Maintenance All Articles


How do I care for my unused engine?

I plan on being away from my boat for two to three months and during that time, I plan on having someone periodically run my diesels dockside...

Does an increase in horsepower explain a rise in exhaust temperature?


Question: I have a 1989 38-foot Bayliner with twin 175-hp Hino diesels that have been retrofitted with turbochargers, thus raising each engine to 210 horsepower. As I go from cruise to wide-open throttle (approximately 23 mph at 2800 rpm), turbo exhaust temperatures increase from 700F to 950F on the port engine and 850F on the starboard. When

Garmin’s Tip of the Month, Oct 2011

Air-Conditioning Systems - Part II

Last month we showed you how to determine your boat’s cooling needs as a first step in an air-conditioning installation or refit (see article here).Now that you know how much space you’re going to be cooling and the size of the unit you’ll need to cool it, it’s time to select the

Preserving JFK's yacht "Honey Fitz"

The owner of Honey Fitz made the right call—twice. First, after the former presidential yacht had paid many visits to various repair yards since the mid-1970s, he decided to undertake a full refit. Second, he hired Jim Moores of Moores Marine to do the job.

Sea Hawk BiocopTF

A real-world test of this bottom paint produces some definitive results.

Toward the middle of this past July, I had my Grand Banks 32 Sedan Betty Jane hauled at a local boatyard for two completely different reasons. First, I wanted to facilitate a first-rate wax job. Using a big electric buffer on a comparatively small, faux-planked hull

Intersleek 900 Paint

These days it seems like nearly everyone is talking about going green. Some people are going all out, living in solar-powered homes and driving hybrid cars, while others require a bit more convincing before they hop aboard the tree-hugger

Can switching motor oil viscosity harm my engine?


Question: The boys at the Ko Olina harbor are having a heated discussion concerning motor oil. Since Costco hit town, we’ve all been able to buy Chevron 15W-40 Delo 400 heavy-duty motor oil at ridiculously low prices. But what about the older engines we’ve been using straight 40W Delo 400 and other single-viscosity products in for years? Can we

Garmin’s Tip of the Month, Sept 2011

Even well-made splices in wiring can wick up moisture, especially if they are in a boat’s bilge. Wicking, of course, can cause corrosion, prematurely ruin a splice, and cause electrical issues. To prevent this sort of thing, I suggest adding a drop or two of oil to a splice before you crimp, heat-shrink, or otherwise seal it. The

Air-Conditioning Systems

In this less-than-perfect economy, many people are keeping their current boats and upgrading them in various ways. One smart investment to improve your comfort and your boat’s future resale value is adding or upgrading air conditioning. This

Garmin's Tip of the Month, August 2011

When working in tight spaces with a cordless drill and stainless steel fasteners, here’s a helpful trick. If you can’t hold the fastener with one hand and the drill with the other, use masking tape to secure the fastener’s head to the driver bit so you can proceed single-handedly. Pull the tape off before sinking

Using synthetic oils in older engines


Question: I own a 1996 43-foot Hatteras with twin six-cylinder Detroit Diesel engines. I change the oil approximately every 100 hours of operation. At this point, I have 1,200 hours on each diesel and so far have only used non-synthetic oil. Is a synthetic or a blend of synthetic and regular oil contraindicated for this aged engine for any

Lürssen's Polar Star

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-foot Polar Star had been released back into the wild after five

Top-Notch Enclosure Panels

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 Yacht Shares, a Destin, Florida-based outfit that’s into a variety of marine

Garmin’s Tip of the Month - 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, simply insert one end in the jug and squeeze. You’ll be able to control the amount of water going into each cell and keep from spilling and/or over-filling while pouring directly from the jug.

Dave Jogerst,

Vintage Yanmars Running Hot


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, the temperature of each engine rises normally at first but then keeps on going, not to the point of setting off alarms, but close. Pegging the engines (i.e., throttling them

Garmin's Tip of the Month, July 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 not 100-percent waterproof, of course, but if you've ever bent over a livewell and watched your phone drop out of your shirt pocketwell, maybe you'll keep

Hands-On Test Of Totally-Green Teak Deck Sealers

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 time, money, and effort I’ve lavished upon this strange enterprise, you’d think I’d

Garmin’s Tip of the Month - 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. It has a little arm that guides the wire to the fixed razor’s edge while keeping it firmly in place. And it cuts without stripping strands and produces a neat, clean job even in cramped places.

Tom Fitzpatrick,

Idling diesel engines

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 trucks idling at truck stops for hours though. Is there a difference in the two types of diesel engines or are my mechanic friends mistaken?

Tips for easy boat maintenance

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, savvy owners also pick up their own tips and tricks that can make it a lot easier to keep their vessel shipshape. Below you’ll see some of mine as well as those from knowledgeable boat-owner friends, family, and colleagues that can help you keep your boat running right and looking good with minimal effort.

Garmin’s Tip of the Month - 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 container aside for a while, the paint residue will settle to the bottom and you’ll be able to decant the now-clear thinner through a paper towel into a second container for a fresh usage.

Dave Jogerst, Gulf

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