Read enough boating articles, and you’ll come across a lot of wacky, weird, and surprising tips.
Some may do more harm than good, some are just plain wrong, and some… well, let’s just say they’re rather bizarre. Which are the weirdest ever? These tips—all of which contain some valuable knowledge—certainly take the cake.
1. Carry pantyhose in your tool kit. Yeah, it sounds weird, but this is actually a really good tip. Pantyhose can be used as an emergency belt for your engine, emergency rope, an emergency bandage, and as an emergency filter. Besides, you never know when a leggy blond will be aboard, and need an extra pair.
2. Buy some Bissel carpet cleaner. Hmmm… sounds a bit odd for a boater, sure, but in fact this is the one substance known to mankind which will take sun-baked chum stains out of virtually any surface or fabric.
3. Keep potatoes close at hand. Yes, potatoes. But these spuds won’t be used for making fries. Instead, it’s good to keep ‘em around because they make great shape-shifting plugs which can be jammed into holes, or busted seacocks.
4. Pee on yourself. Eeew, yick! But don’t get disgusted just yet—this old trick works wonders when you get stung by a jellyfish. Pee has lots of ammonia, which will help take away the pain. If, that is, you can stand the stink.
5. Don’t use Windex on the windshield. It’s actually OK if your boat has a glass windshield, but most don’t. Lexan or similar plastics make up the bulk of the windshields used on boats, and if you put Windex (or similar ammonia-based cleaners) on them, they grow cloudy with age. Just for the record, don’t pee on them, either.
AND THE WINNER IS: Stick a screwdriver in your ear. Yeah, that sounds like bad advice, but if you place the handle-end of a screwdriver in your ear and hold the head of the driver against your engine, it can be used more or less as a stethoscope. Remember high-school physics? Sound travels through solids better than through the air, so you’ll hear engine taps or misses far more clearly than you otherwise would.