How often have you – or your boatmate – spent hours trying to get something apart? Say, a hose clamp, unscrewing a water pump, trying to remove the deck fill plug, removing a shackle on the genoa . . . the list goes on and on, with some items being “galley stuff” and admittedly, far more in other areas of the boat. How many gallons of Liquid Wrench or PB Blaster have you used?
Nope, I’m not going to tell you a secret way to get stuff apart. I’m going to tell you how to avoid the problem in the first place. Okay, it might be a little off-topic for The Boat Galley . . . but hose clamps, water pumps and such are a part of your galley, aren’t they? And so, I’m declaring it a fit topic for The Boat Galley. Besides, it’ll make your life easier.
Over the years, Dave and I have learned that few cruisers know about one of our favorite products: Anti-Seize (actually, we’ve always called it “Never Seize”). Actually, I’d never heard of it (and my dad owned a hardware store) until I saw it in Dave’s toolbox.
It’s marketed as a lubricant for spark plugs and you most often will find it in an auto parts store, or sometimes in a hardware. I’ve never seen it in a chandlery. The good news is that it’s cheap (under $5) and a small tube will last a long time. Just coat the threads of one half of what you’re screwing together before you put two metal pieces together, and wipe the excess off (it’s one of those things where your hands WILL get dirty putting it on). It’s fine for engines, safe up to 1,600° F.
If you’re buying a bunch of other stuff at Amazon and need just a little more to qualify for free shipping, this is a great item to toss in – otherwise, get it at your local auto parts store. I’m including the link here, in case you want to see a bit more about it:
- Anti-Seize tube on Amazon (it also comes in a larger container, which you’re unlikely to need unless you’re doing a total refit!)
Once opened, keep the tube in a heavy-duty (freezer) plastic bag – we’ve discovered that if it sits in the tool box on a boat, other stuff hits it and will possibly puncture the tube or at least “squish” it. If it’s in a bag, it’s less likely to puncture and if it does, the mess is contained and you can still use the Anti-Seize.
We (okay, mostly Dave) used it on a ton of stuff all over the boat, including:
- hose clamps
- shackles – really important for being able to quickly get sails off in case of a hurricane warning (but be sure to mouse with seizing wire so they don’t come unscrewed)
- deck fills (see Jan’s story of trying to get theirs open after years of cruising and not using it)
- engine and outboard
- pumps (keep it out of the pump itself, though)
- mast/boom hardware (very important if stainless screws are going into an aluminum mast or boom)
- anywhere that we used locknuts (without locknuts, sometimes you have to choose between using Anti-Seize and Loctite)
By the way, if you live ashore part time, it’s also great for lots of land projects, too – anywhere that two metal pieces come together.