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Frequently Asked Questions

 
About Westerbeke FAQ's   About Westerbeke FAQ's
What are the products Westerbeke Corporation offers? Westerbeke manufactures and markets marine diesel and gasoline generators, marine diesel engines, industrial diesel engines, and air-conditioning units. The Company markets these products under the brand names of Westerbeke®, Universal®, and Rotary Aire®.
Is Westerbeke Corp. publicly traded or privately held? Westerbeke Corp. is privately held.
Where is the Company headquartered? The Company is headquartered in Taunton, MA which is in the southeast part of the state, about halfway between Providence, RI and Boston, MA.
How long has Westerbeke been in business? The Company was founded in 1937.
What range of industrial generators does Westerbeke offer? The Company offers 9 models of non-marine generator sets ranging from 5.5 to 26.0 kW (60 hertz), all of which can be operated at 50 hertz (lower ratings).
What range of marine generators does Westerbeke offer? The Company's marine generator product line consists of numerous 50 cycle and 60 cycle models that range from 3.5 to 33.0 kW.
What range of propulsion engines does Westerbeke offer? The Company's marine engine product line consists of numerous Westerbeke and Universal-brand diesel inboard propulsion engines that range from 12 to 66 HP.
Maintenance/Use FAQ's   Maintenance/Use FAQ's
How do I exercise my diesel generator if it's not used regularly? The following are the recommendations for exercising Westerbeke diesel generators during extended periods of non-use. If the generator is going to be stored for extended periods without being exercised, please refer to the Lay-Up and Recommissioning section of the Operator’s Manual for the generator. Following the procedures on lay-up will help insure trouble free operation when the generator is brought back into service. Westerbeke recommends the following exercise program be performed monthly for diesel generators: Before starting the generator, refer to the Operator’s Manual for The Daily Routine and Maintenance Schedule. Perform all recommended procedures and checks. Next, start and run the generator until fully warmed up. This normally takes about 5 to 10 minutes, but can vary depending on the size of the generator and ambient conditions. Once the generator has reached a stable operating temperature, apply load at 70-85% of the generators rated capacity. Run the generator at this load for 1 hour. After one hour, remove the load. Run the generator for 5-10 minutes at no load or a very light load to allow the engine to cool and stabilize the temperature. This step is especially important for turbocharged engines. After the cool down period, the generator can be shut down. D-Net generators should power down the DC circuit breaker and NMEA-2000 network power to prevent battery drain when being stored for extended periods. Westerbeke recommends that generators not being used regularly be exercised a minimum of once per month.
What type of oil should I use in my Westerbeke or Universal engine/generator? Use a well-known brand and try to use the same brand each time you change the oil. Avoid mixing brands of oil. Different manufacturers use different additives, and mixing brands may cause a problem if additives are not compatible. More important is to use the correct A.P.I. (American Petroleum Institute) and S.A.E. (Society of Automotive Engineers) ratings. For Westerbeke and Universal DIESEL models use A.P.I. code CF or CG-4, S.A.E. #30, 15W-40, 10W-30 or 5W-40. For Westerbeke GASOLINE models, use A.P.I. code SJ, S.A.E. #30, 15W-40, 10W-30 or 5W-40.
Can I use synthetic oil in my engine? Yes, synthetic oil is acceptable -be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Do not use synthetic oil during the break-in period.
How do supplemental coolant additives protect liners and blocks from pitting damage? Pitting damage is also known as cavitation erosion. It is caused by air bubbles forming in the antifreeze. When the air bubbles contact a very hot surface such as a cylinder liner or a coolant passage in the exhaust area of a cylinder head, the bubbles burst and cause erosion of the metal. Good quality antifreeze has additives in it to prevent the formation of air bubbles and prevent cavitation erosion. Therefore, an additional coolant additive is not necessary. The antifreeze mixture should be changed at least every 5 years.
Do I need to use a fuel additive? Westerbeke recommends using a good quality fuel additive with both gasoline and diesel fuel. The additive should stabilize the fuel. "STA-BIL" brand is a good choice. Another consideration is fuel boosters - cetane booster for diesel fuel to improve fuel burn efficiency and reduce "transom soot", and octane booster for gasoline to improve performance and cleaner fuel burn. Additives to reduce algae in diesel fuel tanks is recommended as well. ALWAYS follow the manufacturers' directions and recommendations when using fuel additives. More is not always better.
I have a Westerbeke/Universal engine/generator and need to know the correct amount of oil for my unit and the recommended oil change intervals. Consult your Operator's Manual or sales literature to confirm the oil capacity for your particular model. Westerbeke recommends the oil and filter are changed every 100 hours of operation or once every season, whichever occurs first.
Do you recommend any coolant additives for my engine? A coolant additive is not needed. Use a good quality antifreeze, mixed 50/50 with distilled water, change the coolant mixture at least every 5 years, and your cooling system should stay healthy.
What does antifreeze do, and what are Westerbeke's recommendations on antifreeze concentration? A good quality antifreeze - 1) Helps transfer heat 2) Prevents rust and scale build-up inside the engine cooling passage ways. 3) Protects against freezing. 4) Lubricates the fresh water circulating pump's shaft and seal. 5) Increases the boiling point of the coolant mixture when used in a pressurized cooling system, and 6) Reduces evaporation of the coolant mixture - the water used in the coolant mixture may evaporate to a small degree, but the antifreeze itself does not. A mixture of 50/50 antifreeze and distilled water is recommended. This concentration should provide freeze protection down to approximately -40 degrees F. Check the mixture chart provided by the antifreeze manufacturer to confirm the protection temperature. Do not mix brands of antifreeze.
How do I winterize my Westerbeke engine/generator? Many owners rely on their boat yards to winterize their engines or generators for them, while some owners prefer to accomplish this task themselves. Below is a checklist of items to be performed on your engine or your generator for winter lay-up.

