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Old 07-22-2015, 02:14 PM   #1
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Diesel tutorials

I grew up on the BC coast and have boated it most of my life.
I have owned several boats up to 38 feet.
All gas.

I've been out of the game for a while and will be returning soon but going diesel. Big learning curve and I can't find any "Diesel Engines For Beginners" courses in Greater Victoria.

The local library has limited offerings.

Online is not the most favorable way to start the learning process (no hands on) but it may be the only option.

I want to have at least some knowledge before I start sniffing around the local marine service shops and bugging skippers, so...
Anyone know of some good online tutorials/videos or other resources?


Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:40 PM   #2
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Dealing with a marine diesel is a real specialty. Trawler Fest sometimes has courses put on by American Diesel or Mac Boring for diesel maintenance and troubleshooting. They do one in Paulsboro, Wa so check their schedule and see if there is one that you could get to.


Also join boatdiesel and just read the posts on the forum, particularly those that relate to your engine. I have learned more by following boatdiesel for ten years than I ever would from a course. They also have a line of marine diesel books. The one by Peter Compton, the creator and moderator of boatdiesel is pretty good. Nigel Calder also has one but he is more of a general shipwright, not a diesel mechanic.


David
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:52 PM   #3
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Although it would require some travel, I've been considering the Annapolis School of Seamanship classes in marine diesel maintenance, as well as the classes on marine electrical systems. Annapolis School of Seamanship

I make frequent trips up to MD and was thinking about attending some of their classes while I'm up in that area.

Has anyone else attended any of these courses? Worthwhile?
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:06 PM   #4
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Thanks David.


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They do one in Paulsboro, Wa so check their schedule and see if there is one that you could get to.
Sounds like an option as I have the time to take that in and don't mind spending to learn.


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Also join boatdiesel...I have learned more by following boatdiesel for ten years than I ever would from a course.
Exactly.
That is the value of a well run forum with an enthusiastic group of people...like this one. Videos can be helpful but you can't ask them questions.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:26 PM   #5
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I think Calder's "Marine Diesel Engines" is a very good primer. Disagree with the "general shipwright" comment.
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:27 PM   #6
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I think Calder's "Marine Diesel Engines" is a very good primer.
Thanks George, I'll look for it.

I like your motto by the way.
Something I always told my Power Squadron students:
"You will never have time to do it right but always have the time to do it over"
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:27 PM   #7
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I don't know where I got Paulsboro. You missed the last TF in your area- Anacortes which was in May.


David


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I think Calder's "Marine Diesel Engines" is a very good primer. Disagree with the "general shipwright" comment.
Take a look at Cruising World's profile of his career and marine activities here at Meet the Guru of Sailing Systems | Cruising World

Don't get me wrong, Nigel Calder is a fantastic guy. He knows more about boat systems than almost anyone. But he didn't get the knowledge to write his book on marine diesels from working as a diesel mechanic.

I met him once. I was working for an Annapolis yacht broker and we had the listing to sell his previous Nada, a Pacific Seacraft 40. He told me he almost lived at the factory when it was being built. He bought that boat, because it was one of the few that could survive hitting an uncharted Cuban reef under full sail (he was doing research for his cruising guide to Cuba).

Some of the modifications to that PSC 40 were over the top. He had them grind back all of the above the waterline thru hull penetrations to remove the core for a foot around the penetration and glass it back in. PSC normally cuts back the core an inch or so and fills the gap with thickened epoxy. Others just slap some caulking around the fitting and hope that no water gets in.

I don't know what that Nada finally sold for. He was asking a bunch over similar PSC 40s. Maybe a fan paid his price to get that boat.

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Old 07-22-2015, 05:19 PM   #8
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David, So I take it you've never read the book? Ever occur to you he may have consulted with numerous mechanics? Even so, remember, the book is written for a boat owner who wants to understand and do basic repairs on their boat; it is not a shop manual.

Hawgwash: I don't need my copy anymore. PM me and I'll mail it to you sometime. Next time we are in Sydney you will buy a beer or two for shipping and handling charges.
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawgwash View Post
I've been out of the game for a while and will be returning soon but going diesel. Big learning curve and I can't find any "Diesel Engines For Beginners" courses in Greater Victoria.

Anyone know of some good online tutorials/videos or other resources?


Thanks in advance.
Hi, give the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club a call as the hold diesel courses quite often.....
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:46 PM   #10
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Hi, give the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club a call as the hold diesel courses quite often.....
Awesome, thanks rochepoint, I'll check it out.

I hit all the local marine oriented businesses from the main diesel repair shops to the sailors exchange and the only thing I came up with was a guy who "sometimes does a class."

I'll let you know what I learn.
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:24 AM   #11
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What brand, year and model of diesel are you wanting to learn about. If you are getting a new Yanmar Tier III a Lehman course would not suffice.

Then the question arises as to what boat and application. And then correct prop sizing which is more important than the knowledge affixed to "how to replace a piston ring."

