Q: DEWAX DA BOAT
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
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.