We see all shapes and sizes come through the shop.
Sure we get the new high end boats, with the new gadgets that do all kinds of things. We also get the older boats that have been around for 30+ years. Some are even older and pre-date fiberglass hulls, and belong in a antique motor shows.
One thing that needs to be done to almost all of them is they require maintenance to the surface of the boat it self. About the only one that does not is the metal aluminum Jon boats, but it would help with their color fading and chalking.
We have seen plenty of fiberglass boats with a dull, chalky appearance. It’s the result of oxidation, which is the slow degradation of the gel coat’s surface due to interaction with air and sunlight. A fiberglass maintenance regime including lots of wax is the best way to prevent it, since wax creates a protective barrier for the gel coat.
- Resale Value
- Hull intergradation
- and Looks
Are all primary reasons for WAXING your boat.
Did you know a boat’s hull will literally become weaker due to UV damage? That hull will become weak and brittle and easily crack…..yep, nothing last forever but you speed up the break down by doing nothing.
Wash the boat first. Get all the containments off the hull, and apply a good marine grade wax….
Our customers use a variety of products, but I have heard the name “Collinite” more than once, along with some 3M products. In reality if you’re doing it more than once a year, it’s better than nothing. If you can only do it once a year use the higher end brands.
Weather you do it yourself or get some helpers, you need to wax it …
You work fervently on your boat to keep it in like-new condition. You wash and wax it, touch up any chips in the gel coat and polish the chrome, but your boat trailer often goes untouched.
Many trailer problems stay undetected until there is a failure and 99% of these failures occur on the road. It only takes a few minutes to check your trailer. A highway breakdown could destroy your boat, and at the very least involve a long delay and expensive repair.
Trailer tires present the most common problems; flats or loose lugs. These are simple to check; look at the tread wear, if it appears uneven check to see why. Uneven wear could have various causes. Tire and wheel balance are noted by uneven wear spots on the tire’s surface. Axle alignment is a common cause of tire wear, evidenced by wear on the edge of the tires. Bent wheels can contribute to odd tire wear. If you suspect a problem, solve it before hitting the road.
Look closely to be sure all lugs are tight. Note an oblong bolthole if a lug bolt or nut is loose. Examine your wheel bearings; elevate the wheels one at a time. To accomplish this, jack up one wheel or if you have dual axles, take a short piece of wood and cut a slant on one end. Place the slant end of the wedge against the tire and back or pull up onto it. This will lift the other wheel and you can check the bearing. Spin the elevated wheel and listen. If you detect a growl or rubbing noise, pull the wheel off and locate the problem. If the noise was a growl, the bearing will need grease or replacement. If a rub, look at the brake shoe surface or look for heavy rust on the wheel. Either could cause rubbing. Take a look at the brake springs to be sure they are all connected.
While you have the wheel up, grasp each side and try to move it from side to side to make sure the bearings are tight. If you have grease buddies on your wheels, don’t disregard the bearing check, you could still have a problem. If you travel long distances with your rig on the trailer, it would be smart to carry an extra set of bearings.
Make it a practice to check each wheel hub at each stop. As soon as you get out of the tow vehicle, check the hubs to be sure they are not hot. They could be a little warm and be all right but they should not be hot to the touch. If they are, let them cool down then head for the nearest service station. If it is a long distance, you may need road service.
After checking your wheels, check your brakes and be aware of the trailer laws where you travel. Many states have changed their laws regarding boat trailers to require brakes on all wheels. If you have two axles, you must have brakes on both.
Check your winch strap or cable – make sure they are in good condition. Be certain to have an extra safety chain from the bow-eye to the trailer and strong hold-down straps or chain on the stern to avoid bouncing on the trailer.
Check your trailer lights. After each season’s launch, check the trailer bunks or rollers and periodically thereafter. If they are OK you should be set – have a great day on the water.
Not a pretty site
This customer complained about low power with his outboard.
He told us he just rebuilt his carbs, installed new plugs and replaced all fuel lines.
Still his motor did not have full power and had poor idling quality.
In this case he would have done himself justice to take a fuel sample as part of his due dalliance.
Our advice is to install a glass or clear in-line filter to keep check on water in the fuel system.
This makes for cheap insurance.
