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A word from Boating America Author Mark Cameron, 

I have always been an avid boat fan. I've spent many summers in Michigan (Traverse City area) and enjoyed having a good aluminum 12 foot row boat to row around in. I used a little Johnson 3 hp. motor (that my grandfather let me use). Not exactly a fast moving boat but hey! I was only 12. Then came the 15 Hp. 1955 Evinrude that I still to this day have sitting in the garage, ( I have it stashed behind an old toy barn that my son has been nagging me to refurbish) . This old monster last ran in 1982 and I am scared to death that it may never start again if and when I get it out. But in the old days it got me up to 18 miles per hour on that 12 foot row boat. It even pulled me water skiing! Then because of family reasons I didn't go back to Michigan until 94. After 11 years worth of trips to Myrtle Beach and a brief sprint to the Caribbean and Hawaii, I realized I missed spending time on the water with complete control of my own craft (The bug Returns). June 20th 1994 I broke down and bought my first 18 foot open bow ski boat. I had looked and looked and picked up a phone book size worth of pamphlets at boat shows and even figured up different payments, interest and price ranges. Then I walked in the show room that morning and looked at a boat that I had been eyeing, went to the sales person that I had been driving crazy for better then two years, and said "write it up".

Ok its only an 18 foot but it is small enough for the kind of inland lakes and rivers I like and its big enough for the kids and I without going overboard on HP. limits. It is a Kentucky based manufacturer and it uses the ever famous Mercrusier outdrive in the 3.0 litre 4 cylinder format. Its a first boat, low payment, low insurance and light enough for the van to idle it out of the water. I can get up to 40 miles per hour on a ski prop but I generally stay at a 20 - 30 miles per hour speed.

I pulled into the Marine dealership that following morning ready to pick up the boat and brought the kids with me (not telling them what I was up to I might add). My daughter 8 and son 5 just thought it was just another trip to a dealer which I was sure they found boring until we went back to the van and the boat and trailer were all hooked up. The kids needless to say were excited probably more than I was.

-First Time Out-

If you remember your first day out with your new boat, or have yet to experience it, is probably one of the most exciting days of your life, (with the exception of a wedding day). I pulled the boat to a lake outside of Zanesville, Ohio just east of Columbus where we bought it. backed it down the ramp for the first time.... (I suppose your waiting for the ole "I forgot the plug" story) but luckily the guy in front of me forgot his and I saw him start to sink while he was floating there. Needless to say I was a prior row boater and knew about plugs. The other guy managed to jump in the water and screw it in submerged. My boss at work however sunk his to his carperator. I felt like a real pro running the blower for the proper five minutes, checking the life jackets, all brand new right out of the store. I had the kids buckled up and we were off to the fun of backing down the boat ramp. All was fine until I realized that I forgot to undo the straps after noticing the boat was getting a bit deep without floating off the trailer. Oh well I guess it was just as embarrassing. I pulled back out, disconnected all the straps and off to her maiden voyage on Dillon Lake . With the non-alcoholic bottle of bubbly broken over the bow we were off. The boaters happiest day of his life!

They say its the happiest day when they sell the boat too! But now nearly two years later, each day I take the cover off with a full 30 gallon gas tank I still feel just as happy! That day on Dillon lasted about two hours when our first raging thunderstorm came along. We made a quick run for the van and I backed the trailer down the ramp and spent the entire down-pour trying to get lined up for the trailer (not bad considering the high winds). After about 20-minutes I was up out of the water, engine up, drain out and ready with the towels. Then on the way through Zanesville a light suddenly changed and I couldn't stop in time and I could say it was my first written warning pulling a trailer. It doesn't end there, I headed to visit a friend and while trying to get situated backing up, a drunk driver came flying down the road out of nowhere and I heard this sickening "screech". Fortunately he only nicked the trailer, but I couldn't say much about his car! He got out and looked at his car, turned to me, he looked mad and a bit dis-oriented, (It was dark and I technically had the high beams on by accident and he didn't see the trailer while I was backing) and he asked me who was going to pay for the damage to his car. I (with my heart still raging and still wet from the storm) said, "let me make a phone call, the sheriff should take a report". I headed for my car phone and he immediately backed down and ran to his car and took off. Yes he really reeked of alcohol and didn't to file a report. Needless to say I little touch up paint on the Tennesse Trailer with the Bearing Buddies did the trick! To this day I still practice backing without taking up more than my lane.

Not a bad first day, at least the boat wasn't at the bottom of the lake. I have taken that boat on lake after lake in Michigan, West Virginia and my home state of Ohio. I also broke my first prop a week later while on vacation near Traverse City on Torch lake. It happened while trying to out run a Thunderstorm, that I have been a magnet for lately.

This summer I plan on a relaxing house boat trip on Kentucky's Lake Cumberland. I have never been there and I am very excited about it!

Favorite Inland Lake Trip:

Chain of Lakes near Traverse City, Michigan. In Elk Rapids 21 miles north on U.S. 31 a convenient boat ramp near downtown allows you access to both Lake Michigan on the lower ramp at the marina (one of the best ones I have visited I might add), and Elk Lake on the upper ramp about a block away. Its about 60 miles round trip, restaurants and gas stops are available along the way. South on Elk leads to Lake Skegomog, then you head for the stumps (there are markings), and look for Torch River. On the way into Torch River you may watch for the Bald Eagle who sits perched on top of a dead tree to the west. Its about 5 miles in "no wake" then you come up on a small town on the south end of the huge inland lake, Torch Lake. Its also one of the clearest with depth visibility up to 20 feet in some areas making a depth finder unnecessary. Carefully follow the markings that guides you out of the river onto the lake. If you venture out of the way you will hit sand as shallow as a foot 100 yards from shore. Its also a great place to pop up a volleyball net! Then about 7 miles up torch you want to keep your eye on the east side of the lake where the valley appears to be and head into Clam Lake. A nice bar/restaurant sits at the entry point with reasonable and tasty food. I believe I had a burrito while the kids chowed on hot dogs. Clam lake is about half to a quarter as wide as the Ohio River and is a full wake zone. As you head east you will come up on markings that guide you into Grass River. Be ready to be followed by Ducks and Swans if your kids happen to have popcorn! (a picture of this locale is used as a setting for a Four Winds Boat advertisement in their 94' catalog). Grass river (no wake) takes you into the wilderness for several brief moments between the occasional houses but is one of the most beautiful parts of the trip. We stopped along the way and did some swimming. After about 8 or 9 miles its onto Lake Bellaire. By now you will be along way from Elk Rapids. Lake Bellaire is surrounded by houses on scarce lake front property. Its not big enough to generate large waves and is therefore great for skiing. Be careful when entering from Grass River, stay straight for about 400 yards and you are set!. You can actually retrailer onto Intermediate Lake (above the Dam in Bellaire in Antrim County) and go up several more lakes including Six Mile and Wilson.

If you like to Fish, this will be one long troll you will never forget. On Grass River it was as easy as casting the rod!

Back in Elk Rapids we caught up with a couple whom had made the trip on Jet Skis. I used about 15 gallons of fuel, and still had enough for the rest of the vacation. Lodging is expensive in the Traverse City area in July but the best time seems to be in June when the weather (at least it seems) to be drier then, and with less expensive rooms available.

  • The Best: Grand Traverse Resort Hotel
  • Budget: Many National Chains ie. Super 8 etc.
  • Slips: Elk River Inn has several located in Elk Rapids on Elk Lake.
  • Homely: There are still a few Ma, Pa run cottages available in the area some people have been going to for years and years (which my grandparents use to run as well). Check the Grand Traverse area of Commerce for such a listing.



    Also if you like the big stuff, Grand Traverse's Bay offers shelter from the Lake Michigan roughness and a suggested stop is Suttons bay and North Port on the west bay area. The weather changes quickly and I recommend a Marine Radio for Lake Michigan.

    I know this is getting long, but this is one of many stories I find myself getting into with many other boaters that are shut in for the winter, except in the south. If you have any experiences on exciting all day boating trips or Great Lake Crossings, Waterways etc., E-Mail me your experiences and I will post them. Also be sure to check out boaters news groups which I have posted on the "Links Page".

    Mark Cameron

    Space for tips on your boating techniques

    Be sure to E-Mail me by clicking herefor information you find useful in your boating routine.

    Subject: Paintsville Lake Ky.
    Date: Jul 97 20:45:59 +0000
    From: NAME : Mike Justus,,,,Delaware, OH
    Kentucky Wonder! Paintsville Lake
    My family and I, along with another couple, had the opportunity to discover Paintsville Lake in June of this year. Oh, what a gem we found! The lake is located in eastern Kentucky near the town of Paintsville and only about 4 miles off Rt. 23. It is approximately 200 miles from Columbus or about 4 to 4 1/2 hrs driving time, depending on stops. The lake is not real large at 1,100 acres but it is approx. 20 miles long to its most navigable point. In fact, the term lake is somewhat of a misnomer because after you get approximately 3 miles above the dam, it narrows down considerably to more resemble a river. A deep river....depths in the channel were often 75’ or more. The lake is not for the go fast types, with its twisting “S” turns and narrow areas, it's more for the cruiser that likes to take it slow and enjoy the sights. There are quite a few bass fishermen fishing the drop-offs along the entire length. I recommend you slow down to a no wake speed when passing them. We discovered that after coming up and down off plane so much to avoid disturbing them with our wake, that it was easier just to cruise the entire length at no wake speed. The lake appears to receive very little traffic from out of state visitors. I was amazed at how little boat traffic there was for a summer weekend. Although there are houseboats-both private and rentals- at the marina, we saw only one houseboat out on the lake all weekend. Most of what traffic there was appeared to be fishing boats and pontoons. There is one launch ramp at the dam near the lakes only marina. The ramp is very good and not steep at all. After launching our boats, we skirted a large island near the dam and proceeded to the nearest swim cove for lunch and a swim. The water was clear and refreshing! After a few hours we decided to push on toward the upper reaches of the lake. As the lake narrowed down , we began to appreciate the hidden beauty of this jewel. We motored by miles of rocky limestone bluffs complete with caves, overhangs and huge boulders. We gazed at the oaks, cedars and rhododendrons clinging tenaciously to these cliffs. I wondered how many bass the fallen trees at the base of these rocks held. If you could picture cruising through the Hocking Hills cave area in your boat, it would be a similar experience! We arrived at a fork in the lake and headed up the portside branch. We quickly found an uninhabited cove, set the hook and rafted off each other. We took turns using the wave runner to explore further from our “base camp”. I discovered a pristeen small cove with a waterfall spilling over the craggy rocks at one end, surrounded by a thick grove of wild rhododendron. I mentally marked that spot for a future anchorage! After supper aboard, we enjoyed a nice evening swim and enjoyed the tranquility of our quite little cove. Saturday brought more great weather and another day of exploring all of the lake’s nooks and crannies. We departed Sunday, beating a thunderstorm, but vowed to come back to this beautiful place. It was truly a trailerboaters dream!
    EMAIL : NAME : Mike Justus,,,,Delaware, OH



    Thanks Mike for the mail, I dropped this in the techniques because of the idea of base camping and running politely around bass fisherman. This lake sounds great, I hope to launch in down there sometime soon. Take care and happy boating this summer! -Mark

    Subject: Advice and Question
    Date: Mon, 14 Jul 97 20:45:59 +0000
    From: John Kimbrough <>
    I enjoyed reading your experience, as well as many of the others, and the Gilligan's Island theme song on your home page is a classic !!!
    As for my personal experiences, I have to say mine have been flawless to date, however I have only had my boat a short time. I have seen other boaters who have traveled great distances and forgot to bring the keys to their boat with them and then trying to "hot-wire" their boats on the launch ramp I strongly recommend to folks (especially those who are known to forget things from time to time) to keep a second set of keys hidden in your towing vehicle at all times.
    Also, Do you know of any good sources for purchasing discount outboard motor parts via catalogs. I have a 1987 Force 125HP OB which I' planning to rebuild this coming winter.
    John Kimbrough A California Waters Boater



    I lost one of my keys once after ramping onto a river just above a small dam. After shoving off we started drifting towards the dam (which is a non controlled water fall type I forget the technical name) I wound up hot wiring the boat rather than fighting the current with oars. I had about 300 yards to spare. Now I start my boat while on the trailer and back off, doing away with the "getting shoved off without keys problem". The advice is well taken, I keep a spare key in my wallet for that just in case scenario. I haven't come across any parts catalogs for motors, there are exhaust manifolds for many engines (which usually fail after two years when used heavily in salt water) so your best bet is to contact your Force dealer, they may have a parts shop type of catalog that you may be able to order from or at least be able to supply you with the necessary rings and valve replacement parts, or whatever else you may need to rebuild. Good luck this winter ! -Mark

    Subject: need info with pontoon boat
    Date: Tue, 15 Jul 97 17:37:03 +0000
    From: "mike miller" <>
    Reply-To: <>
    To: <>
    thanks mark for your usefull info on boating just found your site today. I have a 1977 24 foot Landau pontoon with a 90 hp johnson engine ob. my question is i need a owners manual for this boat or address or phone number for Landau. also i use this boat/motor in salt water ( Tampa bay area ) every week end ,how should i rinse this off ? i do trailer in and out each wkend thanks mike miller



    I would recommend contacting for a Landau dealer for your Pontoon. They may have the recommended manuals. When running in salt water part time I would suggest flushing the engine as soon as you pull it out. Also hose down the entire water exposed craft which will rinse the salt off and will reduce the speed of the erosion. Make sure that before you put in salt water that you make sure all your throttle and stirring cables are well lubricated to reduce exposure to the salt water air and any splashes. Good luck and see out on Tampa Bay sometime! (where my picture above was taken) :) . -Mark

    Subject: Thanks
    Date: Sun, 8 Jun 97 21:03:19 +0000
    Thanks Mark, I just had a very enjoyable "first launch" Expereince with the used boat I purchased, just a few days ago. Everything went smooth, and everything worked properly.( I did have to make two attempts at the ramp while backing up though). Just wanted to comment to you how the tips on your page were very helpfull to me. Thanks a lot for the info, and I'll be checking your page on a regular basis for more "how to's" Stan Parnell, Charlotte, NC



    Glad to hear it worked out, the backing up is the hardest part! -Mark

    Subject: Boat Launch Courtesy
    Date: Fri, 28 Feb 97 22:06:29 +0000
    Mark, The one thing about a boat launch is that it is where you start and finish your boating enjoyment. Here are some do's and don'ts. Never pull up to the ramp, shut off your truck, and start to take off your cover, move fishing gear from the truck to the boat, ect. Do that in the parking lot first then pull up to the boat ramp, even if there is no one at the ramp when you first pull up, someone may arrive later that is ready to roll. Never rush the person in front of you, even if they are unloading there truck. Boats range in price from $500.00 to above $100,000.00 and so does the experience of that person in front of you, they may be nervous about there first launch or it's a new boat to them and they are not familiar with it yet and they need more time. If you offer help make sure that they actually want help, some people are just slower than others. Some people like to power their boats onto the trailer, that is a very effective way to load your boat but don't over rev the engine because it causes prop wash, (the big drop off at the edge of the ramp). I hope these tips help make the next boating trip a enjoyable time for everyone.



    I agree 100 %. Especially on a busy Sunday!  Running too much power while pulling onto the trailer can also cause small groups of fish to be pulled into the prop wash causing a deadly situation for the fish. A little thrust is all you need, otherwise back the trailer in a little more. Thanks for your input! -Mark

    Subject: What can I do?
    Date: Fri, 21 Feb 97 03:55:33 +0000
    I bought an 81 Whaler from a friend who had left it in the water long enough to grow a small oyster bed on the bottom. The boat has been out of the water for 2-3 years, and these shells just refuse to come off. A putty knife can get some...but not all. I know I will need some work on the bottom, but is there any way I can get most if not all of the shells off prior to taking it to the fiberglass shop so my cost may be reduced?



    You may want to try a high power car wash type of spray but with a lot more pressure. Also check your marine store for legal chemicals that won't harm fiberglass that will help soak the items off. Different states have different chemicals available. If all else fails I would then ask the fiberglass specialist about sanding it off and relaying layers of fiberglass coated with epoxy. Once you are back in the water and if you don't trailer regularly it would be a good idea to wipe the boat down including the entire hull and engine compenents regularly to clear away the build up. Its easy to take up snorkeling and go under the hull on smaller boats while anchored off a cosy beach and use a mop type of handle to clean it off. If the weather is too cold I would recommend trailering it to clean it off regularly. Also don't forget to check into antifouling paint (avaialble in many areas of the U.S.).


    Subject: Hydrofoil Stabilizer
    Date: Wed, 19 Feb 97 02:57:41 +0000
    From: "tim.conley" <>
    To: Mark Cameron <>
    Mark-great page! Lot's of great tips and suggestions useful to a variety of boaters. I commend you on your detailed answers. You apparently do your homework!
    I have a 21ft Raven Cuddy Cabin. We use it for a variety of activities. One of which being wake-boarding and knee boarding. These activities require slower speeds of 18-22mph. Problem is this: My boat consistenly falls off plane. It will maintain in very calm waters but, even a small boat wake will cause it to come off plane. Continually adjusting the throttle is a hastle. The boat is equipped with a Mercruiser I/O and an Alpha I outdrive. I am considering putting a hydrofoil-stablizer on to correct this problem..Do you think it will? Perhaps I should invest in trim-tabs (personally I think the boat is too small for trim-tabs)? Does the stabilizer have any side-effects? One more thing: My wife and I are going to the NC Outerbanks for a week-long cruise. What sort of extra engine parts would you recommend for this trip? Thanks in advance!
    Tim Conley



    I wouldn't invest in trim tabs for your particular size of boat, but the hydrofoil will help reduce the speed you need to reach to get up in plane by a couple of miles per hour. Unfortunately you are running at speeds that just begin to put the boat up on a steady plane, especially at 18 miles per hour. With a lighter weight load it will be more steady at 18, but drop off when you are hauling passengers beyond your spotter. At speeds of 22 (with a hydro add on kit) you should wipe out the problem all together. If you are still encountering speed changes you may want to change your prop to a new pitch giving you more revolutions at the same speeds (this will cut down in your top end however). As far as your trip to the outer banks, you should have a marine radio, the usual safety gear, plenty of food in case of engine problems, a GPS or Loranz and good charts that indicate marinas and fueling stops. Thanks for the compliment on the site and have fun on your trip ! -Mark

    Subject: Your Page
    Date: Mon, 17 Feb 97 00:18:51 +0000



    There are thousands like us huh Fred ! Let me know how the Rough River Reservoir turns out, have a great 97!

    Subject: First Mate's Advice
    Date: Tue, 21 Jan 97 04:18:22 +0000
    From: "N. Sando" <>
    Just found your page and really like it. In response to some letters asking for advice on putting the boat in the water, docking, etc. - this First Mate's first piece of advice to all the "Captains" out there is DO NOT yell (scream, holler, swear) when engaging in any boating activity. It can make the crew want to mutiny! We now have our second boat and both try to remain as cool, calm, and collected as we can - even when things go wrong. It takes some practice. Somtimes for entertainment these days, we sit on the dock by the launch ramps and watch other people - I think there might be a book in it! Seriously, boating is fun and relaxing once you find some ways to deal with the inevitable frustrations. So, if you're new to boating - might we worth discussing with your mate before you put that boat in the water.



    I have heard of people sitting back for a full Sunday afternoon of entertainment down at the boat ramps! Its true, about discussing the process with your mate, and even practicing on a slow launch day. I have seen this demonstrated by a fishing club here in Columbus that meets on some Tuesdays where around 50 boats launch on four ramps in less time then it takes 8 to 10. One in the boat while the vehicle backs down, tilts engine in while hitting the water, starts engine, releases boat backs off, all while the trailer is moving backwards, brakes are hit and the truck pulls forward and the boat is out and away from the ramp and over to tempoary tie up, all in a matter of seconds. The traffic keeps moving, try that on a Sunday sometime! A little practice can gain a lot of speed and respect from for anyone waiting behind any boater!. Have fun next summer ! -Mark

    Subject: Fresh or salt Date:
    Tue, 3 Dec 96 00:50:04 +0000
    From: Perry Rivkind <>
    Mark, One more guestion please. Hampton Roads.Is the James River fresh water.As I indicated to you in my last letter my boat will be in a slip on that river.Just wanted to know that I don't have to flush the engine and concern myself with corrosion if it's on fresh water. Thanks again for your great advice. Perry



    Perry that water is "brine" which is fresh water saturated with salt. You should still flush for least amount of corrision. Even flushing on freshwater lakes is good practice to remove sand and mud which can build up in the engine. Your plans on the boat with the 200 HP OB engine should be easy to flush while even tilted out of the water (unlike stern drives). Some stern drive models have radiators that have coolant just like cars and don't cool with raw sea water. These units are popular with many salt water boaters since you have less engine corision with this setup. If you switch to stern drive model, check into this kind of cooling system. Local Marine dealers in Virginia are more than friendly when it comes to advice! -Mark.

