microwave combination from a regular thin-plate starting battery
designed to handle this kind of high-amp draw. You still have to
put back the amps with some type of recharge, but the battery
will suffer less, assuming it’s not left in a discharged state for long.
Start batteries are designed to deliver a burst of current, then bask
in the charge coming from the alternator. They’re also cheaper to
replace if you’re less than diligent about recharging. You might just
want to take to using the stove for most heating tasks — assuming
it, too, is not electric.
Oil Is Oil, Right?
Is there any difference in 4-stroke marine oil and engine oil
for cars? I’m having difficulty finding 4-stroke marine oil. I have a
2009, 115-hp Yamaha outboard. — John Wolf
John Adey: Yes. There
are a ton of labels and certifications on engine oils
that you should know about
and pay close attention
to. Approved and certified
FC-W (Four-Stroke Cycle
Water-Cooled) oil starts off
with a heritage of American Petroleum Institute SM (Highest
“grade” for passenger-car oil) performance quality better than your
current passenger car oil. It’s then given a mix of additives and
required to pass an array of additional tests including a salt-fog-rust test and a 100-hour performance test. If an oil formulation
has passed all required tests, it’s then certified as FC-W marine oil.
Brands using these formulations are annually registered and listed
on the National Marine Manufacturers Association website. Engine
warranties are usually void if FC-W oil is not used. There’s a huge
amount of information on the NMMA website ( www.nmma.org);
they certify the oil for the marine market. Click on the certification tab. My opinion (from someone who likes to save money):
ALWAYS use the manufacturer’s recommended oil, never skimp
on this crucial component.
Fuel Tank Woes
On our 23-foot open fisherman, we’re dealing with deterioration of the fiberglass fuel tank due to ethanol. Fiberglass debris
passed into the fuel-delivery system, causing several problems.
Mechanical repairs have been made but now we’re uncertain of our
next move. Do we replace the tank? If we remove the gas containing ethanol, thoroughly clean and vacuum the tank, and use non-ethanol gas going forward, will the deterioration of the tank stop?
It hasn’t deteriorated to the point that it’s not usable. This would
certainly be a cheaper option than replacing the entire tank.
— Russ Carothers
Don Casey: I think you’re going to have to bite the bullet
and replace (or at least abandon) the existing tank. It will be hard
to assess the seriousness of the damage, and a tank that surreptitiously unloads itself into the hull between uses could send you
and yours to the next life. But even if the tank remains sound for
the moment, I doubt that you can reliably get ethanol-free fuel
now and/or in the future. The current emphasis is on introducing
additional ethanol into the national fuel supply, so ethanol-free fuel
may disappear altogether, or at least become ever more difficult to
ts ent. Valve & Equipment
Rust & Corrosion
Fittings & Through-Hulls
Tel: 949 858-8820