Motorboat mechanics maintain and repair boat motors.
Every year, communities across the U.S. sponsor a time-honored tradition: cardboard boat races. Kids and adults alike build boats out of cardboard boxes, sheets, tubes, and a roll of duct tape. The goal is to build a boat that will carry two people and float - that is, until the cardboard gets too wet and the boat falls apart. Usually, the top winners manage to stay afloat about twenty seconds. In some cases, people are able to make it around a race "track" in the water before the boat gives way.
Regular motorboats are built to last a bit longer, but even they do break down from time to time. While cardboard boat enthusiasts expect their boats to literally break down in a matter of seconds, it can be quite frustrating to a boat lover to find that their boat won't start. This is where motorboat mechanics come in.
Motorboat mechanics visually inspect a motor for signs of a mechanical problem. They start the motor to listen for problems. During a maintenance check, they test the motor for mechanical, fuel, or electrical problems. Sometimes they use computerized testing equipment. Motorboat mechanics adjust the carburetor mixture and timing while the motor is running.
After locating a problem, motorboat mechanics make repairs. Some repairs are as simple as replacing a spark plug. Other repairs require taking the engine apart using hand tools. The mechanic may need to replace a worn valve or bearing. Sometimes they repair or rework parts before putting them back in engines. Mechanics use lathes, drills, and grinders to repair parts. After they replace or repair all parts, they reassemble the engine. For difficult repairs, mechanics may refer to service manuals for information.
Motorboat mechanics make adjustments to generators. They test the cooling system by idling the motor and watching a thermometer. They examine propellers and propeller shafts. Mechanics set starter locks and align steering and throttle controls. Outboard motors are remounted to the boat after all repairs and adjustments have been completed. Mechanics operate boats at various speeds to make sure they are running smoothly.
When finished working on a motor, mechanics write a report. This report lists the work performed on the engine and its general condition.
Motorboat mechanics service and maintain portable outboard motors in the repair shop. They work on inboard motors at the dock or marina. Inboard motors are removed from the boat only when a major overhaul is required.