2017 Workshop was filled early.  Look for the write up soon.


2016 Diesel Engine Workshop:

Narragansett Sailing School in Barrington, RI.  Mike the instructor surrounded by his four students after leading the two-day  Diesel Engine Workshop. 

Photo taken by Beth Burlingame, WSF board member, who was teaching another course at the School.  Everyone is getting a jump on spring!



It's a go!  The NWSA2-day Diesel Engine Workshop will take place at the Narragansett Sailing School in Barrington, RI,  Saturday and Sunday, March 7 & 8. 2015.  

This opportunity is limited to 8 women, so don’t delay to get one of the few remaining spaces.  Please disregard the deadline on the attached registration form.   CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS


March 15-16 2014 Diesel Engine Workshop for Women in New Bedford, MA



Beth Burlingame

Nine women gathered at Mack Boring’s new facility in New Bedford, MA, March 15-16 to participate in the NWSA Marine Diesel Workshop. Larry Berlin, longtime instructor for this course, retired in 2013, and John Farrell ably took over. John has taught the course for Yanmar dealers and military users for several years, and is enjoying his new role teaching boat owners across the country the ins and outs of marine diesel maintenance and troubleshooting. The group included Eleanor Lawson,  Digital Editor at Cruising World Magazine.  Having a reporter around proved beneficial for all. Eleanor was not shy about asking for clarification when needed, and many of her questions were echoed by other members of the class.

The course started with an overview of the basic parts of the diesel engine and how it functions. Transmissions and saildrives were discussed, as well as the gauges and lights on various instrument panels, and how to interpret the information on them.

Going more in depth, the engine’s lubrication system, fuel system, cooling system, and electrical system were covered both in a very interactive lecture and by inspecting several engines on site. Engines from Yanmar’s GM, YM, and JH series of sailboat engines were used for demonstration and practice. Students owning other engine brands were paired with a similar-sized Yanmar for practice. Although Mack Boring is known for its Yanmar distributorship, John Farrell has a lifetime of experience on a broad range of engines. He gave good tips to the Perkins, Volvo and Westerbeke owners as well as making sure everyone learned some specific issues with Yanmars – i.e., do not use anything smaller than a 30 micron fuel filter with a Yanmar!

Students learned how to change oil, recognize fuel problems, and bleed an engine, among other skills. John recommended types of additives that are useful in a diesel fuel system, and also recommended against those that offer more hype than function. Each owner went home with a folder full of notes, a comprehensive handout, and a big increase in knowledge and comfort level in working on her engine. Another class is planned for winter 2015.



Diesel Engine Workshop MARCH 13-14, 2010



Women Dig Diesels At Mack Boring Seminar

A group of women hailing from New Hampshire to Florida arrived at the Mack Boring Technical Institute in Middleboro, MA, amid rain and fog for the two-day diesel engine workshop led by Larry Berlin, instructor extraordinaire.

Each woman came to the class from a different perspective -- no boat, looking for a boat, have a new boat, have a newly acquired old boat, and owned a boat for years but no experience with an engine. One purpose bound them all: to be knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the diesel engine. They wanted to be a full partner, not on the sideline, and not to be ignored at the marina or repair shop.

So under Berlin’s watchful eye and expert instruction, the group alternated between the classroom and the workshop from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Every question was important and no questions were left unanswered. Heating systems, cooling systems, bleeding, injection replacement, calipers, thread gauges ... oh, the new language the women learned. The reward for their efforts was to hear the whir of the engine when Larry started each one on Sunday evening.

"The few things you do today prevent major catastrophes tomorrow," said Larry Berlin.

That's going on my wall!

~ By Joan Thayer




Photos of various past workshops with Larry


    Our instructor, Larry Berlin


 Pictures courtesy of participant Patty Knapp