Motorboat Mechanics and Service Technicians

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Also known as:
Certified Marine Mechanic, Marine Propulsion Technician, Marine Technician, Motorboat Mechanic, Outboard Motor Mechanic, Outboard Technician

ABOUT MOTORBOAT MECHANIC OR SERVICE TECHNICIAN CAREERS
Video transcript

If tinkering with mechanical devices and being near the water are what floats you boat, consider a career as a motorboat mechanic. These marina service technicians repair and overhaul gasoline and diesel engines, often specializing in one type of the other. Mechanics rely on a variety of skills, whether performing routine service on a portable outboard motor in a repair shop or troubleshooting a larger craft's inboard engine dockside.

After visually examining the motor, the mechanic may start it up to listen for problems. Computerized testing equipment is often used to help locate mechanical, fuel, or electrical trouble. In addition to hand tools, power tools like drills, lathes, and grinders are sue to repair and replace defective parts. After the engine is reassembled, the mechanic runs the motor at various speeds to double-check the repair. All the work gets written up in a report that includes the results of the testing as well as an assessment of the engine's condition.

Repair shops can be hot and dusty, and physical strength is required to lift and move heavy parts. Mechanics may work in awkward positions and wear protective gear. Repair jobs at docks or marinas require protection against heat and sun exposure.

Motorboat mechanic trainees need a high school diploma of GED, but it's preferred that they complete a formal training program at college or trade school. Employers may provide additional training with senior mechanics in the shop. Depending on geographic location, the work can be seasonal. Experience mechanics often open their own shops or sail on to the bigger jobs with boat and engine manufacturers.

SNAPSHOT
Repair and adjust electrical and mechanical equipment of inboard or inboard-outboard boat engines.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
HIGH
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
MED
Daily tasks

Repair or rework parts, using machine tools such as lathes, mills, drills, or grinders.

Adjust generators and replace faulty wiring, using hand tools and soldering irons.

Mount motors to boats and operate boats at various speeds on waterways to conduct operational tests.

Disassemble and inspect motors to locate defective parts, using mechanic's hand tools and gauges.

Replace parts, such as gears, magneto points, piston rings, or spark plugs, and reassemble engines.

Inspect and repair or adjust propellers or propeller shafts.

Adjust carburetor mixtures, electrical point settings, or timing while motors are running in water-filled test tanks.

Idle motors and observe thermometers to determine the effectiveness of cooling systems.

Perform routine engine maintenance on motorboats, such as changing oil and filters.

Repair engine mechanical equipment, such as power tilts, bilge pumps, or power take-offs.

Set starter locks and align and repair steering or throttle controls, using gauges, screwdrivers, or wrenches.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
TOP SKILLS
Repairing Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Equipment Maintenance Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.