by Nigel Calder

Nigel Calder is an author and expert on boat systems and diesel engines

when first pushing the start button, I sometimes get no response. Releasing and pushing the button a couple of times finally engages the starter.
I own a 1987 Catalina 27 with a Universal M18 diesel engine. I’ve had the boat for just over two years, but because the hour meter is broken, I don’t know how many hours are on the engine.
"Can you give me some ideas on what might cause excessive white smoke in the exhaust of a 2-year-old Yanmar diesel?" Nigel Calder replies.
A dinosaur of an engine that is over 70 years old can push a much larger boat than ours, weighing eight times as much, at similar speeds with more-or-less the same fuel consumption!

Ask Sail: A Faltering Start

by Nigel Calder, Posted January 25, 2013
My Yanmar 3GM30F diesel engine has about 650 hours on it, and this season, it’s been a little hard to start it. Are injectors or compression the problem?
When the engine is under load and moving the boat at a decent speed, the voltmeter is pegged past 16 volts, and after a little while the wires (which are appropriately sized) running to the battery switch from the engine get pretty hot. Am I hurting my batteries?
I have a Soverel with a small diesel engine that has sat idle for a couple of years without fuel stabilizer. The engine starts, but runs rough. There is also no discharge from the exhaust line.
How can I stop the galvanic action I suspect is causing the delignification of the surrounding wood? More zincs, or no zincs?

Ask Sail: No-Go Engine

by Nigel Calder, Posted October 1, 2012
My Catalina 40 has a Westerbeke 42B diesel engine with less than 800 hours. After a head-gasket repair, the engine was put back into the boat...

Isolated Prop Shaft

by Nigel Calder, Posted August 25, 2012
Ask Sail: I have installed a shaft-saver coupling on the prop shaft on my sailboat and have realized the shaft is now isolated from the ground. Is this a good thing, or should I put a grounding strap on the coupling?
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