lasted ten years.
Comments:
Rebuild rather than replace as a new head may not be as robust as your current one.
If you choose replacement; a Jabsco head would be a good choice. (Shamal)

CLEANING
Use a drill tool for cleaning head hoses. (Cat Tales)
Use Raritan C.H. It cleans hoses, tanks, MSDs. Non-toxic. (Ursa Minor)

The Works toilet bowl cleaner. It cleans well. Use at full strength. Will not harm plastic parts. Add a little bit to the bowl and let sit overnight. It will keep it clean. (Salty Paws)
Muriatic acid can be harmful to small metal parts. Use The Works; its already diluted for use. (Solitaire)

To remove calcification in the bowl, use paper towels soaked in vinegar. Leave them in place overnight. (Dyad)
Frequently add vinegar to prevent build up. Allow to sit overnight.

Muriatic acid helps clean the system. Works well. Use care. Do not use in holding tank. (Trumpeter)
Use 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of muriatic acid overnight. (Salty Paws)
Use muriatic acid diluted. It's aggressive and will kill things in small cracks too, but it can also harm the pump. (Blackfoot)
Two parts water, One part muriatic acid is the same as 'The Works'.

FYI
Use caution while storing muriatic acid; it can out-gas.
Monthly head program. Use Oxy Clean in the tank and do a tank washdown. (Salty Paws)

Use a dryer-vent brush to clean sanitation hoses. It's long and attaches to a drill. Cut the brush bristles down to 1.5" and add sections to the handle as needed. Under $20 at Lowes. (Cat Tales)

ODOR
Issue: The intake line gets smelly and puts out a strong odor from sitting overnight.
Comments:
There may be organic growth in the line. Back flush with fresh water.
Add peroxide to bowl overnight.
Replace the hose if it's old.
Clean the ejector holes around the rim of the bowl.
Increase the vent opening on deck.

Poo-Pourri Spray a little in the toilet water and whah-la, no smelly boat. A must-have for us liveaboards. I might even spray some into the holding tank. It's not a fragrance, not a cover-up, but more like white noise for the head. Great stuff and it works. (Barefootin')

This is kind of a pricey product, but you can make your own for pennies:  Mix 4 tablespoons baking soda into 1 quart of water, add a few drops of essential oil. (Barefootin')
Comment:
I tried this after hearing it on the Tech Net. It works. (Salty Paws)

LUBRICATION
Use silicone grease on an install.
Vegetable oil once a month.
Take one hose off, pour oil directly into the valve.
Put spent mouthwash into the head.
(comment: That won't work on an electric head, but maybe okay for a manual pump.)
Use 8-10 ounces of vinegar overnight to remove deposits.
Use Wilcox Sea Lube overnight; it also conditions leather. (Shining Star)
Don't use bleach. It causes plastic parts to get brittle.

COMPOSTING HEADS
We use an Air Head brand. It eliminated a lot of hoses and pumps and odor. (Calypso)
We used one for six weeks. We did not need to empty it during that time. The compost looked like rich soil and it seemed it would be easy to empty. (Southern Cross)

MASCERATORS
Check the studs that hold the mascerator pump. Brass fittings on Jabsco have been known to fail. SHURflo brand is compatible and uses stainless parts. (Mon Amie)

CARE WHILE IN STORAGE
Leave fresh water in head when leaving the boat for an extended period. Use about a half gallon of vinegar in the head. (Trumpeter)
Acidity goes down as vinegar eats salts. That's why no harm comes from long term use. (Kismet)

FYI
Carry a spare pump handle for a Raritan pH head. Ours broke this week, but a bilge pump handle fits in an emergency. (Wings via e-mail, mid Atlantic)

THINGS THAT WORK
Wrap a white head hose with baby wipes overnight. The hose will be unstained the next day.

White hoses work better than black sanitation hoses for preventing growth. (Salty Paws)

Many large diameter O rings are fragile and can get inadvertently and irreparably stretched during servicing. I used Blue RTV to make a new O ring for our Jabsco Quietflush macerator. Leaving the RTV slightly proud and allowing it to go off for awhile before bolting and torquing after 24 hours. It's still working after a complete season. (Amazing Grace)

Head pump cylinder seal diameter may be increased with doubled O rings. (C_Language)

(also holding tanks)

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Query: which sealants are best for use on end caps and will last more than a year?
Comments:
I used thick plastic from an old circuit board and cork. It works well; no leaks. (C_Language)
Use cork with silicone grease. (Aurora, Salty Paws)
Use Great Stuff (Barbara)

Issue: One of the clamps on the end caps failed.
Comments:
Use safety wire between the large clamp and the small one to hold the smaller clamp in place. (Cat Tales)
Keep the elbow clean. Debris builds pressure, which will pop the end caps.

