Boat Engines and Systems

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...]

How to Winterize a Small Outboard

Time to rake leaves and winterize engines. This 8-hp Merc is standing on its skeg in trash barrel full of clean fresh water.

Let’s say you run your small outboard in salt water all summer and don’t flush it as often as you should during the season. (For a lot of us who leave … [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...]

Teleflex Steering: Maintenance

The drag link is to the right, and is attached by a nylon lock nut. After disconnecting that, remove the nut on the left side of the tilt tube to remove the cable from the engine. After cleaning and reassembly, use a fresh nylon lock nut.

In my blog from last week, I described how to replace an old worn out Teleflex steering cable for your outboard boat. This week, let's look at how to maintain … [Read more...]

Oil Changes Without the Mess: Use a Drain Hose

For about 25 dollars, an oil drain hose saves time and headaches, and makes for a better oil change.

I think the third used boat I ever bought came with one of those hoses that attached the drain plug on the oil pan and reached to the transom drain plug … [Read more...]

Teleflex Steering: Cable Replacement

The drag link is to the right and is attached by a nylon lock nut, after disconnecting that, remove the nut on the left side of the tilt tube to remove the cable  from the engine

I didn’t know much about Teleflex steering cables until I bought a 13-foot Boston Whaler with a 40-hp outboard for my teenage son a dozen years ago. … [Read more...]



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