June 1999 Telltale page 8 - by Tom Winlow and Marcel Laroche.
By now you should all have your boats in the water, rigged and have started the season.
Bonnie and I had our first sail on May 4 this year, the earliest on record for us. From Ron Purvis (Serendipity) comes this bit of information: I was having little to no luck in removing the oxidation from the red water line stripe of my 1985 Mirage 25. Neil, from the Chandlery, suggested that I try a product called "Rolite." This paste can be used on fiberglass, Plexiglas, bronze. and other metals. Rolite is available in a couple of different amounts and the small tube that I have should last a long time, if I only use it on the water line stripe. Ron said he was very happy with the results and although it may be too late for some this year, it may be worth checking out.
Another product that is really excellent is a dry spray lubricant called McLube by Sail Kote, available at the Chandlery. It can be sprayed on sail slides or luffs, on sheave bearings, and other moving bits and pieces and it does not collect dirt like a wet lubricant would. It eases sail hoists and drops and wear and tear on pulleys. Soon the pump out will assume major significance. I find that it works best when fully primed. To do this, open the valve, stick the hose in the water, and turn on the pump until the hose is full of water (it bounces around when full).
Close the valve, turn off the pump and then attach the hose to the boat. This should ensure strong suction from the start. Most tanks empty in less than thirty seconds when done this way.
I strongly recommend not leaving a mast up without pinning the turnbuckles. They can vibrate loose with the wind and if left long enough, the mast falls down.
As the water is already low keep in mind the various hazards we live with on the river, in particular, Paramain shoal that lies just to the South of and in between the two green markers West of the club. This shoal will have 5 or 6 feet of water over it at datum, but there are 3 to 4 foot rocks sitting on it. I cringe every time I see someone carelessly sailing within a few feet of the yellow barrel that normally sits on the center of the shoal. Please stay at least 200 feet away from that barrel.
Harvey told me that some vinegar in water is a good way to clean out the water tank. I have used bleach and scrubbed the inside of the tank with a long handled sponge, then pumped it through all the lines before draining and refilling with fresh. I have even been thinking of installing an inline Britta filter in the line to make sure the water is fit to drink.
Perhaps some of you more experienced cruisers would share your technique for ensuring safe fresh water.