This Is The First Thing To Check If Your Boat Won’t Start


Have you ever found yourself out on your boat and the engine doesn’t start?

This can happen to anyone!

But if you know the first thing to check, you may solve this problem fast.

Check it out!

Check This First If Your Boat Won’t Start [VIDEO]

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If you find yourself out fishing, then go to turn the key in the boat and nothing happens, do not panic!

Your battery may not be dead and you may not need to be towed back.

The batteries do not lose that much power within a short period of time.

If the batteries are the cause, the boat engine will try to start up and eventually fail.

The ultimate issue is that the throttle is not in neutral.

By putting the throttle in neutral, you will be able to turn the key and hear the engine start.

When fishing, it is easy for someone to mistakenly bump into the throttle and move it out of neutral.

There is no reason for panic!

The answer lies in putting the throttle in neutral and turning the key!

Do you have any other boating questions?

Let me know down in the comments!!

And if you know someone who is a new boater, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Matthew Dolan
2 years ago

Happens all the time. No worse feeling than turning the key and the engine won’t start. No better feeling than remembering to check that throttle may be off neutral and it starts right up after you reposition it! That key float you have is so cool btw. Never saw a dehooked plug used for that before, I’m stealing that one, too cool!

Craig Jones
2 years ago

Happens all the time…here are a few other quick checks….
1. Check your terminals are nice and tight on the batteries….especially grounds
2. Under the dash check your bullet connectors on the ignition make sure they are on tight
3. Check the battery isolator switch connections are tight (have to take it off mounting to do so)

If none of these, including the throttle in neutral, then one of the above are not working well…..most likely old battery isolator switches, if you turn your ignition and get lights, but no crank. You can bypass this with a little know how to at least crank start the motor….by connecting the battery lines direct to the engine…McGiver fix 🙂

Also if it is a battery, that is dead, remember you can always use your trolling motor batteries if they are easy to swap out.

But….if you have sea tow on your insurance….use it…you pay for it 🙂

Last edited 2 years ago by Craig Jones
Bill Godwin
2 years ago

Check NEUTRAL throttle position first.

Then check as I discovered once after barely bumping and slightly dislodging the fuel line connection at the motor (while stepping down off the poling platform) disabled the motor from running. The fuel line locking mechanism was engaged at the motor but the fuel line’s compression pin was just barely disengaged, preventing fuel flow. Took me a fuel minutes of head scratching to figure this one out.

Go through the easy things first before rebuilding engine related systems.

KISS principle usually solves problems on the water.

Last edited 2 years ago by Bill Godwin
Mark Brock
2 years ago

I really like how you guys are starting to add a little boating (and kayaking) helpful tips since that is part of the fishing experience (unless you are wading). Thanks and keep it up.

Steve Simons
2 years ago

There is one born everyday, myself included. Thank for instilling the art of practicing common sense. Keep it coming!

Steven Jachec
2 years ago

Yep…happened to me several years ago. Panic set just like you said. What made it worse was that I was on flood shoal of Seb inlet. I figured it out pretty quickly as my son was leaning against the throttle.

David Anstett
2 years ago

Had this happen the other day. Boat wouldn’t start but lights worked. I unscrewed the batterie terminals and reseated them. Boat started and I was on my way.

Snook Candy
2 years ago

My boat wouldn’t start because my fuel tank is full of water trying to come up with a plan this is the 2nd time this has happened

George Layton
2 years ago

I always start the engine before unhooking my launch line ” just in case ! ” Most all of us have experienced an “OH NO ” moment out there, away from shore. Luke, you are 100% spot-on, don’t panic !!! Be SAFE everyone !!!

Steve Simons
2 years ago
Reply to  George Layton

Right on, another great tip!

David Caldwell
2 years ago

I’ve seen to many times where a boat is having issues at the dock, Finally get it running and head out. Only to be towed back. I take that as a sign to go home and correct the problem.


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