Affordable Marine Service FAQs

A Few Of Our Most Often Asked Questions


What sizes and types of boats do you service and repair?

We service and repair boats 16'-35' with outboards, inboard/outboards, and straight shaft drive inboards. Mostly gasoline powered. Additionally we service Mercruiser and Volvo Penta Diesels.

Which insurance companies do you work with?

We work in conjunction with all insurance companies, ensuring your boat is operating as it was prior to any 'incident'.

Do you offer dockside service or must I bring my boat to your facility?

We prefer that your boat is brought to our service facility, thereby receiving the full benefit of our complete facility. However, we do make exceptions.

What if I don't have a trailer available, can AMS still assist me?

Yes, we absolutely can. We often have shop trailers available. And if by chance they are currently in use at the time you require service, we also work with an outside company that specializes in hauling out and transporting your boat to our facility. As well as transporting your boat back to your slip upon job completion.

I recently hit my outdrive on the rocks. Do I have to purchase a new one?

This is a very common occurrence. We see outdrive damage from hitting all sorts of 'hidden' items. For the most part, outdrives are very durable. The damage is quite often not as severe as it may seem. However, if it is determined that a new outdrive is required, we will then determine whether or not there is a possible insurance claim involved. From there we can present you with all your options.

My steering system appeared to be operate normally on my previous outing. However, now it's extremely difficult to turn the steering wheel. Any thoughts as to why this might be occurring?

Lack of use. This problem "typically" occurs when your boat is in storage and sits for a considerable amount of time. Usually six months or longer, although length of time may vary. Quite often what causes this is corrosion builds up within the steering tube over time and starts to dry inside the steering tube. Corrosion can also build up inside the steering cable itself, causing some of the same symptoms. But more often than not it's the steering tube itself that is the culprit.

My boat appears to have more than enough power, however it's extremely sluggish. Almost to the point of feeling as if it's going nowhere. Any thoughts as to why?

If the bottom of your boat is clean and free of growth, then it's likely a slipping issue within the drivetrain itself. The propeller hub (usually rubber) can wear out and start to lose it's "grab". Usually this symptom can be "heard" as your engine will reach higher RPM's but the boat won't be moving. Driveshaft couplers (connection between outdrive input shat and engine) also incorporate a rubber hub as well but the failure rate is very low. Perhaps as low as 1 in 5,000. More often than not it's simply a "spun hub" within the propeller itself.

Do I require a fuel "enhancer", a fuel additive of any sort?

For the most part, not usually. However, if your fuel is more than 3 years old, then it could lose a large of amount of its octane. And the loss of octane can lead to a loss of power.

How many volts should my battery be showing on the gauge?

Rule of thumb is 12.8 volts being the ultimate. That would be considered a brand new, fully charged battery. When the voltage begins to read lower, for instance somewhere in the neighborhood of12.2 volts, that is barely enough power to crank over a smaller 4 cylinder engine. Anywhere in the area of 11.8 volts and you're in the danger zone. This will only engage the starter enough to make a rapid clicking sound (machine gun type) but will not be enough to crank the engine over. Therefore, starting the engine will be out of the question. At the very least a jump-start will be required.

If the voltage is too low (based on a Load Test), can the battery be re-charged or will it be necessary to purchase a new one?

If your battery is showing low voltage, there is always a reason behind it. This will require further investigation. Replacement of the battery may be necessary if your battery is more than 5 years old and has been run low on water/electrolyte or has been mistreated by running it until it has been "flattened" too many times. Each situation is different and as mentioned, will require further investigation.

Does Affordable Marine Service offer complete engine re-powers?

Yes, engine re-powers are one of our specialties. We offer re-powers from gas to gas engines as well as gas to diesel. And we offer complete outboard re-powers as well.

What is the difference between:
  • Complete engine: includes the fuel system, exhaust system, wiring harness, flywheel housing, engine coupler, tailshaft, etc. Essentially you need to add nothing.
  • Long Block: includes all the main mechanical moving parts of the engine including, pistons, crankshaft, cylinder heads and valve train components.
  • Short Block: includes the engine block, pistons, crankshaft, camshaft (excluding cylinder heads and valve train.
  • Bobtail: Is a complete engine (excluding the flywheel and adapter housing needed to mate to the transmission.
What is the difference between a 305ci engine vs a 350ci?

Basically the diameter of the pistons - 3.5" for the 305ci vs 4" for 350ci. The difference in horsepower can be up to 100 hp between the two.

How do I know when I am running the wrong size propeller?

When everything is operating at peak performance you should be able to achieve approximately 4,400 rpm's at full throttle. Your boat should not have to work excessively hard to get up on plane.

Do I need trim tabs on my boat?

Not necessarily. However, trim tabs offer you the ability to run your boat without leaning to one side (to compensate) and can also save you up to 25% in fuel economy. Therefore, while not mandatory, it goes without saying that trim tabs can make a huge improvement in your overall boating experience.

If you have any other questions or concerns that weren't addressed here, please feel free to contact us by clicking on the AMS logo below.