control. Our transmissions seem to be OK.
The problem is the same when using the
base or remote, and the same when the
remote is disconnected. Should I replace
the masthead-mounted antenna?
TOM NEALE: You could have electrical
surge damage from all the lightning, even
though you weren’t directly hit, and this
would require a qualified electronics repairman or new set. But I’d try some less expensive checking first. Also make a call to the
radio maker’s customer service department.
They may have some helpful hints.
Take the radio to a friend’s boat with a
working radio, hook yours up, and see if it
performs the same. If it does, the issue is
within the radio. If your radio works well
on the friend’s boat, you’ll need to check
the cable and connections. Disconnect the
antenna wire from the antenna, checking
for signs of damage, corrosion, or moisture.
Next, spray the connection with WD- 40 or
one of the marine-specific moisture-displac-
ing sprays, then connect and disconnect
the wire several times (to clean the con-
nection), and see how it performs. While
you’re up your mast, look for antenna wire
problems such as chafing, splitting of outer
insulation, or bumps under the insulation.
Moisture could have breached the isolation
between your inner wire and its shield. Also
check throughout the rest of the accessible
antenna wiring and its connections for signs
If what I suggested above doesn’t help,
before you go to the expense of a new set,
consider replacing that antenna, particularly
if it’s an old one. They don’t last forever, but
you should be able to replace it yourself if
you’re able to go up the mast safely.
DIESELS & CARBON MONOXIDE
I have a Catalina 34 with a diesel engine. Do
I need a carbon monoxide detector aboard?
BETH LEONARD: Carbon monoxide
results when fuel is burned without enough
oxygen to create carbon dioxide (two oxygen
atoms instead of one). Diesel engines pro-
duce very little carbon monoxide compared
to gasoline engines because there is excess
air/oxygen in the combustion chamber even
at full load, where gasoline engines run a
mixture with more fuel in proportion to
the oxygen, especially at high loads. The
chances of an exhaust leak in a boat with a
diesel engine causing serious harm are low
enough that having a CO detector is not
part of the American Boat and Yacht Council
(ABYC) standards for such boats. That said,
it is cheap insurance, especially if you have
other potential sources of CO aboard like a
I’m considering adding a kicker motor for
trolling to my 31-foot Boston Whaler. Dry
weight at birth was nearly 13,000 pounds.
How large an outboard would it take? Or,
conversely, how small can I get away with?
JOHN ADEY: From my previous life selling small outboard fishing boats, I can tell
you that there’s no hard and fast “formula”
for what you are doing. Here are some key
points to consider:
■ Many suggest a two-cylinder model from
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