gear not being used is significant, even if you
can allow that unused prop to freewheel. The
unused prop will pull your boat off course,
causing you to have to compensate in steering, probably running with your rudders
a bit cocked, also adversely impacting fuel
efficiency. I’d just run both of them much
slower. With a little experimentation you may
find your rig’s “sweet spot” where you get
fuel economy and safe comfortable running.
sandpaper (by hand, no machine!) can flatten
them out. Follow that with rubbing compound, then polishing compound, and finally
wax (after the new numbers are applied).
no reverse polarity light. I’m guessing it’s the
boat’s receptacle that’s shorted? Can I get a
new receptacle to replace the old one?
Dana Point, CA
WHAT’S THAT SMELL?
There’s a strong odor coming from under
the floor inside the cabin of my Carver
Mariner. I don’t see standing water in the
bilge. I’ve heard that if shower water stays in
the tank and isn’t all pumped out, it could
cause a smell. Should I add something down
the drain? Terry Giannico
Sterling Heights, MI
REVERSED POLARITY NEEDS
AN IMMEDIATE FIX!
I smelled something burning, checked the
electrical panel, and the “reversed polarity”
warning light was illuminated. I disconnected the shore-power cord; both the male
and female plugs were black. I got a new
cord and when I plugged that one in, the
light illuminated yet again. I disconnected
the cord and ran the generator. All the electrical systems on the boat worked fine, with
JOHN ADEY: The problem could indeed
be in the shore-power inlet. They’re readily
available and on a difficulty scale of 1 to
10 are about a 5 to install. Before you do
this, however, I’d also hook your boat up to
another shorepower pedestal. It may be that
some electrical work was done on the dock
or some damage was caused that allowed
the neutral and hot to be reversed, thus the
reverse polarity light. As you stated, this can
MEET THE EXPERTS
TOM NEALE: Don’t pour a product down
the drain unless you know that you don’t
have a leaking drain hose. A shower sump
should be accessible. Inspect yours and pour
a bilge-cleaning product directly into that
sump. This smell could also come from your
holding tank (a prime source) or from your
head hoses, particularly if they’re old, and
have built-up deposits. You can add Raritan
CP as a deodorizer for heads and holding
tanks, and Raritan CH to clean the inside
walls of hoses and head systems. Or Star
brite sells various bilge cleaners and deodorizers for the same purpose.
He’s been one of the most consulted experts on boat care and
upgrades for 30 years, and a panelist on our “Ask The Experts”
website for a decade. He and his wife cruise aboard their 30-footer
part of the year in the eastern Caribbean. His books include Don
Casey’s Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual, and the
recently updated This Old Boat, the bible for do-it-yourself boaters.
The president of the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), John
grew up boating. He’s been in the industry since 1990, with experience from a yacht brokerage and boatyard to owning a marine
supply store. He and his family sail their classic 1976 Irwin ketch, a
boat he completely restored. John is a trusted source for technical
information for industry professionals.
I’m trying to remove the painted registration
numbers from my fiberglass hull and replace
them with graphic decals from BoatU.S. I’ve
heard to use acetone, lacquer thinner, or
1,000-grit sandpaper. What do you suggest
to remove them correctly?
Rochester Hills, MI
He’s maintained, lived aboard, and cruised long distance on boats
with his wife and family for most of his adult life. He can take apart
and fix almost every system aboard a boat, has written two books,
filmed a two-set DVD on East Coast cruising, written for top marine
magazines, and has won nine first-place awards from Boating
Writers International and many awards for his technical writing.
The editor of Seaworthy, the damage avoidance newsletter of
BoatU.S. Marine Insurance, Bob has written hundreds of articles
on safety, loss prevention, and causes of boating accidents. His
2006 book, Seaworthy, Essential Lessons of Things Gone Wrong,
is based on 20 years of real claims files. He’s owned Folkboats to
J-Boats and currently sails a 36-foot sloop.
JOHN ADEY: An old trick that works is
standard oven cleaner. Cold formula works
best. Take all of the appropriate precautions.
I’ve used it on a variety of boats (old and new)
and never had an issue. If that doesn’t work
for some reason, any good automotive-paint
remover should do it without harming the
gelcoat, although it’s always a good idea to
test a spot to see if it gets “gooey” from the
chemical. If you end up with “raised” spots
under the now removed paint, 1,000-grit wet
BoatU.S. magazine’s new technical editor, Beth Leonard, grew up
powerboating, waterskiing, and fishing on Lake Ontario. Since 1992,
she and her husband have completed two circumnavigations on
two sailboats, doing all maintenance themselves. They also installed
the systems on their 47-foot aluminum sloop. Beth has written The
Voyager’s Handbook, the how-to bible for offshore sailors, and
hundreds of technical articles.
CONTACT THESE AND ALL OUR EXPERTS AT WWW.BOATUS.COM/ASK
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ARCHIVED. THE BEST PART? THIS SERVICE IS FREE TO MEMBERS.