Tech Net D

Recommended: DAN membership.

Inexpensive with a multitude of benefits for cruisers. Travel-Assist insurance (emergencies) is included with membership. (Valkyrie)


Recommended replacement fore-deck lights; Perko push and turn for OEM. Bulb was just $30 for a Manta Cat. (Salty Paws)

(also anchor lights, running lights)


Use tire weights on the rim of your wash-down bucket. It adds some weight for easy dunk-filling.
(Dragon Seeker)


Denatured alcohol usually comes in a metal container which rusts. Transfer the alcohol into a squeeze-top plastic container and be sure to label it clearly. (Salty Paws)

Or put it into an old spray bottle. (Dyad)


Issue: The depth sounder only works intermittently.
It's probably low or no voltage to the unit.

Issue: The depth sounder does not work at less than 15'. It worked last year.
The bottom paint may be interfering.
Clean the transducer surface.
Adjust the gain/sensitivity.
For testing, listen for the ping.
Go in for a factory reset.
There is a transducer paint available to reduce growth.

Issue: It hesitates about 20 minutes while hunting, before showing results.
It may be a fouled transducer.
Could be moisture intrusion that eventually burns off.
Before turning it on, heat up the display and transducer (in separate experiments) with a hair blower to dry it.

Issue: Works well with gasoline outboard engine off; has interference with engine running.
Check the plugs and wires.
Check all wires in the ignition system.
Run unit on a separate battery to test.
It may be radiated noise through ignitions system or the alternator.
Try running engine without alternator to test.
Try ferrite on the spark plug wires; thread the wire multiple times through the ferrite.
Look carefully at the LCD display:
  If whole screen is affected, interference is probably in the power supply.
  If only depth display area is affected, interference is probably in the transducer.
Disconnect the transducer and check for noise, if there's no noise, the problem may be the transducer.
Test with a cheap AM radio. If it is clicking and popping, it's most likely a spark plug or high-tension wiring problem.
May be sensitive to mechanical noise. Turn on sounder without engine and make banging noises to test.
Morse cable may cause noise interference.
Use Loran C noise filter.

Issue: When using two of them, one interferes with the other.
B&G runs at 180 kHz, others use 200 kHz.
One may have a wider beam that interferes with the smaller beam.
Use just one at a time.
Try to focus the wide beam more narrowly.
Use a PVC tube on the transducer to reduce the noise.
Move the transducers further apart and outboard.
If it's an inside mount on a fiberglass hull, place the transducer in a container of mineral oil or water.
Good Old Boat Magazine has information about this problem.

If you have a catamaran, install your second depth sounder in the other hull and use different frequencies.
I installed a second depth sounder that's good enough to see a bottom contour. It was installed without a thru hull. Aim the second sounder forward 45 degrees to see depth in front; where you're heading. (Valkyrie)


This is strictly just for fun.
(Submitted by Amazing Grace)


Query: What's the best glue to use to reattach the rub rail on an inflatable?
5200 is good, but it will be weakened if the fix is on a fold when dinghy is deflated.

Query: PVC Brig brand has a lifespan of only 3-5 years. How to extend that?
Use a two part glue on the seams.
Use three light coats of glue in quick succession, then clamp and let cure 24 hours.
Deflate dinghy once in awhile and hose it out. That will remove any sand and salt which potentially chafes.

Issue: An air leak on a hard bottom dinghy between the bottom and the tie tubes.
Use 5200 in a syringe. (C_Language)
Use Super Glue as a temporary fix, then use a Hypalon patch. (Barefootin)
Deflate the dinghy and clean the interface of all sand particles.
Inflatable Boat Sealant is a liquid latex product from West Marine (and other places). It really works. (Serengeti)

Issue: Having problems getting glue to adhere to a seam on my inflatable.
Use fast-cure 5200. It remains flexible enough to work.
Then use an over-patch to make it more secure.
There's a product akin to Fix-a-Flat, but it's compatible with Hypalon. West Marine carries it.

Query: Is there any way to repair an 8" rip on a PVC dinghy?
All purpose PVC cement works. (C_Language)
Strip a non-critical piece from dinghy to use as a patch. (Shamal)
Use an inside patch as well. (Dyad)
Stitch the patch if possible. (Salty Paws)
Use a solvent to prep the surface.

An old foul weather jacket could be cut up for patch material. (Dyad)

Query: What will repair cracks and holes on an aluminum dinghy hull?
Use a flexible product.
Mobile home roof sealant.
A paintable epoxy barrier coat.
A two part epoxy.
Use 5200 along with some glass reinforcement.

Query: What will repair bleeding, cracking holes on a hard flexible dinghy?
Prep the surfaces well.
Use 5200 because it stays flexible.
To apply 5200, use a layer of wax paper over it and smooth. Let cure, then peel the paper off.

Melting an empty milk jug and dripping the plastic into the crack sealed my Walker Bay dinghy, which West Marine claims is unbreakable. (Le Bella)

Use a large sponge to bail the dinghy. It catches the last drop and picks up sand too. (C_Language)

Wrap rescue tape on dinghy handles. Helps protect against UV damage, and provides good grip. Holds up perfectly throughout a cruising season. (Blue Jacket)

Inland Marine inflatable sealers for Dinghys.  Great for miniature slow leaks. Exceeded expectations. Can inflate and deflate while using it. (Five and Dime, Valkyrie, Serengeti)

(also plastic; repairing with)


Projects and ideas for projects. Some are just for fun.

See Articles: DIY


Clean blocked or slow sink drains with baking soda and vinegar followed with a rinse of boiling water.
Use a long, flexible brush. (Salty Paws)
Use a toilet plunger. (Island Dreaming)
Use a Scotch Brite pad on a dowel. (New Attitudes)

A clean sink prevents build-up in the drain.
Use Bon Ami cleanser. (Mon Amie)
Use Barkeepers Friend. (Salty Paws)
Use baking soda. (Dyad)

Use fiberglass window screen as a strainer in your sink drain. It easily catches all the gunk and is disposable. (Blackfoot)

Close off the thru hull and fill the drain with white vinegar. Allow to sit overnight. It works. (Kabria)


Painters Drop Cloth Clips [also called plastic spring clips] are high density plastic that works well for holding various things in the cockpit or around the boat. Cost: about $1. Found at Lowes or Home Depot. (Discovery)


Use dryer sheets on pets to prevent static during storms. (Wind Rush)

Toss them in the dirty clothes pile to help control odor.

Put them in where clean clothes are stored to keep them fresh. (C_Language)

Rub on hair as a hair conditioner substitute.

Keep them in your pocket to repel no-see-ums. (Barefootin)

Used up sheets can be used to clean eyewear. (St Jude)

Rubbing them over a table top or other surface will help clean up after projects. (Salty Paws)



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