WARNING SIGNS AND SAFETY NEWS FROM BOATU.S. MARINE INSURANCE
There’s a lot of hose going on in the background in this picture of a 2013 boat. Fortunately, all the hoses have proper stainless-steel hose clamps, except one. The large cockpit drain hose in the foreground was delivered to the new owner without a hose clamp. When, not if,
this hose comes off the cockpit drain, a rainstorm will quickly
fill the bilge, potentially sinking this boat. The moral of the
story is that just because your boat is fairly new (or new to
you), don’t put off routine bilge inspections.
GAS HOSE FAIL
On quick inspection, a gas-tank setup may look fine. But peer a little closer (see photo above) and you’ll see that it’s everything
but fine. Where the hose makes a bend,
it’s cracked and a failure is imminent.
This kind of hose failure can send gas
into the bilge, where vapors can build up
and then be ignited by the smallest spark.
The next time you’re in your boat
examining the fuel system, follow every
hose and make sure there’s nothing like
this hiding around a dark corner. If
you’re not sure how old your fuel hoses
are (manufacturers typically say 10 years
is their useful life), they are marked with
the year they are made. If your hoses are
more than 10 years old, they’re due for
replacement. If they’re not marked, it
means they aren’t Coast Guard-approved
and should be replaced right away.
PROTECT AGAINST DAMAGE
Drivesavers (the red disc shown below) are used to absorb some of the shock between the turning shaft and the transmission, especially if the prop strikes something underwater. These devices work well, but hey also electrically isolate the propeller shaft and propeller from
the engine. Normally, there is a direct electrical connection from the prop
shaft to the engine. The engine is in turn connected back to the battery negative by a heavy-duty grounding cable or strap.
If installing a Drivesaver breaks this electrical connection, it is essential to
connect the prop shaft and the engine together. This can be done with the addition of a jumper cable as shown in the photograph. This green bonding strap
electrically ties the prop shaft and the engine together via the common ground
inside the boat
that no rapid
occurs due to
in electrical potential.
If you have a
you have this
jumper as well.