Fresh Water Cooling System
The use of a 50-50 solution of antifreeze and fresh water is recommended for use in the fresh water cooling system year round. This solution may require a higher concentration of antifreeze, depending on the area's winter climate. This solution should be checked to insure proper freeze protection.
Should more antifreeze be needed, drain an appropriate amount from the engine block and add a more concentrated mixture. Operate the engine to insure complete circulation throughout the system. Recheck.

Lubrication System
With the engine warm, drain ALL the lubricating oil from the oil sump. Remove and replace the oil filter; place some paper towels and a plastic bag around the filter to catch the oil while removing it.

When installing the new oil filter, be sure to apply a small amount of oil on the sealing "O" ring at the base of the filter. Fill the sump with the correct amount of oil for your engine model (Ref: Operator's Manual or Technical Manual). Use an oil with an A.P.I. Spec. CC. Run the engine and check for proper oil pressure and insure that there are no leaks.

Do not leave old engine lubricating oil in the sump over the winter lay-up period. Lubricating oil and combustion deposits combine to produce harmful chemicals which can reduce the life of internal engine parts.

Transmission
Drain the lubricant from your transmission and/or V-Drive. Refill with the proper lubricant to the full mark on the transmission dipstick. Run the engine and shift the transmission into forward and reverse one/two times. Stop the engine and check the transmission oil level; add lubricant as needed. Check for leaks.

Fuel System
Top off your fuel tanks with #2 diesel fuel. Fuel additives should be added at this time to control algae and condition the fuel. Care should be taken that additives used are compatible with primary filter/separator used in the system. Change the element in your primary fuel filter/separator if it contains one, and/or clean the separator sediment bowl.

Change the fuel filter elements on the engine and bleed the fuel system, as needed. Start the engine and allow it to run for 5 - 10 minutes to insure that no air is left in the fuel system and check for any leaks that may have been created in the fuel system during this servicing, and correct as needed.

Sea Water Circuit
Close the thru hull seacock. Remove the raw water intake hose from the sea cock. Place the end of this hose into a 5-gallon bucket of clean fresh water. Before starting the engine, check the zinc pencil found in the primary heat exchanger on the engine and clean or replace it, if required. Clean your sea strainer, if one is installed in the inside of the hull.

