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Maintenance All Articles

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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Twin Engine Temperature Disparity

By | Posted October 2010

Question: I have a 1994 Mainship 31 with a pair of 315-hp Yanmar diesels with 2,000 hours on them. While running at full throttle (about 33 knots) for five minutes, the starboard...

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Algae On My Racor

By | Posted September 2010

Question: While performing routine maintenance on my Caterpillar C7, I was surprised to find a substance about the size of a quarter at the top of my Racor—it looked like...

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Shaft Brush Boogie

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted September 2010

A cheap and easy way to prevent costly prop damage.

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PMY TRIES... Nautic Air

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted July 2010

It was an interesting suggestion, really. Some weeks before, Heath Schuman of Nautic Air had UPS’d me an experimental version of his portable NA20 air purifier to temporarily try...

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Battery Blasphemy?

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted April 2010

All batteries have terminals and cable connectors that need to be periodically cleaned, preferably with a battery brush. I’m guessing I’m in the same boat as a few...

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Walker Engineering

By Capt. Patrick S... | Posted April 2010

Walker Engineering has been making diesels breathe better for more than two decades.I used to crew on a 43-foot sportfisherman that was powered with twin 625-hp Detroit Diesel 6V-...

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Vinyl Fever

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted March 2010

It was astonishing, really—the near-total absence of useful information on the Internet concerning the renovation and/or replacement of marine vinyl cushions. Sure, there were...

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Yacht Restoration

By MiMi Yeh | Posted November 2009

Any boatyard can refurbish an elderly vessel, but where do old yachts get new lives using traditional techniques? The answer is the Newport, Rhode Island-based International Yacht...

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Professor Diesel

By | Posted November 2009

Q. I have a 2003 Sea Ray Sundancer 420 and am moving from the New York City area to Florida soon. Do I need to do anything different in Florida in terms of boat maintenance? I am...

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Back to Basics

By Capt. Grant RafterPhotos by Jeffe... | Posted October 2009

Fort Lauderdale's International Yacht Training offers a true hands-on dieselengine course with small class sizes.Instructor Hartley MacDonald lectures to his students during an in...

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Nautic Air Module - Got Allergies?

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted October 2009

As an unabashed booster for boats and boating, I’m a tad amazed to find myself admitting that we boaters have a wholly invisible but smelly problem: onboard air quality. Consider...

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Jabsco Oil Changer

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted August 2009

When my buddy Bruce said he had a like-new Jabsco Porta Quick oil changer he’d give me for free, I was happy. When I discovered the unit sells for $209.99, I was ecstatic.The...

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Toss the Sawzall!

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted August 2009

So a guy walks into a boatyard and says, “Hey, I gotta have a bow thruster.” In a few days, an open-ended job begins, with the bill contingent upon the yard’s hourly rate,...

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Swap or Not?

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted July 2009

I explained to Joe Galati of Galati Yacht Sales that PMY was looking for a cruiser with incandescent or halogen lighting that we could swap for LEDs from Imtra Marine. We had four...

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The Creepin' Crud

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted June 2009

Like lots of folks, I’ve got two diesel powerplants onboard, one for propulsion and the other for auxiliary power. And just a few months ago, the latter began showing signs of the...

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Wax On, Wax Off

By Capt. Bill Pike | Posted May 2009

Remember “Wax on, wax off?” It was Mr. Miyagi’s discipline-building anthem in Karate Kid. For years, I figured it was merely a figment of some movie maker’s imagination—it couldn’...

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How to Break in a New Inboard Diesel

By | Posted April 2009

I’ve just purchased a new diesel inboard. What’s the best way to break it in without damaging it? -- Walt ReidMost manufacturers list procedures for break-ins in their...

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