One entry found for repower.
Function: transitive verb
: to provide again or anew with power; especially : to provide (as a boat) with a new engine
Repowering around boats is usually conceived as replacing an old engine with a new one. This idea even made it into the dictionary. To “provide again or anew with power” could range from adding fuel when you run out, tuning up the good old engine, rebuilding an old engine and, the ultimate, replacing the old engine with new. The gamut runs from revarnishing old oars or paddles, through tuning an outboard motor, right up to installing a brand new diesel engine. What should be done and when it should be done are points to consider. You would hope to do what is essential before running out of power while away from the dock. When it is easy. What is more complicated and could affect the timing of when. The cliché “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” is astute but heading off the “broke” stage requires some thought.
The first thing to do is to analyze your present means of auxiliary propulsion. If your boat is relatively new, say less than twenty years old, and the propulsion system has had good preventive maintenance, this article will be for reference only. Preventive maintenance is the key. There are many boats powering around that have the venerable old Atomic Four engines that have pushed them along since the late 1940’s, some without ever having been rebuilt. If your engine starts promptly and runs quietly and smoothly, carry on. Don’t ignore the maintenance.
If your engine is beginning to act unreliably, have any suspicions confirmed by a competent technician. Some minor problems, if not corrected, can result in major damage. Correcting the little things on time can greatly extend the life of the engine. If the little things have gotten big, most all engines can be rebuilt once or twice if no major components have been harmed beyond repair. Rebuilding an engine usually costs about half the cost of new.
Repowering to try to get your boat to motor faster is usually a futile endeavor. True, there are some boats that have been built with marginal power plants. These might be helped by increasing the horsepower. They could also be helped by fine tuning the propeller or smoothing the bottom. One must keep in mind that the horsepower must be transmitted to the water through the propeller. If there are restrictions to propeller size, such as the boat’s bottom getting in the way, increasing horsepower definitely won’t help.
If we consider repowering a planing powerboat, the limit is the safety of the vessel. Some of the newer diesel engines can make marked increases in powerboat speed by allowing higher horsepower with greatly reduced weight. Here we must be careful not to make the hull go faster than what can be safely controlled.
These are a few of the considerations about your means of auxiliary propulsion. Each boat is somewhat different. We would be glad to review the particulars of your boat if any of the above has generated questions.
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