At Stone and Sons we cater to do-it yourselfers and will help you the best we can with any technical support you might need to perform your own repairs.
It’s easy to forget the simple things.
Removing your outboard propeller to check the shaft for line is one of the easy things you can do to help protect your motor.
Below, this customer ran over a jug line.
He thought he was doing the right thing by cutting off the line, but he failed to remove the prop to inspect the prop shaft. This photo shows the result of not the properly doing the right maintenance. The rope melted into the prop shaft seal and removed the seal from the seal carrier letting water into the gear case. The result was a larger repair, and big hit to the wallet.
Don’t forget to remove your prop often to inspect for “God knows what” might be wrapped around your prop shaft.
More often we see fishing line doing the damage. Fishing line is everywhere we take our boats, and it causes damages to hundreds if not thousands of boats every year.
TAKE THE TIME TO REMOVE YOUR PROP FOR AN INSPECTION AND WHILE YOUR AT IT CHECK YOUR LOWER UNITS OIL CONDITION.
We want you on the water and not in the shop.
Over and over I’m told
“ I haven’t run it but one or two times since my last tune up”
“When was your last tune up?” …. I’m told last year or longer.
In their thinking they believe they haven’t run it enough to have any problems.
Here is the problem. Most motors have components on them that hold fuel.
If given enough time, fuel will evaporate or dry out, then your carbs are left with residue in them. Sometimes the remaining fuel will be mixed with oil, once the gas is gone it’s a gunky oil mess.
Think of this as a clogged artery restricting fuel flow.
Another problem from non use – With today’s ethanol fuel, you can have deterioration of the inner lining of your fuel lines at low spots in the hose, where the ethanol may sit. Fragments of the deteriorated hose will clog jets, injectors, filters, and so on.
So what do you need to do?
- We suggest you run your motor once a month.
This will not give your motor enough time to dry out your fuel and keep you out of the shop and on the water.
So you see- “YOU just might be your own Pocket Book Enemy”
Ask about our 48hr service special
At certain times of the year, when temperatures drop, we find fewer people take advantage of servicing their boat motors.
Well guess what? Our Staff has been with us for over ten years, and is professionally trained by factory technicians. We can get you in and out FAST during this time of year. The only thing that would hold us up is when everyone brings us their boats at the same time. So, in the words of Ricky Bobby, “if you’re not 1st, your last!”
Get your boat in here, and be the 1st one to pick it up, and be ready to get on the water.
It is not uncommon for us to stay after hours to get you taken care of. We care about our customers, and we want your boat on the water, not in the shop.
As always, Stone & Sons Marine will be at the 57th Annual Houston International Boat, Sport & Travel Show – January 4-13, 2013
It is the largest Outdoor Show on the Gulf Coast.
Stop by the booth and say hello.
Ask quesstions of what we are seeing come by the shop prior to your purchase.
Drop your name and email in the fish bowl for a drawing for a Garmin GPS.
If you already like us on Facebook, you get to drop your name in TWICE!!!
Low water pick-ups – there are some disadvantages!
Low water pick-ups on the lower unit have their place in shallow water applications.
Low drag and better hole shot allow the boater to get on plan faster, in shallow water.
But there are some disadvantages to having one, and most don’t find this out until their boat is in the shop.
It’s nice having bragging rights as to just how shallow you can go. But most do not have the patience to simply putt out a little deep before punching it. Your motor is not designed to run on mud & sand! It’s supposed to run in water, with enough depth for your lower unit to pick up water.
Keep in mind the modified intakes (on low water pick-ups) on outboard motors are large enough to allow grains of sand & shell into your water pump and like sand paper this is grinding your internal water pump wear-plates. As a result, you are losing water pump pressure.
This is the case not only with low water pick up type gear cases but any outboard that you run or plane on the bay bottom.
E-Tec has OEM high intake screens you can install, but you allow more trash in, with the added changes.
It is recommended that you change your water pump EVERY YEAR if you find yourself mainly fishing in shallow waters, with these modifications.
Normal maintenance: Would be to change your water pump every 2 years needed or not. (with minor use)
NOTE: never just replace your Impeller, as you will only be doing half of the job.
The below picture a great example of the pit falls of a low water pick-up on a bay boat.
This is the water pump wear plate is off of a 2008 115 E-Tec Evinrude with only one season on it.