Start the engine and allow the raw water pump to draw the fresh water through the system. When the bucket empties, stop the engine and refill the bucket with an antifreeze solution slightly stronger than needed for winter freeze protection in your area.

Start the engine and allow all of this mixture to be drawn through the raw water system. Once the bucket empties, stop the engine. This anti-freeze mixture should protect your raw water circuit from freezing during winter lay-up, as well as providing corrosion protection.

Remove the impeller from your raw water pump (some antifreeze mixture will accompany it, so catch it in a bucket). Examine the impeller. Acquire a replacement if needed and a cover gasket. Do not replace the impeller back into the pump until the Spring commissioning.

Intake Manifold
With a clean cloth lightly soaked in oil, place it in the opening of the intake manifold so as to block it closed. DO NOT shove the cloth out of sight into the intake manifold. If you cannot see it next Spring, and you attempt to start your engine, you may need the assistance of a servicing dealer. Take a note to remove this cloth prior to start-up. The exhaust through hull can be closed in this same manner.

Propeller Shaft Coupling
Disconnect the propeller shaft coupling from the transmission. (If the boat remains in the water during winter storage, this need not be done).
This is a good time to check the security of the coupling to the propeller shaft. Insure also that the coupling set screws are tight and wired so as not to loosen. The engine alignment to the propeller shaft should be checked in the Spring when the boat is placed back in the water, and the mast stepped, and the rigging tuned.

Controls and Linkage
Check the security of control connections to the engine and transmission. Lubricate these controls and insure that they move freely. Engines with pull-type shut-off levers should be left in the "RUN" position during winter storage.

Starter Motor
Lubrication and cleaning of the starter drive pinion is advisable ii access to the starter permits its easy removal. Insure that the battery connections are shut off before attempting to remove the starter. Take care to properly replace any electrical connections removed from the starter.

Injectors
You may have noticed in your Westerbeke Technical manuals, that they call for removing the injectors from the cylinder head and squirting some light lube oil down the injector hole into the cylinders.
This is not necessary for the few months the engine is laid up for the winter. However, if you anticipate a longer lay- up period (12 months +), please follow through with this procedure. It will prevent the adhering of the piston rings to the cylinder walls. Insure that you have the proper hardware to replace the sealing washers for the injectors and return line connections.

Spares
This is a good time to look over your engine and see if external items such as belts or hoses may need replacing, come Spring commissioning. Check over your basic spares kit and order items not on hand, or replace those items used during the winter lay-up, such as filters and zincs.

Batteries
If batteries are to be left on board during the winter storage period, insure that they are in a state of full charge and will remain that way, to prevent them from freezing. If not, it would be wise to remove them.
By following these few steps, you should afford your engine protection over the winter lay-up. This will also help familiarize you with the maintenance needs of your engine.

If you have any questions regarding winter lay-up, call your local servicing dealer; he will be more than willing to try and answer any of your questions.

