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Maintenance All Articles

Lürssen's Polar Star

By Alyssa HaakPhotos by Jim R... | Posted July 2011

Seeing a yacht in a shipyard is like seeing a dolphin at Sea World—it’s not an entirely accurate representation of behavior in the wild. So when I heard that the 208-...

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Top-Notch Enclosure Panels

By | Posted June 2011

Virtually everything can be improved—that’s the point Capt. Matt Condon was making just before the big brainstorm hit him. Condon’s the head guy at Signature...

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Garmin’s Tip of the Month - June 2011

By | Posted June 2011

I’ve got a great tool for topping off batteries. Attach a length of clear plastic hose to each end of a gas-line squeeze bulb. Next time you’ve got low distilled water levels,...

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Vintage Yanmars Running Hot

By | Posted June 2011

  Question: I have a 29 Phoenix with twin, 1984-vintage, 170-hp Yanmar diesels with 1,000 hours on them. While the boat seems to run fine, I have one issue. During operation...

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Garmin's Tip of the Month, July 2011

By | Posted June 2011

Splash-proof your smartphone with a (61/2" x 3 1/4") Ziploc snack bag. You can manipulate its touchscreen through the plastic and speak and hear clearly as well. This is...

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How-to keep your bilge odor-free

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted June 2011

Let's investigate a seldom-explored phenomenon that most likely arises from things unseen or at least unobserved. The Frenchies call it une odeur de vieux bateau (which...

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Hands-On Test Of Totally-Green Teak Deck Sealers

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted May 2011

Over the years, I’ve squirted, rubbed, mopped, and sprayed my fair share of potions, pastes, and potations onto fiberglass and other boaty surfaces. And, given the amount of...

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Garmin’s Tip of the Month - May 2011

By | Posted May 2011

Boaters are always trying to splice and strip small-gauge wires in spaces where a pen-knife or wire stripper won’t fit. I use a letter opener—one of those you hold in your palm....

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Idling diesel engines

By | Posted May 2011

Question: My mechanic friends tell me not to let my diesel engine idle for long. They say that it should either be under load or turned off. I hear a lot of diesel engines in...

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Tips for easy boat maintenance

By Capt. Patrick S... | Posted April 2011

Most boaters are conscientious enough to perform the familiar annual maintenance chores involving things like zincs, bottom panting, tune-ups, and the like. But over the years,...

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How to keep marine growth from fouling your propellers

By Kevin Koenig | Posted April 2011

Here’s a common, if unwelcome, sight for boaters: You go to pull your boat out of the water for winter lay-up or perhaps

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Garmin’s Tip of the Month - April 2011

By | Posted April 2011

Here’s a little suggestion that’s comparably green, at least in my opinion. Save the paint thinner you use to clean paint brushes in a plastic container. After you’ve set the...

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Bilgewater Treatment

By | Posted April 2011

Many years ago, because a now-defunct marine towing outfit I was working for at the time found itself a little short of qualified personnel, I became an instant chief engineer for...

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Trouble-shooting an overheating boat engine

By | Posted April 2011

Question: I have a 1990 Carver Yacht with two 375-hp Caterpillar 3208 diesels. The starboard engine works fine, but at 2000 rpm the port engine overheats. Once the temperature...

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Garmin’s Tip of the month - March 2011

By | Posted March 2011

To keep plug-in-type low-voltage chargers for electronics sorted so you don’t inadvertently use an incompatible charger on a pricey piece of equipment, put a dot of nail polish on...

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Bilge Pump Early-Warning System

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted March 2011

Just the other day, I received in the mail a device called a BW8 Bilge Pump Activity Monitor from British manufacturer Celectron. Manufacturers occasionally send me products in...

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Seasonal Storage For Fuel Tanks

By | Posted March 2011

  Question: When I took your one-day Introductory Diesel Maintenance Course several years ago, I forgot to ask one question: What is the best way to lay up a fuel tank for...

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Aluminum in engine oil

By | Posted February 2011

  Question: I just did my first oil analysis on my Cummins 6BTA diesel, and the results seem somewhat disconcerting. According to the report, there was aluminum in the oil at...

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Dinghy Replacement

By Capt. Bill PikePhotos by Jeffe... | Posted February 2011

Recently, I underwent a profoundly meaningful conversion experience and, like a whole passel of converts before me, I’m hot in the heels to share it with the world. The...

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The Ultimate Upgrade

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted January 2011

Disaster struck at seven o’clock on a wintry North Florida morning. Tim Martin and his buddies were idling along in Martin’s seasoned battlewagon, 30 miles offshore,...

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Caterpillar 3208 low rpm

By | Posted January 2011

  Question: I have a 1989 Sea Ray with 375-hp Caterpillar 3208 diesels. Last year I overheated one of them and blew a head gasket. Overheating had been a problem for some...

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Onan genset spewing black smoke

By | Posted December 2010

Question: I have a 4-kW Marine Onan genset with 600 hours on it. If I let it run for a lengthy period it produces so much black smoke that a residue discolors the hull around the...

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Checking and changing your galvanic isolator

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted December 2010

Now and again, I serendipitously stumble across an onboard problem well before it snowballs into something expensive. For example, I was recently talking with my industrial-...

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Noisy Engines

By | Posted November 2010

Question: I have a pair of Detroit Diesel 6-71 TIBs in my 1990 Ocean 48 Super Sport. I love both the boat and the motors, but the Detroits have always been loud at the exhaust end...

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Garmin’s Tip of the Month - November 2010

By | Posted November 2010

To loosen a sticking oil filter that you can’t get to unscrew with a standard filter wrench; simply attach a hose clamp around the filter’s base, close and tighten it, and, after...

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Labor of Love

By Alyssa HaakPhotos by Darle... | Posted October 2010

The 30-foot Carver Santego was for sale and up on the hard. From a distance she looked gray and tan instead of her original white with navy and black trim with...

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