Marine Diesel Engine Top Tips – Learn how to keep your engine on top form!

We are giving the London Boat Show a miss this year but still want to offer you some fabulous London Boat Show discounts! Check our course dates to find our Special Offers.

A few tips for Diesel Engines

Here are a few tips of my tips to help keep your diesel engine running smoothly.

  1. Cleanliness is next to godliness.

Keep your fuel system squeaky clean. At the start of each year we open our fuel tanks and extract any water and debris from the lowest part of the tank. It is not unusual to get a litre of water from the tank. Follow this with a change of fuel filters and a good clean out of the primary fuel filter bowl. It doesn’t take much crud to stop the injection pump or injectors working efficiently. Removing the injectors and have them checked by a fuel injection specialist should also be part of this process.

2          Regular oil changes

The lubrication system is what keeps that all-important oil flowing around all the internal engine parts and preventing premature failure. Apply a piece of masking tape on the oil filter on completion with the date when it was changed and engine hours recorded, you can see at a glance when it was done without referring to your maintenance records. Our team of staff that check the boats over at the end of each charter or course can also give the maintenance manager the heads up when it may need another change.

A question you may ask is how often should I change the oil, I hear all sort of rubbish when I talk to people about this, things like every 12 months or at the end of the season. When the oil is black is another popular conception. It goes black very quickly!!

The correct answer is in accordance with the manufacturers recommendation. It could be every 100 hours and on a busy charter boat this could be monthly. Our team check engine hours every week and this helps with our servicing.

  1. Daily engine checks

Do ensure that you are vigilant about checking the fluid levels on your engine. A good visual inspection of the engine bay is also highly recommended, if the bay is clean and tidy and not full of water and oil it is easy to spot if something is not right.

“Woble” your engine every day

W         Water level check

O         Oil level check

B          Belts correctly tensioned (if you can twist more than 90 degrees it’s too slack)

L          Look for Leaks

E          Exhaust is pumping water

  1. Do not abuse your engine

You probably don’t drive your car with your starboard foot to the floor, so don’t drive a boat with the throttle wide open.

On our Volvo D2 55’s the maximum engine revs for cruising are “500 RPM below WOT”

What is “WOT”, WOT is Wide Open Throttle, so this is the maximum revs the engine can reach in forward gear, normally 3500 ish RPM. So, no more than 3000 RPM, 2800 is good for our engines, not too hard and reasonably economical. On a large cruising boat, this could be much lower. On my boat, cruising revs are around 1200 revs. This allows for good fuel economy whilst being kind to the engine.

5          Throttle control

Always allow a pause of two marching paces (about 2 seconds for non-military personnel) between gear changes. This means when you are wanting to go from forward to reverse do it slowly. From forward gear come up to neutral, pause for 2 seconds, pop it into reverse at tick over, allow two seconds and then bring the revs on slowly.

Come along to our RYA Diesel Engine course and learn the basics of how an engine works. You will not be a fully trained Volvo Engineer at the end of the course as this is a 4-year apprenticeship but you will learn the basics and this might get you out of trouble if ever you find yourself having a problem!

RYA Diesel Engine Course

We can offer group training for Sailing clubs, do get in touch and we can discuss your requirements.

Marine Diesel Engine Top Tips

We are running regular RYA Diesel Engine Courses throughout the season.

London Boat Show Special Offer 

RYA Diesel Engine Course reduced from £110 to just £75!

Offer ends Midnight January 15th.