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To: Subject: 94 sunbird
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 20:16:30 -0700
I just found your page and I think it is great! It would be awesome even if you could help me with a problem. I recently purdhased a 94 sunbird 170 with a evenrude 115 hp outboard.The boat had less than 100 hours operation. All seemed well first time out till I noticed quite a bit of water in the bilge. After a couple of trips we find it takes on 10 to 15 gallons just docked overnight. much more cruising. There are absolutely no voids or cracks in the hull that i can find. There is little more than a few scratchs on hull bottom. I am stumped. Where could this leak be, or how do I find it? I have known the prev. owner an the boat since it was new and he had no problems. Water leaks in from somewhere but it does not show from where? Can you please help? THX Stan Butler
Dear Stanley, If you are taking on that much water, it sounds like a major problem. However, if you do not see any cracks in the hull, focus around the engine area. There are several things that cause a bilge to fill up, and yet are fairly minor. Inspect all hoses to and from the engine, including the fuel line. Pay close attention to the area, have someone inspect it while you are in a now wake to wake speed and look for any water working its way in. Inspect any live wells for water level changes and its hoses. Inspect any on board coolers for ice melt drainage (which usually drains into the bildge). Also inspect the boat cover, make sure it prevents any waves from splashing into the boat while at dock or pulled up on the beach. Stern drive owners will find that there is a need to check the exhaust drain plugs on the, make suure that they are in place. Also visually inspect the drain plug on the boat itself, remove it and re tighten it while the boat is out of the water. Any other water at this point would be seeping in from the hull itself. Hull repair kits are available and with a little time on a Sunday afternoon, can be in expensive to repair, but does require patience. Hope you spot the culprit. Have a great 2002 boating. -Mark
Subject: Mercury Outboard problems
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 15:30:29 -0400
Mark, My name is Michael Bracken. I just finished restoring my first wooden Lyman. It is 17ft with a 65hp Mercury 650. I am having problems with it at low speeds while in gear. If I give it more gas the motor kicks in and runs great. Also while at idle at the dock out of gear it runs great. Starts every time without any hassel. The area police are giving me problems because I cannot keep the boat running at low speeds in the channel. Haha. For a while I was fine flooring the motor then coasting but that has been uncomfortable for my passengers. I cleaned out the carb bowls and sprayed carb cleaner through which seemed to help but not correct the problem. Any suggestions? Much appreciated, Michael Bracken Rocky River, Ohio
Dear Mike, Sounds like a timing problem. Change your plugs and gap them by manufacturer's specs. It sounds like a condition when the gap is too wide, better at higher speeds but rough at lower. A closer gap will give you a smoother ride at lower, but may ping at higher. The specs should take care of a wide range of speed. Have a great summer boating! -Mark
Subject: Boating Tips
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 15:26:40 EDT
Hi Mark, I stumbled upon your website today and found it extremely interesting. I have a couple of questions hopefully you can answer. I bought a 1988 Chris Craft I/O last year; it has a Mercruiser 3.0 litre and runs great after I gave it a full tuneup (plugs, cap, rotor, condensor, etc.) I have stored it in my garage since October of 2001 and didn't prepare it with any type of winterization since I decided to keep it inside and I live in California. I'm ready to pull it out for the summer but I'd like to change the oil. Is there a drain plug on this motor or do I have to buy an oil pump? Does the motor just use standard 10-30w oil? When reading other user emails, I found information about a gimble bearing. Should I pay the money to have this inspected sometime? I have no prior information about this boat. My Dad and I purchased it used from a boat dealership who received it as a trade in. It has been extremely reliable thus far and I hope to keep it that way. When I bought parts for the tuneup, the guy who helped me suggested I buy or replace a water pump (pumps water out of the engine compartment). I tried to find anything online that would help me locate this part but user manuals on these motors and/or boats seem to be non existent. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated!! thank you! Tiina Maide
Hi Tiina, Your best bet is to contact Mercruiser for maintenance specs. Several book sites sell maintenance books as well for these models. But as most Mercruisers go, they generally do have a drain plug on the bottom of the oil pan and the oil is changed just like in a car, the difference is you usually need a heavier weight oil. My 94 model uses 25W 40 Quicksilver brand, which can take the stresses of a marine engine and keep it lubed properly. Also you need a marine oil filter. Its also a good time to change any possible fuel filter's as well. Grab a Trailer Boating Magazine and there are listings for parts in the classifieds you can usually call on for your water pump. The Gimble bearing should be inspected by a dealer. Have a great 2002 boating -Mark
Subject: 1995 sunbird 115 hp overheating
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 12:03:11 -0400
How do I confirm overheating or bad sensor on my sunbird. I was on the water less than 2 minutes when my overheat alarm sounded. The intake is clear of debris. I read somewhere that you should monitor water pressure and it should be at least 30psi. Where is the water pump located on this omc engine? HELP!!
