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The Smart Buyer - Boat shows: Now there’s an app for that

Two of the major boat show organizers are now offering apps to help show-goers navigate the aisles and docks with their smart phones and tablets.



What's the best battery for you?

Optima's BuueTop AGM batteries use what it calls Spiralcell technology.It’s time for new batteries, but you’re not sure if you should go with flooded-cell, gel or AGM (absorbed glass mat). Each type has pros and cons.



Four areas of focus when your winterize

Klockars inspects an engine on a Carver 350 Mariner for such things as worn belts, cracked hoses and corroded connections.The cruiser had twin 5.7-liter engines, and the Connecticut boat owner had gotten friends to help him winterize it. The men did a lot of things right, says marine mechanic Erik Klockars, but they made a catastrophic error.
They used plenty of antifreeze, but they didn’t realize that the thermostats in the raw water-cooled engines were preventing the circulation of the antifreeze through the blocks and heads. Water sat in the blocks during the winter and froze. When the owner fired up the boat for a prospective buyer in the spring, water spilled out of 6-inch cracks in the engine blocks, says Klockars, who was involved as a surveyor.

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Installing hardware on cored decks

Mark Corke

You’d think that installing new deck hardware, such as a cleat or a sheet winch, would be a simple procedure: Decide where the fitting will go, drill a few holes and bolt it in place. Sadly, it often is not that simple, and a little planning and care will save you some sleepless nights and perhaps a hefty repair bill later.



Patience pays off

Two-plus years might seem like a long time to restore a 25-foot boat, but Jeff Koenke says his 1984 Boston Whaler is better than new

Jeff Koenke has 600 hours of work into the refit of his Outrage.Hurricane Katrina had beaten up the old Boston Whaler pretty badly, though not enough to scare Jeff Koenke away. Despite its crushed port gunwale, a blistered bottom and a corroded aluminum fuel tank, the 1984 25-foot Outrage was perfect for Koenke, who first saw the boat on eBay.

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