Lets envision that you have you your friends and your family, all out for a great weekend of boating. You have the sunscreen, the coolers and the beer! As you arrive to the perfect fishing spot, you decide to anchor down and catch that awarding fish you've been dreaming of! Disappointed that the monster is eluding you, you decide to try a new spot. As you proceed to crank your boat up, no start....... Now what do you do???
#1 - Is it sputtering or losing power? So your boat feels like its running out of power or losing strength. You've checked the fuel gauge, and you're not running out of fuel. The most likely cause could be a clogged fuel filter or filed plugs.
SOLUTION: Replace the in-line fuel filter. Of course you did bring a spare, didn't you? If not, take the in-line filter and try to manually release any debris that may be in it or accumulated water. If you're an I/O owner, please remember to vent the engine bay and clean up and spilled fuel.
PREVENTION: Of course like everything, it is possibly to buy bad parts. Make sure you have routine maintenance done to ensure update quality parts are installed. Also, remember with new ethanol gasoline it is possibly for "Father Time" to deteriorate your fuel system with water. With ethanol fuel, if leaving more than 3 months, considering filling your fuel tank completely full to prevent a hydroscopic reaction inside of the fuel tank. If you're pretty sure its not the gas, then check-in on your spark plugs to see if they are filed, or damaged in any way. It would also be a wise decision to keep spare plugs onboard as well as some hand tools to change them out.
#2 - The old broken belt nemesis!? So you're going on along, wind in your hair, the beauty of sun on your face and then you get annoying ringing and pinging sound out of the helm! Well thats just a buzz kill, ain't it? As annoying as it is, it is your boat telling you something is wrong! It may present itself as an overheating alarm, or a low voltage alarm. This must be dealt with immediately to prevent damage on your craft.
SOLUTION: Sure there is alot of info out there about how you can fashion a new belt from fishing line, shoestrings, or your wife's pantyhose!
PREVENTION: But it would be just as well advised to bring a spare belt with you. Most modern systems are five grove serpentine, so you would only need to carry one spare belt. Better yet, make sure you are part of a scheduled maintenance program to stop these scenarios from happening in the first place. Most of these systems only require a small hand tool set to change out.