The Boat Doctor

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A question about fuel economy

With the cost of gasoline going up, fuel economy has become a regular topic in the e-mails that I receive. A recent question dealt with the addition of a hydrofoil fin on a readerís outboard motor. He wrote that he recently bought a 1997 model 19-foot bay boat with a V-6 150-horsepower engine. The person he bought the rig from had a whale tale installed on the engine, not because the boat had problems getting out of the water, but because he needed the boat to stay on plane at a slower speed while he was scouting for redfish.Read More...
July 05, 2011 at 11:28 am
4851 Views

Itís time to perform a safety gear tune-up

Summertime is here. The kids are out of school. Boaters all over are making plans to hook up their boats, load up the family and head out on the water for some special boating pleasure.Read More...
June 09, 2011 at 11:26 am
3225 Views

Do your homework before buying a used boat

Every used boat should be taken out for a test ride before being purchased, but there are several steps to take before then.Read More...
May 02, 2011 at 9:55 am
7288 Views

Water leaks in the bilge can be difficult to diagnose

I was recently contacted by a reader with a problem. He is concerned because every time he removes the drain plug from his boat after a typical fishing trip there is an excessive amount of water accumulation in the bilge of the boat. His 16-foot outboard boat is several years old, but it is still in good condition. He has inspected the underside of the hull, and there are no obvious leaks or holes in the boat.Read More...
April 01, 2011 at 9:14 am
8633 Views

Instrument panels not that tough to fix

I get a lot of requests for help with fuel- and ignition-related problems, but lately I have noticed an increased number of boats coming through my shop with problems with the instruments on the dashboard.Read More...
March 21, 2011 at 8:33 am
3384 Views

Ethanol problems are on the rise

In June 2009, I wrote a column warning about the problems that many boaters were experiencing due to the use of ethanol-blended gasoline. I also warned that the EPA was entertaining a petition by the ethanol-lobbying group to increase the percentage ethanol blend from 10 to 15 percent.Read More...
January 26, 2011 at 1:15 pm
7390 Views

Diagnose, donít assume, when problems arise

Sometimes when working on your engine, it can be very tempting to jump to conclusions without properly and completely diagnosing the problem.Read More...
November 01, 2010 at 10:57 am
3151 Views

Not all fuel problems caused by ethanol

Last year, I wrote a column urging readers to avoid ethanol at all costs. Ethanol has caused many problems ranging from sludge in the fuel tank to deterioration of the fuel lines. It absorbs moisture from the air. That water mixes with the alcohol and the molecules that are formed separate from the gasoline and settle to the bottom of the tank.Read More...
October 01, 2010 at 7:31 am
4933 Views

Hurricane plans should include your boat

We are approaching the middle of another hurricane season. Have you finalized your plans in case a storm comes your way? Did you include your boat in that plan?Read More...
August 02, 2010 at 12:07 pm
2565 Views

Oil spill could destroy your outboard

We are right in the middle of our prime boating and fishing season, and I am getting calls and e-mails daily from concerned boaters who are not willing to just roll over and play dead. They want to go fishing and boating, but are concerned about protecting their boats and motors if they should encounter oil on the water.Read More...
June 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm
4854 Views

Still lots for Louisiana boaters to do

I remember looking through some old photographs that my mother had when I found one of my mother and dad sitting in one of dadís race boats. The third person in the boat was me. I was just a little over 1 year old. I was enjoying my first boat ride when the photo was taken.Read More...
June 01, 2010 at 4:45 pm
4096 Views

Are DC alternator chargers worth the money?

I recently received an e-mail from a reader asking if I could help identify which wire is the ignition wire for his 1999 outboard motor. He stated that he was considering hooking up an onboard DC alternator charger. The power for this unit is supposed to be supplied by the motorís ignition wire so that the charger is turned on whenever the key is on.Read More...
April 29, 2010 at 12:59 pm
6160 Views

The doctor orders a spring check-up

Wow, what a winter we had! We saw record rainfall totals, cold temperatures, high winds and tides so low that many waterways were reduced to mud flats.Read More...
March 30, 2010 at 3:52 pm
2944 Views

Shows offer tremendous opportunities

It seems that the boating season is getting off to a slow start this year. I wonder if it has something to do with a certain football team winning the Super Bowl.Read More...
March 01, 2010 at 1:28 pm
2697 Views

Take steps before storing duck boats

Duck season has come to an end. What will you do with your duck boat now?Read More...
February 01, 2010 at 2:24 pm
5370 Views

Hull design dictates propeller type

The design of your boatís bottom will affect the type of propeller you will need. In the simplest of terms, there are two hull designs: displacement and planing.Read More...
December 02, 2009 at 9:59 am
6106 Views
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