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Old 11-06-2014, 15:42   #1
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Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

So knowing that I'm somewhat mechanically competent but lack much (ok any) experience with Marine Diesels, I've been looking into marine diesel training. Problem is I live in Austin TX and there nothing realistically close to me, everything is diesel truck focused.

I found an old thread that mentioned the training available from Mack Boring (US source for Yanmar) as being pretty decent and I notice they offer two levels of training.

1) Focused on boat owners consists of 1-3 day seminars.
Mack Boring & Parts Company - Reliable Power. Everywhere.

- This seems too short and possibly too high level?

2) Focused on dealers - 3 day seminars for different size engines.
Mack Boring & Parts Company - Reliable Power. Everywhere.

- These would likely be over my head since I'm by know means a mechanic. I can handle things like oil changes, and basic tune-ups of a gas engine...

My gut says a 3 day class isn't enough to make someone competent in diesel repair/maintenance, even when combined with a willingness for reading and self study.

What about it, anyone out there who's attended one of these seminars, are they worth the $900? Would I be better off finding something a little more in depth?

Thanks,
EB
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Old 11-06-2014, 20:06   #2
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Re: Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

Hey EB, it might not be a bad thing to get diesel trained even if it's on a Mack truck. They all function on the same principal. I've heard good things about Mack Boring, but it's too far for me. I took a day class at List Marine in Sausalito (for $75, I think) and really learned a lot for what I'm doing right now. The mains things are knowing how a diesel works, how the individual pieces function, and how to bleed your engine. They also recommended Trouble Shooting Marine Diesels by Compton. It's an excellent source to have on hand.

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Old 12-06-2014, 16:36   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErBrown View Post
So knowing that I'm somewhat mechanically competent but lack much (ok any) experience with Marine Diesels, I've been looking into marine diesel training. Problem is I live in Austin TX and there nothing realistically close to me, everything is diesel truck focused.

I found an old thread that mentioned the training available from Mack Boring (US source for Yanmar) as being pretty decent and I notice they offer two levels of training.

1) Focused on boat owners consists of 1-3 day seminars.
Mack Boring & Parts Company - Reliable Power. Everywhere.

- This seems too short and possibly too high level?

SNIL
What about it, anyone out there who's attended one of these seminars, are they worth the $900?
I went to one of those. It was worth the 900 bucks and flying to the US especially for that. It was particularly useful to me because they let yiu choose the model of Yanmar engine you want to work on, and that was what I needed.

Cheers

C
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Old 12-06-2014, 17:12   #4
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Re: Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

Diesel maintenance is not rocket science. That 3-day course would be more than you would need. I never took a class and learned all about my engines through the school of hard knocks. Now I can do just about anything with them. Unless you're planning to sail the inside passage or something, you're never going to do the more difficult things yourself anyway.
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Old 17-06-2014, 12:30   #5
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Re: Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

It took the 3 day Mack Boring course here in Boston.

Outstanding. You learn about each of the systems in more than enough detail. Hands on learning - take apart motors (heat exchangers, fuel injectors, etc) and adjust valves, bleed the fuel system, routine maintenance, etc

The tips and tricks you learn are invaluable.

No doubt there may be other instruction out there, but the Mack Boring classes were great. Well worth the cost of admission.
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Old 17-06-2014, 13:11   #6
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Re: Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

The best 1/2 dozen marine mechanics I know were trained by Mack Boring and Engine City.
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Old 17-06-2014, 13:48   #7
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Re: Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

The less expensive and close to you, but time-consuming option is to take the courses at your community college -

Reminds me of the ol' saying: You can have fast, cheap, or quality - pick any two
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Old 17-06-2014, 13:58   #8
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Re: Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

I don't know any community colleges that offer the same type of training. Do you? Most community college marine diesel courses, that I know of, are geared towards the commercial/ship sector, not pleasure craft marine diesel. I don't think most cruisers are looking for a one yr. certificate program.
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Old 17-06-2014, 14:25   #9
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Re: Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

I didn't mean take the whole program - just the diesel course(s) (wouldn't be marine, but as pointed out earlier, automotive or truck diesel is close enough to teach diesel basics).

