Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-20-2016, 11:13 AM   #1
Guru
 
Hawgwash's Avatar
 
City: Sidney
Country: Canada
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,265
Engine checks under way

I keep reading "hourly engine checks."

I have looked at some pretty cramped engine rooms lately. Ones where you enter on hands and knees and can barely turn around. I just can't imagine going in there every hour or so, while running and not be at serious risk of injury.

What is your space like and what is your routine under way?
__________________
Advertisement

Hawgwash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 11:21 AM   #2
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 5,086
To be honest, my engine checks are keeping an eye on the rpm and temps and noting any change in the sound of the engine. But my engine is sitting right behind the galley in the cabin so we are always rather intimate.

Great question and one I have wondered about for exactly the reasons you mentioned.
__________________

__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 11:22 AM   #3
Guru
 
RCook's Avatar


 
City: Holladay, UT
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Dream Catcher
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 37-065
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 503
My space is big enough for an arm or two to reach down into.

I check oil and sea strainer, eyball the bilge, and sometimes feel the belts every morning. Sometimes start the engine with cover up. and listen/watch briefly. Then the engine cover typically stays closed until the next morning.

Every once in a while I hear something that doesn't sound quite right while underway, and up goes the cover to check it out. Sometimes it's a belt starting to fail. Most often it's nothing, maybe sounding a little different because things are placed differently on top of the engine cover, or just because I happen to be listening from a different position myself.
__________________
Richard Cook
Dream Catcher (Nordic Tug 37)
New Moon (Bounty 257) - FOR SALE
"Cruising in a Big Way"
RCook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 11:28 AM   #4
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,903
The USCG used to do 15 minute checks on their small boats....I think that is a bit overkill...but they do sail with an engineer and he probably gets bored...

I usually lift my saloon floor engine hatch and do a quick peek. In 5 seconds I can scan fuel level (poly tanks), belt tension, drip pan for excessive oil/fuel leaks/coolant leaks and bilge water.

Usually that covers what the engine instruments/sound isn't telling me.

I should do it more...but sometimes due to navigating or moving the dog.....keeps me from taking a more regular peek.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 11:30 AM   #5
Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,887
I do a crawl around inspection in the engine room before leaving on a trip. I can crawl and inspect each side of the main engine and all sides of the gennie. Check fluids, crank them up, look for leaks, listen. Then get under way. An hour or so later, lift the hatch and stick my head in and look and listen. Mostly looking for leaks. Generally do not actually jump in ER. Do this every few hours. Once day or so into a trip, I might not open the hatch at all during a day. Once at a destination and all shut down, got down and look for evidence of leaks and check fluids.

The basic guts of an engine room are very similar to those in a car. There are many cars that don't get the hood lifted for months at a time, and do just fine.

I am not anal about maintenance, but being in the engine business I know the weak spots and keep those handled. Try to do smart maintenance, and so far it has been successful. 2200hrs and 20,000nm and no trip interrupting failures. Just a few silly things replaced due to leaks.
Ski in NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 11:37 AM   #6
Guru
 
MurrayM's Avatar
 
City: Kitimat, North Coast BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Badger
Vessel Model: 30' Sundowner Tug
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,322
I check the bilge, sea strainer, coolant level, belt tension, and oil level before heading out. Later, when I get an infrared gun, I'll take a Sharpie and mark some spots on the engine that will be checked while underway and logged, which hopefully will go a long way to giving early signals that something is going awry.

While on longer trips I'll check things out from the fan belt to the stuffing box every couple days while underway. On our last holiday I discovered a vent line to one of our fuel tanks had become completely plugged because the level hadn't dropped in the sight tube.
__________________
"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" Murray Minchin
MurrayM is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 11:38 AM   #7
Guru
 
Hawgwash's Avatar
 
City: Sidney
Country: Canada
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld;
I should do it more...but sometimes due to navigating or moving the dog.....keeps me from taking a more regular peek.
Thank you. That pretty much tells me all I need to know.
Hawgwash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 11:39 AM   #8
Guru
 
menzies's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville
Country: USA
Vessel Name: SONAS
Vessel Model: Grand Alaskan 53
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2,203
I believe that would be for long haul open sea trips, where you don't want to get caught by surprise out there.

If running coastal, a before-you-start , and after-shut-down check, along with close attention to gauges and sound, should suffice.

The previous owners of SONAS marked up certain parts of the engine with a sharpie so just had to open the ER door at either end and shoot the marks with the laser gun.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Alaskan14.jpg
Views:	84
Size:	101.0 KB
ID:	49937  
menzies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 12:00 PM   #9
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,903
Based on how many serious emergencies I have encountered in my days of assisting others...

Many of them the owners were surprised when the first obvious signs were severe flooding or fire. Many of these most likely had forewarning...some probably didn't.

On any trip over 2 hours I would think it prudent to be able to watch a high quality engine room camera (one that will show misting fuel or wisps of smoke as a minimum) or take a peek at least every 2 hours.

I have had misting fuel once, pulsing fuel from an injection pipe, serious oil leak from discontinued mechanical tach fitting. The fuel leaks could have been a bigger issue, but the oil leak I guess I would have seen fluctuating pressure on a gauge which on a single engine boat is never a happy moment. I also have had more issues on commercial vessels and deliveries where others were supposed to but neglected regular checks.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 12:10 PM   #10
Guru
 
Hawgwash's Avatar
 
City: Sidney
Country: Canada
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski in NC;
I do a crawl around inspection in the engine room before leaving on a trip. I am not anal about maintenance, but being in the engine business I know the weak spots and keep those handled.
Ski, I religiously read and heed everything you write. Your post #5 aligns with my thinking and confirms that we don't need to be anal.

