Cooling-water impellers should be replaced at least every other
year. While these rubber impellers are pretty durable, any time
your raw-water intake is close enough to the bottom to ingest
mud or sand (like this one), they should be changed. Sand, as you
might guess, is pretty tough on not just the impeller but also the
housing; you might have to replace both if the pump was full of
sediment and run for a while. The picture on the right shows
the end result of waiting too long to replace an aged impeller.
Note that many of these pieces had to be fished out of the heat
exchanger after the boat overheated – not an easy job.
Trailer-sailors can be pretty hardcore
and will put a boat into pretty much any
sailable body of water. But boat ramps
designed for fishing boats and runabouts
may not be safe for sailboats. The owner
of this boat had just put up the mast and
was waiting patiently in line at the ramp.
As he pulled forward, he heard a bang.
The whole mast came down after catching on an overhead light pole.
Other more dangerous BoatU.S.
Marine Insurance claims involved trail-
erable sailboats that struck low-hang-
ing power lines, in some cases causing
the boats to catch fire. Other instances
of contact with power lines have resulted
If you’re bringing your sailboat to
a new place, stop and look around for
low branches, light poles, and wires that
may run across your path to the ramp.
In some instances, electricity can even
arc from power lines to a mast that
is close enough, even when there’s no
Diesel engine turbochargers operate at temperatures of up to
1,200 F. These are normal operating temperatures. Should
one of these diesels overheat, as engines sometimes do, the
temperature may rise even higher. The boat in the photo
burned and sank after the turbocharger overheated, probably
due to lack of lubrication. It’s possible that the turbo’s heat-shielding blanket was old or even oil-soaked, which may have
then caught fire.
Thermal shields must be renewed periodically (Yanmar
recommends every 250 hours on its engines) and leaks fixed
promptly to avoid fires. Hoses that are leaking or otherwise
suspect must also be replaced. All surfaces less than 18 inches
above the turbos should be insulated. Hoses should be secured
well away from the exhaust system. Use metal straps; plastic