two weeks use. Should we pump out when it’s
partially full or wait until it’s full? We’re using
the chemicals recommended by Raritan.
Jim and Kitty Shaw
Sackets Harbor, NY
TOM NEALE: I’d pump out my holding
tank whenever I got the chance. Holding
the stuff in the tank can be dangerous
because, as it decomposes, it could form
potentially explosive hydrogen-sulfide gas.
There’s also the smell and the possibility for
trouble should your tank or its plumbing
develop a leak. Also, you never know when
the pumpout station you plan to use is
inoperative or inaccessible for some reason,
in which case you’d have nowhere near to
pump when your tank fills.
GAIN A PLANE
I have a 1983 Chris-Craft Catalina without
trim tabs. This boat is very hard to plane. Is
there an area in the boat where the heavy items
should be stored? Am I hurting the planing
process with heavy tools, extra anchor, and fluids
TOM NEALE: Many boaters experience this problem.
Usually, the best way to
resolve a planing problem
is to communicate with the
builder. If you think the issue
is weight, carefully experiment with moving heavy
items. Too much weight up
front will hurt planing. It’s
usually better to store heavy
items in the wider midships
or after sections, low down.
If you store weight in areas
that don’t fall within the
weight-carrying design/build parameters of
the boat, you could impair its stability as
well as its planing capability. This could be
a serious safety issue, and is an important
reason to consult with the manufacturer.
Adding trim tabs may help, but it should be
done by a well-qualified yard.
There are other things that could affect
trim. The engines may not be performing
properly. The props may need work (
re-pitching, cupping, or balancing, for example). Sometimes changing props solves this
problem, but finding the right prop is part
make all the
science and part magic and requires experts.
The boat may be underpowered. There’s
even the unlikely possibility that the hull
has absorbed water over the years and
gained weight. A good surveyor with a moisture meter could help you determine this,
although I’d investigate other possibilities
first. The best news is that you may simply
have a dirty bottom or running gear. Often
it’s helpful to visit owners’ forums on web
sites such as the BoatU.S. web site, clicking
on “Boater to Boater” on the left side and
then, “Boating Groups.”
PHOTO: MEL NEALE