We wrote about the ins and outs of oil analysis some months ago and went into more depth in explaining why this is a great way to prevent costly repairs later. This month we have worked on a boat where a regular oil analysis could have saved the owner a lot of grey hairs, time and money.
We got a phone call from a customer regarding a concerning noise coming from the engine bay of his boat. This recent retiree had bought a 47ft Alaska and was looking to enjoy his boat and newly found spare time around his home in Bribie Island. We visited the boat owner and assessed the boat. Unfortunately, it was not good news and a quick fix but instead, we organised to bring the boat to our workshop and got to work.
What had happened with the boat was a slow saltwater leak into the exhaust that had eventually resulted in a mechanical failure. Repairs and replacements for a problem of this magnitude are always costly and time-consuming. This mechanical failure carried a price tag of approximately $50,000. While out of the water the owner took advantage of our “one-stop shop” moto and requested the osmosis in the hull to be sandblasted out, hull works carried out and the Jotun process for re-antifouling.
In the article about oil analysis, we talked about how every recorded level and all traces of residue tells us things about your engine. Should this owner have done an oil analysis as part of his regular maintenance, the high sodium levels in the analysis results would have indicated a salt water leak long before any visible or audible symptoms appeared.
Oil analysis is a very small addition to your regular service with great benefits. Keep that in mind next time you bring your boat in for a service!