Boating

How to Find Boat Launching Ramps

Lyle Lovett has a great song called If I Had a Boat. Maybe he should write a follow-up called If I Had a Ramp. Sure, it’s nice to have a boat, but … [Read more...]

All About Boat Trailers

A sparkly clean boat in perfect working order won’t impress buyers if the trailer it’s sitting on is a mess. Make sure yours looks as good as this one before you put it up for sale. Photo courtesy of Shadow Trailers.

When we shop for boats, we look critically at the boat. We scrutinize its condition and whether it will meet our needs. On the other hand we probably don’t … [Read more...]

Selecting an Inflatable Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

An automatic inflatable life vest with integral harness. Note the D-ring attachment points. Photo courtesy of SOSPENDERS.

Most personal flotation devices (PFDs) have a major design flaw: the bulky flotation material makes them so cumbersome and uncomfortable that few boaters … [Read more...]

Selecting and Installing Marine Stereo Speakers 

These can/cannon-style speakers are designed to produce a lot of sound for wakeboarders and waterskiers. Photo courtesy of Liquid Audio.

Whether you’re down below listening to some smooth jazz tunes over an elegant meal or blasting your favorite ’80s hair band while trolling for billfish, … [Read more...]

Pocket Cruising: Small Boat, Big Dog

Falco and his friend Tiller, keeping an eye on water-skiers.

I’ve heard of boat dogs trained to pee over the gunnel and use a two-foot-square piece of Astroturf for everything else. Unfortunately, the dog we sailed, … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]


Archives