Engine Re-power

Winter is generally a good time to re-power a marine application, if you may be thinking to do so.  When giving it some thought, there are always advantages and disadvantages to installing similar or completely different engine types.  If you happen to come across the same exact engine for little money, considering the cost, great!  We won’t judge you for that.. Over all a new used engine can save you time and money when all said and done.  The disadvantage to this is of course, the uncertainty of a solid confident purchase.  When purchasing a used engine or piece of equipment, we would always advise an oil sample be taken and analyzed prior to the purchase of sale.  Also, it may be a good idea to have all repairs needed to be done prior to installation.  This will also cut down of cost.

When looking for a new engine and or dissimilar engine type, there can be several factors involved.  This procedure has potential to head south quickly! First, we would strongly advise you create a budget.   Look out for yourself and protect your wallet.  Make sure the proper person has seen your equipment, knows what they are working with, is aware of your budget and has a competitive price on several different engine types.

This work can generally be linked to a quote.  Don’t be afraid to ask.



Custom Distribution Panels

Every boat has some sort of panel whether it be basic toggle switches or AC/DC breaker panels.  While looking for a specific panel that was discontinued I stumbled across a new product/service from Blue Sea Systems.  They are moving away from a standard panel/breaker design and moving into a new modular expandable panel, the 360 panel.  On their site they have a wizard that allows you to create the panel that works for you.  You can add just about anything you can think of from breakers, battery switches, and bilge pump modules to gauges and vessel monitoring systems.  All of these components can be added individually and as basic/intricate as you would like.  After finishing you can view an image of what it looks like, add breaker sizes, and labels. Then have it shipped to your installer (us) and have it put in.  Everything comes pre-wired other than the things its controlling.  Doesn’t get much easier than that.


The Start of Another Season

     Labor Day is over and the sounds of the typical marina and boat yard have a distinct change.  Pressure washers and shrink wrap guns take over as a sweet smell of fuel winterizing mix fills the air.  For the local boater, this may be the best time to get underway.  Cooler weather and less boating traffic isn’t always a bad thing.  For larger boats getting ready to departure for a warmer winter, it may be a good idea to call a professional to come down and perform a quick check of all major systems that will be heavily relied on (mechanically and electronically).  Remember preventative maintenance will not only prolong the life of the engine, it could also be a life saver when your out of sight offshore.

  Make sure to call our professionals today!

Winterizing Marine Electronics

Everybody has a different way of winterizing marine electronics.  If you look on the manufacturers page they may give you a guide line on what should be done but I will summarize it here.  When your getting ready to store your boat there are a couple of things that need to be done to make sure everything will be working properly in the spring.  First make sure everything turns on and is working properly.  After that you should take down the model numbers so you can check for updates.  You should pull all the connections and make sure they are clean and put some di-electric grease on the pins.  Lastly put the covers over the screen after cleaning them.  If the electronics are easily removable and you are worried about someone stealing them I would take them out of the boat.  On the other side of it, all of these electronics are tested to be in severe cold weather and as long as your not boating in the arctic circle the cold should not affect them at all.  This being said if your electronics are flush mounted I would not go through the hassle of removing them just because you do not want them out in the cold.


Wiring Nightmares

One of the last places you would ever want a fire is out at sea.  That is why wiring is so important and often times completely overlooked.  Wiring is not always difficult but it is tedious to do it right.  If you plan to have wiring done on your boat or you plan to do it yourself there are a couple of things you should understand.  For one there is a huge difference between marine electrical systems and electrical components you would see in a house.  This being said do not go to your local hardware store and pick up some house wiring and electrical connectors.  For example wiring you see in your house is considered a two conduit because the ground wire has no insulation however on the marine side of this the ground wire is in a green insulator making it a 3 conduit wire.  This insulation helps to prevent corrosion and issues down the road. Here are some helpful hints whether you are doing it yourself or just want a better understanding.  When selecting electrical components to go into your boat make sure the wires you are running are not only marine wire but also are the correct AWG for the load.  Do not use a house AC panel for your AC and DC wiring get the proper panel with the correct number of breakers that you need.  Always use heat shrink connectors to prevent corrosion and damage.  Never use wire nuts or those splice connectors that cut through the insulator.  Saving a couple of dollars in the short run is never worth what it may cost you if you have a fire out at sea…