    Subject: advice
    Date: Mon, 25 Nov 96 18:11:09 +0000
    From: Perry Rivkind <>
    Mark, I'm moving to Hampton Roads,Va. and plan to buy a boat.I'm interested in fishing, cruising the rivers and ocean in that area.It's all water up there.Interested in a 23' Sunbird neptune cabin 230.It weighs 4100 lbs.. and will be in a boat slip on the James river.Want to use it in the winter, thats why I want a cabin.First,do I need the bottem painted and is this the appropriate boat for the described uses and area. It also holds a 130 gals.of gas and has a 200 OB Johnson.It's just my wife and me.She wants me to buy a smaller open type boat.Says its less work.Appreciate your advice. Perry



    The size of boat you are looking at is fine but be careful of bad weather!. I have been in the Hampton Roads area in January and as for the winter boating you should be fine. I would keep an eye out for cold weather patterns and watch water temperatures just in case of freezing problems, winters there do have a few cold spells, mostly ice though. Have a trailer handy in case of a real hard freeze, you could pull out and drain the necessary items, bilge etc. A cabin boat does require more work as far as winterizing, especially with holding tanks. You should store fresh water tanks with an RV type of antifreeze that is safe for the environment, and as far as the winter cabin goes, skip the bathroom / shower (if equipped) until March. Your wife is right as far as smaller boats go, they are easier, but a true boating hobbiest won't mind a little extra work!. The bottom paint is a must. Anti fowling paint (if I have that spelled correctly) will help prevent organisims from building up on the bottom of the boat and ultimately give you continued easy planes when running at higher speeds, especailly if it sits at a slip instead of on a trailer. Spend the extra money, its worth it!. -Mark

    One more question Mark.I get differant stories on the question of MPG.What MPG could I expect on a 4000 lb.Neptune Sunbird Cuddy with a 200 HP Johnson traveling at 28MPH ? This boat holds 130 Gallons of gas. Thanks again, Perry Rivkind



    Boat fuel is measured in miles per gallon and / or gallons per hour, it would peak at about 25 or 30 or so depending on torque etc, so at that speed you might get about 2.5 miles per gallon or around 10-12 gallons per hour. Not the Geo Metro type of mileage, but the lighter the boat the more fuel miles it would have. You should go about 13 hours on a tank, unless your loaded down with passangers, or 120-140 miles. I suggest go out 1/3 then turn around and come back on the 2/3, leave yourself a good 1/3 tank for bad weather, currents or god forbid, emergencies. -Mark

    Subject: Winter Storage
    Date: Sat, 19 Oct 96 19:42:59 +0000
    Hi , I have 1970 Evinrude outboard 85 horsepower,what can I do to winterize the engine that I am storing it and the boat on my driveway??Please let me know about it soon as possible!!!!!



    Outboards are easier to winterize than I/Os so here are a few tips, of course you should always refer to a manual. Most people will hook up the engine to a water hose using cups (available for about 4 dollars at Walmart) start the engine and squirt oil into the carberator for a few minutes and then stalling it out. The smoke it generates coats the entire inside of the engine and exhaust helping to reduce rust. Others may take out each of the plugs and squirt oil in the cylinders and turn over the crank a few times (if a hose isn't available). Next take the battery out and clean the contacts, remove the tank and stablize any stored fuel (with a stabilizer available at most marine and auto stores (on I/Os pour some in your tank on your last outting so it gets into the fuel line as well). Next obtain the proper gear oil (I use Quick Silver High Performance on mine), and open the screw on the lower part of the engine just above the skeg where it drains the gear oil. Also open the top screw this will help all the oil to drain out. This is a great time to remove any water that may be in the casing and eliminate a chance for cracking from ice. The process is slow but worth it. Then pump oil in from the bottom with a gear oil pump (available at all marine dealers). When the oil reaches the top hole you are done (newer boats with reservoirs need to be topped off as well). Remove the pump, pump some into the top (which the level may be a little low with a few air bubbles), and your gear oil is changed!. Next I recommend storing the trailer in a tilted postion so any moisture will run out the back, and leave the drain hole unplugged. (some boats have exhuast manifolds that must be drained for winter storing or pumped with anti freeze, other should have an anti freeze change depending on the type of I/O unit). Next Jack the trailer so the wheels don;t get a flat spot, check your trailer bearings, re torque your lug nuts, and lube any necessary parts (ie. power tilt if applicable, check reservoir). You may also want to coat your steering lines and throttle linkages with special lube 101 (some use WD40) to make sure the lines are working properly. Plan to spend an afternoon and then in the spring you will be ready to be back out on the lake by hooking up the tank and battery and you're set. -Mark

    Subject: Hello, I have a wee tip.
    Date: Wed, 9 Oct 96 00:35:11 +0000
    From: david richardson <"">
    Organization: MMC
    For those who have a three chamber boat (like my 18ft 4 winns w/ 55hp johnson), and forgot to put the plug in - you need not worry. If your boat has more than one air chamber (where the rainwater usually goes) and you forgot the plug, just take the boat out and run it at a fast clip (faster is better), thus the water will drain to the stern drain hole and the momentum will force most of the water out - this may take a while (depending on how long you noticed the water sneaking in). And after you get most of the water out, get to the back and plug the hole while your still cruising - this is the only way I now of to get the water out (if you've already left the dock). I learned this from my uncle on Pentwater lake - I guess it happened to him:) I live close to Silver Lake (Silver Lake Sand Dunes) and am pretty much surrounded by lakes - Pentwater lake is 11 miles from here. Dave



    I have seen that experience more than once even on personal watercraft. If you have enough time and are not weighed down by too much water on the boat you can usually get up to plane and with a little trim you can nose up and dump out the water, especially helpful along with the bilge pump. I strongly recommend to trailer the boat unless you have the plug with you and in that case pull up on a beach where you're not in mud and then screw it in. Other wise if you are weighed down its bucket time or swim!   -Mark

    Subject: boating questions
    Date: Sun, 8 Sep 96 17:28:23 +0000
    From: Clay Ross <>
    I just ran upon your page and I think it's great! I recently bought a 17' 1976 Winner 120hp I/O. It's an older boat, but we were assured by the dealer that it was really in great condition (I really had no choice but to take his word for it). Now, you must understand, this is our first boat and my wife or I know nearly nothing about boating, but we figured we would learn as we go. We took it to one of the area lakes last weekend (we live in the Kansas City Area) in hopes of christening it with a fabulous weekend of boating. Needless to say, we had a very bad day with it. Alot of our troubles had to do with flooding the engine, the inability to back the trailer, trouble putting the boat in the water, taking the boat out of the water and keeping the boat running while in the water. The boat would die when I throttled down quickly from full to idle, and we wouldn't be able to get it started again, three of us ended up paddling back about 1.5 miles to the boat dock with one paddle and 2 water skis. I am sure it was a funny sight for anyone watching (I am sure I would have laughed myself silly had I been watching), but it was not really that funny to be a participant. When we got back home my wife wanted me to sell the boat. I was wondering if you could post a beginners guide to boating, all the basic's of what to do and NOT to do, and a guide for those that know nothing about baoting who want to buy a boat. Thanks in advance. And thank you for your page.
    Clay Ross Shawnee, Kansas



    I have heard of first experiences like these many times. I think you may want to tune up your engine however, it shouldn't stall during a complete stop from a full throttle. Have all your filters and the timing checked. A new set of plugs and wires would help decrease gas consumption. As far as backing the boat, a secret to the first time out is to take it out on a weekday by yourself or with a first mate and get the feel of backing, launching, trailering and operation (weekdays are great for this, there is never anyone around to watch you make a few mistakes). Then you will have a feel of whats coming up when the whole family and friends are there watching the christening. In your case I would reschedule the christening, after a couple of pratice runs and a tune up!  I must admit one thing I did do last summer as far as stalling goes, I was running my 18ft open bow out on Grand Traverse Bay when the weather was changing, causing some 3-5 foot waves to roll in. I hooked up my safety cut-off switch to my belt and managed to take the boat out to the Old Mission Light House, about 6 miles from Elk Rapids. We got out to the tip, staying about 500 yards from shore to avoid the Shoals (rocks), and when I stood up after stopping the engine cut off. I was thinking to my self and caused concern to my kids, that the engine wouldn't restart and we will have to drift back to shore which may take hours. Then I remembered the cutoff switch, and luckily got the now flooded engine started. Fortunately I had a cellular phone and a GPS along to call for help in case the waves got any worse. I rarely boat on Lake Michigan, I like to stay more inland, but my oldest daughter had to see that lighthouse! (quite spectacular at sunset !).

    I will look into developing a new section for first time buyers, and be sure to ask your wife if she would give it another chance after a few pratice runs. Also be sure to look into a Boaters Safety course, Good luck on your next run Clay! -Mark

    Subject: References
    Date: Tues, 27Aug 96 10:57:00 PDT
    From: John Moody (address withheld)
    To: "''" <>
    I must admit that my friends and I boat quite frequently. It is a great time until its time to pull out and then everyone has his or her own idea of how to trailer the boat at the ramp. Five friends and I were pulling out of Carter's Lake near Atlanta and we must have spent 15-minutes yelling at each other, "Back it down, a little more to the right, no left I meant" etc. Meanwhile a guy pulls up in his boat. Runs to his truck, backs down the other ramp, runs to the dock, grabs the boat trailers it (we both have drive up trailers), cranks the winch a few notches and out he goes, in under 3-minutes. It was another 5 or so for us, and then we forgot to tilt the engine up when we did pull out. What is the best way to trailer and untrailer the boat?



    John, you need to have your friends take a little walk once its trailer time. Have one drive the boat up to the trailer once you have dunked and then have him or her walk it out with you. I find that launching has been easier by doing it by myself. I back in (after straps and plugs are checked bower on etc.) and wait to see the back of the boat floating. Then I go back to the boat and disconnect the winch and back it off, dock and then park the van. Trailering is easy by yourself when your not busy analysing suggestions from everyone!. I dock, back the trailer in unitl about 6 inches of carpet is showing (or top wheels just sticking out for roller models). Then I drive up and shut the engine down and tilt up. Then I winch the boat on about a foot or so (occassionally I thrust up when and where its legal, but thrusting can damage the guide if you hit it too hard, plus you don't want to make a fish milkshake in case a school of fish happen to be in the ramp area which is comon in the late summer). I Winch and I am out of there. Later I strap, drain the engine and remove the drain plug, wipe down cover and check the bearings, lights, and I am out of there. Other people have their own methods of trailering such has always having a first mate around, where two people can save time as long as a method is discussed a head of time, (I've-seen it done in under 3-minutes). Good luck John on your next run!


    Subject: Your Web Site
    Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 15:35:33 EST
    Found this web site to be fun and informative. Just bought our first boat
    (1999 20' IO Bayliner w/4cyl, bowrider)..and found out some interesting
    lessons in the "shopping" game of buying boats. First, let me ask...have not
    seen any new entries in your email except one dated Mar 1, 1999..yet nothing
    else all year?..anyway...Here's my "first time boat purchaser" story.
    When we decided we were going to purchase a boat, our first intentions were a
    used boat..since we were in the $5 to $6K range. We wanted to pay cash, and
    not finance. I bought a "Boat Trader" magazine and started the hunt. We knew
    we wanted an open bow, IO style boat..and something that would hold 8 people
    comfortably (as well as legally) since we have 3 kids. All of our friends have
    speed boats..but they only hold 4 or 5 people, they're loud, they're windy,
    and there's no where to put an ice chest. Plus, I'm not very mechanically
    inclined, and I know everyone who owns a speed boat with automotive engines
    are always having to wrench on them...thats not for me. So, we head to a
    used/new boat dealer in our area. We pulled up and were given a price list. We
    liked this, since I don't like salesman following us around anyway. The boat
    that was pictured that originally took us in this dealers direction was a
    wreck. Needed interior work, outside paint..looked plain ugly..for $4,000! So,
    we kept looking. I then talked to a salesman, wanting to pick his brain about
    boats..prices of parts, expense, how do we know how many hours are on the boat
    if there's no meter, whats the plaque in the boat that the legal limit
    of how many people can ride in boat..and if so, how come that 20' boat says 10
    people, and that 20' boat says 6 people? are the answers I received, and
    again, I had'nt read a magazine, a book, been in the net or anything.
             "Engines...well theres Volvo and theres Mercruiser. They're both GM
    blocks..and if you had a problem, you could buy an engine for about $1200. The
    only difference is the head gaskets..copper instead of regular".  "I've been
    selling boats for
    30 years I know my stuff"....(this was what the person told me). The
    correct answers are: Engines vary from about $4000 upwards to $12000,
    depending on size, and this doesn't include the out drive portion of the
    engine, which is another $2000 to $6000. My 4 cylinder Mercruiser with Alpha 1
    out drive is $6200 to replace. Marine engines are high performance parts..from
    valves, cranks, pistons, rings and Marine sealed starter, alternators
    exhaust...all that. They are higher performance, stronger
    engines than automobiles..simply because they are designed to run at much
    rpms than a car, because most boats don't have transmissions.
             The answer I was given about the amount of people was: "Thats just a
    they have to put on the boat for coast guard purposes, but you can put more".
    boats just put a larger number than others, and charge more for their
    real answer: The yellow plaque is mandated by coast guard on all boats under
    26' (I believe) and is 2 things. The boat can stay afloat for 72 hours with
    the posted amount
    of weight or persons after being will still float. It is also
    the maximum amount of people you can put in the boat..period. Same size boats
    are rated differently, because some are built better...therefore tests show
    they can withstand more weight/bodies for the 72 hours submerged test than
    other boats. This is important...because it can help determine the quality of
    a manufacturor.
             Why no meter?...salesman said its not required..but really doesn't
    mean much. Well, its true, its not required..but it is better to find a used
    boat that does have a meter on it. You can also tell by the carpet wear and
    tear....its a help, but not scientific.
             When we accidently priced some new boats (while next door looking at
    used boats at another lot)..we decided it was worth it to buy new. Some rumors
    of brands and engines I heard at the boat show...Bayliner is a lower end built
    boat..and was built poorly prior to 95. They used Volvo/Penta systems..which
    arent as good as Mercruiser (well this might be true..since Mercruiser run
    about 8% higher in price). The older (pre 95) Bayliners hold 5 or 6 people (19
    to 20") which was true. The outside jell coats were cheap and fade...again,
    true..look at any 5 year or older Bayliner. Well...I am happy to say, that
    with alot of research and asking questions of the "competition"...they all
    seem to say some good, and obvious things about this brand of boat. Bayliner
    moved to the better engine system, they've fixed the gell coat problem, and
    they are better built, because now my 20' tested to hold 9 people, as rated on
    the yellow plaque.
             Things I did'nt like about buying this boat...after I paid? There is
    no where to store the bimini top, and the bars do not fold. The trailer came
    with no spare. The kits I purchased from the dealer (coast guard kit, anchor
    kit, bumper kit) cost less to buy the items from the dealer individually, than
    as a kit, and about 50% cheaper to buy them at a Walmart, Kmart, or any
    sporting goods store.
             So, if your thinking of buying a alot, ask alot of
    questions, and make them take you for a test drive. Oh, by the way..the brand
    new boat, with trailer and tax..was just over $12k...we think this was a
    steal..we'll let you know in 5 years!

    Thanks for your input. I have always purchased my boats new, this way you know where they have been and how they are being cared for. The prices you quoted on the engines are reflecting brand new prices, keep in mind if you have a failure in a used engine the best thing to do is resort to rebuilding the engine or purchase a rebuilt engine and or outdrive (which ever needs to be replaced).  Otherwise its makes more sense to just buy a new boat. The warranty is always a plus too. -Mark



    Subject: No Subject
    Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 12:54:28 EST
    Hi!   I just purchased a Eliminator 250XP Eagle cuddy/bow rider.   The two
    engines that I narrowed it down to were the Mercruiser 454 and 502.  The 502
    is only 30 hp more but about $9,000.00 more in price.  I was wondering if the
    502 performs that much better than the 454 because of the significant price
    difference.  Is the gas mileage going to be much different?  What is your
    opinion on these two engines?  I am having a very difficult deciding on this
    matter.  Thank you for your advice.




    If you want to be the fastest, have more punch when towing skiers, and enjoy that extra power when you need it, the few extra dollars is worth it as long as your budget allows it. You will drink gas faster but mostly at extreme speeds. Standard just above wake speeds (20 - 25 knots) will not make much of any difference.   Your resale percentage value will be better as well. On the other hand  if you are not out to be the fastest, rarely tow or carry several passangers, and run frequently on rough waters, then you may want to save and go with the smaller engine, (since probably you won't be using the higher end rpms as much). Your resale percentage however will be slightly lower.  Both engines are reliable from my experiences, however break them in by varying your speed for the first 20 hours or so of running time. I have known a few BAJA dealers who have gunned a  new engine and burned out the gears on the outdrive in undcr one hour of break-in..  Still under warranty but brings on delays which can ruin a boating trip.  -Mark

    Mark, Just purchased a 1988 Grady White with a 1988 Mercury 175hp outboard.  After running at about 4000 rpm for about thirty minutes the engine started to lose power like it was going to stall. I reduced the rpm to 2000 and i made it back to the dock on the way I tried several times to increase the speed and the speed would increase for a few seconds and then decrease again.  Any suggestions on what the problem might be.  Thanks for any help that you can provide.

    It sounds like the fuel filter. Higher speeds drink fuel faster, if the filter picked up anything in the tank it would have clogged and slowed the engine down, slowing down drinks less fuel and therefore cleared up. Fuel filters are relatively inexpensive and should be changed every year. Also check fuel/oil mixture and related equipment and timing, (though timing would slow down instantly at higher speeds), also rotor and or point related ingnition.  Good Luck !  -Mark

    Subject: prop replacement
    Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 12:28:38 -0400
    From: Izzy <>
    Being new to boating I have a dinged up prop that needs to be replaced. I
    have a 1988 23' Donzi with a merc Crusier Alpha 1 outboard powered with an
    OMC 260. I have the prop and a prop wrench, but no knowledge as to what to
    do. Can you help or tell me where to go.( please be kind when telling me
    where to go )
    Izzy Barish

    Changing a prop is simple. Simply use the prop wrench to pry back the three or so metal retainers (that are bent forward
    to prevent the nut from spinning) and then put the wrench on the nut and unscrew it counter clockwise while holding the prop from spinning. Be sure to note the order that the parts come off, checking for fishing line between the prop and the washers. Just put the new or repaired prop on in reverse order. The wrench makes it easy and can be done in just a few minutes. -Mark

    Subject: More Hp from 3.0 Mercruiser
    Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 09:43:19 EDT
    Mark ,
    Just discovered your site from reading this Sundays's paper and am really
    enjoying it. I see the same hesitation problem of the 3.0 Mercruiser I/O that I have. The
    3.0 liter is an excellent family boat to pull most water toys , but slow to
    pull a 200 lb skier w/ boat load of people. Is there some way to increase hp or
    shorten time to skiing speed? I am using the stainless steel prop as recommended by
    Bayliner. Thanks !    Rodney Bertrand

    I have been expermenting with props more this year than usual, and found that if you have several passangers on
    board and want to pull a skier, your best bet is to purchase a prop with a lower pitch.  Keep your stainless for
    general running, but with a simple prop tool and 60 seconds (plus it gives you a chance to untangle any fishing line
    you might have picked up), you can switch to a say 15" prop.  You will notice an increase in your maximum RPM
    and a great speed reduction, but you will have plenty of power for quick starts and you should still top out at about
    30 or 32. With an empty load you will find about 38 - 40 with a 19" prop and lower RPM maximum. A basic aluminum
    prop will set you back about $ 129. You can order  them through Overton's online, (check our "Links" page). If you
    are boating in water with a lot of shallow spots or debris (ie. floating logs after a hard rain) a composite prop (around $ 89)
    is more ideal and is cheaper to replace than an aluminum prop or an outdrive shaft. They are also good for cornering and are ideal for 18 foot (most boats under 22 ft overall). Also be sure to run a plus or better grade of fuel for best power and if it
    is hesitating in the take off you will need to check your timing or consider a tune up. Either will also help lower your fuel
    consumption. Check with your local Bayliner dealer for the ideal prop for skiing, and if you do switch to a lower pitch
    prop it would be best to try to keep your RPM under 4500, as it will be easy to get to 5000.  Have a great summer
    boating! -Mark

    Subject: Rebuilt 3.0 Mercruiser
    Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 19:23:16 -0400
    From: "Randy Westerfield" <rjwest@islc.n
    Reply-To: <>
    To: <>
    Mark I just finished rebuilding my 1990 3.0 Mercruiser engine.  It is
    mounted in the boat it came with a 1990 Invader.  The problem I am having is adjusting the
    valves. This engine came with the DDIS.  I know that the camshaft and crankshaft
    are set correctly because I marked these items.  I had the head checked and the
    valves reworked.  After putting the engine back together I adjusted the
    valves with what I thought were correct spec's, no lash and one full turn
    of the adjustment nut.  The boat starts up like a champ no problem.  I just took it to the water this
    weekend to test it out,  no problem starting but at WOT I could only pull 3100 RPM's  it just
    didn't want to go.  When I put the engine in neutral the engine has no problem going to
    4500 RPM except that it will miss or backfire on occassion.  I believe my problem is
    the valve adjustment, could you give me the correct procedure's for doing this.  Our
    if this is not the problem what is your bet.
    Thanks Randy

    It sounds like the timing is OK and that you have adjusted the valves properly, the possibilities are
    adjusting the valves too tight where the engine isn't breathing properly, compression in the cylinders
    are too low which would mean reboaring out the cylinders and new rings, air cleaner not breathing
    properly, fuel pump and or filter, engine alignment (since neutral is running well), too much pitch in the prop,
    (you should be no more than about 20 or 21 in pitch to reach 4000 max, or 15 pitch at 4600 rpm). Trim
    too high and weight to heavy in boat. It should be running at least 4400 rpm on a 19 pitch prop (for example).
    Consult with a Mercruiser manual on exact proceedure of adjustment. It involves a feeler gauge to set the space
    and a good wrench to turn the crank shaft to check the proper clearance and gasket. I haven't performed one in years myself,
    thus I would advise a trip to the local marina or possibly a library for a manual. Good luck and fill us in!  -Mark

    Subject: Torque steer
    Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 14:12:30 -0400
    From: addcmore <>
    Hi Mark,
    Found your web page and I wondered if you have any advise or articles
    you could suggest on how to overcome torque steer. We have an old family
    fibreglass boat (Crestliner) which we just put an 85 Johnson on last
    year, the original motor died.  We are experiencing a strong pull to the
    right as we increase speed.  My husband and brother say it is torque
    steer but we are not sure what we can do about it.  Any suggestions
    would be welcomed.
    Thanks, Dianne

    There is an adjustable fin just above the prop on most outboard and inboard systems.  If your boat is drifting to the right stop the boat at a nearby beach or ramp tilt the engine out and adjust the fin as few degrees counter clockwise while looking up towards it. Run again and stop and make fine tune adjustments until you are comfortable with the steering.

