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NB in long term storage - regular engine start up required?


Jay88
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Hi All,

 

We currently have our NB stored in a marina hardstand since Nov 2019 and were originally planning to cruise the waterways for about 4-6 weeks per year for next 2-3 years or so until we become continuous cruisers. However due to a number of reasons, we probably wont be able to use our NB until end 2021 or possibly later. We had the NB winterised in Nov 19 but do we need to have the engine (Isuzu 42) regularly started / turned over? We will have the engine thoroughly serviced when we next use the NB (maybe end 21 or later) but is there any benefit in having the marina start the engine? If so, how often?  The engine battery is obviously completely dead and we plan on  installing a new one once we're back on the NB. I've read the manual and there is no specific mention of what should be done for long term storage.

 

Any thoughts / recommendations are highly appreciated.

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

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No it won't be a problem - just make sure that it has fresh oil in it.

Leaving a boat for years on end with oil full of acidic nasties will do untold damage.

 

By 'Winterise' (in 2019) was it a proper winterising, or just 'turning off the water' winterising ?

 

Long term winterising includes full oil and filter change. removing and storing any impellor, putting some oil down the bores, refreshing / replacing antifreeze, washing the engine down etc etc.

 

 

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Assuming the antifreeze has been tested and is strong enough.

 

Unless the engine can be loaded to get the oil temperature to well above 100C I would tend to say don't run it to prevent a build up of condensation in the oil. But there is the question of keeping the batteries in good order. If they are on a decent multistage charger or you have 100 watts+ of solar that is not shaded the its fine as someone keeps an eye on them in case a cell shorts. If they are not on a charger and have no solar then running the engine for a couple of hours every six weeks or so may be a good idea as long as the cooling system can cope.

 

If you are not going to run it I would plug the exhaust and the air inlet with oily rags but for goodness sake remember to remove them before starting.

  • Greenie 1
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22 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

Unless the engine can be loaded to get the oil temperature to well above 100C I would tend to say don't run it to prevent a build up of condensation in the oil.

Since it is on a hard standing, then this won't be possible as, unless the engine is air cooled, the boat needs to be in water for it not to overheat.

Classic car owners tend to keep their vehicles in the garage over winter. Most in that world reckon the best thing is not to start the engine in that time unless you are going to give it a good run out, for the reasons @Tony Brooks gives.

Jen

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3 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Since it is on a hard standing, then this won't be possible as, unless the engine is air cooled, the boat needs to be in water for it not to overheat.

Classic car owners tend to keep their vehicles in the garage over winter. Most in that world reckon the best thing is not to start the engine in that time unless you are going to give it a good run out, for the reasons @Tony Brooks gives.

Jen

If the engine is just fast idling it won’t burn that much fuel so will slowly heat up, and it will loose heat into the air from the surface of the skin tanks, and heating the hull in the localised area, so I would have thought it possible to slowly bring the temp up to a high enough level to boil off the condensation in the oil without harm.

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9 minutes ago, Chewbacka said:

If the engine is just fast idling it won’t burn that much fuel so will slowly heat up, and it will loose heat into the air from the surface of the skin tanks, and heating the hull in the localised area, so I would have thought it possible to slowly bring the temp up to a high enough level to boil off the condensation in the oil without harm.

Wanna try it with your boat? ?

We don't know what cooling system the OP has. If it has a wet exhaust, then there can be rubber bits in that that can get damaged if run dry.

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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4 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Wanna try it with your boat? ?

If it was going to be on hard standing for a long time I would.  I do think the thermal mass of the engine, all the coolant and skin tank steel will mean that temp at idle will only increase slowly.  When I start the engine the thermostat is shut, so there is no skin tank cooling for a while as the engine slowly warms up.

 

added - I would worry about rust forming on the cylinder walls after a long period of standing.

Edited by Chewbacka
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I don't think I'd bother to run it. If you take an engine apart that's been standing for ages to get parts off it or something there is never a sign of damage in it unless its had major parts removed and the rain has got in.  Might be worth spraying the electrics and fiddly bits with WD40. Cylinder bores? Not sure, they are usually cast iron I think as are the rings so prone to rust (leave your car standing for a weekend and look at the discs ....) but they tend to hold oil so should be OK for a good while.

Edited by Bee
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2 hours ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Wanna try it with your boat? ?

We don't know what cooling system the OP has. If it has a wet exhaust, then there can be rubber bits in that that can get damaged if run dry.

There is a lot we don't know, only the info the OP has given which is not much about the engine has been left. You can even get a fluid to replace the diesel in the injectors, pump etc. but we don't know if its been done. Personally I wouldn't consider starting it after I had treated the bores to a splash of oil, fresh oil in the sump, if its keel cooled change the antifreeze if its standing for more than 12 months. as Tony said block air inlet and exhaust, plus throw the batteries away. 

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Thanks for all the responses and as the the boat is skin cooled, we will play it safe and leave it as is. Will double check with the marina IRT adequate anti-freeze and make sure when we do start using the boat, we have the engine fully serviced (all coolant, filters, oil etc etc) prior to commencing any cruising.

 

Also all batteries will be dead so will need to replace the 6 x leisure batteries (over 5 years old in Nov 9 and held very little charge)  and the engine start battery. If we ever leave it again for any length of time (over a couple of months) I'll definitely get a 100W solar kit or similar to keep all the batteries topped up. That said, does any recommend the best way to join 6 x leisure batteries? I know there is a preferred method for 4 x leisure batteries (as per Smartgauge website- Method 4: http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/batt_con.html) but what about 6  x batteries?  Currently it appears the batteries are done via method 2 but with the main feeds taken from the middle battery. Hope that make sense.... Thoughts?

 

Thanks again for all the advice, appreciated!

 

 

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3 hours ago, Jay88 said:

make sure when we do start using the boat, we have the engine fully serviced (all coolant, filters, oil etc etc) prior to commencing any cruising.

.................... make sure the engine is fully serviced  (all coolant, filters, oil etc etc) BEFORE leaving it for months.

 

REMEMBER to get the old acidic oil out and flushed thru' with clean oil, then refilled.

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