Maintenance All Articles

Maintenance

Springtime Without Tears

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

Enclosures Exposed

A good enclosure is one that you don't even realize is there.

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

Scientific Method

If you really want to know what's going on inside your engine, you need to know about oil analysis.

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 Fuel For You

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

No Sweat

Major-league names in new wood coatings.

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

Time For a Change?

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

Gunk Be Gone!

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)

Magnetizing Your Diesel Fuel

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

Diesel 101

The author (left) and another student get a torque-wrench tutorial from instructor Larry Berlin (right).

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

Ethanol: Should You Panic?

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

A Lick of Paint

Invest in a professional paint job for a big payoff.

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

A Fine Grip on Paint

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

Splash Out on Spray Rails

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

Does This Stuff Really Work?

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

After the Fall

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

Baja California Dreaming

This being our annual passagemaking issue, it seems appropriate to bring up a subject that affects all of us: We’re running out of great cruising destinations in North America. Two reasons are the explosive

SOS

Did you know that hundreds of different marine plants and animals have invaded bays and harbors on the East Coast of the United States? While some become members of the local flora and fauna, others are not so benign.

Bubble Trouble

Keepin’ Cool

A Change in Element

Maintenance Problem

It’s been a long, tough winter. Whether you were forced to contend with blizzards, ice storms, torrential rain, hurricane-force winds, or some evil combination thereof, chances are you

Bearing Failure

Permeable Plastic

Bug Off

Vetus Maxwell Tip of the Week

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