7. Sticky Fingers
Use masking tape while caulking fixtures to produce a clean, crisp bead; “round” corners can be taped by applying small pieces of tape at increasing angles across the corner radius. Rub the tape edges with a thumbnail or screwdriver butt to ensure that no caulk gets underneath.
8. Breathe Easy
Does the engine stall inexplicably after getting under way? It could be a clogged fuel vent. Before tearing apart fittings and hose, perform this quick and easy check: Open the fuel fill cap and run the boat (when it’s not raining, and on calm water so no spray will get in the tank). If the problem stops, you know you have a clogged vent.
9. Bring Out the Best
A clean, empty mayonnaise jar is a great fuel system diagnostic tool. After removing the water separator, dump its contents into the jar. After a few minutes of settling, water in the fuel will be indicated by layering, like oil and vinegar, of the fluid in the jar.
10. Safety First
Never throw solvent-soaked rags, such as might be used while bottom-painting, in the trash. They can spontaneously combust. Instead, place them in a metal bucket, glass jar or coffee can before disposal.
11. Ground Found
To check for a faulty fuel gauge, “ground out” the circuit by placing a screwdriver shaft (or other conductor) across the terminals on the sending unit. If after you do so the gauge needle moves to “full,” the gauge is good and the sender is bad; if the needle doesn’t move, the gauge needs to be replaced or the wires are bad.
12. Hammer Time
While you can use a block of wood and a hammer to remove/reinstall “bearing buddies” and grease caps on your trailer’s wheel hubs, a rubber mallet is the right tool for the job — less clumsy to use and leaves one hand free. A rubber mallet is also ideal for popping a loose rub rail back in place. White rubber won’t leave black marks.