Hi Jamie, It sounds like a stuck thermostat, which would be good news as far as repairs go. You will need to remove your hose around the pulleys, this is where your water pump is to see if there is ample water there. If there is your engine is taking water in, but not getting put back into the lake. The water is staying in the engine which would cause a boil over. There is a hose that leads to a thermostat device, if the thermostat doesn't open, then you will over heat, if it stays open all the time the engine will run too cool and wear down faster. Have a mechanic check and change the thermostat. Some model engines don't contain a thermostat and at that point would need a impellar change in the outdrive itself which would be more expensive in labor costs. Most importantly, don't run your engine until this is done or you could warp the head, and at that point your into thousands for repairs. Talk to your mechanic! -Mark
Subject: Lake Cumberland House Boat Rental
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 21:31:24 -0400
Mark, I was wondering if you could recommend somewhere to rent a house boat on Lake Cumberland for a long weekend for two people for this summer. Any information you could provide would be appreciated. Thanks, Julie Hayes
I highly recommend Jamestown which is easy to access from a main highway, second choice would be Grider Hill, a little longer drive and near the southwest portion of the lake. State Dock is also good. Be sure to visit Lake Cumberland Websites including Jamestown. http://www.flagshipmarinas.com/marinas/jamestown/default.htm Have a great summer houseboating! -Mark
Volvo SX performance
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 21:55:03 -0400
From: "Henry T. Grimmick"firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Mark, Great site! After searching the site and reading a number of posts regarding 3.0 performance I thought I would post what I have run into/found out so far.
My 3.0 is in a '99 Glastron SX 175 (17') bow-rider. She originally came with a 14 1/2 x 19 aluminum prop. Day one she turned 5200 rpm's and had massive detonation and after run. I purchased the timing shunt from my dealer and noticed that the timing was about 6 degrees advanced. (spec with the shunt is 0). After backing the timing down to spec and switching to premium grade fuel she would run about 42 at 4600. WOT cruise with 4 people and gear was 36+ Operating range posted on my motor is 4200-4600.
I then tried an aluminum 14 1/4 x 21 prop. Rpm's went down to 4400 but WOT with one person shot up to 46. WOT cruise with 4 people and gear went to 40+
Currently I'm at a 14 1/4 x 23 cupped stainless SST. Rpm's went down to 4200-4300 but WOT with on person is up to 49. Hitting 51 on a couple of occasions in "perfect" water conditions. WOT cruise with 4 people and gear is a healthy 45. Holeshot suffered slightly but cornering had improved dramatically. Also a nice little rooster tail. Note that at the prop change (100 hours) I also replaced the cap and rotor with Volvo Penta replacement parts, replaced the 7.0mm plug wires with 8.5mm (hand matched at a auto performance shop), swapped the AC plugs with Champion Copper Plus Marine, kicked the timing up 2 degrees, switched to synthetic oils in the motor (Castrol Syntec) and outdrive (Volvo Synthetic gear lube). I also burned a can a carb cleaner at 2000 rpm to clean out the intake and burn off the carbon. I forget the name but is was some white foamy stuff that really smoked and smelled bad while burning. Boat U/S suggested it.
I pulled the plugs after a couple of WOT test runs and notice she is running way too lean. #4 shows signs of detonation and is still shiny silver. 1-3 have a light brown dusting on them. Turns out the carb is a 500cfm Holley 2bbl, a fairly respectable carb. It came equipped with .75 jets. Holley advised to go up two numbers at a time when changing jets. I ordered .77, .79, .81's from a local source plus a couple of float bowl gaskets as leaking fuel is bad... These should arrive this week. I'll let you know how they work out after this upcoming weekend.
I spoke to the guys at K&N and they think they have a filter/arrestor setup that should work. I just need to get them the carb number and the amount of space I have with the deck closed. I'm defiantly going to put a filter on it after seeing how plugged up the arrestor was and how dirty the carb was at 100 hours. They also suggested routing the crankcase vent somewhere else besides the arrestor as oil can cause detonation. (The source where I ordered the jets from also suggested this.) I'll hold off a bit on this as I'm not fond of drilling holes in my hull, oil stains and dumping oil in the water..
