Tips for Boat Buyers

Buy a Boat, Buying a Buy

Choosing a Boat: Center-Console Pros and Cons

Center-consoles also come in catamaran form, like this Twin-Vee 29 Ocean Cat, powered by twin outboards.

Every boat is a compromise. It's a fact of life. So when you’re trying to find a boat that fits your on-water lifestyle you know there’s no such thing … [Read more...]

Boat Trailer Types: Freedom of Choice

This triple-axle trailer would be overkill for a light runabout. Whether its bunks are better than rollers depends on the boat it will rest on them,, and how it's launched and hauled.

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

Front-Wheel Drive for Boat Towing?

It's not ideal, but in this case, doing the numbers indicates that the front-wheel drive Ford Explorer should handle the job fine.

People tend to ask me a lot of questions. I guess I have them fooled into believing I know a thing or two about boats. Trucks, too, probably. So a buddy … [Read more...]

Boat Trailers: New or Used?

boat trailer

Having a trailer for your boat  means that you can be independent of boatyards and haulers for launching, transport, and storage. Storing a boat in your … [Read more...]

Ethanol’s Worst Enemy

Volvo-Penta's new treatment should be a potent ally in the war against water in marine fuel.

Alcohol has the power to ruin lives if you let it. It also has the power to wreak havoc on a boat’s fuel system. If you need a bit of background, … [Read more...]

A Primer on Towing Safely

A tow vehicle, boat, and trailer are a trio of valuable moving parts. It pays to develop skills and habits to keep them -- and you -- safe.

While towing, you can almost measure acceleration with a sundial, and you can forget about passing anything — especially a gas station. You can’t stop … [Read more...]

Oil Changes Without the Mess: Use a Drain Hose

For about 25 dollars, an oil drain hose saves time and headaches, and makes for a better oil change.

I think the third used boat I ever bought came with one of those hoses that attached the drain plug on the oil pan and reached to the transom drain plug … [Read more...]

Used Boat Engines: Mercury Certified Pre-Owned Program

Mercury's Four-Stroke series outboards are among the engines covered in their Certified Pre-Owned program.

Just recently I learned about a program from Mercury Marine that I bet not too many used-boat shoppers know about. Conditions would have to be just right … [Read more...]

Hose Clamps for Boats: Below the Waterline

The lowly hose clamp is one of the most important items on any boat. Pay close attention to clamps below the waterline when looking at a used boat.

You’re buying a new or used boat, and while inspecting the engine space and below the floorboards you’re pleased to see new hoses on the through-hulls: … [Read more...]

Change the Gear Oil in a Used Stern-Drive

The gear-to-gear mesh in a stern drive or in an outboard lower unit is as hard on a gear oil as you would expect. Shearing breaks down the oil, which means it should be one of the first things you change on a used boat you just bought.

One of the first things I do when I buy a used anything with an internal combustion engine is change the fluids. Engine oil goes first. Then the transmission … [Read more...]



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