Can I use synthetic oil in my engine? Westerbeke does not approve or disapprove the use of synthetic oils. If synthetic oils are used, engine break-in must be performed using conventional oil. Oil change intervals must be as listed in the MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE section in the Operator's Manual and not be extended if synthetic oils are used. NOTE: The information above supersedes all previous statements regarding synthetic oil.
I can't find engine oil with the API rating referred to in my Operator's Manual. What rating should I use? API ratings change from time-to-time. The American Petroleum Institute publishes a list of ratings. It includes current and obsolete ratings and informs you which ratings can be used in place of others. Their website address is http://api-ep.api.org/.
When I winterize my engine, should I use propylene glycol or ethylene glycol anti-freeze in the raw water system? Either type will work. Many people use “RV” type anti-freeze because it is more environmentally friendly. The important point is to make sure the product is mixed adequately for the location you are in. Refer to the instructions on the anti-freeze package for more information regarding the correct mix. In any case, do not allow antifreeze solution to spill overboard.
Will the use of fuels containing ethanol void my warranty? Fuels containing up to 10% ethanol are considered acceptable for use in Westerbeke gasoline engines and generators. Fuels containing higher levels of ethanol are not considered acceptable for use, and the use of fuels containing ethanol higher than 10% can void the warranty.
How do I exercise my gasoline generator if it's not used regularly? The following are the recommendations for exercising Westerbeke gasoline generators during extended periods of non-use. If the generator is going to be stored for extended periods without being exercised, please refer to the Lay-Up and Re-commissioning section of the Operator's Manual for the generator. Following the procedures on lay-up will help insure trouble free operation when the generator is brought back into service. Westerbeke recommends the following exercise program be performed monthly for gasoline generators: Before starting the generator, refer to the Operator's Manual for The Daily Routine and Maintenance Schedule. Perform all recommended procedures and checks. Next, start and run the generator until fully warmed up. This normally takes about 5 to 10 minutes, but can vary depending on the size of the generator and ambient conditions. Once the generator has reached a stable operating temperature, apply load at 70-85% of the generators rated capacity. Run the generator at this load for 1 hour. After one hour, remove the load. Run the generator for 5-10 minutes at no load or a very light load to allow the engine to cool and stabilize the temperature. After the cool down period, the generator can be shut down. Westerbeke recommends that generators not being used regularly be exercised a minimum of once per month.
When is the scheduled maintenance for my Westerbeke diesel engine and what should I do?

Daily (Before Use) Check

  • Oil sump level
  • Coolant level
  • Fuel supply
  • Primary fuel filter/water separator
  • Panel gauges operation (indicating lights, alarms)
  • Transmission fluid level
  • Loose belts, clamps, fittings, wires

Monthly

  • Check zinc anode in heat exchanger

After 50 Hours Initial Operation

  • Change engine lube oil & filter
  • Replace fuel filter elements
  • Torque cylinder head bolts **
  • Adjust valve clearances **
  • Adjust drive belts
  • Check electrical connections
  • Lubricate control cables
  • Change transmission fluid
  • Check idle speed **

After Every 100 Hours

  • Change engine lube oil & filter
  • Adjust drive belts

After Every 250 Hours

  • Replace engine fuel filter(s)
  • Check siphon break operation (if installed)

After Every 500 Hours

  • Torque cylinder head bolts **
  • Adjust valve clearances **
  • Drain, flush, refill fresh water coolant
  • Check starter motor drive, lubricate pinion **
  • Check glow plugs
  • Check water injected exhaust elbow condition **
  • Check raw water pump impeller & connections
  • Check Hurth transmission cooler

After Every 800 Hours

  • Remove and check fuel injectors **
  • Check compression pressure **

After Every 1,000 Hours

  • Remove & clean heat exchanger
  • Remove & clean hydraulic transmission cooler

** Should be done by competent mechanic. Refer to Operator's Manual.

When is the scheduled maintenance for my Westerbeke diesel generator and what should I do?

Daily (Before Use) Check

  • Oil sump level
  • Coolant level
  • Loose belts, clamps, fittings, wires
  • Fuel supply Primary fuel filter/water separator
  • Panel gauges operation (indicating lights, alarms)

Monthly

  • Check zinc anode in heat exchanger

After 50 Hours Initial Operation

  • Change engine lube oil & filter
  • Replace fuel filter elements
  • Torque cylinder head bolts **
  • Adjust valve clearances **
  • Adjust drive belts
  • Check electrical connections
  • Check engine's no-load speed

After Every 100 Hours

  • Change engine lube oil and filter
  • Adjust drive belts

After Every 250 Hours

  • Replace engine fuel filter(s)
  • Lubricate ball joint linkage at fuel solenoid
  • Check siphon break operation (if installed)

After Every 500 Hours

  • Torque cylinder head bolts **
  • Adjust valve clearances **
  • Drain, Rush, refill fresh water coolant
  • Check starter motor drive, lubricate pinion **
  • Check glow plugs
  • Check water injected exhaust elbow condition **
  • Check raw water pump impeller & connections
  • Check electrical connections

