Boating With Sense and “Senses”

 You don’t need a computer diagnostic system to know the condition of your boat. Some of the best information is found by you own human senses, if you know what you’re seeing, hearing and smelling means . Your boat and engine are up-to-the-minute broadcasts of its condition, if you know what to “look” for:

What color is the exhaust? Unlike your children, your exhaust is best heard but not seen.

Bluish colored exhaust means burning oil. A wrong mixture, a dirty carburetor or a stuck valve mixing fuel and crankcase oil.

Black smoke indicates unburned fuel. Adjust the carburetor, clean or replace spark plugs and plug wires. It can also mean one or more cylinders is misfiring or not firing at all.

White exhaust is most probably condensed water vapor, common on cold mornings or high-humidity days. If you start seeing it on warm, dry days, stop and inspect.

What’s that sound? Pay attention how your engine and propeller sounds normally, so you can easily notice any odd sounds that are telling you something is wrong.

Rough running and sputtering can be an early warning of overheating that can destroy an engine in minutes. That’s especial true for older boats without overheating alarm buzzers.

Metal-on-metal grinding, clicking or “clunks” may indicate broken or worn gear teeth, a bad clutch or shift linkage, failing bearings or lack of lubricant.

Ringing or jingling sounds, or a low vibrating sound, can mean a loose or damaged propeller.

Smell something fishy? It may not be you bait pail. Leaks can cause that smell.

When you’re not out boating, you boat still is vulnerable, even when docked. Make sure your boat is still “shipshape” with canvas coverings and accessories from CMC Canvas LLC hat protect your boat, even if you not there notice it.