Diesel Engine and boat maintenance

This two day engine and boat maintenance course covers all the essential maintenance tasks that can be completed by the average boater without the use of specialist tools. The result is that you will be able to keep your boat in good order and in the long run save money.

The course covers all of the basic maintenance tasks on the engine, drive train, stern gear, domestic water system and basic electrical systems as well as some simple fault finding. More detailed courses for Electrics and Plumbing are available for those who want to expand on the content of this course. (see below)

Not only do  we encourage students to discuss their own boats and any issues they may have with them during the course but also encourage student to contact their instructor after the course for advice on maintenance issues. Please bring along any documentation or pictures of your boat to help with discussions.

As the course has a number of “hands on” workshop sessions we generally suggest you should wear overalls or other suitable clothes that can get dirty. Stout footwear is essential. Protective gloves are provided.

We restrict student numbers to six students obviously ensuring that everybody gets sufficient hands on experience.

The Engine and Boat Maintenance course covers the following topics:

1: Diesel Engine, Theory and Operation
2: The fuel system, operation, service and maintenance
3: The Air System, requirements and maintenance
4: The cooling system, types, operation and service
5: Lubrication system, service and maintenance
6: Other engine adjustments
7: Basic electrical system, operation, service, maintenance, basic fault finding and testing.
8: Basic tools and spares
9: Drivelines and stern gear, service and maintenance
10: Domestic water systems fault finding and maintenance
11: Hull Protection, Paintwork Maintenance and leaks through fittings
12: Winterising

We hold the engine and boat maintenance course in our dedicated classroom at Debdale Wharf. It is a mix of classroom and practical sessions.

Included in the Course cost are:

The RYA Diesel Engine booklet and certificate of attendance.

We have two more comprehensive books available. The RCR Narrowboat Engine maintenance and repair @ £17 and the RYA Diesel engine book and DVD @ £18.00. Both are very good books but as it is aimed at Narrowboat owners we would recommend the RCR book.

We provide hot and cold drinks throughout the day and also a light lunch. Please inform us in advance if you have any special dietary requirements.

Another advantage is that if you are attending the course on your boat the instructor will be available after the course to look at any problems you may have and make recommendations on how to fix them.

Our other practical Courses include

Boat Fitting 1     Boat Fitting 2  Boat Electrical Systems  Boat Plumbing Heating and Engine Installation  First Aid

Course Details

Duration: 2 days

Location: Classroom

Cost: £230

Maximum # students 6

Minimum # students 3

Exploded view of a water pump

Student Reviews

Great instructor – clear wealth of experience.


Would have come back for a third day I enjoyed it so much.


First class. We were fortunate to have two instructors!


Very good. Taught in an easily understandable way. Very well paced


I enjoyed all of the course. Steve is very knowledgeable and knows his stuff. Thanks Steve


Would recommend. Well worth the time and money. Thank You!


  A most enjoyable weekend. The instructor was thorough, engaging, sympathetic & knowledgeable.


Detail was excellent. Gave time to answer individual questions which was really helpful as it made content very real to our situations.


Looking forward to the next course.


Friendly and knowledgeable trainer, happy now to tackle all maintenance jobs on my boat


Whole course informative and instructor very knowledgeable making course enjoyable


As a complete novice the course provided enough for me to feel confident to ‘have a go’


Very enjoyable weekend. Brilliant


The instructors explained everything really clearly and the content was excellent. I'll be telling other boat owners in the marina about it.


I had a great experience over the weekend. Looking forward to applying new knowledge to caring for my boat. Booked another course today!


I just wanted to say another huge thank you for such an interesting, informative, confidence-building and fun weekend. Without any real idea of how the course would go and knowing so little about engines, I knew that by Monday I would know something more than I did on Friday; however I had no concept of how much you would be able to teach me. In my opinion you work very hard for your money from me and I felt it was excellent value. With only a truly basic idea of how an internal combustion engine works, I gave you very little to work with but I can honestly say I now feel I have a competent knowledge and ability which I am cautiously but keenly looking forward to using. Thanks also for the offer of follow-up advice if I need it and the copy of course notes which came via David yesterday.


The course was extremely comprehensive. I valued it all and appreciated the additional content the instructor provided.


Great knowledge, enthusiasm and ability to answer questions on a variety of boats – thanks.