Winterizing Your Boat: Part Two

The first step when preparing your boat for the frigid winter months is to find a suitable storage area. While leaving your boat in the water is an option, it isn’t advisable; the water will cause unnecessary wear and corrosion to the prop and the hull. The ideal location is in a covered, climate-controlled area. If you have extra space in your garage, you’re in luck; otherwise, you’ll want to invest in a storage space.

As with all maintenance, each manufacturer has their own specifications, so you’ll want to consult your owner’s manual to make sure you abide by their guidelines. For outboard engine owners, you’ll want to run the engine to warm it up and then change the Evinrude XD100 oil prior to putting the vessel in storage. This is also a good time to change the oil filters and flush the system with water. Whether you have a two- or a four-stroke, you’ll want to get rid of all of the excess fuel prior to storage, as it will go bad if it just sits in the tank for months.

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Winterizing Your Boat: Part One

Now that the summer boating season is winding down, it’s time to start thinking about putting your boat in storage for the fall and winter. You may assume that you can simply throw your boat on the trailer, put the cover on and let it sit for months on end. This may work for a season or two, but eventually this sort of neglect will begin to cause damage to your vessel.

It’s critical to take some time at the end of each season to make sure your boat is stowed properly. Not only will this improve its longevity, it will also make your job easier when it comes time to get it water-ready next spring. Over the next few days will go over the proper protocol for handling the cleaning, outboard motor oil removal and other crucial components of boat winterization.

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Boat Ownership: Part Five

Once you’ve made the decision to purchase a boat, you obviously want to protect your investment. We all recognize that the water and other elements provide a constant threat to our boat, which is why we invest in bumpers, covers and other protective gear. But what about boat theft?

It’s not the end of the world if someone swipes the Evinrude XD 100 out of the boat or grabs a stray life jacket, but full-blown boat theft is becoming increasingly common. Boats look like easy targets for criminals, especially when they’re just sitting there on a trailer. The easiest way to prevent theft is by locking your trailer at all times and keeping the keys on your person when you are moored at the dock. Also be sure to clearly label your boat, trailer and all of the removable equipment with your HIN and driver’s license number.

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Boat Ownership: Part Four

Every boat—at least the ones manufactured after 1972—comes with a distinct Hull Identification Number (HIN) which is etched onto the transom. The HIN, which is a series of 12 letters and numbers, gives your boat a unique identity that can be used in the event of theft or a manufacturer recall. Many states require a registration number, which is not the same the State Registration number.

The HIN format changed in 1984, so we’ll cover the most up-to-date criteria. The first three characters specify the manufacturer; the next five are the hull serial number; followed by the date of certification; and the final two numbers are the model year. It’s important to keep your HIN in a safe location so you have it in the event of an emergency. You should always have emergency products and information like life jackets and extra outboard motor oil.

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Boat Ownership: Part Three

As I mentioned to other day, you initial investment in your vessel is just that—the initial investment. Just like with a car, you will continually be sinking money into your boat. You may have the budget for a down payment and finance charges, but do you have the means for everything else? And will it really be worth it? Here is a quick rundown of some of the basic costs you’ll have to deal with:

~Finance Payments
~Registration (for boat and trailer) and licensing
~Dock Fees
~Gas and Yamalube oil
~Dock Fees
~Routine Maintenance

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Boat Ownership: Part Two

When most people begin to contemplate purchasing a watercraft, they have a particular use in mind. Perhaps it’s pulling waterskiers, wakeboarders or innertubers. Or you might simply want a place to sit out in the middle of the lake casting your fishing line. Maybe you want the best of both worlds. It’s important to hash out how you plan to use your boat, as this will dictate the type of craft you need.

If you are only going to be trolling around a small body of water, a modest craft with a is all you need. Of course, the larger your vessel the more it’ll cost and the harder it will be to maintain it; you’ll have to pay more for fuel, Evinrude XD100 oil and even to keep it in storage. This is why I suggest getting the smallest vessel that will still do everything you need it to.

