This post is a little out of order chronologically, but better late than never. I hadn't been too worried about oil changes given the extremely low volume of engine hours I tend to create. I only sailed the boat around ten times (or less!) when I bought it. I'm not sure of when the oil was changed prior to those first sails. The boat then sat in a cradle being refit for nearly two years, and here we are. Certainly not enough use to demand a change, although I don't know how much oil breaks down over time either. For that matter, I don't know that the correct type / grade of oil was used. It was high time that I removed this variable.
I picked up a West Marine Manual Oil Changer, which is essentially a vacuum pump, a long thin dipstick hose, and a reservoir. It's built very well, and made the oil change a breeze. It's so easy in fact that I'll never hesitate to crank out a change again. I've posted a review of this pump in this web site's Tools Resources as I was so impressed with its simplicity and functionality.
It feels good to finally begin to understand the diesel. Between bleeding the lines, replacing belts, and this oil change it's starting to feel a lot less mysterious to me. These small procedures have also given me more chances to wipe the engine off, and continue making it cleaner.
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