Owning a boat comes with a lot of excitement, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Along with making sure it is properly maintenanced according to the recommendations, you also want to be sure you know about some of the more common mechanical issues that can come up and know what some of the signs are that you want to watch for.
The boat is losing power and it sputters
If you notice your boat losing power as it sputters, then the first and most obvious thing to do is check the fuel level. If you aren't running out of gas, then the problem is mechanical. The problem may be that there is an issue with the filter, and you need to have the in-line filter replaced. Or, the problem may be with the spark plugs, especially if the boat is an older model.
The boat won't start
If you go to start the boat and it won't start, then there are things you want to check before you get too concerned. First, make sure to check the kill switch. You want to make sure you have the shifter in neutral. You also want to consider whether the battery might be dead. There may also be something loose that a mechanic can troubleshoot and fix for you. The good news is if you haven't been having a lot of problems with the boat recently, then the problem is something loose somewhere that just requires tightening.
The alternator isn't charging
If you suddenly find the alternator not charging, then it's likely the drive belt broke. You normally won't hear when the belt breaks, so it won't be obvious when this happens. If you suspect this has happened, then you want to get the boat in to have it repaired right away, before you end up stranded in the water.
The motor stops running
If you're out on the boat and the motor suddenly stops running, then the first thing you want to check is the kill switch. This is something that can happen if someone knocks into the kill switch without realizing it. You may have run out of gas, but this would normally give you some sign ahead of time, such as some sputtering. If these things aren't the issue, then a mechanic can determine the cause and fix it for you. It can be a connection somewhere that's come loose, or an issue somewhere that's been caused by corrosion. Corrosion can be a big concern with boats, due to the water they are exposed to.
For more information, reach out to local marine mechanic services.