Last month, we identified three items that we suggested you tackle first. You inspected your bushings and rudder bearings to prevent your vessel from wandering. You refreshed your PSS Shaft Seal (and possibly replaced your bellows) to keep water out and spruced up your deck (and amped up the safety factor) with KiwiGrip non-skid coating. [If you missed the March newsletter, click here.]
Any good movie inspires a sequel. So let's dive a bit deeper into what's needed to get you cruising safely, smartly, and cost-effectively. Our PYI product specialists will address three more maintenance issues that you may be able to do yourself if you're so inclined. If not, they can easily be added to the to-do list once you get your craft to the boatyard. Click here to our authorized dealers if you need help.
Not only will these small maintenance investments increase component longevity and save you time, hassles, and headaches, they may prevent considerable financial outlays in costly repairs or replacements. In some cases, these simple preventative measures may save an entire season.
Is Your Max-Prop Ready for the Season?
The cheapest insurance you can buy for your boat is changing your anodes and greasing your propeller (both of which are often neglected).
The two essential Max-Prop maintenance items are changing your zinc anodes and greasing your propeller. Both should be done annually, at a minimum, and can be performed with the boat in or out of the water.
Check your anodes regularly for signs of erosion. Many things can affect an anodes life expectancy: when you install new electronic gear, move the vessel to a new slip, or have a new boat berth next to you. Depending on your vessel, marina, or type of water you're in (saltwater being the harshest), you may go through anodes faster than your dock mate or on your previous craft. Even if your anodes look good from a visual inspection, you should still replace them at least once a year to add life to your propeller and ensure strong galvanic and electrolytic protection. It's inexpensive insurance: a $13 to $21 anode may save a propeller and shaft worth thousands of dollars. PYI has all sizes of Max-Prop anodes in stock for immediate shipping.
Action item two: greasing your Max-Prop to ensure all parts are well-lubricated. An annual greasing is recommended and can be performed while the boat is in the water (by a diver, possibly while changing anodes) or out of the water when your boat is on the hard. Our Max-Prop Grease Kit includes everything you need, including Lubriplate 130-AA grease – a calcium-based grease that holds up to a wide range of water temperatures both in fresh and saltwater.
Traction You Can Trust: KiwiGrip
Keep family members and guests safe with an easy-to-apply non-skid coating.
KiwiGrip is loaded with UV stabilizers that help keep your deck looking new and make color matching easy when re-coating. This revolutionary product can be custom-tinted to match most lighter colors using a universal water-based colorant found at most local paint retailers. The top three colors on the Sherwin-Williams color wheel might be an excellent place to start.
Available in five stock colors (white∗, light gray∗, light blue∗ and cream∗, as well as black), our durable KiwiGrip non-skid coating allows you to select the color that best matches your vessel's aesthetics. If you prefer something other than what you see, no worries. KiwiGrip can easily be custom tinted.
*Colors were chosen for the low rate of heat absorption
Don't want to handle that yourself? No worries – our PYI team can take care of the coloring for you. We custom tint in-house (Downing Sands is the top custom color), turnaround time is quick, and we can either send it to you pre-tinted or a white base color so that you can mix it yourself. Most of our customers tend to go with the first option, particularly if they don't have a paint shaker and want it ready to go upon arrival.
NOTE: If you opt to do your own custom tinting, our PYI experts suggest using no more than 2.5 ounces of colorant to 4 liters of KiwiGrip. Not only will that maximize paint adherence, but it will also comply with the manufacturer's warranty.
Are Your Engine Mounts in Tiptop Condition?
Now's the time to check while your boat's out of the water.
Engine mounts may be the last thing people look at – until they snap a mounting bolt or stud or otherwise call attention to themselves. Old engine mounts have a high risk of failing and can potentially create a domino liability for other parts of your drivetrain. So you want to make sure that your installed mounts are in good working condition now, before they get into the water, to prevent any unnecessary and unanticipated damage down the road.
Visually inspect the mounts rubber, which can age over time due to their exposure to the environment. Inspect the mounts' rubber pieces checking for hard, cracked surfaces or any signs of adverse wearing. Over time, the rubber loses its ability to absorb vibration; it may feel very soft, reducing the mount's ability to support the engine, which can cause your engine to shift more. If the mounts' are dried, cracked, and stiff, the mounts will not allow the engine to move freely or absorb many vibrations. Also, check that the mounts' adjusting stud and lag screws holding the mounts in place are in good condition. If you encounter any of the above scenarios, it may be time for new engine mounts.
At PYI, we offer R&D engine mounts for a variety of engine and running gear configurations. Our mounts are shear-loaded to control thrust in almost all directions while isolating engine vibrations from their mounting surface. The R&D engine mounts are designed to go the distance when installed in your recreation, commercial, industrial, and heavy marine engine applications. The entire family of R&D engine mounts are height adjustable for ease of installation and incorporate oil shields to aid in the longevity of the mounts.
We also offer direct replacement engine mounts for the popular Yanmar engines. R&D incorporates a base spacer that lifts and fits the R&D engine mount to the location of the Yanmar height and stud size.
There you have it: three more simple-yet-critical items to check off this month's maintenance to-do list. If you have any questions about our zinc anodes, greasing kit, KiwiGrip non-skid coating, or engine mounts, please don't hesitate to contact us. Our product experts and customer service team are glad to help you via phone or Zoom meeting.
PRO-TIP: Whenever you separate the two coupling halves on your running gear, it's critical to re-align them again. This can be done by first performing a dry alignment, usually taking place on the hard, and again a wet alignment when the vessel has had time to regain its shape in the water. If the shaft is ever removed from the vessel for repair or replacement, it is always good to perform a fit-and-face of the propeller shaft coupling and the propeller shaft. Proper care of alignment will ensure your running gear will run true, helping to minimize vibrations long term.
What to expect in your May Newsletter:
- Is your prop sized and pitched correctly?
- Importance of proper hose clamp use.
- How to feed water and vent a PSS Shaft Seal.