    Subject: New engine power loss
    Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 14:11:50 -0400
    From: J Dructor <>
    Mark, I have visited your web page several times and have picked-up some
    great tips (thanks!).  Now I have a question of my own.  I just bought a
    1998 SeaRay 175 bowrider with a 3.0 liter Mercruiser Alpha 1 stern drive.
    I've only used the boat about six times and not for very long (in fact, I'd
    bet I haven't even used a full tank of gas yet).  The problem I'm having is
    when I go from idle to 3/4 or full throttle - the boat hesitates and has
    even stalled once. It doesn't happen all the time and it didn't happen the
    first couple times I used it.  When it does occur, the boat usually
    hesitates for a second or two (almost like it's not getting fuel), then
    takes off and runs fine.  By mistake, I had put $20 of 87 octane fuel in
    the boat the first time.  Could this have caused any damage? (I learned
    afterward 89 octane is recommended). Any ideas?  Thanks, -Jim



    The octane has little impact on hesitation. 89 at less than 2000 feet above sea level is ideal and recommended in order to get cleaner fuel. Above 2000 feet gas burns differently and doesn't need as much octane and 87 or in some cases even less is sufficient, (such as Lake Dillon in Colorado that is over 5000 feet above sea level). However you also may have some bad gas too. First fill your boat up with 89 (I recommend Marathon or Shell), and when on the water after warming up and running a little try taking off back to 3/4 of a throttle or so. If after your second or third fill up you still have hesitation then what you have most likely is a timing problem. It may need to be  advanced a degree or two.  Then since yoru boat is brand new and under warranty  I would recommend taking it back to the dealer for a timing check and or adjustment. Good luck and have a great summer boating!.

    Subject: Help?
    Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 00:43:10 -0500
    From: "Eagle" <>
     To: <>
    Dear Mark,
    Seems to me your the guy i need to talk to.....I got an OMC from ARROW Glass of Memphis.... it's a 16 ft. in board with a gm in-line 4 cyl....this thing had set for about 6 years and the previous owner said it would
    make a good palnter for the back yard... but  since he wanted to leave this thing with the house he was selling to me I said ok.... figured i trash it for him.....while cleaning the barn on this property i found the shop manual and started
    toying with the idea of fixin it....well 6 months later and about 50 bucks in parts and the dang things run like
    a racing i did it... i fixed it... i cleaned it.... i waxed it.... and i put 4 new tires on the trailer ....but what now.... i think maybe the water... but wait eagle has never had a boat before..... i'm picking up alot from your site and just wanted to say thanks.... i need the the help that you are sharing and i do appreciate it..... any further tips on putting a restored boat in the water would greatly be appreciated....
    thank you,



    I have to say you ran into a bit of luck buying property and getting a boat thrown in. Make sure before you float to read on and check out the trailering tips and operating techniques. Above all make sure you have the necessary life jackets, fire extinguisher, safety flag, horn, navigation lights, bilge ventilation, flame arrestor and any other legal requirements for safe boating in your state and then you are ready to head out, and once out watch for the no wake and wake zones and respect distances from other boats and you are ready. Let me know how your first time out turns out!  -Mark

    Subject: Monterey 230 Open
    Date: Sun, 24 May 1998 09:04:00 EDT
    From: M535927 <>
    Bought this boat last year and it ran fine all suimmer long. Took it in for
    its 20 hr check-up, get it home and it won;t run over 25,000 rpm. It stalls
    out. To it back to the dealer/servicer and they can't look at for awhile. The
    engine is a 4.7 l. Mercruiser. Was told it could possiby be due to water in
    the fuel, but the engine doesn't overheat. Got any suggestions?  Thanks!

    It sounds like either too much weight on the boat (which is doubtful), timing, clogged carb., dirty fuel filter, engine out of alignment, bad fuel pump or a combination of a couple of the above. If it ran this way right after your got it back from its check up I would call back and complain. Otherwise until you get it in you can check to make sure your distributor is not loose, check your fuel lines (in a very well insulated area), visually inspect your carberator etc.. You shoudl be able to run at least 4000 rpm (not what I think you mean 2500 rpm). -Mark

    Subject: '94 17' Starcraft
    Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 14:43:42 -0400
    From: "Lowe, Randall" <>
     To: "''" <>
    First of all let me say thanks for the site. It is full of helpful info. I
    am a first time boat owner and have a few questions I would like to ask. I
    bought my first boat, a 1994 17' Starcraft with a Force 120, in Oct, 1996.
    I have never had any problems with the boat, but I'm concerned about the
    quality of Starcraft because they seem to be rare (I have never seen another
    one). Do you have any information about the quality Starcraft boats.
    Secondly, I live in Jacksonville, FL and use the ICWW (mostly for fishing).
    I launched the boat in the ICWW with the plug out. I remembered right away,
    re-trailered and pulled the boat out of the water. I pumped the water out
    with the bilge pump and let it drain from the hull. Is there anything in the
    hull that will corrode? If so what should do to prevent corrosion inside the
    hull? And lastly, I am considering selling the boat and upgrading to a
    larger boat. Is there a blue book for boats so I know how much it is my boat
    is worth?



    Starcraft is well known in the midwest and parts of the south. I haven't heard of anyting negative. The only concern about the incident without the plug is that your engine and and sterring cables weren't submerged. If they were then you should re-lubricate all the lines and fog the engine. But if it was only the haul, aside from any possible metal screws, which even then was probably another form of mostly non corrosive metal, you shouldn't worry about it. As a precaution I would rinse out the bildge area with good old fashion tap water. Last, there are blue books on boats, check with your local marine dealer for specs, most sales reps are more than happy to help out.  -Mark

    Subject:  Motor Question:
    Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 07:57:04 -0400
    From: "Scott W. Knotowicz" <>
    To: <>
    CC: <>
    I have a question you might be able to help me with.  I have a 1986 V6 4.3L
    motor, Rochester 2V carburetor, and OMC Cobra outdrive.  The problem is
    from a stopped position when I put it in gear and I push the throttle hard
    the motor quits, if I ease it, it works fine.  When it is in neutral and I
    push the throttle hard it responds fine.  When I am running at any speed
    and hit the throttle it hesitates than goes?  Any thoughts?  Thanks Scott

    Its a simple fix, your engine timing is off. It should be advanced a couple of degrees. Good time for a tune up.  -Mark

    Subject: Change trailer bearings
    Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 16:26:35 -0400
    From: username <>
    Organization: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
    Can you give me some brief instructions on how to change the bearing on
    my trailer.  I bought the right size 1 1/16 in.  Is it easy to do?
    Thanks, Tom.   My address is

    Jack up the trailer, remove the wheel, pull the bearing covers off, unscrew the bearing nut (that holds the bearing in place). Pull the entire hub off. Pull the rear bearing seal off (if equipped), (I pop it off from the inside with the end of a hammer). Remove and replace the rear bearing (making sure it is packed well). Put the hub back on and slip in the new packed bearing on the front side. Make sure there is plenty of grease. Tighten the bearing nut hand tight so the wheel has no play. Put the cover on, then the wheel. Pull the trailer a couple of miles at slow speeds and then re-check the tightness of the wheel, make sure there is still no play, otherwise re-tighten the nut just to the point where the wheel has no play. This is a must if you are repacking bearings with Bearing Buddies. Always check and adjust bearings after each submersion, and at each stop on long hauls. If you have Bearing Buddies, you will need much more grease, and make sure your wheel has no play, not to over tighten the nut but to hand tighten it and retighten it if the wheel has play after warming the bearings up. I stress this again because if the wheel is loose the Buddies will pop off. Bearing Buddies once seated are great for keeping water from getting to the bearing keeping the grease pressure high enough so the water won't enter the bearings on submersion. The only maintenance then is to check the outer ring and make sure there is grease pressure by pushing in on the ring. If not simply inject until the ring moves out slightly, be careful not to over fill it. Good luck, its not as hard as it seems.  -Mark

    Subject: Anchors
    Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 15:52:22 -0000
    From: "Karen Hill" <>
    Reply-To: <>
    To: <>
    Hi Mark,
    We are new boat owners and bought a "repo" boat.  The boat was stripped and
    had no anchor.  We went to the boat store and they had many anchors to
    choose from - all different weights.
    We have a 1989 17.7 foot Galaxie, inboard/outboard, 190 horsepower boat.
    Could you recommend the proper anchor weight for us to buy?
    Karen Hill
    Please reply to:

    The weights may very depending on the type of anchor. Digger Anchors should be 12 pounds for up to a 20' boat, 11 pounds for a Slip Ring Mechanical Anchor, 15 pounds for a navy Anchor, and 16 pounds for a River Anchor. I have (for example) a Slip Ring, also one of the most popular, which you drop and leave out enough anchor line for about a 45 degree or more angle. Then when you pull the line you inadvertently pull your boat to just over your anchor and because of the 90 degree angle your anchor will not be pulling into the ground but away from it straight up. A navy anchor digs faster, and a river anchor is great for mud bottom lakes or in any river situation. I have also seen anchors used for high wind areas that have an underwater parachute within the line that helps keep the anchor from dragging, (should be used in lakes with no current). Good luck and hopefully this helps you out!   -Mark

    Subject: Marada Boats
    Date:  Sat, 25 Apr 1998 20:34:04 -0400
    From: Sean Mohr <>
    Hello Mark my name is Sean,
    I was reading a old posting of yours from Oct. 96 in which you stated
    that your own or owned a 94 Marada.  I was wondering if your could give me any
    feedback on the Marada boats.  I am looking at a 94 mx-3 marada that is for
    sale here in Atlanta and am trying to find out any pros or cons about this brand
    of boats.
    Sean Mohr
    Atlanta GA

    I still have that boat and love it. It has a Mercruiser out-drive with the Chevy 4 cylinder, and seems to hold up well over the past four years with all the trailering I do, (I am getting ready to change the tires on the trailer later this year). Best of all it fits well in the garage at just under 21 feet from prop to trailer hitch. As with any used boat it is important to be able to test run the engine. Ideally you should be able to run it on the water. Inspect the engine compartment for excessive exhaust fumes (where you may need to repair or replace the exhaust manifold), check the oil, the out-drive oil reservoir, check around the prop housing (with the prop removed and look for signs of transmission oil leakage. Pull the out-drive plug and drain  just a tiny bit of transmission oil, it should be a blue green color, and not a milky color (milky color represents water seepage and could result in a costly repair). While doing this inspect the skeg for any excess damage. Also while testing, during the running, make sure the steering wheel turns easily, the throttle control operates normally, and that all gauges have proper readings. An 18 foot should be able to run about 36-38 mph full throttle with a 17" prop on a four cylinder, or just about 40 with a speed prop (19"). Check around the hull for any stress cracks, under hull damage, and pay close attention to the engine area. If the unit checks out then you will have  a good used boat. Marada as a manufacturer is very good,  I have personally talked with reps. from the factory and  they are very excited about their product line and have made major modifications in their units over the past several years, all of them positive. This year they are working on design modifications on their 26 foot unit. You can check out their site at  -Mark

    Subject: "TILTING THE MOTOR"
    Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 09:42:41 -0700
    From: (Jesse Tainatongo)

    It is possible that it could be electrical, if it is sounding like it is struggling to trim up then you are probably low on fluid. If there is no response then it is probably a relay, faulty switch or possibly a faulty pump, the latter being the most expensive.  Good luck and keep us informed of how it comes out!  -Mark

    Subject: Hydrofoils, trim tabs and weight distribution
    Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 15:24:50 -0400
    From: Walter Koucky <>
    Organization: saic
    I have a 19' Maxum bowrider with a 5 litre and an Alpha 1.  I put a Land
    & Sea Torque-shift prop on it to pull up large slaloom skiers.  Pulling
    kids & tubers, I have the same problem staying on plane that you
    addressed with Tim Conley.  Have you heard of using a hydrofoil with a
    shifting prop?  What about moving heavy items like the battery (or two
    batteries) to the bow?  Why do designers put the battery, fuel and all
    the weight so for aft?  Is it to minimize travel and agitation? Would
    trim tabs be dramatically more effective in getting on plane at low
    speeds?  With the 5 litre and the shifting prop, getting on plane is not
    usually a problem, however, staying on plane at low speeds and with a
    loaded boat is difficult.

    A hydrofoil does help get on plane faster but it is difficult for nearly all boats to maintain a speed right around wake speed without making constant throttle adjustments. I try to maintain 15 to keep legal state speed limits for small children on the tubes. As far as putting fuel and battery near the or at the aft section helps keep the center of gravity towards the back for quick take offs. If you throttle up with much of your weight forward you will find the vessel will struggle to get up on plane because the bow has trouble lifting, you are getting a plowing effect. Trim tabs along with a hydrofoil will be the most effective, but tabs will drag the speed down and require more thrust to maintain the same speed, it will induce more stability over all though helping to maintain 15-18 without extra throttle adjustments. The mixture of both is ideal, but results will very with the hull design. The shifting prop is great for fuel efficiency and thrust for pulling skiers. So if you are ready to shell out a few bucks, try the hydrofoil first, then get ready for the big money (if still not satisfied with the results) and ad trim tabs. Good luck and have a great 98' boating!  -Mark.

    Subject: First boat.
    Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 13:36:06 -0600
    From: Dassow Ryan <>
    To: "''" <
    I am thinking about buying my first boat. I am looking used Bayliners/4
    Winns boats around 19-21ft. Any words of wisdom? I will most likely be
    buying from a private party, not a dealership. Also, I'm going to lease
    a truck to pull this thing. The truck I'm looking at has a tow capacity
    of 3600 lbs and a tongue weight capacity of 350. Should I just get a
    class 2 hitch? Will this be enough? Any help would be appreciated!

    I would suggest a Class 3 hitch for a 19' boat or more. Once you figure fuel load along with all the other water toys and fishing gear you will be over the weight a Class 2 can handle. Its always better for a little extra if necessary. On the other hand of you are getting an 18' or less you will be OK for a Class 2 and your vehicle will tow easier. Also make sure your shocks are ready and you have the proper cooling for your transmission. -Mark

    Subject: OMC parts
    Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 00:29:16 -0600
    From: Charlie Luedeke <>
    Organization: Marine Tech
    To: "''" <>
    Mark; My name is Charlie. I operate Marine Tech in New London, WI. We are a
    OMC service dealer. We specialize in new and used  Johnson and Evinrude
    parts. We may not always be the cheapest, but we don't sell junk. We stand
    behind every thing we sell. I know there are a lot of rip-offs out there so
    we try to be fair and do the best for our customers. I know this is a free
    board and I don't expect you to post this. I'm not looking for free
    advertising. I just wanted to drop you a note in case I could be of help to
    someone. If I can be of assistance to you at any time , give me a call. I
    am an OMC certified Master Tech, at least you will know I'm not a backyard
    wanna-be mechanic. Look forward to hearing from you. Charlie, Marine Tech



    I am always looking forward to hearing from technicians.  Please feel free to check our BBSs linkable from the front page anytime.  Many boaters  stopping by Boating America may at one time or another need your advise!.  -Mark

    Subject: boating on the Illinois River
    Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 12:55:21 -0600
    From: "M. Jason Cunningham" <>
    We were browsing through you site and noticed that you have no information
    on boating in the marseilles pond of the river.
    We love boating dropping our boat in that section of the river.  It is 27
    miles long between the locks, has many accessible beaches for camping and
    picnics.  Also, the boating season on the river starts before and ends
    after the boating season on Lake Michigan because the weather is better.
    We usually launch in Seneca, Illinois at the Hidden Cove Marina ($10.00
    launch fee) on the weekends, but go to the public launch in Morris during
    the weekdays.  (The public launch is usually a 2 to 3 hour wait just to
    launch on the weekends, then the wait to take the boat out is long also.
    Usually no wait at the Hidden Cove).  The public launch is in Straton park
    off of route 47 in Morris. The Hidden Cove is the first right after
    crossing the I- 170 bridge (from north to south) in Seneca.
    Hope this information is useful to you.  Thanks for providing the info.  If
    you have any further questions about that portion of the Illinois River
    please feel free to reply to this e-mail.  We truly believe that the
    Marseilles portion of the Illinois River is the best river section near

    Thanks for the information, I will look into having upgraded in the Illinois page,  -Mark

    Subject: Paddlewheel Productions
    Date:  Sat, 21 Feb 1998 06:42:13 EST
    Hi there,
    I am writing a few organizations that I am familiar with to ask a question
    about a plan I have. I am rebuilding an old houseboat and fitting it with
    paddlewheel power. I have spent many years as a professional photographer, but
    my real love is river travel.
    My plan is to travel the rivers of the Eastern U.S. in my paddlewheeler and
    take photos of peoples boats for them, for a fee. This would allow me to
    continue to make a meager living, while doing what I love most, traveling
    rivers. If it works, I will propably never be a land lubber again.  I figure
    that many people who pay thousands of dollars for those nice boats might be
    willing to spend a few bucks for a professional picture of it, in the water.
    So what do you think? From your experience with recreational boaters, do you
    think this concept is feasable. I realize that most fishermen wouldnt be
    interested, but I am looking more toward recreational boaters.
    Any short message from you would be greatly appreciated. I plan to have the
    boat finished and on my way by May. I hope to hear from you soon.
    Jerry M. Hay
    Terre Haute, Indiana

    With proper marketing and the general drive to accomplish this goal, it is possible. The best time to approach any boater would be during the boating festivals. You may consider timing yourself to be in various places when these festivals occur.  Advertising in the form of brochures or posting when you will be visiting marinas may also work well. You may want to offer various packages, something for everyone's budget. Good luck on your venture, and your houseboat. -Mark

    Subject: mooring laws
    Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 09:19:03 -0500
    From: donald davis <>
    Good morning,I'm trying to find out the regulations for mooring and or storing a boat on private property which lies along the bank of the yellow river in Lilburn, Gwinnett county. I've called the Army Corps of engineers and Gwinnett County transportation , they did not know. My property has a small pond and I've toyed with the idea of putting a small houseboat on it for a retreat, outfitted with a sun-mar composting toilet, so there would be no discharge of waste. Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks, Donald



    I would suggest checking with the Gwinnett Court House and see if your neighborhood has any zoning restrictions. If they do you will probably have to contact an attourney for legal options, (of course you will also want to check with the state of Georgia, so it would probably be safe to hire an attourney for the few dollars it would cost, it would be a good investment before sinking 50 to 250 thousand for a houseboat). It will also be costly to put the houseboat in the pond, unless it leads into the river directly. Let me know what happens! -Mark

    Subject: What is deadrise exactly
    Date: Tue, 20 Jan 98 22:35:04 +0000
    From: Randy Cleveland <>
    Organization: Intel Corp., Hillsboro, Oregon To:
    Hi Mark, Excellent page. I have been looking for a long time for a page such as yours. Here's my question. I just purchased a 1998 Regal 1700 LSR and one of the selling points that the salesman used was that with 24 degrees deadrise that this boat has a superior ride. What exactly is deadrise and it's relationship to ride? I am very happy with the boat, I was just curious about this.
    Thanks Randy



    Deadrise is the measurement of the angle between the bottom of a boat and its widest beam. A vessel with a 0º deadrise has a flat bottom, high numbers indicate deep V shaped hul. In a nut shell, you have a deep V, which cuts through the choppier water better than say a 0º which would be a really flat surface and giving you the feel of every little ripple in the water, and one foot waves or more a bone shaking ride. The deep V tends to cut the waves and push the water a-part smoothing out the chop. The deeper the angle the smoother the ride, however too much will cause the boat to tilt to the side when the weight in the boat shifts left or right of the center. 24 degrees is a good angle and also helps the boat give a stable ride even when the weight shifts to the side. Plus you will see nearly all manufacturers change the shape or angle measurement between front and back of the hull to give you less chance of boat roll over in the event the motor turns to one side at full throttle, and have the appearance of a Boston Whaler design in the back 1/3 still providing a smooth ride at 35 mph + speeds at proper engine tilt. Have fun in your new boat this coming season! -Mark

    Subject: Riveted Starcraft Boat
    Date: Mon, 19 Jan 98 20:50:48 +0000
    From: Eric Balders <>
    Mark, I have a Starcraft 18' Mariner. This summer I used it in the pacific ocean. After about 2 trips approximately 30 Mi offshore, it began taking on water. As it turns out, quite a few of the rivet heads have sheared off. Do you have any suggestions? Is this boat fixable for use in this environment? Thank you. Eric Balders <>



    I have heard of rivet heads coming off as aluminum boats age, especially around salt water. You need to dry dock the boat, and have a specialist inpect it for possible repair. If the condition of the surface is good (not dented, cracked, bent or has too much corrision) then it may be repairable. My family has had the same aluminum row boats since the 60s which at this minute are sitting upside down on a beach in Traverse City, Michigan and probably being run over by snowmobiliers as you read this. To this date I don't think they have lost a rivet yet. It would be worth repairing if repairable. Good luck ! -Mark

    Subject: Volvo Penta in a 1984 19 foot Bayliner
    Date: Mon, 15 Dec 97 03:25:44 +0000
    From: "Dick Walters" <>
    To: <>
    Mark, I love your page! I have a problem that can't be fixed locally. My Volvo has run perfectly until the day it quit. It was as if the key was turned off. We changed the coil and points. The points lasted about 10 minutes. There was severe metal transfer on one side, so we changed the points and condenser again with the same results. Nobody can fix it except suggest switching over to electronic ignition. Isn't there a simple fix out there? Dick Walters Yuba City, CA



    DIck, it sounds like your rod that turns your distributor may be damaged causing a irregular spin like a tire out of bounce, this may be why your metal might be wearing more on one side. You will probably have to remove the rod or gear that turns your distributor and inspect the gears and any other components related to the shaft, inspecting for anything bent etc.. It will probably be cheaper to repair it rather then install fuel injection. Fuel injection is more fuel efficient and gives you improved performance, if you are up for the cost it may be worth your while! Good Luck and let us know what happens! -Mark

    Subject: honda outboard motor
    Date: Tue, 28 Oct 97 23:51:41 +0000
    From: (albert marino)
    sir,my honda outboard circa 1990, has a small break on the tip of the cavitation plate.About a 1x2 inch triangular piece broke off when i backed into and hit the garage wall. will this negatively effect performance and can it be welded back on. I am relatively new at boating and your service has been very informative and helpful. thank you sincerely for whatever help you may give.



