Stephen Horsfall

Q:   

I really enjoy your column in Power Boating Canada. I recently purchased a 2011 Rinker MTX 200 bow rider and love the boat, as does my wife and family. Only one confusing element, when I reach 44 mph, the Guardian System chimes away. 

I believe this is to protect our Mercruiser 4.3 MPI.  In saying this, the engine is not near full throttle, nor do the rpms seem to be that high, it becomes an annoyance.  Can anything be done about this problem?

L. Ferguson, via e-mail

A:    

The Guardian System alarm is warning of a potential problem and should never be ignored, but if all systems check out okay then running the unit below the alarm level is permissible until it can be checked out. The most common, non-obvious reason for the alarm to go off is low oil level in the outdrive lube reservoir.  Also, the engine oil level will start to set off the alarm, even if is only down by one pint.  I’d suggest checking both. If you have a depth sounder, sometimes if you set a low depth alarm it will go off due to erratic readings at higher speeds and they can sound like the Guardian alarm.  We heard of this one once.

Q:      

I have a problem with my battery hookup.  I have a boat with twin 165hp Mercruisers (6 in-line).  I have wired the battery switch so that the #1 battery is my starting battery and #2 is my house battery.  Each time it is the same problem at the end of a weekend, with the switch or switches on #2, both batteries are at the same level of discharge.  Sometimes I’m lucky to get the boat started.

My starting batteries on #1, are two 12-volt cranking batteries wired in parallel and my house batteries on #2, are two heavy duty 6-volt (golf cart) wired in series, and all batteries pass a load test.

A. Corney, via e-mail

A:  

I think the problem with your setup is not in how you have your batteries hooked to the battery switches and the engines, as it is a problem about how you have the house load hooked up to the batteries. When you do this, you need to have all the house load, cabin lights, the refrigerator, the water pump, TV, radio etc. hooked up to your two 6-volt batteries only and your starter battery should only have the engines to deal with. You can use battery isolators as well to make sure both battery banks are getting a charge from both alternators.

Personally, I like to have both engines on separate banks of batteries with all accessories running off one bank and then just hook up a solenoid switch between to the other bank, so you cause it to boost the house bank when it is too low to start that side.  It is simple and it works!

Q:

It’s been a long time since we’ve talked, but I need a question answered about the Mercury Outboard circa 1976-77 hockey stick style decals that where orange and yellow (not the usual blue colour). The guys on a Facebook group called “The Mercury Inline 6 Group” says they never had them, but I’ve seen more then one set and one was a 150 SX so I thought ask the expert

B. Mustard, via e-mail

A:    During this short time period, mid to late 70’s, Mercury had 3-4 optional decal kits which you could buy to customize your engine to match your boat.  I believe yellow, orange and green were available as well as the standard blue color.  If you check the parts manual, for the decals for 115hp up  to 150hp, the decals are only sold as a kit.  Each color will be shown there with a different part number.

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