Our engine expert put together a test to see how much you really know about your propulsion system. Gentleman, start your pencils. Also, Caterpillar’s New C8.7 and ZF Hybrid-Ready Transmissions
There's plenty of stuff in your engine room that can hurt you if you're not careful. Know how to be safe in your machinery spaces and you'll improve your maintenance. See how here.
The ABCs of Marine Batteries.
If you know the type of marine batteries you have on your boat, there's a good chance you won't need to do anything else to maintain them. But it's smart to read up and be sure. Check out our expert take on marine batteries here.
It may sound too simple, but keeping track of your engine’s performance with a pad and pen can teach you a lot about your powerplants, and help you identify problems before they get out of control. Learn what you need to know here.
We answer all your questions about bearings and shafts
Capt. Richard Thiel does a deep dive on your bearings and shafts, parts of your boat that are probably a lot more important than you think.
When it comes to your boat’s engines don’t believe everything you hear.
Not everything you think you know about diesel engines is true. There are a handful of commonly held believes about them floating around out there that are simply myths. Find out what they are here.
Capt. Richard Thiel looks at the effectiveness of onboard fire-suppression systems and also points out why you might not be as safe as you think.
Here’s something you might not know about your boat’s optimal cruise speed.
Finding your boat’s “sweet spot” when it comes to cruising speed isn’t an exact science, but it’s pretty darn close. And knowing exactly where to run your engine for optimal speed and fuel efficiency is something every boater should be aware of. Here’s how you can get in the know.
Get Your Props Proper
Though they sometimes go unheralded, your props can affect your boat’s performance as much as nearly anything else. Capt. Richard Thiel has expert advice on how to find your prop’s sweet spot—that is, where they will allow your engine to run at max rpm and no more. The results could make your boat that much more efficient.
Buying a boat? Add these steps to your engine survey to make sure there are no ugly surprises later.
Does your fuel really need those additives?
Have you ever given much thought to the fuel additives you use, and whether or not they actually help—or worse, hurt—your boat’s performance? We have. Read here to find out our thoughts on the matter.
As technology advances and emissions regulations tighten, marine engines are bound to evolve, no matter how effective they currently are. We take a look at what kind of propulsion systems you might have onboard your boat in the not so distant future.
Capt. Richard Thiel investigates the new Caterpillar C8.7 and the market and regulatory forces that launched it. With emissions regulations becoming more and more stringent, CAT was forced to link up with an unlikely partner to get their powerplant off the ground: Fiat. Yes, Fiat.
Since their invention, pod systems laid claim to the throne held by conventional shafts as the dominant form of marine propulsion. But that hasn’t necessarily happened. We investigated the details of how each system stacks up, from complexity to maintenance and costs.
Capt. Richard Thiel knows oil analysis isn’t the sexiest topic in the world. But it is an important one if you plan on keeping your boat well maintained for years to come. Here he shares some tips on how to do it well... and on the cheap.
Capt. Richard Thiel investigates whether the high-tech, synthetic engine oils are all they’re cracked up to be—particularly for marine engines.
What’s new in the engine room, on the transom, and on the horizon. Today’s Marine engine manufacturers are using new technology to keep pushing powerplants in cleaner, lighter, and more user-friendly directions.
A quiet boat stops noise in the engine room—before it gets to you and your crew.
Can you keep your engine running forever? Capt. Richard Thiel thinks so. By diligently following an aggressive maintenance program, you can keep her purring smoothly, avoid midseason calamity, and stave off the need to repower—if you go about it the right way.
Understanding why you need to keep the diesel in your tanks clean.
Is a Carbon Tax in Your Future?
The short answer is: Probably. But you should probably understand why a carbon tax is headed your way, and how other countries are managing it. Here’s what you need to know.
The design of an engine room can tell you a lot about how a boat is built. Look for these qualities, and some pitfalls, in your boat and you may see her differently.
When a boat’s performance heads south, the props are often called into question (along with other aspects of what makes a boat go). Learn the whys and hows of sorting performance issues with propellers (and beyond) here.
How to troubleshoot engine problems on your boat.
We’re going to talk about the art, guidelines that define the way you approach a problem—any problem. It could be a dead engine, smoke in the bilge, or a jammed silverware drawer in the galley. These ten rules won’t guarantee that you’ll solve a problem, just vastly increase your chances of success and vastly decrease your chances of making things worse.
A reader wants to know why his boat is slowing down.
Boat performance is one of those things that a boater can usually troubleshoot himself. There are four main factors that affect it: engine output, propeller efficiency, hydrodynamic drag, and load.
Power & Propulsion: What Does Your Engine’s Horsepower Rating Mean?
Understanding what horsepower is, what it gets you, and why less is sometimes more can help your engines last longer. Learn more about horsepower ratings mean here.