Sailing tips: caring for your diesel engine

At the inaugural Women Who Sail event, hosted by D’ALBORA Marinas Nelson Bay venue ‘Broughtons at the Bay’ recently, Service Engineer James Bradshaw of Minards Diesel presented a comprehensive guide to ‘learning to love your diesel engine’. Here is a summary of his comprehensive tips.

  • Do learn about your engine systems, water & fuel systems & work with your engineer.
  • Do change your oil & filter annually or as per the engine manufacturer’s specifications. Change your oil when the engine is hot.
  • Use Manufactures Specified oil , preferably mono-grade 30 or 40 weight oil . Check your operators manual for recommendations. Check the gearbox oil at the same time and change when recommended.
  • Change your oil & filter annually or as per the engine manufacturer’s specifications. Change your oil when the engine is hot.
  • Check your sea water impeller annually and change it every two years. Carry spare impellers and seals; and possibly a spare pump on board. Check your zincs in cooling systems where fitted. Clean your heat exchangers and reseal every four years, or as per the engine manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Don’t excessively idle your engine or run at low loads for extended periods. Think about a twin alternator setup to reduce run time at anchor.
  • Don’t ignore your maintenance schedule. Don’t be scared to ask for advice and support (get to know your engineer!)