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Old 12-10-2009, 13:28   #1
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Thumbs up Becoming a Diesel Mechanic

I am getting ready to retire and am looking at the larger Beneteau or Macgreggor lines to live and cruise aboard with my wife, yes she will not let me go unless I bring her to. In preparation I am looking to become more familiar with diesel mechanics but there are no schools close to me. Has anyone seen anything I could do on my own?
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Old 12-10-2009, 13:45   #2
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Many professional mechanics go to schools put together by the engine manufacturer in order to become a factory certified mechanic. Perhaps you may be able to attend one of those schools? You may want to start calling engine manufacturers and see if that is a possibility.

I also hear of diesel engine clinics put together occasionally to help boat owners with their engines. I would imagine these clinics do not go in to great detail, but it seems this would be a good place to start.

You may be able to apprentice for an engine service company once you have received some education. This experience you gain would make you an even better diesel mechanic eventually allowing you to work for yourself.
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Old 12-10-2009, 14:47   #3
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Allardr,
For what its worth, you may want to look up Mack Boring. Their intsructor Larry Berlin is tops in my book. Great instructor and takes the time to help you understand your engine. I attended an owners class in NC for 3 days, pricey, but worth it. However I think there branches are only as far south as S. Carolina.
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Old 12-10-2009, 15:55   #4
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Book learning

I picked up a used copy of Marine Diesel Engines 2nd ed. by Nigel Calder and really enjoy it. I had plenty of experience with automobile engines, but none with diesels. Calder was a great start for me.
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Old 12-10-2009, 16:21   #5
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pirate still wanting to be a diesel something or other

Hey Mahana, that was an interesting reply, I just ordered five books on line last night and Calders book was one of them so I look forward to reading it. Got hold of a marine mechanic friend of mine and he is going to help me find an old motor to put on a stand in my shed to learn on with the books. Immanuel, I will look up those classes and maybe my wife and I will both attend, I am already good with gas motors, have twin 454 CI motors in my Chris. Have already done tranny and shaft work on it. Look forward to more discussions with all of you. Going out in my 18' fishing boat right now for an evening cruise down the intercoastal. Have a great day.
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Old 12-10-2009, 16:24   #6
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If you are buying books, get Peter Compton's "troubleshooting marine diesels". That and Calder's are almost all you need besides specific service manuals.

Get an old diesel in your garage, tear it apart and rebuild it and you will have more knowledge and experience than 99.9% of us out here.

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Old 12-10-2009, 17:30   #7
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I have spent many a day with new owners of a boat. I familiarize them with the systems. I spend a lot of the time on engines and generators. Maintenance, troubleshooting, bleeding, start circuits, battery/electrical management.

More than a few times...I have gotten "THE CALL" from East Bumthicket at
OMIGOD-thirty that there is a problem. Because the owners took the time to learn about their powerplants/systems we got the problem resolved by phone or e-mails.
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Old 12-10-2009, 18:06   #8
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Does your local community college have classes like these?


Non-Credit Classes
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Old 12-10-2009, 19:02   #9
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G' day, Familiar yes, taming them No, 5yr apprenteship+ 45 yrs experience still learning something most days & happy to do , if its got tits or pistons it going to give trouble ,The marine mechanics larment ''You get more money for f****g them than you do for fix them.'' quote,old skun knuckles.
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Old 12-10-2009, 19:49   #10
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I guess I understand some of what everyone is saying and laughing with the rest. I am a comm electrics engineer and this motor stuff is always difficult but I am really enjoying these responses. lmfao
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Old 12-10-2009, 19:49   #11
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The quote I like is from Farley Mowat's The Boat Who Wouldn't Float:

"According to mythology the virtue of [diesel] engines lies in the fact that they are simple and reliable. Although this myth is widely believed I am able to report that it is completely untrue. These engines are, in fact, vindictive, debased, black-minded ladies of no virtue..."
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Old 12-10-2009, 20:09   #12
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Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow

Keep the hot things hot the cold things cold

Look for the simple s--- first when troubleshooting
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Old 12-10-2009, 20:53   #13
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I love it. I wont show it to my wife, she would not understand. lol
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Old 12-10-2009, 21:44   #14
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Don't underestimate a woman on a boat.......They tend to read manuals.......and in many cases their BS detector is finely tuned when mechanics are around. I have found many women sailors..esp ones whose husbands have passed away are very savvy and a pleasure to work with.
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Old 13-10-2009, 11:56   #15
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I too am looking for some multi-day short course. I've e-mailed Westerbeke but so far no response.

Rich
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