Ask The Expert

Power Tripping

When we cruise in our 34-foot Sea Ray and moor overnight at a marina, we hook up to shore power. Sometimes, when I flip the switch from DC to AC, the main breaker trips off. Many of the places we “gunkhole” don’t have techs available for help. Is there anything I can do to figure out what’s happening?

Good Boat, Bad Outboard

I just got a great deal on a trawler that came with a small dingy and 1995 2 hp Evinrude. I cleaned the carburetor and the tank, and got it to run by spraying fogging oil into the carburetor. It runs fair at full throttle, but only with the choke engaged at lesser speeds. If I look into the carb, I see a tube go up and down when I move the throttle. What did I miss?

A Tool Not a Cure

How good are computer diagnostics?



Barbecuing: Gas or Charcoal?

Time to Unregister

I’m getting ready to sell my boat. It has a DSC radio that I’ve registered with the FCC. I have a government-issued call sign, and I’ve entered the MMSI identification number into the radio. When I sell the boat, with the radio installed, how do I “unregister” the radio call sign and remove the MMSI number? I do not plan to buy a new boat, so I will not be transferring the radio or any ID information to a different boat.

Warm-up and Cool Down

How long should engines be run before leaving the dock and while cooling down back at the dock?

Fishing on a Cruising Boat

We have a cruising boat, but we like to fish occasionally. What are some easy steps we can take to turn our cruiser into a fishing boat, if only temporarily?

Getting a Charge

Getting a Charge

I have a 29-foot Ranger Tug in salt water on Newport Bay. I go through a zinc anode on the prop shaft every month. Marine electricians seem unable to correct the problem. Any suggestions?

Hull of a Choice

What are the pros and cons between an aluminum and a fiberglass hull?

Going Nuts

I have an age-old question. I have a 1990 33-foot Sea Ray with twin 5.7L inboards and v-drives (a very common inboard setup among many boat manufacturers). When installing the props on the shafts, there are two nuts, one thin and one thick. Which nut goes on first? I have walked around our yard and seen them on both ways, so which is the correct way? The most popular way seems to be the thick one first. Is there a logic for installing them any particular way?

A Port Contortionist

Because I fell in lust instead of slowly into love, I find myself the owner of a gorgeous 29-foot Sea Ray, with twin 5.0 Mercs. I’m a DIYer, and if I contort myself just so, I can change the oil, the oil filter and the spark plugs on the starboard engine. The port engine isn’t as kind. How do you service the port side of the port engine? I sure can’t see anything..

An Ounce of Prevention

An Ounce of Prevention

We always plug in our boat to dock power where we keep our boat. We have had to replace several power cords and a couple of connectors on the boat. What can we do? The cords and replacing the power inlet connectors are expensive.

Portable Power

I do not have a generator on board but am thinking about installing one. I have seen some boaters using a portable generator, which isn’t cheap but costs a lot less than an installed generator. What should I be considering?

Eat Great Aboard

Eat Great Aboard

Do you have any advice on preparing for cooking aboard? We are both foodies.

Ethanol Headaches

I’m an old-timer (like you) and grew up knowing that winter meant filling my boat’s fuel tanks before I put it to bed for the winter. Of course, gasoline then was real gas, and was about $2 a gallon. As soon as I bought a cruiser with a 300-gallon tank to feed twin 502 big-blocks, gas went to $5 a gallon for ethanol. I am not happy about putting $1,500 worth of pig-food in my fuel tanks and letting it sit over the winter just to drive me nuts with the results in the spring. My heirs aren’t happy about seeing their inheritance in Pop’s gas tank, either. Help?

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