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Prevention | Maintenance & Technology

Boat Engines and Drives - The right maintenance and care is essential

Boat engines require a lot of care in order to keep them going steadily. Particularly older engines are often being neglected for any number of reasons. When the warranty period has expired, the compulsion to keep prescribed intervals of maintenance drops, as well. Some people rather prefer to invest in decorative repairs or new technical refinements than in maintenance and care of the engine.

 As they say: As long as it works, everything is fine. Although an owner can contribute significantly to a engine's performance capability and to the prolongation of its life span by taking small measures. This will not only save nerves, but also, in the long term, money. Not taking care of your boat's engine regularly will literally provoke damage. The Pantaenius surveyors and claim experts have seen 35 years old engines in a top condition, but also engine systems, which were less than 10 years old and completely neglected. Sometimes, small details make all the difference. Did you know for example, that an engine could include a galvanic anode?

They most often are quite hidden and depending on the type of engine for example inside the exhaust manifold, in the exhaust pipe and/or in the cool water pipe. Many times, it is not so easy to reach them in order to control and, if applicable, replace them. Still, this is wise, as severe corrosion may lead to some substantial damage. Due to the constant change from air to cool water, particularly the exhaust manifold is subject to corrosion, especially during longer idle periods. As the elbow corrodes from the inside, usually the damage shows only when it is too late. Possibly, water might ingress in the engine and cause massive damage, which in the worst case might require a new engine. Hence, it makes sense to take a close look and, as a precautionary measure, to replace the exhaust manifold in time before rust penetration.

Another example for corrosion-endangered components are the accelerator and gear cables. With a new boat, they are safe during the first few years, but with increasing age, the danger of corrosion and mechanical damage increases, too. Therefore, you should inspect them regularly and replace them in case of suspected damage. You would be ill advised to wait until they break. Pantaenius' claim department can tell about many collision claims, which incurred due to broken gear and accelerator cables. Also quite often, the plugs and plug-in connections to the engine are forgotten. It is in the nature of things that in the humid environment they are vulnerable to corrosion. Breakdown is only one possible consequence.

The defective contacts can get overheat because of the increasing resistance due to corrosion and can smolder or even cause the cables to scorch. Thus, it is recommended to check plugs and connections regularly, and clean them with contact spray. The effort is manageable, but very effective. Tips for proper engine maintenance can be found in most of the manufacturers' manuals. However, even in these, one or the other essential issue sometimes is neglected. This is why it can be very helpful to obtain the suitable maintenance instruction. If you are unsure, you should consult a reliable service workshop in order to have maintenance and protection works carried out. Such as in automobile sector, each manufacturer has his own authorized repair shops, but independent service shops, too, are able to help with most engines. At any rate, this is a good investment, as a new engine will definitely be more expensive.

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