Some of the most common issues our service teams have to deal with are preventable. Here are three areas to monitor and address, especially if you’ve just bought a boat.
- Starting and electrical problems can often be traced to old batteries. Stretching the age of batteries beyond five years is false economy, and that assumes they have been maintained. One of the smartest ways to save yourself headaches is to replace batteries as soon as you buy a used boat, unless they are almost new.
- Bad fuel is another cause of engine problems. Fuel filters should be changed at least annually, and a Racor fuel/water separator added if you don’t have one. Use some fuel additive that mixes with water because almost all fuel tanks end up with water in them over time.
- Raw water cooling pump impellers should be changed regularly, and spares kept aboard. In most cases the pump is accessible and the impeller can be changed yourself when the engine alarm goes off. If you get stuck in a weedy area it is a good idea to look at your intake strainer to see if it has weeds in it. Watch the water flow out of your exhaust to see that the flow is still strong. A dry-sounding or barky exhaust is a warning that the engine is not receiving enough cooling water. Shut down right away and check.