    The cavitation plate is part of the Anode usually towards the rear of the engine. It probably will not effect performance but may cause corrision problems later. An aftermarket anode part (if that is what your unit uses as a plate) will probably be cheaper than paying someone to weld it. I have seen them in aftermarket as low as $ 9.95. However check with your honda dealer for advice. You may want to visit their site at for more information. Skegs are also an item that gets broken while backing. They can in almost all cases be welded. -Mark

    Subject: Mercruise 188 gas engine
    Date: Tue, 28 Oct 97 23:36:33 +0000
    From: Charles Gaudet <Gaudetcj@EDnet.NS.CA>
    Organization: Nova Scotia Department of Education and Culture
    I enjoy your web page. I recently purchased a FIBREFORM cruiser with twin 188 mercruisers with alpha 1 drives. Can you tell me where I could get litterature on the boat and on the engines. Thanks.



    I checked and couldn't locate anything on Fibreform, but you can find plenty of information on the engines at . They should be able to locate a Candian dealer near you for manuals. -Mark

    Subject: Trailering and OMC stern drives
    Date: Mon, 20 Oct 97 03:39:05 +0000
    Dear Mark,
    I've been reading questions and tips on your web page and I can't resist sending in a couple of my own.
    My family has a 1985 21ft Chris Craft bow rider that weighs about 3,300 lbs dry and a tandem trailer that weighs about 700lbs. My Dad has a 92 Ford explorer with a 4.0 V6 and class III hitch and I've got an 89 Chevy Caprice with a 5.0 V8 and a class III hitch. My Chevy has also got a heavy-duty radiator, aux transmission cooler, load leveling air shocks, and the optional rear axle ratio. My Dad says that neither of these vehicle are qualified to tow this boat on the highway, but I argue that they can handle it. I've never tried to pull anything this heavy before.
    What do you think?? What can we do to improve our safety when towing??
    Also, The boat is used in fresh water only and is stored high and dry in a boat lift. At the end of each season we do all the maintenance stuff, but this year when we changed the lower unit fluid in the intermediate housing (OMC 800), instead of looking like gear grease, it came out looking like chocolate milk.
    Do we have a major problem on our hands?? I'd like to take care of it over the winter before next season.
    Please, Tell me what you think!!
    John Coleman
    Richmond VA

    Towing with the Caprice is not a problem for 3500 pounds, I would check with GM on the extra weight. You are probably closer to 4000 pounds and possibly 4300 pounds figuring fuel and accessories. The transmission cooler and shocks are a must for anything over 1000 pounds. Check with GM on the max GVWR rating for your car. More than likely you are right at the limit, not a problem for short hauls, but not recommended for longer pulls. If your car is braking and running properly, not bogging down, then you are probably OK. Be sure to inspect break pads and change the transmission and engine oils regularly. The rating on the Explorer should be OK with the cooler, but will probably bog down more while towing on hills. The hitches for both vehicles are fine. If the transmission oil looks like chocolate milk, then you have a leak somewhere in the unit. It could be and most likely be a faulty seal somewhere in the outdrive requiring careful inspection and replacement of the seals. You may also have a bad bearing near the propellor that could require replacement. Most likely causes are hitting the bottom and general wear and tear. Check with your local marine dealer and parts and labor costs. Seals and bearings probably will be less than 200-dollars, but the labor may be closer to the four figure mark. Getting the leaks fixed early can save you a lot of money preventing a transmission meltdown which would require the replacement of the outdrive. -Mark

    Subject: I/O winterization
    Date: Mon, 29 Sep 97 03:43:35 +0000
    From: "William R. Murphy" <>
    Mark: Great page. I just purchased a '95 Rinker with the 3.0 Mercruiser and the alpha one stern drive. For lack of a garage I have to store it outside for the winter. Besides changing the drive oil and stabilizing the fuel, what else needs to be done to this unit. Also, the steering seems looser than what it should be. When idling and holding the steering wheel straight the boat will serve back and forth quite a bit. The steering system seems to be all hyrdraulic. I wondering if it needs bleeding and where the valve would be.



    I plan on winterization in November. I have stored mine outside in the past but recently have cleaned out the garage and it stays just above freezing. First: if the steering is loose but has no play, then you are fine, some boats have power steering, but if it has play contact your Mercruiser / Rinker Dealer for advice, bleeding should be done by a professional (or at least step by step device). Otherwise may wind up with more play then when you started. Two: only do this if you are finding play at high speeds, or while out of the water see if the steering has any play. Three: the drifting or swerving back and fourth is normal at low speeds when the trim is all the way up in shallow areas. Install a depth sounder and keep your trim in most of the way when possible, a depth sounder helps you to avoid hitting the skeg on the bottom (once you realize your getting into shallow water readings). This will reduce the swerving, my boat does the same thing at idle and I have gotten used to it now by habbit, (but the trimming helps).

    Winterization requires (at least as a precaution against freezing) the draining and replacing the outdrive oil. But first pour fuel stable liquid into the gas tank and fill it nearly full with plus type of high quality gasoline. Then run a garden hose to your engine (you will need a special engine attachment which pumps water into the intakes on the lower part of your outdrive), start the engine with the hose running, and fog it by pouring oil right into your carberator and letting the smoke from your exhaust coat all the components inside your engine, I use a full quart and pour it in little by little so the engine doesn' t stall, and then completely stall it out as I near the end of the quart. Then drain your block, if your block freezes in the winter then your will have damage to your engine, possibly so extreme that you will have to replace it. There are two plugs on the four cylinder located on the right underside of your carberator manifold, one is actually on the engine wall, the other on the manifold and are recognized by the brass type of plug. I drain mine everytime I pull out of the lake. Drain this after the fogging process, then lower and raise your outdrive to get the water out. Next shut off your ignition safety switch (located near your throttle), and crank the engine several times to push any remaining water out. I also suggest pulling your boat around the block which will prevent puddeling (of course have your bilge plug off). Then do your outdrive oil. The oil is thick so the process will take a while. Use Quicksilver drive oil on Mercrusier, they make two types, a standard mixture and a heavier mixture (check your manual for which type to use) and will take about two quarts. You need to obtain a pump kit at your marine dealer which screws into the top of the oil container, and pump it in from the bottom of the outdrive. Once the oil flows out of the top plug (at the top of your outdrive), then you cap the bottom plug and then fill your reservoir in the engine compartment so you have a good flow out of the top plug. Seal the top plug and level the reservoir and the outdrive is safe for the winter and ready for spring. Be sure to watch your reservoir in the spring as it will lower after the air bubbles in the oil settle. Trim your engine down (to prevent the gimble bearing from freezing in a trimmed positions) Disconnect your battery and store it in your garage or place where it will be a little above freezing. Do not store it in your house, acid fumes are unhealthy. Next drain your engine oil and replace the oil filter (its easy and just like doing it in a car), use 25W 40 Quicksilver which is recommended in most Mercruiser applications, it will keep your warranty in tack. Lubricate your plugs on the left and right side of your outdrive with quicksilver lubricants, and your throttle and steering linkages with special lube 101. Last but not least re-tighten your lugnuts on your trailer, and put it on jack stands to prevent tire rot. Check your bearings or bearing buddies to make sure there is plenty of lubrication. On bearing buddies you should be able to push down on one side of the plastic bleeder tube which helps to repack the greese. If there is no play then pump boat trailer grease into the plugs on the bearings until the bleeder moves just a little, (this should be done everytime you submerse or re-fuel on long trips). Too much will cause the grease to run out and splatter your wheels. Repack the buddies every five years. Thats about it, your are now ready for storage and spring. PS some people like to inject anti-freeze into the engine for prolong storage in winter and spring, it is important to get the right mixture of antifreeze in the system. Check with your dealer on advice for your climate. Also if your engine has a passive cooling system (found more in salt water ready engines) the winterization process will be a little different. Have a great fall season boating! - Mark.

    Subject: prop torque
    Date: Tue, 30 Sep 97 00:07:57 +0000
    From: crs <>
    Mark, is there a way to reduce or eliminate prop torque? If I let go of the steering wheel at high speed the boat turns drastically to the right. I have tried adjusting the the trim keel ( or what ever you call it ) on the motor, but it has no effect. The motor is an 85 hp Merc outboard.
    Anxiously awaiting a solution,



    Too much trim can have an effect on Torque steering. Trimming in more will help, plus look at weight distribution in the boat, (such as all passengers or weight on one side), or if you are in a high cross wind, you will run into steering pull. Choose a calm day with no wind, distribute the weight evenly on one side, then take a run and adjust your trim or tilt, and your keel. You should be able to find the happy medium. If all else fails, check your engine and make sure it mounted level. -Mark

    Subject: Boating Question
    Date: Thu, 28 Aug 97 14:07:43 +0000
    From: "Steve L." <>
    Organization: Computers Ect.
    Just to start off I'd like to say your page is a great help for other boaters. I am a first time boat owner, and recently purchased a 1984 18' Bayliner with a 4 cylinder Volvo I/O engine. The boat has a passenger limit of 8 people. The boat takes off faily good but sometimes dosent want to plane out. When this happens the engine reves high but not much added speed occurs, and furthermore it feels like it slips (like it catches off and on, almost like the prop is slipping through the water in all honesty im not too sure if this is common). Is there any way to figure out the problem myself? Or have you ever had this problem before? I know someone who said it might be a gear in the outdrive, but boats are not his specialty. I would appriciate any help in this matter. Thanx a million, Steve. PS. on my first outing i forgot the plug too. Luckily i was sitting by the dock!!! And on my second outing i got lost (after dark on a winding river) and ran out of gas 300yards from the ramp. What luck eh hehe.



    I can think of a couple of possibilities. First make sure your trim is set lower. If the trim is too high it will cavitate on turns and also when the boat is loaded heavy in the front. If you are loading 8 people on board, try a run alone and see if the problem still exists Second remove your prop, check to make sure the teeth are not stripped, if they are, replace the necessary parts and the prop. If it still slips, you whould remove and inspect the outdrive, of course with the help of a good mechanic and a manual (Chilton's is one good source available at most marine shops). Good luck and see you on the lake! -Mark

    Subject: Columbus boater needs info
    Date: Fri, 1 Aug 97 00:09:58 +0000
    From: Dennis Ellerbeck <>
    Hi Mark, First, want to say your page is just the greatest boating page on the net! I've bookmarked it and visit often. Was wondering if you could give me some info. We would like to boat on the Muskingham River, maybe go thru the locks down to the Ohio River. Can you tell me about how deep the river is? We have a 24' Bayliner Ciera Cruiser (Toy For Two - so be sure and honk if you ever see us at Alum Creek or wherever). Also, what would be the closest place to put the boat in at? We did see one place (private, I think it cost $5 to launch) near Zanesville. Do you know of any good ramps (considering our boat size)? How far on the Muskingham from Zanesville can you boat before you come to the first lock? How's the fishing on this river? Anything else you are able to tell me, I'll sure appreciate. Thanks for your time, and happy, safe boating!
    One of Toy For Two's Crew...



    The Muskingum River is Ohio's only navagable inland waterway (fully inside the state) where all its locks, some dating back to the early 1800s are still hand cranked. There are 11 locks starting with Ellis (just south of Dresdin and about every 5 - 10 miles apart all the way south to Marietta. You can launch on the river free at Riverside Park in Zanesville (south of Ellis which is shallow anyway), and start locking at Zanesville at the 5th St. Bridge. The park office is at this lock and you can purchase an annual pass for $35 (as of last year). The locks are only open on weekends and I would suggest calling the ODWC to make sure all the locks are open before venturing out. The river is 5 feet deep on average and shallower below the locks. Check with each lock master for directions around shallow spots. An early Saturday Morning start can make the round trip possible in two days, lock operaters radioed ahead to the other lock operators the last time I made the trip so the locks were set to raise and lower us at the time we arrived reducing locking delay time. Locks south of Ellis include Zanesville, Philo (about 7 miles south of Zanesville), Rockerby Lock, McConnelsville/Malta, Stockport (bat capitol of southeast Ohio) and Beverly many with picnic facilities. Fishing is excellent, a fish caught near the Beverly locks was used in the movie Grumpier Old Men II. I was out in Alum Creek Thusday evening checking out the TNT competition weigh-in, and will probably be out again a week from Sunday, if I see your boat I will be sure to wave! -Mark

    Subject: Boating on Torch Lake!
    Date: Wed, 23 Jul 97 23:51:29 +0000
    From: Carpenter <>
    Organization: Lethal Online
    Hi Mark!
    I grew up on Torch Lake, so I really enjoyed reading about your trip through the Chain of Lakes. The Clam River Dockside has great burrito's, don't you think!
    My husband and I bought a 1985 27 ft. Sea Ray Sundancer this year. We've decided to name it "Broke Again!", because the previous owner unfortunately didn't know how to maintain the engines. We've almost worked all of the bugs out so we can relax again.
    We are looking forward to being at the Elk Rapids Harbor for Harbor Days the first weekend in August. It's a great time. I really believe they have the best fireworks in Northern Michigan. This festival ranks right up there with the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City (only on a smaller scale). You ought to try it sometime!
    If you know of any great boat trips on the Great Lakes, let me know.
    Tracey Carpenter Williamsburg, MI
    P.S. Another fun "Chain of Lakes" trip starts in Oden, Michigan and follows through to Cheboygan through the Crooked River.



    I live for a buritto at Dockside ! My kids also like the little indoor shuffleboard game!. Being a formal resident of Birch Lake I have been to several Harbor Days which do have great fireworks!. However this year I won't be able to get up there until August 18th, a little late for the fest, but I still like those sunset cruises to the Old Mission Lighthouse Point (well away from the shoals though), and may head out to Northport if the lake is calm. Last year I made the Cherry Festival, Blue Angles had a great show out on the west bay!. Glad to ehar that you have all the bugs out of that 27 footer!. Sea Ray makes a great line, but maintenance is a must!. I  highly recommend the Crooked Tree - Burt Lake etc. based on what I have heard and read. I plan on running part of that chain while I am up there. Also for boating on a smaller scale the Intermeidate Lake - Wilson Lake etc. is also great, but a little shallow during dry seasons. The scenery is spectacular along with the fishing. Thanks for writing and please keep in touch and let me know how things are up there near T.C.. -Mark

    Subject: info Date: Thu, 24 Jul 97 04:56:11 +0000
    From: dr <>
    Hi Mark,
    I have written before and find your advice very helpful, todays question is what is your opinion on these dolphins, hydrofoils? I guess there are many different names for them , the fins on the engines lower end. I have a 20 foot bow rider f/g, 4.3L omc, cobra out drive with trim/tilt, what do you think if i put them on my boat? what do they really do? Have heard many different storys about them and would really like to hear yours.
    thanks Dave.



    I have run a boat with a hydrofoil, and found that it helps to plane at a slightly lower speed, but has less effect at high speeds. The main benefit is the ability to gain speed quicker since you will plane around 13-15 (speeds may very among brands of boats and hydrofoils) and power up faster since the engine isn't working as hard to plane. It also improves handling at slower speeds and reduces porpesing (the bobbing up and down usually at speeds below the 30 when trimmed to high). Its an inexpensive way to give a little kick to your performance and different hydrofoils will very, some cost as little as $24.95 and others (which claim a better holeshot on a speed prop and better turnging at higher speeds) will reach into the $ 100 plus range. If you are into heavy turning while pulling a tube or into a little more performance, and have been boating for at least two years (where most boaters start to get the real feel of performance) then you may want to give it a try!. -Mark

    Subject: Boating Date: Thu, 17 Jul 97 07:58:29 +0000
    From: pcozzi <>
    Organization: Lock Haven University
    Hi I have a boat, we have had it for one year. It is a runaboat with a 80 horsepower engine. Last year it ran great this year it is not getting the speed it use to. Any advice to get more speed? Thank You! James email me at



    I would recommend using plus octane gas, check your plugs, timing etc. propellor, and also your carry-ons. Some people tend to collect things on their boat which wind up weighing things down and reducing your speed. Last but not least the weather can have a slight effect of a mile and hour or two, more humid air intaking in the carberator reduces speed and less humid cooler air (which is a more dense air) will give you maximum performance. This is what I have noticed over several years in boating, ie. northern Michigan I run about 42 in 75 degree weather and Columbus, Ohio I max at about 39 in 90 degree weather on a four cylinder. Good luck and have a great summer on the water ! -Mark

    Subject: 1958 Johnson 18HP SEAHORSE
    Date: Thu, 12 Jun 97 22:22:03 +0000
    From: rmeyer <>
    Hi, My DAD left me his Johnson SeaHorse! It is in near new condition! I don't plan on running it but, plan on finding a boat from the same time frame or similar style to match it! I was hoping to find antique outboard club members on the net. I am hoping you could put me in the right direction. I am also attempting to find a shop manual on the motor. Any help would be appreciated.
    Chris Meyer



    I haven't heard of such a site, but sounds like a good idea. If anyone can run a copy off for Chris please e-mail him! Most repair shops that have been around for years and years usually can get access to manuals, and in some cases you may be able to locate a Chilton's manual at a local library in a county that has lakes and navigable rivers. -Mark

    Date: Fri, 13 Jun 97 14:21:52 +0000
    From: "R. Danz" <DANZRH@NAVAIR.NAVY.MIL>
    MARK. I'm looking to buy a 28 Bertram which was repowered with Twin Seamaster 534Ci fords. I don't know anything about that engine except that it is heavy truck engine. Do you know anything about them and where I might get parts, manuals etc.... And what should I look for to determine age and condition. I understand that in the truck application it has a 7.3 to 1 compression ratio. What does that relate to in PSI. I think it is (7.3*14.7) - 14.7 = 92 psi. The name plate on the engine says 1985. It has a fresh water cooling system and all brass manifolds and risers. PLease email me back at DANZRH.NIMITZ@NAVAIR.NAVY.MIL



    That compression ratio sounds good for an 8 cylinder, it would be around 9.0 to 1 or higher on a four cyclinder. I would suggest checking the exhaust manifold for leaks and corrision, if it is a fresh water engine this would be a proper indicator for corrision. More corrision indicates more running and or salt water running. Check the plugs, points etc. If possible take the water pump off where you can peak at the cylinder wall area. If chipping is noted then engine trouble may be a problem soon. As far as parts and manuals contact their website at . -Mark

    Subject: Help!!! Date:
    Sun, 15 Jun 97 13:15:46 +0000
    From: "Rudish, Charles" <>
    Organization: CP
    Mark, Maybe you can help. I am about to go up to Toledo to sit for my Inland/Great Lakes OUPV Master's license. Assuming I get through that, I'll take the International test, hopefully at the same time. I'm new with this internet stuff, so I'm not real familure with where to search for this information, but I am interested in using my license to do boat transfers up and down the ICWW. Though my license will cover up to nmt 25 gross ton vessels, I'm not really interested in doing Tug or charter fishing work, I don't have the experience for that anyway, but I do have ICWW experience, lived there and done that. To whom do I contact about this? Would you add this to your web page, or get back to me with suggestions? Chuck Rudish



    I dug around and found a little about the OUPV at . I would recommend getting the names of companies that provides the transfers and contact them via fax or e-mail. Good luck on your course! See ya at Senaca Lake sometime! -Mark

    Subject: High five propeller
    Date: Wed, 28 May 97 02:00:53 +0000
    From: "Alan & Vicki Myers" <>
    To: <>
    Mark, I purchased a Crown Line 176ss last year. It is a 1995 with a Mercruiser 3.0LX / Alpha One stern drive. Part of the package was a High Five (Mercury) five blade stainless 17 pitch prop. The prop offers up an outstanding hole shot, but my problem is that it over-revs this engine. Max recommended rpm for the 3.0 at wide open throttle is 4,800, which I exceed below full throttle. My question is this. What SS prop should I buy? The OEM aluminum is a 19 pitch. The Michigan Wheel ads recommend a 3 blade 14 1/4 X 17. (They say with a cupped blade prop you should step down 2" in pitch.) I was fortunate enough to get a used Michigan Wheel 14 1/4 X 17 loaner from a local shop, and the over-revving problem persisted. No other loaners are available in the area. I can't afford to gamble on buying the wrong prop. (The one I have now lists at $590.00) Also, is there anyone out there who would like a good deal on a High Five SS propeller? That would sure help me to purchase the one I need. Thanks, Alan Myers amyers@



    The specs. are right, you shouldn't be over-revving on your engine. 4800 rpm is about the right rpm range for the 3.0 and should have you doing around 37-40 on a 17" prop. If you are at lower speeds you may need to consider a 19" prop. If you are doing better than 42-44 you are OK, (you must be running a light load). A possible throttle linkage adjustment (depending on your model) should allow you to prevent the throttle from going above 4800 rpm. I have a 3.0 and run a 19" Michigan Prop. I reach about 40 with a full fuel tank at about 4600 rpm. I would not go above a 19" prop or you could cause excessive wear on your engine. It sounds like the high five might be the problem. I also recommmend an aluminum prop over stainless for shallow running. It saves your drive shaft from a hard jolt when you strike an object. They are also in the $120 to $160 range. If you run into many objects, there are composits available at half the cost of aluminum. The cost of two aluminums are about one stainless. You can have one for skiing, say a 17" and one for speed or 19". Good luck in your prop hunt! -Mark

    Subject: Looking for information
    Date: Sun, 25 May 97 23:43:44 +0000
    From: "ladylee" <>
    To: <>
    We obtained a mahogany boat a few years ago that we are anxious to find information on. It is called a Borum. It was manufactured in Jacksonville, FL in approximately 1958. We found an ad for it in an old boating magazine, but haven't been able to learn any more about the company. It has fins like a 1958 Plymouth. The bow has a small hatch and it is made so that you could sleep under there, with cushions and a removeable seat. There is a flip-down mahogany hatch in the stern that makes the boat look like an inboard.
    If any one can tell us anything about this boat, please e-mail me at

    Subject: 4.3 Ltr motors 175hp verse 190hp
    Date: Wed, 14 May 97 07:04:42 +0000
    From: Trevor Langston <>
    To: CC: trevorl@UIT.NET
    Mark, I just purchased a 1995 Sunbird Corsair 180SL with the OMC 175hp 4.3 ltr V6. What I can't figure out is what is the difference between my 4.3 and some of the newer boats with the same 4.3 only they are rated at 190hp. Is it because I have an OMC Cobra motor and out drive. All I know is my motor has a 2b carb and the new Cobra SX Volvo stern drive. After reading several of your E-mail letters I was hoping you could tell me how I can up grade to the 190hp motor or is it at all possable. Please E-mail me at I look foward to hearing back from you. Also how can I get a service or repair manual for that motor and out drive. Trevor.



