Power & Tech­nol­ogy

Go­ing back to school can pay off big time for your diesel en­gine.

Power & Motor Yacht - - IN THIS ISSUE - By Peter Fred­erik­sen

No­body likes go­ing back to school, un­less it hap­pens to be a diesel en­gine course that can save own­ers time and money.

Walk­ing be­tween a pair of 10,000-pound-plus MTU V16 Se­ries 2000 M96L diesels in an en­gine room is noth­ing less than in­tim­i­dat­ing. But it is a wholly unique feel­ing to see the en­gine on the fac­tory floor. Lucky for me, that’s what I got to ex­pe­ri­ence at a re­cent Cap­tain Train­ing Sem­i­nar at John­son & Tow­ers (J&T), the Mount Lau­rel, New Jer­sey MTU en­gine dis­trib­u­tor. Of­fered by J&T in New Jer­sey and Florida, the pro­gram fea­tures both MTU fac­tory reps and J&T ser­vice providers as ed­u­ca­tors. The day-long sem­i­nar of­fers class­room and hands-on fac­tory ex­po­sure that is valu­able for novices and skilled yachts­men alike. In my class were two dozen par­tic­i­pants con­sist­ing of cap­tains and crew, boat own­ers and boat­builders.

Con­sid­er­able time is spent ex­plain­ing var­i­ous com­po­nents that com­prise the con­struc­tion of the en­gine, in­clud­ing specifics like tur­bocharg­ers and waste­gate mech­a­nisms, in­take, ex­haust and com­bus­tion pa­ram­e­ters, cool­ing, fuel and in­jec­tion, and lube oil specifics—plus the need for reg­u­lar oil sam­pling and to avoid us­ing coun­ter­feit fil­ter el­e­ments that could lead to en­gine dam­age. Rec­om­men­da­tions for on­board spare parts are of­fered, and main­te­nance strat­egy is cov­ered in de­tail be­cause pre­ven­ta­tive care goes a long way in ex­tend­ing your time on the wa­ter.

The MTU Pre­mium Yacht Ser­vice war­ranty is dis­cussed be­cause it is com­pre­hen­sive and covers the MTU propul­sion pack­age: En­gine, trans­mis­sion and the elec­tronic con­trols. Com­bined with the brand’s Cus­tomer As­sis­tance Cen­ter and on­line MTU lo­ca­tor, a ser­vice cen­ter is typ­i­cally close by. The ini­tial war­ranty in plea­sure, non-com­mer­cial use is 24 months and it starts with form­ing a re­la­tion­ship with the dis­trib­u­tor—in this case, J&T—who of­fers a free sea trial for the owner to be­come ac­cli­mated with the var­i­ous sys­tems and hands-on in­struc­tion on the proper op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance of the en­gine and an­cil­lary sys­tems. An ex­tended propul­sion cov­er­age pro­gram for up to 11 years is avail­able as well, with the ex­pense based on sub­se­quent three-year pe­ri­ods and en­gine hours. The pro­gram pro­tects the orig­i­nal owner, is trans­ferrable and an an­nual check-up is also pro­vided.

Like all big oil-burn­ing pow­er­plants, Se­ries 2000 M96L en­gines are de­liv­ered to the owner of the boat with emis­sions doc­u­men­ta­tion. Known as EIAPP Cer­tifi­cates (En­gine In­ter­na­tional Air Pol­lu­tion Pre­ven­tion), this pa­per­work may be re­quested when the yacht goes up for sale or is boarded for in­spec­tion. The class was re­minded to ver­ify said pa­per­work is aboard their ves­sel—re­place­ment costs are sig­nif­i­cant and the lack of this doc­u­men­ta­tion could stall the sale of the yacht. Equally im­por­tant, EPA emis­sion la­bels on the en­gine must not be re­moved, dam­aged or painted over.

The class con­tin­ues with a plant tour, and a hands-on tu­to­rial of the en­gine on dis­play, pro­vid­ing thor­ough in­sight re­gard­ing com­po­nents and Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) com­pli­ance, in­clud­ing sil­i­cone wrapped tur­bocharg­ers, triple-walled jack­eted ex­haust man­i­folds and dou­ble-walled high-pres­sure fuel lines. Rou­tine point­ers—like clos­ing the raw wa­ter in­take sea­cocks be­fore haul­ing the boat to pre­vent an air­lock at re­launch—sup­ply the op­er­a­tor with ger­mane knowl­edge. And am­ple op­por­tu­nity was pro­vided to the class to ex­pe­ri­ence the MTU Blue Vi­sion/New Gen­er­a­tion con­trol and in­stru­ment sys­tem lay­outs, which al­lows the owner to per­son­al­ize his com­mand cen­ter at the helm.

You also may want to reach out to your en­gine dis­trib­u­tor to learn if they of­fer sim­i­lar teach­ing sem­i­nars. No mat­ter which man­u­fac­turer builds your boat’s power plants, I would highly rec­om­mend find­ing a hands-on course like this one. After all, knowl­edge is power.

It’s rare to see these hunks of iron out­side the en­gine room. MTU’s Cap­tain sem­i­nars are valu­able for novices and pros alike.

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