Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How to Buy a Used Boat Without Getting Duped

Boating is a fun activity for the entire family. You can enjoy some simple bird watching, fishing or just a simple sunny day diving in the lake. You do not have to spend an enormous amount of money buying a new boat to enjoy this fun activity. There are plenty of used boats for sale in great condition and at a really good price. In case you want to buy a used boat, here are a few things to consider. The overall maintenance condition of the boat can tell a lot about how the previous owner used and treated it.

Check the fiberglass

Look out for any cracks in the fiberglass above and below the waterline of the boat. In case you see small cracks that look like spider webs in localized areas, you do not need to worry too much. These can be easily fixed to prevent them from getting worse. In case the crack is larger than two inches, you should be concerned about larger problems inside the boat such as a collision. Gel coat patches are a great indicator of extensive repairs that should make you question the general condition of the boat.

Signs of damage

Check for general signs of damage in the fiberglass and wooden areas of the boat including the floor, transom and the hull. Flexing, cracking, mold and moisture are tell tale signs of wear, delamination of the plywood and break down of the fiberglass. This is not a boat you want to buy.


Thoroughly check the boat for any signs of mildew. Remember to check the storage lockers too. Even if the upholstery and covers have been cleaned and replaced, extensive molds inside the seats and other parts of the boat is a really bad sign of problems beyond what you can see.

Check the electronics

Ensure that all the electronics on the boat work. In case it needs electrical repairs, you can use this as a bargain point to reduce the cost of the boat. Things like burnt out bulbs are inexpensive to replace. However, if there are multiple devices not working, the boat could have serious wiring problems or a faulty battery, which costs so much more. In case the labels on the engine have peeled up and insulation wires have melted, you know the engine is overheating which is trouble that is even more expensive.

Start the engine

Just like a car, you can also get to test drive a boat to see how well it performs. When you start the engine, listen for excessive noise, unusual vibrations or excessive smoke. These could be symptoms of something as simple as old gas or too much oil, which can easily be fixed during a tune-up. It could also indicate bigger problems such as low compression in the cylinders, which requires an engine overhaul and this can be quite costly.

It is advisable to carry along a boat expert when inspecting used boats for purchase. You do not want to miss anything that could potentially cost you a lot of money.
Posted by: Stowaway Marine   http://stowawaymarine.net

Friday, March 18, 2016

Winterizing Your Boat for Ashore Storage

Boating is a fun activity for those who like being on the water. Storing your boat properly in winter will ensure that your boat is ready for the water in spring when the last of the snow melts away. Boating in winter is not possible because of the cold temperatures that often cause the water surface to freeze over, making this the best time to carry out repairs and maintenance on your boat. The following are some of the tips of winterizing your boat for storage.

Change the oil
Water and acids in the oil may end up corroding the engine and damaging it. You should change the filter and flush it out before changing your oil. You should always store your boat with fresh engine oil during winter.

Refresh the engine coolant system
You will also need to drain out the current coolant and flush it out with water. You can use antifreeze to replace the coolant. But you need to be very careful about the anti freeze products that you buy and diluting it to manufacturer specifications. The anti freeze solution is great for preventing your engine from freezing and also protecting parts of it from corrosion.

Spraying fogging oil
Winter can take a toll on the moving parts of your engine. Spraying fogging oils is crucial for protecting these moving parts. While your engine is turning over, spray the fogging oil through the spark plug holes or into the engines carburetor depending on the instruction manual.

Remove the drive belts
Drive belts are made of rubber. This rubber can get damaged when kept under tension for long while exposed to extreme temperatures. To prevent them from cracking under the tension stress, you can loosen or remove them and store them away until the end of winter.

Waterproof grease on the steering mechanism
You have probably noticed by now there is a lot of oiling and greasing going on. This is to keep every working part of the engine in great condition while in storage. A large tub of waterproof grease can come in handy for this process. Keep the steering and controls joints well greased up for smooth operation when you take your boat out of storage.

You should always disconnect your battery when the boat is in storage. Keeping the battery in circuit through the long winter months can drain it since there is a small amount of charge being lost every day. You should also charge the battery every once in a while to make sure it works when it is time to take the boat out of storage.

Fill in the gas tank
This helps to avoid condensation from building up in the empty tank. This condensation not only causes corrosion but can lead to worse damage if it freezes up. A gasoline stabilizer addition can also keep the fuel ready to use when it’s time to take out the boat.
Finally, seal the exhaust ports and other openings where pests and other small animals can enter through.

Posted By: Stowaway Marine  http://stowawaycenter.com/marine/index.html

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tips for Storing Your Boat in Winter

Boating activities usually subside in winter since most lakes are frozen over and the temperatures are too low to have fun. Then comes the all too important time of preparing your boat for storage. You need to take your boat out of the water for the cold season. There are various self-storage units that are designed specifically for boat storage. However you can’t just park your boat and leave it there for the next three or four months. You also need to do the following:

  • Take your boat out for one last trip before taking it out of the water. This final round gives you the perfect chance to see if there is anything that needs repair or replacement before winterizing your boat. This will ensure that your boat is ready to hit the water when spring comes around while everyone else is fiddling with wenches. You should mend any hull damage on your boat before storage since cracks and other forms of damage may get worse during storage.
  • Clean your boat thoroughly immediately it hauled out of the water. Your boat should be store completely clean. You should scrub off all the gunk and grime from the bottom of the boat. Scrub the decks and the cabin to make sure everything is thoroughly cleaned. You should also clean your hulls, strainers and open the seacocks to drain any water that may still be trapped inside. Wash your boat early enough to give it enough time to dry completely before going into storage. After cleaning, place mildew control bags in the cabin compartments to prevent that nasty storage stink.
  • To avoid damaging your engine during storage, top up your gas tank and add a gas stabilizer. This will reduce the risk of condensation, which can ruin your engine. Just before locking up for storage, run the engine for about 15 minutes so all the additives reaches the gas in the fuel lines and the boat engine. Replace engine oil and filters, check hoses, belts, clamps, clean the strainers and flush the coolant system while at it. You can buy an anti freeze formula for the storage period. This process can get quite complicated and you should consider leaving it to a qualified mechanic.
  • Remove the electronics from the boat before storage. You should remove the battery and store it in a warm and dry place. Make sure you clean the battery terminals of any corrosion and slightly grease them to prevent rusting too. You should store the battery in full charge; you can use a marine battery charger to do this.
  • Jack up the boat while it is in storage. You need to find a strong support system for the boat while it is out of the water. Proper hull placement will ensure it doesn’t become distorted or compromised. You can create a custom cradle for your boat that supports the engine, the bulkhead and the keel of your boat. 

Posted By: Stowaway Marine   http://stowawaycenter.com/marine/index.html