PassageMaker magazine has launched the first in a series of online boating education courses. Starting next week, Boaters University will offer its first course “Maintaining and Troubleshooting Marine Diesel Engines.”
Visit boatersuniversity.com to enroll today and save $50 on this course before Aug. 15, 2017.
The diesel engine is the beating heart of your vessel, whether you cruise under power or sail. Arguably, a good running engine is your most important single piece of safety gear. Diesel engines are economical, long-lived and reliable, yet there are a number of ways in which they can fail. This seeming contradiction brings us to the distinction that has shaped the “Online Marine Diesel Maintenance & Troubleshooting” course.
Our instructor and partner is none other than Troubleshooter columnist Steve Zimmerman, who operates four boatyards in Maryland, Virgina and North Carolina. Zimmerman and Nigel Calder are co-presenters for our popular two-day TrawlerFest seminars on diesel engines. The purpose of Boater's University, which is offered in conjuction with our sister boating publications, is to bring the TrawlerFest education concept to a wider audience.
The internal workings of a diesel engine rarely fail—pistons, valves, shafts—and even if they were to fail, there is almost nothing boat owner could do about it except to call a repair shop. That’s why this course focuses solely on components that are 1) likely to go wrong and 2) repairable or preventable by a boat owner. Course segments address how to troubleshoot fuel, electrical, cooling and corrosion issues, etc., and describe how savvy maintenance can prevent these ancillary components from failing in the first place.
The course is about being independent. It is designed to impart the mechanical know-how that participants need to venture past the sight of land or to destinations beyond the range of SeaTow. And even if you intend to do your boating close to home and plan to hire technicians for maintenance and repairs, this course has value.
While most marine professionals are honest and competent, occasionally you may find yourself dealing with an exception. The 11 segments of this course will impart enough knowledge to ask your mechanic the right questions and evaluate the answers.
In short, “Online Marine Diesel Maintenance & Troubleshooting” is a twofold self-defense course. It imparts the knowledge to deal with the problems most likely to occur underway and to detect misinformation in the repair marketplace. This course may very well pay for itself many times over.
Online Marine Diesel Maintenance & Troubleshooting
1. Alternators: How they work and what to do if they stop working.
2. Belts: Types of belts. How to detect wear and make adjustments.
3. Bleeding the engine: Demonstration of the manual process for removing air from the fuel system after stalling or changing filters on older diesel engines.
4. Changing Filters: The right way to replace fuel and oil filters.
5. Changing Impellers: The process for replacing the wear part of a raw water pump.
6. Cooling System: How it works and maintenance to keep it working.
7. Fuel system: Good fuel is crucial. How to prevent fuel delivery failures.
8. Power Train: Paying regular attention to the hardware between the engine and the propeller can prevent expensive problems.
9. Shaft Seals: There are three types, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
10. Taking Engine Temperatures: A simple tool and a regimen of routine can detect problems early on.
11. What To Do When Your Engine Won’t Start: Simple procedures to get you underway again.
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