Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Small Boats ( Engines )

Here are some things to keep in mind to have your engine run efficiently and have it last a long time.
1. Clean Oil (lubrication)
2. Clean Fuel
3. Clean Air
4. Cooling System to remove excess heat.

Oil - Let's start with your oil, you should check your oil level with the dipstick on a regular basis, such as every time you get fuel. However, if you are on a trip, you should check it at least once a day. You must change both the oil and the filter at regular intervals recommended by the engine manufacturer. If you do not have that information, then every 100-engine hours is the next best thing. Keep track of your engine hours, and use the recommended oil for your engine.

Fuel - There are some things that can mess up the fuel supply on your boat which are, Water and Dirt.
You need a good filter/water separator and make sure that you have a spare replacement onboard. On a diesel engine, problems are almost always going to be fuel related. You can't have a filter that's too big or have too many of them.

Air - Your engine requires lots of air. Check your flame arrester located on top of the carburetor, if you have a gasoline engine, check for grease or dirt. Remove the flame arrestor if it is dirty. Clean it with a non-explosive cleaning solution. DO NOT run your gasoline engine without the flame arrestor. On a diesel engine, check your air intake filter every so often.

Cooling - Engines use the water that they are sitting in to remove the heat created by the burning of fuel while operating your boat. Find out what type of cooling system your engine uses (Direct or Closed). However, no matter which system you have, both use the water around them for cooling. Each engine has a water pump that pulls water that you are in weather its the sea or a lake and sends it through the cooling system. Knowing where the pump is located and how to install a new impeller is a must. The pump is usually installed on the outside of the engine and is belt driven. Carrying a spare impeller can save you time and money.

Check your engine gages regularly and learn what they read when everything is normal. If your oil pressure starts to fluctuate or go down, SHUT your engine down, check the oil level and look for signs of oil where it doesn't belong. If your temperature gauge starts to climb, STOP your engine Immediately and look for the problem, most probably a broken hose or the water pump. Listen for a change in the sound of your engine. This is generally a sign of engine trouble.