After Every 800 Hours

  • Remove and check fuel injectors **
  • Check compression pressure **

After Every 1,000 Hours

  • Remove & clean heat exchanger

** Should be done by competent mechanic. Refer to Operator's Manual.

 Product FAQ's   Product FAQ's
How big a secondary alternator can I put on my propulsion engine? Most engines, including Westerbeke and Universal engines, can handle a side load of 6 to 7 horsepower driven off the front of the crankshaft (this limit includes the load of the fresh water circulating pump). The typical 6 to 7 horsepower available accomodates a DC alternator rating up to 190 amps. Westerbeke recommends a dual belt drive system on alternators rated at 80 amps and higher. Be sure to consult the specific engine manufacturer for their specifications and limitations.
I have a gasoline powered boat - can I put a diesel generator on board? Yes - however the diesel generator must be ignition protected and US Coast Guard approved. Also, it's a good idea to consult your insurance company to make sure they have no objections.
What are the advantages in terms of performance and economy of diesel engines verses gas engines? Most diesel engines are more fuel efficient than gasoline engines and they typically provide higher sustained torque output - often at a lower RPM.
How do I figure out the correct generator size for my boat? Determining the correct size genset for your boat is not a difficult task, however it should be done by an experienced and knowledgeable marine electrician. The American Boat & Yacht Council's manual of standards, section E-8.18 provides guidelines to determine how much power you need. We recommend these guidelines are followed. For more information about ABYC and details on generator sizing, go to http://www.abycinc.org.
What does an electronic governor do? Do you want an efficient, clean-burning genset? Electronic governors deliver performance! What does an electronic governor do? The simple answer is it controls the speed of the engine (frequency regulation) – very precisely. When it comes to gensets, engine speed is very important. As engine speed changes, the voltage and amperage output of the genset changes. Therefore, if the speed is precisely controlled, the voltage and amperage remain more stable as load is applied and removed from the genset. And because the electronic governor reacts quickly to variations in load, fuel economy improves – there’s no “over-compensation” of the governor resulting in over-fueling of the engine. In other words, the engine doesn’t “bog down” when a load is applied. And precise fuel control results in cleaner exhaust too! The actual difference in performance when you compare a mechanically-governed engine to an electronically-governed engine is quite impressive. A typical mechanically-governed genset engine has a frequency regulation (speed) variance of plus or minus 5% from no load to full load. An electronically-governed genset engine has a frequency regulation (speed) variance of plus or minus .005% from no load to full load. That’s a big difference and very noticeable when the genset is operating. In many instances, you don’t hear the engine “bog down” or suddenly speed-up when a big load is applied or removed. Westerbeke includes electronic governing as standard equipment on the 11.5 BTD diesel genset and all of the D-NET models, and on gas gensets, 5.0 BCG and 7.0 BCGD. Electronic-governing is available as an option on 1,800 RPM diesel gensets (only) models 8.0 BTDA, 10.0 BTDA, 12.5 BTDB and 15.0 BTDC. The 5.5 BCD and 7.6 BTD models are NOT available with electronic governing. Remember........ ALL D-NET models include electronic governing as standard equipment! Tell your distributor or dealer you want an electronic governor on your new Westerbeke diesel genset – you’ll be pleased with what you get.
How do I know what engine/generator model I have? It is difficult to determine what parts you need without knowing the unit's model number. If you can’t figure out what model it is by referencing the identification tags on the engine then at minimum, the serial number is required. If you don’t know or can’t find the model number be prepared with as much information as possible when you contact your distributor. Photographs of the unit are often a good way to help determine the model number.
