Diesel Maintenance

We knew when we bought the boat that there was some maintenance that needed to be done on the engine. But, in our haste to use the boat, we put it off. Of course, like all things, that meant that a couple of weeks ago, the engine stalled, right as we were trying to leave the slip.

Thankfully, some marina neighbours came to our rescue, and hauled us back into our slip. We spent the remainder of that weekend reading the manual, to no real avail.

After picking up a copy of Nigel Calder’s Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual, we got down to the general maintenance that needed doing, in the hopes that it would fix the problem. And, in a roundabout way, it did.

We changed the accessible fuel filter (one of them still needs changing, but we can’t figure out how to get at it), then set to bleeding the engine. We thought we’d bled all the air out, and went to try the engine to discover that it still wouldn’t start. We didn’t exactly give up at that time, we just decided to work on other things.

The next day, another marina neighbour (and fellow Bluewater Cruising member) came over to take a look. We realized with his help that we hadn’t completed bleeding the system, and after about half an hour of pumping and poking, we finally successfully fired up the engine. Clearly, some air had gotten into the system previously, and now we know how to bleed it when we need to.

We also discovered that the starter is frighteningly close to one of the vent points, and sometimes the wrench comes in contact making a loud pop and sending sparks flying all over the engine room. Not good when there’s diesel leaking everywhere – the third time it happened, one of the spark found a patch of diesel and we had a wee fire for a moment. It went out before we could do anything about it, so no lasting issues there, thankfully.

Add another job to the jar.

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