Lastly I found a marine performance shop in West Palm Beach who thinks they can rig up a through transom exhaust. I need to get them measurements and may go this route depending on how well the jets work. If I can get a good mixture going I should be able to kick the timing up a little more and get closer to the upper end of the operating range. I'll save the exhaust as a last resort only if I need 100 or so rpm's as it is going to be expensive. Best regards. hg
Hitting anywhere near 50mph on a 3.0 is pretty outstanding. I would be careful of not going for hole shot with that much of a prop, but the top end sounds good and the speed is great. I have a 21" prop and love it, and top out at 42 on a 3.0 Mercruiser. I give it a tune up once a year. Keep us informed on what results you get on the new jets and filter. -Mark
Hello Mark, Just a quick update. When I pulled the original jets from the carb I was shocked to see that one was a .68 and the other was a .67. So far I have not found anyone who could figure out why Volvo did this.. The smallest jets I had available were .73 so I threw them in and kicked up the timing to 4 degrees advanced with the shunt installed. Turns out that +4 degrees is a bit to high as I heard detonation over 3500 rpms so I quickly backed it down. The .73 jets are a bit too big. I have much more get up and go at mid throttle but no noticeable gains in top end, hard cold starting, stalling at idle and a significantly increased fuel consumption. I have ordered jets ranging from .68 to .72 in .01 increments. They should arrive this week. I'm going to start with .68 on both sides (unlike the stock setup) set the timing back to 0 with the shunt installed and work my way up one set of jets at a time. Once I find a good jet setup. (probably will be .70-.72) I'll start kicking up the timing one degree at a time.
-Mark Billy and Gwen Winsett wrote: Mark, I have a 1977 Chrysler Pro Bass Runner. My trailer has center rollers up the middle of the trailer. It is very hard to load my boat centered. I was wondering if I could buy board guide-ons to fit the contour of my tri-hull boat? Where I can just drive the boat centered on the trailer. I would appreciate any information you could give me on this subject. Thanks, Keith Winsett
There are different "Guide On" products available for trailers that guide your boat onto the trailer. I find them very useful while trailering on a fast moving current in a river. What these are are basically two adjustable poles, one on each side of the trailer towards the rear, some have cushioned rollers while others are bunk boards both on each side to guide you on in almost any condition. You can find these "Guide Ons" at most major marine parts dealers and run around $ 60.
Mark Cameron wrote:
A 2.3 with
a light load, including only having yourself on board and low
fuel levels, may hit 34 and 35 with your size prop, but one possibility is
to try a higher pitch prop. You could hit maybe 37 on a 15" and maybe 39-40
on a 17", the latter two will not be good towing props. You will want a prop
that will still let your RPMs stay around 4500. The newer 3.0 litres have
higher compression and I can hit 41 with a lite load on a 21" on an 18' on
a cool day (when the air is more dense). The 2.3 may not achive that. As
far as timing your engine, make sure to follow the specs. Unplug any vacuum
hoses around the distributor during the testing. If it is still correct,
then check the plug gap. Check timing again. A valve adjustment should also
be performed and if you still stall, try advancing the timing a couple of
degrees (this may induce a pinging sound which you don't want either, but if
it doesn't ping and the power is up considerably then the slightly advanced
setting should be OK but as always seek the advice of a Volvo Mechanic). If
all us fails do a compression check, and then go to the carberator, (which
is about the same amount of work as changing one on a car, but easier to
reach on a boat). Have a great summer boating!. -Mark
I would recommend
a 17" that will put you at 37 at maybe 5200 RPM. A 19 may bogg
down too much. Ask your dealer about the return policy and try a couple! -Mark
If your Bronco
is bogging down it is probably due to the gear ratio. Overdrive
is great on low altitude level driving. But on uphill grades or higher altitude
you will need to shut off the overdrive. Also make sure you have a transmission
cooler. Tounge weight can cause you to bog down as well. You may consider
raising the ball to avoid bottoming out, it will reduce the weight slightly.
Also load items in your boat to the rear while trailering, this will also reduce
tounge weight. Have a great summer boating! -Mark
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!
Subject: Volvo Penta AQ125A Timing Belt Problems
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 12:19:16 -0400
I've got a 1985 Bayliner with a Volvo Penta AQ125A. Last summer while running out on the river, the timing belt broke. After being towed back to the ramp, I replaced the belt with a new belt and re-synched the timing pulleys. The engine ran fine. When starting the engine up for the first time this spring, it would not start or even kick at all, except for the occasional backfire through the carb. We noticed that somehow the timing belt had slipped and threw things out of sync. So, while taking things off to re-sync the timing pulleys, we noticed that the raw water pump was quite difficult to turn by hand. After re-syncing everything, the engine started right up. It was running a bit rough, but not bad. After adjusting the ignition timing a bit, it ran a little bit better, but still a bit sluggish. Upon further inspection, we relaized that the timing belt had slipped a few teeth again! My question is what could be causing this? Is it a bad belt or bad pulleys? Or is that raw water pump too tight and is causing the belt to slip? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Mike email@example.com
The water pump is usually turned by the fan belt and since it is hard to turn my guess is that it is causing the fan belt to stop faster, there-fore causing the drive shaft that turns the fan belt to stop faster and in some cases before the timing pully stops which would cause a belt to slip and possibly break. This would especially be a problem if it "diesals" after you stop the engine. Since the engine is 16 years old I would go ahead and replace the water pump and also inspect the cam shaft while the belt is off to make sure everything is turning properly. Good luck and have a great summer boating! -Mark
Subject: Gimble Bearing
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 10:05:49 -0400
Mark, I was
searching the web and stumbled on a boating Tips web site. I was very impressed
with some of your comments. Could you please answer a question for me. I have
a used 1988 18' ft Searay/Bowrider with 140 HP/ I/O Mercruiser 3.0L Engine.