How many hours can I expect my Westerbeke or Universal product to last? Westerbeke and Universal engines and generators are well known for long service life however it is difficult to pre-determine how long they will run. It is not uncommon to hear that generator sets and engines have run up to 10,000 hours with no major repairs. As a point of reference, an engine running at 1,800 RPM equals approximately 40 MPH. Therefore 100 hours equals 4,000 hours. 1,000 hours equals 40,000 miles and 5,000 hours equals 200,000 miles. Keep in mind that the environment the unit operates in, salt water verses fresh water, as well as the maintenance performed and the operation characteristics, will very much have an effect on the life of the unit. Also time takes its toll on the overall condition of the unit. A twenty year old engine with low hours is likely to have more problems than the same engine with many hours of operation. We recommend performing a compression test to determine the status of the engine. If the compression is within the service limits and the unit is in good overall condition it is worthy of having additional effort spent to make repairs. Compression that is below the service limits is an indicator that more extensive work and money is required to get it back to reliable condition. When the cost necessary to make the unit reliable and or running properly exceeds half the cost of replacing the unit it makes sense to consider replacement with a new unit that carries a new warranty.
How do I figure out the correct horse power auxiliary engine to purchase for my boat? A good rule of thumb to determine the correct power for your boat is as follows: Pleasure use - two horsepower per one thousand pounds of hull displacement (weight). Long range/world cruising - two and one half horsepower per one thousand pounds of hull displacement (weight). Example: Pleasure use vessel, hull displacement is 25,000 pounds - 2 horsepower times 25 equals 50 horsepower. A 50 horsepower engine should perform well. In this case, the Westerbeke 55D Four is a perfect choice!
 Product FAQ's   Obtaining Information FAQ's
How can I get information about a Westerbeke product? Please use the "Locate Distributor" tab at the top of this web page to find our master distributor in your area. Our distributors are equipped to assist you with all your sales, service, parts, warranty and technical needs.
How can I reach the Company? Westerbeke Corporation, Myles Standish Industrial Park, Taunton, MA 02780, Phone: 508.823.7677 Fax: 508.884.9688, E-mail: help@westerbeke.com
Where can I get Westerbeke service center/dealer information? Please use the "Locate Distributor" tab at the top of this web page to find our master distributor in your area. Our distributors are equipped to assist you with all your sales, service, parts, warranty and technical needs.
Where can I get warranty information on my Westerbeke product? Please use the "Locate Distributor" tab at the top of this web page to find our master distributor in your area. Our distributors are equipped to assist you with all your sales, service, parts, warranty and technical needs.
How can I find out about pricing and availability of Westerbeke products and Westerbeke parts? Please use the "Locate Distributor" tab at the top of this web page to find our master distributor in your area. Our distributors are equipped to assist you with all your sales, service, parts, warranty and technical needs.
 Troubleshooting FAQ's   Troubleshooting FAQ's
What causes white smoke out of the exhaust? White smoke is usually caused by the engine running too cold, a faulty injector or injection timing, or engine coolant leaking into the dry section of the exhaust manifold. Steam is sometimes perceived as white smoke. Steam is usually caused by a lack of sea water flow through the water-injected exhaust system.
What are some causes of excessive fuel consumption? Excessive fuel consumption is usually caused by insufficient air flow, faulty injector(s) or injection pump, or overloading of the engine. Overload may be caused by incorrect propeller size or too much electrical load on a genset. Black smoke out of the exhaust is also associated with overload and lack of air flow.
My diesel engine/genset has not been used for over a year and it won't start - what's wrong and what should I do? The fuel system is very possibly "frozen-up" because of stale "varnished" fuel. This can cause the injectors, fuel rack and the injection pump's plungers to stick and not deliver fuel. The entire fuel system should be thoroughly checked and repaired if needed prior to starting the engine. The sea water pump impeller, if not removed from the pump, can take the shape of the interior of the pump. The pump impeller can also be brittle - check it and replace if needed. If the engine wasn't fogged prior to decommissioning, or if it's never been run, there could be some rust in the cylinders. This can be addressed but we strongly recommend it's accomplished by qualified personnel only! Remove the glow plugs or injectors and squirt a good quality lubricating oil or penetrating oil such as mystery oil into each cylinder. This will loosen up frozen rings and sticky valves. After letting the oil penetrate the engine's internal components for a good period of time, turn the engine over by hand with the glow plugs or injectors still removed. After you turn over the engine by hand (glow plugs or injectors still removed), use the engine's starting motor to crank the engine. The oil pressure will build up and be forced through the oil passage ways. This will lubricate all of the components that are normally well lubricated by the system in normal operation. IMPORTANT NOTE - cranking the engine with oil in the cylinders can cause damage because oil will not compress. The oil in the cylinders must be evacuated before reinstalling the glow plugs/injectors and trying to start the engine. Replace the lube and fuel oil filters. TIP - if the engine is layed-up for an extended period of time, turn over the engine by hand occasionally.
