Tech Net L-M-N

Lanocote is a heavy, greasy, saddle soap-like product that works real well, especially outdoors, as it won't wash off in rain. Use it as a barrier coat for dissimilar metal contact. (Dyad)

Our navigation lights were not exactly waterproof. The use of Lanocote prevented all corrosion and the bulbs now last much longer. (Salty Paws)

Use it on props as a growth barrier. Works well when boat is not moving for long periods of time. (Valkyrie)

Use it to cover bases of outdoor lighting fixtures. (Salty Paws)

Use it on hose clamps. Product can also be found in spray form for hard to reach places. (Trumpeter)

Use shrink tube when you can, then use Lanocote on snatch blocks. (Zaftra)

The spray is good for electrical connections. (Shamal)

(also corrosion)


Issue: Replaced the propane valve indicator with an LED, but it burned out after only a few hours.
You must use a resister in line for LEDs. Choose a resistor value to provide desired brightness. Don't use less than 100 ohms.
It can be on either side of the LED, positive or negative.

Issue: The individual LEDs blow out on a cluster LED replacement bulb.
May be pushing too much voltage due to inverter waveform.

The lights in the VDO gauges use a lot of power and get hot. We changed out to LEDs. It was trivial to do. We used four simple Christmas lights in series with a 1k resister. (Dyad)

BULBS carries a good selection. (Discovery)

Cruisingsolutions for LEDs. Very satisfied with their service. (Celebration, Mon Amie)

LED They carry replacement bulbs for halogen fixtures, and replacements for MR16 bulbs. (Salty Paws)

LED replacement bulbs for G4 back-mount fixtures were purchased on e-Bay. They came to $4 each (including the shipping) opposed to $10 each at store prices. (Dyad)

If you've been looking for festoon style or automotive style LED lighting, Superbrightleds carries a huge variety of styles, colors, and warm/cool choices. (Salty Paws)

FYI: Lowes now carries solar powered LED Christmas lights. (Mon Amie)

Hockey puck style LED flashlights. They come in sets of three and use three AAA batteries. One bulb casts enough light to get around onboard at night and batteries last 'forever' due to low energy demands. (Salty Paws)

How to Connect LEDs article by Rick (C_Language)
Idiots Guide to Marine LEDs pdf download.

(also cabin lights)


Stearns Life Belt is much more comfortable than a life jacket. (Salty Paws)


FYI: Do not allow anyone to service or reprovision your life raft if they will not allow you to watch.


Liquid Wrench now comes in a non-volatile formula. It won't work to start an engine , but it works for all other applications. (Salty Paws)


Query: What's the advantage to cooking lobster in a pressure cooker?
It's quicker. Use 2" of water, bring to high for 3 minutes. It's done. You can also do this with lobster straight from the freezer. It takes a little longer to cook, but no defrost is needed. (Salty Paws)

Steamed Lobster in Lemon Juice: Easy and delicious. (C_Language)
Get recipe here.

Store in cereal bags. These are tougher than plastic or wax paper, and are more puncture resistant.
Use heavy scissors or wire cutters to snip off spikes and spines.

(more galley tips)


Issue: The stainless steel lock on my outboard motor is frozen. Key only makes a 3/4 turn.
Whack it with a hammer to disengage any debris, then apply WD-40 or PB Blaster.

Issue: My dinghy engine lock is a Master lock and the key is lost. If sawed, it will probably damage the dinghy.
Carefully dremel through the lock. Protect the dinghy with a wet towel.
Freon may freeze the lock, then it can be fractured.
Drill out the space where the key goes.


Maine now requires lobstermen to use sinking lines on their gear.
This makes it so much easier to navigate as the float stays closer to its pot.
However, the float can still be pulled just under the water surface. (Salty Paws)


Issue: Concern about malaria in the Bahamas.
Use prescribed anti-malarial meds when in an area where outbreaks have occurred. Follow instructions.
Mosquito avoidance is best.

More info about malaria.

(also insects)


Video Query: What do I need to transfer old VHS tapes to a DVD?
Use Dazzle hardware, USB port, and a DVD burner.

AUDIO Sweetwater Music carries audio cables (Salty Paws)

Download public domain audio books for free from LibriVox.

Visit the library website where you have a local library card. Some libraries have audio books to download/check-out for their card holders. They have expiring DRM in 7-14 days.

A single audio file I had was 8 hours long. I used MP3 Direct Cut, a free program, to break the file into manageable smaller files. (Dyad)
If you ever want to reconnect them, this can be done through DOS commands. (Salty Paws)

Issue: Some pictures from my iPad come out upside down.
Keep the camera oriented consistently when taking pictures.
Look for camera settings to fix the problem.

The Nexus7 is a nice tablet with camera, gps, and book reader. Can easily add apps. (Salty Paws)

Kindle is a device for reading e-books and it's wifi capable.
Choose books to download through Kindle or through Amazon. Free books are also available. You can subscribe to newspapers or magazines for a small subscription rate. Kindle also plays audio books. (Mon Amie)

Many e-books are formatted in pdf, which Kindle can read, including Jimages books. Pdf format can be also be opened in Adobe Acrobat Reader (free to download).

