So, I have to open with a joke. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide all the other people in the world into two kinds of people, and those who don’t.

For the purposes of this article, I do!

To be more specific, I divide boaters into two kinds of people: those who want to play in the engine room and those who don’t. Whether your boat is power or sail, you are almost certain to have an engine and every engine needs maintenance and occasional repair.

Boat engines lead difficult lives. They sit there unused, cold and damp in the engine room for days, weeks, sometimes months and then we expect them to fire right up and – within a few minutes – be able to run at maximum RPM.

They’d better be able to run at maximum RPM. If they can’t take full throttle, you may not get the boat to plane off. Also, if they can’t make it up to maximum RPM, you know that something’s wrong.

Perhaps the engine isn’t getting enough air. Something may be blocking the ventilation that could heat things up and even cause a fire. An engine that won’t reach maximum RPM may have a fuel delivery problem, ignition or timing problems; another possibility is that the transmission or drive system has a problem.

A salty old master mechanic once told me that, at least for a short blast once the engine is warmed up, you should take it to maximum RPM every time you use the boat. Whether you agree or not, it’s something to think about.

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to go into the engine room, that advice is particularly valuable. Instead of getting your hands dirty, your observations of how your boat is running is the best way to tell if it needs service (outside of regular maintenance intervals, of course).

If you are the other kind of person who does like to venture into the engine room, just looking around and checking for problems is a great way of avoiding problems when you’re out on the water.

You might see a coating of oil, a dusting of rubber fragments on engine parts or on the floor and you might smell oil or worse, fuel in the bilge. These are all obvious signs of trouble. Get the mechanic to check it out before you head out.

The well-rigged engine room helps you to be proactive about inspecting your engines and drives.

We have found that many new boat builders have rigged their engine rooms with clearly visible seawater strainers, brightly marked oil dipsticks, visible indicators on trim pumps for the fluid level, sight glasses for coolant levels and large glass bowls on oil filtration systems so that one can easily see if water or other contaminants are fouling the oil.

The best engine room is the one that’s easy to get to for maintenance.

However, with all the boat reviews we do at Canadian Yachting, we often think that engine room access takes a back seat to design and layout. It sometimes seems that the mechanical systems are dictated by stylists, not the engineers or the technicians who will be doing the maintenance and repair work later.

Our biggest concern is for our readers' safety should they experience mechanical problems in rough water when the engine is hot. Crawling into the engine room when the boat is rocking with winds and waves risks injury. So, let’s avoid needing to go there.

Among the top quality, popularly priced boats, we have long felt that Cruisers Yachts does a particularly good job with its engine room rigging. So, when we were at the facilities in Oconto, Wisconsin, we interviewed Jon Viestenz and Todd Trepanier while on board the new Cantius 41. Todd guided us to the finer points of that engine room and we made a short video about it. You can see that on the Canadian Yachting website at www.canadianyachting.ca.

If you are doing some new boat shopping at the shows this winter, or working with a broker to find you your dream boat, these ideas and suggestions should help you avoid an engine room nightmare.

First, look for a boat that was built to American Boat and Yacht (ABYC) standards. These are largely reflected in Transport Canada construction standards and National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) standards. Ask your dealer for information.

Then, make sure battery and electrical connections and switches are accessible and clearly marked.

Next, consider how you can physically get into the engine room if a breakdown were to occur in high waves. Is there a risk of hitting your head, getting burned on a hot engine part, falling down a ladder, or losing your balance?

Is there access all around the engine(s)? You want to see all sides when checking for an oil leak. Are oil dipsticks and filter sight glasses easily checked? Can you physically reach all critical systems like hydraulic steering hoses and connections, fuel lines, and important electrical connections without crawling over a hot engine?

Could you clear a raw water strainer or shut a through hull fitting? Is there strong enough light in there to even see, let alone fix a problem?

Taking a powerful flashlight is good too; you can never have too much light in the engine room.

Hopefully, the builder has clearly marked every line and wire so you know what each one is for. If they haven't done that, work with your dealer’s mechanic to put a big label on all important parts.

Take the owner’s manual with you, or print one off (if it has not been supplied) and keep that copy handy too.

If you do have to go below in an emergency, station another person nearby and talk your way through it. Finally, don’t be afraid to call for help if you need it!

By Andy Adams

PORTS Guides are The Essential Boating Companion and Look Great in Gift Wrap!    
On the afternoon of Sunday, October 3, fourteen ...
If chartering is something you’ve been dreaming ...
Finding the right PFD can seem like a daunting ...
Photograph taken on Sept 15 while drifting home ...
Dockmate®, manufacturer of advanced wireless ...

Boat Reviews

Video Gallery

 

 

Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 54By Zuzana Prochazka

Beneteau saw an opportunity to add a little thrill to any cruising adventure, so they took the hull of the First 53 racer (introduced just last year), and with a few fashionable changes, created the Oceanis Yacht 54, the new entry-level of Beneteau’s swanky Oceanis Yacht line. The result is a performance cruiser that sails like a witch and looks like a grande dame.

