KEEP THE MOTOR OF YOUR BOAT! WE TELL YOU HOW
In a boat, it is clear that the engine is the fundamental piece. It is vital to always have it in perfect working order. Our friends V de Bravado, are in charge of the engine revision so that everything is correct, but you can make your nautical engine have a longer life with good maintenance.
That is why, in today’s article, V de Bravado, our boathouse in Barcelona, gives us some tips to keep the engine, check and revise it, perform good maintenance and prevent problems.
Tips to maintain your nautical engine
Watch out for alarm indicators
Don’t ignore the dashboard indicators, because they can tell us about future problems. If the light indicators are of poor quality or of very low consumption, they may not be very visible in broad daylight, going unnoticed. If you have chosen sound indicators, they must be audible even when the boat is at full power.
Place the thermostat in the correct position
It is a very common mistake to install the thermostat with the sensor facing out. Doing this way if the engine overheats, we will find out when smoke starts to come out. It is a detectable error in an engine overhaul but it costs nothing to check.
Listen to your engine
You must know how your nautical engine sounds:
• An acute noise may indicate that a belt is loose.
• A few metallic taps and at the speed of the engine revolutions can suppose that there is a problem with the valves, the elevators or the rocker arms.
• Metal squeaks may come from a loose water pump bearing.
• If the exhaust becomes louder, it is probably because it is receiving little cooling water, and therefore the water pump must be checked.
Use your nose
In the same way that you should know how your nautical engine sounds, you should also know how it smells. Each engine has its “normal smell”. And changes in that smell can indicate problems:
• The smell of burnt rubber may be due to a dry running water pump rotor (in this case it looks for a clogged water outlet), insufficient cooling water in the exhaust, a belt slippage or an engine failure aft.
• A slight aroma of burnt oil may be due to the engine overstressing. If the smell is more intense, there is an oil leak falling on the hot engine.
• A sweet smell indicates an antifreeze leak.
• The smell of burnt hair can be motivated by an electrical short circuit.
Check the calipers
Inspect the indicators regularly. Some owners adjust them so that the needles are vertical when the operation is correct. This makes it easier to detect when a change occurs.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, not always using pure antifreeze is the best idea. Sometimes it is necessary to mix it with water, since the antifreeze has a boiling point higher than water; therefore, it retains more heat and makes the engine more likely to overheat.
Do not start the engine without water
One of the most common problems encountered by V de Bravado in its engine overhaul is the damage to the pump impeller, motivated by testing the engine stranded and without immersing the propeller in water. Not even for a few seconds, it’s not a good idea.
Use quality oil
Surely you already know, lubricating the engine with cheap oil can be very expensive. Quality oils are more uniform and stable in all types of conditions.
Use the correct filters
Another problem that is easily detected in an engine overhaul but costs nothing to solve in time. Diesel and gasoline engines must have two filters. The first filter should be the thickest (30 microns), and the thinnest (2 microns) below. Thus the filtering load is distributed correctly, the result is better and the life of the filters and the engine is extended.
Watch the vibrations
• If the bow rail starts to shake every time the ship starts to plan, but you don’t notice it in the hull, it is very possible that one of the propeller blades is bent.
• A vibration only at certain revolutions can mean that the propeller needs to be balanced.
• When the entire ship is agitated at any speed, the engine and the crankshaft are misaligned.
Water jet engines allow you to enter our boat in shallow water, but you have to be careful. These engines use some of the water they suck for cooling, so if there is sand or dirt, the cooling system may clog. For that reason it is important to respect a minimum depth; or at least navigate fast, so that the boat rises and the engine drinks water from the layer closest to the surface.
Rinse the engine
After each use, the motor must be cleaned with fresh water: for 10 minutes it must circulate through the motor, dragging any dirt that may have accumulated.
Do not turn the engine before turning it off
Many owners do it with the idea that it will be easier to turn it on later. Actually, what is achieved is to leave fuel without burning inside the cylinders, creating a sticky tank.
Turn off the switch correctly
When changing the battery selector while the engine is running, never go through the Off position. In that microsecond while switching from position 1 to 2 through OFF, the alternator output has nowhere to go. This situation can turn off the diode and damage the alternator.
Another engine overhaul process that can easily be done to increase its life. As in the drive shaft, the inside of the engine houses zinc alloy blocks that must be replaced with each oil change. If left for a long time, they will begin to get rid of and create particles that could clog the cooling system.
Change the oil
If you make the oil change, completely replace the old one with a new one, never mix them. It is a part of the Bravado V engine revision service in its technical area.
Stainless Steel Screws and Clamps
It is very important that both the screw and the hose clamps are made of stainless steel. A bad clamp is a safe way to end water or fuel leaks.
Aware with the stern lines
Avoid leaving sedans or ends at the stern, as they can become entangled in the propeller. If the engine is driven and tangled, it can damage the bearings, scratch the transmission gears, and if the engine mounts are weak, pull the engine and leave it misaligned.
Take measures to prevent corrosion
Keep the electrical connectors of the motor covered with petroleum jelly or with a protector that repels moisture. It is also necessary to pass a damp cloth with fresh water from time to time, to remove the salt crystals, which attract moisture. It can also be dry cleaned and spread a light layer of oil.
Use the right fuel
Buying the cheapest fuel can, in addition to giving a worse performance, spoil the pistons, rings and cylinders. The manufacturer always tells you the minimum number of octanes to use.
Be careful with the bearing
If you replace the propeller of an outboard or an outboard, do not forget to put the propulsion bearing back in place (or do not put an incorrect one). Without this kind of washer, the center of the propeller pulls the gearbox hard every time it accelerates.
Read the user manual carefully
Although most owners only usually read the first pages and then simply look at the drawings, it is very important to read the manufacturer’s manual carefully to increase the life of our engine.
Do you need a boathouse in Barcelona for your engine overhaul?
If you are looking for a boathouse in Barcelona for your engine revision, we recommend V de Bravado, a boathouse with a technical area with integral mechanical services. They are responsible for periodic maintenance, overhauls, oil changes, replacement of filters, water pumps, cooling circuits of main engines and generators and boat electricity.
This post is also available in: Español