Boating Tips

Boating Tips: Troubleshooting Hints & Tips

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It’s the noise you don’t want to hear. It’s a noise you’ve haven’t heard before. It’s an acrid smell coming from your boat’s motor. What makes all these things exponentially worse is that your idea of a tool box is a marine dealer’s business card in your wallet. But, it’s not all bad news. Here are our top eight proven techniques to keep your boat gliding gracefully across the glassy waters.

Good vibrations

You’re motoring along merrily when suddenly your outboard motor develops a severe vibration. Often, the prop has snagged some fishing line or other debris. Simply kill the engine, tilt it up and systematically remove the offending fishing net or line. This action will usually alleviate the vibration. When you get back to the marina, check that the fishing line has not damaged the propeller seal.

Salt deposits

Your new boat has only been running for a few hours since you purchased it and you notice salt deposits forming near the spark plugs. This can easily happen with a new outboard motor that has not been properly run in. In this instance, the motor will need to go back to the dealer so that the cylinder head bolts can be re-torqued to meet factory specifications.

Overheating problem

You’ve just installed a new impeller into your outboard motor and after running the motor for a few minutes it overheats. This is usually caused by an air lock. To prevent this happening, prime the pump by removing a zinc plug and adding water before starting the engine.

Tachometer woes

At a constant throttle setting, the tachometer jumps up and down due to engine surges. In this instance it is usually a fuel related problem that requires the fuel filters to be changed.


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