Boat Shop Q & A
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Soundings Magazine Answers Your Boating Questions

Q&A - Outboards

While out on the water, your outboard won’t start. What should you look for before calling for help?

Does the engine sound like it is cranking over? If not, the first thing to check is the gear-shift lever. There is a safety switch that prohibits the outboard from cranking over if the shift lever isn’t completely engaging neutral.

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Dodger/Bimini Maintenance

Q: What can I do to keep my dodger/Bimini in good shape?

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Chain Anchor rode

Q: Does chain anchor rode provide any elasticity, like nylon does?

A: Chain can provide great elasticity if used properly. You can attach a nylon snubbing line to the chain near the water surface, and this will add elasticity.

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Saving fuel

Q:  Is there anything simple and easy, yet highly effective, that I can do to save fuel?

A: Yes, if you have an inboard with permanently submerged running gear. It’s simple and usually easy: Regularly clean your running gear — propellers, struts and shafts — of barnacles and other growth.

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Starter trouble

Q: Why is my starter becoming unreliable?

A: A starter is a relatively simple electric motor, but many things can cause it to fail or work intermittently. Here are just a few. Keep in mind that all starters are not constructed alike, and some of this discussion and terminology may not be appropriate to your starter. I’m just talking about a few basics.

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