What Causes Boat Outboard Motor Fire  When Boating

Knowing what causes boat outboard motor fire could save you from a great loss when you avoid a fire incident with your boat outboard motor.

Some of the things that cause boat outdoor motor fire are lack of adequate cooling water, DC electrical fault, hot objects close to a leaking carburetor.

When any of these situations occur, your boat outboard motor might easily catch fire.

To avoid such a bad incidence that makes boat outboard motor burn, you must make sure that your outboard motor is always in a good condition physically and mechanically.

What Causes Boat Outboard Motor Fire

1) No Adequate Outboard Motor Cooling Water

When it comes to using a boat engine, it generates a lot of heat when it is in active use.

This heat even gets higher at some instances.

This is where you are accelerating the boat higher.

Due to the higher acceleration, the boat outboard motor burns fuel rapidly to keep supplying the needed power.

Due to this, more heat is generated by the outboard motor.

But the thing is that this heat has to be managed well to avoid causing damage to the outboard motor.

If not properly managed, it could cause boat outboard motor to catch fire when being active.

To avoid this, the engine has to be cooled as it generates the heat.

This can be done through an air-cooled system.

It can also be done through a water cooled outboard motor system.

With an air-cooled outboard motor, the air is sufficiently circulated to cool the engine while it is running.

This brings down the temperature of the outboard motor.

But when it comes to a water-cooled outboard motor, it relies on fluid like water to cool the outboard motor.

 Here, cool water is taken in to cool the outboard motor while the hot water is released back into the water the boat drives on.

But the problem comes when the water pump or any other component fails to efficiently circulate cool water to reduce the outboard motor temperature.

When this happens, the outboard motor gets really hot.

As the heat gets higher without being reduced, the boat outboard motor catches fire.

To avoid this, you have to make sure that the cooling system of your outboard motor is working efficiently.

With that, your boat outboard motor temperature will be efficiently reduced without causing any harm to your boat.

2) DC Electrical Fault

One of the things that causes boat outboard motor fire has to do with a spark.

This could be inside the engine or outside the engine.

Inside the engine, a spark plug helps a combustion engine function well.

But a dab spark outside the engine could destroy the boat outboard motor.

In worse cases, this can cause the outboard motor to burn in flames.

This is very common in the electric outboard motors.

In the electric outboard motors, a battery is used alongside the motor in order for the motor to function well.

Here, the outboard propeller gets power from the motor that is in the electric outboard motor.

But for the motor to be functional, a battery helps the outboard motor to start.

This battery is usually a DC producing battery.

At the right DC voltage, the outboard motor starts and powers the propeller.

But when there is a wrong connection that has to do with the any DC connection, this is usually very bad.

It develops into a spark which in worse cases end up turning into a fire that destroys the outboard motor.

That is why you have to be very careful when it comes to exposing life wire in your outboard motor.

This could cause a spark when it touches another exposed wire which affects the outboard motor negatively.

3) AC Electrical Fault

Apart from a boat outboard motor burning from a spark from the DC voltage source, other forms of electrical mistakes can also cause an outboard motor to burn.

This is usually due to an electrical fault in the boat.

When there is an electrical fault in a boat that has to do with the alternating current, one of the boat components that might suffer harm is the outboard motor.

To avoid this, you must make sure that you always keep the AC devices and connections in the boat in a good check.

4) Fire From Another Boat

Sometimes the outboard motor of a boat might catch fire without any of the problem originating from the boat.

This is always seen when there is a faulty boat in a boat yard that has a lot of boats parked.

At such situation if one boat catches fire, it will affect the other boats in the yard.

This is worse when no one notices the fire early.

At such point, it will render a lot of harm to the affected boat.

Apart from that, the harm will also be transferred to other boats in the yard.

This could lead to the total burning down of other boats that might be in the same boat yard.

In the process, this causes boat outboard motor fire to develop in other boats.

That is why any fire incident in a boat must be subdued quickly before it gets worse.

5)Hot Object Too Close To a Leaking Carburetor

Always having a thorough routine check on the mechanical parts of your boat is very important.

In such times, one of the parts that has to be checked is the carburetor of the boat.

A faulty boat carburetor is very dangerous and can easily cause outboard motor to catch fire easily when a hot object is close.

When it comes to a combustion engine boat, it needs fuel for it to be able to function well.

The fuel passes through some parts of the boat before it gets into the engine of the outboard motor.

This is to ensure that fuel is released into the outboard motor at the right volume.

One of the parts that help in this is the carburetor in the outboard motor.

But when the boat carburetor has a fault, it causes a serious issue to the performance of the boat engine.

This will show up in a low performance from the outboard motor.

Also, a boat carburetor that leaks causes boat outboard motor to catch fire.

This is when a hot object is brought close to a carburetor that is leaking.

That is why smoking close to an outboard motor is very bad and should be avoided at all cost.

This will avoid cases of a fire igniting in a boat outboard motor when a boat is in use or when it is not in use.

6) Faulty Overheat Timer

As far as the optimal functionality of a boat outboard motor is concerned, the temperature of the outboard motor is very important.

Maintaining a proper temperature will help increase the lifespan of your outboard motor.

But when the temperature is always on the high side without being controlled by the cooling system in the outboard motor, problems will arise.

This is always a case of an overheating occuring.

This damages the boat engine very fast.

But to avoid this, there is a sensor that makes sure that the outboard motor shuts down when it detects an unhealthy temperature in the outboard motor.

This is usually the overheat sensor.

It makes the engine to shutdown when the temperature of the engine gets too high.

This helps in preventing critical damage from developing in the outboard motor.

This is because overheating is one of the causes of boat outboard motor fire.

This causes a critical damage to the outboard motor of the boat.

But when there is an overheat sensor that is functioning properly, a fire incident in the boat outboard motor is easily avoided.

Further Reading

What to do if a boat catches fire

Safety precautions when fueling boat

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