Boat Engines and Systems

Engine Cleanliness: Use High-Quality Detergent Motor Oil

Using low-grade engine oil and delaying oil changes leads to sludge, and sludge can be a deal-breaker when it's time to sell your boat.

I once went to check out a used boat with a buddy of mine. He had owned boats before so, he was pretty comfortable looking over the boat himself, but he … [Read more...]

Winterizing Your Boat: Tip Collection

Snow on the dock and anti-ice bubblers at work. In-water storage can work in protected marinas, but engines and all water systems still have to be winterized.

If you live in one of those nice, warm places where you can take your boat out for a spin year-round…  well, congratulations. You can stop reading. … [Read more...]

The New MerCruiser 4.5-liter V6: Worth the Wait

MerCruiser-250-4.5-350px

For the longest time, Mercury has been taking automotive engines and “marinizing” them for use in inboard and stern-drive applications. They were and … [Read more...]

Propane Safety for Boats

Propane tanks should be installed in a proper locker, not somewhere inside the boat. Note the pressure gauge, regulator, and solenoid.

Relatively speaking, propane is a fairly new fuel aboard boats. As recently as the 1970s, the majority of recreational boats relied on denatured alcohol, … [Read more...]

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...]



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