Good luck on the journey. Don't forget there are basics to a marine diesel that are vastly different than than that found in an Audi or Ram.
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:42 AM   #12
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What brand, year and model of diesel are you wanting to learn about. If you are getting a new Yanmar Tier III a Lehman course would not suffice.

Then the question arises as to what boat and application. And then correct prop sizing which is more important than the knowledge affixed to "how to replace a piston ring."

Good luck on the journey. Don't forget there are basics to a marine diesel that are vastly different than than that found in an Audi or Ram.
Thanks sunchaser.
I'm not looking to do a rebuild at anchor. Your last sentence is what I'm after; learning those basics differences so I at least know and can describe what I am looking at.
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:37 AM   #13
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I have learned more by following boatdiesel for ten years than I ever would from a course.
I couldn't agree more & David, you have been an excellent contributor to BoatDiesel.Com.
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:49 AM   #14
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Frankly if you have been running and maintaining gas engines, you will find diesels easy. Basically if you have clean fuel, no leaks in the fuel lines and good air intake, you will be good to go. No electrical system to worry about except possibly an electric lift pump and a fuel shutoff solenoid. Diesels are really pretty simple particularly if they are naturally aspirated. what it boils down to is less maintenance than a gas engine. Change oil and filters on a schedule and you should be OK. If you want to learn about routine work, hire a mechanic for the first couple of fluid changes and watch him work. There really isn't much to routine stuff on a diesel. Major work is just like working on a fuel injected gas engine.
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:58 AM   #15
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Frankly if you have been running and maintaining gas engines, you will find diesels easy. Basically if you have clean fuel, no leaks in the fuel lines and good air intake, you will be good to go. No electrical system to worry about except possibly an electric lift pump and a fuel shutoff solenoid. Diesels are really pretty simple particularly if they are naturally aspirated. what it boils down to is less maintenance than a gas engine. Change oil and filters on a schedule and you should be OK. If you want to learn about routine work, hire a mechanic for the first couple of fluid changes and watch him work. There really isn't much to routine stuff on a diesel. Major work is just like working on a fuel injected gas engine.
Thanks TD. My thoughts as well...I'm willing to spend money on learning from others rather than from my own mistakes, which are usually more costly. I figured to get some basics then learn make specifics from those who know.
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:13 AM   #16
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Lugger/Northern Lights offers a Captains Class a couple of times per year, plus a more in depth class that I think lasts a couple of days. I believe they are all taught by Bob Senter who is exceptionally good at presenting the material, and a really good guy. They are held in Seattle, so not too far from you. Check the NorthernLights web site for times. I think the short class is free, and there is a fee for the longer course.
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:16 AM   #17
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Lugger/Northern Lights offers a Captains Class a couple of times per year, plus a more in depth class that I think lasts a couple of days. I believe they are all taught by Bob Senter who is exceptionally good at presenting the material, and a really good guy. They are held in Seattle, so not too far from you. Check the NorthernLights web site for times. I think the short class is free, and there is a fee for the longer course.
Thanks, I'll check it out.
I'm never against a weekend in Seattle.
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:43 PM   #18
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I don't know exactly why, maybe it is because diesels simply last longer than gassers so there is more time to develop marine related problems, but I see much more going wrong with marine diesel engines than gassers.


Some of the problems that I read about (and have experienced some myself) are:


1. Raw water flow restrictions and not necessarily just the heat exchanger fouling which causes overheating..
2. Exhaust mixer elbow plugging with soot and scale causing low power, black smoke and overheating- small Yanmars are the biggest offenders but also Westerbekes.
3. Air leaks in the fuel system leading to shutdowns or low power. Rarely do I read about pluggages- probably 10:1 leaks to pluggages.
4. Overpropping leading to black smoke, difficulty in getting up on plane, etc.
5. Sea water backing up into the exhaust due to poor design and ruining the turbo or worse.
6. Dirt or water in diesel fuel that "hoses" the injector, sometimes ruining the engine.


I'll bet 70% of the posts and 90% of the repair bills discussed on boatdiesel relate to these six causes. You don't hear about these for gassers.


So there is lots to learn and deal with for marine diesels that don't usually occur on gassers and almost never on over the road gasoline engines.


David
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Old 07-23-2015, 01:06 PM   #19
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Numbers 4 and 5 on your list are not "diesel" problems. Any engine can be over propped or have a poorly designed exhaust.

As I said, keep your fuel clean and the fuel system leak free and you won't have fuel related problems. Incidentally, leaks in a gas engines fuel system may not cause the engine to shut down, but I think that blowing the boat up is a lot worse than having the engine shut down.
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Old 07-23-2015, 04:45 PM   #20
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Hawgwash: I don't need my copy anymore. PM me and I'll mail it to you sometime.
PM sent.

Oh, and it'll take more 'n' a beer or two to equal shipping.
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