Most of the water pump pressure was lost due to the groves that developed in the cup and plate of the water pump.
Another TIP if you are not sure how much time you spend in the shallows: Take a look at your skeg, how much paint is missing and how much smaller is it than when it was new?
This is a good indicator as to just how much abuse you are giving your water pump.
This client of ours has been using a certain fuel treatment with enzymes.
What went wrong? – Well it still left some dried up waste in the carbs that clogged up the jets.
This product is supposed to eliminate and prevent ethanol fuel problems.
We have now seen FOUR boats with this issue using the same product.
Sometimes what you think is helping you, is your own worst enemy.
What should you do? We suggest using clean fresh fuel and try running your motor at least once a month and skip the additives.
Over greased bearings; a common sight that rolls into the shop parking lot all to often.
This is not a good thing. The owners believe they are doing something that is good, but actually, they are blowing out the seals on the back side. A good indication is all the excess grease that is being slung all over the wheel. Sometimes you see this, stuff being slung on the hull itself and even on the steps of the trailer.
You are now damaging what is protecting you!
How much grease should you use? – Look on the inside of the race- and find a tiny groove. This is where you stop.
Have your hubs checked by a professional once a year, to determine if it’s time to repack new bearings. If you are making long hauls, and use your trailer a lot, you might need to have your bearing repacked once a year.
Simply use marine grade bearing grease when you maintain your trailer.
Batteries – without some electricity, you can be dead in the water.
Here are some quick facts you need to know, along with how you can cost yourself big, due to a $1 wing nut
- Marine batteries for the most part are deep cycle – designed to run down and be charged back up
- Marine batteries do not last as long as your turck/ car batteries – they have a different design and are meant to do different things.
- Wet cell batteries last 2 – 3 year with proper maintenance (which includes keeping each cell filled with water- #1 way to kill your battery)
- AGM/ Gel cells can last twice as long, but generally cost twice as much – good for applications where it would be hard to maintain or deal with heavy vibration/ pounding. Some outboard motor Mfg. do not recommend using a gel battery for starting applications, as they do not charge properly with that motor.
Connection to the battery is key!
If you can get by the corrosion part – which can hurt any electric connection, you still need to worry about how you connect to the battery. Wing Nuts used to be the main stay. Tighten down by hand and your good to go – have any issues simply loosen and pull. Wing nuts are a thing of the past!
Most new batteries now come with a standard nut, so you need a socket or wrench to tighten it. Why the change? There were a number of issues happening with today’s modern outboards. Most new outboards have a computer controlling fuel and helping with maximizing the full potential of the motor. With wing nuts, the connection was not tight enough, causing the computer to have to deal with power shortages, and spikes. This caused some damage to some, and owners were blaming the motor when in fact, it was the electric supply to the motor. Do you have any idea what a computer cost to replace in a modern day outboard? Try this at home – turn your home PC on and off a number of times while its running and computing. See if it causes any problems. Then go shop for a new mother board $$$ …. In short NO MORE WING NUTS! …. Use the nut supplied and a lock washer and keep some tools on the boat when it’s time to remove it.
How often do you check your prop, and what lies behind it? … Is once a year enough? In some cases it’s not. This was the 1st trip out after it was in the shop. If this would have remained the line would have penetrated the seals allowing water into the lower unit $$$. With costly results in the end. Always pay attention to your prop after each day of use.
Every day we see evidence of ethanol damage in fuel systems…. but it’s not just in your carburetors or your gas … here is another picture of a bad fuel line … you can see where the fuel line particles break away and get lodged in your carb jets …. We are hearing of boaters getting carb jobs and end up back in the shop in a few weeks believing their carburetors were not serviced properly … but in actuality they needed to change their fuel lines as well … the benefits of using a certified mechanic at Stone and Sons Marine would of caught this, and given the boater more time on the water and out of the shop
How long should you expect to wait for your boat repairs?
Currently Stone & Sons Marine is offering one to two day service on normal maintenance.
Tune ups / water pumps / oil changes
Do it before peak season rush…Memorial Day is right around the corner.
Mon. - Fri. 7:00AM to 7:00PM Stone & Son Marine
3410 Oak Forest,
Houston, TX 77018.
Our Parts Department Number:
For Our Service Department:
Our Fax Number: