Inspecting Sailboat Rigging

During preseason, take an hour or so to inspect the rig. Here’s how to go over your sailboat rigging system with a fine tooth comb. If there’s one thing production sailboats have in common, it’s that nearly all of them use stainless-steel standing rigging, whether wire or rod. There are likely also stainless steel fittings, […]

How To Install A Dripless Shaft Seal

The bilge of his boat was constantly wet, until he installed a dripless shaft seal by himself. Here’s how he did it. https://youtu.be/s9_K7EnH1wY Just about every boat fitted with a conventional inboard engine has what is known as a “stuffing box” or “shaft seal.” This seemingly inconsequential piece of equipment allows the prop shaft both […]

Chartplotter Update

Preseason means boat maintenance and upgrades, but updating chartplotter software is often overlooked in the rush to get back on the water. It’s pretty hard to find a boat these days without some form of electronic charting available on a helm display. Older displays were simply chartplotters, because that’s all they did — integrate GPS […]

Marine Lubricants

The array of engine and drive lubricants, oils, sprays, and fuel treatments at your local marine parts store or dealer can be intimidating. Engine Oil Obviously for four-stroke engines or inboards, this goes in the engine crankcase to lubricate the inner workings (crankshaft, pistons, rings, bearings, and camshaft). In a two-stroke outboard, it’s either poured […]

Choosing The Correct Boat Hose

There can be many types of boat hose and they all have specific jobs. Here’s how to tell them apart and which ones to use where. There is no such thing as an all-purpose hose on a boat. No single hose type can withstand engine exhaust, bring freshwater to the galley, safely transport gasoline to […]

Replacing Your Boat’s Water Heater Anode

Often overlooked, your boat’s hot-water heater anode requires periodic replacement and should be on your annual checklist. Most water heaters corrode from the inside out. The first indication you have a problem may be that the tank starts to leak water into the bilge. If that happens, there’s often nothing that can be done aside […]

Caring For Your Hydraulic Steering

What you should know about this often overlooked marine system. Some marine systems are so reliable we tend not to notice them. Through-Hull Replacement I’ve owned a few boats in my time, and most of them had hydraulic steering. It’s one of those reliable systems so widespread, it’s all but universal except for boats that […]

Fuel System Checkup

The health of your boat’s fuel system is the difference between a good day on the water and a getting a tow back home. Marine fuel systems are a hot topic. Continued pressure from the federal government to increase the amount of alcohol in fuels has brought serious concerns and changes to the marine industry […]

Knowing When Your Tires Are Shot

Unlock the secrets your trailer tires longevity! Learn about hidden wear signs, maintenance tips, and expert advice. Roll with confidence. We’re often asked how many miles should be expected from a trailer tire. Although automobile tires often list a mileage estimate, trailer tires make no such claim — because trailer tires serve a different function […]

How To Lubricate Control Cables

This band-aid solution can give you a bit more time to replace your stiff shift or throttle control cables. When your shift or throttle cables get stiff, replacing them is always the preferred solution but unfortunately control cables are expensive and may represent an unwelcome stress on the household budget. Here’s a temporary alternative that […]