Upon having the boat prepped for the season I was told the gimble bearing sounds
funny or that like it needs some looking at. Can you briefly tell me what that
is. Is it critical? Can I just let it go? Is is something that I should address
immediately? Can it lead to additional trouble. Most importantly, your valued
opinion as to the expect cost/average cost, I would incur for repair or replacement?
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOU HELP. I'm most grateful.
You definitely want it checked, and if there is nothing wrong at least you will have the outdrive off and that's a good time to have it lubricated. They should be lubricated as frequent as once a year (by some manufacturers) some boaters I talk with have never had them lubricated. It is basically a the bearing at or near the joint where the engine and the outdrive connect. If you hear a grinding noise it is probably going to need to be replaced. To have it lubricated or replaced your mechanic will (in nearly all cases) pull the outdrive and this is where the labor fees can get expensive. It requires draining the outdrive oil, disconnecting the tilt and trim system, pulling the nuts and sliding the outdrive off. At this point the bearing is easier (and at least possible) to access and replace or repack as necessary. A boat your age should at least have it checked. Regular checks are recommended after 200 hours of use based on Mercruiser specs for many engines (at last notification). Have a great summer boating! -Mark
Subject: age requirement Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 07:47:09 -0500 Is there a minimum age limit for a child on a recreational boat?
I am not aware of any minimum age limits in any state. You may want to call your state's Division of Watercraft. Most states just require a life jacket for the size of the child by weight. Otherwise its a matter of judgment from the parents regarding the conditions, type of boat, and of course the type of sun block the child should be wearing when it comes to allowing an small child out on a boat. From personal experience I recommend that the child should at least be able to talk to understand what's it going on. -Mark
Subject: service an mercrusier out drive
Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 20:22:02 -0600
I was wondering how you service and lube a mercrusier outdrive. I need to know the lube weight, etc. . . areas of grease fittings are located, and other items that I should beaware of. Thanks for you help in advance. Brad
I highly recommend Quicksilver products, the out drive needs high performance gear lube, its also has grease fittings on each side of the out drive that are easy to find, 2-4-C from Quicksilver fills the bill nicely and Special Lube 101 from Quick Silver is also great for all the steering and throttle linkages. You may want to check our store at http://www.boatingamerica.com/superstore/index.html for a manual on your boat. We now carry manuals for a wide variety of manufactures and the information they contain will be more specific on maintenance specs for your particular model year of drive. Have a safe and great 2000 boating! -Mark
Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 14:24:36 -0400
Hi Mark. Great website. I have learned a lot just by reading all of the e-mails. I have just purchased my first powerboat 1989 Sun Runner 220 CV. It has a Volvo Penta 205 HP 4.3 liter engine and a DuoProp outdrive. There is no hour meter on it and I believe that I have the original set of props.
1. The previous owner told me that the boat will go 43-45 MPH. I get an indicated top speed is 37 MPH@4800 RPM. At 3500 RPM I get about 25 MPH. Is that normal for this engine/hp setup? I would like to use this boat for skiing and cruising. How can I increase the top speed or check if the speedometer is accurate? Should I go to a different set of props? If so do you know where I can find them? What type of prop do you suggest (material
2. Do you have any recommendations on what material I can use to sound-insulate my engine? What do you think about the Peace&Quiet noise reduction kit (West Marine)?
3. Since I am not used to the steering system on the boat I don't know what to expect. It appears to have a lot of play in it comparing to an automobile. I have adjusted the linkage for play and the only play I see is on the bolts that connect the linkage to the outdrive. Am I expecting too much. Right now the play is about 1/8 turn. Thanks for your help. Marcin
First of all a new prop is a must for more speed. It sounds like your pitch is good for towing and hole shot, but for speed you may want to look for a 21" or 23" prop. My guess is you have a 15" or 17". I would try to keep the engine less than 5000 rpm as well. With a larger pitch prop you will have less hole shot but more speed. At 4500 RPM you should be around 40 +. Of course weight is a big factor as to what your top speed will be. Weight is more of a concern with 21" or 23" props then a 15" or 17" prop.
