Boating

Selecting a VHF Antenna for Your Boat

A fiberglass VHF antenna, good for boats with structures that can help support their length. Photo courtesy of Shakepeare.

Can you hear me now? Good. You probably already know that a VHF radio—either handheld or fixed unit—is a vital piece of safety equipment every boater … [Read more...]

Inboard Boat Engines Are Not Car Engines

Ilmor's MV10 engine is based on the powerplant of the Dodge Viper, but has been completely reengineered for harsh marine use.

I've talked a lot in this blog about the differences between boats and cars -- how they're built and serviced differently, and how their wiring and other … [Read more...]

Essential Onboard Tools for Boaters

A soft-sided toolbag won't damage gelcoat or woodwork, and side pockets make it easy to grab tools.

If you’ve ever tried to make a repair onboard before—at sea or at the dock—you know it’s sort of like working on the house: you get started only … [Read more...]

Volts, Watts, Amps, and Ohms: 12-Volt Terms for New Boaters

Fuses are rated for a certain maximum amperage flow, above which they will 'blow,' interrupting the circuit. Amp ratings are shown on the fuses above. Circuit breakers work the same way but 'trip' when they're overloaded.

If you’re new to boats, or even if you’ve been around them for a while but have been avoiding the electrical bits, sooner or later you’re going to … [Read more...]

Boat Buying Decision: One Engine or Two?

Twin-engine set-ups are more expensive, but add redundancy and maneuverability.

If you’re like a lot of boaters, you can become afflicted with “two-foot fever,” a malaise that grabs hold of you and makes you think how much happier … [Read more...]

Boat-Towing with Front-Wheel Drive

A front-wheel drive vehicle can get the job done, depending on the numbers, but rear-wheel drive gets a traction assist from the trailer tongue weight. And four-wheel or all-wheel drive will do best of all.

A buddy of mine was nosing around the Auto Trader the other day looking for a used SUV to replace his clapped-out old beater. He has a boat, so he was … [Read more...]

Hull Cores in Used Boats

End-grain balsa has physical properties that make it an excellent core material in boats when it's properly installed. Photo courtesy of AirexBaltekBanova.

For performance applications and some higher-end used boats, the ads often will tout foam or balsa core construction. But what does that mean exactly? You … [Read more...]

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 golakehavasu.com.

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...]


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