How to tell if the engine is fine


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Be Skilled experts reveal all the checks you need to make before setting sail and while sailing on your inboard (and where to put your hands if there’s a problem)

Don’t be fooled by the “industrial” look of your inboard: behind the tubes, impellers, and gears lies a simple machine. You can then take action yourself to solve the most common problems in navigation. The most common problems, on board, may be with the cooling system and the fuel system. Together with the professionals from Be Skilled, the advanced sailing training school created by Water Tribe, we review the checks to be made before docking for summer cruising, those during the first three days of sailing, and the action to be taken in case of breakdowns.

Checks at the DEPARTURE

Checks to be made at check-in on the power circuit:

– check the fuel level from the gauge and the capacity of the tanks; – check on the engine use certificate the liters/hour consumption;

– calculate the range and make sure you have an abundance (preferably in an external canister) of at least 1/3 as much as planned;

– Tapping the naphtha-cutting tap for emergencies;

– intercept on the engine the shut-off lever; – intercept the filters and check for spare parts;

– Check for impurities in the settling filter;

– Intercept the “AC pump” and bleed screw;

– Check if the injectors have been unscrewed before (not a good sign).

Checks to be made at check-in on the cooling circuit:

– Intercept the engine overboard intake and check its operation;

– Check the cleanliness of the sea inlet filter;

– Intercept the impeller and check that no water is coming out of the seal;

– Verify that you have impeller and belts to comply;

– verify “siphon break” valve.

Also check fluid levels before leaving:

– Check the oil level (should be between the minimum and maximum level of the wand when the engine is cold);

– Make sure you have at least 5 kg. of engine oil in the topping up tank;

– Check the coolant level in the expansion tank;

– Check the oil level in the transmission (critical on Cats).


– general engine status


– coolant level;

– Impeller operation;

– fume control;

– diesel level;

– calculation of working hours/consumption;

– engine bilge cleaning.


Be Skilled is the sailing training school created by Water Tribe (founded by Simone Todeschini) specializing in sailing courses with high technical content for racers and aspiring skippers, qualified to issue international certifications for commercial command. It is one of the very few Royal Yachting Association Training Centers in Italy at which to earn titles such as Essential Navigation, Diesel Engine, GMDSS-SRC, Yachtmaster shorebased. RYA courses and certifications are among the most coveted by skippers and others because they attest worldwide to experience and skills acquired in all areas of sailing.



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