Tips for Boat Buyers

Buy a Boat, Buying a Buy

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...]

Boat Propellers Simplified

Propellers are the most important pieces of the powertrain, but all the details about how and why they work could put you to sleep. In this case, a little less knowledge might be just the right amount. Photo courtesy of Mercury Marine.

I don’t know about you, but propellers have always mystified me. They still do. A lot of my boating buddies would swap one for another and back again, … [Read more...]

What Marine Surveyors Look For

Hiring a marine surveyor might be money well spent. Photo courtesy of Performance Marine Surveyors.

If you’re choosy enough to hire a surveyor, it would be helpful to know what they’re looking for. I asked Edward R. Cozzi, president, CEO and professional … [Read more...]

Beware Boat Buyer Blindness

Fun, fast, affordable, and trailerable, the Nacra 18 has a bit of a blind spot when the spinnaker is up, especially if it is your euphoric first ride and you are'nt vigilant.

Taking delivery of a new boat, whether it's used or off the shelf, can be a heady time -- sometimes too heady. Some years ago when I was managing a … [Read more...]

Boat Trailer Maintenance Priorities: What to Fix First

When replacing items like brakes or lighting, spend a little extra and get good components. Photo courtesy of West Marine.

Chances are, the used boat you buy will be sitting on a trailer. Odds also are good that any money the previous owner spent to make the boat more appealing … [Read more...]



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