    There have been improvements to many engines over the last few years; electronic ignition, change of gear ratios, fuel injection, etc.. Its not unusual to see horsepower increases. The least expensive way to increase high-end is propellor change. A speed prop will give you a little more high end by two or three miles per hour. The other extreme is a new engine or outdrive with a different gear ratio. If you are really experienced you may be able to relpace the carb with a modified unit. On the other hand I know a few lakes with a 180 HP limit, and would settle for a V6 with a 180 or less rating just to legally run them. Good luck on your decision ! -Mark

    Subject: (no subject)
    Date: Mon, 12 May 97 02:44:58 +0000
    Hi Mark My family and I took a tip from your page and visted Senecaville Lake today . This being one of our spring lake scouting missions, we decided the lake would be a great summer time destination.
    Since your expertise seems to involve all aspects of trailer boating, I have a mechanical operation question for you . My boat has a 3L Mercruiser stern drive unit that is one year old . Today while making our final run on the lake, I noticed a power loss while cruising at 40 mph. The loss in power was not related to throttle control position . On the way back to the ramp, I experimented with different throttle positions with the result of sluggish performance I had not experenced earlier in the day. Once we were in the no wake zone by the ramp the engine had no trouble maintaining idle . My questions are : -Is this symptom common with this unit ? -Is it possible the carburetor became flooded when the boat went over a hard wake at 40 mph? -Is the problem likely to reoccur? Next week we are taking it out on local waters minus the kids to see if we can get a better feel for it. -Finally, am I making something out of nothing?
    Thanks Fred



    I haven't heard of any power problems with this unit, (I have the same type). Several factors could be present, the hard wake could have thrown the timing off which is the result of an easily movable distributor, check to make sure it is tight. It could be where the kids were sitting on the boat, if they were in an open bow it could cost you about three or four miles per hour on the high end. The winds here in Ohio have been strong, I have noticed a three mile per hour increase going downwind, and about a two to three mile an hour decrease upwind. Also check the fuel filter, flame arrestor and throttle linkage to make sure there isn't anything loose or access slippage. You also may have a little water in the tank (if it was stored outside over the winter it could be a factor). I also recommend Shell Plus gas, a little more expensive, but a slightly better grade can help reduce the chance of a clogged fuel filter. Hope you enjoyed Seneca Lake, I should be making a run there again sometime in June, see you on the water ! -Mark

    Subject: Mercruiser 3.0l
    Date: Fri, 2 May 97 04:42:35 +0000
    From: Brian Allgood <>
    Organization: MindSpring Enterprises, Inc.
    I have a 1993 Ebbtide 18' bowrider with the Merc 3.0l stern drive. At WOT i get 4600 rpms at 42 MPH. I am turning a 19 pitch aluminum prop. She has a great hole shot and seem to take those rpms without a struggle. I would like to see more speed in the are fo 50 MPH. Do you know if there are any performance modifications for this engine? Does anyone make thru transom exhaust and what would a 4 cylinder sound like? Thanks for the info Brian



    That sounds like the right speed for 4600 rpm. The only thing I would consider would be the run the proper fuel with a step up in the octane and make sure the engine is properly tuned up. You should gain an extra mile an hour or two, but 50 would require either a larger prop (which may bog the engine down) or a more expensive modification to the engine. There are manufacturers that produce a thru the transom exhaust but you rarely find them on four cylinder engines. Some states are now requiring a quiet running engine to take effect in the next three years. So a loud engine will soon become illegal (with the exception of the grandfather rule, check with your local division of watercraft for more information). -Mark

    Subject: Re: Hi,
    Date: Thu, 24 Apr 97 03:58:30 +0000
    From: (dave)
    Thanks for the fast reply, I am at your page a few times a week, and love to read all the great storys and tips. The Oliver sea hawk has a 4.3 liter OMC with the cobra out drive, the boat is an 87, the hull is in great condition. the only thing that is wrong with it is the floor is rotten from being soaked, the foam in the hull is completly soaked as well. I have redone a few outher floors in some smaller boats, that adds alot of extra pounds to the boat. I have also spoken to outher boaters at our club and they to have had simular problems over time. A few of the people say to take it all out and to cut and shape home extereior styrofoam to fit the hull as it is much more water proof, I myself think the chemical marine floataion foam would add more strenght to the intire hull as it takes the complete shape and would be one solid piece.
    I would really like to here your opinion on this matter.
    Thanks Dave.



    I agree on the marine floatation foam. It would make your hull stronger and prevent the possiblilty of a fully submerged boat in the event of an incident (god forbid). I have several friends that have also replaced their floors. It is almost like a partial rebuild. Carpeting can also trap moisture and the best preventative maintenance is to dry the boat out after every run in the rain with a wet vac, and let it sit in direct sunlight where it can catch a breeze on a dry day. In my case with the kids are jumping in and out of the boat dripping water everywhere I have found that plenty of heavy fluffy towels can reduce the amount the carpet soaks in helping to reduce mold and mildew build up which can eat away at a wood floor. I even put large bags around the exposed seat cushions during rainy weather. This prolongs the cushion life by years. Keep a good mooring cover on the boat when not in use and get inside storage if at all possible and your boat will look new and have less floor rot plus less mold build up for years and years. -Mark

    Subject: San Diego Trailer Boaters Group
    Date: Mon, 7 Apr 97 13:40:01 +0000
    From: Robert Beckner <>
    Organization: San Ysidro Middle School
    Dear Mark:
    How about taking a vacation to San Diego CA? We have 10 boat ramps free for the public to use. We currently have purchased our first real boat and have many good stories and referral capabilities. Please let your readers know they have a friend in the southwest. I currently organize a floatilla in San Diego for the Fourth of July.
    We have a 1995 Maxum 2700 SCR on a triple axle trailer. I also have good advice about new boat purchase deals; what to watch out for!
    Visit me at: PS. I once forgot my plug, however my bilge alarm went off within seconds and the boat was still on the trailer. All's well that ends well.



    The next time I stop by Lake Havasu will be sure to run a few extra miles and check it out ! -Mark

    Subject: cedar point
    Date: Sat, 22 Mar 97 13:41:21 +0000
    mark, we're new to boating thanks for the boaters home page we have a 17' four winns horizon Qx with 130 hp io/ob. we would like to take a trip to cedar point from monroe area on lake erie. do you think this is possible or wise? thanks steve



    Lake Erie is one of the most unpredictable lakes to boat on. The famous Noreasters (winds that pop-up from the east can be quite and experience for the novice boater (unless you like steep 5-7 foot swells). It is not impossible but not recommended. On the other hand, if you are like me and would attempt it anyway, take the long way, hug the shoreline, have good charts to warn you of the shoals, follow a larger boat and keep a sharp eye and an ear on the weather and wave heights with a marine radio. A straight shot would be about 35 miles by the time you round Ottawa, or about 60 miles hugging the shoreline (but you would get to see Toledo!). A straight shot would only be best in the early morning while the weather is calm. Be flexable so you will be out on the lake when the conditions are right, and not crossing on a forced schedule that may be in rough weather. If possible plan the time with a weather map, boating when no cold fronts are in the area, or spread out isobars representing calm winds. Being a little analytical can give you a safe and calm ride. After all those rollercoasters at Cedar Point the last thing you need will be choppy conditions! -Mark

    Subject: 4 cycle vs 2 cycle OB / Mold
    Date: Sat, 15 Mar 97 04:32:49 +0000
    From: Ken/Linda Chambers <>
    To: CC:
    Mark: Your thoughts on #1 will be appreciated... Thanks... Ken C.
    1. Any info on 2 cycle vs 4 cycle outboards in the 70-90 hp, maybe higher? Reliability? Advantages & Disadvantages? Where to get evaluations & comparisions? Brands? Fuel consumption?
    If it helps, I'm almost ready to purchase a 19 ft Arima Sea Ranger for fishing tidal rivers, bays & ocean (wind & current). Weighs 1650 lbs plus 48 gals fuel, gear and 2-3 people.
    I used a Honda OB several years ago and it was very quiet and smooth - owner said they were great motors.
    2. RE the 8-26-96 question about mold inside boat. After a fishing trip, I use "DRI-Z-AIR" canister and pellets - they absorb the moisture out of my 16 ft fishing runabout, which is always WET after a fishing or crabbing trip. I put the canister inside a 5 gal plastic bucket to contain spillage, put the bucket on the boat floorboard, then put my mooring cover on. The canister and 3-4 months supply of refill pellets costs about $10.
    3. Tip for saltwater boaters - clean your zincs - wire brush works fine.



    Thanks for the tips!. DRI-Z-AIR is a great idea. I have been using them for a while, and its very helpful in humid climates. On the four stroke verses two stroke, the four strokes are much cleaner and with strict pollution laws the U.S. Gov. has passed on to boating manufactureres the four stroke is here to stay. It does run smoother but the pick up is poorer then a two stroke. Some manufacturers have developed a two stroke fuel injected model for more precise fuel injection reducing fuel loss and pollution. But as a skier I prefer a strong outboard two stroke as far as outboards go. For economy and speed the four stroke is much better especially at high end performance. I talked to a Honda Marine dealer here in Central Ohio and apon inspecting the motor it is basiclly a marine modified honda civic engine turned sideways. A little more expense, but less pollution, better economy, and its like maintaining a car engine and as reliable if maintained regularly. I would recommend back issues of Trailer Boating Magazine for recent comparisions. -Mark

    Subject: Glassport RX 165
    Date: Sun, 9 Mar 97 00:47:44 +0000
    From: (Donald Trinko)
    Hi Mark; I have a 1991 Glassport RX 165 ( 16.5' ) with the Mercruiser 3.0L. I have had the boat for several years but I don't see Glassport advertised at all. Do you know any thing abought them? I have a 19" Aluminum propeller. With one person at WOT I turn 4800 rpm at 39 mph. With 3 people I turn 4500 rpm and 37 mph. I checked the speedometer with a GPS and it appears to be very close. I have talked to the Marina abought a SS propeller. He tells me to leave it the way it is and I would not get much in performance gain anyway. I see some newer boats with this same power doing in the mid 40's. I realize that hulls are not all designed for maximum speed. Would a SS propeller help much? What abought electronic ignition? Are there any other ways to improve performance without spending a lot of money? Thank You Don



    The speed is about right for your current prop. A prop with a higher degree of pitch is about the only option you have. It should give you an extra three or four miles per hour. The hull design is about the only thing that woudl hold back the speed. Electronic ignition may improve fuel economy but not have much effect on your top end with your current prop, but may wind your engine at the same high RPM with a higher pitch prop, possibly hitting the mid 40s. Most likely it will be in the lower 40s. -Mark

    Subject: tip
    Date: Wed, 5 Mar 97 23:20:44 +0000
    To:, it's, called, water, line, stain, remover
    just read the note from, he has a small oyster bed on the hull. I to had a simular problem, I found the putty knife kinda scratched, went to the local marina "man" and he showed me the product to use. AURORA co. and it's called waterline stain remover, I found it very efective, I think the new hull paint thats out now would be something to try.
    see ya on the water!!!!!



    Thanks for your input! -Mark

    Subject: Tow vehicle
    Date: Sun, 2 Mar 97 15:37:40 +0000
    Just found your page and feel I've been saved!! My first mate and I bought new an 18' open bow Crownline last summer and spent most of the summer going to the same lake here in Omaha, NE because I'm concerned about the vehicle I use to tow the boat. We use a 1984 Crown Vic that didn't come equipped w/ a tow package but I added a transmission cooler and class III hitch and lighting package. It gets the job done but I'm concerned that going out of state, say 500 miles or so, may take a major toll on the Crown Vic's 5.0L. I've also considered adding overload springs to help the steering. The question I have, would it be better to just buy a p/u and, if so, do I need 2 or 4 wheel drive and a 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton. I believe the boat and trailer only weigh about 2700#'s. When we bought the boat, the dealer said the Crown Vic would be plenty but of course, he wanted to sell the boat. Same with the hitch dealer. I checked the car's manual and it wasn't much help. So I thought I'd ask you and your readers for a little objective advice. And you're right on the subject of first putting the boat in the water. We have three lakes close by here and this section of the Missouri River is the most boated area, according to our local Coast Guard. We took our maiden voyage on a lake that has a no-wake rule so we got an awful lot of dirty looks from the sail-boaters when we pulled up to the ramp with ours. Had five or six people come up right away to tell us we were at a no-wake lake. Which was our purpose. We just wanted someplace to practice putting in the boat and getting used to how to handle it before we went out on one of the larger lakes. We found that sail-boaters are very friendly people...for the most part. But a little common sense and a lot of patience later, we had no trouble at all getting it launched. Until a large sail-boat lady tried to launch hers right on top of ours and made several disparaging remarks about power boats being "in the way". Oh well, it was a great summer anyway and am looking forward to spring and trying out the river. Thanks for a great page and any advice on tow vehicles would be greatly appreciated.



    You are in goon shape on the Crown Vic. It is one of the few cars that are still safe for towing. If your car is hard to control and has extra bounce while towing then I would consider improvements in the suspension. The transmission cooler and overload springs were also a good move, almost mandatory. The Ford 5.0 litre engine is fine for long trips. My full size conversion Ford E-150 also has the 5.0 and I haul my boat all over the eastern U.S.. A pick up is great for towing as well, but I would always recommend a 3.4 ton and four wheel drive for a future purchase, this allows you to upgrade your size of boat (when you find yourself outgrowing your 18 foot). -Mark.

    Date: Sun, 16 Feb 97 14:07:03 +0000
    From: "jeff miller" <>
    To: <>
    Dear Mark My husband and I received a free "Go Boating" February Issue, in the mail a few days ago, this is how I found you on the net. We have enjoyed your boaters stories and all the information you have given us. We are from lower Michigan and have enjoyed some of the lakes that are on your list: Mullett Lake (our favorite), Higgins Lake, Lake Charlevoix and good ole Traverse Bay. There is a great article in the magazine on Hassle-free Launching, loading and towing your boat. I think all boaters should read this before they head out for their first boat trip of the season. We have been launching our boat for years, but it seems like the first time out into the season, our captain's crew calls "Mutiny". We have a small 19ft.openbow SeaRay and have enjoyed many hours with our children on the waters of Michigan. We are now ready to move up in size to about a 22ft. closed bow. We have found a small lake for day trips near our home town called, Chippewa Lake in Mecosta County. A nice lake for skiing, tubing, swimming, and some fishing. There is a new boat ramp but the parking lot is sometimes full, so a person would not want to launch their boat until they are sure they will have a parking space for their tow vehicle. It's been great visiting your site and we will be sure to come back.



    I love Michigan boating and can never get enough of it. I have found parking to be tight, but that happens almost anywhere on a weekend. Be sure to visit the Michigan page on Michigan's inland lakes, it also have a link to every class of boat ramp on all lakes in Michigan. I will have to check out Chippewa Lake, it sounds like a great retreat from the choppy bays. Have a safe and happy boating in 97! -Mark

    Subject: web page
    Date: Sat, 15 Feb 97 16:51:13 +0000
    Dear Mark, Just wanted to say thanks for a great boating page dedicated to trailer boaters!!! I live near Columbus and have been a trailerboater for 18 years now. I have a 25' Doral which my family (wife, 2 kids & dog) use extensively for weekend and week long cruising. I love trailerboating and wouldn't trade it for a big boat and slip at Lake Erie for anything!. We've been as far south as Tellico Lake in TN and north as far as Parry Sound on Georgian Bay. Two years ago we traversed 400 miles of the Cumberland River. We are planning a trip this year to Canada, possibly the Trent Severn Waterway or the Rideau Canal. I am a memeber of the Columbus Power Squadron and I'm currently teaching the trailerboating portion of the Public Boating Course. I intend to inform the class of your great web page!
    I would like our local Squadron to consider setting up its own web page. If you have any suggestions or helpful hints, i would appreciate it.
    Thanks again,
    Mike Justus "Twins Tuition"



    I am the same way Mike (about trailerboating) I have towed to lakes all over the midwest and have visited many in the southwest. One Sunday I trailered to three different lakes and a river. I also trailer frequently to Alum Creek Reservoir in the Galena / Coumbus area (I am just five minutes from there and Griggs /O'Shaughnessy), maybe I will catch you one of these days here in Ohio!. Thanks for the class info. plug! Let me know when you get your site up and I will link it in our links page, have a safe and great summer boating for upcoming '97! -Mark

    Subject: Front wheel drive on ramps
    Date: Sun, 16 Feb 97 07:09:29 +0000
    From: Roly Kilpatrick <>
    Organization: University of Guelph
    I'm not yet a boater, but plan to become one this summer. The restoration of a 17-foot mahogany Century Resorter inboard is nearing completion in my garage. According to an old Century brochure, it will weigh 1700 pounds - say 2,000#, loaded and ready to go. Add a trailer to this, for a total weigh of 2,500#, I suppose. My question is, will a front wheel drive van such as a Ford Windstar, or Dodge Caraven, be able to pull the load up a wet ramp? Or will it just sit there and spin the front wheels?
    Experienced advice would be apprecitated, both pro & con. Thanks!