Design

Roberto Biscontini is the naval architect and Lorenzo Argento created the details of the exterior and interior design. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Over the course of four days in September 1864, representatives from Prince Edward Island, Nova ...
The new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming ...
Commemorating 100 (+1) years of through-navigation on the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic ...
On Friday, April 2 at 7 pm ET on TVO and streaming anytime after that on tvo.org and the TVO ...
Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to ...
Located in Lake Huron, the internationally significant Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater ...
In Part I, Sheryl Shard ended the story at June and the start of Hurricane Season when they were ...
You likely aren’t quite ready to travel yet, but we have our fingers crossed that we can all fly ...

Riverest MarinaThe new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming francophone village in Eastern Ontario, this joined marina and restaurant venue is the ambitious initiative of long-time entrepreneur André Chabot and biologist Alexandra Quester, both residents of L’Orignal.

The purchase of the L’Orignal Marina was made official in November 2020. The new year was barely underway when all 50 available slips were already reserved. No wonder the addition of member and visitor slips is already planned for the 2022 season – the 2021 count is up to 62 power and sail already. At the moment, the Riverest Marina offers boaters a stop where they can launch their boat...

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Photograph taken on Sept 15 while drifting home after the last Wednesday evening race at Collins ...
On the afternoon of Sunday, October 3, fourteen exceptional sailors were inducted into the Canadian ...
My husband and I purchased this beauty in Gananoque two weeks ago and boated it from there across ...
Last issue we featured a story about the engagement proposal aboard Via-Mara, a 1969 Trojan 42 Aft ...
With thanks to Sail Canada, here’s a collection of photos that are Olympic quality. Clearly our ...
Wow. That was a lot of fun reading the collection of boat names that came in from all over the ...
No individual had a greater impact on the modern sport of sailing than Bruce Kirby. Known and ...
Just off The Ocean Race European Tour, Daniel is setting his sights on competing in The Ocean Race ...
After being our fearless leader and publisher since CYOB kicked off, Greg Nicoll, handed over the ...
Swim Drink Fish is spearheading the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup by installing, maintaining, and ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Finding the right PFD can seem like a daunting task and extends beyond finding one that fits and ...
If chartering is something you’ve been dreaming about, this series is really for you. BUT be ...
So many decisions to make when planning for haul-out. When/how to winterize? What type of ...
It’s a scary thought - whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – it’s ...
It’s a scary thought – but whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – ...
Last summer there was tremendous interest in buying a boat to have fun in the restricted world ...
The boat buying or selling market is hot now and has been since the late spring of 2020. Sean ...
Last issue we got up with Montreal sailor Marc Robic who has accumulated a lot of tips and tricks ...
While some parts of the country are lucky enough to have year-round boating, there are plenty of ...
A Transducer is a device that is installed below the waterline that provides underwater data to a ...

Galvanic CorrosionIt’s a scary thought – but whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – it’s slowly deteriorating under you. Part of this is the nature of the marine environment: Sun, moisture, waves, wind, movement and vibration all contribute to components breaking down.

But there are other factors that are much more concerning and act at a significantly faster rate that the environment can take credit for. One of these is commonly spoken of, but not terribly well understood: Corrosion. As boaters, we’re concerned with two main types of corrosion: Galvanic and Stray-Current. This edition will focus on galvanic corrosion – in two weeks, stay tuned for info on stray-current.

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Dockmate®, manufacturer of advanced wireless remote controls for yachts, has announced expanded ...
PORTS Guides are The Essential Boating Companion and Look Great in Gift Wrap!    
Updated features and benefits offer next level of product excellence by integrating innovative ...
AkzoNobel Yacht Coatings has introduced a new, easier to apply topside system with two new products ...
Whether for news, weather or just to watch the game, onboard television reception is important. But ...
Kanvaslight® was specifically engineered for a long life in a salty, sun-drenched environment. The ...
Watermakers take ocean water and create perfect drinking water using reverse osmosis. A Schenker ...
If you’re headed out for a weekend afloat or on a week-long cruise you often must park your vehicle ...
Ten years ago, St. Margaret’s Bay (Halifax), Nova Scotia-based SailTimer Inc. made the first ...
Between the odor and working in confined spaces, replacing an onboard sanitation line is never a ...

News

  • Prev
According to digital news outlet www.insuaga.com, a new, full-service and modern Port Credit marina ...
The Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame and the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston are pleased ...
Paul Tennyson adapted from the reinforced plastics business to form Canadian Sailcraft in 1963. ...
Canadian sailors Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester NS won the bronze medal at the ...
Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s Defiant completed a six-race sweep of the Cup for Canada over Zing, the ...
On September 6, Groupe Beneteau laid out its course to develop new boating experiences, new ...
Last Friday, the first ever Canada’s Celebration of Sailing honoured the season for Sailing in ...
Boating Ontario is very proud to have Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety jump on ...
Montreal-based Vision Marine Technologies, Inc. is headed to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout to ...
Summer is in full swing with Canadians enjoying time outside and on the water. So, while enjoying ...

Mia and Caleb's EngagementOn July 23 last year, CYOB published a piece on a beautifully restored 1967 Trojan 42 Motor Yacht in Oromocto NB. (That piece was also expanded in CY magazine later in the year.)

One of our Canadian Yachting contributors, Denise Miller, had shared the article on my social media and a young man reached out and asked if she could connect him with the owners of the boat, Dave and Barb. Denise leapt into action and Dave and Barb were thrilled. They concocted a plan that the young lady, Mia, thought she was coming to model for a sales brochure for Dave to do charter tours.

Read More