How to Avoid the Risk of Breakdown When at Sea

If you're new to boating, you may be looking forward to many a long hour on the open sea trying to catch your evening meal. Yet, you'll be late for dinner if you suddenly find that you cannot start your boat's engine when you have landed that spectacular catch. So, what do you need to know about maintenance before you plan too many weekend adventures?

The Importance of Service

As a rule of thumb, you should expect to take your boat in for a full service at least once per year or even more often if you use it a lot. The service technician will typically change the oil and filter, spark plugs, gearbox lubricant and other standard items.

However, you can be on the lookout for potential problems on an ongoing basis and should certainly try to avoid some of the more commonplace problems that can leave your vessel stranded on the open water.

Fuel Challenges

To begin with, be careful where you buy fuel. In particular, do not buy fuel that has ethanol if you can help it and always try to get your fuel from an outlet that has a regular turnover. The chances are that the fuel will be fresh, and there will be far less chance of contamination.

Further, the fuel may begin to oxidise if it is left to sit around for too long, so if you intend to leave the vessel alone for a few weeks, drain the fuel or add a stabilising agent instead. If you don't, oxidising fuel may cause deposits within the system, and while the filter should catch most of the culprits, it could lead to starvation or a complete blockage in other circumstances.

Battery Matters

It is a good idea to upgrade your battery to be more robust and less likely to let you down. Heavy-duty marine batteries are specifically designed for the environment, but always make sure that they are correctly mounted.

Get into the habit of checking the security of the battery before you head out and ensure that the connections are always corrosion-free. You'll want to check the charge and condition of the battery periodically as well and have a charger on hand to top up if needed.

Best Practice

Remember to keep your boat in first-class condition by scheduling a regular visit to a marine diesel service provider. If you keep a close eye on the fuel and the battery as well, you should expect a hassle-free open water experience.