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New power products from Fort Lauderdale

Evinrude's new E-TEC G2 outboards are available in 200-, 225-, 250- and 300-hp models.Today’s engines and helm controls are designed to accomplish a common goal: make driving a powerboat easier than ever. The easy-boating theme was apparent at this fall’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

There has been an explosion of new non-pod-drive joystick helm control systems, including joysticks for inboards and outboards. Depending on the system, they work with or without thrusters. Some of these products allow you to retrofit a boat with a joystick system.



Winterize right: The effort will pay off

Fellow boaters who know me will probably accuse me of sounding like a broken record, but that’s fine because this is worth mentioning over and over. There is much more to laying a boat up for the winter than switching off the batteries, locking her up and walking away.



The Smart Buyer - How to tell if that core is wet

Jeff Perette tap-tests hulls and decks with an architect's hammer when searching for wet core material.Let’s say you’re in the market for a used powerboat. It might be a center console, a dual console or a walkaround from the 1970s or ’80s. Many builders back then used plenty of wood to core the stringers and transoms of their boats, so you’ll want to find out if the cored material is wet, which compromises the structural integrity of the hull.



The essentials of good seamanship

There's a reason the Coast Guard's motto is Semper Paratus, or 'Always Ready.'There's much more to being a competent skipper than knowing how to run a boat.

Check yourself by reading these five articles.



Eyes in the back of your head

Situational awareness is one of the essentials of good seamanship

One of the most important elements of good seamanship - in good weather and bad - is staying alert. It's important to take your head out of the electronics and look around for other boats, wind shifts and a host of potential hazards while underway.Along with life jackets, a VHF radio, the right anchor and ground tackle, and a handful of other safety items, the most important thing you can pack aboard your boat is a mind-set known as “situational awareness.”



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