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A prayer for the amateur diesel maintainer

This is a Vivian three-cylinder diesel. No, I've never heard of it, either, but it needs some service.

O mighty Neptune/Poseidon/Aquaman:


Give unto me, your faithful servant, correctly sourced spares aplenty should thy diesel prove to have been built on a Monday or Friday, and give unto me credit aplenty in diverse realms to purchase such spares in harbours of dubious repute; lo, even though they be made by unionized Europeans!


Give also unto me the courage to attempt, heeding those applicable scriptural passages from Sts. Gerr, Calder and Compton, a host of minor repairs when thy diesel knocketh, overheateth or emitteth the black, white or grey smokes of the inferno, and through such brazen signs and portents let me diagnose thereby thy auxiliary's ailments. Leadeth me to measurements Imperial or metric, but provideth me with tools for both, for my vessel is Canadian-registered, and I bear the doubled yoke thereby.

Let me lay down with stainless hose clamps aplenty; let my spares locker runneth over with fasteners of all kinds, even those parts of surpassing obscurity and dubious utility. May I always have a flashlight to hand, and picker-uppers with which to pick up that which falleth, and a song of praise that thy bilges bringeth forth the lost sheep of my greasy fingers.

Let me suffereth not the wayward courier; keep from me the services of incompetent "experts", sent by the Arch-Lubber himself, who render upon thy auxiliary more harm than good and chargeth me sorely, and greatly oppresseth the rum budget. And let me swear less, but not yet, not yet!

May my Racors runneth ever clearly with clean fuel; may I understand more fully what is a "banjo washer", and, having such understanding, may I replace thy auxiliary's injectors, should this come to pass, in sincere hopes of the restoration of serene function and full shaft output, and in the rock-like confidence that thy vessel may once again churn the seas in both calms and cats' paws.

May thy exhaust be sufficiently cooled and riseth from the waterlift without falling back, for 'tis said the oils and the waters maketh a poor milkshake.

May thy pumps always lift,  may thy lines need no bleeding, and may thy starter cables remain uncorroded, to thine greater glory and in hopes of reaching the alloted anchorage before sunset. 


Oh,'s Canadian.



Johnny C said...

Somebody's been reading the old diesel engine discussion board. So out goes the Beta, in goes the Vivian? Another great challenge, I presume.

Rhys said...

No, no, I just ran across the Vivian diesel when I Googled "beat up old diesel". I had not heard of them, even though I've seen a number of pretty vintage examples, like Grays, Gardiners and Thornycrofts. I considered buying something called a CN 35 with a Thornycroft in it.

It was just too damn old! Here's a picture of a CN 35:

I'm quite happy with the new Beta!

Bill Bishop - Parmain said...

Rhys, does this prayer require holy maple syrup, or an Upper Canada barley pop to work? Very funny, and cleverly done. I wish I had thought of it first.

Rhys said...

Well, Bill, while I would never object to a decent craft ale, many of which are often he colour of maple syrup, I've found the consumption of said beverage is best left until the job is complete.

I wrote this when I found something far more sincere and earnest..and therefore only weakly amusing... on a Cruisers' Forum thread. "Can't have sincerity and earnestness", I said to myself. "More mockery, satire and rueful truth is required."

Not to mention hours spent with the KJV in my youth absorbing that 17th century Biblical syntax. The ability to parrot Biblical passages is a handy, if minor, party trick for the aspiring voyager.