When we bought Winterlude in 2001, she was 16 years old and the Nanni Kubota 4 cylinder 30 horsepower diesel had no hour meter and the original manufacturer was out of business. Great. The only thing we knew about Kubota diesels was that the farmers seem to love their bright orange Kubota tractors back in Illinois. Since the diesel had the potential to be an unknown wildcard, and a very expensive one at that, we decided to invest in a diesel survey as well as a regular boat survey before we bought the boat.
As we all know all too well, marine engines are subject to extremely corrosive salt water harsh environments which can cause extensive wear. With Nanni Kubota out of business, we needed some assurance that this diesel was ok and that we weren’t going to need to repower right away … the boat already needed a new set of sails. Inspecting sails is a piece of cake compared to inspecting a diesel.
After some research to find the most highly recommended diesel surveyor in the Annapolis, MD area, we selected diesel expert, Chris Oliver from Chesapeake Marine Engines, to do a diesel survey – strongly recommended if there are no records … or even if there are records on the diesel in the boat of your dreams!
Chris was extremely thorough inspecting all parts of our engine system, controls, fuel, electrical, cooling and exhaust systems, compression, blow by, engine and exhaust temperatures, oil samples, along with a complete sea trial. He diagnosed problems, identified trouble spots and alerted us to potential maintenance concerns (one of which obviously was the fact that Nanni Kubota was out of business and along with that potential difficulty getting spare parts!).
Winterlude passed the diesel survey with flying colors with some minor recommendations and we subsequently hired Chris to update the diesel prior to our trip from Annapolis to Southwest Florida.