Tips for Boat Buyers

Buy a Boat, Buying a Buy

Used Boat Deals: Moderate Fixes, Big Savings

Replacing a drive coupler requires engine removal. The part alone is upward of $500. MerCruiser Marine Photo.

One way to get a deal on a used boat stems from someone else’s misfortune: divorce, death, job loss, and so on.  All of those those things can lead … [Read more...]

Bottom Stripping Basics

A boat bottom encased in Coppercoat instead of bottom paint, after a post-season pressure-wash.

Scene 1: A kitchen, springtime. A couple sits drinking coffee. Man (looking miserable): “I can’t hold out any longer. It’s been years.” Woman: … [Read more...]

Used Boat Buying Quiz: Are You Ready for This?

You may locate a used boat you've been dreaming about, but take a deep breath and consider whether you're ready for the project list after you've made the purchase.

It’s probably safe to say not everyone is cut out for the rigors of used-boat ownership. Before you let your boat-buying fever get ahead of you and your … [Read more...]

Nautical Rules of the Road: Practice Like the Pros

The traffic separation scheme for San Francisco shows inbound and outbound lanes to and from the north, west, and south.

The nautical rules of the road can seem like pretty dry material to new boaters, but people who are experienced on the water know how valuable they are … [Read more...]

Top 5 Used Boat Caveats

Before getting overexcited about a boat deal, review these words of wisdom.

Shopping for a new-to-you boat is an exciting time, one filled with emotion. The excitement is good. The emotion, not so much. Emotion can get in the way … [Read more...]

AIS for Boaters: Part 2

These two VHF radios are integrated with AIS capabilities. Once networked with a GPS, the VHF units can be used to send and receive AIS information. Note the ship icons on the display. Photo courtesy of Standard Horizon.

In the first part of our discussion about the Automatic Information System (AIS), we covered the nuts and bolts about how the system works, why its use … [Read more...]

Rinker Captiva 236 CC: Cockpit and Cabin Comfort

The Rinker Captiva 236 CC -- cuddy cabin -- builds on the success of their earlier 236 bow-rider.

Building on the success of their Captiva 236 Bow Rider, the boatbuilders at Rinker have introduced a cuddy-cabin version called the 236 CC. The company, … [Read more...]

Understanding Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings

Factory hitches usually have the class and tongue weight capacity written right on them.

When shopping for a used boat, assuming you already have a tow vehicle, it’s important to know how much the boat you’re interested in weighs on its … [Read more...]

With EFI, No Use Pumping the Throttle

This late '70s outboard came with triple carburetors. We've come a long way: EFI is far superior to carbs in every way. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

A buddy of mine looking at used boats recently went on sea trial with a salesperson who recommended pumping the throttle while starting the boat. Well, … [Read more...]

AIS for Boaters: Part 1

This AIS transceiver not only broadcasts information about the vessel it’s installed on, but receives information about other AIS-equipped vessels as well. Note the various targets on the display, represented as circles with direction marks. Image courtesy of Furuno.

“When was the most scared you’ve ever been aboard a boat?” I get asked that question a lot, and every single time I remember a cold November evening … [Read more...]