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Boat Ownership: Part One

The decision to purchase a boat shouldn’t be taken lightly. Along with your home and automobile, it will undoubtedly be one of the biggest single purchases you ever make. And the initial investment in the boat is just the beginning; then there is insurance, licensing, gas, outboard motor oil and the routine upkeep to take care of.

Since there are so many factors to mull over, I thought we’d give a quick crash course on what to take into consideration when you are thinking about investing in your own vessel. Over the next couple of days, we’ll be covering everything from selecting your hull and motor type, to acquiring the proper licenses and certifications.

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The Anatomy of the Two-Stroke Engine: Part Five

Now that you’re well acquainted with the two-stroke cycle and its advantages, it’s time to look at the downside—because let’s be honest, there’s always a downside.  Here are a few reasons we don’t see the two-stroke engine used in automobiles and for other large-scale applications:

~Longevity: the fact that you have to mix the Evinrude XD 100 oil with the gasoline means that there isn’t a direct means of lubrication to the system, which leads to expedited wear and tear.

~Efficiency: two-stroke oil can be expensive, and the engine guzzles it up. As an example, you would use about one gallon of oil every 1,000 if there were a two-stroke engine in your car. You’d also notice a decrease in your gas mileage.

~Pollution: as stated above, two-stroke engines burn a lot of oil, equating to a lot of pollution.

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The Anatomy of the Two-Stroke Engine: Part Four

When we left off yesterday, the piston had just bottomed out in the crankcase. Once this occurs, the momentum in the crankshaft will begin to drive the piston back towards the spark plug. As the process continues and more of the gas/air/outboard motor oil mixture is compressed, a vacuum is formed in the crankcase, which in turn opens the reed valve and sucks in more of the mixture from the carburetor.

At the end of the compression stroke, the spark plug fires again and the cycle is repeated. The two-stroke engine derives its name from the fact that only two strokes—the combustion and compression—are required to complete a full cycle. As you’ve probably ascertained, the four-stroke engine has four strokes: intake, compression, combustion and exhaust.

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The Anatomy of the Two-Stroke Engine: Part Three

Although the workings of the two-stroke engine are more basic than the four-stroke, they are by no means simplistic. The cycle begins when the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel, air and bulk oil that have been compressed in the cylinder. This explosion, also known as the combustion stroke, drives the piston downward, which compresses the rests of the gas, air, oil concoction in the crankcase.

At the bottom of the stroke, the exhaust port is uncovered, releasing the pressure of the exhaust gases. When the piston bottoms out, the port to the intake is covered. At this point, the mixture in the crankcase is pressurized, causing it to flow into the cylinder while at the same time extricating the exhaust gases. Tune in tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion of the two-stroke cycle.

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The Anatomy of the Two-Stroke Engine: Part Two

Yesterday we covered some of the main advantages of the two-stroke engine, namely the fact that it is lightweight, uncomplicated and inexpensive. But two-stroke engines aren’t without their drawbacks, which will become apparent as we go through their cycle.

Like all internal combustion engines, two-stroke units operate on the simple principle of igniting fuel (in this case a mix of gasoline and Evinrude XD100) that releases energy and creates some sort of motion. The spark plug in a two-stroke engine fires every cycle, delivering consistent energy to the piston. Many of the components in the two-stroke engine serve multiple purposes, which allows the units to have a lightweight, compact construction.

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The Anatomy of the Two-Stroke Engine: Part One

Four-stroke engines are ubiquitous in automobile manufacturing and while you may consider the two-stroke engine an antiquated instrument, it still has myriad uses. From yard tools and dirt bikes to RC toys and outboard motors, the two-stroke engine is still utilized in many smaller vehicles and implements. Before we start to overview the inner workings of the two-stroke engine, let’s highlight a few of its main advantages over its four-stroke counterpart:

~Simple construction: the absence of valves lowers the unit’s weight and minimizes the opportunity for breakdowns.

~More power: since two-stroke engines for every revolution, as opposed to every other revolution, they can generate more power than a four-stroke engine.

~Work in any direction: if you try to operate a four-stroke engine upside-down or sideways, you may encounter problems with oil flow. The gasoline and outboard motor oil are combined in a two-stroke engine, eliminating this problem.

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