With the 4th behind us, we are well into our summer heat, humidity and warm prevailing winds. As we heat up, so does the water this time of year. I don't know about you, but my boats have been in the water for some time now. In the next several weeks or maybe the next time you use your boat, on your way home or in flat water, run the boat full throttle and make sure she performs as she did earlier in the year. The warmer water creates more growth on the bottom and running gear. If she doesn't get the speed or RPMs as she did, it might be prudent to have the bottom and running gear checked for excessive marine growth. Marine growth will drastically reduce the boat and engine performance. Most harbors have local divers that can do this or with a mask and snorkel you can check yourself.
The other area that should be checked are the sacrificial anodes or commonly known as Zincs to determine whether they should be replaced also. The zincs job is to be a softer metal than that of the more hard metals such as shafts, rudders and through hull fittings. Zincs are very inexpensive in comparison to having to replace through hull fittings because of electrolysis and corrosion.
Speaking of through hull fittings, now is also a good time to exercise all the ball valve through hull fittings on the boat. Make sure that they open and close freely as they did in the spring when you obviously checked and made sure they opened. I hope you're picking up on my sarcasm; although as funny as it may seem, through hull fittings and ball valves are one of those items that often gets over looked and forgotten about. It's always good to have them routinely checked. Should any of them be found to not open and close properly you can add it to your winter to-do list.
Every year around this time I have my boats hauled out. Yes you heard me right, haul it out. Most yards offer me a discount on the haul and block price. The labor to get work done is usually at a small discount because the yards are a little slower this time of year. I will haul my boat, have the bottom washed, check my Zincs and replace any that need replacing, give the boat a coat of bottom paint if needed. I use a multi season ablative so that I don't have to paint every year. The multi season ablative is great because it's one less thing to be done before launching in the Spring. You have to use the right kind of multi-season ablative bottom paint though, not all ablatives are the same. I have tried them all at one point or another. What I have found is, like anything else, you get what you pay for. The more expensive the paint, you get longevity and better performance. Lately I have been using Interlux Micron 66 and Petit Hydro Coat Eco. I really like the Petit Hydro Coat Eco as it can be applied to all types of glass and even all metals, as it doesn't contain copper. I used the Petit Hydro on one of my boats that lives in brackish water where large barnacles seem to thrive. This is year 3 on the same bottom job with a few touch ups here and there and the paint is performing well with the Petit Hydro Coat Eco!
That's all for now and until next time, tight lines, calm seas, and good times!
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