The RNLI are regularly called out to help motor boats that have simply run out of fuel. Before going off anywhere, you should carry out a few simple checks to minimise the risk of a breakdown.

  • Do you have enough fuel for the trip – plus a reserve in case of delay?
  • Is the engine cooling system working?
  • Are fuel and water filters clear?
  • Are the engine and gearbox oil levels correct?

Boats run the risk of getting a rope caught around the propeller. With outboard engines and most outdrives, this is not too much of a problem: you can lift the prop out of the water to clear it. With shaft drive transmission however, it is less simple because the propeller is under the hull and you may need to call in a diver. Canal boats, which tend to collect weed around the prop, frequently have the ideal solution built in – a weed hatch accessible from the inside of the boat.


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