The operation and troubleshooting of a lifeboat engine

The lifeboat engine is used for propelling the lifeboat. The lifeboat engine is usually a single or twin-cylinder engine that uses diesel as fuel for operation.
Here, you are shown a single-cylinder engine.

In the case of an open lifeboat, the engine is started by manual cranking. Before starting the lifeboat engine, pre-checks have to be carried out.
  • Check the lube oil level in the crankcase by means of a dipstick.
  • Check the clutch case oil level and place the clutch lever in the neutral position.
  • Check the diesel oil in the diesel oil level tank.
  • Drain the diesel oil through the drain valve provided and open the fuel outlet valve from the tank.
  • Remove the cover for the air inlet filter, if provided.
  • Put the decompression lever in the open position.
  • Prime the fuel lines with diesel oil and keep the fuel setting lever initially to quarter of a notch.
  • Engage the cranking lever and crank the engine manually.
  • Once sufficient momentum is gained, engage the decompression lever.
  • When the engine starts, the crank lever slips out due to it's shape decreases the fuel setting to minimum notch.
  • The engine is in idling RPM. Engage the clutch in both positions, ahead and astern and check for the free running of the propeller.
  • Once satisfied, bring the fuel lever to stop and stop the engine.
  • Open the decompression lever.
  • Turn the crankshaft of the engine manually by manual cranking lever for at least five revolutions. Restore the system and cover the engine.

The engine may fail to start 
  • The fuel lines may not have been primed or the fuel filter may be choked. To resolve the problem, prime the system or clean the filter.
  • The manual cranking speed could be insufficient. To resolve the problem, increase the manual cranking speed.
  • The air intake filter could be choked. Resolve the problem by cleaning it.
  • The exhaust pipeline could be choked with debris. Resolve the problem by clearing the choke.
  • Water could be in the fuel line. Resolve the problem by draining the water.

The engine picks up a fuel but runs intermittently
  • The fuel filter may be partially choked and may allow a lesser quantity fuel. This problem may be resolved by cleaning the filter.
  • The fuel may be insufficient due to a low fuel setting. This problem may be resolved by correcting the setting.
The engine may start violently 
  • When the fuel setting is high. This problem may be resolved by correcting the setting.

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