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Boat Engine Maintenance

If you are ever thinking about owning a boat, the first thing you should consider is how much it is going to cost. After you’ve determined that you can afford it and have found a place where you can store it, you need to make sure that you know how to actually operate it. Most states, if not all, require boat owners to have a license that proves they actually know how to operate their boat. For a lot of people, getting a license means that one will have to attend a class that instructs him/her on all of the safety features and general operating features of a boat.

According to one boat enthusiast, David Pascoe, you should regularly inspect your boat. Depending on the size of your boat, this inspection shouldn’t take longer than thirty minutes or so. By inspecting your boat on a regular basis, you can save yourself hundreds (even thousands) of dollars in repairs down the line. According to Pascoe, many boat owners don’t really know or understand too much about boat engine maintenance. Most boat owners place too much emphasis on changing the oil, not realizing that the majority of boat engine damage is the result of failure to maintain the cooling system.

Contrary to popular belief, a boat engine cooling system is different from a car. Unlike cars, boats use the water that they are floating on to cool the engine. Therefore, if you’re riding around in polluted water, more than likely, your engine is getting the worst of it. For this reason, Pascoe recommends having good filters (aka: sea strainers). This is not a place to be frugal; find out what type of water your boat usually sits in. If your boat is usually docked or riding through salt water, it will ruin your engine over time which is why you need to make sure that your water pumps are inspected regularly.

If you have a closed cooling system on your boat (aka: fresh water cooling), you need to be wary of crud building up. The build up will act like an insulator, gradually slowing down the cooling system on the boat. When you are pouring coolant into your engine, make sure that you aren’t pouring too much. As we all know, too much of anything is usually a bad thing. And actually, having too much coolant will cause unwanted crud to build up. Also, make sure you read the manual for instructions on how to properly pour in the coolant (because there is a specific process for doing it).

Changing the oil in a boat is slightly different than changing the oil in your car. Unlike a car, which requires you to change the oil every ‘X’ number of miles, the oil in a boat (if its diesel) needs to be changed at least every 100 hours. This is because carbon builds up in the oil, which will transfer to the piston ring grooves and eventually cause the rings to stick, which is NOT a good thing. For gas engines, oil change is not as dependent on the number of hours but, rather, should take place before the oil blackens. You see, as oil accumulates engine by-products, it will get darker, becoming more acidic in the process, which can cause internal damage to your engine. This is why you want to change it before it becomes black. The frequency with which you would change the oil in a gas boat will depend on a number of things, such as geographic location.

Submitted by:

Brenda Williams

AutoTransport and Auto Transport Company.




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