Mindful Maintenance

When troubleshooting problems with liquefied petroleum gas, safety always has to come first. The owner of a 36-foot lobster yacht called with a problem: He couldn’t use his propane galley stove. His propane sensor had been tripping the alarm repeatedly, and he had removed the fuse. With the fuse in, the system would not work […]

BATTERY CABLING & OCP Service and Repair Procedures

BY STEVE ZIMMERMAN www.zimmermanmarine.com Introduction: There are several practical considerations that ABYC doesn’t really address about battery cabling and high-amperage overcurrent protection. 1. Although ABYC standards permit up to four cables to be connected to a battery stud, there are several reasons to keep the number to only one or two at most. First, because […]

How to Keep Your Cool

Engine coolant has come a long way—but can only do its job if things are working properly. story STEVE ZIMMERMAN + MAX PARKER www.passagemaker.com The owner of a 48-foot trawler requested routine engine service, including fluid samples. It didn’t take long for us to notice that the coolant in the overflow tank had a cloudy, […]

A Case of the Shakes

Tracking down the source of onboard vibration requires a methodical approach. story STEVE ZIMMERMAN + MAX PARKER www.passagemaker.com Being out on the water presents a wonderful opportunity to de-stress, but too much vibration can shake your hardware loose and detract from your enjoyment. We were reminded of this fact during a recent pre-purchase survey, when […]

Survey Says…

7 THINGS EVERY BOAT BUYER SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE SIGNING A PURCHASE CONTRACT. story  STEVE ZIMMERMAN www.passagemaker.com Searching for the right boat can be a daunting adventure. First and fore- most, a boat must meet your needs with respect to accommodations, per- formance, appearance and price. Assuming you have found a boat that checks those boxes, […]

The Core Issue

MOISTURE IS THE ENEMY. HERE’S HOW TO KEEP IT OUT—AND WHAT TO DO IF IT GETS IN. story  STEVE ZIMMERMAN www.passagemaker.com Almost every cruising boat built since the mid-1990s contains core material in the hull and/or deck and cabin. Cored boats are lighter, stiffer, quieter and better insulated than their solid ancestors. Builders have a […]


Manage these engine exhaust system components to keep your diesels firing on all cylinders. BY STEVE ZIMMERMAN www.passagemaker.com Compare the volume of the waste fumes generated by a working diesel engine to the quantity coming out of the exhaust and you’ll always find a small difference. While almost all the fumes the engine produces exit […]

How Long Will My Engine Last?

BY STEVE ZIMMERMAN www.passagemaker.com At our diesel engine classes at TrawlerFest, the ques- tion of engine longevity always comes up. This question also plays a key part in most conversations about buying a used boat. And while there is never a definitive answer, there are several factors that contribute to how long an engine runs […]

Maintain your Seawater Pumps

STORY & PHOTOS STEVE ZIMMERMAN www.passagemaker.com ENGINE SEAWATER PUMPS Almost all marine engines rely upon an engine-driven pump to provide the seawater needed to maintain proper engine temperatures. Taken for granted until they fail, these simple pumps can bring your cruise to an abrupt end. Servicing a failing impeller- driven pump is one of the […]

Maintaining Engine Temperatures

BY STEVE ZIMMERMAN www.passagemaker.com Diesel engines generate high internal temperatures and this heat wreaks havoc with the various systems. In addition to keeping the engine from overheating, the cooling system on a modern diesel must also maintain the temperature of the lubrication oil, transmission oil, air intake, and fuel. This process takes place through a […]