Photo: Marina 59
A day out on a boat, fishing or exploring Jamaica Bay, the Hudson or East Rivers and beyond, should not be ruined by a mechanical issue that could have been prevented or easily solved, if you just knew how. Knowledge is power over the unpredictable. Boating Magazine recently surveyed a group of expert mechanics to uncover the most common problems boat owners experiences that they’ve encountered.
When the boat sputter to a halt or starts to lose its drive. This often happens as a result of a filter problem or sludgy plugs. Replacing the filter is the way to go if it happens out on the water, which also means making sure you have a replacement filter on board. To make sure you avoid the problem in the first place, be mindful of the quality of fuel you put in your boat fill the tank for long period of time when the boat is not in use
When the voltage meter shows the alternator is not charging and the light indicates the engine is overheating. This is what happen when the belt breaks. The tip here again, is to have a spare on board and the tools required to replace it. Avoid the situation with regular maintenance, checking the condition of the belt and the related parts.
When the engine overheats. This is a waterflow issue since, unlike your car, uses the water the boat floats on for cooling the engine. So, water debris like seaweed, mud and any unfortunate trash floating around could clog up the works. This could lead to the more serious cooling equipment damage that could be dangerous. The solution here is regular maintenance and service to prevent issues before they start.
Photo: Marina 59
Other common issues identified by the surveyed mechanics include engines that don’t start or suddenly die, strange vibrations that get worse when you increase speed, shifting and steering problems, and heaviness in the boat caused by water fill.
“Every day e get to see people come back from their day out with smiles as big as their catches,” says Ari Zablozki, owner of Marina 59. “Since we also provide expert service we see the not so happy owners of boats that have problems. We try to remind everyone about the value of regular service, especially now with the winter on its way. Proper winterizing and storage will keep boats in good shape when they are not in use for long periods of time.”