MERPOWER-Carry These On The Water!

13 06 2008

1. Conversion charts to switch measurement units for bolt-tightening torque and for any other application, such as temperature or pressure.

2. Ultra-gray silicone sealer is heat resistant and is especially useful because it sets up very firm. Good silicone sealants will replace many paper and fiber gaskets.

3. Rolls of gasket paper in various grades and thicknesses are essential for maintenance and repairs. In a pinch, just cut open a Cheerios box and cut the gasket’s shape from the paper, then put a light coat of silicone sealer on both sides and install.

4. In addition, any paper suitable for a gasket will also make a very good shim. Some shims must be made of metal, such as steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, or copper. Galvanized and stainless steel stove pipe and even soft drink cans are also commonly available and make good shims.

5. Marvel Mystery Oil is an “upper cylinder lube,” which means it is a good lubricant for valve guides and piston rings. It is available at most fuel docks and auto parts stores and can be added to both the engine lubricating oil and the fuel tank for use with either a gasoline or diesel engine.

6. It’s important to have both stainless steel and high-strength bolts and hardware on your boat.

7. If you don’t have mechanical gages installed on the engine, consider carrying pressure and temperature test kits. These kits are available from Snap-on Tools.

8. Carry high-quality black and red electrical tape for insulation purposes and for marking positive and negative electrical conductors.

9. Take assorted sizes of crimp-on electrical terminals and heat-shrink tubing. The latter is plastic tubing that shrinks around electrical wires when heated. Small electrical supply kits are available at auto parts stores, and offer a good assortment of terminals and heat-shrink tubing.

10. Aquarium-grade silicone sealant is handy to have for emergency repair of the boat’s drinking water plumbing. If it won’t harm fish, it won’t harm you either!

11. Thread locking compound (Loctite) keeps bolts and nuts from vibrating loose and is highly useful stuff to have around.

12. Spare engine-cooling system thermostats, and the gaskets for them, are important to have in case of overheating.

(Some of this material excerpted from “PRACTICAL BOAT MECHANICS”, by Ben L. Evridge, to be published this fall.)

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