Marine Diesel Basics

the first visual guides to marine diesel systems


clear and simple

see how things work, how to select, install, maintain & troubleshoot


Most "engine" trouble can be avoided by using quality components, installing them correctly and servicing them regularly (and avoiding collisions!).  My aim with Marine Diesel Basics is to help all boaters become familiar and confident with their diesel system - from the fuel deck fill & engine to the shaft & propeller:

  • help boatowners with all aspects of maintenance, lay-up and recommissioning
  • help boatbuyers make pre-purchase assessments which could save piles of money, time and heart-ache
  • help all boaters "learn the boat" with step-by-step explanations and clear drawings of how things work and best practices
  • provide step-by-step troubleshooting and basic repairs
  • boost confidence and comfort with marine machinery
  • improve mechanical skills using the right tools and techniques

Seeing is understanding! With more than 300 illustrations, the first book in the series explains:

1) all basic maintenance tasks of the marine diesel system - fuel, lubrication, cooling, breathing, electrical, and drive train (coupling, shaft, shaft seal, propeller)

2) all the tasks to winterize the complete system and to prepare for tropical storage (high heat and humidity)

3) all the tasks to recommission (“summerize”) the system to ensure reliable and trouble-free service

  • step-by-step instructions in clear, simple drawings
  • explains all parts of the system
  • lists all necessary tools and supplies to get each task done
  • covers sailboats, motorboats and narrowboats
  • indirect and direct cooled diesel engines
  • saildrives – maintenance, lay-up, recommissioning

Read full Table of Contents

Download free pdf Task Lists

REVIEWS                                                   read full reviews

"Excellent book, straight forward and to the point.
A must on any sailboat!"

Robert Edwards,


"...clearly knows the subject intimately and has the rare gift of being able to transfer his knowledge to the reader in an extremely easy-to-understand manner."

Dick McClary, editor Sailboat Cruising, issue #41, January 2018


"...laid out in a way that just makes sense. It is a joy to read and assimilate."

Michael Erkkinen, personal review  December, 2017.

"a brilliant book that should be part of the boat’s library for everybody... attention to detail will make this book ideal for those who are not especially experienced and yet are entirely capable of maintaining their engines themselves

Overall, this book is highly recommended for anybody who has a diesel engine aboard their boat."
Nautical Mind blog post, November 2017

"...enormous amount of useful information...The accompanying illustrations make the book a very helpful reference work...everything is covered."

Zeilen (Dutch sailing magazine) October 2017

"...a very, very comprehensive coverage of the subject...this is as good a guide as you'll get...Highly recommended."
Australian Sailing magazine, Oct-Nov 2017

"Very useful, practical and to the point, a must on every boat. Good job Capt Berwick !! Write some more books."
Hristo Papakonstantopoulos

"This book should be required reading for anyone responsible for the maintenance of their own boat...
I recommend it to any boat owner but especially a sail boat owner who does their own maintenance."
Kindle reader

"Your book went down a storm earlier in the week with my students..."
C Power Training, Scotland

"Excellent, clear, concise and easy to follow. Highly recommended"
Amazon reader

"Dennison Berwick challenges boat owners to stop being so intimidated by their diesel engines and to realize that basic maintenance is actually easy...but you have to do it. He's right of course and this message was written with me in mind; a non-marine professional recreational yacht owner. His pictures were instructive and his positive attitude was inspiring... It is thoughtfully well written and the illustrations make this topic accessible. I recommend it highly."

Amazon reader

"I have the hard copy - brilliant. Totally recommend to all boat owners with diesel power, and to would-be, soon-to-be boat owners. Great for diesel mechanic students as an excellent quick reference."

Amazon reader (Australia)

read full reviews

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