26 Tips and Tricks for Nordic Tuggers

  • Engine Life: Pistons, valves, turbo, heat exchanger and exhaust manifolds will be much happier if engine (even electronic) are run at 80% load at least 15 minutes everyday. I suggest 100% throttle run for 5 minutes near end of day. Your engine should always be able to reach maximum RPM’s and 30-50 with boat fully loaded.

  • Raw Water Impellers: Change the GENSET every year. Main Engine every other year or at about 500 hours maximum. They will likely last a lot longer than that but it is so much easier to change it before you have to chase down the pieces that travel through the cooling system when the blades let go.

  • Water Tank: Keep water tanks 100% full and add 1/2oz. bleach/100 gals. Water. Tanks will stay fresh and not smell like rotten eggs.

  • Genset proper use: It is very important to have a load on your genset every time you run her. That means turn on everything electrical when you are running her, even though you might just want to charge your batteries. The genset will clog up and have a very very short life if just used to charge batteries.

  • 3M Sharpshooter: Extra strength, no rinse mark remover. It Really works. Safe for almost all surfaces.

  • Is a great web site for advise for both small and large projects. Both simple and technical items.

  • Magnet: Always take a small magnet with you when purchasing hardware for your boat to insure that you are really purchasing good quality SS screws or fittings. You should always try to purchase 316 SS, it is non magnetic! If the magnet attaches, do not buy.

  • Whink: Available in hardware stores, it’s a fantastic product for removing rust stains on fiberglass or almost any surface. Just put a few drops on rust and it removes it in seconds.

  • White Vinegar: Spray 100% on spiders under all overhangs outside of boat. Spray 50% in showers when done, will keep shower fresh and mildew from forming. Great for deordoring & kills mold & mildew. Also will get rid of all odors if keep in plastic or glass bowls overnight. Vinegar is the most used cleaning product on all my Nordic Tugs. If you have a very very bad mold & mildew situation you can use Tilex to clean it up. But use caution.

  • Vents: Your black water & fuel vent is easily clogged by spiders, and all types of bugs and toilet paper. You must clean the outside of every vent line with a small brush at least every Spring. Your black water vent is very important, it may also be cleaned with pressure water from the outside, or also use an air horn. Tank watch – remove sending unit regularly and clean well. Make certain that monitor cycles thru empty, low, mid and full ranges.

  • Portable Air Horn: These are great for clearing clogged strainers without diving overboard, just place the horn on clogged hose inside your boat and blow for 2 seconds. Also great for clearing clogged vent lines and holding tank pump out line. Horn may also be placed over strainers to blow back & clear grass and even jellyfish from lines or underwater strainers.

  • Corrugated Boxes: Remove all cardboard/corrugated boxes from your boat. They are a great breeding ground for bugs. Cockroaches love the glue that it used to make all boxes.

  • Digital Camera for Disassembly: When you disassemble some component of your boat, it is easy to lose track of the sequence of the parts. Take digital photos as the disassembly progresses. Lay the parts out on a paper towel in order and take a photo. Even if the parts get out of order or you forget the sequence, you can always review the photo in the camera display for guidance. A cell phone camera will also work.

  • Sticky Sliding Windows: The windows on our tugs get to the point where it is a bear to make them slide. Spray the upper and lower tracks with silicone. Force the window open and spray the rest of the upper and lower tracks. Slide the windows back and forth a few times and marvel at how much easier they slide. Periodically spray the tracks before the windows get to be too tough to open. This works especially well with the black Western Metals windows.

  • DAP: Sometimes you just need to carry a large conch shell or some other object like that on your boat. Left to its own devices, it will surely fly all over the boat creating mayhem. Get DAP, also known as museum putty, at your local hardware store. Put a wad on the bottom and press item onto the flat surface where you want it. Chances are it will stay put. Experiment and watch it at the beginning until you are confident that it will stay put.

  • Rain-X: I am amazed how many people don’t know of the miracle called Rain-X. It is a liquid silicone, that when wiped on the windshield, allowed to dry and hand buffed will cause any spray and rain to bead up and run off the glass. With Rain-X you will hardly ever run your wipers no matter how heavy the rain or spray. It is available in a yellow bottle at auto parts stores and once applied lasts a number of months.

