21. Fresh Water
Allow the dock hose to run for a minute before filling your potable water tank so that you don’t end up brushing your teeth or making tea with stale water that’s been sitting in the hose and plumbing.
22. Height is Right
Always use a torque wrench when installing spark plugs. The torque setting not only indicates tightness but, just as important, also sets the height of the electrode at the ideal height above top dead center for the most efficient combustion.
23. Panty Hose Suck
Stretch panty hose over a shop-vac nozzle to retrieve items dropped in blind areas of the bilge.
24. Bug Off
Want to keep your boat and tow vehicle bug-free? WD-40 softens splattered moths, squashed flies and smashed love bugs so they’re easier to wipe off. It won’t harm gelcoat or paint either. Bonus: Spray a light coat on your windshield and the front of your hood before driving into the evening swarms, buff till clear, and it’ll make bugs easier to clean off after they make contact with your vehicle. It will also help bead rainwater, like dedicated windshield products, providing better visibility during downpours.
25. Avoid the Lid Fit
As soon as you open a can of paint, punch six or eight holes around the can’s perimeter, in the little groove the lid recesses into. Doing so allows paint scraped off a brush or stirrer to drain back into the can instead of clogging up the lid. A 10-penny nail driven by a light hammer works great.
26. Half Again
To minimize evaporation of solvent when you use only a partial can of paint, blow up a balloon and put it in the can before putting the lid on. The balloon displaces air, ensuring more of the paint is usable next time the can is opened.
27. Scotch Salad
Vinegar and warm water applied with a coarse scrubbing pad (Scotch Brite: red is coarse) will remove fouling from shafts, struts and props — it will polish them as well.
28. Smooth as a Baby’s ...
Use a sanding block loaded with drywall sanding mesh, available at building supply stores, to smooth out craters and remove loose flakes from bottom paint.
Empty milk jugs filled with water and tied to the grommets by lengths of cord will hold your winter tarp or cover in place, even when the cold gusts blow. Using these will still allow you to easily access the boat from time to time during storage. In colder climates, substitute sand for water to prevent cracking the jugs.
30. Stable Liner
Add fuel stabilizer to your tank at the storage dosage before you haul your boat — preferably before your last outing. Doing so ensures your fuel lines won’t collect gum and varnish during storage.
31. Chip No More
Want to really protect your trailered boat from road rash? Cut a length of angle iron to the width of your tow vehicle. Screw or rivet a swath of stiff rubber — a big doormat or section of rug works — across it. Cut a hole for your receiver and hitch in the rubber, then bolt it to the top of your receiver. Use a carriage bolt inserted from inside the receiver to ensure clearance for your hitch.