The summer boating season is underway. One important part of making sure you and your passengers are safe on the water is to ensure your boat is ready and able to make a safe journey.
Anthony - So, G’day, we are here at Nautique Central in Southport. I’m with Ben Kirby who is the workshop manager and head mechanic and Anthony is my name from Maritime Safety Queensland. We’re going to talk today a little bit about inboard petrol engines and the management of those safely.
It’s your boat not your car.
Anthony - Ben, you’ve seen a lot in your career as a marine mechanic on inboard petrol engines, could you share some of the stories that you have with us.
Ben - Sure Anthony, One of the most common things that we see in the workshop is with the 12 volt system. Customers going and trying to save a few dollars and put an automotive starter motor or alternator and things on their engines. Quite often they’re not ignition protected system so you do introduce fuel into the bilge and they have the potential to ignite that fuel, where a marine specified starter motor or alternator won’t have that.
Another real common one we see is people putting their own dual battery systems into boats, not protecting those batteries properly, switching systems, bringing over things from the four wheel drive market into the boat which aren’t always spec’d (sic) for marine use. Not fusing cables properly and things like that, that’s a common one.
Another thing that we see all too often now is people using ethanol in open fuel breather boats. So, big problem with ethanol on some of the older boats especially carburetted boats is it can actually attack some of the rubbers in the fuel pump diaphragms and things like that.
Check it out, before you go out
Anthony - All this leads to a good maintenance regime and getting to know your local marine mechanic and getting a relationship happening where you can do some sort of maintenance plan. You’d agree?
Ben – Absolutely. I believe, you know, that most boats, ski boats, wakeboard boats should be serviced every 50 hours. Twelve month interval absolutely before you take it out for a service get it in, get your fuel tank checked, get your service done. A lot of guys doing it themselves aren’t pulling the floors up, aren’t having a look at these fuel tanks, mounting for fuel tanks, conditions of fuel lines, conditions of carburettors and things like that. It’s critical stuff. We’ve seen more and more of these fires every year and less and less of these older boats coming through our shop. So, you really need to get on top of that if you’re an owner.
Have fun, stay safe this summer.
Anthony - So, today we’ve discussed safe operation of inboard petrol engines particularly in wake boats. We’ve also talked a little bit about some do it yourself risks and why you should get a really good relationship struck up with a marine mechanic and be proactive about maintenance and a maintenance regime.
So, I thank you very much for your time Ben.
Ben – You’re welcome Anthony, happy to help.
Anthony – And, we will see you again soon.
Thank you – www.msq.qld.gov.au
Changes have been made to Queensland's marine safety laws as a result of changes caused by the Commonwealth's Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (National Law) and to facilitate the remake of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2004.