YOUR SENSE OF TOUCH
Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
UNUSUAL VIBRATION, whether in the boat or a component, is a
sign of something amiss. It may be difficult to isolate, but you should
try if it’s safe to do so. Examples of potential problems: steering
vibration may indicate something hung on the rudder or a system
problem. Vibration in the hull over your shaft strut may indicate
something caught on the prop or a bent prop. Vibration of the shaft
may indicate the same or it could be a misalignment.
■ Feel for temperatures on all equipment regularly. A good time
to do this may be during noise checks. Some parts you can touch
with your hand, but if you don’t know them, this could result in a
serious burn. An infrared-temperature gun with laser is invaluable.
With it, you can accurately determine normal operating temperatures for different components and write down the values. Check
■ Heat exchanger – The area where the engine water enters
should normally be hotter than the other end where it exits.
■ Alternator – It will be hotter putting out higher amps or if the
belt is too loose.
■ Transmission – Most will be very warm under normal operation. Some have a transmission cooler, which should also be
■ Exhaust – Abnormal temperatures at the point where raw
cooling water enters your exhaust via the injection nipple can
indicate a failing
ler, clogging heat
ging injection nip-
ple, debris in the
engine laboring too
hard, and other
YOUR SENSE OF SMELL
Find The Stink Before You Sink
YOUR NOSE KNOWS when something is amiss. Any changes in the
way your boat smells — either when you open it up for the weekend
or while running — could mean a problem is developing. Fuel fumes
(either gasoline or diesel) must be dealt with right away. Often a leak