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Old 01-27-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
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Tips

Little things we do that make life easier on the boat.

*Got this one from rwidman.

BTW: I weigh my metal tanks with a fish scale to see how much propane is left.

How bout it got any good ones?

I like to keep a flash light right in the engine room for checking things out during routine inspections.

From willy::: *I check the level or amount of fuel in a tank by wetting the outside. Using a damp rag or by spraying some water on it.

SD


-- Edited by skipperdude on Friday 27th of January 2012 01:06:07 PM
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:49 PM   #2
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RE: Tips

Here's one I got on the GB owners forum but haven't done yet. And that's mount a paper towel dispenser in the engine room and keep a roll of those shop towels on it. The ones we use at home are blue in color. Much tougher than regular paper towels and are good for cleaning up oil, fuel, etc.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:42 PM   #3
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RE: Tips

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:
BTW: I weigh my metal tanks with a fish scale to see how much propane is left.
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I use a Camco 59023 Propane Gauge
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:44 PM   #4
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RE: Tips

Quote:
SeaHorse II wrote:skipperdude wrote:
BTW: I weigh my metal tanks with a fish scale to see how much propane is left.
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I use a Camco 59023 Propane Gauge
I considered one of those but it wouldn't fit in my propane locker.

*
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:22 PM   #5
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RE: Tips

I keep a 7.2 volt cordless drill on the boat. After about 3 years the NiCad battery became reluctant to hold a charge. I found this site while looking for a replacement battery online. Just followed the simple steps and voila! after two cycles the battery is taking charge again. No payment involved, ignore the EasyFix logo at the top and scroll down. YMMV but for free it's worth a try.

http://www.ysuusy.com/easybatteryfix.html
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:26 PM   #6
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RE: Tips

Tips?
Don't ride your bicycle on the sidewalk.
Keep several short (3'-4') lenths of 3/16" sash cord looped around railings/bimini/handholds at several points-good for quick lashing of ?whatever
Keep stout, VERY sharp knife (preferably NOT jack-knife) readily accesable near wheelhouse and make sure everyone knows where it is if it becomes necessary to part a line quickly.
Buy a head mounted flashlight (a third hand when working in cramped quarters).
Keep a number of cedar shingles on board-good for wedges, stripped screw hole fillers (with glue) and grave markers for poor Herman the Guinea Pig when he passes on some distant shore.
No running beside the pool.
Battery cable heat shrink can be used on the ends of lines instead of whipping.
SS mig welding wire can be used for sizing wire (local welding shop ran me off about 15' free, just for asking). It's stiff but it hasn't rusted in 4 years.
Wouldn't reccomend without GOOD ventilation but a terra-cotta flower pot inverted over a gas burner works as a heater. GOOD ventilation-and don't leave it overnight.
Feed the local ducks orange peels so you grow your own "Duck a l'orange"
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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RE: Tips

I really like your heat-shrink for whipping idea. Have you done this, and if so, how has the heat shrink held up on the line over time?
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:31 PM   #8
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RE: Tips

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Marin wrote:
I really like your heat-shrink for whipping idea. Have you done this, and if so, how has the heat shrink held up on the line over time?

I do this in combination with heat sealing the cut ends.* I have one line that's longer than the others so I used two pieces of heat shrink to maek it.

If you go to West marine I think they still sell small pieces in different colors for marking anchor rode.
*
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:38 PM   #9
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RE: Tips

re: "I weigh my metal tanks with a fish scale to see how much propane is left."

I was an electronic technician for a large public school system and from time to time I had to run intercom cables to rooms in schools.

Back when I started, the cable came on metal reels of 1,000 ft each and it was fairly easy to estimate how much was left on a reel. Later, the cable came in "unreel" (yep, that's what they called it) boxes and was fed directly from the cardboard boxes. Absolutely no way to know how much was left because if you opened the box, the cable tangled and wouldn't feed correctly. Nothing quite as frustrating as running out a few feet short, especially since it was impossible to stuff it back into the box.

So - after a little thought, I bought a fish scale and weighed a new box. 28lb if I recall. So - half full (500 ft) was 14 lb and so on.

It works just as well for propane tanks as long as you know how much one weighs empty and full.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:45 PM   #10
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RE: Tips

- If the dock staff tells you to tie a certain way, listen to them; they know the area better than you do (in most cases)

- Find out where the commercial boats fuel up and call them on the VHF to see if you can also get $.45 / gallon cheaper fuel.* And another $.10 for cash.

- Auto parts stores are much cheaper than WestMarine for much of the stuff you need.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:21 PM   #11
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RE: Tips

Quote:
Egregious wrote:
- If the dock staff tells you to tie a certain way, listen to them; they know the area better than you do (in most cases)
*Really? But most of them don't know boats and boating nearly as well as I do, much less my boat specifically. They are mostly very young kids who know no more than the non owner they got their instructions from.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:01 PM   #12
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RE: Tips

Quote:
Carey wrote:Egregious wrote:
- If the dock staff tells you to tie a certain way, listen to them; they know the area better than you do (in most cases)
*Really? But most of them don't know boats and boating nearly as well as I do, much less my boat specifically. They are mostly very young kids who know no more than the non owner they got their instructions from.

