This 12-hour class is designed to benefit both recreational boaters and professional mariners who operate vessels equipped with diesel engines. The course covers all types of diesel engines and is not brand specific. While no previous experience is necessary, we have had experienced gasoline engine and automotive mechanics take this class to learn the unique characteristics of marine diesel engines. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to understand, troubleshoot, and perform basic preventative maintenance and repairs to their diesel engine. Throughout this course, students receive both lecture and hands-on instruction utilizing both a working diesel engine and a cutaway diesel that offers visual access to its inner workings. The cutaway engine enables students to easily make the transition from a theoretical to practical understanding of a diesel engine, while the working engine allows each student to perform hands-on procedures in the classroom.

Although this course is not designed to turn boat owners into expert mechanics, graduates gain a working knowledge of marine diesels, and the confidence to know when an experienced mechanic is needed. They are also better equipped to communicate with industry professionals.


  • Principles of Operation

  • Anatomy of a Diesel Engine

  • Maintaining a Marine Diesel Engine

  • Basic Troubleshooting



This 2-day course is designed for graduates of the Marine Diesel Basics class looking for further instruction in troubleshooting marine diesel engine failures and marine diesel maintenance and repair. Participants receive both demonstration and hands-on training on working diesel engines. Students work in small teams of 2-3 per engine to solve typical problems that arise on boats. They will perform many of the following maintenance and repair procedures below.

Troubleshooting Topics:

  • Failure to crank

  • Failure to fire

  • Overheating

  • Smoking (white, blue, black)

  • Misfiring

  • Knocking

  • Runaway

  • Hunting

  • Hydrostatic Lock

  • Transmission Problems


Maintenance & Repair Topics:

  • Service Cooling System

  • Perform Compression Test

  • Adjust Valve Clearance

  • Service/Rebuild Injector

  • Adjust Engine Idle & No Load Wide Open Throttle

  • Check Injection Timing

  • Engine Alignment


Note: Tools, meters, gloves, eye protection and ear protection are provided for in-class use. Students should wear clothing suitable for working on engines.