Course details

Diesel Maintenance


This class is designed for both the recreational user of marine diesel engines and the professional user of these engines.  Class size is limited to a maximum of 8 students.

Upon Completion:

You will understand the dynamics of how your marine diesel engine works, all of it's different systems, how those systems interact and all of the different maintenance procedures to keep the engine in tip top running order.


Classes typically run 9am-3:30/4pm.

The 2024 Sessions - January 13-15 (FULL), February 9-11(2 spots left), March 1-3(FULL), July 12-14 (5 spots left), September 6-8 (8 spots left), Oct 18-20 (8 spots left), December 13-15 (8 spots left).

If none of these dates work, please send us an email - - and we will try to set up a class that will work for you.


  • The textbook - Marine Diesel Engines:  Maintenance, Troubleshooting, and Repair by Nigel Calder.
  • All tools and safety gear.
  • We will supply coffee & water, pastries for breakfast & pizza or sandwiches for lunch.

General Description:

Day 1 of 3 days - Introduction to Marine Diesels:  Covers the basics of how all internal combustion engines work and the specific differences between gas and diesel engines.  We will also cover all of the different systems that are typically installed on a modern cruising sailboat reviewing the pros and cons of different models.  This day also covers the basics of using a multimeter to diagnose battery and electrical issues.  We will finish the day by going through the procedures for winterizing a marine engine and how to configure the engine to operate as an emergency bilge pump.


Day 2 of 3 days - Troubleshooting a Marine Diesel:  Designed for graduates of the 1 day course who wish a greater understanding on the intricacies of a diesel engine and gain more experience in troubleshooting problems.  When the students arrive, neither of the 2 diesel engines will be running - each one of them will have numerous issues.  It is the students job to go through the engines, diagnosing the problems and fixing the issues.  It typically takes about 3 hours to get each engine working properly and the problems are divided evenly between electrical and mechanical issues and we try to have issues that are "common" issues.


Day 3 of 3 days - Advanced Diagnostics:  This is the day we take the engines apart, using compression testers, leak down testers, pop testers to diagnose the general health of a marine diesel engine.  We will take the cooling system heat exchanger apart, disassemble the fuel injectors, modify the shim packets in the injectors and generally and discuss how to test the timing of the engine.



Dates include the classroom session. You can start the online portion instantly after purchase.