All About Octane: What’s in a Number?

Octane labels

A neighbor of mine — who is a chronic used boat shopper — finally got himself a runabout with a V8 engine. After owning nothing but outboards, four-bangers … [Read more...]

Repairing the Gimbal Housing in an Outdrive

GHR Kit from Tune Up Specialties and Marine

Say you just bought a used boat. It needs work, but you got it for a song, so you can afford to sink some money into it. Good thing, because little did … [Read more...]

Finding Leaks in a Boat

In addition to the U-joint bellows boot, the shift cable boot and the raw-water feed hose also should be replaced about every six years.

Not again... In my last blog entry (Engine Outdrives: Inspect Those Bellows), I told you about "a friend of mine" who discovered a leak in a little … [Read more...]

Removing Vinyl Boat Lettering and Decals

The 3M Stripe Off Wheel does a good job of removing vinyl decals and lettering. The underlying adhesive comes off with lacquer thinner.

A few posts ago, I wrote about how to remove a painted boat name. Vinyl boat names and decals are just as common these days, and removing them requires … [Read more...]

Engine Outdrives: Inspect Those Bellows

An exploded view of a Mercruiser Bravo 2 sterndrive assembly, showing the bellows aft.

A friend of mine — and I swear it wasn’t me, honest — bought a nifty little used runabout not too long ago, and got a pretty good deal on it. Or … [Read more...]

Boat Trailers: Maintain Your Bearings

Kendall SHP is a high-temperature wheel-bearing grease with good resistance to salt water.

When I worked in an auto parts store, every so often a guy who had just bought a used boat would bring in a shop towel filled with pieces of exploded trailer … [Read more...]

How to Remove a Painted Boat Name: Try Easy-Off

For painted-on names, some people use Easy-Off over cleaner as a removal remedy.

True story: A guy brings home a used boat he just bought, and he is just beaming. His wife comes out, says nothing at first, then points to the boat and … [Read more...]

Marine Engine Oil: Avoiding Viscosity Breakdown

Oil in a marine engine, such as this 4.3-liter GM V6, must be changed at regular intervals to avoid viscosity breakdown, fuel dilution, and moisture contamination.

Complete service records for a used boat you are considering purchasing are a good way to judge how well it has been cared for. Changing oil at the proper … [Read more...]

Salt-Neutralizing for Marine Engines: Royal Flush

Volvo-Penta's QL Neutra-Salt Engine-Flushing System

Even before you buy your first boat, you know it’s essential to flush your engines after running in salt water. But even if you flush your engines religiously, … [Read more...]

Compression and Leak Down Testing: Squeeze Play

If you're mechanically inclined, you can use your own compression-testing kit, or you can hire a marine mechanic to go through the process.

If you're looking at a used boat with an older engine, or an engine that you think might not have been well-maintained, it makes sense to run a couple … [Read more...]



";}