Checking the exhaust on your boat is like checking the air in your car tires. You have to have water coming out of your exhaust for your engine to run smoothly. A lack of water will cause hoses to swell and the engine to get hot or overheat.
Follow these 4 steps to monitor your engine's health through the exhaust.
1. When you start the engine and the water is cool, meter the water flow by holding a two gallon bucket under the exhaust.
2. Measure the amount of time needed to fill the bucket. Keeping track of the time it takes to fill the bucket will help you prevent overheating issues. An increase in time indicates raw water blockage.
3. Take note of the water's clarity. Smokey-colored water could alert you to carbon built up in the exhaust. A blackish color floating on top could be oil.
Troubleshoot your raw water system: Is the impeller functioning correctly? Take off the end cap to the raw water reservoir and inspect for build-up or blockage. Heavily sooted exhaust will require cleaning the turbo charger and all exhaust passages.
Not only is it crucial to check for water when starting your engine, but make monitoring the water part of your routine maintenance schedule.