3 Mistakes That Could Kill Your Boat

Have you ever made a mistake that killed your boat? I know I have… more then once. Hopefully, reading this will help you avoid making any of these three boat-busters: don’t do this!!! 1.The Fishing Line Blunder – If you fish from an outboard or stern-drive boat, sooner or later you’ll wrap a line around the [...]

25th March 2010.
By Lenny Rudow

Have you ever made a mistake that killed your boat? I know I have… more then once. Hopefully, reading this will help you avoid making any of these three boat-busters: don’t do this!!!

1.The Fishing Line Blunder – If you fish from an outboard or stern-drive boat, sooner or later you’ll wrap a line around the prop. No big deal, right? Well, it can be if you let the prop do all the chopping, because the fishing line will often cut its way into the prop seal. Net result? Lower unit oil to seeps out. Soon you’ll hear the dreaded sound of metal on metal and you’ll be down for major repairs. When fishing line wraps occur, tilt up the drive and remove the fishing line by hand ASAP.

2. Anchoring Astern – This involves simple, basic seamanship: keep the pointy end of your boat into the waves. It can be tempting to anchor from the stern, particularly when angling. You’re drifting through a cut, happen upon a great spot, and want to hold the boat there for a while. So you toss an anchor out the back. Even if the seas are dead-calm, this is a mistake. A large boat could run by and next thing you know, the cockpit’s knee-deep in water.

3. Goop Gaffes – You probably know to seal holes in the transom or hull with a super-goop adhesive/sealant, like 3M 5200 (my favorite). But, do you apply it and forget it, or do you make sure it cures properly? This stuff takes a solid week to cure 100-percent, and you need to make sure it stays dry the entire time. Put on 5200 the day before a rain shower, and it’ll never cure properly. Down the road this can lead to severe water-intrusion issues. I know of one person who made this mistake when installing a through-hull, and as a result, his boat sunk in its slip – ouch!


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Lenny Rudow

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Lenny Rudow is Senior Editor for Dominion Marine Media, including Boats.com and Yachtworld.com. With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, he has contributed to publications including Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design who has won 28 BWI and OWAA writing awards.
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