Used Boat Part Sources: Gas Struts

Gas struts, aka gas lifts or gas springs, help raise everything from bait-well covers to heavy engine hatches.

Among the parts that buyers and owners of used boats will probably have to replace at at some point are the nitrogen-filled gas struts (aka gas springs, … [Read more...]

Boat Transport: Shipping by Truck

This powerboat is shink-wrapped, strapped down on the trailer, and ready to roll to a new home in the sunnier south. Photo credit: Dave Pugsley

There was a time when I never would have bought anything I had to drive more than five hours to go and get, but the Internet has changed all that. I once … [Read more...]

Used Boat Part Sources: Port Gaskets

Opening ports, like these models form Vetus, have gaskets that require replacing every now and then.

So you’ve recently acquired a new-to-you, previously loved boat. Well, good for you. If you’re extraordinarily lucky, there’s little to be done except … [Read more...]

Used Boat Detective Work: Diagnostic Tools

The Rinda TechMate diagnostic tool is pricy, but scans a lot of engine functions.

If you look at a lot of used boats or like to do you your own maintenance, it’s best to have a good selection of tools on hand. (I've mentioned compression … [Read more...]

What’s Inside That Center-Console? Five Surprises

The Chris-Craft Catalina 34 has impressive amenities below the console -- and lots of light. Note the horizontal window over the sunpad.

Time was when center-console boats were pretty small and had single engines, and the only things under the consoles themselves were engine batteries, wiring, … [Read more...]

Upgrading Used-Boat Gauges

New gauges or even gauge faces can freshen up a used boat’s tired looking dash. Refinishing the dash panel and adding color-accented bezels takes it up a level.

One of my favorite ways of refurbishing an older used boat is to reface the gauges and replace the dash panel. It usually requires a couple afternoons … [Read more...]

Picking the Correct Boat Hose

Marine fuel hose. Note the "Type A2" rating on the side of the hose.

If you were to ask a group of boaters which type of marine hardware causes the worst case of sticker shock, most of them would probably think of electronics … [Read more...]

Is it Time for Electric-Over-Hydraulic Brakes?

Electric over hydraulic brakes are great for heavy-duty applications, such as towing a big offshore V-bottom. For smaller applications, surge brakes seem to work just fine. 

Depending on the technology, I tend to vacillate between early adopter and abject Luddite. I bought a vehicle with fuel injection as soon as I could afford … [Read more...]

In-The-Water Winter Boat Storage: Yes, You Can

There's nothing wrong with keeping you boat at the dock all winter long, as long as you take the proper precautions. Photo courtesy of BoatUS

Having lived on a 30-foot sailboat and various powerboats year-round in northern climes for 12 years, I'm no stranger to winters afloat. It's been a way … [Read more...]

Propeller Tuning? Really?

Having a stainless steel propeller “tuned” can produce real performance and efficiency gains.

If you’re looking at buying a used boat with a stainless propeller, but you’re a little concerned that it’s dinged up and needs to be replaced, be … [Read more...]