Restoring Gelcoat Like the Pros: Elbow Grease Required

A photo of a Makita angle grinder with buffing accesories.

Let’s say that the gelcoat on your boat looks less than stellar—as in chalky like a chalkboard less than stellar. Maybe your blue boat now has a purplish … [Read more...]

Boat Waxes and Polishes for Making Your Gelcoat Shine

boat_polish

If there’s one thing that gets anyone with a boating affliction pumped up, it’s a glossy shine on a fine-looking boat. But if you’ve looked down … [Read more...]

Five Great Fishing Apps That Aren’t Fishing Apps

A full-fledged charting app in the palm of your hand--the Navionics Boating app.

If you’re an angler, it’s certainly no secret that you can find and download literally hundreds of different smartphone and tablet apps that promise … [Read more...]

Shrink Wrap Recycling: Easier Than You Think

A photo of boats covered in shrink wrap.

It may not be the least-expensive way to protect your pride and joy from a long winter’s hibernation, but having your boat shrink wrapped during layup … [Read more...]

Five Great Boating Apps to Start Your Season

A screen shot o fthe Marine Traffic and Wind app.

I was having a backyard patio fire last night with my neighbors and we started talking about the ways that boating is different today versus 20 years ago. … [Read more...]

Spring Outboard Commissioning

A photo of an outboard engine with its cover off.

Getting your outboard ready for spring launch is often sort of a good news/bad news affair for boat owners. The good news is that if you properly winterized … [Read more...]

Exterior Marine Wood Finishes: Part Two — Oils, Sealers, Hybrids

A couple of coats of Amazon teak oil makes this teak deck shine, but without making the surface smooth and slippery like varnish or Cetol would. Photo courtesy of Teak Decking Systems.

It's a sign of spring: Boaters have been walking out of the marine supply shop where I fill in part-time with fistfuls of brushes, thinners, and wood finishes … [Read more...]

Exterior Marine Wood Finishes: Part One, Traditional Varnishes

Varnish looks great and does a great job protecting wood, but getting it right requires a deft touch and some clever tricks. Photo by Gary Reich.

In recent years, real wood on new boats has definitely gone out of style. Unless you’re looking at a polished Chris-Craft launch, a 64-foot Jarrett Bay … [Read more...]

AIS for Boaters: Part 2

These two VHF radios are integrated with AIS capabilities. Once networked with a GPS, the VHF units can be used to send and receive AIS information. Note the ship icons on the display. Photo courtesy of Standard Horizon.

In the first part of our discussion about the Automatic Information System (AIS), we covered the nuts and bolts about how the system works, why its use … [Read more...]

AIS for Boaters: Part 1

This AIS transceiver not only broadcasts information about the vessel it’s installed on, but receives information about other AIS-equipped vessels as well. Note the various targets on the display, represented as circles with direction marks. Image courtesy of Furuno.

“When was the most scared you’ve ever been aboard a boat?” I get asked that question a lot, and every single time I remember a cold November evening … [Read more...]



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