Video of the Week: Installing an Electric Windlass

Having an electric windlass on your boat is like having an extra “mate” aboard to easily deal with anchoring.  Come inside the TotalBoat Workshop as we show you how to install a Lewmar Electric Windlass in the existing anchor locker. With advice on placement, how to build it’s motor and battery into the locker space, and wiring help, this is a great winter project that will pay you and your first mate back all summer long. No longer is it a headache to set or relocate your anchor – even in bad weather – as this windlass can be controlled from the bow or inside from the console at the helm.

Check out the video and don’t be intimidated by this project. Our how-to video will guide you and if you need more help – we are standing by all week long to answer your questions and assist you with your boating projects and improvements.  Call our Tech Help line (800-423-0030) or Facetime us and show us what you’re working on and how we can help you out!

We want to help you make your boat better! And an electric windlass is a great way to reap the benefits of a winter project for years to come.  You can everything you need for this project at 



The Elegance of Classic Wooden Motorboats

I love a lazy Sunday morning with a cup of coffee and the latest post… don’t you? Well, after reading up on the day’s latest blog post I try to tune into the serene news program I have come to love: CBS Sunday Morning. There is rarely a stressful, controversial news story offered by the veteran news team led by Charles Osgood. Instead, they focus on the pleasures of American life. And a few weeks ago they hit the nail on the head: Conor Knighton dug into the passion we have for beautiful wooden boats. Powerboats, to be exact. He credits On Golden Pond and Chris Craft for keeping us enamored with these fine vessels and all the work, varnish and love that goes into owning one.

So, even though it’s only Wednesday – grab your cuppa joe and enlighten yourself in 4 minutes of sublime Americana. The wooden kind. It’s a rare treat to have a major news program focus on our watery world that we already appreciate. But to share in the enthusiasm from the popular media somehow gives merit to our brush strokes and planking tribulations. And we get to delight in knowing we can enjoy the real thing for more than just 4 minutes.

Outboard Fuel Care Tips from Mercury

The Pros at Mercury Marine share their fuel care tips using Quicksilver products specific to Mercury outboards, however their advice is good for any outboard – or inboard – gasoline engine. Hopefully if you had to store your engine for winter months, you added a stabilizer to the tank and ran it through the whole system to distribute the additive to every corner of your fuel system.

As many of us look to launching, it is again important to treat the fuel we add to the tank and engine with each fill up. Ethanol which is now common in all US gasoline, is no good for marine engines and an additive like the Fill Up Fuel Treatment should be added each time. A Fuel System Cleaner is needed once annually to clean the entire system and the storage solution – well – we’ll get back to that in the fall – but suffice to say I hope you added one to your tank this winter to keep whatever fuel remained in decent condition for spring operation.

Every outboard manufacturer produces their own brand of fuel treatment and there are other good ones out there too that are fine for most outboards as well. Look in your owners manual for your specific outboard and be sure to treat your oil, oil filtersspark plugs and fuel system with the recommended services to get the most mileage, fuel efficiency and life from your outboard, no matter the brand.


Hot Off the Press, the Spring Catalog is Here!


Have you gotten our Spring 2015 Catalog? Your mailbox should be blessed with its arrival any day now if you have yet to receive it.

Here are a few great deals from this latest catalog:

And as always, we want you to have our catalog by your side as you plan your spring boat work and launching. So if you don’t already get one, request a catalog here.

Replacing a Racor Fuel Filter

Replacing your fuel filter is a necessary maintenance process which will keep your boat in good running order. It is an incredibly simple process that the average do-it-yourselfer can accomplish on their own.

How to Winterize a Four Stroke Outboard

Four stroke outboards are by far the most popular on the market. But there’s a lot of confusion about how to properly winterize a four stroke. Let’s end it, right now.

1. Give the motor a good fresh water flush. In some cases you’ll need set of earmuffs; in other cases, you can thread the hose right into the outboard. Let the water flow for a good five or ten minutes.
Now that she’s flushed out we’re going to remove the cowl and rinse away any salt build up that we find inside.
2. Change the lower unit oil. Now even if it’s fresh you still want to change it, just in case any water got in there, because water can freeze and expand and cause serious damage. (Watch How to Change the Lower Unit Oil)
3. Since the introduction of ethanol, adding a fuel stabilizer for the winter is an absolute must.
How to winterize a four stroke outboard4. Hook up the water again and run the motor for a good ten to fifteen minutes, to work the stabilized fuel through the motor.
5. Next, and this is very important: tilt the motor all the way up and all the way down. You want to make absolutely sure that every drop of water is out of the motor. Otherwise it could freeze and break something.
6. Traditionally the next step is to fog the engine. But many tech heads (myself included) believe it’s better just to start it every three weeks or so. That way you don’t have to fog it.
Can that really be all there is to winterizing a four stroke? Wait a minute, what about… the antifreeze?

Since no water should remain in the engine, which is tilted down to drain, you don’t need antifreeze—even though your mechanic might suggest it as a way to give you another bill.

Outdrive maintenance with Motor Boats Monthly

In the February issue of MBM we bring you a step-by-step guide to caring for your outdrives. Watch the video here for tips on how to ensure the rubber bellows and oil seals remain healthy or read the full feature in the February 2014 issue of Motor Boats Monthly.

Boat Battery Check-up and Maintenance

Is your boat battery in good shape? What should you do to keep it properly maintained? How do you clean the terminals? contributor Gary Reich addresses these issues and more, in this basic boat battery check-up and maintenance video.