Picture this: it’s finally the weekend, and you’re looking forward to spending some time out on the water with your pals and family.
You wake up, enjoy your morning cup of coffee, and head to the boat – only to discover that you can’t get the engine going!
Panic sets in, and the only thing you can hear when you try to get it started is a clicking noise coming from way down in the engine.
You know that the battery is charged so you’re sure that you haven’t run out of juice, leading you to ask: “Could there be a problem with the starter?”
No one wants to deal with a dead starter, especially as they can be pretty costly to replace.
The good news is that this guide is going to walk you through some starter solutions that will ensure you get the best value for your money, all while ensuring that you get back out on the water as soon as possible.
Do Your Research First
Before you go any further, the first thing you should do after discovering you have a dead starter is by going away and conducting some preparatory research.
The first thing we suggest you do is to identify what type of starter you have.
By identifying the model and make of your starter, you’ll then be able to go away and reach out to online suppliers, who will be able to quote you on how much a replacement for the particular starter will cost.
By doing this, it means that you will then be able to reach out to local boatyards with a rough price estimate already in mind, which means that you’ll have a lower chance of being given a quote that is far too high (more on that later).
Oftentimes, once you have figured out what type of starter you have and its make, you should be able to then go ahead and purchase a replacement by yourself.
You can usually purchase these sorts of boat parts online and often for a cheaper price than you would get if you were buying one at your local service company.
After doing this, you can then go ahead and begin reaching out to service providers for some initial quotes, and the best part is that you’ll have the research behind you to make sure that you are able to properly negotiate to get the best value.
This brings us to our next point.
Negotiate the Quote
Regardless of whether you want to take your boat out one last time before the winter months set in, or you want to live it up on the water with your family in the summer, in order to enjoy your boat, you’ll need to make sure that all of the parts are in working order.
If you’re in the unfortunate situation of having a dead starter on your hands, there’s a pretty strong chance that you’re going to need to get it replaced.
Unless you’re familiar with boats and how to install their parts, you’re likely going to need to call in the aid of some professional help, which means that you’re going to need to get a quote.
Before you even think about picking up the phone and getting a price estimate, we recommend first taking a moment to assess the problem a little bit further.
Is it only the starter that isn’t working, or are there other parts that also need to be replaced?
The last thing you want to have to worry about is having to pay more than needed, which can often be the case.
If possible, we recommend trying to schedule an in-person meeting with the hired professional, as they will be able to take a look at the problem and offer you a more accurate quote.
In addition to this, we also recommend that you make sure to do some research on the company you plan on going with and making sure that they are reputable and have good reviews.
As a side note, it’s also important to keep in mind that boats are a little different from other vehicles, such as a car.
When you take your car to the garage for a changed part, the garage will usually tend to have a guide filled with how long certain tasks will take, which allows them to make a more accurate estimate of the price during the quotation stage.
However, though many professionals that work in the marine industry are usually able to give you a rough estimate of how much a replacement part will cost, the final price is likely to change due to the fact that boats come with plenty of different variables (both layout and design), which is why you should take the quote that you get with a pinch of salt.
Lower the Final Price
Though hiring a professional can be quite costly, it’s usually a necessary step as boats are so complex.
Nevertheless, here are some steps you can take to help lower the overall cost:
Purchase a different starter: Sometimes, the starter installed in your engine isn’t the only starter model that your boat will be compatible with, which means that you might be able to purchase a cheaper alternative.
Confirm that the starter is the problem: When the technician comes to assess your boat, get them to double-check that the issue lies with the starter and not another part. This will save you money in the long run.
Consider installing it yourself: If you are well-experienced with boats, then you could consider simply replacing the part and installing it yourself, which will lower your costs significantly, as you will not need to hire professional help.
Perform a basic diagnosis before getting professional help: Before you call in the help of a professional service company, we recommend double-checking that the issue isn’t something that only requires a quick fix, such as a flat battery!