Outboard engines can be prone to unreliable operation if their carburetors are not kept clean, or they are not used enough. There is no reason to rely on service technicians to keep you going when it is an easy thing to learn how to keep your motor running.
Ethanol has caused havoc among the cruising communities worldwide. How to deal with it is not difficult, as a veteran cruising sailor takes us through the process of fixing a carburetor that no longer works.
Everyone has a tolerance for a certain amount of clutter. On the sometimes limited space of cruising boats, having spares for every contingency must be balanced with knowing where everything is while not sinking the boat with tons of spares, consumables, and items that somehow find their way aboard. I’m as guilty as the next person, but I’m working on finding the balance.
Being on the water sometimes means being in the water. It happened to me recently, and reminded me of a clever technique to get back aboard one’s dinghy, especially suited to older boaters. Practice it a couple of times and you’ll have another trick in your back pocket next time you need to get aboard without a swim platform or ladder.
I got aboard a new MJM 35z in Annapolis to celebrate the new owners’ new boat. It sure is nice to have all the control this boat offers at one’s fingertips. Fast, economical, comfortable, and very well made, the MJM offers a look at what can be done.
A recent report on driver distraction brings this subject into focus. While the numbers relate to drivers on the road, there is some parallel to boat operators, and drinking is much more prevalent in boating. Scary stuff but a trend that isn’t likely to change with everyone’s addicition to smartphones.
No matter how much you prepare, there is always something. A young Swedish couple I follow recently sailed from the Big Island in Hawaii to Honolulu. The sail wasn’t pleasant, and in the brisk conditions, they heard a loud bang against their aluminum hull. Turns out they lost their Rocna anchor overboard. The chain had been removed for the trip to keep seawater out of the chain locker, done a million times, but this time, their trusted stainless steel anchor restraint failed.
When your diesel engine exhaust goes from clear to blue, white, or black smoke, this is usually an indication of several factors going on that might need your attention. Knowing what the colors mean can be helpful to determine if something is lurking in your engine room. Blue, black, and white exhaust smoke all mean something. Do you know what they are?