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What is that noise?! Troubleshooting boat problems

boatcoach 227x300 What is that noise?! Troubleshooting boat problemsBy the Boat Coach

Have you ever wondered what that strange new noise might be while starting up the engine or underway? We all have. How to deal that situation starts with really paying attention and recognizing what are normal sounds on your boat.

Let’s start the engine: be sure that the gear shift is in neutral (neither forward or aft), run the blower to evacuate the engine room of fumes, then turn the key to START. Some engines will need a bit of throttle to start and then quickly back to idle. So far, so good. Now, listen: did anything sound out of place? Shut down and start again if you need to. What noise is different that the last time you started the engine? Any screeching or knocking? While still tied to the dock, or anchored, engage forward gear/neutral/reverse-about 5 seconds each to confirm each gear is working properly.

If a strange noise continues, it’s time to look in the area that it seems the noise is coming from. Check the engine room, exhaust area or access other areas as required. Run through the routine again; watch the prop shaft while turning and listen to the noise until the general area may be identified. It also helps to have assistance when troubleshooting. Often it takes two persons; one to operate the controls up top and someone in the area of noises to find a problem.

It is also time to inspect anything that can be accessed. Check a list of items from loose hose clamps, cooling water strainers and fluid levels in the engine and transmission. All are easy to do once you familiarize yourself on how it is done. Do the instruments on the dash actually show the conditions at the equipment? These should be adjusted to display the accurate indications.

If all else fails, The Boat Coach is here to help. Call or text Tom the Boat Coach at 713-254-3105


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