Posts Tagged ‘Bilge’

Marine Starter VS. Automotive Starter… And the Winner Is…

Monday, November 24th, 2014

You pull the starter off of your Mercruiser (GM manufactured 5.7L) I/O and take it to the nearest auto parts supplier for a replacement. The starter for a car looks exactly the same as the one you just removed from your marine engine. You think to yourself, “I wonder how much difference there REALLY is between the marine and the automotive starter.”

Don’t be fooled by the fact that an automotive starter will bolt on to your marine engine. A marine approved starter has better seals and gaskets to keep water out. It also contains more corrosive resistant materials.

However, the primary consideration is safety, as there are deliberate design differences to contain sparks that could ignite fuel vapor in the bilge.  In an enclosed engine compartment, where volatile fumes exist, any stray spark could cause a catastrophic explosion, resulting in severe injury or possible death.  In order to prevent this, a marine starter is constructed with internal shielding to contain any sparks or stray electricity that could travel into the bell housing or bilge where gasoline fumes may be present. Another benefit from this shielding is that it protects the back half of the starter motor from moisture and contaminants which WILL decrease the life of the starter.

If the replacement starter you are buying does not have a tag or sticker on it that states it has been manufactured to SAE J1171 standards, you should ask if the product really is an approved marine grade product. You should always make every attempt to be sure that you are not being sold an automotive starter for your boat. In order to receive this certification, the manufacturer of this starter must submit a sample to pass three separate tests, each of which is performed fifty times. The tests include operation in an enclosed explosive atmosphere, high temperature tests and induced ignition tests.

Please remember the following:

  • Using anything electrical that is not marine rated is BOTH illegal and dangerous
  • The Coast Guard WILL ticket you for noncompliance
  • The risk of injury or death is incrementally higher when you elect to use automotive electrical parts on your marine engine

Stay safe out on the water and if you have any questions as to which start is best for your marine engine, call our Technical Support Line at 1-877-663-8396.

Usage, Inspection and Maintenance of Hose Systems

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

INSTALLATION, INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE OF HOSE SYSTEMS

Don’t Neglect This Critically Important System On Your Boat

Shields Marine manufactures a wide variety of hoses for applications onboard pleasure craft.  Serving as conduits for fluids, air or exhaust, each Shields hose is designed for a specific application and meets strict standards set by the USCG, ABYC and other regulatory agencies. Hoses also serve as vibration absorbers, isolating components such as exhaust manifolds from the hull of the vessel.

Installers should be mindful of using the right hose for the job. Correct hose and coupling methods should be carried out as outlined by EPA, ABYC, USCG, SAE and the NMMA. Any questions regarding application, replacement or installation should be referred to the Shields technical service department at 217-324-9400.

Inspection
Hose applications aboard any vessel are likely to be mission-critical. Therefore, failure to inspect and replace worn or aged hose can result in the loss of property or possibly, the loss of life.  All mission-critical hose – fuel, wet exhaust, bilge pump, bilge vent and hoses connected below the water line – should be inspected prior to each use of the vessel. All fittings and clamps should be secure and properly attached.  All hoses and connections should be inspected annually by a qualified marine mechanic.

Maintenance and Replacement 
If inspection reveals hose damage, those hoses should be replaced consistent with industry standards.
Replace hose that exhibits any of the following signs:
• Cuts, gouges, cracks
• Exposed fabric or wire reinforcement
• Soft spots or bulges
• Loose covers or kinks
• Stiffness or inflexibility

Installation
Hoses shall be secured by corrosion resistant clamps equal to or greater that 300 grade stainless steel. Clamps shall not depend solely on spring tension. Clamps should not be over-tightened, as this may damage the hose or fitting. Fittings must be the proper size for the hose. Forcing a hose over an oversized fitting or clamping down the hose on an undersized fitting may damage the hose and cause failure.

Click here for a complete Shields Hose Product Application Guide.