My trawler spends plenty of time sitting in a slip with her fuel tanks semifull and her powerplant twiddlin' its thumbs. To deal with the consequences, I installed a fuel polisher last year to remove contaminants, a savvy move in retrospect because I've since been able to keep my go-go
Maintenance All Articles
Eventually the day will come when you have to bare your bottom. No, I don't mean your college reunion or Mardi Gras—I'm talking about stripping your antifouling paint, taking your boat's bottom down to bare surface to prep for fresh primer and paint, to find and repair
I probably don't have to tell you about the benefits of having strong, solid, reliable fenders; when correctly positioned, they provide a cushion between your boat and the dock, preventing nasty scratches and often considerably worse damage. But finding ones that fit the contours of your particular boat and
Think about how many individual parts make up your yacht: The engines are full of them, as are the genset, stabilizers, air conditioning, watermaker, and so forth. Now think about how many of those parts can wear out or break. How can you carry spares for all of them? Heck,
Few things aboard your boat are as simple—or as important—as rope. Docklines and anchor rodes will give you years of service if you take care of them properly, but ignore them at your peril: A failure of either can be disastrous. Fortunately the care and feeding of rope is both simple and cheap.
Once a year wash your docklines with mild soap and water to remove salt, dirt, and
Heavy ground tackle makes for sound sleeping, but when it's time to weigh anchor, it can be a pain unless you have a windlass to do the heavy lifting. Fortunately for our lower backs, there are windlasses sized to fit any boat and no reason not to have one aboard as an unpaid hand. When properly installed, a windlass requires minimal maintenance. Here's what you need to know.
As more states mandate E10 ethanol-blended gasoline for off-road use, the problem of water accumulation in fuel tanks grows. And nothing can ruin your day faster than your engine dying from a lethal gulp of H2O. If you’ve been burning E10 for a while, you might already have what techies call “water bottom.”
Water bottom is simply water under the fuel in a tank, and it’s unfortunately become
Last summer I managed to cruise a snazzy, borrowed twin-screw flying-bridge boat from Maine to Connecticut. She was loaded with first-class, well-installed systems, most of which my relatively inexperienced crew and I learned to use pretty easily,
Painting your boat’s bottom is a straightforward job: You, or your boatyard, apply new paint over old. But what about the running gear: struts, shafts, trim tabs, and propellers? Bare metal will sport a luxurious coat of underwater flora and maybe even barnacles by season’s end, especially if you don’t use your boat often. Excessive growth produces a domino effect: It creates unnecessary drag
My friend Don dang near had a conniption fit a while back when I made my little announcement. In fact, his gesticulations caused the waiter to hustle over to our table at our favorite restaurant and ask if everything was okay. Don’s wife Jiji also seemed to be a tad flustered, although she
There are plenty of reasons why the diesel engine is the best power choice for boats over 35 feet, and principal among them is its sterling reliability and reknowned durability. Compared with even the newest electronic gasoline engines, diesels are signifitcantly less likely to suddenly stop running and significantly more likely to outlive their owners.
But diesels aren’t perfect. They do
In the surfeit of CSI programs so popular with TV viewers these days, one scene is never absent: The investigators lock eyes with the suspect in the interrogation room and coolly announce that blood samples taken from the crime scene
A little more than a year ago, I attended a rendezvous put on by a well-known express-boat builder. It was a great weekend, and it was obvious from the well-cared-for vessels and the enthusiasm of the event’s 40 or so attendees that the cruisers loved and used their
Launch day means spring has finally arrived. Soon you’ll be out on the water again, and all will be right with the world. That’s the plan, anyway. But first make sure the old barge is up to snuff, that the boatyard did everything you asked, and that gremlins didn’t create springtime problems that weren’t there in the fall. Here are a few tips, along with suggestions for routine maintenance that
Does your boat have an NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) certification plate near the helm or the “NMMA Certified” logo on the capacity plate? If it does, did you ever wonder exactly what it means? I did, and being a longtime cynic, I supposed the plate didn’t mean much: Either the NMMA relied on the builder to attest to
Are you the parent of tired, rusty, and thirsty gasoline guzzlers, the kind of engines that keep OPEC happy? If so, your boat's overdue for repowering with more efficient diesel motors. Today's oil-burners are lightweight, compact, quiet, and economical—they'll save you money at the fuel dock and add resale value. What's not to love?
Okay, there's a catch: Repowering with diesels can
A friend of mine who I considered to be a knowledgeable, experienced boater recently made a remark in passing that startled me: "The most important tool in my toolbox is my checkbook." He was serious. Every time he noticed a
In the past year there's been a lot of worry among boaters about the ill effects of soon-to-be-universal E10 ethanol-blended gasoline. Depending on who's talking, the changeover from gasoline laced with methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) is a small problem, a catastrophe of biblical proportions, or somewhere in between. But what's the truth? Should we panic? Here's what you need to
After I'd delivered my Grand Banks 32 to her new Florida home, her whole schtick changed—she went from being a true long-legged cruiser to the maritime equivalent of a couch potato, with a travel regimen featuring whole weekends dockside (for dealing with maintenance projects left unaddressed during the jaunt down the Intracoastal Waterway from Maryland)
Near the end of the 2005 boating season, Richard Thiel, PMY's editor in chief, was in trouble. Just a few hours before he was about to fly to Italy, fuel problems had strangled his boat Ava T. in the middle of Long Island Sound. Since the fear of missing an expense-account junket to Europe haunts every member of the boating press, Thiel, an expert mechanic before moving to an
When you're building yachts that cost tens of millions of dollars, it's crucial to give them a sophisticated, polished appearance, inside and out. While most people don't normally think of paint as one of the means to this end, a flawless, durable exterior finish is every bit as important as high-gloss woodwork and top-notch furnishings. And when it comes to yacht paint, one of the most popular
When it comes to cost versus benefit, nothing beats a paint job. Investing in a fresh coat on your hull will not only make your boat look new again, but will also add to her resale value. Today, at least in the yachting world, paint means two-part linear polyurethane (LP). If your
Some boats are fine in almost all respects but harbor a gremlin or two that become annoying out of proportion to their real importance. PMY editor-in-chief Richard Thiel owns such a boat, Ava T., a classic Jarvis Newman 32 ideal for day cruising and overnighting, fishing, or picnicking. Her Cummins diesel is reliable and economical, her equipment simple and dependable, and her
When I first came up with the notion of modifying a modern recreational vessel so I could do a side-by-side performance comparison between plain ol’ diesel fuel and the environmentally friendly, vegetable-based stuff getting so much press these days, the idea didn’t seem that complicated. I mean, how tough could it be? All I had to do was find a boat, install a temporary bladder-type tank in her
Editorial deadlines are a funny thing. As I write this, it's hovering around 90 degrees outside, and everyone is getting ready for July 4th. However, the topic of this story reminds me that as sure as death and taxes, winter is on the horizon. And for those of us in the colder climes, that not only means months of no boating, it also means storing our boats, and
When you’re a boat designer, you deal with all kinds of people, from hard-charging CEOs to dreamers. But they all must follow the laws of physics. Our Sightlines columnist Michael Peters lays down the law. See what he has to say here. ▶
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