    Make sure that you check with the vehicle's manufacturer on the recommended modifactions for towing 2500 pounds. Most mini vans will pull up to 2000 pounds with some designed (based on suspension modifications, gear ratios and engine size) to pull more. Also make sure you outfit it with a Class II hitch (up to 3500 pounds). I see many mini vans pulling boats out of ramps with little problem, its the Sidekicks that give me a chuckle!. In fact you will have less trouble with a front wheel drive if your tounge weight is low, and if its a little heavy have a few people set on the back of the boat while pulling out (carefully). Also you can reduce the worry of wheel spin by looking for a shallower ramp that has a less steep grade, that has low traffic (so the surface isn't too wet). Good luck on your new hobby, the boating bug will get you this summer! -Mark

    Subject: New Boat selection
    Date: Fri, 14 Feb 97 23:13:17 +0000
    From: (Art Keene)
    Hi Mark. We are retired but active even tho' in our seventies. We are looking at doing a lot of boating, fishing, possibly overnight cruising. We have had 14+ ft fishing boats but nothing like we are considering. Would very much appreciate your advice.
    These are the characteristics and questions we are faced with.
    Trailerable-probably; maybe not an absolute reuqirement. Cuddy cabin or better so we can sleep overnight if we have to or want to Inboard or outboard??? We want to be able to really get out of the weather. Would like a tiny head and modest water supply if we can get it; no shower of course. If not possible or doesn't make sense we can do something else. Is there a trailerable diesel powered boat?? We looked at small pleasure tugs but they are too expensive. We will be in salt water in the Northwest much of the time. San Juans. What kind of electronics are advisable as a minimum? If you have comments on amount of power either inboard gas, outboard or diesel needed, this would be helpful..
    Just discovered you column today. It is super!
    Art Keene



    Art, I would suggest a 27 foot pleasure I/O boat that runs on gas with a 300 - 415 hp (ie. Mercruiser 7.4 litre engine / Magnum 502 on some models). Gas is readily available at most marinas especially if you are on a inland lake. I checked a few of these out at the Sports Vacation Travel Show in Columbus last weekend, marine dealers had units from Four Winns, Sea Ray and Rinker and the units have room for a 6'1" guy like to stand up in the cabin without having to bend my neck. These are about the largest trailerable boats you would want buy (without going into professional towing). You would run on about 70-100 gallons of fuel and hold anywhere from 40 - 70 (give or take a little) gallons of water/gray and/or black. These boats can come with a microwave, sink, bathroom with a small shower, room for four to sleep, and in some cases a generator and even an A/C. Its not a boat you would want to live on but great for camping out in the Northwest. You can find boats like this down to about 24 feet. Below that the cuddies are much more cramped. You would need a large tow vehicle to tow it (ie. a Ford Expedition would tow about 8000 pounds, plenty for a boat in this size range). You should consider a GPS or Loranz / Depth Sounder and VHF Marine radio and a small radar unit if you want to travel in bad weather. Marine radios can run as little as $ 149, Radars just under $ 2000, and GPS $200 to $2000. A depth finder is a must and comes with many of the newer boats in this size. I have heard of one trailerable diesel boat but couldn't find any specs at this time. Being in your seventies should not stop you! This is the time to enjoy a hobby like this! Let me know what you decide on, -Mark

    Subject: M.P.G. and Missouri River Marinas
    Date: Wed, 22 Jan 97 18:51:35 +0000
    From: Grant & Rachelle Dietz <>
    To: CC:
    First let me say that I love your sight and I am glad to see there are other people who love to boat different areas as I do. I am considering buying a new Astro 18' Fish&Ski, and I would like to know Miles Per Gallon instead of Hours Per Gallon. I would like to know the difference between 150HP, 175HP, and 200HP; and what is the best speed. Lastly, My crazy idea is to go up to Montana or as far up the Missouri river as I can go and boat down to St. Louis or New Orleans(if possible). Are there marinas or other refueling stations on the river so this would be possible, so I could do more than float down. Thank you and keep up the Great work!



    Miles per gallon can very depending on weight of the boat and the hull design, where weight is placed on the boat etc.. 175 Johnson will deliver in the neighborhood of 3.3 miles per gallon at 3000 RPM which should be around 22-25 miles per hour, or about 7.2 gallons per hour. If you run about 4000 RPM at 35 miles per hour you would only drop to 3 miles per gallon. This is figured on 90% capacity on an 18 foot boat. On a 190 to 200 horse power you will see performance pick up and in some case mileage. At the 2500 RPM you will go faster at 24.6 (where 175 hp will deliver 13.5 miles per hour) and increase gas mileage at 4.8 miles per gallon or 5.2 gallons per hour. I don't have any data on the 150 hp but the mpg would be even lower. 150 is more ideal for smaller lakes. Overall you have about an extra mile per hour at lower RPM with less fuel consumption on a bigger engine on an 18 foot boat. On the other hand the bigger engine sometimes causes skippers to run faster and play around with the extra horsepower and consume more fuel than a smaller engine!. In your case, on a trip from Montana to New Orleans the extra mileage it is well worth the higher horsepower motor. Again your results could be different and for best mileage information see your dealer. Lastly you should find ample fuel stops along many points of the Missouri and the Mississippi. You can also enjoy the numerous historical sites along the way especially in North and South Dakota. Someday I hope to have a complete list of river stopping points as our research into the great American Inland Lakes and Rivers continue. I am not sure how deep in Montana you can run before you run out of locks or get into a shallow area. One person I checked with said Fort Peck Lake. I have heard of farther west, and found a link that someone wrote on a canoe trip that they took on the upper Missouri River at . The pictures at this site are great. Have fun on your trip!. Mark.

    Subject: Force 125
    Date: Wed, 22 Jan 97 18:00:44 +0000
    From: Perry Rivkind <>
    Mark,I was planning to get a 115 Johnson for my cuddy boat a 20 footer. I was told to save a lot of money and by a Force engine,125HP.I know the history of the Force.Is it as reliable as a Johnson/Evinrude etc.? Would you recommend it for the price or will I be giving up reliability and performance to save money? I know I have to mix my own oil with gas. Please give me your best avice. Thanks again for all your responses. Perry



    I haven't heard any negatives on Force. Johnson has been around longer and has a well deserved reputation, and parts are easy to come by. However Force has made parts readily available over the past several years. With proper maintenance on either brand you should be OK. -Mark

    Subject: Canal Cruisin'
    Date: Wed, 22 Jan 97 00:30:25 +0000
    From: "N. Sando" <>
    Just a short note about the NY State barge canal system... My wife and I have boated on most major lakes in and near New York State - We have found a greater enjoyment simply touring the wonderful canal system. If you are into a long weekend (or week) of relaxing cruising - You must try this. We will be opening up our home page here soon to help inform future (and present) canal cruisers about little details. Like: overnight docking, fuel docks, lodging, restaurants, scenic attractions, canal protocol, etc..... Paul & Nancy



    Update me on your site when its up ! -Mark

    Date: Mon, 13 Jan 97 17:16:11 +0000
    From: "Brigg's & Lancaster" <>
    To: <>
    Dear Mark: I have a Nissan 50hp motor that needs hydraulic fluid added to it for the tilt and trim. I cannot figure out how to get the air out of the lines to make the hydraulic system work. Do you have any ideas? There is only one boat shop in Houston that works on these types of motors and it is all the way across town.
    Thanks, Robert Lancaster



    There should be a bleed valve that should help rid of air bubbles. It might be a gravity drain type where you open the bleed valve and let the fluid run out and at the same time watch the air bubbles spurt out. Some may have to be pressure filled where no air is exposed. You should check with your Nissan dealer for more information. -Mark

    Subject: Glastron Boat
    Date: Sat, 4 Jan 97 01:35:37 +0000
    I own a Glastron boat. A model 187 w/ a 170-hp volvo engine and a 270 out-drive. I'd like to know what year this boat was manufactured. Are parts available? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.



    You need to call Glastron at (612) 632-5481 or fax them at (320) 632-1439. Volvo engine parts are readily available in the U.S. and Europe. Verrigni Marine in Boca Raton, Florida has a large supply at 1-800-88-VOLVO. -Mark

    Subject: inexperienced boater
    Date: Mon, 30 Dec 96 12:52:36 +0000
    From: "Mark Olin" <>
    To: <>
    I've never owned nor operated any size boat. I am interested in learning, then purchasing my own. Could you recommend any book, magazine, brochures, etc... which would help me start my journey?
    I appreciate your help.
    Mark Olin



    First and above all else take a safe boating course. Your E-Mail address shows Guam. If you have boat shows there should be several booths containing information on courses and gathering brochures for boat manufacturers. Also subscribe to a boating magazine. Also try renting a boat and see if you get bitten by the boating bug. Renting is a great way to get experience before you purchase your own boat. Also see if a local marina has a bulletin board where you can post a message about wanting advice or insturction on motor boating and or sailing. I couldn't live on an island without having a boat! -Mark

    Subject: Lake of the Woods
    Date: Sat, 28 Dec 96 19:49:26 +0000
    From: Ray McFeetors <>
    Hello Again Mark/ I'm on lake of the Woods which touches Minnesota, Ontario and Manitoba. I Looked up this Lake under Minnesota and it indicated the lake was 50 Miles long by 35 miles wide. I have been on the lake for 20 years and its dimensions are more like 100 miles long and 60 miles wide. By actual count it has 14,000 islands and 65,000 miles of shoreline. When CNN does weather reports or when almost any map of North America is shown LOTW is one of the bodies of water that appears along with the great lakes and Lake Winnipeg and lake Manitoba. LOTW is one of the great great recreational bodies of water in the world.



    Thanks for the information! I don't know where my mind was when I covered that lake. I must have misread the information. I didn't know it had 14000 islands. I will have to plan this on my next Minnesota run! -Mark

    Subject: Sea Ray 250
    Date: Sat, 28 Dec 96 19:37:03 +0000
    From: Ray McFeetors <>
    Hi Mark/ Just found your page and I quite like it. I'm in the process of purchasing a 1997 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer. I have it in my mind that I would like to cruise and sleep aboard such a boat. Previously I owned a 220 open bow sea ray. What I am uncertain about is how comfortable is it sleeping aboard such a boat? Could you or any of your readers enlighten me about what I should expect living on the 250?



    I am looking at that same boat, probably be a few more years, but thats one I am studying closely. A 25 foot is great for small families, two adults and two kids. Or four adults on a short trip. They sleep well, and it is the most (if you would pardon a little youth coming out of me) "awsome" feeling spending your first night on your boat. The rocking sensation of a calm lake (just a little movement) is relaxing. The only drawback to any boat under 30 feet is being couped up with more than four people for an extended period of time. If your a couple, you will never get tired of it. Traveling is now open territory. With an open bow, you had to run from the weather, so sleeping on board was risky (waking up in the middle of the night ot rain!). With this boat, who cares about the weather (except for being in the middle of a great lake). If it rains, you just anchor and go below, day or night. I plan on using mine to travel down the Ohio to the Mississippi, and do some lake hopping in Canada. So as far as comfort goes, as long its not crowded on board, sleeping is no problem, be sure to lay down in one of the beds before you purchase the boat to make sure you are comfortable, and be ready for new items like possibly a generator, fresh, gray & black water storage. Have Fun ! -Mark

    Subject: Wellcraft 210
    Date: Fri, 27 Dec 96 15:45:43 +0000
    From: Perry Rivkind <>
    Mark, Looked at a 21ft Wellcraft OB cabin and liked it .The transom has no well, just a board in front of the transom.I notice that a lot of OB are made that way.Does that design result in water backing into the boat more easily than the old well design? Also,why do they build them that way instead of the deep well? Thanks again, Perry



    Usually the shape of the hull can have a lot to do with how much backwash will enter the boat. The manufacturer may feel that the well is not needed in its particular design. I have seen several designs and I have also seen trouble with water splashing into the boat when the trim was set wrong. My favorite design is with the engine well receding into the boat exactly where it sits. You can access the engine better while in the boat (great when stuck out on the water) and not have to worry about sliding off into the water while standing in the well area. Every manufacturer seems to have OB engine mounts in different spots. As to why, (I asked an engineer at a local marine shop) "its the engineers design, and the hull has a lot ot do with it, plus a well less boat gives you more on board space." -Mark

    Oil/Stern Drive Date: Fri, 8 Nov 96 07:10:26 +0000
    From: Donald B Cowan <>
    I own a 1973 GlastronI/O (Volvo 130 Marine Engine with stern drive). I am trying to find out about what kind of oil to use. The manual calls for 10W30 MS. Noone sells MS oil. Is just plain Pennzoil 10W30 OK to use Thank you,



    Don, I check around and no one has heard of MS oil. It probably stands for a Marine grade oil. Mercruiser requires a 25W 40 for its 4 cylinder engines, and recommends Quick Silver. If you run the engine hard most of the time then I would use a heavier weight oil. 10W30 sounds too lite for a marine engine unless you run in very cold weather. Marine engines have constant thrust unlike car engines which coast and doesn't break down the oil as fast. But if the manual calls for that weight you should probably stick to it. Pennzoil is a good choice. I would suggest talking to a Marine dealer that handles Volvo engines before you change. Here is a webpage address for a Volvo Dealer you could E-Mail at the Maine Network. -Mark.

    Subject: trailers
    Date: Thu, 24 Oct 96 16:21:15 +0000
    From: Perry Rivkind <>
    Mark,great service your providing boaters and would be boaters.My question is this.What ever happened to the good old tilt or breakframe trailers?I could launch and retrieve a boat not only faster than a float on but with no difficulty in any severe wind or current conditions.Particularly if I had an electric winch.Also, no rust or lite problems since only the bottem of the wheels got wet.In addition you could launch any anywhere, such as drop offs, soft sand etc..Why did the boating industry give up the breakframe trailers.Te repeat, absolutley the easy,simple and safe way to launch.And you can do it alone under all conditions if you have an electric winch with a long string to start the winch.One has total control of the boat using a breakframe since you have the winch cable attached to the boat when it's out in the water.I almost don't want to get into boating because of this situation.Tailering is a pain enough without having to fool around with so called floatons (underwater trailers) once you arrive at your destination.By the way you can always back a breakframe under water if you have to.I would like to hear your views and only wish the boating industry had a view.I asked boat dealers and can't get a logical answer. Thanks for listening to my gripe, Perry



    Perry, I miss those trailers too. I myself do not have an answer as to why they are hard to find. I have a float up trailer as well, and it works great with a good boat ramp, but there have been times where I would like to launch from smaller lakes that have just a beach for a ramp and found myself, the boat, and vehicle stuck and needing a tow out. You can self launch from a good ramp (as long as you have a place to dock while you park the tow vehicle and trailer). It probably is a safety concern, such as climbing a steep hill and the having a part (ie. winch cable) breaking causing the boat to roll off onto the road (which can happen with any roller trailer), rear end collisions etc.. I would suggest checking in the news group Rec.Boats and post the question there, you might find some interesting answers. Don't give up on boating though, with improved technological advances on trailers such as underwater lighting, bearing buddies, better paint jobs, the situation has improved. Here is a number of some popular trailer and trailer accessory companies. Shelby Industries sells accessories at 502-633-2040 and Prestige Trailers Inc. might have an idea why they are hard to find, you can write them at 500 South Madison St. Du Quoin, Il. 62832. Let me know if you find one!  -Mark.

    Subject: Tenn River/Tenn-Tom Waterway
    Date: Wed, 23 Oct 96 03:54:05 +0000
    From: "Jay Martin" <>
    To: <>
    I have been fortunate to make several trips on the Tennessee and the Tenn-Tom Waterway. I have a 1996 3988 Bayliner that recently replaced a 1986 38 Bayliner (which is for sale).
    The trip on the Tennessee is fairly routine as long as you watch the markers. The Tennessee River Gourge near Chattanooga, TN is beautiful. The Tennessee runs from Knoxville, TN to Paduka, Ky and is about 600 miles long. I live at mile 260 near the Wilson Dam in Florence, AL.
    I have also made over 20 trips on the Tenn-Tom Waterway. It is a little less routine with long runs between fuel stops and a big concern for your wakes effect on other boaters and structures at the banks. The waterway is far from civilization except for Demopolis, AL especially the lower 200 miles. It begins at Yellow creek (approx mile 210 Tenn River) and runs 450 miles to Mobile. If anyone wants information please email me.
    Jay Martin.



    Thanks for the trip info Jay. I hear so much about the Tennessee River from e-mail and boaters whom have taken the trip that I will have to run it sometime soon myself. Have fun and hope to see you along the river sometime soon! -Mark

    I have a 28 passenger, paddle wheel replica inspected tour boat for sale. Boat is a unique one of a kind attention getter. 1988 built, for sale here in stuart, fl for $35,000. email or call 561-288-2821 thanks, and have a great season@!
    Capt. Sterling Kennedy

    Subject: Boating question
    Date: Sun, 29 Sep 96 03:30:31 +0000
    Mark, Hopefully you can answer a question that I have gotten several different answers for. I have a 20 ft Mirage cuddy on a Shorelander"r trailer, the trailer is white baked on powder paint. I use the boat entirely in freshwater but would like to three to four times a year use the boat in saltwater. My concern is the trailer, if I rinse the trailer after use in the saltwater with fresh water will that prevent it from rusting, or even with a good rinse down am I starting a rust process I will not be able control. I have many different answers from dealers and mechanics both. Thanks for your help.



    I talked to a couple of trailer boaters in the New Port Richey, Florida area about this one. Most of them seem to suggest applying a protective coating on all metal exposed such as nuts and bolts, etc. Salt water does cause corrision faster than fresh water, and rinsing the trailer as well as flushing the engine with fresh water is a must for longevity. The newer the trailer the better painted it is, therefore if you rinse after pulling out I would think it wouldn't cause any problems especially if its only three or four times a year. The main thing is to inspect your trailer for any cracks in the paint, and put a protective coating over it, the coating may be touch up paint, a environmentally safe form of grease, etc. The main problem even on newer trailers are the leaf springs. Springs are easy to replace but if they break they can stop a trip from being a successful one. You should coat the springs before you launch in salt water. Also it is helpful to carry a good C-Clamp in case a leaf spring breaks on the highway, (a temporary fix). Also be sure to check your bearings and trailer brakes (if equipped) after pulling out of salt water. Over all these steps will help prevent corrsion on a trailer. Have a safe fall boating!

    Subject: Elk Rapids
    Date: Thu, 19 Sep 96 03:46:04 +0000
    Mark, that was a nice piece. I grew up in those waterways and now live in California. You know how to make a guy home sick. It's been 7 yrs since I have returned to visit. I was just wondering if the Elk River Inn still has it's Seafood nights. Thanks again for rekindling the old home town flame..



    I was up in Elk Rapids again this summer, and had a great time. It was a little chilli, Traverse City had the Blue Angels Jet show over the west bay and the Cherry festival was in full swing, Murdicks still sells fudge. I Ran a trip from Elk Rapids to Belaire (as I do every other year) and back, I still like to stop at the Dockside Restaurant at the mouth of Clam lake off Torch. The water is as clear as ever. There still is a great sand bar near the Torch River from Torch Lake where about 50 of us boaters got together and had a cook out (cooking on a rented Pontoon). The Grass River is still as scenic and nature protected as ever with a nice hiking trail accessible by boat just at the entrance on the north tip of Clam. Elk Rapids looks great, the theater is still running, the Marina is clean, well kept, and most of the stores are in operation. I grew up there (on Birch Lake) in the summers and wish that summer months were three months longer so I could enjoy it more! The Elk River Inn hasn't changed a bit, however I don't know if they still have a seafood night, I will check the next time I get up there, they still have slips too.

    Sorry about firing up those memories, but the Grand Traverse Region is a must visit the next time you visit Michigan. Traverse City is growing in leaps and bounds, with several new hotels along the east bay, one of the best are the condos at Grand Traverse Resort Hotel, also featuring a PGA course and major concerts in the summer months. Downtown Traverse and the zoo look almost the same, the zoo has added a few small items, and a nice steam operated train (to replace that old gas unit) in a small scale. also a couple of malls have popped up along with a couple of high class casinos. Sleeping Bear Dunes hasn't changed a bit.

    Thanks for the E-Mail and be sure to drop a line anytime you have a question, -Mark (now living in Columbus, Ohio -too far from Michigan! ).

    Subject: Re: Terry
    Date: Wed, 18 Sep 96 14:13:32 +0000
    From: (LCDR Larry J. Phillips)
    Mark: I made the trip down the Tennessee River several years ago with a friend and we used a 30 ft. Chris Craft cabin cruiser. It was great. Terry needs to be aware of the many sand bars which are scattered up and down the river, which is all the more reason to follow the channel markers. Also, you are right about dams and the locks. Allow more time in your trip for these because you never know when a barge might have the locks tied up. Just be patient and enjoy the trip, the beautiful scenery and be alert for barges. Sometimes they can throw out a huge wake, so you want to give them all the room they need. LCDR Larry Phillips, MSC, USN, FACHE Head, Materials Management Department Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Florida 32214
    Ph# (904) 777-7715 FAX (904) 777-7728 DSN 942-XXXX



    Thanks for the info on the sand bars, I can remember a similar problem with the American Queen on the Ohio during a maiden voyage photo shoot. It is adviseable to watch those water levels too (measured under most bridges). Channel markers are a must on many rivers. I hope to make that trip next year myself, have a great fall boating! -Mark

    Subject: Boating in Alabama Date: Sat, 24 Aug 96 16:04:03 +0000
    Really enjoy your boating home page. What a great idea!!
    I just moved to Alabama from Las Vegas, Nv. where I boated on Lake Mead. To my surprise there's a great lake in Alabama - Lake Martin near Daleville. Water is calm and lots of great places for skiing, boarding etc. However, I find keeping mold from growing in the skilocker and under the seats extremely tough. Have you heard of any good ways to stop mold? Nevada was so dry this was not a problem. By the way, I have a Four Winns 190 Horizon. Thanks for creating the boating home page. I'll visit often.



    I have found that those little dry clear jellylike pills ( those little things you find packed with your VCR ) work well. I also recommend the practice of keeping towels handy on the boat to wipe the skis down before putting them in your locker. Lake Mead is in a very dry area, (I was there in April, Great Lake!) Alabama is just the opposite (at least you won't get chills getting out of the water in late April), so I would recommend looking for those little pellets and adding them by the pound as a possible measure, it works great for me in Ohio. Also there is nothing like a little fan and direct sunlight to dry out the floor and locker after a soaking run in a rain storm.

    Subject: References
    Date: Mon, 03 Jun 96 10:51:00 PDT
    From: Rod Wilske <>
    To: "''" <>
    I'm new to the Northern Kentucky area would appreciate some suggestions.
    I'm looking for a marina or other boat storage facility that can offer water for cleaning, etc. (I have a 23' Regal on a trailer).
    Also, I'd like to put a bow rail on it.



