Outboard Failure On The Water
Some basic troubleshooting tips
By Matt Spencer
It’s every boater’s worst nightmare – a failure on the water. It can be terrifying, especially for new boaters, but if you remain calm and apply a little troubleshooting know-how, you may find it’s easier fix than you think.
Before you go looking for issues, you’ll want to keep in mind the four basic systems your motor requires: fuel and air, compression, combustion and exhaust (for the by-product).
Since fuel is the first system required, that’s where we’ll start. Begin by the motor and work your way back to the tank checking connections, the hose itself and the valve ball.
If the valve ball is squeezed flat, the engine is looking for fuel but not getting any. That means we’re either out of gas completely or have a kinked or blocked hose. If it’s a kink in the hose, unwind it and head back to the valve ball to prime the motor until the ball is firm. If you’ve run out of gas, then that’s just poor planning.
Let’s say you have plenty of gas, the hose is fine and the engine still won’t start. Now you’re on to the ignition system.
NOTE: This will be featured in the 2011 season of PowerBoat Television. For broadcasters and airtimes, please visit powerboattv.com.