Boat Engines and Systems

High-Tech Towboat Electronics

Digital touch-screen controls, such as Malibu’s Touch Command system, have been available for several years, and are now finding their way into the used market. Photo courtesy Malibu Boats.

Over the last several years, a quiet revolution has been taking place on the dashboards of premium towboats, industry-wide. Virtually all of them, it seems, … [Read more...]

Replumbing Your Used Boat Engine

High-performance engines such as this HP1200SCi from Mercury Racing, have used stainless-steel braided hose and AN fittings for years. They’re strong, reliable, and now they cost less than they used to. Photo Courtesy of Mercury Racing.

You never know what you’ll find when you open the engine hatch on a used boat. One thing you can count on finding is the need to replace a few items. … [Read more...]

Dripless Shaft Seal Installation

The PSS dripless shaft seal from PYI works by mechanically compressing a carbon to "float" against the shaft

Tired of leaky shaft seals filling the bilge with water or having to replace the packing? The solution is to replace the old stuffing box with a new dripless … [Read more...]

How Long Will a Fogged Outboard Last in Storage?

Spraying fogging oil into the engine's carb and cylinders prevents corrosion -- but for how long?

This is the time of year that people start thinking about pulling their boats and winterizing them. Part of that routine is the so-called fogging of outboard … [Read more...]

Boat Transmissions: Shifty Issues

This PCM transmission is designed for ski and wakeboard boats.

Ski boats, some cruisers, and high-performance boats that don’t have shiftable stern drives use transmissions instead, and that particular piece of the … [Read more...]

Boat Buyers: Beware of Auto Parts

Any original or replacement alternator for a marine engine is required to have ignition protection.

As I mentioned a while ago in this blog, I used to be an auto parts parts guy. I worked in a parts store and a GM dealership, and I can’t even remember … [Read more...]

Heating Systems for Boats

Diminick Marine manufactures a wide range of boat heating stoves, including this propane fired Newport model for bulkhead mounting.

Many thoughts came together to lead me to write this story about heating systems on boats. The first was my usual annual fall chore of stacking five cord … [Read more...]

Nautical Sound Signals: The Prolonged Blast

Horns can be mouth-powered, hand-held, or fixed-mount, like this one, which has a DC-powered compressor to produce a 126 dB blast.

It’s a clear, sunny day, and you hear a 4- to 6-second blast of a ship’s whistle or horn. What should you do? Please, look for the source! This signal … [Read more...]

Stuffing Box Maintenance

You can use a 3M kitchen pad (not metal) to help scour out the hreads of the packing nut. Doug Logan photo.

It happens every spring: Right after launching their inboard-engine-powered boats, owners are left wondering why they didn’t repack the engine shaft … [Read more...]

Ethanol’s Worst Enemy

Volvo-Penta's new treatment should be a potent ally in the war against water in marine fuel.

Alcohol has the power to ruin lives if you let it. It also has the power to wreak havoc on a boat’s fuel system. If you need a bit of background, … [Read more...]


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