Maintenance All Articles

Maintenance

The New Caterpillar C8.7

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.

The Truth About Shafts and Pods

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.

How to Maintain Your Stabilizers

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

Marine Diesel Engine Advice from a Pro

Ever wished you had a buddy who was a diesel mechanic so he could give you the real skinny on what’s going on with your engine? You’re in luck. Capt. Bill Pike has just such a friend, and in this article he asks him some of the questions you always wondered about, but were too afraid to ask.

Paravanes—The Stabilizer Option

Some folks distrust technology and want to stick with mechanical devices to stabilize their boats. Almost anyone can figure out paravanes, the cruising powerboat’s traditional means of reducing and even stopping roll. If you’re a Luddite but you want to cruise offshore in comfort, maybe they’re the solution for you.

How to Upgrade Your Boat Like a Pro

As vice president of sales and marketing for custom superyacht mainstay Trinity Yachts, Billy Smith knows a thing or two about building a better boat. Capt. Bill Pike did a deep dive with him on how to improve the amenities, performance, and aesthetics of any boat, and they started with Smith’s 32-foot Mainship. Read here for must-have knowledge on upgrading your own boat.

Engine Maintenance Tips

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. 

15+ Ways to Share the Gift of Boating

Boating’s easier than ever before—pass it on. The changes that have had an impact on the marine scene over the past decade are legion. And whether you zero in on joystick engine control, the latest in kid-friendly PFDs, night vision, the ascendancy of the AIS-enabled Personal Locator Beacon, or any number of other glories, the rapid pace of innovation has undeniably engendered a jim-dandy result—powerboating today is easier to do and enjoy than ever before.

Choosing the Right Cover for Your Boat

Boatyard: The Canvas Conversation

Modern-day marine fabrics have come a long way from the crusty canvas your father covered up his boat with. Today your boat cover can be made from such materials as acrylics, vinyls, space-age polymers, and more. It just depends on what you’re looking for, and of course, what your budget is.

When Anchoring Goes Wrong

Finding a secluded cove and dropping the hook is hard to beat—and a key part of the experience for many boaters. Seasoned cruiser Eric Sanford had a great long weekend cruising Washington’s San Juan Islands aboard his 43-foot Ocean Alexander, sharing laughs and time with friends. The sea rocked the crew to sleep and there’s not a care in the world. Until they woke with a thump. Read on to see what happens next.

Get Your Boat Surveyed

A surveyor can uncover problems you don’t see before they turn serious. Should you have your boat surveyed every couple of years? Mike Smith investigates the value of having a survey done on a boat you already own.

How to Understand Your Boatyard Bill

We know the first glance at your boatyard bill is a blur as your eyes go right to the bottom line. But after your brain’s built-in calculator begins to whir, you know there’s more on that invoice that you need to sort out. Understand what you’re paying for—get the lowdown here.

Joystick Control without the Pods

Many boat owners are looking for the simplicity and control of joystick maneuverability. But the pods or jet drives that were part of the deal may not always be welcome aboard. Learn more about new options that make slow-speed maneuvering easier here.

How to Take Care of Your Bow Thruster

Your bow thruster is like a really handy stowaway—it sits quietly tucked belowdecks for most of the voyage, only to show up during close-quarters maneuvering to simplify the process and maybe even save the day. How do you make sure it’s there when you need it? Check out our handy tips here.

How to Make Your Boat's Engine Last Forever

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.

Zen and the Art of Boat Washing

Why Clean Your Own Boat?

There’s something to be said for taking up the scrub brush in your own two hands every now and again and giving your boat the once-over. Disagree? We may change your mind here.

Secrets to a Clean Boat

We all know there’s nothing like a professional shine on a boat, but do you know why the detailer’s methods work so well? There are methods to cleaning each type of surface, and it can make a big difference. Learn more about the techniques the pros use here.

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