Slick oil change

When we took delivery of our boat, it seemed that at least a ton and a half of its gross tonnage (29t) were manuals and paperwork for all the equipment and machinery that was fitted in board. Luckily I don’t mind an instruction book, or, probably as a result of my time in Kent Fire & Rescue Service, nor do I baulk at a maintenance schedule and plan.

So it was, with not a little excitement, that I watched the engine hour meter tick past 25hrs and realised that the first engine service on Anticus was due. Indeed it was 29 hrs by the time we returned from last weeks cruise to Windsor.


Engine hours 29.1

The very comprehensive book that came with our BETA engine details what procedures need to be carried out at various intervals through the life of the engine. The first service is due at 25 hours, and mainly involves checking the torque of various nuts and bolts on or around the engine, checking tension on belts and changing the oil in the gearbox. In our case this is a PRM280 hydraulic gearbox.

I assembled the tools – and 18mm socket (for the filler / dipstick nut), length of hose (to run from the syphon, and to re-fill) and a container to collect the used oil (around 1.5 litres) from the gearbox. Pipers had helpfully supplied 20 litres of engine / gearbox 10W40 oil, and Nicola (ever concerned about me making a mess) had supplied a roll of blue paper towel! A great feature of our boat though, is the fitting on a hand syphon pump to the engine block, which via a ‘y’ connection and a couple of butterfly valves allows the draining of the gearbox and engine sump without having to scramble around underneath the block fiddling with the drain plugs.

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In no time at all I’d drained off around one and a half litres of pretty cloudy looking oil and replaced with fresh new product (filled to between the dipstick marks), run the engine, checked pressure and gear operation, tidied up and sat down with a beer. All in all, a satisfying hour or two, easy to do and saving you paying the boatyard for a few hours labour. Give it a go.


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