Keeping your boat in its best working order ensures you have a safe and reliable ride every time you venture out on the water. Major repairs are something many people leave to the professionals however, smaller boat maintenance is something you might like to do yourself.

What problems can often be fixed with simple tools and some foresight?

Here are 3 common causes for engine breakdowns and the DIY solutions you need to get back up and running fast.

Your Boat Engine Won’t Start
Getting out on the water is fun and having an engine that refuses to start can certainly be a killjoy. There are numerous reasons why your engine might not start. First, with your DIY engine repairs, make sure you’re in neutral and check your kill switch. Also, look at the starter switch too. Is it loose? Sometimes elements like switches can come loose causing issues. It could be that simply tightening a nut or some screws behind the dash will do the trick.

You could also have a low battery that’s stopping your boat from starting or a loose connection. You may simply need to recharge the battery or swap it out for a new one.

Always carry a battery charger onboard, and a spanner set along with some screwdrivers for a quick fix.

A Stalled Boat
Running out of fuel is one of the most common reasons boats stall on the water. To address this, always check to make sure your fuel tank is full before heading out. Also, it’s important to know if you can trust your fuel gauge. Is it working as it should?

To stay safe, abide by the rule of thirds: use one-third of your tank to go out for the day, and one third to get back. Reserve one-third tank of fuel in case you encounter bad weather or you get lost. If you need to, carry extra fuel onboard in an official fuel container that meets regulations.

Your boat engine sputters and shuts down
If you have enough fuel in your tank and your boat engine still shuts down, it could be that you have fouled plugs or a problem with the filter. To solve this, replace the in-line fuel filter. If you don’t have another filter handy, clear the present one out of any debris and accumulated water. Always remember to vent your engine box before restarting the engine to prevent further problems.

To prevent filter problems in general, keep track of how fresh your fuel is. If you leave your fuel tank near empty for longer periods of time, condensation and water can build up in the tank and mix with the fuel. This will cause it to go bad. When storing your boat for long periods of time, keep the fuel tank full and consider using a fuel stabilizer. If you have an older tank, there could be debris sitting on the bottom. Adding an after-market filter can also help.

Last but not least for DIY engine repairs, if your fuel and tank are not causing the engine to shut down it could be your spark plugs that are the problem. Carry a spare filter, a filter spanner, and extra spark plugs on board, just in case.

At Mike’s Marine we specialise in servicing Mercury and Mercruiser outboard motors however, we also tend to engines of all makes and models including Tohatsu, Yamaha, Honda & Suzuki. Our team of expert mechanics can provide you with the best in Redlands boat maintenance and Brisbane boat servicing.

Your safety on the water is our top concern as a local, family-owned business. We conduct pre-purchase boat inspections, facilitate upholstery and fiberglass repairs, and service your boat’s engine with genuine parts backed by well-known suppliers.

Contact us today to have your boat serviced by your local Redlands experts.