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Old 09-06-2012, 10:45   #1
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Routine Maintenance

Routine Maintenance
I have owned several small boats and only 2 Mid size boats and they were both sailboats with small diesels. There is not that much routine maintenance on the sailboat itself. The diesel get oil change once a year. I check the batteries once a month. I Haul out every 2 years.
I just bought a 1986 36’ Mainship Dual Cabin with twin 350 crusaders.
Probably 90% of the time I will be doing 6-7 Kts and sometimes 15 – 18 kts, but not all that often and I will be taking long trips.
Since I am new to mid size power boats, I will act? like I don’t know anything.
Sooooooooo……..What routine maintenance do you guys do, and at what frequency, whether it be in months, engine hours or whatever?
Thanks in advance
Tony B
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:36   #2
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Don't know much about the Crusaders but checking fluids, batteries, and a general look at the engines to check for anything that doesn't look right would be a good idea before each time you will use the boat. Fluids should get changed every couple hundred hours depending on how often the engines are used.

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Old 10-06-2012, 12:51   #3
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Re: Routine Maintenance

Thanks for the info K.
I probably didn't make myself clear - as usual. LOL.
Most posts are always edited by me at least once.

What I am looking for is .......
How many hours should I run my engines at 1400 to 1600 RPM between oil changes. How many hours should I run them before checking air filters, spark plugs, etc. That kinda stuff.
I'm new to these kind of boats and mechanically challenged.
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Old 10-06-2012, 13:24   #4
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Re: Routine Maintenance

Other know more, and maybe they could comment on


Through hulls ... operate at least annually? (in a safe place!)

Raw water strainer ... often

Zincs, prop and bottom cleaning, check shaft (diver or haul out)

Are batteries maint. free or need water? Is boat on shorepower or does it have a solar panel to trickle charge them?

Maybe every year or so check electrical lines; tightness of connections, no scorch marks, fraying, etc.

Occasionally ... check for deck leaks, hatch and portlight water tightness with garden hose.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:12   #5
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Re: Routine Maintenance

I have read where they recommend oild changes at 100 Hrs for engines and generators.

The way I see it is if were a car, 100 hrs at 60 mph =6,000 miles. I'm OK with this.

As for the Generator, 100 Hrs = every 4 days. If that is what it is, then, that's what it is. Just seems kind of strange changing oil every 4 days, but so be it.


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Old 11-06-2012, 13:46   #6
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Re: Routine Maintenance

Tony B,

You really need to check the owner's manuals for equipment specific maintenance schedules. If the boat did not come with them, look on line. Many manufacturers have manuals you can download from their web sites.

I created an Excel spreadsheet to track various maintenance items for the multiple systems on board. By applying conditional formatting to cells with due dates/hours, a quick glance for cells with red backgrounds tells me what maintenance is due. It is also useful for a historical record of maintenance performed.
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Old 11-06-2012, 19:02   #7
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Re: Routine Maintenance

Thanks John

I already prepared an XL spreadsheet with due dates etc. I just don't know the recommended frequency.
I just figured that with all the experts on here, someone would know how many hours between oil changes, tune-ups, fuel filters, etc.
Guess I'll just have to find the manuals.
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Old 11-06-2012, 19:23   #8
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Oil changes - 100 hours or 6 months
Gasoline engines - distributor cap, rotor, wires replaced every 3 years. Plugs cleaned and gapped annually. Replaced as required.
Diesel engine - injectors cleaned every 5 years
Air filter - clean/replace annually unless a dirty environment
Seacocks - exercise every 6 months minimum
Water strainers - clean as required
Fuel tanks - drain & cleaned every 5 years
Heat exchanger - cleaned every 5 years
Drive belts - 3 years replace
Impellers - inspect annually, replace 3 years
Exhaust systems - inspect annually
Batteries (sealed) - remove clean and reinstall connections annually, battery end, switch end and alternator connections. Inspect cables, replace when batteries are replaced 5-7) years
Engine mounts, transmission mounts, shaft seals - replace every 10 years.
Rubber hoses (fuel, exhaust & water) - replace every 10 years
Bilge pump float switch - replace every 5 years

Spares on-board (exoerience based)
Impeller
Belts
Oil & filter
Alternator
Starter switch and solenoid (relay)
Injector
Spark plugs (gas engine)
Battery cable, lugs and tools
Bilge pump float switch
Bilge pump

YMMV...
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:50   #9
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Re: Routine Maintenance

Thanks Ex-C

That is the kind of info I was looking for

Tony B
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:05   #10
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Re: Routine Maintenance

Great list by Ex-Calif...

I might up the oil change interval to 200 hrs. As long as you put a normal 200 on them. They are usually in a low dusting environment and run a little steadier than red light to red light so the longer interval. If you run them hard or overheat...then all bets off..change way sooner...overheat..immediately if long term or high temp experienced.

Again that's if you are loafing them most of the time at displacement speeds. If most of a hundred hours is up in the mid-3000 rpm range, the 100 hour interval is preferred by many...but I would still say 200 hrs if the use is normal boating.

My experience comes from operating/maintaining a small fleet of 454 gas blocks in towing assistance boats....in addition to a life on the water. I have never seen engines have a harder life than the assistance towing we do and we use the 200 hr interval. Most blocks last over 10 years and 5000 hrs with no major maintenance (which is pretty good for hard use, marine engines).
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:02   #11
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Re: Routine Maintenance

I have always used the 200 hour interval for changing the oil on my commercial fishing boat diesels, always seemed to work fine. I would also check with the manufacturer for recommended maintenance intervals.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:11   #12
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Re: Routine Maintenance

Don't forget the engine zincs--they should be checked every 3 months, and replaced if they are over 1/4 consumed.
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Old 12-06-2012, 18:08   #13
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I wouldn't argue over the longer oil change time. In fact I would cross reference with the owners manual for all the items I listed and see what it says - adjust for your experience. Replacing a lot of the rubber and electric parts may seem like overkill but I would rather have the reliability afforded by periodic replacement. Especially in a boat with no sails.

My dad always said, "you can't hurt an engine by changing its oil" - for the average boater the six months can come up more frequently than the 100 hours.

Good point on the zincs. I was focused in on the engine and its systems. There is a lot more maintenance as well. I've decided my manual toilet gets a new valve kit every 3 years for example.
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Old 13-06-2012, 13:44   #14
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Re: Routine Maintenance

The oil change interval can vary widely, on the commercial tug I run, we send in oil samples monthly, and don't change the oil until the testing service tells us to do so, we do change the filters more often. I tend to err on the side of caution with my own equipment, and my Father used to say changing the oil was cheap insurance. I change the hoses and belts depending on how degraded they are getting, and I always carry spares.
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