Cleaning the environment one act at a time

It is known in this industry that when it comes to emissions trucks are number one.  The marine and industrial markets are actually running about 10 years behind.  Trucks use an always developing system in which emits clean air from the exhaust pipe through the process of oxidation.  This is created by generating various heat ranges throughout a component known as a DPF or diesel particulate filter and DOC or diesel oxidation catalyst.  This process is known as an active, passive or stationary re-gen.  Between 2007 and 2010, with a healthy ECM calibration update the engineers were forced to continue their quest for cleaner air.  The outcome was an addition to the already technically frustrating DPF after-treatment system, an SCR catalyst.  SCR or Selective Catalytic Reduction is a flow-through catalyst with a pulse width modulated injector controlled by the ECM.  The fluid injected is sent to tackle most any air exhaust impurities exiting the DPF.  The process is said to reduce NOx by 70-90%.  All this sounds great to the environmentalist, but I can say myself as a tech… I have learned a lot and seen some interesting results of failure, but if I am not up to date on factory training I can say all is lost.  As far as the maritime field goes, I feel this technology that is used everyday in the trucking industry will overwhelm the marine technicians and boat owners alike in the near future. All we can do is get ready and gear up!



Preseason Warmup

We all know how absurd it is to think about getting the boat back in the water when its not even march yet… Oh and by the way there happens to be 2 feet of snow on the ground if you’re in the New England area.  I speak for myself when I say I need a kick in the ass to start thinking about spring commissioning with anything that has to do with an engine in the water.  Believe it or not, now is the best time to get things rolling.  Scheduling  spring maintenance early will prevent most if not all issues when it comes time to set sail.  Lets face it, when the time does come we all want the boat in the water yesterday.  We (and by “we” I mean most people)  also come to the marina with a laundry list of items we want done within a short time period and the reply is probably something like “you’re in the schedule about two weeks out”.  When a customer calls the marina before the big rush, people seem to handle the situation in a more relaxed and controlled way.  AKA the way we like it!  Also a helpful tip would be to ask your marina or service location if they offer any discounts for early scheduling as they tend to push for this to avoid the “big rush”. They are not always advertised, so please ask.

Lukas Smith

New England Boat Show 2015

This past week Lukas and I attended the boat show in Boston.  As we walked around looking at all the new products and meeting new people one thing was for certain, LED’s are becoming extremely popular.  Every boat I saw either had LED courtesy lights, LED accent lighting, LED underwater lighting, or a combination of the three.  Even though all the lights were different colors ranging from blue or white to RGB one thing was constant, the manufacturer.  All of the underwater lighting was either OceanLED or Lumishore, most of the strip lighting was SeaMaster, and most of the interior lighting was I2Systems.  If you are interested in making your boat unique and able to stand out at night now is the time.  We are able to offer all of these products and will work with you to create a custom lighting package.  Visit our site to get in touch with us today.

Chris Karras

Battery Maintenace

Everybody has a different idea on how batteries should be maintained through the season and stored at the end of the year.  I am not here to tell you how to do it or to tell you your way is wrong.  As far and maintenance throughout the year it is really quite simple.  Most newer batteries are maintenance free and only have to have the voltage regulated.  If you do happen to have a battery that requires maintenance you pop the cap off the top and make sure the fluid is at the correct level, if not top off with distilled water.   With any type of battery you need to make sure the outside is clean.  If there is a lot of dirt/debris on the top of the battery it will create something called a parasitic drain and actually draw the batteries down dead.  When it comes to storing your boat at the end of the year there are a couple options.  Here are some simple options and what I think of them:

  1. Disconnecting the batteries at the end of the year
  2. Removing the batteries (depending on the size of the boat approx. <30′)
  3. Keeping the batteries hooked up and charging with shore power

When I winterize a boat at the end of the year I normally just disconnect the battery and leave it in the boat.  I don’t see a point in wasting all my electricity keeping the boat plugged in all winter.  Also when people pull the batteries out of the boat a lot of times they just stick the battery in the basement on a concrete floor which is worse than leaving it in the boat.  The concrete will actually act like a parasitic drain and draw it down.

Chris Karras

The Importance of Aftercooler Cleaning

All internal combustion engines need fuel, air, and compression to run.  For those looking for increased power you need to add one of the three.  An easy way to do this and the way most diesel engine manufactures do is to add a turbocharger.  Recycled exhaust air pushes a turbine wheel in the housing which on the other end forces air from the intake back through the cylinders with pressure we call charged air or boost pressure, this allows more fuel to be burned and creates more power.  When the compressed air leaves the turbo it heats up and needs to be cooled down to increase the density so more air can be shoved into the cylinder.  This is where the aftercooler comes into play.  Raw water from the sea strainer is directed through a series of tubes and as the air flows through the fins surrounding to the tubes it cools down similar to a radiator in your car.  Over a period of time these fins become plugged up with soot and other mineral deposits.  If neglected air will be restricted from flowing through the aftercooler resulting in a loss of power, excessive black smoke, and a fuel sheen covering the water.  The worst case scenario is the core begins to leak which will put sea water straight into the cylinders.  This can all be easily avoided by keeping up with maintenance and cleaning the aftercooler every other year or 2000 hours.

Diesel Smith