David Harris


Recent Articles and Blog Posts

A better bilge pump

Many older bilge pumps in cottage boats rely on a separate float switch to detect water in the hull. Often leaves and other debris lodge beneath the float: The switch stays on, the pump runs, and the battery drains. Conversely,...

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Spring outboard maintenance

Let’s do launch: Your careful and complete winterizing last year is about to pay off. Be sure to monitor cooling water outflow, oil levels, and general performance during the first few runs. Out of the water 1. Service or...

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Winter outboard maintenance

Think the procedure through: End-of-season tasks should be done in a specific order. 1. Add fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank Run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the stabilizer. 2. Change the oil and filter in...

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Guide: Outboard engine maintenance

Cottage outboards were once the exclusive realm of a few North American-built mix-yer-own gas-and-oil two-strokes. Smaller outboards — 30 hp and under — are now available in an astounding assortment of four-strokes and...

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Mid-season outboard maintenance

This is a good time of year to revamp your inventory of spares and make sure you are well-prepared for the coming winter layup. Check your stock of fogging oil, four-stroke or two-stroke engine oil, gear oil, filters, hose clamps,...

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Tilt & trim tips

Trim refers to the angle of the engine drive leg to the boat. A trim “up” is farther from the transom; a trim “down” is closer. Trim up, drive leg out An engine trimmed up forces the bow higher at speed When the...

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How to install a water-separating fuel filter

One thing on which most mechanics can agree is that the majority of outboard “problems” are fuel related. Failure to start or poor starting, rough running, misfiring, and loss of power can certainly be blamed on other...

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10 great cottage sailboats

We’ve assembled a fleet of great sailing dinghies for cottage use that vary in basic design, capacity, cost, and performance. Here is our review of 10 sailboats for the cottage. Albacore Designed in the UK after the Second...

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Storing boat bumpers

Fenders are the first line of defence in protecting your boat against the ravages of a rough dock, less-than-perfect boat handling, and the ineptitude of “the other guy.” In reality, however, fender use on cottage boats is...

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Tonight on Cottage Life

  • 06:00 pmWEEKEND RENO
  • 06:30 pmDECKS, DOCKS, AND GAZEBOS
  • 07:00 pmEPIC - SEASON 2
  • 08:00 pmMY RETREAT
  • 08:30 pmBUYING THE BAYOU
  • 09:00 pmBUYING ALASKA
  • 09:30 pmBUYING ALASKA
  • 10:00 pmBUYING ALASKA
  • 10:30 pmWHAT'S FOR SALE
  • 11:00 pmGEORGE CLARKE'S AMAZING SPACES
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David Harris