Give your boat its annual checkup

Marine Rescue NSW warns of annual “boating breakdown” phenomenon

Marine Rescue NSW said its units have been experiencing the annual Spring "boating breakdown" phenomenon as skippers launch their boats for the first time after the winter layoff.

Marine Rescue commissioner Glenn Finniss said he was seeing a dramatic increase in reports from unit commanders, whose members have had to deal with breakdowns caused by lack of boating maintenance.

"Our members have assisted a skipper who had his boat on the ramp but couldn’t get the motor started, even though he had just had it serviced. Another boat had jammed steering — the owner hadn’t used it for six months and wondered why it wouldn’t steer properly. Yet another boat became stranded with a broken fan belt and Marine Rescue had to get a tow line on before it drifted on to rocks," said Finniss.

"The October long weekend is the traditional start to our boating season in Australia and I know that we’ll have our work cut out assisting boats that have some kind of problem that could have been avoided

"Boats, like cars, need regular servicing and maintenance checks and I would ask all boaters to prepare their boat properly before launching – especially if it has been idle for a while."

Marine Rescue NSW said statistics demonstrated that mechanical breakdowns are the cause of more calls for help than any other reason. Sometimes the cause is faulty fuel in the outboard fuel tank. This can easily be avoided by replacing old fuel left in the tank from last year with clean new fuel. Sometimes it’s an electrical failure that could have been avoided with a simple service of the battery and keeping terminals clean.

Marine Rescue NSW recommends the 50 Point Safety Check offered by members of the NSW Boating Industry Association. An expert check can help ensure a trouble-free boating season. Visit for more information.

Bookmark and Share


Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.