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.
Maintenance All Articles
Here’s some expert advice to keep your boat's air conditioner operating properly.
Here’s some expert advice to help you maintain your Lofrans’ Project 1500 Windlass.
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.
Here’s some expert advice to help you maintain your Sea Recovery AquaMatic watermaker.
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.
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.
Six New Boat-Care Tips. So you want your boating to be even better from now on? Read on, fellow boat nuts.
Capt. Richard Thiel investigates whether the high-tech, synthetic engine oils are all they’re cracked up to be—particularly for marine engines.
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.
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.
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.
A quiet boat stops noise in the engine room—before it gets to you and your crew.
Your ventilation, heating, and cooling system can do so much more for you and your boat, if you set it up right. Learn how to keep things smelling good here.
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.
No one knows an engine as well as the company who built it. Check out some engine manufacturer-approved maintenance schedules here.
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.
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.
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.
Understanding why you need to keep the diesel in your tanks clean.
A good varnish job is a beautiful thing to behold. But getting it just right is not for the faint of heart—the trick is in the details. Learn how the professionals do the job here.
Fuel treatments and additives can go a long way towards keeping your boating season trouble-free. But when you get into diesel-powered vessels that are 40 feet or more, the best way to remove water—and the nasty stuff that comes with it—from your fuel tank (or tanks) is to add a fuel-polishing system to your engine room. While initially developed for large yachts and commercial vessels, fuel-polishing technology has caught on with owners of smaller, medium-sized boats these days as well.
Most Power & Motoryacht readers really use their boats, so summer is high season—not the time you want to be thinking about maintenance chores and projects. But taking a few minutes here and there to adhere to a prescribed maintenance program will allow you to stay on the water with confidence. Check out the simple ideas here.
The design of an engine room can tell you a lot about how a boat is built. Look for these qualities, and some pitfalls, in your boat and you may see her differently.
When a boat’s performance heads south, the props are often called into question (along with other aspects of what makes a boat go). Learn the whys and hows of sorting performance issues with propellers (and beyond) here.
How to troubleshoot engine problems on your boat.
We’re going to talk about the art, guidelines that define the way you approach a problem—any problem. It could be a dead engine, smoke in the bilge, or a jammed silverware drawer in the galley. These ten rules won’t guarantee that you’ll solve a problem, just vastly increase your chances of success and vastly decrease your chances of making things worse.