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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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The Smart Buyer: There's more to buying electronics than meets the eye

How to Choose Marine Electronics

Boaters looking to buy electronics have more shopping choices than ever. In addition to traditional full-service marine electronics dealers, there are Internet-based sellers, big-box stores and mass retailers offering equipment at attractive prices. But you should understand that while buying from discounters can save money initially, it could cost you more in the long run.

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Spring into action with seasonal preparation

Erik KlockarsThe uncommonly mild winter in much of the country coaxed people back to their boats earlier than usual this year, and that makes Erik Klockars smile.

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Spring prep at a glance

Don't wait until the last minute to prepare your boat for spring

Before you launch

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New paint: a slick way to spruce things up

Bottom paint must be properly applied, which might mean hiring a professional.With $5-a-gallon gas looming at the fuel dock, many owners are looking at their engines and running gear to be sure their boats are operating at peak efficiency. Some are also looking at the gear they carry aboard to determine whether all of it is necessary. Less stuff means less weight, which could mean decreased fuel consumption.

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