Power Units do Break Down Leaving Skippers All at Sea

Accidents do happen with any power plant be it a car/auto engine or a boat motor. Common occurrences are known, and we stress a few here so that the unaware can avoid being caught out in a potentially situation. Sadly, many of the breakdowns could be avoided with some judicious maintenance, TLC (tender loving care) costs little but by golly is it cost effective.

Change filters in a routine maintenance routine, change spark plus or at the leastclean them and de coke them, better still ask a maintenance shop to do this for you. Experienced boater will always carry spares with them especially items that are known to cause problems i.e. in-line fuel filters, spark plugs, oil for topping up etc.Avoid the risk of water in the fuel, during to off season fill the tank to the top to avoid condensation collecting and fouling the fuel supply. Using fuel stabiliser is good, when it has been added run the motor long enough to circulated it throughout the system.

Remember with diesel motors the oil can become waxed when very cold, as on cars some have heaters included to warm the oil before starting make sure the oil is warmed but do not use external flames to warm it! Drive belts do break, but regular maintenance will allow you to see when belts are worn and due to be replaced. Carry a spare.

Power Units do Break Down Leaving Skippers All at Sea

Don’t know how to fit one? Ask your boat maintenance shop to show you, if you are a customer, they will be glad to, if not we recommend that you become one, let the pro’s take the strain it is worth every penny.

Inboard motor temperature indicator showing it’s getting overheated. Ask your repair/maintenance shop to check it out for you. Have the water-cooling system checked out it could be that water throughput is being restricted. Outboards generally are air cooled, so they don’t have this problem. The ignition isn’t working, the boat wont start, check the battery is charged, ensure the contacts are cleaned – using a wire brush to get the crud off.

During the off season take the battery off the boat for safety and have it checked out, cleaned and fully charged. Inboard motor boats experiencing vibration, especially when moving quickly, it could be that the propeller is damaged, this is a job for the experts. NB. When your boat is hauled out of the water for the off season or to have the hull
cleaned off check the prop for damage to the blades, etc., damage could throw the prop off balance.

The prop may have been fouled or struck semi submerged debris in the water. Check it out as continued use of a damaged prop can cause further damage and discomfort. Money spent early is usually less than the cost of a major repair.

The boat is feeling sluggish, check the bilge pump/s, it could be that they are not working, and the bilge is filling up, this will make the searing heavy and cannot be allowed to continue for safety’s sake. Experienced boaters will carry spare hoses (and securing clips) and will have taken the time to check how the system works, if there is a drain mounted for this purpose.

Shopping for your dream boat? Talk to specialist boat suppliers and/or manufacturers, as the ‘what if’ questions and don’t be put off thinking that your questions are silly, everybody has to learn. Talk to the pro’s, shop around, take a course of study run by experienced sailing professionals, join a club and talk with the old hands there, join a marina, visit boat shows and manufacturers websites, then when you have decided buy from a reputable supplier avoid online unless you really know your stuff – a lot of stolen boats are sold this way plus no one wants to pay good money for junk that is unseen and has no warranty.

Enjoy your cruise boat.