What to do When a Boat Motor Won’t Start
Bob McNally 06.07.16
A boat motor that won’t crank is a common problem with many potential causes.
If a battery is dead at the start of a day and you have a “battery selector switch,” make sure it’s turned to the “on” or “both” position. Some boats have such a switch for batteries, and it may have been set to “off” by mechanics and others who know that boat lights or an aerator accidentally left on can drain a “hot” battery.
Another overlooked culprit is a disconnected kill switch. This happens often with fishermen running from place to place when a kill switch lanyard is connected to a belt loop or life jacket.
Occasionally an ignition switch becomes loose and can be quickly remedied by tightening screws that hold it in place for proper electrical contact.
Also, be sure a motor throttle is in neutral. Sometimes a throttle is bumped from the neutral position while leaving and entering a boat. Wiggle the throttle to get it into neutral, and try cranking.
Never overlook the possibility that a fuel tank is out of gas, either.