Brett Becker

How to Remove a Painted Boat Name: Try Easy-Off

For painted-on names, some people use Easy-Off over cleaner as a removal remedy.

True story: A guy brings home a used boat he just bought, and he is just beaming. His wife comes out, says nothing at first, then points to the boat and … [Read more...]

Marine Engine Oil: Avoiding Viscosity Breakdown

Oil in a marine engine, such as this 4.3-liter GM V6, must be changed at regular intervals to avoid viscosity breakdown, fuel dilution, and moisture contamination.

Complete service records for a used boat you are considering purchasing are a good way to judge how well it has been cared for. Changing oil at the proper … [Read more...]

Salt-Neutralizing for Marine Engines: Royal Flush

Volvo-Penta's QL Neutra-Salt Engine-Flushing System

Even before you buy your first boat, you know it’s essential to flush your engines after running in salt water. But even if you flush your engines religiously, … [Read more...]

Compression and Leak Down Testing: Squeeze Play

If you're mechanically inclined, you can use your own compression-testing kit, or you can hire a marine mechanic to go through the process.

If you're looking at a used boat with an older engine, or an engine that you think might not have been well-maintained, it makes sense to run a couple … [Read more...]

Tow Vehicles: How Big is Big Enough?

Sure, it's a mighty impressive truck, but you don't need that much might to pull the family runabout.

In addition to spending far too much time looking at used boats on BoatTrader.com, even though I don’t need another, I just as often look at gently used … [Read more...]

Top 10 Water Skiing and Wakeboarding Boats

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Editor's Note: For a great ride, you need a great tow boat. Here (in no particular order) are the boats Brett Becker chose as the ten best tow boats available … [Read more...]

Water-Pump Impeller: Priority One

On larger inboard engines, an impeller remover like the one made by Jabsco shown here, helps get the old unit out without damaging the pump housing.

Unless you have proof in the form of a receipt or confirmation from the shop that did the work, replacing the water-pump impeller should be one of the … [Read more...]

Boat Speed vs. Fuel Economy

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Given the current level of fuel prices and their volatility, it’s a good idea to be aware of fuel economy when shopping for a new or used boat. Then … [Read more...]

The Boat-Tow Truck I Wish Someone Would Build

If some car company would take the engine out of the Touareg TDI and install it in a half-ton pickup, they’d create the ideal vehicle for towing the kind of boats most people own. Build it. They will come.

After towing a 4,200-pound boat trailer with Volkswagen’s fantastic Touareg TDI, I was amazed at the fuel economy. By keeping the cruise engaged at 60 … [Read more...]

Owning a Trailerable Boat: Hidden Costs

A simple trailer ramp can make wheel chores simpler.

One thing they won’t tell you—and whatever “they” you have in mind is fine with me—is that there are a number of ongoing costs associated with … [Read more...]



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