I boat in NC/SC/GA/FL.* With the exception of the stoned boys in Jacksonville Beach FL, I'd say they pretty much knew the ropes.* I thought the PNW was the best place...
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:34 PM   #13
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Tips

Quote:
Egregious wrote:Carey wrote:Egregious wrote:
- If the dock staff tells you to tie a certain way, listen to them; they know the area better than you do (in most cases)
*Really? But most of them don't know boats and boating nearly as well as I do, much less my boat specifically. They are mostly very young kids who know no more than the non owner they got their instructions from.

I boat in NC/SC/GA/FL.* With the exception of the stoned boys in Jacksonville Beach FL, I'd say they pretty much knew the ropes.* I thought the PNW was the best place...

It is the best place for boaters *that don't need teenagers to tell them how to boat. There are boaters out there that should listen to others instructions, but, for the most part, I believe that I know how to run my boat better than someone standing on a dock. Why would I assume they have a clue???


-- Edited by Carey on Friday 27th of January 2012 10:40:51 PM
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:56 PM   #14
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RE: Tips

The reality is that dock boys/girls are few and far between in the PNW, or at least at the marinas we've visited.* The upmarket marinas--- Roche Harbor, Deer Harbor, maybe Rosario and perhaps a few others--- have dock staff but the vast majority of marinas in the San Juans and north into BC don't offer any assistance unless you ask for it on the radio prior to arriving.* And the dock staff we have seen tend to be as Carey describes--- teenagers or twenty-somethings doing a summer job.* The only damage (so far) we have done to the exterior of our boat was at the hands of the Deer Harbor dock kids.

From what I gather it's a different situaiton on the east coast where dock staff seems to be the norm rather than the exception.* Out here you're pretty* much on your own as far as the marina owners are concerned.* Perhaps they figure if you were able to get yourself through the islands and rocks and reefs and currents and whirlpools and log booms and* fog and whales and BC ferries to their marina unscathed you are probably a good enough boater to get to the dock without needing someone to hold your hand :-)

We have had on occasion a marina manager or owner meet us at our assigned slip to offer a hand if necessary--- Silva Bay, Maple Bay, and*Genoa Bay come to mind---- and they've been helpful and knowledgeable, which you'd expect.* But I've not been impressed with the white-shorts-blue-shirt kids that work at the upmarket marinas in terms of their boating or local knowledge.* Unless you want to know where the McDonalds is.* That they know :-)

*
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:36 AM   #15
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RE: Tips

Quote:
rwidman wrote:SeaHorse II wrote:skipperdude wrote:
BTW: I weigh my metal tanks with a fish scale to see how much propane is left.
__________________________________________________ _____
Quote:
I use a Camco 59023 Propane Gauge
I considered one of those but it wouldn't fit in my propane locker.

*

I switched to one of those 10kg load, clear fibreglass, pressure rated propane tanks.* I can see how much gas is left.* And it's half the weight of a galvanised steel tank.* Love it...

Good to see you back RTF.* I must try the heat shrink whipping trick.* Makes good sense.* You'd flame the ends of a synthetic rope at the same time of course.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:29 AM   #16
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RE: Tips

RV stores are much cheaper than WestMarine for much of the stuff you need.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:46 AM   #17
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RE: Tips

Quote:
Peter B wrote:* You'd flame the ends of a synthetic rope at the same time of course.
*I believe that the correct nautical term is "butane backsplice".
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:51 AM   #18
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RE: Tips

The flashlight at the engine room is a great idea. I keep a Brinkman in a clip inside a compartment beside my bunk. Always. If I happen to need it I put it back immediately. That way in an emergency where I wake up in total darkness ( that's usually how it happens ) I can put my hands on the flashlight without even looking. Another tip, to clean your stainless BBQ pit, disassemble and put in you oven at home and set it for "self cleaning".
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:32 AM   #19
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RE: Tips

Hiya,

** Yup, I've used the "battery cable" ,much heavier then regular heat shrink (HS), on the storm lines and yes, I've flamed (BB) *the ends first.* Disclaimer: These are storm lines (60'+) and not in regular use so I don't know how the HS would stand up under UV exposure. but once shrunk, form quite a tight fit on the lines.* Maybe a double layer of regular HS would serve as well.

** The lines are 3/4", I think, and just fit into the HS before shrinking.* Never tried the RV stores but makes sense that they would be cheaper than WM.

** Only time I've used the lines was last summer in anticipation of Irene-no issues ensued-a glancing blow, not much of a storm surge and at most 60mph winds.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:47 AM   #20
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RE: Tips

Quote:
Egregious wrote:
- If the dock staff tells you to tie a certain way, listen to them; they know the area better than you do (in most cases)

- Find out where the commercial boats fuel up and call them on the VHF to see if you can also get $.45 / gallon cheaper fuel.* And another $.10 for cash.

- Auto parts stores are much cheaper than WestMarine for much of the stuff you need.
*All true for the most part. *I was going into Charleston City Marina, and the person told me to set up for a port side tie. *When we got inside that put a 2 1/2 knot tidal current on our stern. *There was just enough room for our single screw boat. *The current was on our stern. *The boat also backed to starboard. *It was difficult to say the least. *We got her in, and a spring *line to the dock. *We had to quickly kick the stern to srarboard by turning the wheel away and forward gear on the spring line. *I was not happy. *The next time they did the same thing. *I tooki a careful look at the situation, and set up with the current on the bow.

The point being that even a popular place like Charleston can give you the wrong direction for your boat. *You are the captain, and any damage is your responsibility. *Just double check the situation if there is any question.*
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