Cruising

Cruising Tips - Maintenance

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A “Burned” Impeller (August 2006)

Impellers for the engine’s raw-water pump don’t last forever. Even if they aren’t destroyed by having been run dry following a blockage in the raw-water line, they still deteriorate over the years. If you’ve never had to change one, try installing a new one when the boat is safe on its mooring, and then go out and buy a new spare. You might be surprised by what you discover:

  • Some raw-water pumps require a fresh gasket each time the impeller is changed. Do you have a gasket on hand?
  • Does your screwdriver fit the machine screws that attach the cover plate?
  • Might you lose a screw in the bilge? It’s so easy to do. If so, can you reach it, or should you carry a couple of spares?
All this is vital knowledge when you have to do the job heeled over in rough seas on a dark night. Tom Cunliffe

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