Best bud is a retired firefighter who is an over the top anal perfectionist; he must have all the proper gear, just to whack the wild salal on his property...he insists on hourly checks of his DD 8.2s that last probably 15 minutes. It's just how he is. But, he has V-drives and can do his checks via the cockpit, not on hands and knees. My gassers have always been easy to access from cockpit or salon.

I spent many years in massive steam plants with acres of instruments and a circus of sounds; turbines, steam engines, wood and bunker fires, screeching, clanging banging conveyors. I could fall asleep against a guardrail on a catwalk and waken at the most miniscule change of sound. My belief; watch and listen.

I have felt if you keep everything up and do as you do, there should be few surprises.

Thanks again, Ski, for all your contributions.
Hawgwash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 12:16 PM   #11
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,903
I agree with the anal part...but the way I cruise...


I am so bored most of the time driving...getting up and doing a 5 second peek to keep from going nuts or letting something small develop, then so be it.


If I couldn't easily peek or operated a vessel that was fast enough I would have to slow to leave the helm...a camera would be high on my to do list.


For me it sorta still is because when it's rough enough to hang on...the checks do get neglected occasionally and that's the time they are most needed.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 12:17 PM   #12
Guru
 
No Mast's Avatar
 
City: Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Country: US
Vessel Name: Moana Huaka'i
Vessel Model: Selene 53
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 816
Although not truly a stand up engine room, you can slouch around and have good access to the main and genset. The get home is just slightly less accessible. We do engine room checks every two to three hours while out. On overnights we stretch it to four hours so we check at shift changes. I'd like to have an engine room camera someday, but we haven't gotten there yet. We use a checklist I've posted in the past. Keeps us from forgetting something. I'll track it down and repost it later or tomorrow when I get back to my laptop.

We've found oil and water leaks before they became serious problems in the past, so we'll continue with our engine room check routine for sure.
No Mast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 12:18 PM   #13
Guru
 
caltexflanc's Avatar
 
City: North Carolina for now
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Small Incentive
Vessel Model: Boston Whaler 130 Sport
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,797
One of the most important keys when buying our Hatteras to cruise full time was easy engine room access, as in walk in, full stand up and walk around. ER checks were an absolute snap. ERs were very brightly lit. When offshore I did them religiously about hourly. Inshore, maybe every two or three hours when I thought of it. Wore ear protection, brought my hand IR temp gun and shot about 6 spots every time. The generator was in it's own room, if it was running I'd check it too, which was easy by just lifting a hatch in the galley just above and to one side of the genset.
__________________
George

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
caltexflanc is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 12:25 PM   #14
Guru
 
City: gulf coast
Country: pinellas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,199
With a good light I do a in the er check and fluids check all around before start up.


After an hour or so I open the hatch and shine light on everything visible looking for leaks or smoke or weird noises. I may do that again before departing near shore if the next step is an open water passage.
bayview is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 12:40 PM   #15
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,390
I check the oil and coolant level each morning when cruising. I'll give the engine and bilge a quick look as well. That's usually it until the next morning. Sometimes I'll open the hatch while underway and listen and look around for anything unusual.
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 12:50 PM   #16
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 5,086
For those of you who use a laser temp sensor, what are the spots that you check, when do you check them, and what type of variances are you looking for?

I have one I have used for checking tire temps between auto cross runs but just might take it down to the future boat.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 01:07 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Portage_Bay's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Country: United States
Vessel Model: Tollycraft 40 Tri-cabin
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 150
In addition to gauges, sight and sound don't forget smell. I've caught before major problems overheated electrical, an engine running to hot, a fuel leak and scariest of all the gen set oil filter gasket had developed a pin hole leak and was spraying oil on the Maine's turbo.
Portage_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 01:11 PM   #18
Guru
 
Codger2's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,420
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
If I couldn't easily peek or operated a vessel that was fast enough I would have to slow to leave the helm...a camera would be high on my to do list.

For me it sorta still is because when it's rough enough to hand on...the checks do get neglected occasionally and that's the time they are most needed.
__________________
Codger2

My passion for improving my boat(s) exceeds my desire to constantly cruise them.
Codger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 01:14 PM   #19
Guru
 
No Mast's Avatar
 
City: Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Country: US
Vessel Name: Moana Huaka'i
Vessel Model: Selene 53
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 816
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhays View Post
For those of you who use a laser temp sensor, what are the spots that you check, when do you check them, and what type of variances are you looking for?

I have one I have used for checking tire temps between auto cross runs but just might take it down to the future boat.

We check:
Alternators
Oil pan
Coolant tank
Stab. Hydraulic tank
Valve cover
Heat exchanger
After cooler
Drip less seal
Exhaust riser

We check them every two to four hours.

Variances: we look for deviations from an established baseline really. In the after cooler and heat exchanger were also looking for even temp spread from cool side to warm side. For the valve cover we are looking for even temps along all cylinders.
No Mast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 02:34 PM   #20
TF Site Team
 
ksanders's Avatar
 
City: SEWARD ALASKA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: LISAS WAY
Vessel Model: BAYLINER 4788
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 3,954
Like others we visually check things before startup.

After that, we rely on sensors.

We of course keep track of the common ones like coolant temp and oil pressure, but we have more.
  • Boost and pyro gauges (pyro will tell of a cooling issue long before coolant temp)
  • Fuel consumption (found a broken rigid fuel line with this that could have resulted in a fire I suppose)
  • Engine room smoke detector
  • Engine room temperature
  • Engine room camera

Plus I use my ears. I know what my boat sounds like, and anything amis is quickly noticed.
__________________

__________________
Kevin Sanders
Bayliner 4788
Seward, Alaska
www.mvlisasway.com
ksanders is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012