Inspect Your Boat’s Navigation Lights

Navigation light inspections are a critical part of boat ownership. Don’t take your red and green safety gear for granted. I’ve never understood why so many vessels I inspect as a marine surveyor fail in their ability to comply with mandated navigational lighting requirements. I’d estimate the percentage is as high as 30% (or worse), […]

Give Your Boat A Lift

Lifts are a convenient way to store your boat when not in use. But poor maintenance and misuse can lead to damage. Boat lifts deliver multiple benefits. They keep the boat out of the water when not in use, so antifouling paint may not be required as the bottom is unlikely to get very heavily […]

Upgrade Your Boat Trailer Winch

This simple, one-hour project will make it easier to load your boat onto its trailer. Replacing your boat trailer’s winch is a straightforward project that can be tackled in less than an hour, providing there are no rusted bolts that must be cut away. Our project boat’s trailer had a few seasons of saltwater use […]

Cruising In Style

This little ‘low rider’ bowrider may not float, but it will certainly turn heads and draws a crowd wherevers it goes. Lisa Almeida, owner of Freedom Boat Club Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida, saw a marketing opportunity and seized on it. “The owner who built it was a boater and an auto body guy. He took an […]

Ground Tackle Upkeep

Anchoring out is fun if you have confidence that your anchor will hold. Regular inspection of your ground tackle helps you rest easy. Your ground tackle is only as strong as its weakest link, literally, and inspections should cover not only the anchor and rode, but also bitts, chocks, cleats, and any gear that’s part […]

Upgrade Your Fuel Filter

Improve the performance of and access to your onboard fuel-water separator with this easy two-for-one project. The on-board fuel filter on my 20-foot outboard-powered center-console neglected to offer the water-separating qualities (not an uncommon problem) or the access I needed to easily check and change it. Here are the steps I took to upgrade the […]

Rebedding Deck Hardware

A leaking deck fitting can cause damage to deck cores and boat interiors. But rebedding may be all that’s needed to keep the water out. Cleats, deck fills, lights, handrails, and winches are just a few of the many deck fittings found on the average powerboat or sailboat. All usually require drilling holes to attach […]

Rig A Portable Trolling Motor

Here’s how to install a battery-powered electric trolling motor that can be easily removed for space and weight. Bow-mounted electric trolling motors are standard gear aboard fishing boats of all sizes and styles these days, and they are handy for use in many fresh- and saltwater fishing situations. The downside is the weight and space […]

Be Your Own Surveyor (Sort Of)

There’s no substitute for a proper marine survey, but there are some basic DIY inspection techniques. Here are some expert tips to view a boat with a critical eye. As both a magazine editor and an accredited marine surveyor, I’ve been aboard hundreds of boats in my career. In the latter role, while many of […]

Terrific Boat Transformations

Four BoatUS Members share the spectacular results of their boat makeovers. Knot Free | Duffy Electric 18 A friend of mine owned a vintage 1983 Classic Duffy electric boat. Unfortunately, due to an accident, a hole got knocked in the bow and it sunk in 10 feet of water where it stayed for about a year. […]