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Old 30-10-2021, 07:17   #1
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Cranking too long

I just heard from a friend who was having trouble getting his genset started so he cranked it way too long, with his water pump">raw water pump sucking in water but no exhaust to expel it. Luckily it didnít start and try to compress water. What should he do now other than change the oil? Isnít water likely to be in cylinders and how does he get it out?
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Old 30-10-2021, 07:22   #2
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Re: Cranking too long

If it's got water in the oil and doesn't turn freely, then yes, it's got water in the cylinders. He'll need to pull the injectors, glow plugs, or whatever goes into the cylinders to get the water out, then add a little light oil and turn it over by hand. Then change the oil and get it running.
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Old 30-10-2021, 15:27   #3
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Re: Cranking too long

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Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
If it's got water in the oil and doesn't turn freely, then yes, it's got water in the cylinders. He'll need to pull the injectors, glow plugs, or whatever goes into the cylinders to get the water out, then add a little light oil and turn it over by hand. Then change the oil and get it running.


From what he said on the phone I think youíve described his problem exactly. Iíll tell him what you said but I think heís going to try to get a mechanic to do it for him. But nice to have an idea what to expect. Thanks!
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Old 30-10-2021, 16:48   #4
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Re: Cranking too long

I wish your friend would recognize this as a "learn about your boat" moment and approach the job himself, given excellent advice from rslifkin. When he does the same damn thing anchored in a remote cove next year, is he going to call his mechanic? Is he going to learn what was wrong with the genset in the first place?

Hmmmm. Got minimal patience this evening. Better catch a few flies for dinner.
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Old 30-10-2021, 16:56   #5
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Re: Cranking too long

Another friend had a similar situation with a brand new engine to replace the one that came in his lobster yacht but always overheated, but it blew up about the second time he tried to start it. His mechanic had routed the exhaust to exit right at the waterline without a significant rise between the engine and thru hull. There had been a storm and just the waves were enough to push water all the way to the engine and into at least one cylinder. So he came into the boat after the storm and started the engine and the incompressible water basically exploded, destroying the engine. The mechanic refused to accept responsibility and had all his assets in his wifeís name so even though my friend is an attorney, he just let it go and found another engine (and another mechanic) for his boat.

But since this friend with the current water problem didnít start his genset, and just cranked it over, Iím hoping for an easier fix.
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Old 13-11-2021, 08:36   #6
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Re: Cranking too long

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Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
I wish your friend would recognize this as a "learn about your boat" moment and approach the job himself, given excellent advice from rslifkin. When he does the same damn thing anchored in a remote cove next year, is he going to call his mechanic? Is he going to learn what was wrong with the genset in the first place?

Hmmmm. Got minimal patience this evening. Better catch a few flies for dinner.


Iím with ya but boat ownership is new to him and Iíve been trying to get him walking before a try to encourage him to run. Heís made great strides over the past year but I think it would serve him well to watch a qualified mechanic do it the first time. If I was close by Iíd help him myself but Iím 500 miles away on my own boat.

Iím about to launch into my first disassembly of my Webasto heater that wonít start so I can clean the carbon off the burner, which I am told is likely why it wonít run. I was tempted to send it off to a heating specialist but Iím curious and figure once I do it the first time Iíll have more confidence later on in that remote cove you mentioned, so Iíve ordered a gasket set and plan to put down a big piece of cardboard on the sole of my saloon and start disassembling. The worst that can happen is that I screw it up and have to send it off for repairs after all. But even if that happens Iíll only be out the price of the gasket set compared with sending it off right away.
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