Boat Engines and Systems

Upgrading Used-Boat Gauges

New gauges or even gauge faces can freshen up a used boat’s tired looking dash. Refinishing the dash panel and adding color-accented bezels takes it up a level.

One of my favorite ways of refurbishing an older used boat is to reface the gauges and replace the dash panel. It usually requires a couple afternoons … [Read more...]

Picking the Correct Boat Hose

Marine fuel hose. Note the "Type A2" rating on the side of the hose.

If you were to ask a group of boaters which type of marine hardware causes the worst case of sticker shock, most of them would probably think of electronics … [Read more...]

In-The-Water Winter Boat Storage: Yes, You Can

There's nothing wrong with keeping you boat at the dock all winter long, as long as you take the proper precautions. Photo courtesy of BoatUS

Having lived on a 30-foot sailboat and various powerboats year-round in northern climes for 12 years, I'm no stranger to winters afloat. It's been a way … [Read more...]

Propeller Tuning? Really?

Having a stainless steel propeller “tuned” can produce real performance and efficiency gains.

If you’re looking at buying a used boat with a stainless propeller, but you’re a little concerned that it’s dinged up and needs to be replaced, be … [Read more...]

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...]



";}