Insight has arrived! Next time you need to
do a project aboard, chances are one of our
experts has written an authoritative guide
on BoatUS.com to help you through it
is about 5: 1, and 7: 1 is better. A length of
chain between the line and the anchor (at
least 20 feet) helps keep the pull horizontal.
The longevity of a sacrificial anode is a function of its weight. The amount of protection
it provides depends on its surface area. When
an anode lasts less than a year, you need one
with more weight, or you can add a second.
If the protected metal shows signs of corrosion despite the anode, you need more
surface area. Check all anodes at least annually; if half, or more, of an anode has been
lost to corrosion, replace it. Don’t forget to
check the pencil anode inside your engine’s
heat exchanger; you’ll find it (or not) under a
brass plug in the exchanger.
HOW OFTEN TO CHANGE OIL
Not only does the grit in dirty oil wear precision surfaces, the acids the contaminated oil
invariably contains, dissolve internal engine
parts while the boat sits idle. Frequent oil
changes ward off breakdowns and extend the
life of your engines. Engine manuals typically
specify changing the oil every 100, 125, or
150 hours, but no less than once a year. If
your boating is seasonal, once a year isn’t
enough. Change the oil when you commission your boat in the spring, and winterize it
in the fall. You’ll never get a better return on
a $40 investment than from changing your
oil twice a year, or every 100 hours.
Running the engine is always a prerequisite to an oil change. You want the oil warm
enough to flow freely, and you want the
contaminants in the oil, not in the bottom of
the pan. Drain the oil cold and a lot of the
contamination stays behind. Because a quality oil filter should be good for 200 to 300
hours of running time, manufacturers sometimes specify a filter change with every other
oil change. But filters harbor a significant
amount of oil. Not changing the filter is like
pouring this morning’s coffee over an inch
of yesterday’s coffee remaining in the cup.
When you change the oil, change the filter.
Think “gasket” when you bed hardware. The
mistake most of us make is squeezing the
sealant out of the joint by over-tightening.
While the sealant is wet, snug the fasteners
down just enough to form a continuous bead
of sealant around the perimeter of the fitting.
Now, on www.BoatUS.com/Boat TECH
are hundreds of technical articles for
the practical boater.
Crank down on them only after the sealant
has cured for 24 hours (one hour for silicone). Turn the nuts only so you don’t break
the seal on the bolts. Tightening fasteners
after the sealant cures puts it under compression, extending the life of the seal.
If your gelcoat is weathered so badly that
polish fails to restore its shine, you’ll need
the stronger abrasives rubbing compound
contains. Wax on the surface can cause the
compound to cut unevenly, so first remove
all wax by “sweeping” the surface in one
direction — not back and forth – with rags