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Update on our schooling

Posted on Tue 10 February 2009 in Classes and Workshops

I mentioned before that Dawn and I are taking a Marine Diesel Class and I’m taking a Marine Electrical class at Seattle Maritime Academy. Well there’s only one more day of the electrical class left and we’re about halfway through the diesel class.

The Electrical class has covered all the basics of electrical theory which centers around Ohm’s Law. We’ve built some simple circuits on a bread board and tested voltage, resistance, etc with a volt meter. We’ve also done a bunch of calculations to determine wire sizes needed in certain applications. Last night we were a little more hands on and practiced some soldering. I’d show you the results but they’re not that interesting, instead check out these videos.

Intro to Ohm’s Law

How and Why to Solder Correctly


Marine Diesel Engine Maintenance & Operation For Boaters- 7306 CSS 122 3D

Posted on Wed 07 January 2009 in Classes and Workshops

That is the title of the class Dawn and I started on Tuesday at the Seattle Maritime Academy which is a department of Seattle Central Community College. We got there at 6pm as the website said, the instructor seemed to be there milling around rummaging through things in the front of the room and people were trickling in and he started the class at 6:30 with barely a hello, barely introducing himself and mostly he ranted on about the facilities maintenance and then he told a pretty long story about the VP of SCCC selling a barge (and losing 9 classrooms and labs which sat on the barge) for \$24K when the barge surveyed for \$94-100K allegedly the buyer sold the barge on EBay for \$130K.

Ooookaaay…… is what I was thinking at this point a little confused and starting to get upset.

He finally started talking a little bit about engines and along the way gave some miss information about biodiesel, gave some smarmy answers to questions about propellers. He also mocked the environmental laws, tax laws, ‘liberals’ as he frequently put it. Its like we teleported Crazy Cooter from the Dukes of Hazard to Seattle and asked him to be as offensive as possible.

In general the guy was a surly boat engineer, that’s fine, but we also didn’t cover very much information, didn’t provide an outline of the class and didn’t give a general engine overview for orientation purposes.

We did cover 2 stroke and 4 stroke cycles, which was interesting. We did cover how fuel usage rates relate to the HP output of the engine, and how that can also be calculated by measuring the fuel exhaust temperature.

I really really hoping the class on Monday was just the guy having a bad day. I was really excited about this class and if its not going to improve I’ll have to find something similar somewhere else, but it will probably cost a lot more. Here’s hoping tomorrow goes much better. He handed out a bunch of handouts I need to read now.. yay homework. ;-)