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Date: 19 August 2018. Beckson Plate Fix.


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 is 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 deck plate. That's when I got out a large flat-head screwdriver.

By tapping on the small side I was able to loosen the lid.
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 Pure Petroleum Jelly. I smoothed a thin (1/8") layer around the perimeter.
Affiliate link is for a 100ml container, or approximately 3 1/2 ounces. It is a good size for boaters.

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 is the one I purchase.


Memory 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.

Every 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.


When it comes to boat storage containers do not buy anything round. Seek smaller, square or rectangular units. Being able to snuggly fit items in a locker is a Big Deal for those of us with smaller vessels.



This small perfume container is 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 am 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.

Being 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 is without any frantic 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 is 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 ones.

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.

Do not do as I did: Instead of buying one and a
spare, make sure the first one is worth the price.

To be fair, Spic and Span was a well regarding product. I cannot say it remains at the former strength and potency as I had used previously. Over the years I find this true, or perhaps I remember with a degree of inaccuracy...

The higher quality cleaner with bleach, a Clorox brand knock-off, is a better choice.



Of course with cleansers a boater needs rags.

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, the shirt is clean...



This is a "during" picture. I did finish clearing up the dirt.

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?


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