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Old 05-06-2010, 19:16   #1
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Smile Water Ingress into Diesel Through Exhaust

Our power boat, a 44ft trawler style, took sea water up the exhaust while stopped in a seaway. The motor a Caterpillar 3208 N 210 hp was not running and water was cleared promptly by removing engine components and physically barring the motor over. It then started successfully.

Since then we have changed the oil twice and an oil analysis showed 5% sea water was present. We have changed the oil again (a third time) and await further analysis.

We have been told that Cat 3208's can have a reduced amount of riser in the exhaust system and have now fitted a rubber flap on the exhaust which appears to work well.

The motor starts very easily and appears to run well . All gauge readings show the correct levels.

My question is should we do doing anything else to prevent engine damage or deterioration?
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Old 05-06-2010, 21:58   #2
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At this point I would monitor things.

Did the engine hydrolock?

How did you find the water in the cylinder(s)?
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Old 05-06-2010, 22:46   #3
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I am concerned about the very same thing happening. The boat is new to me and I haven't any evidence of a problem occuring in the past but with a substancial following sea I could see it. Mine is a sailboat with rear exhaust, waterlift and engine below the waterline. I have a flap and a rising U before running forward to the engine but I plan on installing a ball valve to be sure.

That large a percentage of sea water seems odd if you have changed the oil in between. It even seems odd if you haven't. Even with one cylander totally full and somehow (no rings) drained into the pan it wouldn't be that high a percentage would it? I'm not familliar with marine cats but the small 300 land cats hold about 6 gallons. That would be over a quart of salt water at 5%!
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Old 05-06-2010, 23:34   #4
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Correction sorry! The sea water %age was 0.5% and NOT 5%.

We were not on board but we were told that when they went to start the engine it would not turn over.The engine had been stopped to check the oil level. They were about 25 nm offshore.
We think the ocean swell plus the action of the large stern duck board contributed to water getting into the cylinder(s) through the exhaust despite the riser and water lift muffler.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:55   #5
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Correction sorry! The sea water %age was 0.5% and NOT 5%.
.5% doesn't bother me. change the oil again and see what happens next time out.
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