March 2012

Spring into boating

A handy pre-launch checklist

Before you launch your boat this spring, follow these steps:

  • Inspect and lubricate sea cocks.
  • Inspect hoses and hose clamps and replace as necessary.
  • Replace deteriorated zincs.
  • Inspect propellers for dings, pitting and distortion. Make sure cotter pins are secure. Grip the propeller and try moving the shaft; if it’s loose, the cutlass bearing may need to be replaced.
  • Check to make sure the rudderstock hasn’t been bent.
  • Inspect the hull for blisters, distortions and stress cracks.
  • Make sure your engine intake sea strainer is free of corrosion and properly secured.
  • Check the engine shaft and rudder stuffing boxes for looseness. After launch, check stuffing boxes and through-hulls for leaks.
  • Use a hose to check for deck leaks at ports and hatches. Replace caulk or gaskets as necessary.

Perform the following checks on outdrives and outboard engines:

  • Inspect rubber outdrive bellows for cracked, dried or deteriorated spots, looking especially in the folds. Replace if suspect.
  • Check power steering and power trim oil levels. Replace worn-out zincs.
  • Inspect the outer jacket of control cables. Cracks or swelling indicate corrosion and mean the cable has to be replaced.


Tote all your valuables in style with a USPS-debossed bag in black or brown!

Mastering Marlinespike

Slip knot

The slip knot is a stopper knot that can be loosened quickly by pulling on the bitter end to remove the loop.


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