My engine temperature slowly creeps up at idle and gets worse as I increase RPM. What's wrong? The most likely cause is a restriction in the sea water system. The best way to confirm a restriction is to measure the output of the sea water at the water outlet. Normally this is done at the wet exhaust elbow. Every system has a flow rate at a specified RPM, and measuring the water output (usually in gallons per minute) is the best way to check the entire system at one point. NOTE: It's very difficult to make an assessment of water flow with a visual check. It may look like enough water flow when in fact there is a lack of flow. There are several points in the system that are subject to causing a restriction or poor flow. Start at the sea water inlet valve and follow the flow of water through the entire circuit checking for restrictions. Carefully examine hoses and fittings. Make sure you check the impeller and the condition of the pump body! The most common causes are a clogged sea water strainer, a dirty heat exchanger or a clogged water injection fitting on the wet exhaust elbow. Also, make sure your engine can turn its full-rated RPM. If not, and the engine is overloaded, this can cause overheating. A dirty propeller or hull can cause this. Don't rule out the thermostat! Even though the thermostat is in the fresh water cooling circuit (on fresh water cooled engines), it's possible the thermostat is sticking and not opening all the way. This restricts fresh water flow and will cause overheating.
My Westerbeke genset shuts down when I release the on/preheat and start switches. What's wrong? This may be prevented if you keep the ON switch (gas gensets) or PREHEAT switch (diesel gensets) depressed for a few seconds after the engine starts allowing the engine to build-up oil pressure. If the engine still shuts down the most likely cause is a safety shutdown switch being activated. Westerbeke gensets have a built-in safety shutdown circuit to prevent catastrophic damage to the engine. There are 3 possible modes that will activate one of the switches - low oil pressure, high fresh water temperature, and high exhaust temperature (caused by sea water flow disruption). Contact a qualified technician to troubleshoot this problem.
My gasoline engine has black oily or sooty exhaust upon start up, what could be the cause? Black oily or sooty exhaust upon start up could be the result of a sticking choke mechanism or a carburetor that is faulty due to fuel contamination. Check the condition of the choke to ensure it is operating freely. Also check the condition of the fuel supply.
I replaced my sea water pump impeller and one of the blades was missing. Where could it have gone? It is not uncommon for the bits and pieces of damaged impeller to become lodged in the end of the heat exchanger or possibly in the fittings between the sea water pump and the exchanger. Periodic cleaning of the heat exchanger by means of removing the end caps should be done to remove debris. The exchanger is designed with removable end caps specifically for purpose of cleaning it out. It's very important to make sure all of the debris is cleaned-out in order to prevent possible engine overheating.
The tachometer for my diesel engine isn't working, what should I check? The alternator has an AC tap (connection) that creates from 6-9 volts AC which is transmitted to the tachometer. This wire is typically brown. Measuring voltage at the AC tap on the back of the alternator and at the tachometer’s connections should be performed. This way you avoid a potential open wire or connection issue with both the sense and ground leads. Keep in mind the tachometer also requires a 12V connection to operate properly. This can be confirmed by the tachometer's light illuminating or the hour meter running when the ignition switch is in the on position. Also note that once you get the tachometer working it must be calibrated to read accurately. The use of a known-good hand held or strobe tachometer is the only way to be sure the tachometer is properly adjusted. It is best to contact your local Westerbeke dealer if you do not have the right equipment to do the job.