Marine Systems — mechanical

How to Keep Your Engine-driven Reefer at Peak Performance

Posted by Phillip Gutowski on

Over the last 25 years, there has been a dramatic shift in the types of refrigeration systems carried aboard cruising boats.  Today, 12 volt systems prevail, but the systems most often installed up to the late 90’s were driven by the main engine.  Engine drive refrigerators function just like the air-conditioner in your car.  A belt driven compressor forces a refrigerant gas through a typical vapor-compression cycle.  Though it’s often one of the less understood onboard systems for boat owners, these engine driven systems only consist of a few key components.  A compressor with a clutch activated by an electric...

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Fuel's Paradise: Onboard Fuel Polishing

Posted by Phillip Gutowski on

 Featured in the February, 2017 issue of SAIL Magazine.      Maintaining clean fuel should be one of the highest priorities on any vessel equipped with a diesel engine.  Detecting and discarding any badly contaminated fuel is always your best bet.  However, after having done your due diligence and sampled your tanks, there is no harm in adding extra filtration. We have two 60 gallon fuel tanks, built of fiberglass.  Each tank has a stainless inspection port, a dipstick and (thankfully) three fuel line connections.  Two of the connections reach down about 1” shy of the bottom of the tank,...

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Suck It Up: Marine Central Vac System

Posted by Phillip Gutowski on

I consider a vacuum an essential tool aboard any cruising or liveaboard yacht.  Our big Ridgid Canister Vac has performed well for cleaning up nasty project dust, but also for the typical indoor debris from floors, counters and upholstery in the cabin.  While living on a previous boat, I actually placed this same utility vac deep in the lazarette and routed a lengthened hose and power cord into the cabin.  I left the power switch to the vacuum in the ON position.  To begin cleaning, I would take out the hose and plug the power cord into a 110v outlet...

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