    There are all kinds of Marinas on the Ohio side in the Cincinnati area between downtown and the eastern outerbelt (I275). Just hop off of Kellog Ave on the eastern side of I 275 first exit on the Ohio side. I would contact Regal on the bow rail at Regal Marine Industries, Inc., 2300 Jetport Drive, Orlando, FL 32809; Telephone: 1-800-US-REGAL; Facsimile: 1-407-857-1256. E-mail at or check out their web site at -Mark.

    Subject: AquaSport
    Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 20:12:14 -0400
    Can you advise me on the whereabouts of the AquaSport dealer fo New England or the tel no' of AquaSport. I want to buy a used AquaSport 22, is there a good web site for used boats? Thanks



    1-800-603-BOAT (2628) is the number I have for AquaSport.

    Aquasport 1651 Whitfield Avenue Sarasota, FL 34243 They can locate a dealer near you. Gives you new or used boats, (one of many I have looked at on the net). -Mark

    Parts Needed -Lots of E-Mail coming in; here is the latest...

    Subject: Plexiglass Windshield
    Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 13:00:51 -0400
    From: James Melwing <>
    To: "''" <>
    I am in the process of restoring a late 60's or early 70's Starcraft aluminum runabout.  The 15.5' boat is in great shape except for the old curved styled windshield.  Are you aware of anyone who has replacement windshields for this type of boat.
    Jim M.

    I checked with my resources and couldn't find anything on this line, I have you posted in the parts section! -Mark

    Subject: My cute little cherry Johnson SeaHorse
    Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 20:08:55 -0500
    From: "Dan Tindall" <>
     To: <>
    Dear Mark,
    I feel lucky to have found your page....
    I have found a little 3hp SeaHorse with very few hours on it.  Even has the original prop on it with no paint worn off !!  I would really like to use this motor for a square-stern canoe but I don't want to attempt to start it until I do all that is necessary to make certain that it is in good running condition.  I would like all of the mfg's books etc. on it so that I can work on it with confidence.  I also will likely need a good resource for parts. It hasn't been started for many years so I need to know what to do to get the gunk out and get it ready to go. Any help/advise you can give me would be appreciated.
    Dan Tindall

    I have you posted, and hope someone ca fax you or mail you a few specs. The most important thing is to check the gear oil and if it (hopefully) runs out the base then I would pump in new gear oil available at any marina or marine parts store. There are kits for doing this that are relatively inexpensive. I would also contact a marine parts dealer about the proper mixture of fuel and oil. Good Luck!  -Mark

    Subject: hydrofoils?
    Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 21:59:05 -0500
    From: "getripe" <>
    To: <>
    Hi Mark,
    I was wondering if you have any information on hydrofoils ( stingray, se - 3000) for a stern drive boat ( i/o ) .  I want the best one to reduce cavitation, but no loss in top speed.  \Any info would be greatlt appreciated!
    Thanks Joe Brown

    Cavitation is usually caused by being trimmed too high.  If trimming doesn't do it then a hydrofoil may be the answer. It  does help plane faster and can reduce cavitation. Its an inexpensive fix and you can find them at various on-line catelog show rooms such as Overtons ($ 34.99) at  -Mark

    Subject: request
    Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 11:55:57 -0500
    My husband is looking for a water pump impeller for a 5hp Elgin, model #
    571-58571  serial # 571-9152.  He also needs a carb kit.  Can you help
    or provide a name/number.



    I have it posted!.  -Mark

    Subject: Mercruiser Alpha 1
    Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 23:03:09 -0500
    From: "Alan Koop" <>
    Reply-To: <>
    To: <>
    Does anyone know of any tricks to increase the performance from a Mercruiser Alpha 1 engine? I was wondering if anyone made a replacement intake manifold or a different carb setup that would get me a little more power. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

    Subject: galaxy
    Date: Thu, 15 Jan 98 18:12:42 +0000
    From: SSSWINTERS <>
    Organization: AOL ( To:
    i would like to find an owners guide for an older galaxy i/o (20 ft) 1979, i purchased last fall. it's in great shape and would love to know more about it.
    any help??
    frank @ ssswinters @ aol



    An owners guide on a 1979 boat may be a bit difficult to obtain, but that is one good way to use the Internet!. The last I heard is that Galaxy went out of business and a company called Pen Yan had bought the molds and were producing similar boats. Galaxy was also sold under the President and Magna names. I would recommend obtaining a Chilton's or similar type of service guide for the brand of outdrive that you have on the craft. These guides will provide you with most of the maintenance recommendations on the craft. It also comes in handy for major repair jobs! -Mark

    Subject: Dave Hood looking for a boat part
    Date: Thu, 15 Jan 98 02:58:05 +0000
    From: "Bebout" <>
    To: <>
    I'm relaying this message for my dad. I hope I get the language correct! He needs a part and if you can't help him, perhaps you can suggest someone who can. Here goes....
    Mercury 60....6HP Twin Mercury, Ser# l634466. standing in front of motor, he needs the right side hood latch.
    Hope to hear from you soon! Leslie Bebout (Dave's daughter)



    There are numerous parts dealers on the net, Tim's response below indicates he may have an idea of where to find a latch, or perhaps have one available, here's his e-mail address: , (Tim Griswold) or contact him in Muskegon, Michigan at (616) 739-8452. (in case you didn't catch the info on the Tips Page). Good luck, -Mark

    Subject: old used obsolete hard to find outboard & IO parts
    Date: Thu, 6 Nov 97 13:03:42 +0000
    From: Tim Griswold <>
    Organization: G&G Marine
    Hard to find parts
    I have a vast amount of old parts ie. lowerunits,gears,shafts, housings,control cables & boxes,double line tanks,tanks for the top of motor,recoils,carb parts including Tillotson W/Master catalog etc. forScott/McCullach,Elgin,Eska,Oliver,Martin,Perkin s,Neptune or whatever. Also have a lot of new head gaskets & water pump impellers for most all Scotts. Also have new points & condensors for a lot of the old motors, out- drives for Merc ruiser including 80hp & TR drives,OMC & Volvo.Would like to sel either by the piece or the whole bunch....Contact me via e-mail or 1146 Sunset Ln. Muskegon,Mich.49444 (616) 739-8452....



    Thanks for the info Tim, I am sure you will have a few e-mails !. -Mark

    Subject: Steering Cable
    Date: Sat, 25 Oct 97 20:43:44 +0000
    From: regpeckham <>
    Hi Mark We have a 17' Islander centre counsel outboard boat with a 55 hp Johnson motor. The steering has become real stiff and require imformation on tips to replacing the cable. The boat is situated in Negril, Jamaica and I'm from Western Canada which makes this real difficult. The present cable housing is 12' with a total length of 13'8", We know the hull was manufactured in orlando Fl. but we don't have any imfo for contacting to get specs in order to get proper cable . Maybe these things are all standard, Any imfo. will help start the process of shipping proper part to Negris will be much appreciated. Thanks, Reg



    The stiffness probably is from the salt water corrision. You will probably have to buy the cable in bulk and cut to fit on location. I am not familiar with Jamaca, but there should be a dealer on the island you can call to possibly have them repair it. Chances are they can let you know the type of cable to purchase. If anyone viewing could help be sure to send us E-Mail. Good luck and let us know what happens! -Mark

    Subject: broken Johnson
    Date: Wed, 22 Oct 97 02:37:47 +0000
    From: "Gregory L Smith" <>
    To: <>
    What a service you provide! I hope this is the right way to get hold of you, but the e-mail link on your page didn't link.
    At any rate my 1978 Johnson 85 hp had a most unfortunate encounter with a submerged log. The lower gear case is history, and finding a decent used one would be a prayer answered. The price at the Johnson dealer was frightening - more than I gave for the whole boat.
    Thanks for any help, and keep up the good work.
    Greg Smith



    You might try Clearfork Marina at 1-800-226-1079 for parts, boaters I have talked to say they have good prices on outboard parts. Good luck on that winter repair -Mark

    Subject: looking for a block for my 1984 140hp merc, or engine larger to replace it
    Date: Tue, 21 Oct 97 22:03:26 +0000
    From: "Scott Robertson" <>
    Hi Mark, great home page, I'm in the process of adding a boating page to my home page I will be shure to ad a link to your page :-) I'm looking for either a block for my 140hp Merc., or to replace the engine with a larger one that will accept my bell housing. It would be with great thanks if you will post this in my search. Thanks Always Scott



    Got ya posted! -Mark

    Date: Sun, 28 Sep 97 22:28:22 +0000
    From: "Mike Rice" <>
    I have a 79' 115 mercury outboard that has a water leak in #3 and some scoring but the rest is still good including pt/t. I want to know if it is worth anything to anyone as a whole or for parts. My e-mail address is Mike in Jacksonville, Fl.

    Subject: Valve Springs
    Date: Wed, 2 Jul 97 12:06:15 +0000
    From: "Rudish, Charles" <>
    Organization: CP
    Mark, Maybe someone out there can help. I have a '78 Volvo AQ-130-D in my Bayliner. The guys that rebuilt this engine a couple of years ago had to replace a cracked head with one they found someplace. The problem is, they left the old valve springs in it, and they are rust pitted. So far, two of them have broken. I lucked out with the first one and found one at NAPA that fit. This week another one let go, but NAPA didn't have any more, and now one else around does either. By the book, This is what I need: Free length: 1.18 in" Max OD: 1.050 in" Closed: 51-61 @ 1.57 in" Open: 138-193 @ 1.18 in" If I can find anything even close, but no longer than 312 in" of the 1.18 in" free length, then I'll need (8) of them to keep them equal. Thanks, PS-I have completed my OUPV Captains course and am studying to take the Masters exam. See you on Salt Fork. Chuck



    If you can come up to Columbus, we have NAPAs all over the place here, not to mention one or two in Zanesville that might have one (of course take Route 40, the traffic in the I70 construction between Cambridge and Zanesville is incredible as I found out while visiting Seneca Lake last Sunday), of course good luck on the replacement of springs -Mark

    Subject: part needed
    Date: Mon, 7 Jul 97 22:47:12 +0000
    From: Janet <>
    Organization: Wojo To:
    Hello I don't even know how I got to this web site but glad I did. I hope you can help. My husband is in need of an omc upper gear case for a 1975 235 hp model# 980970 serial# 89305. If anyone can help us locate one we would greatly appreciate it. You can Email us at or phone 414-554-8300 Mike or Janet Thanks!

    Subject: 1990 Yamaha Super 650 Jet Ski
    Date: Tue, 10 Jun 97 04:40:35 +0000
    From: "Danny Mansur" <>
    Mark -
    I'm looking for a handle bar pole for a 1990 Yamaha Super 650 Jet Ski. They're made of fibergalss but I'd prefer aluminum. If there are any parts dealers or wholesalers who are willing to send it to me, please contact me at the above address. Many thanks.



    Got ya posted, -Mark

    Subject: Sears 13 1/2 ft. boat
    Date: Wed, 14 May 97 20:49:51 +0000
    From: Roger Browning <rbrowning@GFC.STATE.GA.US>
    To: "''" <>
    I recently bought my first boat, a Sears 1969 model boat with matching 12 hp motor. A little porting and polishing and it runs great! All I need now is a stick steering device for forward operations! I installed a dolphin type stabilizer which has helped to get the front end down but I still want to be able to steer from the front. Help!!



    Did you check Bass Masters ? They may have something along a steering device. There is a remote control device available (as recently reviewed in Trailer Boats magazine). This kit is expensive but great for the floating bridge effect. If anyone knows of an item be sure to email Roger ! -Mark

    Subject: 115 HP Johnson
    Date: Fri, 2 May 97 22:43:05 +0000
    From: Skeeter Mason <>
    Hi Mark:
    What a very needed site. You must be just swamped with e-mail. If you could I would like to find an upper unit of 115 HP Johnson, or new heads or what ever I can get. I know alot of people have the lower units wrecked but the upper is fine. Could you post this and e-mail me the direction I should be going to I am new at this WWW and WOW!!!!!m I am just overwhelmed so any help I sure could use it.
    Thanks Skeeter Mason



    I have you posted, if anyone has any I'm sure they will drop you a line ! -Mark

    Subject: Wellcraft - St. Tropez
    Date: Sat, 5 Apr 97 16:20:47 +0000
    From: denny <>
    Mark - Need some info on the Wellcraft St. Tropez model from 1987-89. I heard there was a problem with stringer and bulk heads on this model and I am looking to purchase one in the near future. I was told that the problem did not exist after 1996 models and that there is a fix for those that had it. Any info on this would be greatly appreciated. Also does Wellcraft have a home page that I could contact and talk about this directly to someone from the factory. All I can get is Genmars page that referrences Wellcrafts new line of boats. No way to contact them on older models or receive any tips. Thanks Denny Ernest



    I have not been able to locate a Wellcraft page. There are several dealers that are offering Wellcraft products with websites. Be sure to try Pier45 for a complete run down on their new products and a phone number to call. -Mark

    Subject: boats
    Date: Thu, 27 Mar 97 06:07:40 +0000
    From: "Rudish, Charles" <>
    Organization: CP
    Mark, Just ran across your page, looks great. I have a request. I have a '78 Bayliner w/280 outdrive. I have a problem with the lift unit. I lost the limit switch that limits the up/down travel of the unit. Living in southeast Ohio, not what you would call a boating meca, parts can sometimes be a problem, this being one of them. I have also had to rebuild the little electric motor that operates the lift screw. I need to find out where I can find both the switch and the motor. Any Ideas? Bayliner hasen't been much help. They haven't used this system for quite a while. Chuck Rudish



    The lift equipment may not be exclusive to Bayliner. If you know of the brand you will want to call a marine parts company. There are a huge variety of dealers nationwide. You may want to try Discount Marine Parts at 1-800-226-1079. I do a lot of boating in southeast Ohio, mostly on Seneca Lake as well as an occasional stop on Dillon, Muskingum River, and Salt Fork. There aren't many dealers in that area but there is plenty of boating. On the Muskingum in Zanesville I would try Kirkbride, they also may know where to get the parts you are looking for. See ya on the water this summer! -Mark

    Date: Mon, 24 Mar 97 17:43:32 +0000
    From: GARY BRANDT <>
    To: CC:



    Got ya posted!. -Mark

    Subject: Fiberking Fishingboat
    Date: Sun, 23 Mar 97 22:12:35 +0000
    From: (Debbie or Yancy Prokulewicz)
    Hi Mark, My name is Yancy Prokulewicz, and I'm currently looking at purchasing a used Fiberking Scout Bomber. I have never heard of this name before, and cannot find a Fiberking, Inc. website. The owner of the boat is asking $900.00 but it has a broken Lower Unit Pinion Gear in the Johnson 48hp motor. The owner says it will cost $378.00 for these parts. Can you help me? I would like to know if this boat is even worth considering.....(although a boat loaded like this one is probably a steal).
    Your quick reply is appreciated.:-)



    I have not heard of FIberking, perhaps if one of our readers have heard of them please enlighten us!. I would take it to a marine technician and have them do an estimate. You will want to make sure that the hull, controls, electrical and overall condition of the boat will be worth the $ 1278 that you will be putting into it. Johnson is an easy engine to obtain parts for. If the boat is in seaworthy shape then you should be all right!. -Mark

    Subject: help me
    Date: Fri, 21 Mar 97 14:29:43 +0000
    From: Tim Oleary <>
    Hi there Mark. I have a 1977 Johnson outboard motor. Last year my boat hoist tipped over and damaged my hood. Do you know of anywhere that i can find the original decals for this motor, or even newer decals at a fair price?? I would very much appreciate any information. Thank's alot.



    You may want to contact Johnson Outboards at (800) 998-9960. Also a passing surfer may have a spare orginal available ! -Mark

    Subject: Force Engine Publications
    Date: Tue, 18 Mar 97 19:58:54 +0000
    From: "Michael A.Burns" <>
    If every in the need for service/parts or owners manuals for Force outboards You can receive this by calling 414-929-5110. A small fee is required.



    Thanks for your input Mike ! -Mark

    Subject: Plastronics Boat
    Date: Wed, 12 Mar 97 03:57:31 +0000
    Mark, Am looking at a boat/motor combo. The boat is a 1960 fiberglass runabout made by Plastronics, Austin TX. (Really interesting bow ornament/running light setup). Was Plastronics a previous name for Glastron? If so, does anyone know when and how they became Glastron? Anything you or your cyber-searchers can tell me would be great. Thanks, Joe Lanigan, San Angelo TX



    I haven't heard of Plastronics as a previous name for Glastron. Glastron was born in 1956 and had a model with a unique hardtop and is a big collectors item today. They also made the famous Batboat in the mid 60s, which was inspired by the TV series. Any cyber browser viewing feel free to jump in via email if you know of where he can find one! -Mark.

    Date: Fri, 28 Feb 97 19:13:40 +0000
    From: (DI parts finders geoff stevens)



    Thanks for the information! -Mark

    Subject: parts and pieces
    Date: Fri, 28 Feb 97 01:01:02 +0000
    Chicago General in Chicago has alot of the older parts. they are re-manufactured to be as good as or better than O.E.M parts. I've ordered parts several times and have yet to have any problems. I've ordered Johnson re-placement and Christ-Craft coils and all are still working. The nice part is that they carry I/O parts too. Their phone # is 1-800-645-5076.Johnson coils are 9.95 ea through these people. Stan Jackson
    Thanks Stan. A lot of boaters sure could use a new source for parts, -Mark

    Subject: 1963 40 hp Lark Electric Shift Evinrude
    Date: Tue, 18 Feb 97 17:40:18 +0000
    From: "Adey, Walter E." <>
    To: "''" <>
    Mark, I just started boating last year. I bought an older Starcraft runabout with an Evinrude 40hp Electric Shift OB. So far I just love boating! Here is my problem. When I purchased the boat the engine didn't have a generator on it. Has anyone out there manufactured an aftermarket alternator conversion kit that will fit under the cowl? It is not the end of the world charging the batteries after every outing, but it would be a lot less trouble to just hook up and take off without thinking about whether the batteries were charged! Any advice?
    Thanks Walt Adey



    I have heard of a place that stocks hard to find parts through mail order, you may try Clearfork Marina at 1-800-837-BOAT. They specialize in Evinrude as one of their lines. You may also try Evinrude for a list of more dealers at 1-800-998-9960. I haven't heard of any aftermarket models. -Mark

    Subject: in need of a lower unit for a 1979 evinrude115
    Date: Sun, 16 Feb 97 16:16:57 +0000
    Hey Mark,I'm looking for a lower unit for my 1979 Evenrude 115 at a fair price its a manual shift not electric,i have a lot of parts for a 1979 Jonhson 85 horse with electric shift, I would be willing to trade or sell, i have around $300.00 to play with.I'am hopeing i can finally get my project boat in the water this summer!I'located in NJ,Thanks for your help have a healthy and happy 97.



    Got ya posted, -Mark

    Subject: parts for "58" lone star CRUISELINER AND MERC 850
    Date: Fri, 14 Feb 97 16:10:47 +0000



    Got ya posted ! -Mark

    Subject: Pontoons
    Date: Thu, 13 Feb 97 17:29:25 +0000
    From: Dan <>
    Organization: InfiNet
    Hi Mark! Great page ya have here! I am looking for a pair of pontoons in the 30-35 foot range. Dealers and manufacturers are somewhat reluctant to give their sources. Anyone out there know a supplier?

    Subject: USED PARTS
    Date: Tue, 11 Feb 97 14:51:50 +0000



    Thanks for the input Jeff, I have ya posted ! -Mark

    Date: Tue, 11 Feb 97 17:09:03 +0000
    Dear Mark,
    Nice Page for boaters,
    I have a 1978 '43 Viking Double cabin MY. sombody hit the bow of the boat and knocked the starboard viking emblen off. It is 28" long. HELP HELP HELP. Does andbody out in ciber space know where i can find one
    Mike Adelberg E Mail Address:



    This is the kind of thing cyberspace is for! If anyone can help with this part e-mail us or him ! Wish you luck!  -Mark

    Subject: IN NEED OF
    Date: Wed, 12 Feb 97 17:26:57 +0000



    You should be able to find manuals like these at most marina parts centers in major markets. Evinrude also has a list of dealers that should be able to help, call them at 800-998-9960. -Mark

    Subject: Part Needed
    Date: Tue, 28 Jan 97 15:20:19 +0000
    From: Bob Story <>
    Organization: Houseboat "REVELRY" To:
    If anyone has a good used engine cover for a 1985 SeaRay Seville I/O, I would appreciate an E-Mail as to location and price.

    Subject: PART NEEDED
    Date: Sun, 26 Jan 97 22:49:45 +0000
    From: "Corleen Simmons" <>



    I have you posted. Not an uncommon price for a new drive, though it may be cheaper in teh south. Hopefully a dealer will spot this and reply back soon, good luck. -Mark

    Subject: looking for out drives
    Date: Sat, 25 Jan 97 04:43:39 +0000
    Mark I am looking for a Karma out drive, have heard they are hard to find do you know where I can find one or two? Also I need an alternator bracket for a 350ci in a Jersey Speed Skiff with a Chris Craft Front plate, also need the drive pully. can you help me find these things, Thank you.



    I checked with sources and couldn't find Karma. Have it posted, -Mark.