Second, there are sound kits available through various suppliers. Expect to pay around $ 100.
Third, a little play is normal, but 1/8 is a little too much. Check all cable support fasteners. Too much play where the cable is mounted to the boat should be fixed. It is best to speak with your local marine technician about the proper cable adjustments. Too much cable tension can be dangerous as well. If worse comes to worse you may need a new steering kit. Have a safe and great 2000 boating! -Mark
Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 17:09:38 -0400
From: "Charles Chinn"
mark i have a 3.0 merc- 4 cyl. inboard -out board. it heats up at idle but cools down at runing speed. the boat dealer down the street said it could be the inpeller or the water pump. would it have both? and where? charlie, southern ohio, taking it easy at myrtle beach.
It sounds like the Impellar, but it could be both. The water pump would usually have a squeal and be loose or leaking. If it is not then I would change the impellar, if that doesn't solve it then it would probably be time to replace the pump as well. A few other things to check would be to drain the manifold, make sure all the deposits that build up are cleared out, there are two plugs to drain. If water doesn't run freely out then take a piece of wire such as the end of a coat hanger and carefully push through the build up to free the water. Also pull the hoses off and inspect them, they should be free of any debris other than the support spring. Plus replace the thermostat. Remember on most 3.0 Merc engines you are cooling with lake water so there is probably just build up. Its also a good idea to use a muzzle bag if you leave it in the water. Muzzles can also clog up the cooling system inside an engine. -Mark
BOAT, there I've said it. Now maybe if someone else searchs the internet they
will find at
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 21:23:58 -0500
From: "Robert St-Amour"
SUNRISE BOAT, there I've said it. Now maybe if someone else searchs the internet they will find at least one place that talks about it. Hi Mark Just happen to fall on your site and I have to tell you, it's very interesting. Learned alot, even as to why the driver in a boat is on the right side (simple but you had to think of it). Now can you tell me why nobody on this planet as never heard of a Sunrise boat. I bought this 1993 Sunrise MVB1800 boat with a 3.0L GM engine. Searched the internet for days to no avail. I'd like to know if it's considered a great, good or bad boat. Specs would be appreciated, like the weight, gas tank capacity, prop size recommended, horse power, if the '93 cobra sterndrive where still a problem, maximum speed etc etc etc. You probably noticed, I'm a perfectionist and have to know everything about everything. Hey can't be perfect. Took the boat out on the lake once before putting it away (it's was wonderfull but now winter sure is long). Maybe someone out there in this univers has or knows this boat. Anything would be greatly appreciated and helpful. Thank you Mark for your time and all the readers out there who decides to answer me. firstname.lastname@example.org
I haven't heard of sunrise boats either. I think I have seen a sunfish sailboat 25 years ago, but as far as the specs go it probably weighs in at 1700 lbs give or take a few hundred. The GM engine is probably around 110 to 130 hp and will cruise around 36 with a light load on a 19" prop around 4400 rpm unless the gearing is radically different. If it ran well last fall then the only thing is to contact your local dealer for a basic maintenance manual (if you are the do it yourselfer when it comes to season maintenances) on the Cobra drive and nearly all marine dealers should have a good knowledge on this engine and I haven't seen any that don't carry basic parts for it. I have you posted on the "Tips and Parts" page and perhaps someone will respond regarding the manufacture with more information. Have a great 2000 boating!
