Helpful Tips for Taking Care of Your Engine

Prestart Engine Checks

This sailboat maintenance video 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 – make sure the seacock is closed, check the raw water strainer, remove any debris; reassemble; 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.

How to Avoid Overheating a Diesel Engine

This sailboat diesel engine maintenance video explains how to avoid and mitigate overheating diesel engines. Sailboat diesel engines depend partly on raw water which you have very little control over being contaminant-free. Here are helpful hints to avoid problems:

  • Keep the raw water filter clean
  • Make sure the raw water intake valve is open, and 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 more marine diesel engine maintenance tips.



Call Us Today

Ask our experts about training, group packages, vacations, and more!