I’m sure all boat owners have heard the B.O.A.T. acronym, Bust/Break Out Another Thousand because it just so happens to be a pretty common occurrence and job security for me. As much as I love working on boats and generating income for my family, I equally hate to see boat owners have to do this because of preventable problems.
I was recently asked to repair a generator for a client, a generator that if brand new would cost over $15,000. As I begin the project, my obvious first question is—-when did you last run it? And of course the answer was, “well, I never use it, so probably 3 years or so ago”.
Oh, really? No, I am not surprised. Yes, this is way to common and honestly will probably continue to keep me in business. One of the biggest issues I find with just about any piece of machinery I am asked to repair is that the owner did not run it regularly whether using it or not. This goes for your car, your boat, your lawnmower, your tractor, your sewing machine, whatever it is, if it is a machine, you need to run it sometimes several times a year.
If you didn’t know this, you might ask, why? Preventative maintenance such as this is performed to keep equipment up and running, prevent downtime and avoid costly repairs. Machines are built to be used and the fluids inside them need to circulate through the system. For example, running a generator once a month will prevent gas from producing a gum on the carburetor. Additionally, if you plan on not using a portable machine for a while and want to store it, remove the gasoline prior to doing so. Lastly, oil is another key to longevity of machinery. Routine oil analysis is like a blood test for a person. This allows you to treat a problem before it becomes catastrophic.
So, run your equipment whether you are using it or not. It is a basic, simple task that can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in the long-run.
Coastie Marine Services, Owner/Marine Electrician