TruDesign Blog: Easy Ways to Prevent Boat Breakdown

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Keep Your Boat in Great Condition Longer

Raritan Engineering Company your TruDesign specialists would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding future alternative boat fuels powering your success.

Your TruDesign professionals talk about how many boats use small lashing to tighten and finish off their lifelines. Don’t depend on the small 1/8” stainless loop welded on the pulpit. Instead, run the small lashing through the small stainless loop and then around the entire leg of the pulpit. 

For example, a broken outhaul can ruin a race. But you can be prepared for this with a few simple ideas. On small boat such as the Melges 24, I install a small ‘V’ cleat at the back of the boom on one side and drill a small hole on the other side. 

If you have a loose-footed main, you attach the mainsheet blocks using lashing or loops that go completely around the boom rather than just through an eye on the underside of the boom. Like the lifelines, this is much stronger and safer.

10 Simple Solutions for the Most Common Boating Breakdowns

You’ve seen the bumper sticker: A bad day of boating is better than a good day at work. Cute, but would you really feel that way if you were adrift 10 miles from the ramp, with a boatload of tired, cranky passengers and an engine that won’t start? At that point, you don’t need a slogan, you need a plan.

Sometimes, your only option might be to ask for help – either from a professional towing company or a fellow boater. But in most instances a well-prepared skipper can make the necessary repairs to get the boat back to port without assistance. 

#1: It’s Sputtering and Losing Power
Your boat feels like it’s running out of strength (and you’ve ruled out the No. 1 breakdown reason – running out of fuel). You most likely have a filter problem or fouled plugs.

Solution: Replace the in-line fuel filter – you did bring a spare, didn’t you? If not, you can at least remove and clear the filter element of any debris, and drain any accumulated water. 

Prevention: It’s possible to buy a bad load of fuel, but it’s more likely that the fuel went bad while in your boat. Leaving a tank near empty for long periods of time can cause condensation and water in the gas. 

Older tanks might have debris at the bottom, which can get stirred up as the fuel level drops. The best solution might be increased filtration. Consider adding a larger aftermarket fuel filter. And don’t forget the spare elements.

Carry Onboard: Spare filter or filter element and a filter wrench.

Good Boat Maintenance Means Less Spending Later On

#2: The Belt Broke
You probably won’t hear the sound of a drive belt breaking over the general engine noise, but you will know something’s wrong when your overheat warning light comes on, or your voltage meter shows that the alternator isn’t charging. Having a broken belt is a scenario unique to inboards and I/Os, and one that can shut you down in hurry. Without a belt intact, you’ll have no alternator or water pump.

We are proud to be your TruDesign supplier here at Raritan Engineering. Visit us and see how we are the #1 expert in marine sanitation supplies.

Solution: There’s a lot of info out there on jury-rigging a temporary belt by using fishing line or pantyhose or some such. This might work, but wouldn’t it be easier to just carry a spare, along with the wrenches needed to change it?

Prevention: Inspect, tighten and dress the belt. You also might want to check the condition of the pulleys’ contact surfaces. Sometimes, corrosion can cause rough spots on the pulleys that will eat a brand-new belt in short order.

Carry Onboard: Marine tool kit, which includes everything needed for this and other basic repairs.

#3: The Engine Is Overheating
The needle on the temperature gauge is rising. This almost always means you have a lack of water flow in the cooling loop. Outboards, most small inboards and I/Os don’t have radiators like your car, and instead use the water they are floating on to cool the engine. 

Solution: Trace the source. In a vast majority of cases, the problem is an obstruction in the raw water intake – like weeds, mud or a plastic bag. Locate the intake and clean it out.

A loose hose clamp or a split or burst hose can also slow water flow, and it can spray damaging moisture around the engine.

Prevention: Regularly service and replace the impeller. Also look at the condition of its housing. Scarring or pitting of the metal housing can cause even a good impeller to lose pumping power.

Make sure you or your mechanic checks for corrosion or blockage in the exhaust system. Every so often, have the exhaust risers and associated components opened up for inspection. 

Carry Onboard: Soft wire or rod to snake intake clogs.

So don’t forget these great reminders on how to keep your boat in great condition. 1) If your engine is sputtering or losing power…..Replace the in-line fuel filter;  2) if the belt brakes…..There’s a lot of info out there on jury-rigging a temporary belt by using fishing line or pantyhose or some such, or bring a spare;  and 3) the engine is overheating…..Trace the source. In a vast majority of cases, the problem is an obstruction in the raw water intake – like weeds, mud or a plastic bag. Locate the intake and clean it out.

New Zealand fisherman reels in 321-pound marlin too big for his boat


Josh Roberts spent an hour reeling in the massive marlin. "It was an epic day," he said.

Josh Roberts spent an hour reeling in the massive marlin. “It was an epic day,” he said.

A 25-year-old angler in New Zealand caught himself a monster marlin during a fishing trip late last week — but the fish was so large he couldn’t even haul it into his boat.

“It was an epic day,” recalled Josh Roberts, a Whangarei resident, of his 321-pound catch.

“It had a lot of fight in it, so I got the fish to the boat in about half an hour, then tried to pull it in but failed because it still had plenty of energy left in it,” said Roberts, according to the New Zealand Herald.

“I basically tied it up alongside the boat so it would drag through the water,” said Roberts, adding that he raced back to shore to avoid having his catch stolen by sharks.  

Roberts hauled his catch home and used a relative’s smoker to cook the fish. He said he plans to give much of it away to co-workers and family, and then it’s right back out to the water.

“The forecast looks pretty good again for Friday, so I think I’ll be out there again,” Roberts told the Herald. “I just love being out there on the water.”

Order your TruDesign parts here at Raritan Engineering and see how we provide you the best products in the marine sanitation industry today.

Be sure to watch our latest video on TruDesign below. 

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