-Mark star10764 wrote: Hello Mark, spent some time looking through all your e-mail, some good suggestions made!! We are buying a boat, its a 174 Larson sei series, 3.0 mercruiser, We are just about to close the deal on this 1994, I am a little worried, because they say it would be to much work for them to take it to the water for a test run, they say they will let us hear the boat in the shop, is this ok? They say boat runs like a clock!!!! Also I was wondering what size prop would we use for this boat? thanks for any info Joyce
The only way I would buy a used boat is by test running it. Also find a another mechanic for a professional opinion. On the water you would want to test it on the waves. If it rattles too much you may have very serious problems. If it is tight on the waves, seems to hold together, and runs at least 32 MPH on a 17" prop, you should be OK. You can go up to a 19" but have slower take off speed -known as "hole shot" and I have a 21" on the same engine, but I don't tow much. If you plan on skiing or towing, settle for the 17". Also while test running it make sure it doesn't hesitate or have any excessive water showing up in the bilge. If its too much work for them to take it out for a test run then they may be trying to hide something. Offer to test run it yourself if you have too, but with that attitude they are either not interested in selling or they are hiding something. Its not just a good motor that makes a mechanicly sound boat. I would however be more comfortable buying a new boat without running it, which I have before, because its under warranty and I was and still am familliar with the different brands. If they still refuse either go somewhere else, call the previous owner, and make a offer a thousand less than they are asking to put towards a possible repair. A good marine sales person will go with you out to the lake on any boat in the lot if they are interested in making a sale, it builds your confidence in the product and they don't get as low an offer to deal with or reject. Good luck and let us know what happens! -Mark
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 08:28:24 -0800
I have heard great things about Sterling. There are also Pettit, Awlgrip Interlux and Z Spar. Z Spar is more for the budget minded, where sterling is the best I could find and seems to offer the best gloss of all I have looked at. The last time I checked it was around $199 a gallon (as opposed to $30 a gallon or so for Z Spar). This is for the Marine Enamel used above the water line. Below the water line there are a variety of types of paints you can use, such as for Tropical 18-24 months Pettit has a superior product. You have to consider how much you are trailering etc. before you decide on an anti fowling paint. There are Four general kinds. Modified Epoxy, which is compatible if its going over older paints. Vinyl Paints are more for resisting bottom scrubbing but are not compatible with most prepainted surfaces. Copolymer Ablative Paints which is best for trailering and works well when exposed to air and is easy to recoat, works well as long as the paint is over the surface. It dries a little slower and is a little more expensive because of the requirement of extra coats, but works the best for trailering. It is not good for scrubbing so you would want to wipe the surface down with a soft cloth. There is finally the Thin Film Teflon Paints. This is mostly for boats left in the water, its thinner and lowers resistance. It also dries quickly. In your situation I would probably bottom paint with Copolymer Ablative Paints. There are Single Season and Multi-Season Ablative paints. If you are in over the summer, the single is OK and you would shell out around $90. Multi Season for year round use is the best, Interlux, West Marine, Pettit and Awlgrip are all good, and run between $110 and $200 a gallon and recommend 3-4 coats for best durability. Also be sure to compare the type of paint you buy with your local environmental laws. Awlstar is the most expensive but dries in 3-4 hours per coat and has a more environmentally friendly CuOx content. Hope this helps and I would recommend painting as soon as possible if you would like to be in the water in the Spring (noting some paints take up to 60 days to dry). Have a great 2000 boating! -Mark
Creek Res. Date:
Tue, 23 Nov 1999 21:40:45 EST
Hi Mark, It has been awhile since I have visited your website. Boating season is over and like most boaters my boat is in storage for the winter and I can't wait until next year. If there will be a boating season next year, at Alum Creek Res, north of Columbus Ohio. The lake is so low that I wonder if they can fill it before next year? I live across the street from the reservoir and I have never seen it this low since I have moved to Columbus a couple of years ago. Islands have formed in strange places. I'll bet the Lake is at least 20" low. I sure hope we get a lot of rain before next year. Have you or anyone heard what is going on there. Are they still pumping millions of gallons a day into Hoover Res? Oh well there are several months left before boating begins again so I think I will just DDDRREEEAAAMMM, some more. Mike
Its was low like that in 1988 during the drought that year. This year it was up at least through Labor Day weekend, in 1988 it was down in June. I boated on that lake three weeks ago from the New Galena Ramps, it was quite a walk from what was the temporary tie ups. Keep in mind it would take several heavy two inch downpours or a real snowy winter to get the reservoir back up for next year. Lets hope for a lot of rain or snow! It is also interesting to boat on now (with this unusual late season warm weather several are still out running the lake). I felt a little like I was at Lake Powell! -Mark
I have spent several pleasant hours today reading through your web site.
Your advice is excellent and the range of subjects covered is pretty
comprehensive for power/trailer boating. Been a boat nut since the age of 6
(40 yrs ago) so finding your site was a nice surprise.
There are a few boating items I would like to endorse. Recently we were
posted to Kuwait for five years. Four of these years we had a 1991 20'
Bayliner Capri bowrider with a 150 hp Force outboard engine. We ran the
boat winter and summer in the Arabian (Persian) Gulf using it to ski, fish,
island-hop and as a platform for scuba diving. The boat handled relatively
heavy seas (when the weather kicked up unexpectedly) and the very salty
water over there with only a touch of rust from 1 screw in the bow rail. I
was surprised to hear that Bayliners and Force engines were possibly having
quality control problems around '91. Our experience was all positive.
Back home in Memphis, TN we have purchased a used 1997 Four Winns Horizon
220 bowrider. We have only run the boat for a few weeks, but enjoy the
extra room, heavier hull, good sterndrive (5.7 EFI Volvo SX outdrive) and
general quality feel of the boat. We went camping/boating for a week at
Kentucky Lake and had an excellent time. We have also taken it for day
trips on the Mississippi River, Picwic Lake (Tenn. River) and Sardis Lake.
