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Old 08-20-2016, 02:20 PM   #1
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How Often Should I Run Engines And Gen.

Have not been using boat much, wondering how often should I run engines and gen and for how long, weekly, monthly are what.
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:48 PM   #2
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Gen about every couple of weeks under load for 15 or 20 minutes. Running your engines at the dock is not good for them. They need to be run under load as well or they won't reach operating temperature.
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:16 PM   #3
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Gen about every couple of weeks under load for 15 or 20 minutes. Running your engines at the dock is not good for them. They need to be run under load as well or they won't reach operating temperature.
Exactly. The genset needs to get to temp too.
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:23 PM   #4
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Above is correct but rather than letting them sit for a very long time every few months or so I always just started them briefly, 30 seconds or so after pressure came up, to get the oil circulating with no attempt to let them warm. This closes some open valves, moves piston rings to a different spot and adds some lubrication.
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:26 PM   #5
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Once a month would be my suggestion. You can tie your dock lines tight and then run the engine in reverse at about 1,200 rpm. That should bring the temp up in 10-15 minutes.


Do the same with the genset. The water heater will put some load on it, but an A/C, hair dryer or toaster will put even more load when combined with the water heater if it is 5KW or more.


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Old 08-20-2016, 04:35 PM   #6
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Old 08-20-2016, 08:49 PM   #7
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Every time you leave the dock.
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:01 PM   #8
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Once a month would be my suggestion. You can tie your dock lines tight and then run the engine in reverse at about 1,200 rpm. That should bring the temp up in 10-15 minutes.


Do the same with the genset. The water heater will put some load on it, but an A/C, hair dryer or toaster will put even more load when combined with the water heater if it is 5KW or more.


David
This is the same routine I use. Usually do it on a weekday so I don't agitate the neighbors.
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:50 PM   #9
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This is the same routine I use. Usually do it on a weekday so I don't agitate the neighbors.
We run everything on the boats at least once a month. That includes running the showers, flushing the toilets, running the AC. It's not just the engines and generators. How often have you gotten on your boat after it sat and had various small annoyances like toilets or AC or instrumentation with problems?
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Old 08-21-2016, 05:21 AM   #10
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We run everything on the boats at least once a month. That includes running the showers, flushing the toilets, running the AC. It's not just the engines and generators. How often have you gotten on your boat after it sat and had various small annoyances like toilets or AC or instrumentation with problems?
That's a good idea, but the boat really needs to go for a short trip. A one hour cruise where everything is operating under real conditions should be good. Want the engine to run under a normal load. Same for the drive train and rudder. Want to walk around and listen for anything different while the boat is operating normally.

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Old 08-21-2016, 06:30 AM   #11
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An hour a month under way seems to work.

A cold start with no warmup under load might do more harm than good.

Most engine mfg have someplace in their literature a procedure for "out of service" layup..

ON Detroits its 30 days.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:24 AM   #12
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When you run your generator at the dock you can extend the life of the unit by more than 35% if you will flush the raw water with fresh water before each shut down. I was told this by two technicians. One at Northern Lights and one at Fisher Panda.
I try to do the same flush on my main but it takes too much water.
When you flush, NEVER close the thru hull. Let the hose pressure dominate the water supply. Closing the thru hull during the wrong valve sequence can cause problems.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:41 AM   #13
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We run everything on the boats at least once a month. That includes running the showers, flushing the toilets, running the AC. It's not just the engines and generators. How often have you gotten on your boat after it sat and had various small annoyances like toilets or AC or instrumentation with problems?
Thanks,,,, Never thought of everything else that needed to be powered up.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:47 AM   #14
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When you run your generator at the dock you can extend the life of the unit by more than 35% if you will flush the raw water with fresh water before each shut down. I was told this by two technicians. One at Northern Lights and one at Fisher Panda.
I try to do the same flush on my main but it takes too much water.
When you flush, NEVER close the thru hull. Let the hose pressure dominate the water supply. Closing the thru hull during the wrong valve sequence can cause problems.

