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Author Articles

by Mike Smith

Does Your Boat Pass the Test?

By Mike SmithPhotos by Craig... | Posted March 2007 | Add a Comment

Does your boat have an NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) certification plate near the helm or the “NMMA Certified” logo on the capacity plate? If it does, did you ever wonder exactly what it means? I did, and being a longtime cynic, I supposed the plate didn’t mean much: Either the NMMA relied on the builder to attest to

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The Five Commandments...

By Mike Smithillustrations b... | Posted February 2007 | Add a Comment

Illustrations by Scott BakalYou thought getting the cash was the hard part and the rest would be easy, and maybe fun, too. But even with eight digits worth of mad money in your treasure chest, building a custom megayacht is a voyage littered with hazards. Running afoul of any of them could be costly in money, time, or

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Take a Seat

By Mike Smith | Posted February 2007 | Add a Comment

You've got the boat, the rods, the reels, and the tackle, and you're ready to head offshore where the big billfish swim. But before you go, you need one more thing: a rugged fighting chair that screams "serious fisherman onboard" to old salts and dock walkers alike. But how and exactly where in the cockpit do you install it once you've found the right chair?

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Time For a Change?

By Mike Smith | Posted January 2007 | Add a Comment

Are you the parent of tired, rusty, and thirsty gasoline guzzlers, the kind of engines that keep OPEC happy? If so, your boat's overdue for repowering with more efficient diesel motors. Today's oil-burners are lightweight, compact, quiet, and economical—they'll save you money at the fuel dock and add resale value. What's not to love?Okay, there's a catch: Repowering with diesels can

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Show Us the Money

By Mike Smithillustrations b... | Posted January 2007 | Add a Comment

The phone rings—it’s Warren Buffett. He has an investment opportunity that should pay 15, maybe 20 percent over the next couple of years. You can get into for $10 million, but he needs a commitment right away. Only thing is, you’ve just spent all your money on a megayacht. Warren mutters something about your financial savvy and hangs up.Now you know

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Ethanol: Should You Panic?

By Mike Smith | Posted December 2006 | Add a Comment

In the past year there's been a lot of worry among boaters about the ill effects of soon-to-be-universal E10 ethanol-blended gasoline. Depending on who's talking, the changeover from gasoline laced with methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) is a small problem, a catastrophe of biblical proportions, or somewhere in between. But what's the truth? Should we panic? Here's what you need to

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Magnetizing Your Diesel Fuel

By Mike SmithPhotos by Craig... | Posted December 2006 | Add a Comment

Near the end of the 2005 boating season, Richard Thiel, PMY's editor in chief, was in trouble. Just a few hours before he was about to fly to Italy, fuel problems had strangled his boat Ava T. in the middle of Long Island Sound. Since the fear of missing an expense-account junket to Europe haunts every member of the boating press, Thiel, an expert mechanic before moving to an

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A Lick of Paint

By Mike Smith | Posted November 2006 | Add a Comment

Invest in a professional paint job for a big payoff.When it comes to cost versus benefit, nothing beats a paint job. Investing in a fresh coat on your hull will not only make your boat look new again, but will also add to her resale value. Today, at least in the yachting world, paint means two-part linear polyurethane (LP). If your

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Splash Out on Spray Rails

By Mike Smith | Posted November 2006 | Add a Comment

Some boats are fine in almost all respects but harbor a gremlin or two that become annoying out of proportion to their real importance. PMY editor-in-chief Richard Thiel owns such a boat, Ava T., a classic Jarvis Newman 32 ideal for day cruising and overnighting, fishing, or picnicking. Her Cummins diesel is reliable and economical, her equipment simple and dependable, and her

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Some Like It Hot

By Mike Smith | Posted August 2006 | Add a Comment

Using a heat gun, Mark Ashton warms the surface of the boat before photographing it with his IR camera.To many surveyors and their clients, the moisture meter is the ne plus ultra of laminate-testing tools, a technical leap and a half beyond whacking the boat with a soft-faced hammer. But not for long: Moisture meters are

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