Kindle has a long battery life. (Cat Tales)

There's a free application called Kindle for PC that allows you to transfer books to your computer. (Cat Tales)

Calibre is free software that will translate ebooks into different formats. (Solitaire)
Query: Can you index all your ebooks through this program without making duplicates?
Yes, it can sort your book lists. (Salty Paws)

The Book Shelf is a list of good reads recommended by other cruisers on the Tech Net.


Sending a Message in a Bottle
Use Day-glow paint on the bottle and use a pencil to write the message. Pencil will last much longer than ink. (Trumpeter)
Note: Nancy and George "Trumpeter" have made message bottles an annual fun event for the school kids where they volunteer. Each child makes one. So far, 10% have been found.

Wrap the bottle with packing tape to draw attention. (Puddle Jumper)

A few marbles inside will draw attention audibly, if in the surf. (Dyad)


Issue: Transmit button gets stuck in On position.
Disassemble the mic and clean the internal switch, then tighten or loosen as necessary.
Check VOX settings.

Issue: The alternator causes interference on Ram mic. (a remote microphone)
Check the ground.
This is not an easy problem to solve.

Issue: The microphone cable is deteriorating.
Send microphone back for replacement.

Issue: I need a new microphone for my Icom 802.
Look on e-Bay.
Icom 802 specifically needs an 802 microphone replacement. It's connectors are different than other Icom models.

Issue: Microphone on Icom 710 is not producing enough volume, but the radio has a strong signal.
Check the owners manual.
Check the pin hole on the mike for blockage.
A twist tie has a small wire that makes a good tool for that purpose.

Issue: Speakers cut out after transmission Icom 710.
The return spring sometimes fails to push to talk; brass clip/spring breaks.
Repair the clip/spring with a wire tie as a very temporary fix; then buy a new microphone. (Shamal)

Deteriorating Black Casing on Mic Cord
Received this email on the Manta owners group. Hope it can help others here:
While researching how to buy a new curly cord for our Icom Command Mics, I ran across information advising that Icom has agreed that there were defects in the black plastic wire coating used on the cords, resulting in premature deterioration.
I sent an email to detailing how the black coating is breaking, exposing wires. They responded same day, telling me where to send both mics to a repair shop for replacements at no cost. Apparently this is a problem that has affected many years and models. Scott (submitted by "Salty Paws")

Hand held microphones have a small hole(s) on the face for transmission. If it/they are accidentally covered by fingers, it will prevent communication. The grill configuration is fake; it's just there to maintain a traditional look and feel. (C_Language)

To prevent fingers from blocking the holes:
Place small pins facing upward into the holes.
Place small, raised tubes into the holes.
Move the interior elements.
Drill channels across the holes.
Place a raised rubber/plastic dot next to the holes.

Garbled transmission problem was fixed by cleaning the microphone, checking the connections, and using WD-40 on all internal connections. (Naked Lady)

(also VHF,   single sideband)


Issue: Moisture intrusion in display instruments.
Isolate parts to see where the problem originates.
Place the instruments in vacuum bags and suck the moisture out.
Drill a very small hole with a dremel in the front of the instrument. Place it in the sun to dry and warm it vacuum bag it, then seal the hole immediately.
Open the instrument, put a desiccant pack (silica gel) inside. Desiccant packs can be dried out; reused.

Pingi is a bag that dehumidifies an area, such as a locker, and it's reusable. It can be dried out again in the microwave for reuse. It will also pull moisture out of electronics. (Ursa Minor)


Query: How to remove mildew from dacron sails?
Use Oxy Clean. Mix it in a spray bottle to use. Don't scrub the sails; it can damage the material. Don't ever use bleach. Use a sponge. (Shamal)
Use gentle cleaning around stitching. (Scaramouche)

Borax. One tablespoon in 1 cup of hot water removes mold, stains, etc. Also prevents new growth by changing the pH. (Salty Paws)


Attach a longer line to a mooring pennant. Use a cow hitch to connect your line through the eye of the pennant, then add a toggle, as shown here:

The toggle can be made out of anything strong and smooth. It's purpose is to prevent the knot from tightening under heavy load so it can be removed easily.

We used this configuration while holed up for hurricane Irene. Even taking on 50 knot gusts, the toggle still allowed for easy knot removal. (Dyad)

(also anchoring,  seizing)


FYI: Muriatic acid can out-gas even when capped in storage. Can etch nearby metals. Store outdoors. (Barefootin)

(also heads; cleaning)


Use Noalox on connections between copper and aluminum.

Noalox helps assure electrical connection between bare metals. Also good for antennas, etc. Prevents corrosion. Depot carries it. (Zephyr)

(also corrosion).


Query: What's their average lifespan?
It ranges from 4-10 years. Much depends on your cruising ground climate.
Re-torque screws after one year as they may back out a bit.

Best place to buy nylon washers is Microfasteners (800-892-6917) (Salty Paws)



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