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.
Maintenance All Articles
Asking Santa for some reading material this year? Here are a few suggestions.
Nice and Easy on the Hard
Your shafts, rudders, struts, and zincs are important parts of your boat that too often can be overlooked. We’ll tell you how to take care of them, and when the best time is to do it.
You may be tempted to keep all sorts of spare parts on your boat, but really, you’d just be adding clutter to your decks. We break down the essential spare parts you really need to have onboard.
How did “cutless” bearings—the brass and rubber sleeves that keep shafts spinning smoothly, once made by B. F. Goodrich—become “cutlass” bearings? After all, a cutlass is meant to cut things—like marauding pirates, for example—while cutless bearings are designed specifically not to.
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.
Resources for hard-to-find boat parts
Not all refits go as smoothly as could be. If you are refitting your boat and have become stuck looking for that perfect part, we know a guy who can help.
If your windlass is looking a little worse for the wear, maybe it’s time to install a new one. Let us show you how.
There’s nothing glamorous about it, but maintaining a clean and well running bilge system is a good indicator that you’re a consummate boater. Here's everything you need to know about maintaining your bilges.
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.
Having a good watermaker onboard will make cruising your boat a lot easier. However maintaining one is not as easy as some people think. Never fear. To learn the most helpful maintenance tips for keeping your watermaker running properly, read this.
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.
Checking the Decibel Rating on an Air Filter Silencer from Walker
We put an air filter silencer from Walker Engineering to a true test—installing her on a boat and measuring her decibels.
Everything you need to know about fixing your air conditioner. Now that summer’s just about here, it’s time to get serious about your onboard air-conditioning system. And we’ve got everything you need to know about how to stay cool when it gets hot.
Few things are as important onboard your boat as your steering system, yet a surprising amount of boaters don’t know how to take proper care of it. We’ll show you everything you need to know to keep your hydraulic steering system in tip-top condition.
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.
Secrets of a Stripper.
Removing old finishes from your boat can be a real pain in the neck. But we’ve figured out the best, most hassle-free way to do it. Read here to find out our secret.
Your fuel-water separator is an integral part of your boat. But do you know how to fix it if it starts to leak? Capt. Bill Pike shows you the ins and outs of repairing a Parker Racor FG500.
Buying a boat? Add these steps to your engine survey to make sure there are no ugly surprises later.
The very best way to coat a prop with anti-foulant.
If you want to keep your boat running as well as possible, you need to keep your props clean. Of course the best way to do that is to use anti-foulant. But there’s more than one way to coat a prop.
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.
Your swim platform can be one of the most fun areas on your entire boat. But there’s more than meets the eye when choosing the right one for you; not the least of which is picking the right material. Read this for a deep dive on swim platforms.
No wood is more beautiful than well-maintained teak, whether it’s wearing many coats of expertly brushed varnish or a carefully applied surface of teak oil. Even bare teak looks nice if you clean it every day to keep it snowy white. But no matter how you treat your teak, it demands your attention or its appearance will soon go downhill.
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.
Ever wonder what goes into keeping a stabilizer system up and running? Aside from the initial outlay of installation, the money spent to keep a system running smoothly can be calculated into your routine maintenance costs, if you know where to begin. We provide expert advice and tips on keeping up these day-saving systems