Multi-Engine Minority

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Multi-engine boats provide their owners with the ability to continue their journey even when one motor stops working. With one motor down, is it really as simple as getting yourself home or are there other variables that need to be considered. Leisure Boating looks at the best course for getting your boat home when it’s limping on one engine.

Outboard failure

The first thing to do when one of your outboard motors dies is to tilt it out of the water. Leaving it in the water creates unnecessary drag and increases the workload
of the working motor. You don’t want both of your motors out of action or you’ll be calling the NSRI.

If your boat is just able to make it onto the plane, it is advised that you save getting onto the plane for negotiating treacherous inlets or more difficult stretches of water. Take it slow, to reduce the amount of work the single engine has to undertake. With only one outboard working, it is doing twice as much work and you don’t want to tear the gears apart of this remaining engine.

Before this scenario of a dead engine at sea occurs, make sure that you can tilt one engine individually and retain steering manoeuvrability, because some boats have steering mechanisms that don’t cater for steering when one engine is tilted up.

Top tip: Run a practice drill to ensure you are familiar with all the procedures for your particular boat to run on one engine. Practice makes perfect.


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