Tips for Boat Buyers

Buy a Boat, Buying a Buy

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...]

Boat Docking 101: Good Articles and Videos

close quarters

There’s plenty of information available online about how to dock your boat. Some of it’s even pretty good. Trouble is, when you multiply boat types … [Read more...]



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