Q & A — March 2002
By Capt. Ken Kreisler
2: Engine-coolant hoses, and more
How often should engine-coolant hoses be replaced, and how do I get a stuck one off its fitting? C.S., via e-mail
Most engine hose manufacturers agree that to be safe you should change these hoses every two years. However, how long they actually last usually depends on how often you use your boat and how well-maintained your cooling system is. In any case, replace any hoses that are cracked, brittle, mildewed, or soft and spongy. The last thing you want is for a hose to fail while offshore, especially if it's in a difficult position to get at.
If the hose won't slide off the fitting, chances are the problem is corrosion. Cut if off about one inch from the end of the fitting, remove the clamp, slit the remaining piece of hose lengthwise, and peel it off. Clean any corrosion or deposits from the fitting by wrapping it with a piece of medium-grit sandpaper and sanding it until the surface is bright. To ease installation, wipe the inside of the new hose with liquid detergent before twisting it onto the fitting.
Always replace the hoses with the same type as those removed. Pleated hoses, for example, may not have the same strength as reinforced molded hoses and may not allow the same amount of coolant flow. Don't forget to also check the condition of all hose clamps, and install new ones--preferably two to a fitting--if they show signs of wear or corrosion.
What tips can you offer for buying paint rollers? J.M., via e-mail
First, buy a quality roller. Bargain rollers will invariably lead to waste and a poor job, as the roller will often begin to fall apart in the middle of the application. Also make sure the roller matches the paint you're using. If you're working with oil-based or epoxy paint, make sure that the rollers are solvent-resistant. This information should be marked on the roller's cover sleeve.
When doing bottom painting or using epoxy primer, use a roller with a 5/16- or 3/8-inch nap. For topside finishes, a 1/8-inch-thick closed-cell yellow foam roller usually works best. And always follow the paint manufacturer's recommendations for mixing and application of the product.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls, please.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.