Hose Clamp Smarts
Here’s a wild little suggestion: Think about devoting a few hours during the upcoming weekend to tightening and otherwise addressing all (or most) of the hose clamps on board your boat. Sound like a make-work project? A silly one? Well, we say, “Not!” Depending on a clamp’s location, engine/ transmission/propshaft vibration can slowly but surely (or sometimes not so slowly but just as surely) loosen it. Indeed, at this very moment, clamps mounted on your engine or engines are almost certainly loose if you do much cruising at all—and heck, they may be subtly leaking fuel, coolant, or oil into the bilge. Moreover, the undersides of clamps mounted on hoses tend to gather condensate on their undersides and corrode—and there’s really no way to get a handle on this unless you either employ a mirror or simply go ahead and loosen the clamp, rotate it for observational purposes, and then either replace it or tighten it back up if it’s in good shape.
Now, two more suggestions. If you’re like most boat owners, you have a variety of clamps on board. Some are of higher quality, some lower, some require a 5/16-inch nut driver for tightening/loosening, some a 7-millimeter. So hey, why not inject a little uniformity into the confusion with one size fits all? That way, in the future, you’ll remember exactly which nut driver you need to tighten every clamp. And you can forget about having to backtrack to your toolbox.
And oh, the second suggestion? If you need to replace a clamp or two this weekend, why not go with the high-quality (solid-band) type as opposed to low? Going high will help you eventually achieve a state of affairs where fewer and fewer hose-clamp checkups are called for.
Learn to identify cheap, left, and expensive (top). A nutdriver is best for adjustments (bottom).