WD-40 and duct tape...secret weapons?


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Daria Blackwell
Daria Blackwell
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It is my contention that the difference between a house and a boat is that if something breaks at sea, you have three choices 1) fix it, 2) replace it, or 3) do without it. At home, you call the plumber. At sea, you need some basic tools to survive if you don 't want to do without.

In my opinion, WD-40 and duct tape are two essentials. According to the old adage, "If it doesn 't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn 't, use duct tape." WD-40 restored our frozen steering column mid-Atlantic and duct tape held our dodger together in a gale when it broke apart.

According to one interesting website, WD-40, duct tape and vice grips can handle almost any household job. http://artofmanliness.com/2012/03/12/the-walt-kowalski-toolbox/. But what about on a boat?

What 's your favorite use for WD-40 and duct tape? And are there other secret or not-so-secret weapons in your arsenal?


Other secret weapons: gorilla glue, liquid wrench, barkeeper 's friend...

Vice Commodore, OCC 
David Tyler
David Tyler
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There was a garage just north of Victoria, Vancouver Island, that used to post a saying of the week, to amuse its customers. My favourite was "If you can 't mend it with duct tape, then you haven 't used enough of it". Perfectly true.

I have two Maxwell hatches. The design of the catches is appalling. They leak when I 'm bashing to windward. Until I get around to making better catches, I duct tape some polythene over them before an offshore rough passage. If I remember.

You could add 3 in 1 oil to the list. I 've just serviced my winches, and it 's the best thing for the pawls.

You could also add Selley 's All-Clear sealant, if you 're anywhere near NZ or OZ. It will seal anything that silicon or sikaflex will, but unlike them it lasts forever in the tube. There must be a world-wide equivalent?
mina
mina
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In the absence of Selley 's All-Clear Sealant, the way to get Sikaflex to last in the tube is to cover the end tightly in cling film and keep it in the fridge (if you have one).

Smelly heads. When you get the eggy smell, close seacock, disconnect the input hose at the seacock, pump out and then fill with bleach solution, pumping it through the system. Fill to brimful again, thumb over end and reconnect to the seacock and leave for a few hours. Open seacock. Eggy smell gone for more than 3 months.

Squeaky heads. Forget pouring oil down every day. Take the top of the pump off (together with plunger), and smear cylinder sides and plunger O-ring with Vaseline (petroleum jelly). The heads will be a joy to pump (no more blisters on the hands) for about three months.

Tim Barker, S/Y Mina2
Daria Blackwell
Daria Blackwell
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Great stuff. Many thanks. Have to get some of that Selley 's sealant. Sounds amazing.

I just heard about another interesting product: Captain 's Tolley 's Creeping Crack Cure (http://www.captaintolley.com/). Anyone have experience with it?

Tim, I use plain vinegar in the head to de-smell. It 's a bit less damaging than bleach and leaves the whole boat smelling fresh.

Thanks for the vaseline tip. I love a head that 's a joy to pump! :sick:

Vice Commodore, OCC 
David Tyler
David Tyler
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[quote="DariaBlackwell" post=850]Great stuff. Many thanks. Have to get some of that Selley 's sealant. Sounds amazing.

I just heard about another interesting product: Captain 's Tolley 's Creeping Crack Cure (http://www.captaintolley.com/). Anyone have experience with it?

Tim, I use plain vinegar in the head to de-smell. It 's a bit less damaging than bleach and leaves the whole boat smelling fresh.

Thanks for the vaseline tip. I love a head that 's a joy to pump! :sick:[/quote]

I 've never found Captain Tolley 's to be any more than a very short term fix until I can do a proper job.

I 've left all that stuff about keeping a heads pump working properly behind me, he said smugly. I 've had an Airhead composting toilet for two months now. Way to go. Literally. ;)
David Tyler
David Tyler
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[quote="mina" post=849]In the absence of Selley 's All-Clear Sealant, the way to get Sikaflex to last in the tube is to cover the end tightly in cling film and keep it in the fridge (if you have one).

Tim Barker, S/Y Mina2[/quote]

Hah! now we 're back to duct tape again! A few turns of duct tape around the nozzle of a silicon or Sikaflex tube will keep it good for a month or so...
dcaukill
dcaukill
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Interesting. I was told that WD40 collects salt which crystallises in the area you have lubricted. The crystalline salt causes wear leading to early failure. So I 'never ' use it in anything exposed externally without then washing it off again and then lubricating with a Silicone based lubricant or Turbogel which is a Teflon based lubricant.

In terms of my secret weapons: a solvent that dissolves araldite dissolves most things so cleans tar and other sticky stuff. Acetone for similar purposes but also for drying out wood prior to gluing, sealing. A vacuum packer and a very comprehensive tool kit.
Dick
Dick
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Hi Daria,
WD 40 is a good product, but it should be noted that it leaves a film which will attract dirt (and whatever) after it is used if it is not cleaned off. That may be the reason for the salt collection tha dcaukill mentioned in his/her post. I consider WD 40 as mostly a cleaning agent and form lubricating/releasing sticky connections/locks/gear etc. There is a CRC product (I forget the #) that does all the WD40 does, but does not leave a residue.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
GO

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