  • Squeegees: Squeegee the shower after use and there will be a lot less moisture in the head. Squeegee the mirror and you can see to shave or whatever. Squeegee the pilothouse windows when they fog up. Using a squeegee does a better job with less smearing than using a towel or other cloth. It is also faster.

  • Head Instructions: Your non boater guests will not remember how to operate the head. Write up a set of directions on your computer and print them out. Put them in a clear plastic page protector and tape it near the head using green masking tape. On ours, we tell them that if they put anything in the head that hasn’t been chewed other than modest amounts of toilet paper, they get to help us dismantle and unclog the head. We also suggest that gentlemen have a seat when underway.

  • Close Valves On Sight Gauges: If your Nordic Tug has sight gauges on the water tank and the fuel tanks it is easy to read the tank levels. The draw back is that we use the tank rooms for storage and a stored item could get lose and crash into the sight gauge breaking it. You could drop a full tank of diesel fuel into your bilge which would be a real bad day. Close the valves at the top and bottom of the sight gauges except when reading them. That way if the tube breaks a very limited amount of fluid is spilled.

  • Extra Water Through Vacu-Flush: Lots of us have Vacu-Flush heads and other units that are sold as requiring less water than normal heads. This advise also apply’s to most newer electric heads. Believe that if you want to but read the owners manual to learn how to disassemble the unit. Your head and your nose will be a lot happier if you flush a good bit of water through it. At the end of each weekend or every few days, fill the bowl to the brim with water and let it all flush through. This will insure that gunk does not build up and make the inevitable head disassembly much less frequent.

  • Checking machinery Temperatures: An Infrared Thermometer available from Sears and other tool retailers for under $100 is very useful for checking temperature of alternators, various engine parts, batteries, turbochargers and other engine room components. Make sure it reads to several hundred degrees. If you do this periodically in the same places and under the same operating conditions, you will get a sense of what is normal. Put a dot on the equipment with a paint pen or other marker and measure with the IR thermometer next to the dot. Keep a log of the temperatures. The IR thermometer quickly reads the temperature without touching the equipment. If, at some point, the temperature begins to creep up without some explanation such as a very hot day, you likely have just identified an incipient problem and you will have identified it long before it is a real problem. This method is used in power plants and manufacturing facilities to identify problems at an early stage.

  • Safety Briefing: Before you leave the dock with guests, especially those new to the boat and non boaters, give a brief safety briefing. Include the location on the PFDs, the first aid kit and emphasize that under no circumstances are they to fend off during docking as the boat is easier to repair than they are. Tell them where they can and cannot go while underway. For example, on our boat people cannot go on the sun deck without alerting the helmsperson so that the radar can be put on standby. It also helps to give a brief introduction to the head including the limits on what can be put in it.

  • Maintaining Your Teak: Keeping the teak aboard your Tug looking nice is not a hard task. Twice a year oil all the teak with Formby’s Lemon Oil which can be purchased at your hardware store. If the interior steps get worn or the pilothouse steps or teak door frames get spotted from rain or spray, give them a light sanding and apply several coats of Daly’s Sea Fin Teak Oil rubbing each coat with a clean rag after about 10 minutes. Your boat will stay beautiful. Clean dirty teak with denatured Alcohol first.

  • Solar: Add solar panels to pilothouse roof. Keeps all batteries taped off. Cuts generator time. See Paul for pricing. Many of our owners have added 2 panels and are very pleased with the ability of keeping their boats on a mooring with the refrigerator and freezer on 24hrs.

  • Fuel Filters: Inspect and drain Racor Fuel Filters before leaving the dock every trip. Use a 10 micron filter on electronic engine boats, not a 2 micron. Install a Racor pressure Gauge at the helm. It will give you a good warning as Racor start to get dirty as the pressure increases. It”s inexpensive insurance.

  • Tanks: Add a pint of hydrogen peroxide to the gray water tank through the shower drain and flush it out to kill germs and odors. Open the inspection port and close the ….switch. This will kill mildew and spors. Flush out the holding tank with water. Open the tank inspection port, clean the senders and add deodorant.

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