Tips & Tricks

Tips and Tricks

Racine Riverside Marine's Boating Tips & Tricks

We Love These Great Ideas
  • Morning dew is distilled water: Wipe off your boat with it and it will be spot free.
  • For a mirror like shine, remove last season's wax with a dewaxing solvent before applying wax this spring.
  • Want a green alternative to bleach? White vinegar kills mold. Apply with a spray bottle.
  • Need to clean a RIB or shore-power cord? Citrus pumice-style hand cleaners work well.
  • Have a scratched windshield, clear-vinyl curtains or sunglasses? A fine polish like 3M Finesse-It works well (so do counter-top polishes).
  • For safety, always move an orbital polisher in the direction of its rotation, usually clockwise (or left to right). The machine may jump if the pad strikes an obstruction when used opposite its rotation.
  • Oven-cleaner spray will remove paint and adhesive residue from gelcoat without damaging it.
  • Make a splash guard from cardboard when using a drill-operated paint mixer.
  • Scraping paint or caulking? Use a file to round the corners of a putty knife "scraper" so it won't gouge; you can sharpen its edge too!
  • Punching holes at "N-S-E-W" around a paint can's rim allows paint to drain back into the can and ensures a better seal for the lid.
  • You can make a drill-operated paint mixer by installing long screws through the end of a stick and then whittling the other end down till it fits the drill's chuck.
  • Invert a can of anti-fouling paint the night before painting to help get the solids in solution prior to mixing.
  • For a crisp waterline, "burnish" masking tape by rubbing its edges down with a dowel or paintbrush handle.
  • To fix a clogged aerosol paint can nozzle, remove it and soak in mineral spirits for an hour. Then install on a can of lubricant and spray to finish the cleaning.
  • To prevent clogging of aerosol anti-fouling nozzles, shake the can per the directions and, when done spraying, invert the can and spray until the stream is clear.
  • A safety pin makes a good tool for removing a bad hydraulic steering seal - which is usually a "quad ring."
  • There's lots of talk about pantyhose and duct tape serving as a spare emergency belt: Why not just carry the spare belt?
  • Primer bulb doesn't get hard no matter how much you squeeze it? Replace it, and buy a spare, plus clamps, to carry aboard.
  • A section of rigid hose or PVC tubing, cut to length, can protect outboard and stern drive prop shaft splines from damage during storage and transport.
  • Free play in hydraulic steering can often be eliminated by simply adding fluid to the helm pump.
  • Check engine belts for proper tension; also look for cracking and glazing, which are harbingers of failure.
  • Exhaust systems carry a lot of water; check all fasteners, supports and plumbing to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as sinking.
  • T-clamps are more expensive but clamp hoses evenly; worm-gear hose clamps can distort.
  • If you find fishing line wrapped around the outboard or sterndrive's prop shaft, have the unit pressure-tested to ensure the oil seals haven't been compromised.
  • Use this handy reference for pre-mixing oil and gas at a 50:1 ratio.
  • Gas Oil: -1 gallon 2.5 ounces
    -6 gallons 16 ounces(1 pint)
    -10 gallons 26 ounces
  • Liquid dish soap applied to carpeted trailer bunks will help the boat slide off more easily at a shallow ramp.
  • Tow tip: Wipe your boat down with liquid soap before a long haul to make bugs and grit easy to remove once you arrive.
  • Filling your water tank? Run the water long enough before filling to eject the water that was left in the hose. Bacteria and mold love to fester in hot hoses.
  • It's better to keep your stern drive tilted down at the dock. It doesn't clear the water anyway, and doing so better protects the bellows from barnacles and deterioration.
  • Monitor your boat through a few tide cycles after first launching to make sure you've correctly adjusted the dock lines.
  • A Porta Potty is often a necessity... here is an idea we love! Get yourself a 10 gallon bucket, plastic bag, foam noodle and a roll of toilet paper. -Place the bag into the bucket. Cut the noodle to fit the brim of the bucket then place the noodle onto the top of the bucket securing the bag. Slide the TP onto the handle portion. ENJOY!