Soot Case Page 2

Maintenance Q & A — September 2001
Maintenance Q & A — September 2001
By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Soot Case
Part 2: Cleaning a Teak and Holly Sole, and more

 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Q & A
• Part 2: Q & A continued

 Related Resources
• Maintenance Q & A Index

Do you have any tips for cleaning a teak and holly sole? C.W., via e-mail
Try using a diluted solution of three parts Murphy's Oil Soap to one part water and a fine 3M Scotchbrite pad. This will not only clean the wood but also not damage the surface nor deteriorate any sealant the liquid comes in contact with.

If the initial cleaning does not completely work, you may have to try several applications, including pouring some of the solution on the deck and leaving it there to soak for about 10 minutes before going at it with the pad again. 

What is the problem with using gasoline containing alcohol? T.O., via e-mail
Gasohol, a mixture of 10 percent ethyl alcohol and 90 percent unleaded gasoline, tends to slowly absorb moisture from the air. When the moisture content of the fuel reaches approximately one half of one percent, it combines with the alcohol and separates from the fuel. While not so much of a problem in automobile use, as the tank rarely stays empty for long periods of time, by the nature of most recreational marine applications, the length of time between use allows this separation to take place.

When it does, the water and alcohol mixture settles at the bottom of the tank, where the fuel pickup will carry it into the fuel system. The first signs of trouble will be poor starting and reduced performance, after which the engine will cease to start. At this point you'll have to drain the fuel tank and flush the fuel system with clean gasoline. If this occurs in an engine equipped with a carburetor, you'll need to remove and clean the spark plugs before the engine can safely be started again.

If you insist on operating an engine on this type of fuel or it is the only type available, it is highly advisable not to store such fuel in the tanks for more than a few days and especially not in climates prone to high humidity.

Need help with a maintenance problem? Write to Maintenance Q & A, Power & Motoryacht, 260 Madison Ave., 8th Fl., New York, NY 10016. Fax: (917) 256-2282. e-mail: No phone calls, please.

Previous page > Q & A, Part 1 > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the June 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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