The 18ft Boston Whaler, with one person on board, had broken down half a mile east of Ramsey Lifeboat Station.
Under the command of coxswain Mark Kenyon the all-weather Ann and James Ritchie II, quickly reached the vessel and it was taken under tow and returned to Ramsey.
Mr Kenyon said: ‘Despite the engine having been fully serviced it appears that the problem was fuel related.
‘It may seem wasteful to discard the previous seasons fuel but anyone intending to go to sea after a vessel has been unused for a long period should always ensure that fresh fuel is used.
‘Modern petrol doesn’t store well in cans and quickly deteriorates if conditions are not ideal.
‘Condensation in part filled tanks can also cause engine problems.’