Before the course I had a limited knowledge of engines. I wanted to find a course that was a bit more in-depth than the RYA 1 day diesel engine course.
With a bit of googling I found the MCA approved diesel engine course at a training facility in Poole. The company offering the course has since shut down, and I luckily found myself on the last course before closing.
The course provided 30 hours of training on:
- The compression ignition engine
- Cycle of operation and constructional details
- The fuel system
- The role of air in the combustion process
- The cooling system
- The lubrication system
- Power transmission
- Hull fittings
- Fault finding and rectification
I shared the classroom with 3 other students who were commercially involved in the marine industry. The tutor explained that he teaches on courses that involve 1000 hours of engine tuition, so a 30 hour course would only outline the basics and some of the theory.
The days were split into two. In the morning we learned the theory, and in the afternoon we practised what we learned in the morning, working in pairs on a engine selected from picking keys out of a hat.
The practical side of the course was probably no more in-depth than what you would cover in a 1 day course, but what we learned on the theory accompanied at spending time in the workshop over 5 days was a major advantage.
After the second day I went back to my boat and went over my engine, taking pictures of anything that looked different from the course material. I came back to the class on Wednesday armed to the teeth with lots of questions, which were answered and proved a very useful exercise.
The tutor was amazing, not only because he could answer very burning question I had, but because he had a story for everything, which invariably ended with someone drying, dismembered or causing millions of pounds worth of damage.
On the last day we had the test, which was 20 questions long, and with only 2 people failing in the last 10 years, was almost impossible to fail.
Final score: 87%
Would I recommend this course to everyone? If you have the time and money and know very little about engines then its worth every penny. If you know a fair bit, then the theory will probably be more interesting than the practical.