sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Simple Inspections to keep your sailing boat's engine in top shape

Simple Inspections to keep your sailing boat's engine in top shape

'Which of these pictures shows what you’d rather be doing next voyage?'    .    Click Here to view large photo

Do you know the five best ways to keep your sailing boat's diesel engine running like a lion--and save you huge dollars in the future? John Jamieson (Captain John) here shows you the most vital engine checks you need to make aboard your cruising sailboat for trouble-free cruising.


You don't need to be a mechanic to keep your sailing boat's diesel running in tip-top shape. I'm a ten-thumbed sailor when it comes to auxiliaries, but I've learned just what's needed to keep these beasts happy and roaring like a well-fed lion.

Diesel engine guru Nigel Calder says that diesel engines '...require little routine maintenance, but the little maintenance they do need is absolutely necessary'. Calder specifies three major areas of concern to all skippers of sail or power: clean air, clean fuel, and clean oil.

That's because the tiniest speck of dirt or contamination inside will throw your iron-genny into a temper tantrum that creates a chain reaction of problems. And that can lead to $1000's in repair bills and wasted cruise time while you wait for parts and repairs. Calder says that 'once dirt gets into an engine, properly cleaning it out is impossible'. Follow these easy five vital inspections and preventative maintenance recommendations to keep your diesel engine in great shape.

1. Test the Heat Exchanger Water Level:

Check the engine coolant level through the oblong-shaped heat exchanger header tank (see illustration) on top of the engine. Make sure the header tank is cool to the touch, remove the radiator pressure cap on top of the tank and stick a finger in. Keep the coolant level within a half inch of the top.

Many engines have an externally mounted expansion tank that collects freshwater coolant as it circulates through the engine. Make sure the expansion tank coolant level stays within a half inch of the full mark (or at the level indicated by your manual).

2. Replace the Air Filter:

Diesels require lots of squeaky clean air to run well. If dust enters your engine, it could affect the compression. Without good compression, your engine won't burn diesel fuel all the way. That unburned fuel spits out your exhaust as black smoke. Your engine will no longer have the power it once had.

Swap out air filters often. It's one of the most forgotten components on small diesels because it often hides on one side of the engine. Carry spares aboard if you cruise. In a pinch, take the filter out and tap it on all sides around the surface to remove dirt and dust.

3. Swap Out All Fuel Filters:.

90% of all diesel engine problems are related to dirt, water, and bacteria in your fuel. If these contaminants make it up to your injectors, you could end up with $100s or $1000s in repair bills. Cut these robbers off at the pass with good, powerful filtration.

The primary filter serves as the first guardian between your fuel tank and small diesel engine. It stops big particles of dirt and grime. The best type of primary filter has a clear, separator bowl on the lower part of the filter.

The separator bowl traps water and contaminants and has a drain plug on the bottom. Shine a light through the bowl. If it's dirty, drain the water and contaminants. Replace the filter element on top of the separator bowl.

If your engine uses a non-separator type of filter, you will be unable to see the condition of the fuel. Change the filter element inside a non-separator type of fuel filter at least once a year to be on the safe side.

The secondary filter serves as the final guardian before fuel flows into your engine. It stops tiny, microscopic particles of dirt and grime that were missed by the primary filter.

Locate the secondary filter on or near the engine body (see illustration). On many engines, it's camouflaged like a chameleon. Follow the fuel line from the primary filter up to your engine to find the secondary filter. Change the secondary filter element at least once a year to protect your delicate and expensive injectors.

4. Change the Oil, Gasket, and Filter:

Your engine relies on oil for lubrication, cooling, and dirt-trapping. Always change the filter and gasket when you change the oil. Run your engine for a few minutes ahead of time to get any contaminants into the old oil. This makes draining more complete.

5. Install a New Raw-Water Impeller Pump:

Your raw water pump draws water from the sea, through the sea-water strainer and up to the engine. In small diesel engines with separate fresh water systems, sea water provides a cooling jacket to lower internal temperatures. In straight raw-water cooled engines, you need every bit of that sea water circulation to keep your engine cool and happy.

Make these diesel engine inspections often to keep your cruising sailboat in tip-top shape. You will save lots of money for cruising--and lots of time for sailing--wherever in the world you choose to cruise!

John Jamieson (Captain John) with 25+ years of experience shows sailing skippers the skills they need for shorthanded sailing success. Visit his website at www.skippertips.com and sign up for a free sailing tips newsletter and learn how you can gain instant access to hundreds of sailing articles, sailing video tutorials, sailing topic eBooks, and live discussion forums.




by Captain John Jamieson

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=88086

11:37 PM Sat 3 Sep 2011 GMT






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


News - USA and the World





Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,




























470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard by 470 International Association Class,


































AWT Hatteras Wave Jam action commences on day 3
Rolex Big Boat Series: Images from San Francisco - Final Day
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Watch medal races live here
Hobie 16 Open North American Championships and Pan Am Games qualifier
ISAF Sailing World Championship - Videos from Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds: Buckingham into Medal Race, 470's stay consistent
470 Men and Women Worlds - Vadlau and Ogar into pole position
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Defending champion on top
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Strong competition for RS:X fleets
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Big breeze on day 6 + Video
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham into Laser Medal Race
U.S. Multihull Championship - Hobie Alter Trophy to be decided
ISAF Sailing Worlds - The kind of form most sailors only dream about
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing ahead of target
ISAF Worlds Santander - 19 Rio 2016 Laser Radial spots awarded
Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds - 21 broadcasters to take live coverage
Rolex Swan Cup - Looking forward to the next 30 years
America’s Cup: The Future is foiling – AC45s to be modified
Volvo Ocean Race: Win a stopover trip by designing an ECsix T-Shirt
Red Bull 49erFX: On the eve of the Worlds in Santander
America's Cup: Ben Ainslie Racing launches partnership with Yamaha   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Starts tomorrow   
Rio 2016 Daylight the issue for Olympic sailing regatta   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - USA 470's and Lasers battle at top   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 5 video highlights   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander images by Jesús Renedo   
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - No action on day 2   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Game on for Olympic Qualification   
ISAF Sailing World Championships: Finns off to slow start in Santander   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Seesaw Day 5 in Santander + Video   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - 470 sailors shine in Santander   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Kiwi Ray Davies returns to TP52 fleet   
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - No windsurfing action on day 1   
A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Prizegiving images by Chuck Lantz   
ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video   
18ft skiffs: Carnage compilation from the glory days of the Grand Prix   
ISAF Worlds: Video from the British Sailing Team   
Bart's Bash expected to set new records this weekend   
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - Marcilio Browne wins Super Session   


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







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

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.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT