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My boat won't move. Well, if I had wind, and pushed it out of the slip, it might. But, as it is now, it can't be propelled.

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Comment by Anne on March 1, 2009 at 1:26am
But the incident happened in June, and the boat ran fine the rest of the season. My experience on gasoline engines is, if they blow a head gasket, they're not going anywhere. I assume diesels are the same.
Comment by Larry Wilson on February 27, 2009 at 11:52pm
Could be a blown head gasket. If the engine got hot enough, the head may have warped or the gasket may have blown out somewhere. That would account for the lack of compression. This would be the most favorable of all the possible problems. You'll need to have the yard do a leak down test, and check the oil for water or coolant.
Comment by Anne on February 26, 2009 at 10:10pm
Well, the batteries are definitely in good shape. I have a trickle charger on them continuously. The meter shows them charged as well.

I'm not sure how he know about the 'overheating episode.' But that happened when this greenhorn was returning to the docks one time, and the engine started making a terrible noise. There wasn't that far to go, so it didn't last long. But I learned later that the noise meant that it had overheated. That was in June. The boat ran fine after that and I babyed the engine.

No, no smoking before winter. Yes, I kept antifreeze in it, and the drop-light I keep aboard for nighttime repairs is sitting even now in the engine compartment to keep it from freezing.

Yes, the seacock was opened. I'm bad about remembering to close it. That would be the only way it could flood, I guess, since one of the things I had done early on was putting in an anti-siphon on the exhaust.
Comment by Larry Wilson on February 26, 2009 at 2:04am
Anne,
Pulling the valve cover is a very basic simple job. Not something that you couldn't tackle. Have the compression checked and then have them check your decompression lever to make sure that it's functioning correctly. Also check your batteries to make sure they are fully charged and turning starter at full revolutions. If the batteries are weak the glow plugs could also be a problem...start with the really obvious things before looking at major problems like piston rings...I'm really curious to know how one can tell there was an "overheating episode" ? Was the engine smoking badly before you put her away for the winter? Had you winterized? Added anti-freeze? Did you turn the motor over for long periods with the seacock open, even though it wouldn't start, possibly filling the exhaust system with water an flooding the cylinders? Check the oil for water...Lots of other possible problems that don't mean a dead engine. Have faith, and Fair Winds.

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