Having a generator onboard your boat is an ideal source of electricity when needed and you don’t want to waste fuel by keeping the motor running. Although you can use an inverter for smaller electrical loads, having a generator gives you a consistent power source and provides additional security. But just like any other boat component, that generator will need regular care and preventative maintenance to prolong its life.
Pre-trip Inspection and Maintenance
If you’re planning on taking your boat out after a period of inactivity, we suggest you follow these inspection and maintenance guidelines:
Check fluid levels – add as needed and replace wherever necessary.
Check hose clamps and fittings – tighten as needed, especially exhaust connections
Clean the exterior surface of the generator – be sure to ventilate the area and remove any debris or stray parts that could get in the way
Ensure that the starter battery is fully charged
Inspect all electrical connections – clean and tighten as needed
Inspect mounting hardware as well as all connections using nuts and bolts – tighten any connections that appear loose.
Make sure you can start and stop the generator from all control stations.
Perform pre-start checks – see your operator’s manual for instructions.
Start and operate the generator – listen for unusual noises and look for leaks.
Test every component you use on the water that requires electricity to function – be careful not to overload the generator.
Remember, a generator incapable of carrying the amperage it’s rated for is equally as unhealthy as a motor that can’t the RPM’s it’s capable of. Whatever may be causing a loss of power will only get worse if it’s neglected. Thus, it is important for an expert to look it over.
Additional Inspections and Maintenance
In addition to the above inspection and maintenance guidelines, be sure you inspect the generator’s cooling system, fuel, and oil:
Cooling system – this system needs to run smoothly so the supply of electricity remains constant. Remember, generators generate a lot of heat when operating.
Fuel – diesel is extremely prone to contamination. So, the quality of fuel it uses should be on point, especially if that fuel is coming from the tanks on your boat. While the most common contamination is the mixing of water with fuel, it can be caused by degradation as well as foreign matter.
Oil – a lot of the current problems you may be having with your generator as well as any future problems could be attributed to the condition of the oil that’s lubricating it. Be sure to change it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
For more information, call Miami Marina at (305) 892-2628 today. We are here for assisting you with your boat’s maintenance requirements all through the year. Call us NOW!