Shop front in the summer

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Is your engine happy?

There is nothing quite like the steady throb of a happy engine as you cruise along through the English  countryside on your boat. But there is nothing worse than the time when it dies on you, just when you really need it. You should have listened to what your engine was saying because it can’t give you as many clues as a car with all its modern computer systems and even the old-fashioned clues like oil or water on the ground
where you park.If you saw oil on the drive under your car you would get it checked out - but your boat engine might be  leaking oil and you would never know - unless you have a spotless bilge! 

In fact, boat engines are subject to more abuse than the average car, even by the fuel they use. Red diesel is nowhere near the quality of white road diesel and that means changing the filters is even more important. Regular servicing is the key -just how regular depends on the number of hours you are out boating each year.

At Norbury we know a lot of boats whose engines regularly work 1,000 hours a year or more - in fact our own hire boats can come close to that -and we have to work on them regularly to keep them running smoothly. You might not come close to that but an annual service is really the minimum.

A vintage Lister JP2M rebuilt by Norbury Wharf's experienced engineer's,
waiting to be installed in a narrowboat.

Norbury Wharf boss, Simon Jenkins, said: “Don’t be like the customer who called in recently with a gearbox that was completely destroyed. When we asked about the boat’s last service he told us it was when he had
bought the boat two years previously!

“The chances are that, if he had had a service, the problems with the gearbox would have been spotted and probably solved before it became too late.”

Norbury has a staff of experienced engineers, some of whom have been working on engines for four or five
decades, and they are accustomed to the little foibles of marine engines.

“Our years of experience mean we can often diagnose a fault quickly, perhaps from just listening to the  engine.

"In fact, most boaters can do the same. Although an annual service is the minimum I would suggest every steerer tunes in to the noises his engine is making.
“You can tell when it is running sweetly but you can also hear when it starts to develop other little noises and different handling characteristics.

“If you hear a problem developing, get it looked at sooner rather than later - it will be cheaper in the long run.”

Listen to what your engine is telling you - it may need help Norbury Wharf’s most experienced engineer.

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