What Happens if a Boat Engine Overheats?

When you are out on your boat, the last thing that you want is for something to go wrong with the boat.  One of the common issues that occurs on boats is the engine overheating.  If your boat engine overheats, it’s important to take action immediately to prevent further damage. There are a few different reasons why your boat engine might overheat, and some of them may indicate a problem with the engine itself. However, there are also some simple protections you can put in place to help prevent your boat engine from overheating in the first place. 

What Happens When a Boat Engine Overheats?

Similar to a car, the engine of a boat can overheat.  When your engine overheats, it will seize up.  This means that it will stop running.  Not only will it stop running, it may potentially cause other major issues for the boat.  For example, this may cause the engine head to crack, the metal to warp, burning oil, and more.  So, while obviously getting stuck in the middle of the water is already something you’d like to avoid, there are other major issues that may arise.

Reasons for Overheating

There are several reasons why your boat might overheat.  Some of these reasons are more harmful than others, but nonetheless can cause an overheated engine.

Broken Cooling System

One reason your boat engine might overheat is if the cooling system is not working properly. This could be due to a clogged cooling system, low coolant levels, or a failed water pump. If the cooling system is not working properly, it won’t be able to keep the engine cool and it will start to overheat. 

Hot Weather

Another reason your boat engine might overheat is if it’s being used in hot weather. If it is already hot outside, running the boat will only make the engine hotter. If you have to use the engine in hot weather, try to do so in the cooler hours of the day and take breaks often to let the engine cool down. For example, try to use the boat later in the afternoon rather than right around noon.

Overloaded Boat

Finally, if your boat is carrying a heavy load, that can also cause the engine to overheat. The engine has to work extra hard to function properly, causing it to heat up quicker.  If you’re carrying more weight than usual, be sure to take it easy on the engine and don’t push it too hard. 

Lack of Oil

Another reason your boat engine might overheat is a lack of oil in the engine.  The engine in your boat is similar to that of a car – it allows the engine to stay cool.  The oil also helps keep everything in the engine lubricated so nothing will warp or crack under friction.

Bad Belt

As we have previously said, the engine on your boat functions similarly to that of a car.  And like car engines, your boat engine has belts that help it run.  If the engine is overheating, you may have a bad belt in the engine.  If the belt wears out, this is not a sign that you have done anything wrong – this is just something that occurs over time.  You will need to replace it.

Preventing Overheating

There are a few things you can do to help prevent your boat engine from overheating. First, you should check the cooling system regularly to make sure it’s working properly. In addition to making sure the cooling system is working properly, you will also want to make sure the engine has coolant in the first place. If you can, try to stay away from using your boat during the hottest hours of the day.  If you do need to use the boat during hot weather, try not to run it for as long.

Another way to prevent your boat from overheating is to regularly check the oil.

What to Do if the Engine Starts Overheating

An overheating boat engine is never a good sign. If you suspect that your engine is overheating, it’s important to take action immediately to prevent further damage. By following some simple tips and taking quick action if the engine does start to overheat, you can help avoid major problems down the road.

If your boat engine does start to overheat, the first thing you should do is shut off the engine immediately. Then, check the cooling system and add coolant if necessary. If the problem persists, call a boat mechanic for more help. 

Getting Insurance for your Boat

With that said, having boat insurance is a great comfort in times of stress when it comes to your boat.  If you are looking to obtain boat insurance near Morehead City, North Carolina, contact us here at Robinson and Stith!  Our expert agents are happy to help you get your boat insured before you find yourself dealing with an expensive problem, such as an overheated boat engine.  This way, you can rest easy knowing your boat is covered.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.