Boat Engines and Systems

Boat Propellers Simplified

Propellers are the most important pieces of the powertrain, but all the details about how and why they work could put you to sleep. In this case, a little less knowledge might be just the right amount. Photo courtesy of Mercury Marine.

I don’t know about you, but propellers have always mystified me. They still do. A lot of my boating buddies would swap one for another and back again, … [Read more...]

Boat Trailer Maintenance Priorities: What to Fix First

When replacing items like brakes or lighting, spend a little extra and get good components. Photo courtesy of West Marine.

Chances are, the used boat you buy will be sitting on a trailer. Odds also are good that any money the previous owner spent to make the boat more appealing … [Read more...]

Boat Handling Basics: Prop Walk

Thr rotation of your boat's propeller can create prop walk and affect your boat handling

Engine-driven boats with a propeller generally suck water into the propeller ("suction screw current") and eject water from the propeller ("discharge screw … [Read more...]

Boating with Weather Apps for Smart Phones

WeatherBug radar overlay

Eight of us are on  board, sailing on Narraganset Bay, RI, when a tremendous thunderclap gets our attention. A wicked looking massive black cloud arcing … [Read more...]

VHF Radio Know-How Can Save Your Life

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Back in the day, a boat with a VHF radio on board had to have an FCC license, and anyone who used the radio was required to use the boat’s call sign … [Read more...]

Adding Trim Tabs

Bennett SLT6 self leveling tab

A buddy of mine bought a boat a while back that couldn’t keep its nose planted no matter how much negative trim he dialed in on his outboard. Hit a wave, … [Read more...]

Water Pump Repair: Cheap is a Mistake

Impeller kit

Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself down in the bilge of  boat, repairing a shredded water pump impeller. Then, a couple of days later, you could … [Read more...]

Marine Outdrive Flushing: The Right Way

Mercury’s 44537T-2 flush kit

The best way to flush your engine is by following the owner's manual, which is probably something that doesn’t come with a used boat, so let’s touch … [Read more...]

Sterndrive Engines: Big Block or Small?

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I might be overthinking this, but let’s just say for the sake of simplicity that the price difference among all three is negligible, the hours are comparable, … [Read more...]

Inboard Engine Alignment

engine alignment

If you have an inboard engine on your boat and have excessive vibration, it may be due to the engine not being properly aligned with the shaft. Worn cutlass … [Read more...]