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Helpful Tips for Taking Care of Your Engine

Prestart Engine Checks

In this video, Mark Turner, Offshore Sailing School Fleet Service Director, provides five basic engine checks you should perform before getting underway. Here are some helpful hints:

  • Check the fuel filter: If you see clear liquid this is water and should be drained into a cup
  • Check the belt for deflection: No more than the width of the belt
  • The raw water system comes in through a seacock to a strainer and into the impeller: Open the seacock, check the raw water strainer, remove any debris; close the seacock, take the basket out, remove any debris, reassemble; make sure you open the seacock before starting the engine
  • The fresh water system coolant should be just above the minimum line because it expands as the engine heats up
  • The oil level should be between the two marks on the dipstick: Okay if a little dark, but not cloudy (which indicates water in the engine); if cloudy, do not start the engine, call a professional

Spares to carry aboard include coolant, oil, spare oil and fuel filter, spare impeller, gear lube for the transmission, spare belt fort the alternator and fresh water pump

 

Want to learn more? Take a Cruising Course and learn about proper engine maintenance.

How to Avoid Overheating a Diesel Engine

In this video, Mark Turner, Offshore Sailing School Fleet Service Director, explains how to avoid and mitigate overheating diesel engines on sailboats. Since diesel engines on sailboats depend in part on raw water, which you have very little control over being contaminant-free, this is where problems occur. Here are some helpful hints:

  • Keep the raw water filter clean
  • Make sure the raw water intake valve is open, don’t forget to re-open it after clearing the filter
  • Check for healthy flow of water out of the exhaust when the engine is started
  • Monitor the temperature gauge to be sure it is within normal working parameters
  • Blockages are common in raw water system hoses, especially if water moves through an elbow
  • Check the impeller before restarting the engine

 

Want to learn more? Take a Cruising Course and learn about proper engine maintenance.

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