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The Smart Buyer - Sea-trialing a sailboat part I

Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series about sailboat sea trials

A sea trial often is just an excuse for a pleasurable boat ride. Instead, it should be a disciplined and thorough test of how a prospective boat performs in the real world. It can be fun, but it should be work, not play. You and your surveyor will have crawled through the boat ashore, but there are many things about a boat that you can’t learn sitting at a dock.

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Joysticks everywhere

They’re at the core of a propulsion revolution, bringing fingertip control to a fast-growing range of boats

Mercury Marine's Joystick Piloting for outboards is a helm control system.Innovation continues to drive all facets of the propulsion field today, with major introductions over the past 12 months in joystick systems, diesel and gas inboards, and sterndrives, as well as the continued advancement of 4-stroke outboards and pod drives.

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Giant strides in inboards and I/Os

GM Vortec 6.0L V-8 base engineTechnology in the diesel and gasoline inboard and inboard/outboard arenas really surged forward this year, with lighter, more efficient, quieter and cleaner power plants. Cummins, Mercury, Volvo Penta and Yanmar all have been touting new engines and/or drives at the fall boat shows.

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The Smart Buyer - THE DRIVEWAY PURCHASE, part II

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series about buying a trailerable boat and inspecting it on its trailer. Last month we looked at the hull, keel and transom. Here we’ll look at the engine, deck hardware, steering gear, the electrical system and more.

The splash well on outboard boats is designed to prevent the water that comes over the transom cutout from entering the boat.

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The Smart Buyer - THE DRIVEWAY PURCHASE, part I

Transom cracks are a problem.Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on inspecting a boat on its trailer.

Many buyers have the misconception that shopping for a trailerable boat (16 to 25 feet) is easier and involves a less-detailed inspection than when purchasing a larger vessel.

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