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Maintenance, Repairs and Troubleshooting


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  • Browse Articles on:

  • Sinking - Bilge Pumps - Batteries - Electrical Systems -Window Leaks - Deck Leaks - Corrosion - Fuel Tanks - Engines - Rotten Wood Structures - Hardware Attachment - Painting Fiberglass and More.

  • How to Prevent Your Boat from Sinking

    A Simple Self-survey Can Prevent Big Trouble

    Tens of thousands of boats of all types and sizes sink every year, most of them at their dock. The exact number is not known because there is no agency that keeps statistics. But just ask any marine insurance company and they will tell you that the number is far too high. In fact, sinking is the number one cause of major marine losses, and one of the primary reasons why marine insurance costs so much. Entire Article

  • All about Bilge Pumps

    Those Essential Devices for Keeping Your Boat Off the Bottom

    Oh, what a boring subject, right? Yeah, I agree, reading about bilge pumps is not too thrilling. But this is a subject which I've been harping on for a long time, apparently without a lot of success based on the continuing and overwhelmingly casual attitude that boat owners have for their bilge pumping systems. Entire Article

  • Tired of Replacing Batteries Every Two Years?
    A better Understanding of Batteries Will Help Resolve Your Problems. Entire Article

  • The experience of many, if not most, boat owners is that short battery life and dead batteries are a chronic problem. In this essay I will discuss why this is so and what you can do to eliminate this problem. Entire Article

  • One of the most common problems that surveyors run across in doing these surveys are electrical systems that have either been jury-rigged by the owner, or an owner who hired Joe-the-Electrician down the street because Joe's work is cheap. Entire Article

  • Yep, the title here is a play on the "Intel Inside" logo. The difference is that you're much more likely to be dealing with problems of water inside your expensive yacht electronics than you are in the PC you're working with right now. PC's aren't sold to be mounted on the exteriors of boats. These things are. Full Article

  • There are few problems that can cause more damage and detract from the value of your boat than window, porthole and hatch leaks. Even well constructed boats will eventually develop leaks simply because boats are not totally rigid structures. In fact, they twist and flex quite a bit, and poorly constructed boats flex a lot, which is why we see so many entry-level boats that more or less just strain the water before it enters the interior. Entire Article

  • Wet beds, mildew, rust stains in the cabinets, water stained and rotting paneling, stained headliners, rotted deck cores with soft spots . . . these are just a few of the damages caused by deck leaks. Entire Article

  • If so, it's probably going to cost you big bucks if you don't get those leaks fixed fast. Entire Article

  • This article deals primarily with sailboat leak problems.
    However, the principles and methods discussed here apply equally well to power boats.

    Entire Article

  • Corrosion (with 9 photos)

    This essay is intended to give you a fundamental understanding of the causes and effects of corrosion, as well as how to identify problems and correct them before they become severely damaging. Entire Article

  • Corrosion n Marinas

    The Hot Dock

    You keep your boat in a crowded marina and there’s a lot of talk about corrosion and bad wiring. It’s all the marina’s fault, right?

    Entire Article
  • How to Install an Aluminum Fuel Tank

    . . . . So you Don't Have to Do It Again

    Many people blame aluminum as being a bad material for fuel tanks. Actually, its not. All materials have their strengths and weaknesses, and the problems with aluminum tanks are problems of proper installation, not the material itself. Properly installed, aluminum tanks will usually outlast the life of the boat. Entire Article

  • Frequently we hear it said that the cause of water in fuel tanks is due to condensation. I have long doubted this assertion but the issue has come up so frequently that I was finally motivated to try prove to the point. The basis of my belief or assumption is that: Entire Article

  • This is the not-so-pleasurable part of pleasure boating, so we'll want to make it as easy as possible on ourselves. Entire Article

  • Our survey customers often ask us about how they should perform diesel maintenance. This is a very easy question to answer. Entire Article

  • If you own a stern drive boat, it's well worth the effort to pay attention to their condition by inspecting them frequently, and taking care of small problems before they become big, costly problems. Entire Article

  • This is where the newbies and novices start to become old salts, if they have any wits about them. A bit of a preamble follows here just to give you an idea of why this topic can generate so much controversy. Entire Article

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  • This is a widespread problem that occurs in large number of boats that, when the boat gets on in years, can result in serious degradation of the hull structures. Entire Article

  • Taking the quick and easy way out by just ramming in a few screws through a cored structure can and does cause thousands of dollars of unexpected damage. You either take the time to do it right, or pay the price when it comes time to sell your boat. Entire Article

  • One of the most frequent questions that a marine surveyor is asked is whether it is worthwhile to paint a fiberglass boat. Entire Article

  • So the cost of boating just keeps going higher and higher (belying the notion that there's no inflation) and you're tired of paying those ridiculous yard bills? But you're not a do-it-yourselfer type and the idea of attempting to repair a pump lies somewhere between computer programming and neurosurgery? Entire Article

  • This is our follow up to the Repairing Rotary Vane Pumps. The repair of diaphragm pumps is no more difficult than other types. In fact, it's usually a bit easier. Entire Article

  • How to avoid unexpected damage and invisible damage that can occur during hauling and shoring operations.
    Hauling a boat out of the water always entails some risk no matter how it's done. Dry storage facilities have long used fork lift trucks for this purpose, but its hard not to notice that these machines just keep getting bigger and bigger. Entire Article

  • One of the Easiest Aspects of Boat Maintenance Pays High Dividends When Done Right After Every Use.

    If you're a first-time boat owner, perhaps you aren't aware of just how important it is to thoroughly wash the salt water off after every use. Judging by the number of boats we board that are covered with salt, a lot of boat owners aren't. Entire Article

  • From Marine Engines

  • Whether you're a stinkpotter or rag boater, this arcane and disinteresting subject is of major importance to your wallet. Entire Article

  • From Buying a Boat or Yacht

  • In most cases, resolving the problem is not particularly difficult. All you have to do is create some hatches for each of the concealed areas. Entire Article

  • Direct Links to Some Chapter Contents at

  • Chapter 10 The Engine Room (Mid Size Power Boats)
  • Chapter 7   Decks & Superstructure(Mid Size Power Boats)
  • Chapter 16  Plumbing Systems (Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats) 
  • Chapter 7  Sinking Due To Rain (Marine Investigations)
David Pascoe Power Boat Books

Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats (2E)

David Pascoe - Biography

David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.

Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.

Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:

In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from nearly 80 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.

In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.

On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.

Biography - Long version

Mid Size Power Boats

Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats (2E)
Mid Size Power Boats Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats Marine Investigations