Issue: Saltwater intrusion through clamps and end caps. Have cleaned everything and still the clamps continually slip.
Suggestions:
Center the bronze piece, put larger clamp on first then push the cap toward the engine. Then clamp the smaller clamp. Replace every 4-5 years. (Salty Paws)
Center the tubes. Use heavy fishing leader wire to help pull/push caps in before clamping. (C_Language)
RTV gasket material may help seal the caps, and may work better than 5200 for this application. (Trumpeter)
Take sandpaper, glued back to back and wrap it for friction. (Dyad)
Use J.B. Weld to form a lip on the inner heat exchange. (Pay Dirt)

Try to use O rings between tube bundle and header tank to prevent cross contamination.

Query: Is there something better to use on flat end caps than silicone? (The gaskets are in good shape.)
Suggestions:
Permatex #2 is a better choice. It's non-lumpy and paintable.
Use HEV Silicone by Permatex.

Query: Can I solder a leak on an end cap?
Suggestion:
It may be wiser to use JB Weld if the metal has turned to filigree.

CLEANING
Use vinegar.
RydLyme can be used to flush and clean heat exchangers. Environmentally safe. (Shining Star)
Comment:
Use a weak solution for a long duration rather than a strong solution for a short time.
Muriatic acid mixed with 4 parts water is safe and effective on heat exchangers. (C_Language)
Comment:
It's good, but it may etch the metal.
Toilet Bowl cleaner is 10% muriatic acid and will work. (Salty Paws)
Comment:
Dilute 50 /50 then use at 10%.

CLEANING TOOLS
Use a solid copper wire to clean out the heat exchanger tubes. (Endeavor)
Use a small wooden dowel. A gun cleaning kit has everything you need to clean these, and the kit is useful for cleaning a whole variety of things.

FYI
Be sure to get a good grip on the inner seal when tightening the hose clamp. (Destiny)

Changed the zinc on the heat exchanger and forgot to turn water back on. Fortunately it was caught in time.
Remove ignition key or disconnect battery as reminders of work done.

THINGS THAT WORK
Hydrogen sulfide will give raw copper a nice, permanent black patina. Good for coating the heat exchanger. It can be found at jewelry supplies or at craft stores. (Salty Paws)

A car radiator hose from a car parts store, will replace a coolant hose on the heat exchanger. I successfully tested it for heat-integrity in a pressure cooker. It's much less expensive than a purchase from the manufacturer. (Valkyrie)

(also exhaust elbows)

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Struts or lift supports keep fridge and dock box lids open. Install them so that the steam part is down, so their oil won't run. Automotive stores carry them for much cheaper than marine sources. (Salty Paws)


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Issue: There's blockage in the holding tank output. The thru hull is not blocked. My system is gravity fed with no macerator.
Comments:
Check the vent.
Apply pressure into the thru hull. Pressure can be created with a hose to insert and using your thumb to cover the hole while inserting it quickly. This creates suction.
Use a plastic bottle with a neck that fits your thru hull. Fill the bottle with water and squeeze quickly to create a back flush.

Query: The pump-out operator recommended using Rid-X in holding tanks. Would this make sense?
Comments:
Rid-X is used in septic tanks. It may be way too strong for a holding tank.
Quote from the Rid-X site:  "RID-X® has not been tested on recreational vehicles (RVs). Therefore we cannot recommend using it in RVs."  This most likely applies to boats too.
Using Drano is not a good idea either.

ODOR
Remove odor with 2 scoops of Oxy Clean in the holding tank. It releases peroxide/ oxygen, keeping bacteria at bay. Also, increase the diameter and decrease the length of the vent line. (Salty Paws)
Comment:
Check vent line for clogs.

