Troubleshooting Guide for Common Boat Problems

Like cars, boats too require proper maintenance in order to keep running efficiently. Proper maintenance and boat servicing will help reduce the likelihood of boat breakdowns when you are out having a nice time on the water, but it won't eliminate the risk completely. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of some of the common reasons why your boat may stop working so you can know where to look if there's a problem.

Faulty drive belt

The drive belt in your boat consists of a series of pulleys. These pulleys need to stay as smooth as possible so they can turn properly. But as boats operate in water-based environments, it is not uncommon for the pulleys to develop rust over time. Rust can easily wear down the belt and cause your engine to overheat and shut down rapidly. And the worst part is you won't even see it coming because the sound of a breaking drive belt can't generally be louder than that of the general engine noise. 

Remove the belt and check if any of the pulleys are either broken or out of alignment. Make sure to replace anything that looks deteriorated and apply a generous amount of waterproofing grease on the belt to prevent any further rusting.  

Overheating engine

If your drive belt is in perfectly good condition yet your boat is still overheating, it is highly likely there is an issue with your engine. An overheating engine is usually a sign that water is not flowing through the system, and this can result in costly damage to your engine and other critical components of your boat. In many cases, the problem is caused by an obstruction such as mud or weeds, which prevent water intake. If you can smell combusting oil in the engine section, chances are high that your engine is heating up. And if you can smell antifreeze, it is likely that there's a leak in the engine's cooling system.

Faulty prop

Vibrations are never a good sign whether you are travelling by car or using a water vessel. Too much vibration while steering your boat may be a sign of a malfunctioning prop. This could be due to the tow rope entangling the shaft, nick blade getting cracked or the prop hitting hard objects present in the boat's travel path. When it comes to prop issues, it is always prudent to have spares, as the component may suffer damage that is not easily detectable.