Low water levels

From over-heated engines to troublesome debris, low water levels can cause havoc for inland boaters...

Clear a fouled propeller

One common problem is that of the sterngear becoming fouled on weeds, tree debris and rubbish. This can have severe consequences if you are travelling at speed but, in any case, you’ll need to pull the throttles back into neutral as soon as something goes amiss.

The following checklist should help you deal with such a situation.

1) Check the bilges or any compartments where there are prop shafts and sterngear.

2) If it looks like you are no longer entangled or the offending article might shake free, give the engine(s) a quick nudge astern as this can help unwind what’s there. Wait several seconds, checking over the stern to see if anything materialises and then try a nudge ahead and assess whether you’re free to move.

3) Once the sterngear is disentangled use only a judicious amount of throttle to proceed and if there is any sign of vibration then you’ll need to get the boat lifted for a detailed inspection of the sterngear, along with the sterntube and engine mountings.

For step-by-step instructions on how to deal with engine failure, fouled propellers and overheated engines order the Essential Skipper guide for just £6.95.

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