The solenoid on the left is from a delco starter that was in service for only a few seasons, yet it would randomly  decide that it didn't want to engage the starter. (usually at the worst time) After a quick inspection of the plunger (yellow arrow on the left) and the contact point (yellow arrow on the right)  we can see why. The spring loaded plunger is caked with carbon caused by plunger chatter. Weak voltage supplied to it from the battery, was causing a welding effect between the plunger and the contact. The cause of this turned out to be a battery cable end that had corroded inside the swedge fitting and was overheating itself. The moral of the story is to check for the cause of a specific failure, and not just replace the broken part.

The marine environment is hard on electrical parts, be sure to cover all exposed connections with protective spray or grease....

Over the years you see different levels of  oversight, deception, and or neglect by certain individuals, who perform services for hire. In the examples on the left these two water pump housings came out of units where, the owner claimed, service had just been performed and yet the motor still over heated.
The top housing as you can see, from the picture, is severely deformed and should have never been reinstalled for service. (see purple and orange arrows) There was a new impeller inside, though.
The housing to the left (green arrow) was melted internally, and should have been replaced like the guy was billed for. (also, a new impeller was inside)
In both cases, service was performed, unfortunately the patient wasn't healthy. Over sight of simple small things like these have a tendency to create hard feelings between boaters and service repair organizations. Not every engine problem can be prevented by the usual service, as the example below will demonstrate, so it's always good to look a little further than the obvious. In doing so, when the unexpected happens, your butt is not dangling in the breeze.

This water pump was in service for less than 1 hr of running time, when the engine overheated and stopped.. The pump was installed correctly, and was still functioning properly just before it was removed. Not only that, but the water pocket adapter on top was new as well. Not too far down-stream from this pump, in the exhaust pipe, were the melted shutter valves. By now I'm sure you have thought of a number of possible causes, so I'll make it easier to narrow your list down, by telling you  "The rest of the story."
The boat was run in salt water and then put in storage for a few years. Before re-activation, the owner was convinced to service the unit, and replace the usual wear and age related items. With the work complete, the customer was on his way, only to be summarily towed back, 1 hour later.
If you've been around boats awhile and have been paying attention to his story, I'm sure you know the answer by now.
For the rest of you, the answer is that the salt had rusted the cooling system and when the engine was reactivated, the rust started to peel and flowed into the exhaust elbows where it slowly clogged the water discharge.
So the moral of the story is that you better do it right the first time, because you never know when the next time....... will be, 1 hour later, with the customer standing and waiting....

The theory of Relativity
Note the design of these two sets of points. The one on the left has a spring and a brass buss strap. The spring does it's job and the buss strap conducts the electric load. The set on the right combines these functions into a single spring/buss. In itself this is not the problem, but rather, shows the difference in design and execution that goes into the production of the same item, manufactured by different companies.
Now, note the way that the spring and buss, on the left, and the spring/buss, on the right are attached to the contact arm of the point set. On the point set on the right, 4 rivets are run through the spring/buss, the plastic insulator swivel, and the contact arm, holding them in place. (arrow on the right) The rivets conduct the electric load from the contact arm to the spring/buss. The point set on the left, a single rivet joins the insulated swivel arm to the buss and the spring floats independently and is attached to the arm by a tab, bent into the spring. (arrow on the left)
So, where's the beef you say... , which is better, 4 rivets or 1 to conduct the electric load?
The four rivets would be better, if, they didn't also carry the torsional load of the spring. In a few hours of operation, the rivets get hot and loosen, increasing the resistance through the parts they join together. In no time flat, the kV starts to drop and your engine is running well below full capacity because of the reduced spark output. In some cases the engine just won't start at all.
So the moral of the story  is?  Both of these items are distributed by reputable suppliers, and produced by reputable manufacturers. It isn't until "you" put the products into service that you realize that you need to look very closely at every thing you do.  The supplier replaced the points under warranty, but the warranty doesn't cover the time it took, on three different occasions, to re-do the tune-ups and appease a disgruntled customer.

The Mystery of the "Roller Rocker Case."
He knew all, saw all, and could walk the walk.  Well versed in the terms of the profession, he blended easily, with the "In" crowd at the docks. Like an old stallion, his twin engine boat was under-powered yet well maintained.  Long over-due for retirement or complete rehab but could still make it around the track. (Did I mean the boat or the owner?)
  There is a point where anything that can...  will break.  I am often amazed at just how hard you really have to run a big block GM engine before it does fail...  When you push a good motor to it's limit, you don't always see a complete failure with parts thrown all over the place. Sometimes it just gives up a little at a time.
The boat in this story, was a prime example of this phenomenon,  Since these engines did not have rev limiters and the owner clearly thought Break-in ended when the boat  left the showroom floor, I was surprised to hear from the customer,   "I can't understand, how this could happen."
The Port engine from which that rocker came out, ran for another season, until the starboard engine did the same thing.  This time there was a little more damage, but a rocker replacement, and it was back on the water.. If you look for him you'll see him, he's the guy roaring across the water,...out of the water more than in.
  I suppose the moral of the story is that you just can't expect some old horse's to keep their hoof off the gas....

This identical pair of prop shafts are not so identical, are they.
  That new power boat you sold the other day is rolling into the driveway, and it looks like it's leaking something. When you finally get a closer look, the upper gearcase is split wide open, and water and lube are dripping down the side.
"What did you do to my boat", the owner cries, "I just had it here for the twenty hour check and look what happens".  He hands you his warranty card and drives away.
The sterndrive is removed and put on the rack for service when the mechanic notices that "this" stainless prop, had never been used. (it still had the little installation brochure from the manufacturer, stuck in the hub.) Some private detective work  found another stainless prop with a huge chunk missing, sitting in the forward storage bin.
The moral of the story?  Anyone can be fooled from time to time, but you'll just have to try a little harder than this.
And, always have your boat insurance paid in full before departure.

This should be covered under Warranty.. Right?

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