By Keith Hinze
High Tech Marine
If you are a boat owner then you know that sooner or later you will find it necessary to enlist the help of a good boat repair shop. There are many reasons that you might need to have your boat worked on. It could be due to some type of damage occurring to the body of the boat or problems might arise due caused by everyday wear and tear.
You may just want your boat to look like new again or repair cracks in your fiberglass, gel coat or non-skid before they cause further damage. Cracks can range from spider cracks, blisters or the most common type of fiberglass damage, scratches. Make sure your boat repair service provides some type of warranty on the work done and can provide references of satisfied customers. As with everything, if properly maintained, your boat will provide years of enjoyment. The following are a few simple ways to keep your boat “ship-shape.”
Prevention is the key to avoiding many of the problems that boatersface. However, many people still need to visit a boat repair shop to take care of the maintenance. It is important to know you can trust the business preforming the repairs on your boat. Otherwise, you can not only waste a lot of money but it can put you in a bad position if something that you thought was fixed ends up being repaired incorrectly.
If you know for yourself how to repair boat parts you can save a lot of cash in your wallet. For the DIY’ers guide to fiberglass boat repair, there are many sites on the web.
water pumpThe water pump is one item you’ll have to replace or repair every year. Boat water pumps are not that difficult to replace yourself, and you can save a lot of money by comparison replacing it yourself over paying someone else to do the job for you. Start by draining the gear case.
Remove the trim tab on the lower unit, and remove the bolt. Remove the bolts securing the lower unit. When all of these items are removed, wiggle the gear case down until the top nut is the only thing holding it on. Now, hold the lower unit and remove the last nut, which lets the unit slide down. Careful, this is really heavy. A V-6 may weigh up to 75 lbs.
Remove the 4 bolts for the housing. Inside is the impeller and key. Remove the impeller. Replace. Turn drive shaft clockwise to load impeller in housing. Tighten bolts. Reinstall the lower unit, lining up the drive shaft, water pump outlet and shift rod all at once. Check the shift function and verify that water is pumping.
Fiberglass Repair Tool List
Depending on the damage, the fiberglass tools that you may need may be minimal or extensive. This is a list of the tools you DIY’ers will need: Personal Protective Equipment, air compressor, sanders, sandpaper, measuring cups, resin brushes, buffers, polishers and rags for clean up. If this seems a bit much for your weekend project, a boat professional like High Tech Marine is a local mobile marine service and repair business you can trust and will get your boat back on the water quickly. High Tech Marine will come to your boat and save you the hassle of hauling your boat out of the water, taking the boat on a trailer to the shop, waiting and then having to haul the boat back to your dock.
As always if you have any questions for Keith, the Yamaha/Johnson certified marine mechanic, feel free to email High Tech Marine at high.techmarine@yahoo.com.
Keith is a long time resident of Galveston Island, owner of High Tech Marine, a Yamaha/OMC certified technician and has his college degree in Welding Technology. High Tech Marine provides mobile dockside marine service and repair to all areas of Galveston Island including the West End. Keith is also owner and operator of EyePaint specializing in custom paint work on boats, fiberglass and gel-coat repair. This month’s nautical word of the day is “bulkhead” with the definition of discomfort suffered by some boaters who may have drank too much.

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By Esther McKenna

Whether you live on the West End or just go there to play, those in town on Saturday, June 19 were in for a special treat when Sea Isle played host to more than 20 sleek and powerful motor boats that participated in .
The Texas Offshore Performance Power Boat Squadron (TOPPS) was created in 1985 and operated out of a floating tavern called Rick’s Turtle Club, now Lances, in Clear Lake in an effort to raise money for different marine-related charities. “We captains used to meet for breakfast,” said crew member and navigator Loyd Thornton who was a founding member alongside famous oil-well fire fighter Red Adair.

As a special anniversary celebration, the boat club decided to recreate their original poker run from 25 years ago starting at the Top Water Grill in San Leon, brunching at the Galveston Yacht Basin, jetting over to the UTMB Ship Harbor, refueling and refreshing at the West End Marina and finally an overnight stay at the Candlewood in Freeport’s Bridge Harbor. According to Safari crew member Chris Harris, each boat receives a captain’s card which is to be stamped after successfully docking at each of the five stops. When a completed card is turned in, each crew receives a poker hand. Some of the pot goes to the winning hand with a good portion donated to many of the boat club’s charities.

Participants and their families and friends joined West End residents to eat, drink and make merry at the newly opened Sand Bar at the West End Marina. “The Sea Isle community gave us the warmest welcome,” said TOPPS President Chris Shine. “It makes us feel terrific to see so many people lining the canals, cheering us on. It’s great to see that they’ve gotten back on their feet. We look forward to coming here in future runs.”

TOPPS works hard for several charities including: The Houston Safe Boating Council; The Texas Marine Stranding Network; Yaga’s Children’s Fund and The Texas Adaptive Aquatics Camp Discovery. To learn more about the TOPPS boat club, its upcoming events or to donate to one of their charities, visit TOPPSboatclub.com.


Esther McKenna was ‘BOAI’ (Born on Another Island – Long Island, New York) and is a journalist with more than 20 years’ experience of writing and editing.

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