We hope to visit some Ozark lakes in Arkansas later this month/early Aug.
The surprise has been the good towing performance of our 1995 2-WD Jeep
Cherokee Sport. We thought that we might need a larger V-8 powered vehicle
to tow this 4400 lb boat/trailer combination. The Jeep's towing limit is
stated as 5,000 lbs in the manual. With its 4 litre 6-cylinder in-line
engine (190 hp) we added: an auto-transmission cooler, rear air
load-leveller shocks, synthetic gear oil in the diff. and good Michelin
tires. We also attach extended rear view mirrors when towing the boat. It
towed our boat w/camping gear and mountain bikes like a dream the 150+ miles
to Kentucky Lake. The Jeep can haul the 4-Winns up a steep ramp without a
problem. If the ramp is wet or has loose gravel I hold the parking brake
partially on to get good traction from both of my rear wheels (as I read in
"Go Boating" magazine). My only problem has been some sliding when backing
down a steep ramp. I have to be very slow and careful when reversing down
any steep or slippery ramp, (in Kuwait we drove a 4-WD diesel Toyota
Landcruiser and never had any slipping going up or down the ramps!).
We would like to do most/all of the boat's engine maintenance ourselves (2
sons and myself). I have 2 questions concerning maintenance of the engine
and sterndrive. The manual says that the sterndrive needs to be removed
from the boat each year to grease the universal joints of the drive shaft.
Can we try to do this at home or should we take it to a boat shop's
mechanic? The manual also says that with this fuel injected engine to mix
several gallons of gas with the right quantity of oil in a outboard fuel
tank to run through the engine at the end of the season. To do this one has
to remove the normal fuel line and attach the auxiliary tank's line (not
very desirable to me). Is this necessary with a fuel injected engine, or
can we pour or spray fogging oil into the air intake as you describe with
regular carbarated engines?
Since the boat is only two years old (and with that the technology has been updated), I would recommend to go by the book. Fuel injected engines do require a different type of winterization. I would recommend a shop manual if you are the do it yourselfer. It is not that difficult to briefly change fuel lines and pump the oil mix through the engine. As for removing the drive unit, you will need two strong individuals to do the lifting or in this case your sons! Again for the procedure I would refer to the shop manual. The bearing that should be inspected annually, (especially in salt water climates) is the gimble bearing. On the other hand some boaters only remove the drive once every five to six years and get by OK (especially if the boat is seldom used). Some manuals recommend the bearings checked every 100 - 200 hours of use rather than annually. The best option is two have a mechanic do it this winter and ask if you and your sons can watch, (some don't mind while others do), plus obtain the shop manual for your own job next year. Once you have gained the experience you will feel more comfortable doing it the following years. By the way as far as trailering and backing on steep ramps, put as much weight as possible in your jeep. The traction is the key, if you are still slipping, increase the trailer tires to the maximum allowed pressure (only if you are slipping on retrieval) , and decrease the vehicle air pressure to the tires about 5 - 10 pounds. This will help for trailering and unloading. Return the pressure to normal once you are ready for towing after retreiving. Have a great summer boating! -Mark
rent for around 1000-1500 for four nights. . We did a feature
artical a few years ago about houseboating at Lake Cumberland. You can
see it at, http://www.boatingamerica.com/archives/cumberland/feature.htm
and rental info on our Kentucky page at
Have a great summer
Mark, 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 for..is 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?..here 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 here..so 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 higher 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 number they have to put on the boat for coast guard purposes, but you can put more". Some boats just put a larger number than others, and charge more for their boats"..The 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 submerged..it 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 more 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 boat...read 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!
Where can I find parts for my 1957 Elgin boat motor, 35hp ? I bought it from Sears Roebuck back then and have found some parts from other engines that work but now I need to know if there are any dealers with these parts. Johnnie Fossum, ND email@example.com
That could be tough to find, I have this posted for you and perhaps a dealer will send you more information. -Mark
Looking for a 2000 year, 2700 Maxum. David Phone: (352) 683-2659 Fax: (352) 683-8116, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
electric stern drive
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 18:20:37 -0500
From: "E. Wells"email@example.com
I am looking for a casing for an OMC electric stern drice (1969). Would take complete unit also. Can anyone help? Thanks Eric
Hot in the Carolinas
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2000 15:00:41 EST
To: Mark-Cameron@boatingamerica.com Hey Mark, This is my first visit, and I've just spend three hours on the site. Congratulations on a most helpful and informative forum. Last year I bought a new Chaparral Signature 240. It's a great little cruiser for weekends on Lake Norman but hot July and August nights are just too hot in the cabin. Two additional deep cycle marine batteries power cabin fans but with the cabin door, hatch and all ports wide open it's still like sleeping in a sauna. Several companies manufacture small 5000 BTU AC units and an available hatch drop in model looks good. Each draws about 18 amps at start and 6 amps running. We don't like having to be tethered to the dock so an inverter or small genset seems to be in order but inverters don't seem to have enough juice to power a small AC for more than an hour and gensets cost thousands and are complicated to install. Your advice on cooling would be of interest to a huge group of owners of 20' cuddy to 28' cruiser owners and judging by the number of new cruiser buyers, I'd bet cooling this class of boat would make for a great feature article. I know about 100 of my docking neighbors who'd be really interested. I'll post your response on the marina bulletin board and in the news letter. Your advise and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Chris Young Charlotte, NC
Lets Talk Air Conditioners.
I am all to familiar with the hot humid days north of Charlotte (while fishing
off I-77 on Norman). I probably perspired more there in one day than lying on
the sand down in Myrtle Beach four hours away (on all my visits combined). There
actually are some good options for air conditioning for the cuddies under 28
and even more options for those over. After comparing prices I have found that
West Marine offers several units, some also can generate heat for less than
$ 2000. There are also a few make shift ideas I want to elaborate on. I checked
out one model (Cool Mate 5000) that draws 5 amps at 115 volts (which is just
under 600 watts) for around $ 1200 and is ideal for cuddies up to and on a 25
foot boat. The complete kit can run on an inverter and weighs around 40 pounds
and includes everything you need including a little duck work. Again the problem
with any unit is the need for power, so an inverter may give you an hour or
two, or keep the engine running. It does take some assembly which would require
careful study of the instruction book and some knowledge of how to hook it to
an inverter. Another option is to hook it to an on board generator or shore
power. Once installed it would be a permanent fixture, unless you are into using
a screw driver frequently! For really hot areas and larger craft you can purchase
up to 16,000 BTU for just under $ 2000. Keep in mind a 5000 BTU is enough to
break the humidity and keep it down about 10 to 15 degrees below the outside
temperature on craft 25' and under. Larger craft shouldn't need much more than
9000 BTU unless you hang out on Lake Bartlett just outside of Care Free near
Phoenix (where you can actually sweat on a jet ski there).
There are also new lines of "carry on" A/Cs I want to elaborate on. Most are under $ 1000 (as low as $ 699). They look a little like a "make shift" air conditioner which are removable one unit even sets on top of the hatch. They are not an under way A/C by any means, the hatch unit would probably pop off after hitting a hard wake, but they are great for sitting at the marina and requires only an extension cord and maybe a hatch cover. Komfort Industries has just come out with a carry on that looks like a brief case. You simply run the water hoses (which several A/C units use to cool the condenser using water in place of air) over the side and you are set for comfortable cooling. The latter is also a great unit for anchoring or at the dock and can run on a small generator using only 650 watts and giving 6,500 BTU. Don't forget there is also the $ 11.99 fan if you are on a tight budget!
The only other option besides inverting and or generating power for these units is to buy a portable generator and set it on the shore (in a primitive area) and run a cord to your boat. You may be able to sell power to other boats as well! I have seen this done on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky. Also if you are flexible enough, plan your outings on cooler days watching the weather forcasts, etc. Thats about all that I have found for safe marine based A/C units. It looks like the B.O.A.T. law strikes again (Break Out Another Thousand!). Let me know what you decide. After comparing items West Marine seems to have the best prices, but then again I have to give them a plug for listing our site on theirs (at least the last time I checked) and they do cook up some good shrimp when they demo those new boat side burners.
Subject: Re: Glastron part Date: Mon, 05 Apr 1999 23:15:45 -0400 From: ILuvGear@aol.com ILuvGear@aol.com wrote: I have a 79 Glastron tri hull with an Evenrude 85 hp outboard. This is my first boat. I picked it up for a song and enjoyed taking it out in the NYC area to chase the striped bass last season. The boat is about 17 feet and has a walk through windshield and open bow. I am missing the center section of the windshield and would be forever grateful if someone could give me a tip on tracking down a replacement. Thanks in advance. Joe
You can reach Glastron's
dealer locater online at
http://www.glastron.com/GLA_Home.html they should be able to locate the part for
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.
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.
Here goes the calculator.
Here are a list of Typical Rakes
Again check with
your manufacturer for exact recommendations before changing your prop in order
to satisfy the performance recommendations. -Mark
Copyright ©: Mark K. Cameron Revised June 4th, 2002