News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Bleeding Engines - well can you?

Bleeding Engines - well can you?

'Fuel systems'    Laurence Burgin
When your engine stops and you’re far from assistance, one of the first possibilities is that it’s out of fuel. Well, that could be because a mistake was made(guess who?), but there are also many other reasons. Maybe there’s water in the fuel, or maybe that last batch of fuel had imperfections, or maybe there’s been a leak in the fuel line or a loose connection causing air to enter the system.

Whatever the case, the engine will need to be bled before it will start again. To gain a modicum of autonomy, and to get the sailing party home as soon as possible, it is a sensible idea to be able to do this independently.

Laurence Burgin of Marine Stainless gives these clear instructions on how to bleed your engine:

‘To bleed the fuel system, or part thereof, means to remove all the air from the fuel lines and chambers in the system. This is done by pumping fuel through the lines and venting the air/fuel from various bleed points in the system

‘Always follow the progression of bleeding as shown in Fig B on next page.

‘To pump the fuel you must first operate the lift pump to bleed the low pressure side of the system. The lift pump must be pumped many times to ensure complete bleeding. Ensure your lift pump works well. After market bleeding pumps can be fitted.

‘If pump does not operate (lever slack), check if rocker arm is depressed. Turn engine over and try again.

‘First bleed primary filter by loosening bleed screw on top of housing. Holding a container under filter, pump fuel until no bubbles are visible and fuel is running freely (going everywhere!). Tighten bleed screw whilst pumping.

‘Repeat process on engine filter and fuel injection pump. Put throttle wide open in neutral and crank over engine for 25 seconds. If engine won’t start, crack one or more injectors until fuel leaks out, then tighten whilst cranking over engine. If engine still won’t start, repeat entire bleeding process.

‘Note: Some CAV-type fuel filters retain air in the head of the filter after bleeding. It may be necessary to bleed the secondary filter first and work backwards.
Have plenty of rags and fuel clean-up equipment on hand. This is a messy job. Put oil-sorb log in bilge.’

This and many other secrets from Marine Diesel Secrets, a downloadable Treasure about your Diesel Engine.

This week’s sailing story:

The Isle of Man is a small island in the Irish Sea, populated by Vikings many winters ago. The story goes that the press gangs of old paid 10 shillings for an Englishman but one pound for a Manxman as they were such able seamen, and the strong sailing history and culture is still evident all over the island today.

I found this story on yellowed paper in a Manx Museum, date unknown, but definitely before the 20th Century, and it is here translated from the Gaelic:

Traa-dy-Liooar (Time Enough)
The following anecdote illustrates its meaning:

Scene: Peel Harbour, Isle of Man
Speakers: The Skipper, his son Mosey, and the Crew, Thias, out at sea.

Skipper: “Will we take a slant out now Mosey?”
Mosey: (scanning the horizon) “Well, I dunno, father. What do thou say, Thias?”
Thias: “Well, I dunno, neither.”
Skipper: “Aw, well, time enough, we’ll hol’ on a bit.”
After a smoke the ol’ man asks them again, and then he says to “hol’ on for another lil while”
Once more he approaches the subject “Will we take a slant out now Mosey?”
Mosey: (Scanning the horizon) “Well, I dunno, Father, what do thou say, Thias?”
Thias: “We can’t now, man, we’ve took the groun’.”
All: “Aw pity”

Not much changes over the centuries in the sailing world it seems – I can recall a similar incident in Sydney Harbour during a race just a short few years ago.

by Sail-World


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

9:42 PM Sat 4 Feb 2006 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on

Related News Stories:

31 Jan 2014  Ten boat safety checks every skipper needs to make
05 Jan 2014  In-mast furling - is it the 'no-no' we've always believed?
13 Nov 2013  Product of the week: One Sailor MBS for single-handed docking
29 Oct 2013  Get your DSC-equipped VHF hooked up right
14 Oct 2013  Evolution Autopilot - top honours in Marine Electronics Awards
30 Sep 2013  Product of the Week: Safer and easier docking - SlideMoor
17 Sep 2013  Mountain bike torch great for tough sailing conditions
16 Sep 2013  Product of the Week: Drawer fridge for cool-keeping and accessibility
25 Aug 2013  Rig your own sailing boat? Yes, you can!
23 Aug 2013  Product of the Week: The LED ringed switch

News - USA and the World

Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay

America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting by Richard Gladwell/,

America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature by Richard Gladwell/,

PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe On the Final two days of the Reebok CrossFit Games
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet   
Anna Tunnicliffe holds fourth at mid-point of Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   
International Moth Worlds - Victory for Nathan Outteridge + Video   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo   
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead   
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard   
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue   
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC   
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014   
J/Teams sail tough Chicago Mackinac Race   
Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video   
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory   
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on day 4   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 4   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT