Maintenance & Routine Suggestions

Above the Waterline:

  • Start a maintenance log and keep it current
  • Change all filters and fluids in engine and transmission now
  • Change engine oils every 200 hours or every 6 months, whichever comes first
  • Change transmission oil every 1000 hours or every year, whichever comes first
  • Inspect the cooling system zincs every 60 days until a wear pattern is established, then at least every oil change depending on local conditions
  • Clean the heat exchangers every 2 years or more often depending on local conditions
  • Clean exhaust risers and renew as necessary, usually not more than 4 years
  • Renew the raw water impeller every 2 years. Keep the old one as a spare.
  • Check engine alignment now and annually
  • Clean the seawater strainers now and as required. Inspect after every use.
  • Inspect shaft packing glands before and after each use. Drip should not exceed 10 times per minute whilst turning and the drip should stop after 30 minutes static.
  • Exercise all seacocks monthly
  • Check operation of all bilge pump automatic switches monthly including shower sump
  • Check/test smoke alarms and CO detectors monthly
  • Return CO detectors to the factory for recalibration annually. This could save your life.
  • Inspect fire extinguishers monthly. Reading must be in the GREEN. Renew 6 years from the date of manufacture. Discard any rusted fire extinguishers immediately.
  • Test Ground Fault (GFCI) outlets monthly. This could also save your life.
  • Check battery fluid levels monthly
  • Check operation of navigation lights one hour before sunset when underway
  • Renew coolant hoses every five years
  • Carry a basic toolkit, spare belts, fuel filters, oil filters, engine oil, transmission fluid, hydraulic steering fluid, a small funnel, impellers, fresh good-quality gasket cement, and a bucket with a handle

Below the Waterline:

  • Haulout and renew antifouling every two years at a minimum
  • Check cutlass bearing wear each Haulout
  • Replace zincs every haulout and as necessary whilst afloat

Engine Startup:

  1. Check oil and coolant levels. Open engine raw water inlet.
  2. Look at the accessory drive belt (sometimes called the fan belt).
  3. Look around the engine and engine room to check for anything unusual such as water, oil, fuel, loose, burnt or frayed wires, strange odours, etc.
  4. Turn on main starting battery.
  5. Ensure transmission is in neutral.
  6. Diesel equipment only, hold the preheat button for about 30 seconds. This action also may also override any low oil pressure shutoff device.
  7. Start the engine.
  8. Look at the oil pressure gauge to be sure you have normal oil pressure.
  9. Go to the engine exhaust/cooling water outlet and ensure cooling water is pumping through the engine to the outlet.
  10. If after 30 seconds no water is pumping shut down the engine.
  11. If no water is pumping check
  12. Raw water inlet seacock open
  13. Seawater strainers clear
  14. Accessory drive belt tight (should depress no more than ½ inch-12 mm on most systems)
  15. Inspect raw water impeller. Aren’t you glad you have basic tools and a spare impeller?
  16. Call a mechanic. Do not operate without cooling water pumping.

Genset Startup:

  1. Same as Engine startup 1 though 4 inclusive.
  2. Genset transfer switch to “Shore” or “Off” position
  3. Diesel equipment only, hold the preheat button for about 30 seconds. This action also may also override any low oil pressure shutoff device.
  4. Same as Engine startup 7 though 11 inclusive.
  5. Turn off air conditioners and water heater.
  6. Genset transfer switch to “Generator” position.
  7. Turn on necessary equipment. Your genset may not be able to power all of your electric equipment at the same time. Manage your loads carefully. Avoid bogging down the genset for safety and long life.
  8. Use an inverter for small loads such as TV/VCR, light duty microwave ovens, lights. Etc. Use the genset for the heavier loads.
  9. When shutting down, shed loads first, transfer switch to “Shore” or “Off” then genset shutdown.
  10. Important note: This checklist is provided as a general guideline and does not address specific issues with your vessel or its equipment. Before operating any equipment or machinery obtain and read all operating manuals and follow all manufacturer’s guidelines. Have a mechanic show you how if you are unsure. Be a safe operator.

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