Thursday, December 08, 2011
MUSKRATS CAN SINK YOUR BOAT!
We continue to find more stories of Muskrats that get into boat exhausts and chew through the silicone hoses that join exhaust to engine – often sinking the boat. We did a story on this on our Boat Stuff page in support of Hurley Marine that manufactures Muskrat Guards. The thing is, this problem is more common that you think.
Almost every fresh water marina has a Muskrat or two wandering around and if there is any low swamp in the area you probably have lots of them. They seem to like to explore man made structures (including boats) to nest. They are not deterred easily by people and will come back again and again crawling into any hole they can fit into below or close to the waterline. Strange thing is, they crawl into areas they can’t back out of and they either die in there or the chew their way through into your boat. I’m guessing in nature most tunnels dead end in a few feet. Under docks they can turn themselves around. In a boat exhaust, it goes up a fair ways and they simply can’t turn around or reverse out. It’s a bit of a crap shoot and if your lucky they get into some other boat exhaust, and not yours. If your really lucky and you get one in your exhaust it dies and when the engine is started it spits it out. If your not so lucky it means costly repairs taking everything apart. If your really unlucky your boat ends up sunk to the bottom.
On my Sea Ray it has those patented underwater torpedo shaped exhausts with the 90% bend inside. Muskrats love them ... so you have to bolt through several bolts near the bend in the torpedo so that they can’t get up inside. Some kind of guard or preventative measure is in order as you never expect this kind of thing to happen until it does. I’m surprised that boat manufacturers don’t put guards on as standard equipment – or that insurance companies don’t require them to write a policy. Some policies won’t insure for rodent damage!