    Subject: How do you know the correct propeller for your boat?
    Date: Fri, 10 Jan 97 04:33:23 +0000
    Dear Sir
    I thought I knew alot about boats until it came to a propeller. I few months ago I moved from the Texas Coastal Bend Area (South Texas) to the other end of the state of Texas. I now live in far West Texas. I have a 16' - 2" Wrangler Skeeter Bass Boat with a 150 HP Evinrude motor. In South Texas I could run the boat at 65 - 70 MPH at 5500 RPM with a 14.5 X 24 propeller. I went to a lake in New Mexico and could not go over 53 MPH or turn over 4200 RPM. I think this could have hurt my engine in the long run. I purchased a 14.5 X 19 propeller for the new alttitude which made the boat run at 55 - 57 MPH at 5100 RPM. I can't seem to find any two so called experts that say the same thing. I have three questions:
    1. Are the RPM's correct for the alttitude (4000 feet above sea level)?
    2. Did I buy the correct propeller for the boat/motor combination?
    3. What is the formula or rule of thumb for the correct propeller?
    4. Am I hurting the motor in any way using the 14.5 X 19 propeller?
    Please contact me a SKIP24U @ AOL.COM Thankyou for your time



    The important thing is that you don't redline your engine. Check with your Evinrude dealer for high altitude prop suggestions. A smaller propellor will decrease stress on the engine, but at lower altitudes it will send you straight to redline on full throttle. RPMs for that altitude are normal based on suggestions from other boaters. Some have found ways of adjusting the carburetor for improved performance. Some fuel injected models automatically adjust for high altitude. I have heard of three different improvements for high altitude boating. One is adjust the carburetor for a leaner fuel mix, or you will burn rich (again check with your Evinrude dealer), prop switching (only after adjusting the carburetor), and on some brands, different octane of fuel. At higher altitudes you may actually find that lowering the octane will help, (thinner air causes different combustion). As far as the rule of thumb goes, read below, it varies with manufacturers, however if an Evinrude technician happens to read this please e-mail us!. There are charts available for some manufacturers. I will do some more digging this week and hopefully get all of them and post them as made available. Here is a list of Propellor terms I borrowed from a technician. These are what the the men and woman of the marine engine and blade repair world live by.

    1. LEADING EDGE - The edge of the propeller nearest to the boat cuts through the water first, starting at the hub it extends to the blade tip.

    2. BLADE TIP - This is the farthest point that a propeller extends from the center of the hub to the outer radius of the blade.

    3. TRAILING EDGE - The edge of the propeller farthest away from the boat where the water leaves the blade.

    4. CUP - The cup on a propeller is designed to help lock the propeller in the water to reduce slippage and prevent cavitation. The cupped area is located on the trailing edge of the blade starting approximately 1" from the hub extending out to the blade tip.

    5. PUSHING FACE - This is the face of the propeller blade away from the boat. More commonly called the PITCH FACE which faces the pitch block when repairing.

    6. NEGATIVE FACE - This is the face of the propeller blade toward the boat.

    7. BLADE ROOT - The thickest area of a propeller where the blade and the hub are joint together.

    8. HUB - The center of the propeller that fits over the propeller shaft.

    9. OVER HUB EXHAUST - Exhaust gasses flow over the hub and blades.

    10. THRU HUB EXHAUST - Exhaust gasses flow through a barrel of outer hub to prevent exhaust gasses from flowing over the blades of the propeller.

    11. RUBBER HUB - inner hub bushing made of hard rubber, molded to a splined spindle to protect the drive train when shifting.

    12. ACR/DIFFUSER RING - The flared ring used on through hub exhaust propellers. The ACR/Diffuser ring prevents the exhaust gasses from backing up on the blades which produces cavitation on take-off.

    13. CAVITATION - The introduction of air on the propeller blades resulting from running a damaged propeller, or from sucking air from the surface of the water. A cavitating propeller is actually slipping and produces very little thrust.

    14. PITCH - The theoretical travel of a propeller through a mass per revolution. EX: a 19" pitch propeller moves approximately 19" per revolution.

    15. STRAIGHT PITCH - The pitch is constant or the same from leading edge to the trailing edge of the propeller.

    16 PROGRESSIVE PITCH - The pitch increases from the leading edge to the trailing edge. EX: Leading edge measures 17", trailing edge measures 17" pitch - this is a 3" regressive pitch.

    17. VARIABLE PITCH - The pitch increases from the leading edge to the trailing edge, and from the hub to the outer tip.

    19. RAKE - The angle of the propeller blade in correspondence with the propeller shaft.

    20. FORWARD RAKE - Blades are angled toward the boat. Commonly used for inboard propellers and small outboard propellers.

    21. AFT RAKE - Blades are angled b back or away from the boat. This type of rake is used to help lift the stern of the boat on take-off, and on top end will help to lift the bow up - improving performance.

    22. PARABOLIC RAKE - The off center development of a propeller blade used to make the rake concave or convex.

    23. DIAMETER - The overall width of a propeller.

    24. RIGHT HAND ROTATION - The propeller turns clockwise on the shaft.

    25. LEFT HAND ROTATION - The propeller turns counter-clockwise on the shaft.

    The pitch on most propellers can be changed to obtain better performance if necessary. Aluminum propellers can be changed two (2") inches up or down in pitch. Bronze propellers can be changed two (2") inches up or down in pitch. Stainless Steel can be changed one (1") inch up or down. We do not recommend changing the pitch any more than one (1") inch.

    When changing pitch you need to know how the propeller performs before you change it. By lowering the pitch one (1") inch the motor will gain 200 RPM. By increasing the pitch the motor will lose 200 RPM. Do not attempt changing the pitch of a propeller in towards the hub. The metal in this area usually will not bend. It is only necessary to change 1/3 to 1/2 of the propeller blade to the new pitch.

  • 1" Pitch = 200 RPM
  • Lower pitch to gain RPM
  • Increase pitch to lose RPM
  • Single cup = 200 RPM
  • Double cup = 300 RPM
  • 1/4" Diameter = 200 RIM
  • Decrease diameter - gain RPM
  • Increase diameter - lose RPM



    A Progressive pitch on a propeller makes it more versatile and helps the motor adapt to different loads. A progressive pitched propeller accelerates better than most straight pitch propellers and also develops very good top end.

    Most propellers can be changed from straight pitch to progressive pitch. For better take off - lower the pitch over the leading edge. For better top end - increase the pitch over the trailing edge. See example below.

    To figure out which pitch will be the most effective on a given boat, follow this formula.

  • 1.Gauge the existing propeller and determine what pitch it is.
  • 2.Find out what RPM the prop turns.
  • 3.Find out what the motors recommended RPM range is.




  • 1.Motor - Mercruiser 120 HP @ 4400 - 4800 RPM
  • 2.Motor has 1:68 to 1 Gear Ratio
  • 3.Prop has true 17" pitch
  • 4.Motor currently runs 4600 RPM



    Here goes the calculator.

  • Pitch in Feet 17" pitch / 12" per foot = 1.42
  • x RPM at prop = 2738
  • = Speed in feet per minute = 3888
  • x 60 (60 minutes per hour) x 60 233280
  • / 5280 feet (number of feet per mile) / 5280
  • = Theoretical Speed = 44.18 MPH
  • x .82 (average slip = 18%) x .82
  • = Probable Speed = 36.22 MPH



    Here are a list of Typical Rakes

  • 10 degree Forward Rake - Weedless design used on outboard motors by various manufacturers.
  • 2 - 4 degree Forward Rake - Wide blade design used on outboards, I/O's and inboards by various manufacturers.
  • 0 degree Rake - Used on outboard, I/O's and inboards by all manufacturers.
  • 5/6 degree Rake - Used on Pontoons and Houseboats. I/O's outboards and inboard props.
  • 8 degree Aft Rake - Used on outboards and I/O's by various manufacturers.
  • 10/11 degree Aft Rake - Used on outboards and I/O's by various manufacturers.
  • 15/16 degree Aft Rake - Used on outboards and I/O's by various manufacturers.
  • 19/20 degree Aft Rake - Used on outboards and I/O's by various manufacturers.
  • 23 degree Aft Rake - Used by OMC on 70 - 140 HP motors and older style outboards and I/O's.
  • Parabolic Rake - Various rakes - 3 degree Forward through 35 degree Aft. Used for performance propellers by various manufacturers.



    Again check with your manufacturer for exact recommendations before changing your prop in order to satisfy the performance recommendations. -Mark

    Subject: marine anchor winch 12 volt
    Date: Sun, 12 Jan 97 23:43:12 +0000
    Need drawings and recommendations or near by places to find the following: 12 volt winch, power up power down, capable of lifting 25 lbs., 3/8 nylon anchor rope, electric lock, 200 ft rope capacity, can be deck mounted, simple. For Great Lakes fresh water perch and whitefish fishing. Thank you. I sent this to an Australian company. I'm trying to help my father in law find the above. Then I found your web page, it's great!! We live in Traverse City. I think your the man to help us. Thank you lots, hope to hear from you soon. Jodie Hoffmeister



    I checked in a catelog and found a MINN KOTA but the specks were smaller with 60-feet of rope at 800 pounds and 35 pounds of anchor capability. I will dig some more this week and try to find some larger units. There are several marine shops in and around Traverse City, a couple south of town on U.S. 31 and one north on 72 just around the west Grand Traverse Bay. One of them (if they are open this time of year) should be able to recommend or have supply of a larger winch. I have a 60 foot anchor I use by hand and have anchrored off Old Mission Pen. close to the shoals, (I can see where you drop off on the dept finder) and get into several hundred feet of water quickly. I will update this response as soon as I get more info, see ya on the water next summer!

    Date: Sat, 7 Dec 96 20:14:11 +0000

    Subject: Used Yamaha outboards
    Date: Thu, 9 Jan 97 18:14:31 +0000
    To whom it may concern;
    I am interested in purchasing used Yamaha outboard engines in good condition H.P. 25,40,48,55,60,65,75,80,85,90. Please fax to (305)227-6953 or E-mail include prices.
    Thank you; Raul Nunez

    Subject: 25hp Mercury Outboard
    Date: Wed, 8 Jan 97 02:22:19 +0000
    From: T
    Need carb model no. BCIC 8498 for 82 25hp Mercury Outboard serial no. 6185981 they no longer make this carb. Could you Please help me. Thanks



    I have it posted, hopefully someone will be able to track one! -Mark

    Subject: Mid 1960's merc 110-3
    Date: Fri, 3 Jan 97 01:44:29 +0000
    From: "Boleslaw W. Burak" <"">
    Happy New Year Mark!
    It will be happier for me if you can help me. I need points for this beast. It has a phelon magneto. It is a Mercury 9.8 horse model 110-3, manufactured in the mid 60's. Its' VIN # is 16818117. I need a set or a pair of points. Cannot find them in my area. HELP!!!
    I appreciate anything you can do or if you can direct somewhere else.



    There are several Mecury parts suppliers nationwide. Here are a couple that ship. Discount Marine Parts, 1-800-226-1079, Marine Parts Superstore 1-813-539-7440, Clear Fork Marina Discount Engine Parts 1-800-837-BOAT. -Mark

    Subject: Parts for Chrysler stern drive
    Date: Wed, 1 Jan 97 01:49:12 +0000
    From: "Harry H. Charles" <>
    I need help locating the main shaft for the upper unit of a Chrysler 300 stern drive model 5004 HA or HB. Do you know of anyone who may have these parts?
    Hank Charles



    Here is Chrysler's number... 1-800-677-5782. They should be able to refer you to a parts center. -Mark

    Subject: New owner question
    Date: Tue, 31 Dec 96 03:39:42 +0000
    From: Shankland <>
    Organization: JIATFE
    I just movedto Key West & got a 17 foot open bow ski boat for some inshore & bay fun. It's powered by a little 70 hp Evinrude outboard and now I'd like to find the manual on the engine. Do you know how I might find one? Are there "Chiltons" for outboards?? Thanks Nice Site! Paul Shankland LCDR US Navy Key West FL



    There are outboard manuals for most engines on models usually three or more years old. Check with your library, marine dealer, or strike up a conversation with a boater with a similar engine (whom might make you a photo copy an exchange for an ice cold beverage). But you can't beat the manufactures manual (the one designed for mechanics). It will get you any needed information such as changing the alternator to boring the cylinders. If you are boating in salt water in the Keys, be sure to flush your engine to help reduce corrision. Have fun boating in the keys! -Mark

    Subject: marine batteries
    Date: Sun, 15 Dec 96 18:33:49 +0000
    From: Dana Green <dagreen1@popper.PacBell.COM>
    Hi Mark, First,"thanks" for the help in finding documentation on my glastron boat. That number was very helpful. John in the parts department is a gem. He has sent me invaluable documentation on my boat, at "no charge". Now I have another question. I'm looking for the best marine battery on the market for my primary source. As I stated before, my 22' 1979 Glastron is powered by a 200 horsepower Mercury engine.
    Your suggestions will be highly appreciated.



    You have me thinking a lot on batteries Dana. I have a Bass Master battery that came with the boat (bought new from a dealer). It is going on four now and still hasn't fussed once (even with the stereo and dept sounder going all day while swimming with my kids in a cove). Batteries have different ratings by cranking amps. I suggest exactly what it recommended for your boat, or if not available, the next higher. I have heard of someone going the next lower and the battery had major problems along with the alternator. A higher amp battery cleared it up completely. Brands may very depending on the area you are in, its not something you find in your average catalog (at least in most, acids require special care for transportation). I suggest your nearest dealer for their recommendations based on their experiences. Sure you can by a battery at Walmart, but a good marine battery is worth a few extra bucks at a marine parts store ! -Mark

    Subject: Starcraft Boats
    Date: Tue, 10 Dec 96 20:20:14 +0000
    From: "Don Miller" <>
    To: <>
    I have purchased a 1973 Starcraft Chieftan 18 day cruiser. I would like to get for information about it, and possibly order a part if they are still available. Is Starcraft still in Goshen, In., or do they have a new owner. My local marina can't find a good address. Thanks in advance for your help.



    Don, I checked around and found a dealer at . They should be able to provide you with parts information. This particular dealer is in Auroa, Illinois. -Mark

    Date: Sat, 7 Dec 96 20:14:11 +0000



    I have it posted, and I think a lot of internet browsing boaters may be e-mailing you soon! -Mark

    Subject: Evinrude Zepher
    Date: Thu, 5 Dec 96 23:28:00 +0000
    From: Richard Ceraldi <>
    Organization: Motorola
    Mark, I recently came across an old Evenrude Zepher in what appears to be mint condition. Where can I find information on it? Like fuel/oil ratio or parts books etc. I believe they were built before WWII. Any ideas were I can find out what I have? It's really cool looking. Thanks, Richard Ceraldi



    I would call Evinrude Motors at 1-800-998-9960. It probably takes a standard fuel oil mixture, about a quart of outboard motor oil per five gallons, be sure to check with Evinrude first to be safe. They may have back records or instruction books. -Mark

    Subject: BOAT MANUAL
    Date: Thu, 31 Oct 96 06:52:25 +0000
    From: Dana Green <dagree1@popper.PacBell.COM>
    Organization: network operations



    Dana, you may want to check the library for an engine manual, since the hull requires little maintenance, the engine and related equipment is what you want to focus on. You can also call Glastron Boats at 612-632-5481.

    Subject: Seaport MKVI Colour Depthsounders
    Date: Tue, 22 Oct 96 03:12:46 +0000
    From: "John Armour" <>
    To: <>
    I would like to find a Seaport MKVI colour video depthsounder. Have any idea where a person can get one of these instruments? I had one, in 1990, on my 32 ft., Silverton, "MISTY", here in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and it was the best video depthsounder I ever had. There is a need for a video monitor here because of the 1000 Islands (actually 1880, plus a few few that never quite made it to the surface!). The Hummingbird Fishfinders just don't cut it, as well as a video sounder.
    The company went out of business, along with Marine Mail Order Supply Stores.
    The original company may have been located in Michigan, but almost any area marina may have the odd used instrument for sale.
    John Armour

    Subject: Just browsing
    Date: Wed, 16 Oct 96 18:15:04 +0000
    From: clarence kachenmeister <>
    I like the idea of you home page. Think it is great.
    I grew up on Lake Erie and still fish it on a regular basis. Also lived in Kentucky for 15 years and have fished on many of the lakes in Ky and Tennessee. I also work on boat motors on the side and may be able to offer some assistance time to time. On tip is that cable/shifting problem from He was having a problem shifting into reverse. On many outdrives the actual shift into reverse is a pull on the shift cable. This is a defaut design, what usually happens is the cable retainer inside the outdrive fails and allows the cable jacket to slip inside the drive unit. Foreward is not affected because the cable is pushing the shift mechanism instead of pulling. On most outdrives replace can be accomplished by the owner if he has the necessary tools. Parts cost about $100. The above applies if the shift problem is experienced when manually shifting at the likeage to the out drive. If there is no problem when shifting from this point, then problem is in shift lever or top cable.
    Many public libraries have repair/maintenace books. Check them out before spending the bucks to purchase one.
    Thanks again for the great page and feel free to email me.



    Thanks for the Tip! Terry should be in good shape with your advise. The library is also a great idea for books on marine engine repair! -Mark

    Date: Sun, 13 Oct 96 22:15:18 +0000
    Have a new boat, with a hummingbird depth finder built in. Having a bear of a time getting it to work right. The dealer does not have a manual on how to work the thing. This is a 1996 Marada MX-2 I/O.
    June Jennison



    I have a Hummingbird, but I haven't been able to locate my manual. You should be able to push the menu button and see a list of the various functions. If you are not getting a reading be sure to check your transducer usually on the back or in the bilge. Make sure the wires are connected properly. By the way, I have a 94 Marada, Great Boat!

    Subject: After market part's
    Date: Wed, 9 Oct 96 04:09:34 +0000
    From: "D. E. Davis" <>
    Hi Mark, Im in search of after market parts for Johnson outboard's, Crank's, piston's, ect... Thank you verry mutch,Dennis Davis



    I would check with your local marine dealer, you may have to say with genuine parts depending on the age. Johnson outboards are at 1-800-998-9960. -Mark

    Subject: Parts
    Date: Fri, 30 Aug 96 18:25:06 +0000
    Dear Mark,
    I am in need of an outdrive for a 1976 OMC 225 . I have looked locally just to find I am looking for a dinosaur. If you know of where I might find one or another alternative I would be very appreciative. I just sent this one to a marina to have it rebuilt and got the biggest ripoff I can remeber. It came back the first time with gears from a 4 cyl. Then he repaired it again & again. You know the story. If you can help me I would be GRATEFUL.. Yours Truly, Greg Fields GFields@aol



    I would make a visit to small claims court over this one. It should be repaired to factory specs, if not demand your money back. I checked my parts file and found a couple of spots, you may want to try Doug Russell's Warehouse Sales which has rebuilts starting from $ 995 with trade and claims to have many hard to find parts. You can call (508) 791-4917 out of Worchester, Mass. Also you may want to try Marine Parts Plus at (609) 461-3180 (Delran, N. J.). A couple of long distance calls can save you a lot on your bank account! -Mark

    Subject: Haine Signature Boats
    Date: Wed, 28 Aug 96 09:14:08 +0000
    From: Thomas Denovan <>
    Organization: Pre-installed Company
    I have been involved in boats for some years now and am looking at upgrading my Stejcraft to a Haines Signature 2100S. Can you recommend them to me or know if there is a site on the web which may be of assistance? By the way, great site!



    I found a site in Queensland area of Australia at located at Springwood Marine Pty Ltd 3445 Pacific Hwy Slacks Creek, Queensland 4127 Australia.

    Phone: 07-3208-5755 FAX: 07-3209-1366 (Hope this helps you out!) -Mark.

    Subject: Vovo Penta Outdrive
    Date: Sun, 25 Aug 96 15:32:48 +0000
    From: Richard Kornreich <>
    Hi Mark,
    I have a 1984 Bayliner Contessa 2850 witha single 350Cu In engine and a Volvo Penta 270 Outdrive.
    This boat is very hard to handle at slow speed, and must be wide open to get onto plane.
    I am considering changing for a volvo dual prop system which is suppose to address these problems. Two questions.
    1. Do you know if they would help.
    2. Do you know where I could find used (in good shape) dual prop outdrives for my boat.
    And do you know if there is any place that might have good parts from salvaged boats - is there a national listing service for parts similar to what the automobile wrecker services have.
    Many Thanks for your help.
    Richard Kornreich



    I have read about dual props and have found that they do increase performance, which may help you to get on plane easier. I checked my Volvo accessory listing and you can talk to someone at 1-800-88-VOLVO. Tech number is at (407) 338-8844. Verrigni Marine Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida. West Coast in the Seattle Area there is also another dealer in my list at 1-800-223-5284 (Coastal Marine). They can fill you in on the possibilities on your boat or at least foward you to a number. -Mark

    Subject: prop part
    Date: Wed, 12 Jun 1996 10:07:54 -0700
    From: Annie Livengood <> Organization: DLS Computer Services, Inc.
    To: CC:
    I have a 19 foot stingray cuddy cabin boat and about 5 years ago I purchased a steel prop and to keep it from being stolen I purchased a prop guard, it is called prop guard by stern safe. Well the part that is going to never fall off did. And I would like to get the parts I need, but not sure if this place is still in business or what. All I have is a P.O. box number, I tried information and they don't show a phone number for this place. Can anyone out there help me to find this part and in a hurry, need by the end of this month.Thanks Mark, I just found out about you guys and can't wait to tell my husband when he gets home from work.Please write back to me at,



    Hope you enjoy the page!  I have seen the lock kits (also available for trailer lug nuts) and unfortunately I don't have the catalog with me but I should have it by Monday. I haven't heard about any that have fallen off, but I have heard cases of regular mounted props falling off. You might have a McGuard lock, call them at 1-800-669-6887.

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    Copyright ©: Mark K. Cameron Revised March  16th, 1999