New York City Boat Diesel Engine Repair

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The cost of repairs on your boat’s diesel engine can vary widely in the New York area. Minor repairs and annual maintenance should only cost $300 at the low end. Major work like an alternator replacement, engine rebuild, etc can cost upwards of $2,700. Most diesel mechanics take a markup on the parts, so it’s worth a try to look for the parts yourself if you want to save money. If you hire a larger boat repair shop, costs may also be higher due to the overhead required to run the facility. However, more often than not, going with a more expensive repair service with a professional and well equipped facility is a safer bet. Diesel boat motor mechanics that offer the cheapest rates tend to cut corners or not have the equipment necessary to do the job correctly. You will think you’re getting a deal but you’ll end up paying for the work to be done twice: once by the shoddy mechanic, and then again to have the certified marine diesel mechanic redo the repairs correctly.


Research, research, research. There are countless home contractors and car mechanics, but the universe is much smaller for boat repair shops, so the research should not take you too long. Generally, there are a handful of high quality, expensive marine diesel mechanics in a given area and then there are a few hidden gems that only operate by referral. If you are new to New York, the most logical place to begin your research is online. The Boat Diesel Engine Repair New York page on Mariner Exchange will show you all of the top rated marine diesel engine repair services in the tri-state area. If you are based on Long Island past Huntington, then it’s best to search for service providers on the general Boat Diesel Engine Repair page since they won’t be captured in the search radius of the aforementioned page. Getting referrals from marina managers is a good next step to take, but also consult your own social network of boaters that have similar diesel engines to you. Ask them what boat repair service they used and what the extent of the repairs were. It’s always good to ask friends because marina managers may just recommend their friends or a boat repair shop that rents space from them.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, check to make sure the diesel boat motor mechanics have certifications from organizations like the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) or from the manufacturer of your engine. For ABYC, make sure the diesel engine technician doing the repairs on your boat is “certified,” not just an ABYC member. ABYC certification is granted to individual technicians, so if the company has (or used to have) one certified technician, they may promote the ABYC certification badge. However, in reality, not all of the technicians may actually be certified, and the ones that were certified may not take the proper training courses every 5 years to renew the certification. Huntington, Oyster Bay, and Port Washington have plenty of marine diesel repair companies if you are looking in New York. If you’re on Long Island, basically the further you are towards Montauk, the better the repair services and facilities. Montauk is packed with large boatyards capable of handling any diesel engine repairs on your boat. The Connecticut and New Jersey coasts on either side of Long Island also have a good concentration of boat repair facilities such as Norwalk, CT and Monmouth Beach, NJ.


If you like to maintain and repair your boat’s diesel engine yourself, then we recommend you at least bring it to a certified marine diesel mechanic for annual service and winterization. If you are diesel engine savvy, here are some of the common problems these engines encounter:

  • Fuel contaminated with water or dirt

  • Broken or damaged impeller

  • Old antifreeze that needs to be changed

  • Loose belts than need to be replaced or tightened

  • Clogged mufflers not releasing exhaust

  • Clogged fuel filters than need to be replaced

  • A loose alternator

  • Blown fuses that need to be replaced

  • Corrosion of electrical connections is a frequent issue

Even if you are a diesel boat motor expert, we recommend seeking professional help if you have to repair the following:

  • Adjust the engine’s valves

  • If the cylinder heads require retorquing

  • If your turbocharger is loose or requires replacement

  • Any issues with ECM and Common-Rail Diesels that require computer diagnostics