Boat Trailer Brakes: Surge vs. Electric-over-Hydraulic

A typical surge-brake actuator. Photo courtesy of Atwood.

There are plenty of advantages to owning a trailerable boat as opposed to one that you keep in a slip or on a mooring. If you're shopping for such a boat, … [Read more...]

Prop Primer: A Short Course in Propeller Terminology

Driven by an inboard diesel, is a left-handed 16x16 propeller. The numbers mean that both its diameter and pitch are 16 inches.

If you’re new to boating, or you're considering buying a boat that's unfamiliar to you, you’ll need to devote some attention to the matter of propellers … [Read more...]

Boat Trailer Chains: The Art of Hooking Up

Even if your state doesn't require safety chains with closeout clasps, such as those pictured above, they are a good idea because they are less likely to fall off as you travel over over bumpy roads.

If you're thinking of buying a trailerable boat, remember that there are two types of people at the launch ramp – those who are prepared and those who … [Read more...]

Propeller Choice: A Lesson in the Basics

Going from a three blade propeller to a four blade might require dropping down an inch in pitch, and vice versa.

The speed bug bites everyone, and it will bite you. Your boat does 48 mph and you want it to top 50 mph, if for no other reason than to be able to brag … [Read more...]

High-Altitude Boating: Where Did the Power Go?

Grand Lake in Colorado is at an elevation of over 8,000 feet. Boaters there can expect a 24-percent decrease in engine power compared to performance at sea level, because of the reduced oxygen at that altitude..

All but two of highest lakes in the United States are in Colorado. The highest, for information’s sake, is Lake Muriel in Washington, but it’s more … [Read more...]

Boat Wiring Is Not Car Wiring. Honest.

Boatowners who want to do some of their own wiring should at least have a basic kit with high-grade marine connectors, like the ones sold by Ancor.

Believe it or not, the electrical system in your boat faces a foe more sinister than the ravages of time or the harshness of the marine environment. Your … [Read more...]

Used Boat Shopping: Caveat Emptor

If you’re not at the point where you can shop for a new boat, doing your homework can help you find the best of what’s on the used market. Photo courtesy Miami International Boat Show.

Having spent time at the Miami Boat Show this year, I still feel a bit dizzied from the shimmer of polished stainless and the intoxicating smell of fresh … [Read more...]

Anodes for Outboards and Outdrives

Mercury sells replacement kits, which include all mounting hardware, for about $75. Just specify which drive or outboard you have to get the right parts.

Scientists discovered a couple of centuries ago that when you fasten two metals together in seawater, electrons will flow from the more active metal, the … [Read more...]

The Latest in Spark Plug Technology

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When I was a kid, I remember my dad cleaning and gapping spark plugs to get a few more hours out of them. Frugality was his answer to a lot of problems, … [Read more...]

Gelcoat Maintenance: Shiny Side Up

Proper gelcoat care can keep the finish from become chalky and oxidized. And it’s a lot less work to maintain a finish than it is to try to bring it back.

When it comes to caring for the finish on your boat, there are essentially five steps to the process and two approaches. The steps are, in order: Wash Clean Polish Protect Maintain The … [Read more...]



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