When you are buying a used vessel, keep in mind that it should not only fit you and your family’s needs but that it is also investment-worthy. Involving a mobile boat mechanic when you are surveying the vessel or conducting sea trials, is an important aspect of purchasing a boat
A mechanic can thoroughly inspect and test the boat to ensure that you are getting what you are paying for. So, Google ‘boat mechanic near me’ to hire the best marine boat mechanic.
Here is how an experienced and skilled mechanic tests the boat engine:
- They can ensure that the boat’s wet exhaust system comes with the specified slope or drop to the muffler. It should also have the specified rise before the discharge.
- They inspect motor mounts to make sure that they are secure and not overextended.
- They determine the manufacturer’s installation specifications.
- They uncover engine problems such as overheating and ensuring the rated wide-open-throttle rpm.
- They test all components of the exhaust system. None of the exposed components should exceed 200 Fahrenheit. Similarly, water-cooled portions should not exceed 150 Fahrenheit.
- The mechanic checks the cylinder compression.
- While conducting a sea trial, he makes sure that the temperature in the engine compartment is not more than 30 Fahrenheit above the cabin’s air temperature. To test temperature difference, the mechanic places a remote thermometer in the compartment adjacent to the air intake of the engine. You need additional ventilation for the engine if this difference exceeds 30 Fahrenheit.
- During the sea trial, they can test the exhaust-gas back pressure.
- The mechanic collects coolant, transmission fluid and crankcase oil samples and sends for laboratory analysis.
In addition to the engine, it is important to inspect the following as well:
- Electrical Systems
- Failing Pumps
- Saturated Foam
- Cabin leaks
- Hull to deck joint separation
- Leaking lower units
Wiring runs throughout the boat. It is in closed compartments, tight chases, and under decks. This makes electrical system inspection the toughest part of pre-purchase inspection. When you are on your own, you can turn on everything at once to see how well the system is performing. You can check the fuse box. Raise questions if you see fuses of different brands. When it comes to wiring inspection, you might be able to check visible parts only. However, without a thorough inspection, you cannot track down problems that might occur in the future. So, call the best marine boat mechanic for help.
While inspecting wiring, the mechanic makes sure that:
- Wiring is done right and insulation is intact. There should be clamps installed every 18 inches.
- There are no signs of chafing. Conduit, grommets, or several rounds of tape should be used to protect wires from chaffing.
- All the electronic components should be neat and in good health.
- Copper-tinned wire with robust insulation is used in the boat.
- All the connections are healthy with no signs of corrosion.
- Wires are dry and protected.
- The system is grounded correctly.
In fuses and circuit breakers inspection, he makes sure that:
- Circuit breakers are used in AC systems and fuses are used in DC applications.
- Breakers and fuses are installed at the right spots.
- Sizes and ratings are correct.
System fireproofing is essential for complete ignition protection. He checks if batteries are clean, dry and easily accessible for maintenance and inspection.
As a bilge pump is an important line of defense against sinking, it should be functioning without any issue. Sometimes, due to lack of maintenance, oil and dirt accumulation forms a gooey sludge. This sludge can clog pumps. Float switches may fail to operate in this situation. The mechanic checks the bilge pump for clogs, and makes sure that the float switch is working. Triggering it manually gives you more peace of mind.
Check closely the way the vessel floats. The mechanic might ask the boat owner to remove heavy gears and observe how it is sitting in the water. He checks if the scuppers are well above the waterline or not. He can check cored areas of the vessel using a moisture meter.
Though it is not a common problem these days, it does exist in much older boats. Rot arises in deck coring or transom. The mechanic can check cracks that can lead to structural failure. A springy or spongy feeling underfoot tells everything about rot.
Grab a powerful flashlight and get a good eyeball on the stringers. Stringers make the backbone of the vessel. Serious troubles are on the way if stringers separate from the hull. The mechanic can check both visible and invisible damages or separation.
The seller can thoroughly clean the boat to get rid of watermarks due to cabin leaks. However, a mechanic knows how to identify cabin leaks. Spraying a hose full-blast at potential leak spots reveal cabin leaks. You just need to check for unexpected moisture.
Hull to Deck Joint Separation
This joint is important, but you cannot get an eyeball on the joint. A mechanic can identify any abnormalities in the rubrail.
Leaking Lower Units
This is not very easy to spot. A crack in the casing or a bad seal can allow water intrusion. The mechanic runs the boat to make sure that the unit is completely sealed. You can also ask your mechanic to replace the lower unit oil and check for leakage.