Boat Engines and Systems

Shore Power Basics: Get Plugged In

A shore power adapter. Photo courtesy of Cablemaster

Electricity–it might make you think of Benjamin Franklin flying a kite with a metal key attached during a lightning storm, but to boaters it means using … [Read more...]

Four Tips for Avoiding Marine Head Woes

A marine head can be your best friend or worst enemy. It all depends on how well you care for and maintain it.

We've recently talked about the various types of marine toilet that are available, and about the holding tank systems they discharge into. Now it's time … [Read more...]

Where are the Runabout Diesels? Come On! 

This MerCruiser V6 is based on the proven Volkswagen TDI diesel.

OK, it's time for my annual appeal to the boatbuilding industry: Where are the diesel runabouts? Hello? How can I buy a used one in a couple of years if … [Read more...]

Dealing With Waste Aboard: Holding Tank 101

A marine holding tank.

Back in the bad old days, having a marine head aboard was a relatively trouble-free proposition—you simply pumped the head and flushed the waste overboard. … [Read more...]

Marine Heads: Portable and Pump-Through

A manual marine head. Note the hand pump on the right side of the bowl.

Figuring out what to do when nature calls on the water has been a problem since man started messing about in boats. At some point, we even decided to become … [Read more...]

Submersible Bilge Pumps: Installing One Like the Pros

A bilge pump/float switch combo.

If you’ve ever taken a close look at your bilge, you’d likely admit that it’s probably the nastiest place on your boat, even if you do your best … [Read more...]

Bilge Pumps: Selecting One With the Right Stuff

A Rule submersible bilge pump. These submersible pumps are designed to be mounted where the action happens: right down in the bilge.

Whether we like it or not, boats leak. Yep, that’s right; even the finest, hand-built megayachts get water in their bilges for one reason or another. … [Read more...]

Diesel Engine Maintenance: The Exhausted Exhaust

This clogged exhaust elbow led to severe breathing problems for the Yanmar 2GM.

  Internal combustion engines act like air pumps: They breath air in, mix the air with fuel, make a fire, then exhaust out the smoke. Diesel … [Read more...]

Add a Sea Strainer to Ward Off Debris

A sea strainer with a see-through lid makes it easy to check for debris clogging.

One of the first things I do on a used boat is change all the fluids. The second thing I do is add a sea strainer. Here’s why. A sea strainer filters … [Read more...]

Bravo One or Alpha One: Which Would You Pick?

Bravo One drives were built to handle more power than an Alpha One. When used for lower horsepower applications, they are practically bulletproof.

Let’s say you’re looking at two boats that are identical except for two items. They both have V8s with roughly the same hours. One is more expensive … [Read more...]



";}