Just like automobiles, boats can have problems too. BoatUS found that over two-thirds of sinking accidents were preventable; wear, tear and corrosion was the highest cause at 34 percent. But sinking a boat isn’t the only thing to worry about. As a recreational marine insurer, it’s important to be prepared for the worst case scenario, and part of that is understanding the most common causes of boat problems and ensuring that your clients are prepared as well. One should be aware of what kind of issues can happen to their boat. According Boating Magazine, these are the most common reasons why boats break down.

Running Out of Strength

If the boat feels like it’s running out of juice and it’s not due to a lack of fuel, it can be one of two options. It can be a filter problem or fouled plugs. To solve this problem, you have to replace the filter. For prevention, don’t let the fuel go bad in your boat. If it isn’t the gas, it could be a spark plug problem. The best thing you can do is keep spares on your boat in case of emergencies.

Broken Belt

Without a belt intact, you’ll have no alternator or water pump. While you can’t physically hear the sound of a broken belt, you’ll know when your overheat warning light comes on, or when your voltage meter shows the alternator isn’t charging. To help with this problem, carry spares and the wrenches needed to replace them, and always inspect and tighten your belt before use.

An Overheated Engine

The needle on your temperature gauge is rising, meaning you have an overheated engine problem. Prevent this issue with regular service and replacing the impeller.

Engine Won’t Start

If your boat won’t start, it’s most likely an electrical issue. Always check your kill switch. To prevent this type of thing from happening, inspect, clean and replace wiring when needed. Carry wire brush to clean terminals and Corrosion X spray.

It’s Vibrating

The boat is shaking and it only does it more when you go faster. That means it’s time to take a look at your boat. Something’s probably gone wrong with the prop. Make sure you have a spare prop available and some gloves to replace when needed.

It Won’t Shift

You’re trying to leave the dock and the boat never reaches past idle speed. The shifter is now not engaging the transmission. The biggest cause of transmission failure is lack of fluid or gear oil, so always keep those levels topped off as needed.

It Won’t Steer

You’re trying to steer and the boat just won’t do it. The steering system is probably low on hydraulic fluids, or it sprung a leak. This issue can be solved with an extra jug of hydraulic fluid and a small funnel.

About Merrimac Marine Insurance

At Merrimac Marine, we are dedicated to providing insurance for the marine industry to protect your clients’ business and assets. For more information about our products and programs, contact our specialists today at (800) 681-1998.