Five Great Destinations for Trailer Boats: Orlando Area

A canal in the Winter Park chain of lakes. Photo courtesy of Winter Park.

Central Florida is home to some of the most famous attractions and theme parks in the world, and it’s rightly known for those places -- but one thing … [Read more...]

Boat Towing: How Much Truck is Enough?

A truck with a 12,500-lb. towing capacity could be considered overkill for an 8,000-lb. boat -- but you also have to consider your local launch-ramp conditions, your towing terrain and distances, and your driving habits and mileage needs.

I’ve written about tow-vehicle power before, but it’s time to revisit the topic. Say you just purchased a used boat, but the truck you have just … [Read more...]

Four Great Destinations for Trailer Boats: Los Angeles Area

There are plenty of launching ramps on the shores of Lake Havasu. Photo courtesy of

Let me start this travel piece with a word of caution. California and the West are in the midst of a serious drought. I cannot be held responsible if you … [Read more...]

Outboard Engines: The 8- to 15-hp Sweet Spot

This 15-horse Suzuki outboard is a great powerplant for this youngster’s 14-foot crabbing skiff. Photo by Lenny Rudow

A Ted Williams 9.9-horsepower, two-stroke outboard was the engine that many of my childhood memories are wrapped around. Whether it was crabbing the Chesapeake … [Read more...]

Winter Layup Tips for Your Boat

Winterizing engines and fuel systems is a top priority, especially with the ethanol demons ready to wreak havoc during the cold season.

In many parts of the country, this is transition season, time to haul and winterize your boat.  Fall haul-out nearly matches the urgency level of spring … [Read more...]

International Coastal Cleanup — See You Out There!

Mylar balloons travel far and wide over the world's waters. They don't give up easily, but you can gaff 'em and boat 'em if you're quick.

Not that we shouldn’t be picking up butts and bags and balloons all year long from the waters we like to boat and swim in, but September 19th is the … [Read more...]

Five Simple Habits That Make Your Boat Engine Last Longer

It's tempting to hit the throttle early, but resist the urge and let your engine warm up to operating temperature first. Enjoy the view for a while at a nice, slow idle.

Everybody is looking for ways to make things last longer, whether it’s our cars, appliances, baseball games, or yes, our boats. What if I told you there … [Read more...]

Five Reasons to Consider an Extended Warranty on a Used Boat

Weigh your own skills, time, and money against the complexity of systems on the boat. The more complex they are, the more an extended warranty might make sense.

If you're considering a used boat that's new enough to qualify for an extended warranty, it might be worth considering the extra expense. Here are five … [Read more...]

Yamaha VMAX SHO 115 vs. Evinrude E-TEC 115

Ranger’s RT188 aluminum bass boat, equipped with the new Yamaha four-stroke VMAX SHO 115 outboard. All photos by Gary Reich.

Anyone who has been in powerboating for at least 20 years likely has some experience with two-stroke outboard engines. You probably know about the great … [Read more...]

Trailering Your Boat: Seven Items to Check Every Time

New truck, new trailer, new boat. The trailer may be the least sexy part of that trio, but it still needs to be monitored just as carefully.

Yes, I know, a headline like that can come across as a pedantic wet blanket. You could read it that way -- I get that, but here’s the way it was intended: … [Read more...]