Boating - - BOAT DOCTOR | Q & A -

Can I re­move the old lay­ers of wax from my boat? It is show­ing a yel­low tinge, and I want to re­store the fin­ish to white. Steve McK­in­ney Orange Beach, Alabama


Steve, there are pur­pose-made de­wax­ing for­mu­la­tions of­fered by both Pet­tit and In­ter­lux paints. These are usu­ally used to re­move mold-re­lease wax from a new boat’s hull prior to ap­ply­ing the first coats of anti-foul­ing paint. That said, yel­low­ing is likely the re­sult of gel­coat weath­er­ing and may re­quire rub­bing com­pound to re­store to white.

to both sides and make sure it turns freely in both di­rec­tions. If it does turn freely, your ca­ble is in­deed bad and needs re­plac­ing. If it does not turn fully, the helm unit needs to be re­placed.

Nei­ther ca­bles nor helm units are ser­vice­able. They must be re­placed when bro­ken. And if we al­ready had an old but work­ing ca­ble off, we’d prob­a­bly re­place it at that point. Few things af­fect safety as much as a prop­erly work­ing steer­ing sys­tem. Bet­ter to be safe than sorry.

Since your ca­ble ap­pears to ex­tend enough to pro­vide am­ple star­board turn­ing, it is the right length. If you de­ter­mine that it needs re­plac­ing, bring it with you, or at least mea­sure it, when buy­ing a new ca­ble. A rule-ofthumb method for mea­sur­ing a steer­ing ca­ble is to mea­sure the plas­tic ca­ble jacket in inches, add 18 inches, and round up to the next foot. If you are at all un­sure, check with your dealer or SeaS­tar So­lu­tions (seast­ar­so­lu­tions.com).


Q: I just bought a new boat (my third!). My dealer is very adamant in in­sist­ing that I never use any­thing but the man­u­fac­turer’s branded mo­tor oil in my new out­board. What do you say? Burke Den­nis

Tuc­son, Ari­zona

A: I say “never” is a very long time. If you can­not source the man­u­fac­turer’s branded mo­tor oil on a given day of boating, be sure to use an oil that is cer­ti­fied for use by the Na­tional Marine Man­u­fac­turer’s As­so­ci­a­tion for your out­board type (two-stroke, four-stroke or cat­a­lyst [cat]). A list of such oils can be found at nmma.org/cer­ti­fi­ca­tion/ oil/fc-w.


Q: Boat Doc­tor, I re­cently pur­chased a 2016 leftover 115 Mer­cury Com­mand Thrust out­board on a pon­toon boat.

This is the sup­port tube, or tilt tube, which is your only ad­just­ment left or right.

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