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Old 11-06-2013, 09:45 PM   #1
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Starting Engines

If you leave your boat in the water for the winter, but donít use it until the spring, how often do you start your engines and how long do you let them run? KJ
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:54 PM   #2
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If you leave your boat in the water for the winter, but donít use it until the spring, how often do you start your engines and how long do you let them run? KJ

My boat gets parked in October and the engines are winterized.

I'll go back to ther boat in March and dewinterize it, starting the engines then.
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:29 PM   #3
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During periods of non-use I like to crank the engine twice for two 10 second periods every 30 days. Distributes lube oil, exercises rings and oil seals.
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:30 PM   #4
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there is a train of thought ...if you are not actually gone run your motors under load don't start them
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:30 PM   #5
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I don't have that problem but this has been discussed here and on boatdiesel.com.

From the postings I've read from those in the know, a diesel engine needs to be operated until it reaches normal operating temp. It may be necessary on some engines to put a load on the engine by placing it it gear and running it at or near idle to achieve normal operating temp.

Frequency? The more the better.
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:32 PM   #6
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You are not comming south this winter ?
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:04 PM   #7
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If you leave your boat in the water for the winter, but donít use it until the spring, how often do you start your engines and how long do you let them run? KJ
Couple of items...

How LONG do you consider winter??? For some boaters it's Dec-Mar...for others it could be Sept-May or June.

If its 4-5 months and my boats in the water and I'm going to run the engines...I'm going for a ride.

But if not...I would put the boat in gear, bring it up to say 1200-1500 rpm and let her warm up to operating temp...if need be...put her in reverse at a higher rpm (props usually les efficient so the strain on lines/dock is less)...

If you really don't feel like all that...winterize the engine and let her sit 4-5 months...most do with no real harm....if you want to get fancy...some recommend turning the engine by hand and spraying fogging oil in the air intake or injector holes.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:26 PM   #8
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I've often heard that same thing about diesels....don't start 'em unless you're going to run them under load to bring up the operating temps. I'm not a mekanik but I understand that the rings don't get hot enough to expand and that lets oil pass by the rings, and that ain't good for 'em.

I make sure we use our boat at least once a month through the winter. We always do the lighted boat parade that's usually the 2nd weekend of Dec, then our annual New Year's Day trip, and then another trip or three before things start to warm up.
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:17 AM   #9
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I run them year around. In the coldest months I take her for a ride once every two, three weeks max. If weather prohibits the joy ride, I bring the engines to operating temp for 30 minutes, 1000 rpm's, with transmissions in gear at the dock.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
how often do you start your engines and how long do you let them run? KJ
NEVER , I follow Da Book and winterize the engine.

It is claimed that yacht engines dont wear out from use , they are KILLED.

Cold starts , ideling with no load , is an excellent way to measurably shorten engine life.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:43 AM   #11
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I work with diesel driven fire pumps. These diesel engines are a lot like in boats and are needed in an emergency and set most of their life, and live a long time. Take a note from the code requirements; "Start them once a week and run them for no less than 30 minutes to attain normal operating temperature." This would be at churn with a very light load.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:38 AM   #12
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It depends if itís a 2 stroke or a 4 stroke. If a 2 stroke the engine should be turned started as one or more cylinders is open, so the cylinder positions should be changed. Both our gen set and the 671 are two stroke and I start them every 60 days, and run for a couple of minutes to move the engine parts/fluid and refresh coat of oil. As to how frequent or long is a depends. If you can not get the engine up to temp under load is not recommended for long period of time, but turning running the engine for a short period of time is recomended. I mainly start the engines every 60 days for peace of mind to know if they had to be start that they would start.

A four stroke may not be a critical as the cylinders of closed, but starting the engine to move the fluids and parts for a short period of time I feel is more beneficial than let it sit. Again more for peace of mind that they will start if needed

Actaully I don't think there is a actual true answer as it depends.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:00 AM   #13
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A four stroke may not be a critical as the cylinders of closed,
?? A four stroke has valves PF, they open the cylinder to the atmosphere one way or the other.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:15 PM   #14
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If you start an engine and "bring it up to operating temp" you'll need to put a 50% load or more on it for five or ten minutes and you probably won't be doing that at the "dock" unless you're interested in seeing how strong your cleats are.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:27 PM   #15
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I run mine every couple of weeks at a minimum and at about 1000 RPM I can get them up to temp in about a half hour against the cleats.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:30 PM   #16
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I USE my boat at least once every two weeks....and usually(hopefully) more than that.
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:07 PM   #17
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I run mine every couple of weeks at a minimum and at about 1000 RPM I can get them up to temp in about a half hour against the cleats.
Agree...I get my single up to 180 degrees or so (about the same as my slow cruise) in about 10 minutes at 12-1400 rpm with no threat to any cleats or dock...the higher rpm is usually in reverse so it's way less pressure on the dock.

If I can I try to also use the pretty good tidal action here (up to 3 knots) to help sometimes.

Not sure why some of us always seem to be able to do the impossible for others
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:25 PM   #18
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Agree...I get my single up to 180 degrees or so (about the same as my slow cruise) in about 10 minutes at 12-1400 rpm with no threat to any cleats or dock...the higher rpm is usually in reverse so it's way less pressure on the dock.
Reverse at high RPMs is also a good test of your shaft coupling shear pins and set screws. If you pull your shaft from the coupling its best to do it at the dock.
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:06 PM   #19
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The engine manual says the JD 4045 should be operated for a while at operating temperature at least once a week. I typically take the boat out about three times a month and operate the engine for 2 to 4 hours at a time. If I wouldn't be operating the boat for an extended time, I'd winterize ("hibernate") the engine and leave it otherwise alone.
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:24 PM   #20
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You are not comming south this winter ?
Michael,
No, not this winter. I might drive down to the Keys for some diving if I get cabin fever.

I do plan on heading south next fall/winter (2014). I’d like to leave here around the middle of Oct. I want to spend a week or so on the hook at Cumberland Island. We really enjoyed our visit there last May, but could only stay for two days. When we get to Lake Worth we’ll start looking for a window. As soon as a good one opens, we’ll make the jump over to the Bahamas and spend the rest of the winter there. If nothing opens up right away, we’ll just keep heading south and hang out in Marathon to wait it out.

Hope to see you down there again.

What are your plans? KJ



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