Diesel engine maintenance
Operating a long-range vessel like a Selene Explorer without basic mechanical knowledge and regular engine services is obviously not recommended… A captain who contemplates ocean travels as well as coastal cruising should always remember that his yacht’s engine is also his lifeline. We have selected the best engine brands for our Selene Explorers, but like any mechanical component on a boat they require attention.
The Importance of Oil Tests
For humans, a blood test is often critical in order to anticipate serious health problems. Likewise, testing fluids in a marine engine tells plenty about its condition. And it’s cheap, an oil sample costs between $30 and $50 and the result is usually available in 48 hours. It’s a technology bargain and a good insurance! Beyond regular services, occasional oil analysis is the best way to monitor the condition of engines and transmissions. It allows to identify serious potential mechanical issues before a breakdown and helps to schedule repairs and spare parts supplies at the best cost in a convenient location.
As an engine is operated, the metal parts of the engine, iron, chromium, lead, tin, copper, etc. wear against each other in spite of the lubricants and small particles will remain in suspension in the engine or transmission oil. Spectrographic, spectrophotometric, infrared and gas chromatographic testing will report abnormal quantities of particles that will eventually require attention and cause failures. While we install John Deere or Cummins bullet-proof engines, this is a very important part of preventive maintenance which is too often neglected… As the famous French writer Jean-Baptiste Racine said: “Who wishes to travel far spares his steed.”
On a yacht, oil analysis should be a routine operation on every Diesel engine, including generators and wing engines. The following summary gives some useful indications on how to read an oil analysis report.