Zipped Against Being Zapped Page 2

Maintenance Q & A — July 2001, Part 2
Maintenance Q & A — July 2001
By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Zipped Against Being Zapped
Maintenance Q & A continued
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Waterproofing Electrical Connections
• Part 2: Stop Condensation, Checking MSD Motor

 Related Resources
• Maintenance Q&A Index

I've tried several methods to stop condensation from forming beneath the mattresses in both my boat's staterooms, including sprays and absorption devices. While some work for awhile, I find the moisture problem inevitably returns. Do you have any suggestions? O.M., via e-mail

Keeping the air circulating throughout the boat's living quarters is the solution. If you don't have a vent system, look into installing a hatch vent forward and a louver vent in the main entrance door. A small fan can also be used to move the air around. However, a problem arises since the mattress usually lies directly on top of the berth with no ventilation space beneath. Short of buying water-resistant mattresses and regularly turning them, using the remedies you mentioned is about all you can do.

One new product you may want to try is from HyperVent Marine Phone: (619) 224-5626. The company claims its product can prevent condensation from forming beneath mattresses and cushions. Made of spun nylon that is woven into a large, open configuration, HyperVent is placed beneath the mattress, forming a 3/4-inch air space between the mattress and berth. The material is manufactured in rolls 39 inches wide and can be cut to fit. Suggested retail price is $20 per linear foot.

What's the best way to clean a paint sprayer? L.D., via e-mail

Load your sprayer with the appropriate solvent and spray the mixture into a bucket until the solvent is free of paint. After flushing, remove the nozzle and soak it in the solvent for about half an hour to make sure the orifice and nozzle are clear.

The electric motor on my MSD sounds like it's laboring. What should I check? G.J., via e-mail

There are four reasons why this may be happening. First is low voltage to the motor. Check your batteries, terminals, and wire connections for corrosion and bad connections. In addition, make sure the wires to your MSD's motor are of the correct gauge to handle the current flow. This could lead to motor burn-out.

Another possibility is an air pocket in the MSD vent. Your holding tank vent may also be clogged, so check that as well. The third possibility is the discharge line. Checking this will entail going to the through-hull fitting and looking for a clog. If there is one, you will need to remove the discharge hose and free the obstruction. (To prevent recurrences of this, always use toilet paper specifically designed for MSDs.) If all this checks out, it's time to check your owner's manual for the correct troubleshooting procedure.

I use a portable gasoline tank for my tender's outboard engine and have noticed the primer bulb stays firm even when disconnected. What could be wrong? T.O., via e-mail

You probably have a malfunctioning check valve inside the primer bulb. Remove the bulb from the line and examine the valve to see if it has corroded from moisture inside the tank. If you can't access it, play it safe and replace the entire line. Because this type of equipment is frequently abused, periodically examine the line and bulb for cracks, breaks, restriction, and chafing as part of your regular maintenance routine. And make sure the fuel line connections are tight and securely clamped.

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 > Waterproofing Electrical Connections, Proper Diesel Engine Operating Temp., and more > Page 1, 2

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

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