Using engine for first time in ages.

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UserError
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Using engine for first time in ages.

Post by UserError »

I am planning to move our Centaur later in February and I would really like the engine to be as reliable as possible for this trip (full length of Chichester harbour, Looe Channel or Owers if needs be, then into the Arun for Littlehampton. This last really calls for the engine).

The boat is currently far out on a swinging mooring an hour's drive away and has been untended for maybe two years.

I have got the impeller in hand.

What other things could I consider, to give the engine the best shot?

Many thanks
Centaur Polly B
Littlehampton
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Re: Using engine for first time in ages.

Post by Jolly Roger »

If the engine has not been used for 2 years then I would do the following:

Change the impeller.
Change the engine oil and filter.
Change the fuel filter and have a spare ready.
Dose the existing fuel with an anti-diesel bug.
Top the fuel tank with fresh fuel.
Charge the battery and check it holds charge, if not fit a new battery.
Check the water inlet is turned on.
Once started, check water is flowing out of the exhaust. If only a limited amount, then clean the heat exchanger.
Check the stern gland, probably a turn or two on the greaser or if a Volvo seal burp it.
If the boat has been in the water for 2 years, then give it a scrub, especially the propeller, otherwise the boat will be slow with inefficient propulsion.
Before you leave, get it to full working temperature and give it a test run to check everything works correctly.

I think this covers everything. Best of luck, keep warm and have fully charged phones and a VHF.
Roger
Concerto Fulmar FR38
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steve parry
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Re: Using engine for first time in ages.

Post by steve parry »

Hi,

Ditto what Jolly Roger posted, excellent list for anyone who is trying to start up an engine after two years!! One thing I would add is once you get the engine up an running an are happy with the engine, make sure the gear box is working correctly. Check it has oil in the gear box and perhaps maybe change it? One you have checked this with the engine running, try putting the gear lever ahead and astern whilst still attached to the mooring, do it gently as this hasn't moved in two years either!!

Good Luck

Steve Parry - WALKABOUT
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Re: Using engine for first time in ages.

Post by TyroSailor »

Check the alternator belt as well. If it's been stationary for that long it's probably developed a set, i.e. bends fixed where it goes round each pulley. It may then crack as it starts to run. So you need a new one, unless you had the foresight to remove it at the same time as the impeller. The rubber may have perished anyway.

And give it a good workout while you're still within paddling distance of the mooring.
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
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Re: Using engine for first time in ages.

Post by Airscrew »

In addition to the excellent list above,

I would also be tempted to check that the engine turns by hand, (lift the decompression levers (valve lifters)if fitted), and listen for any abnormal sounds.

I would also consider and briefly spin the engine on the starter to get the oil moving around. Might need to close off the fuel and water to avoid flooding.
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Re: Using engine for first time in ages.

Post by UserError »

When I get it started, I want to run it for some while before daring to leave the mooring, but recall reading that idling not being good for diesels? If that's correct, how much load will be needed? Would I be able to run that sort of load on the mooring? (I trust that the Harbour Conservancy maintain their moorings so it should be in reasonable condition :-) )
Thanks
J
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Re: Using engine for first time in ages.

Post by TyroSailor »

Habitual idling for long periods, and never warming up properly (which is how most auxiliaries are treated) is indeed bad for them. They develop (I believe, although I don't know how) a 'glaze' on the inside of the cylinders which stops them working properly. Also, failure to get really hot for an extended period means that all the corrosive gases that dissolve in the water also formed by combustion don't get removed properly and eat away at the engine. (Idling's not good for petrol engines either - they're all built to work!)

However, I should think that idling for half an hour or so - or better, run at something above idling revs - shouldn't do it much harm, as long as it's afterwards worked hard to get it really hot. (Going out of Chichester against the flood should do it!) You should also, I'd have thought, be able to pull gently on the mooring without too much of a problem - it's supposed to be able to hold the boat in a gale, after all.

Good luck!
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
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Re: Using engine for first time in ages.

Post by Jolly Roger »

If you have another mooring astern near you, then take a mooring line to it and spread the load across 2 moorings. Then you should be able to put a reasonable load on the engine by using forward and reverse gears.
Roger
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Re: Using engine for first time in ages.

Post by Fulmar433 »

I had some fuel issues last year, and after changing the filters and pump wanted to run the engine for a while before leaving the mooring. I just ran the engine in reverse gear. Prop walk pulled the boat around a bit but it soon settled down and found a balance between prop walk and the breeze. I quite quickly got it up to operating temperature.
David Metcalfe
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Re: Using engine for first time in ages.

Post by UserError »

Thanks for the reassurance chaps, if half an hour or so as a one-off won't do much harm. The moorings are reasonably close so sharing the load might be feasible if there's enough rope on board - we haven't found everything yet.

When we get to leave, we'll be on the ebb going out & flood coming into Littlehampton so the engine won't have to work hard (assuming all goes to plan - this trip has taken us 12 hours before....).

Theoretically we could sail the lot, but SWMBO wants the engine available and I'm inclined to agree that that's wise.

Hopefully I can report back next week, with posituve news.
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Littlehampton
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Re: Using engine for first time in ages.

Post by Jolly Roger »

Best of luck and hope the weather gods are in your favour.
Roger
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Re: Using engine for first time in ages.

Post by UserError »

"Best of luck and hope the weather gods are in your favour."
Not this week(end) at least.
Centaur Polly B
Littlehampton
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