Mechanical Surveyor near Alameda

Steve Wall

Member II
It's been recommended that I have a mechanical survey in addition to the marine survey I have scheduled soon. I've talked to a few Marine Mechanics and it seems they have varying degrees of unavailability.

Can anyone recommend their Marine Mechanic for a mechanical survey up near Alameda?

Thanks.
 

frosero7744

Member II
If you have a Yanmar, List Marine in Sausalito is a solid outfit. Not sure on pricing, but you would likely pay travel time in addition to the survey. I have found Sean at Grand Marina BY helpful also for my engine related projects. If he cant do it, I'm sure he can recommend someone.
 

Steve Wall

Member II
Thanks Frosero. The boat has a Universal diesel.

Hans at List Marine is not doing mechanical surveys that aren't at his own shop for the time being...as of yesterday. He cited Covid as major reason. You bring the boat to him, he will do it.

I just spoke with Sean and it looks like that was good advice. Thanks. He says to basically start the engine from cold and look for smoke that goes away, leaks, old hoses, rust, etc., mostly the basics. Save my money he says.
 

frosero7744

Member II
not sure if all the surveyors do the same but when i had mine done, he had the PO run the motor at its highest rated RPM for 5 to 10 minutes to see if it overheated. If it passes that test, in my mind its decent. White smoke is common if it been idled or run low RPM alot. i had to run mine down the estuary a few times before the carbon burned off. i think you can have the oil sent out also for an analysis if thats your cup of tea. i never did.
 

Steve Wall

Member II
Sean reassured me that was unnecessary unless there was a baseline established through previous routine testing. I think that I will pass on that as well.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
A good mechanic can tell a lot with eyes and ears--we can do some of it.

--Examine the engine with a flashlight. Look for oil or coolant leaks. Note whether the engine bilge is clean. An old oil-absorber pad underneath is better than a brand new one, since it shows history. The engine should not leak fluids.
--Listen to the engine run. Diesels are noisy, but sound like diesels. Examine the dipstick. Obvious, but every mechanic does it. Neglected boats
often have no oil at all showing on the dipstick.
--Shift gears. You can tell if the cables are shot, or slip, and if the basic linkage works. Transmissions go bad, and during sea trial lots of shifting should be done to confirm reliable operation.
--Exhaust water and smoke. Lots of muffler water should come out. Smoke should not come out at idle--a little steam is common, and should dissipate in five or ten feet. Smoke carries further than that.
--"General condition." Did anybody ever pay attention, change oil, clean the exterior? A filthy mess suggests the opposite.

This is more or less what I gleaned from watching a very experienced old diesel hand inspect my Universal 5432, for which he charged $250. That's about all he did.
 
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