WASHDOWN
A washdown system for the holding tank: Plumbed into saltwater washdown for the deck with a Y connection. The rotating nozzle is T shaped and can be slipped through a 2" hole into the holding tank. The nozzle (brass or plastic) can be found at Camping World or other RV stores. (Salty Paws)

DOCKSIDE WASHDOWN
Starting with an empty tank - Use 2 cups of Calgon in 1 gal hot water: run half through the head, the other half into the pumpout.
Then use 1 cup laundry detergent in 1 gal hot water:
Again, run half through the head, the other half into the pumpout.
Then fill tank with water and allow to sit for an hour.
Pump out and rinse. (Scaramouche)

THINGS THAT WORK
Use Lanocote on the threads of the holding tank cover. This will prevent corrosion and will make removal easy whenever needed. (Moira)

Use a one gallon shop vac on the vent of the holding tank to create negative pressure. This creates an opportunity to repair a broken impeller on the macerator pump without flooding your bilge. (Salty Paws)


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Query: I need to bend PVC pipe into a curved shape. How can this be done without harming or collapsing it?
Suggestions:
Fill it with sand to maintain it's form and prevent collapse. (New Attitude)
Electricians have a tool that bends PVC. Ask locally. (Naked Lady)

Issue: Need to connect white sanitation 1 1/2" hose to a slightly larger diameter with a nylon fitting.
Comments:
Use RTV Silicon Sealant as a lubricant. It helps seal the hose after installation.
Use dish detergent as a lube.
Use a hair dryer, the careful use of a flame, a dunk in boiling water or a heat gun set on low to warm the hose and make it flexible.
[Counter:] Heat may damage the hose.
Try to file down the barbs on the hose adapter a bit.
FYI: Lowes and Home Depot hose is about 1/16" off; large.

FYI
Standard screw-on hose clamps don't work well in wet, vibrational situations. Switch to a non-perforated variety.

Placing two water hoses together in telescoping fashion will work as a temporary fix. (Cat Tales)

THINGS THAT WORK
While installing white sanitation hoses, use PTFE grease with a heat gun to make the pipe slip easily into place. (Hold Fast)
Place a band of aluminum under the hose clamp to make it last longer. It also prevents rust. The aluminum from cans is sacrificial.

Use Clamp Jackets on the ends of hose clamps to prevent cuts. (Dyad)


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AIR TEMPERATURE CONTROL
Use wind scoops. (Magic)
Use Phifertex fabric for snap-on window covers. (Salty Paws)
Sun shade fabric will block much sun and reduce temp a few degrees. Garden department item. (Dyad)
Fan-tastic Vents are 12 volt 13"x13" fans that are mostly sold for pet cages. They work great. Three speeds. (Mon Amie)
Use 12 volt oscillating, clamp-on fans. At WallyWorld for about $10. (Salty Paws)
Look around for RV fans too.
Mount fans to hatches to force hot air out. (C_Language)
Swap your light bulbs for cooler LEDs. (Magic)

BODY COMFORT FOR CREW AND PETS
Use cooling gel-pack bandannas around your neck.
Use a spray bottle of water for cooling your skin.
Dunk or hose-spray yourself.
Use refrigerated baby-wipes.
Drink plenty of water.

(also cold weather,   self care,   pets)

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REPAIRS
How to repair lifting Formica on the counter top?
Comments:
Use heat with a towel to protect the surface.
Work from the lifted area to the edge to help remove moisture and air.
If this doesn't work, it may actually be the separation of plywood base layers.
You may need to remove and clean the Formica and base wood, then re glue. Or replace with new Formica.
Contact cement will work best.

LAUNDRY
WonderWash is a hand cranked washing machine that works well. No electricity is needed. Low water demand. (Valkyrie)

DECORATING
Driftwood for decorative items. Soak the wood in fresh water to remove the salt, then sand to bring back the wood tones. Make stuff.

Decorative tiles. We collect them as souvenirs from various places we've visited. (Moira)

Contact paper. It can brighten up a surface. (Salty Paws)


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Cleaning Issue: Looking for simplest solution to remove barnacle residue from dinghy.
Comments:
Use Marykate On and Off. Scrape barnacles first, then apply and let sit for a few minutes. Then wash off. (Valkyrie)
The Works will remove barnacles and clean dinghies well. (Moon Dance)
The Works did a good job. It's a watery consistency, so use a rag to apply then wipe.
Tidy Bowl will also work. It's a thicker gel solution.

Query: What will remove black rubber marks from the hull?
Comments:
WD-40 will work. (Barefootin, C_Language)
WD-40 will also remove boat wax, but will not harm Poli Glow.
Nevr Dull will work.

Query: What cleans exhaust residue on the stern?
Comments:
Strip wax off first. Exhaust is oil based.
Use Marykate Spray Away. It works on exhaust stains on inflatable dinghys and transoms on boats. Find it at marine stores. (Trumpeter)
Try WD-40.

