Date: 19 August 2018. Beckson Plate
Aboard Seaweed I have several
Beckson Plates. Though a good brand, after decades of use in the sun
they do deteriorate. That is when opening the units can become
problematic. The normal solution would be to buy new. Replacement is
not an option for those of us on a budget. Here's how I solved my
Beckson plate issue.
I love my Vise-grips. They are my Go-To tool.
Properly adjusting the span of the vise grip was not
easy. Additionally, the plastic is crumbling.
When I applied pressure to turn the top, damage was done to the
plastic. See above photo.
Side Note about my
pictures: Almost all photos on my website get larger if you click.
Some have to click twice to get full sized versions. I like big
pictures, so there you have it.
The vise grips were damaging my Beckson plate. That's
when I got out a large flat-head screwdriver.
By tapping on the small side I was able to loosen the
It rotated and eventually I could unscrew it all the way.
Finally I have access. This plate covers the fuel
pick-up line of my starboard tank. Periodically I like to look at
stuff. Because of the dang birds [see the
Birds and my friend Dale the Welder
article] I had a hose in my cockpit. I blasted out dirt that was under the Beckson plate cover
with the water hose.
After the clean-up I wanted to
ensure I could open and close the cover easily.
Fortunately I had some petroleum jelly aka Vaseline.
I smoothed a thin (1/8") layer around the perimeter.
The female part that remains screwed to the deck was also coated
with dollops of Vaseline.
A quick swipe around the inside edge allowed the
petroleum jelly to get into the thread crevices.
Finally I took some spray cleaner and
tidied up the area.
You may wonder about the small
spray bottle shown above. It originally was one of those inexpensive
perfumes sold at the discount stores for a buck. I bought it because
I wanted the sprayer.
Often on a boat I find myself
buying some particular item because of the container. If the size
fits where I want it, that's the one I buy.
Lane: I remember years ago Mother
saved for a long time. Eventually she had enough money and bought a
galley locker's worth of Tupperware. She was so happy to have
all these spiffy containers. They would keep our flour and dry
goods fresh for longer.
container Mother bought was round.
The following year Tupperware came out with square containers.
She was so disappointed because of all the wasted space due to
her round containers. Of course replacing them was out of the
question. It was simply too expensive.
Mother still had some round ones decades later when she came off
the boat. The shape still irritated her. Women forget nothing.
comes to boat storage containers don't buy anything
smaller, square or rectangular units. Being able to snuggly
fit items in a locker is a Big Deal for those of us with
This small perfume container
perfect for a spray cleaner. I keep mine at the back of my sink:
Like others, when docked I
tend to spread out. Things are not stored for cruising while I'm
settled in one spot. That said, it is a simple matter to move everything
behind my sink into said sink when getting underway. That takes less than a minute.
ready to go at a moment's notice is the plan I implemented right
from the start. From
decision to moving takes me less than fifteen minutes -- and that's
without any rushing about.
Aboard Seaweed I find cleaning a regular though
brief chore. When I do not have to walk up or down steps to reach
a cleanser I am more likely to do the job immediately. Waiting for
me is never a good idea. A quick spray and wipe is all it takes.
Of course you
might think my Seaweed would be spiffy and shiny all the time. Alas,
that is not true. She's a boat, not a yacht. For me this is a
comfortable way of life. I love my home as is.
Large containers of cleansers are
kept down below by the head. I refill a small sprayer from the big
My galley spray bottle is filled with Spic and Span at
present. It is not spectacularly effective
however I spent a dollar on it and am determined to use it all. Worst
of all I bought a refill too.
Don't do as I did:
Instead of buying one and a
spare, make sure the first one is worth the price.
The higher quality cleaner with bleach, a Clorox brand
knock-off, is a better choice.
Of course with cleansers a boater
I do seem to stain blouses
with regularity. Because mine are inexpensive thrift store
shirts I have a ready supply of work rags. I've taken to
chopping them up when dirty rather than giving the shirts
another washing intact. That is because inevitably I end up
wearing the blouse one last time.
After all, it is clean...
This is a "during" picture. I did finish clearing up
Having that small bottle of spray
cleanser meant that when I finished making the Beckson plate work
again I could clean the dirt surrounding the plate easily.
I discovered that
when something is easy
I do it. Otherwise I tend to procrastinate.
Procrastination is never a good thing on a boat.
Delays, well, that is one thing I wrestle with. When budgets are
tight stuff gets set aside for later. Such is life.
Thank you for reading.
Do you have Beckson plates on your boat?
Have you multiple containers of the same cleanser stored around your boat?
© 2018, 2019
Laundry Bag (and Captiva Island)
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Book of Labels (refried beans recipe)