This may extend the life of the cooling system but the engines are most n
likely already fresh water cooled.

FYI
If you do this remember to remove the zincs as they will not like long term operation in fresh water. Remember magnesium is the choice for fresh water systems and zinc can be rendered inoperative with long term storage in fresh.

You do not need to change for short term operation in fresh water (crossing lake O in Florida for ex) as I understand it.
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Old 08-21-2016, 10:37 AM   #15
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When you run your generator at the dock you can extend the life of the unit by more than 35% if you will flush the raw water with fresh water before each shut down. I was told this by two technicians. One at Northern Lights and one at Fisher Panda.
I try to do the same flush on my main but it takes too much water.
When you flush, NEVER close the thru hull. Let the hose pressure dominate the water supply. Closing the thru hull during the wrong valve sequence can cause problems.
While I understand the benefits, my dumb ass would likely forget something and end up causing way more harm than good. So in my case, KISS is more effective. Just let it choke down some muriatic acids or Rydlime every couple of years and that should do it.
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Old 08-21-2016, 11:07 AM   #16
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Luckily for us... as we don't always get monthly opportunities to travel 100 miles to our boat, especially just to spend a short time simply starting and warming up our engines and gen set...

Our Tolly has gasoline engines and gen set. Them babies can sit as long as we need while still starting right up and running fine with no damage, Sorta like a car. Start and drive!

Also - I keep plenty of "Soltron" mixed into our 200 gallons of gasoline. Have never had separation problem... even after up to a year before adding any new fuel.

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Old 08-21-2016, 11:36 AM   #17
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I usta say once a month but now I really don't think it matters.
Two or three months should'nt cause a problem at all.
Several years and I' like a compression release and to do quite a few 10 second crankings prior to ignition.
Oil and coolant heaters are a waste of time IMO unless your habbits don't include 10 or 15 minute warmups ... 90% of that underway. Running rough at an idle isn't a problem either but to be avoided w gear engaged. An old truck driver once told me to "let-er chug" (at idle). Kinda like cruising rpm and the "sweet spot". I always transpose that to max smoothness. What the human operator likes .. but the engine probably could care less.
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Old 08-21-2016, 11:39 AM   #18
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That's a good idea, but the boat really needs to go for a short trip. A one hour cruise where everything is operating under real conditions should be good. Want the engine to run under a normal load. Same for the drive train and rudder. Want to walk around and listen for anything different while the boat is operating normally.

Ted
That is what we do, a minimum of one hour.
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Old 08-21-2016, 11:55 AM   #19
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The best thing is to take boat for a run at least once a month, and run it long enough and hard enough to get all the juices to peak temps.

But that is not always a practical option, understood.

Short runs dockside help keep the surfaces oiled, but do tend to get moisture in oil that won't get cooked out. But it would take many many dockside starts to get moisture level to a harmful point.

But the damage from a corroded cylinder or corroded valve can happen in a period of a few months.

So if you can't go for a run, I think a brief monthly run is the best non-optimal option. I don't think it is beneficial to run all the way up to temp, as what matters is oil temp and that will never get up there dockside.

What I would recommend is start up, when oil pressure gets up, rev engine a little to say 800 or 1000 to get oil slinging around. Run a few minutes, then to idle, then put in reverse. If a twin, you can put one in fwd and one in rev and that limits the strain on dock lines. Maybe a minute in gear. Then to neut, rev up to 1200 for more juice slinging, then idle, then off.

Once you do this for six months in a row, you really should do what it takes to get under way and cook the oil dry.

Also good to run boat hard on it's last trip for winter storage for boats that do that. Dry oil then for all winter.
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Old 08-21-2016, 11:57 AM   #20
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Does anyone have an opinion on a pre-lube system? Although it won't help your ring/cylinder walls, it'll give you a little help on the bottom end.
Engine Pre Lube System Insta-Lube Kit
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