We recently completed an Engineroom Cleaning on a CHB Trawler in Humphreys Half Moon Marina on Shelter Island in San Diego, California. With a single Ford Lehman Diesel Engine and nothing but space around it, this job was pretty straight forward!
When we first arrived, we noted the condition of the Engineroom. Everything was operating as it should but the engine, bilges, and all of the surrounding equipment was covered in a gray film from a previous issue with the engines exhaust hose cracking.
After noting the condition of the Engineroom and taking plenty of pictures, we immediately dove in and started the cleaning process. Some of the notable supplies we brought with us were as follows:
1 Gallon Sprayer (Sourced from Home Depot)
2 Gallons - West Marine Brand Orange Bilge Cleaner
Box of Rags
4 Rolls of Shop Towels
1 Gallon of ZEP Industrial Cleaner (For the 1 Gallon Sprayer)
1 Gallon of Simple Green (For the 1 Gallon Sprayer)
Buckets (We used 8 buckets total)
Our first objective was to start high and work our way down to make sure that everything was covered. After turning off the bilge pumps, we liberally applied ZEP via the 1 Gallon Sprayer. We don't like sending ZEP over the side, so securing the bilge pumps was vital.
After wiping everything down it was already a world of difference. We used the water hose from the dock to spray all of the cleaning solution from most of the surfaces and let it work its way down to the bilge. Using the Wet / Dry Vacuum , we emptied the bilge and loaded all of the dirty water we recovered into buckets with lids so we wouldn't spill during transport.
Now comes the first gallon of bilge cleaner! It's citrus colored and a dead giveaway that your Engineroom is about to smell like a citrus processing facility! We made sure that we wiped up a majority of the oil in the bilge with the first spray so that the bilge cleaner wouldn't have to work so hard. We were right! The bilge cleaner worked flawlessly and after emptying everything out (after letting it sit for 3 hours), it looked and smelled amazing!
After the first bilge treatment, we then sprayed the Engineroom with Simple Green. Safe for sending overboard but since we used ZEP earlier, we still made sure to wash it into the bilge and suck it out with the vacuum so we wouldn't give off the impression that the boat was taking a bubble bath in its slip.
After the simple green spray down and washing the Engineroom yet again and also went ahead and cleaned the bilge with bilge cleaner with the last gallon we had, we pumped it all out into buckets and let everything dry.
IMPORTANT: Make sure when you're spraying down your engine that you're not spraying things that may end up hurting your engine. We avoided directly spraying the starter, the air inlet, and the crankcase breather cap by wrapping them in plastic prior to washdown.
After letting everything dry, the Engineroom looked immaculate! We turned the bilge pump back on to the auto setting and were ready to to wrap up!
The owner was happy with the end result! We enjoy working on boats, especially trawlers! So it was a treat for everyone involved!
If you have more questions on how we went about doing an engine room cleaning / detail or want us to conduct a engine room detail on your boat feel free to contact us! We're more than happy to help!