Carry the right tools in the toolbox on your boat and you too can be a "Captain Fix-It".
Maintenance All Articles
Think bleeding your fuel system is beyond your expertise? Know what goes into the process and why each step is critical, and maybe you’ll get closer to your engines than you ever thought you would. Read the step-by-step process here.
Polishing and cleaning your boat with a power buffer may be intimidating at first, but after you get used to it your hull (and your forearms) will thank you.
There are ways to extend the life on onboard equipment. Capt. Bill Pike shares tips, wisdom, and proven techniques to help keep your boat running at the top of her game and her equipment doing yeoman service. But don’t go and order up an extra-large tub of elbow grease just yet, since some of Bill’s hints fall at the sweet end of the effort spectrum. Intrigued? Read more here.
They’ll get you out of many a jam, they won’t break your bank account, and you probably don’t have them aboard—yet.
Anyone who owns a boat may have been thinking about batteries and charging systems quite a bit since Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner nightmare. The fact that diagnosis of the problem took as long as it did is a frightening prospect, but one cannot deny the benefits of new battery technologies—provided they’re managed properly...
The dripless seals on your boat require just a little simple maintenance once or twice a year, if you ignore those seals they can turn ugly. Capt. Vincent Daniello will show you how to maintain the dripless shaft seals on your boat.
The Smart Way to Refresh Your Interior
Maybe your saloon isn’t looking quite as sharp as you’d like. Take heart—we’ve got some expert advice on caring for onboard joinery that may save you time and money. Read all about it here.
Take our engine-room test on your own terms. Know the names and locations of basic engine-room components and you won’t be embarrassed next time your mechanic comes calling.
Looking for a DIY project that will help your boat run better? Adding automated trim-tab control may be just the ticket, since it adjusts running attitude while giving you one less thing to think about. Check out our step-by-step instructions here.
Unleash Your Inner Boatbuilder with a DIY Kit
Every boater dreams of stepping to the helm of a boat he built himself. But you’ve got to walk before you run, so check out our take on kits that will help you get your feet wet.
There’s more to getting the propeller off the shaft than meets the eye, and more high-tech props make the job even more complex. Get the lowdown on what you need to know here.
The marine transmission: your boat’s unsung hero. Because this simple but durable device is so critical to getting you where you want to go safely and efficiently, you really ought to have some idea of what it does and how it does it.
If you allow air to enter the supply line of an engine it will promptly airlock the engine and summarily shut it down. Here are the steps to get things going again.
With the ethanol debate continuing to rage, should you gas up your boat before winterizing or leave the fuel tank empty?
Tips on caring for gasoline engines and fuel when you winterize your boat.
Capt. Bill's tips on winterizing your boat's diesel engine.
Just when you think the latest gas-powered outboards have wrung every drop of power from a gallon of fuel, along comes a new way to tackle the problem. See two new developments here.
Power & Propulsion
If you pay any attention to the topic of boat engines, you’ve probably heard the term “common-rail diesel” bandied about and perhaps wondered what it means. In fact, this technology is in no way restricted to the marine venue; it’s also common in both stationary and vehicular powerplants, mainly because it helps diesels meet new, stricter emission standards.
Know how to keep your stuffing box happy? We have some DIY maintenance methods, including tips for both spud- and gland-type stuffing boxes, and some smart ways to head off problems. See an expert take on stuffing box care here.
Quick troubleshooting when batteries go afoul. A step-by-step guide for the boat owner.
Plumbing for seawater circuits is critical. Centrifugal air-conditioning pumps must be below the waterline to prime, and seawater hoses must rise continuously uphill from the through-hull fitting to the sea strainer and to the pump, and then continue uphill with a single high spot at the air conditioner.
How to Install an Air Conditioner on Your Boat
Boatbuilders want simpler installations, so today many air-conditioning systems now contain all electronics within a single remote-mounted electrical box. This allows flexible placement of air-conditioner units and simpler electrical connections—both are huge benefits for do-it-yourself installations.
How to add a big-boat fishbox ice to a small sportfisher or any boat.
Thruster Installation: A new thruster system offers an alternative to a conventional installation. How to install a thruster on your yacht.
As horsepower has increased over the years, so too has the importance and complexity of your engine’s cooling system. Here are some tips on maintaining your boat's cooling-system.
Installing a Cockpit Drawer Refrigerator is Surprisingly Simple. Here's a step-by-step...