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

Hitting an underwater obstacle

The risk of hitting underwater obstacles also increases as water levels drop. It is worth remembering that the Fens, Broads, Trent and Thames waterways are subject to varying water levels, which can catch any boater unawares.

Make sure you are familiar with which waterways are subject to change and touch base with the local authority if have any doubts.

1) If you hit an obstacle, you may find that the engine cuts out, you hear an unusual noise, the engine misses a beat or vibration suddenly increases.

2) If this occurs moor up and check your propeller for obstruction or damage.

3) Once on the move again, be aware of chattering or crunching noises coming from gearbox, leaks in the bilges or an increase in vibration, as these are all classic signs that further damage may have occurred.

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.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Over-heated engine
  3. 3. Clear a fouled propeller
  4. 4. Grounding
  5. 5. Hitting an underwater obstacle
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