Why You Need to Keep Your Marine Exhaust System in Perfect Shape at All Times

Posted on: 7 December 2021


If you have just become the proud owner of a new boat and are looking forward to many years of enjoyment ahead, you have to become familiar with its operation. After all, you need to ensure that it doesn't break down unnecessarily (especially when you're out at sea), and you want to keep overall running costs within reason. So, as part of your learning curve, you need to understand how the engine works and, specifically, its exhaust. What are some of the anomalies of a marine exhaust system, and how can you avoid problems going forward?

Discovering the Wet Exhaust

Your boat may be fitted with what is known as a "wet" exhaust. This means that seawater is the primary cooling system, and it will typically be injected into the exhaust system between the manifold and the exit port. This water is crucial as it helps to cool down the system and means that the exhaust lines themselves can be made from different and more resistant materials. They don't need to be pure steel for heat resistance, and thus they can be somewhat easier to maintain and repair.

What You Need to Look for

You will need to inspect the exhaust system from time to time and start at the top, next to the manifold. You'll notice that this has a special, additional component known as a riser to prevent the cooling water from back flowing into the engine itself. These risers are prone to damage as they are typically fitted with insulation to keep the outer surfaces as cool as possible. This insulation can degrade, and you'll want to avoid this at all costs. After all, if this progresses, it may allow the cooling water to penetrate the engine itself, and this could cause catastrophic damage.

System Check

Check the entire exhaust system from the riser down to the end pipe. Keep this in good condition at all times, checking for damage or any signs of rust. Remember, a damaged exhaust could also cause a leak of toxic gas. You don't want to breathe in carbon monoxide when you are out on a fishing trip and should do everything you can to maintain your exhaust instead.

Expert Attention

Don't be afraid to call in a marine exhaust specialist if you're not sure and certainly in your early days as a newbie enthusiast. They'll fix any issues they find and keep you as safe as possible when afloat. Ask a marine professional about your marine exhaust system