Query: How to remove gasoline stains from white fiberglass?
Suggestions:
Use Marykate On and Off. (Soul Mates)
Use acetone very gently or it may cause damage. (Salty Paws)
Use baby oil. Leave it on overnight, then mop it up. (Salty Paws)
Try WD-40 (C_Language)
Use a Magic Eraser "White Mystery Sponge" (Tilt)
Update: success. Soft Scrub and bleach worked without rubbing. Left it sit in the sun.

THINGS THAT WORK
Use vinegar full strength to clean topsides, then rinse. (Trumpeter, Amazing Grace)
Vinegar on a rag will clean salt etching off Awlgrip on dark hulls. (Trumpeter)
Diluted vinegar can also be used on isinglass.
Lemon juice works well for cleaning the hull. (Salty Paws)
Y10 Stain Removing Gel and Boat Cleaner available at West. Needs to be washed off. Great for detail work. (Hagyia)

DINGS AND SCRATCHES
Gelcoat Paste for gelcoat repair. Cover the patch with scotch tape for a smooth finish. Leave a tab on the tape for easy removal. (Salty Paws)
Comments:
Seal the surface from the atmosphere to allow it to cure hard. Saran wrap or wax paper works. Use 400 grit wet paper. (Dyad)
A wax additive will seal the surface as it cures and will accomplish the same objective as covering the surface. (Bayou)
Small cracks and scratches won't require covering, but large areas will.

Fiberglass rubbing compound 3M Perfect It III. It's magic. Erases scratches very well. (Dyad)

ICW MUSTACHE
Get a small handheld sprayer and pour in lemon juice. Dilute about 50% with water and then spray on mustache. Do this on a sunny day as the sun helps the process. No more mustache; no elbow grease needed. (Barefootin, Salty Paws)
Marykate brand On and Off. (Valkyrie)
BoatLIFE Fiberglass Cleaner, followed up with wax, will keep the hull free of ICW mustache for up to a year. (Shining Star)
Ospho, a phosphoric acid product, works well to remove the brown mustache from the bow. (Salty Paws)
Poli Glow does a good job at deterring ICW mustache. (Salty Paws)
Wet Look repels the mustache.

WAX
Query: Which wax works best on fiberglass?
Suggestions:
Future Floor Wax uses the same ingredients as boat wax and lasts two years. (Solitaire)
BTW, In case you can't find this product, it's been renamed Pledge Premium Finish with Future Shine.
Island Girl brand worked, but since it's an oil based product, it picks up oily residue in the water.
Marykate Paste Wax works well, but it's tough to apply. Lots of buffing. (Salty Paws)
Meguiar's failed after six months. (Cat Tales)
Poli Glow works well and helps build up gelcoat. Re-apply once a year. Easy to do. If needed, Poli Glow can be removed with acid based products. Six coats is optimum, then maintain with 1 or 2 coats every 6 months.(Valkyrie)
Manufacturer recommends not cleaning with ammonia based products.
Poli Glow puts a near factory shine on the boat. There's no need to remove oxidation in advance. Dries quickly allowing for multiple coats in one day. (Salty Paws)
Poli Glow on dark hulls: The instructions and materials are very good, but you can get a far better result on badly oxidized colored hulls by buffing and then following the full instructions for cleaning, de-waxing, and coating. (Amazing Grace)

Issue:
I used one coat and found it got sticky after one year.
Comment:
Make sure the hull is clean before application. The company owner is happy to answer your questions. (Valkyrie)
Poli Strip is a product used to remove Poli Glow. (I Wanda)
Scotch Guard Marine Liquid Wax had good results, easy to apply. (Passages)
Star Brite Fiberglass Teflon Polish prevents yellow staining. (Shining Star)
Woody Wax works well and prevents staining. (Reflection)

DECK SURFACE
Future can be used on on the non-skid. Use a foam roller to apply like paint. Lasts 6 months, no flaking, stays clean, no yellowing. Not too slick to walk on. (Salty Paws)
We used it on the hull and it brightened it up. (Solitaire)
It holds up well to UV. (Time Enough Too)
Clean all dirt, stains, and wax before using. (Salty Paws)
Wet Look Is an acrylic floor finish. Many cruisers use it with good results.
Zep High Traffic Floor Polish/Finish resists scuffs, heal marks and slipping. Costs less. (Valkyrie)

(also bottom cleaning for below the waterline,  fiberglass)


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