Boating Tip: Clean Your Engine Room

Have you heard the expression
“That engine room is so clean that you could eat off the deck”?

Well there’s a good reason keeping your equipment, engines and engine room space like that. Taking a stand and giving your engine room a makeover is more important than you might think.

“Who cares?” I hear you say.

Well, if your engines and generator are filthy dirty and corroded up, you won’t notice those simple tell-tale signs of things beginning to go wrong. The benefits include:

Spotting leaks quickly and easily before problems increase
Corrosion, damage and cracks become obvious
Equipment life is maximise
Smells that may waft into the cabins are minimise
Your tradespeople will appreciate that you are making their job easier (you may incur less labour charges if they can do the job quicker)
Minimising the impact on the environment.

Mirror finish deck plates and engine components look shmick but aren’t necessary.

Drips or weeping fluids could indicate signs of a serious condition or the fix could be as simple as taking a screwdriver to a hose clamp – but you won’t notice these signs if your engine room and machinery isn’t keep clean.

Before you say that you don’t go down there, let me say that any boat owner who doesn’t perform regular engine room inspections is just asking for trouble.

Engineering spaces in boats come in varied sizes and shapes. Some have stand-up head room and others make you wish that you were born with a height deficiency! No matter how accessible your engine room is, don’t let that put you off regular inspections.

Visual Checks

At a minimum, we recommend daily engine checks while you’re using your boat. Check out more about this in our article Boating Tip: Daily Engine Checks. While you’re down there and have time, cast your eye throughout the rest of the space as well looking for:

Weeping joints
Evidence of oil or hydraulic fluid on the deck or in the bilge
Water where it should be dry
Corrosion or cracks
Loose or corroding battery terminals
Missing or loose nuts, bolts or screws.
Sounds or smells that are unusual
Don’t forget to check your raw water intake filters for your engines and generator if you don’t have a boat fitted with stern drives (out drives).