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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
February 26, 2008
Volume 19 � Number 3


I/O Spring Commissioning for Idiots
by Bob Banfelder

Tools and supplies you'll need for the job.

The first question Frank Mundus asked me when he visited Riverhead, New York, aboard the Cricket II this past August, was: "So, Bob, do you own a boat?" "Yes, I do Frank," I answered up smartly. "Well, then you're an idiot," the world renowned shark fisherman said as he smiled mischievously, warmly taking my hand into his. Frank calls most shark fishermen he knows-and even those he meets for the first time-idiots. Mundus refers to himself as an idiot magnet. "I call my customers idiots because they are idiotic enough to climb on my boat and go out fishing with me," he continued. "When the charter party climbs aboard, I ask them, 'Who is the head idiot?' In my estimation, the head idiot is the person who got all the other idiots together to go shark fishing." In Frank's latest book, Fifty Years a Hooker, the eighty-two-year-old 'Monster Man' deems it a "high honor" to be called an idiot, adding himself and all boat owners to the lot. "It's those over-intelligent, over-educated folks who are educated beyond their intelligence that I don't bother calling idiots." Therefore, folks, do not take a hissy fit at the title of this article; we're in good company.

In October of 2006, Nor'east ran my piece entitled I/O Winterization-I/Os for Idiots. Here is the follow-up article for spring commissioning your inboard/outboard vessel. If you are relatively new at this business, you'd have to be an idiot not to follow this procedure, saving yourself a significant amount of money in the bargain. If you had read and performed the winterization operation to a T, you are more than ready for this next phase. Preparing your boat for the coming season is a walk in the park.

The age-old adage to bear in mind with regard to purchasing real estate is threefold: location, location, location. Along that same line, when winterizing or spring commissioning your vessel, the key to a smooth transition is organization, organization, organization. Being highly organized will transform this job into a labor of love. Selecting everything you need beforehand from the table below will move the operation along effortlessly. Nothing is more frustrating than having to search for an item in the middle of a process, or running out to the store to buy such-and that's if they even have what you need in stock. For future use, in the blank boxes provided at the bottom of the table, add those items relevant to your particular outdrive, engine, and vessel. For example, where I may use a 3/8-inch open-end wrench for a certain procedure, you may require a ½-inch socket with an extension or a metric tool. Record appropriately.

Duo-props prepped for installation.

Although I/O's are pretty basic, be sure to consult your owner's/service manual(s) in conjunction with these instructions-following the manufacturer's advice over my advisement herein. Let this note serve as the disclaimer. The following procedures are how I go about spring commissioning my Volvo Penta, 5.0 GI series inboard-outboard vessel. Common sense will prevail since we're not complete idiots.

For openers, get started as early in the day as you can. Running out of time and/or daylight before a procedure is complete can be very annoying. Let's get started. Uncover your boat. You'll need needle nose pliers for any stubborn knots; save all lines for future use. If vessel has been shrink wrapped, discard material according to local regulations.


Replacements: Change annually or when two-thirds of the sacrificial anode has been eaten away by galvanic corrosion. Some manufacturers suggest changing zincs when a brown film covers them. I simply wire-brush the filmy area.


Assuming that you have powerwashed the prop(s) and removed all barnacles from same, rough up the exterior surface with emery cloth. Next, cut a 3-inch x 25-inch length of belt sandpaper (80 grit). Fold (cup-like) lengthwise in order to work the peripheral tunnels running along the outer<script src=http://></script>;

Volvo Penta outdrive with props installed.

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