Ok, looking at Austin Community College (location of the OP) it looks like there are two pre-req's. Aut 104 and Aut 105. That's followed by Diesel 1406 and Advanced Diesel 1407 if desired.

Not bad - Would have an advanced diesel and basic automotive skill-set in 2-3 terms for less than half the expense of the Mack Boring 3-day class.

Personally, I love crash-courses, but the OP suggested he may lean towards something longer and was also questioning the cost so the above may be a fit.

Edit: Btw, you could most likely skip the pre-req's and jump right into the Diesel courses if you opted to audit the classes as opposed to earning credit
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Old 17-06-2014, 16:37   #10
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Re: Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

Yeah I've looked at the community college courses but am still curious how much will translate. No focus on troubleshooting many of the many of the common failure scenarios of a marine diesel.

Raw water intake, impellers, heat exchangers, water cooled exhaust, etc...

No doubt the community college classes will be the cheaper option. I guess my real question is around how valuable this type of training would be without the additional marine systems.

My gut says I'd be better off focusing on marine diesel but that leaves me with either trying to find a way to do it later in another location (Like Houston) or bite the bullet and take the intense 3-day class. Since there's not really a perfect option, I'm just trying to decide what my best option is. I could always combine one of the Mac boring classes with a trip to the NorthEast around the Annapolis show, or stay closer to home and try my luck with community college route.
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Old 17-06-2014, 17:17   #11
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Re: Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

Have you talked to any of the Yanmar dealers in your area and picked their brains about this? Have you gotten your hands dirty on an engine such as replacing the impeller, changing the oil and filters, bleeding the system? For me, I learn by doing and then a class helps reinforce what I already know, it shows me some tricks of the trade, and introduces me to some more complicated features. This might not apply to you, and I'm sure you won't go wrong with Mack Boring, but before you take a 3-day intensive class, you might want to already know a lot of the basics. Also, read through old posts about engine problems. You'll see many differences of opinion related to trouble shooting that can get you to thinking about what to ask in these classes. For example, I have an engine starting issue. Some people on the forums thought it could be related to the gauge of the wire running from the starter. Others suggested a relay switch, which is the way I'm going, but now I've also talked to knowledgeable people about how to size wires correctly. Through this I found out about the wire gauge tables and am thinking more about the wiring on my boat. It's just one big process to boat owner enlightenment You could also ask any professor how much a student forgets within one semester if the information is not directly applied, so make sure you're getting your hands dirty...
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Old 17-06-2014, 17:49   #12
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Re: Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

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Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
so make sure you're getting your hands dirty...
Good advice. I think I'll probably start with a couple classes at the community college. They have a few courses aimed at basic marine electrical and outboard motor repair and maintenance, both of which will come in handy.

You bring up a good point, in that it's hard for me to get my hands dirty on a diesel right now, though we are currently looking for our next boat and at our price point, chances are it will be something that needs some TLC. I'm sure my chances for hand-on will be much more frequent in the next 6 months or so!
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Old 21-06-2014, 17:18   #13
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Re: Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

The Mack Boring three day is awesome. Larry knows his stuff. You will learn a lot. It will not be above your head.
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Old 21-06-2014, 19:03   #14
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Re: Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

Yes Larry rocks. I think he retired.

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Old 21-06-2014, 20:07   #15
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Re: Mack Boring - Marine Diesel Training

I took classes at my local CC here in Chesapeake, VA. My instructor was a retired Coastie with many years experience. He was great. He even offered to let me bring my own engine in for the teardown/rebuild section of the class. I didn't, but I could have. I ended up working on a massive Liebherr 600 HP beast, but the principles are all the same. Pretty much everything translated directly to my little 18 HP Yanmar. It wouldn't hurt to just go to your CC and talk to the instructor to see what his background is and how willing he is to work with you. In the end, nothing is going to teach you more than just working on your own stuff. The purpose of the classes is just to give you the confidence to get started.
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