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Old 08-29-2015, 11:40 PM   #1
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Your Best Technique or Invention

OK, a really broad question:

What are the 1 or 2 little "tricks" you've discovered to make your boating safer or easier?

I'll lead off with these:

1) Here is a pretty simple way to keep us reminded of where the ATONs belong. See the red and green "snack bag" clips on the windshield? When there's a lot going on we find these can be very helpful reminders. (Yes, that's the Great Bridge, Virginia lock just ahead.)

2) Another tip that really has helped us: "When docking, you're in neutral about 80% of the time".

We're kinda new at this, most of you are not. Thanks in advance for your contributions.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:48 AM   #2
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A technique we started using about six or seven years ago is using the bow breast lne and a big fender to get the boat off a dock when the wind is blowing us hard onto it, or out of a tight space on a dock with boats close in front of and behind us. This technique is described in plenty of places including past posts to this forum so is in the archives. But every time we use it it still strikes us as being a pretty slick technique.
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Old 08-30-2015, 06:46 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. rc. GREAT idea for a thread. The first thing that comes to mind because I'm fooling with lines today is applying battery terminal heat shrink tubing to the ends of line in lieu of whipping.
ANCOR MARINE Adhesive-Lined Battery Cable Heat Shrink Tubing | West Marine
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Old 08-30-2015, 06:59 AM   #4
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That something going wrong is an integral part of the sport, if you don't like solving and getting over problems and mistakes, it's not the sport for you.

Avoid having a man-made schedule.

Anything you read on an internet forum is at best a good clue, not an answer.
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:22 AM   #5
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Commercial grade equipment beats "yacht" grade every time.
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:23 AM   #6
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Grow a pair........of knee pads. One of my most used tools on the boat. Not my invention but very thankful they exist.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:31 AM   #7
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I found the advice to remove big heavy lube filters in a plastic bag to be unworkably messy.

When changing those big lube filters on larger diesels drain them first. Punch a small hole near the bottom with a nail and drain into a convenient container. When empty seal the hole with a small metal screw. Then swap the filters.

When restarting spin the engine with fuel off until oil pressure is well up to fill the new filter before starting. Spin in burst to not overheat the starter. close seacock if you have waterlift mufflers.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
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using the bow breast lne and a big fender to get the boat off a dock...a pretty slick technique.
That always impresses the dock walkers as well and even some other boaters who haven't yet discovered it.

Although some marinas don't permit it, another trick is having lines permanently attached to your slip. This is really handy in some sheds where the lines can be hung on the studs and accessed by the deck crew without stepping off. Same with the power cord; have two, leave one behind on the slip.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:33 AM   #9
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"astern away" is a useful mantra for dock maneuvering. Shifting to reverse will cause some sideways push that may be useful.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayview View Post
I found the advice to remove big heavy lube filters in a plastic bag to be unworkably messy.

When changing those big lube filters on larger diesels drain them first. Punch a small hole near the bottom with a nail and drain into a convenient container. When empty seal the hole with a small metal screw. Then swap the filters.

When restarting spin the engine with fuel off until oil pressure is well up to fill the new filter before starting. Spin in burst to not overheat the starter. close seacock if you have waterlift mufflers.

Oooo, I like this. I recently changed my oil and filter trying the bag method and oil went everywhere. Thanks!

My only tip, being a relative newbie, is to have a plan and proceed super SLOWLY when docking. You will see the sportfish folks backing in crazy fast at the dock, but that doesn't work for most folks.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:45 AM   #11
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Those standard fuel gauges are not accurate though they are repeatable.

When they read 1/2 it may not be 1/2 but whatever the reading is when you add 100 gallons to fill up will be the same next time.

From that idea you can reasonably estimate fuel used. They are usually market in 1/4 increments so you can easily estimate 1/8 or even smaller increments with practice
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:47 AM   #12
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My best idea is that this thread needs to be a sticky.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:55 AM   #13
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one of those knobs attached to the steering wheel is a great help when using rudders for walking or spinning the boat.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:58 AM   #14
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My best idea is that this thread needs to be a sticky.

The only acceptable reason why it's not already is none of the moderators have read the thread yet.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
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one of those knobs attached to the steering wheel is a great help when using rudders for walking or spinning the boat.
Aren't they called "suicide knobs"?

I have always left our rudders neutral when docking but would like to know, backing in with strong current or wind, how you remember which way to turn the wheel?

I'm pretty sure you want the aft edge of the rudder to "point the way", right?
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:19 PM   #16
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A good canvas shop can replace all that soft vinyl with semi rigid polycarbonate (lexan type) windows. The poly carbonate is much superior to soft vinyl.. Try it in the center front window first if you are unsure. My canvas guy even curved the corners using 30 mil instead of 50 mil. The curve gave rigidity.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:38 PM   #17
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Fuel Level Accuracy

As most fuel gauges never read correctly.... and... many boats have twists in their fuel fill lines from deck mount to tank that negates ability of calibrated straight-stick fuel level testing:

I purchased a 3/32" piece of tan colored strong-fabric line and stream-line attached a 3 ounce, thin, torpedo shaped (on goth its ends) lead fishing sinker on line's end. This enables me to get the sinker to pass through the fuel filler line’s twists and go to tank bottom. I can tell exactly by feel and sound when the sinker hits tank bottom. Then pull up the line and via calibrations of deck to tank top to tank bottom it is easy to calibrate fuel level in tank. Also by figuring the gallons per inch in tank you can simply measure inches of fuel dampened line and know exactly how many gallons remain. Our two 100 gallon tanks = 4 gallon per inch in each. Boat-Life is simple when simple ways are employed!
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:49 PM   #18
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Art- that's a super idea. I was going to post that best thing you can do is figure out some way to dipstick fuel tanks, even if it takes modifying something to do it. Your sounding line may avoid the need for cutting anything. Just don't get it stuck!!!

My favorite fix is using a hairdryer as a pilothouse window defogger for winter running. Mine works on the inverter when on low setting so if patient, I don't need to start the gennie.

Next one is a trick to get impellers out: Get a squirtbottle of some cleaner like 409 or whatever and when you take back cover off, squirt soap in there. Then go just bump the starter. DONT START IT. Rotation smears the soap. Makes it much easier to remove.
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:00 PM   #19
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Bayview wrote;
"When changing those big lube filters on larger diesels drain them first. Punch a small hole near the bottom with a nail and drain into a convenient container. When empty seal the hole with a small metal screw. Then swap the filters."

My engine has a very small oil filter but I was afraid it would run out all over the place w my horizontal mounted filter. When I had the engine installed (I was in Alaska) I had them put in a remotely mounted oil filter. Vertical so I could take off the filter can w/o spilling oil. After years of oil leakage .. Not knowing the sorce I changed back to the horizontally mounted filter on the side of the lower engine block expecting a mess when I changed the filter. Not to be. It drained into the engine. When I unscrewed the filter no oil came out. All that trouble could have been avoided if I had just left well enough alone and started out w the factory setup.
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Old 08-30-2015, 02:19 PM   #20
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I cut the top off of a 1 gallon water jug. Hold it under the filter and then unscrew and let it drop into the jug. Before installing the new filter, I fill it almost to the top with fresh oil and then screw it into place. Easy and no mess.

Howard
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