Question: My boat has stayed tied up to the dock at the same location for 12 years prior to me owning it, and I want to see what I can do to bring some of the shine back to it. What is the fastest and easiest way to bring some shine back?
I have a power buffer with a 7-inch wool pad but I hope there is an easier way. After all this is a 47-foot houseboat. That's a lot of buffing. Submitted by Sam Kovacs, Bluff, Utah
Warren: The best method to bring back the shine is to buff the boat. Unfortunately there isn’t an easy way to get around the work. I personally like the 3M Imperial compound followed up by 3M Finesse-it II. You can also use Poli Glow to put a shine back on dull fiberglass. I am not a fan of Poli Glow personally, but I know a lot of people who love it. My advice is to test it on a small spot before doing your whole boat just to make sure you’re happy with the product.
Question: My houseboat has a plastic black water tank and is a pontoon style. The holding tank is mounted under the main floor deck, but above the lake water. I want to add a tank monitor and am considering the externally mounted type of sensor that uses foil strips to read the tank level. The one I’m looking at is the SCAD 10018 model. Can these sensors be installed in this kind of environment – exposed to weather and where it will get wet at times? Submitted by Kurt Ross, Dunnville, Ky.
Warren: The foil strip on all of the style monitors that I am aware of needs to stay dry. Also, a concern would be keeping the foil strip stuck to the tank in that environment. If it is possible to access the top of the tank, the old style float lever would be about the only thing I can think of that will work in that environment.
Question: If you’re going to cruise in rougher conditions, what would be the ideal hull shape for a houseboat? A “barge” style hull, a pontoon or a catamaran hull? Submitted by Sheldon McGregor, Cassadaga, Fla.
Warren: The barge style hull tends to pound in rough conditions. Some of the manufacturers used a V bow design. These ride much better in rough conditions than the barge bow design. A catamaran will outride both designs up to the point the bridge deck (the area between the two hulls) starts to hit the waves. At this point your best bet is a mono hull with a V design.
If you have a question about houseboating, shoot Warren an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.