You've heard the mantra before, but it bears repeating. A diesel engine basically needs just two things: clean fuel and air. If it's missing either, it's dead. That's why troubleshooting a diesel usually involves tracing the air and fuel systems from start to finish, always beginning with the simplest and least-invasive potential cause and ending whenever your expertise reaches its limit.
Ever since the paddlewheel gave way to the screw propeller, there has been little fundamental change in the way that ships and boats are propelled through the water. Over the last century or so, engines and hull forms have evolved substantially, but the means of converting horsepower into thrust has remained pretty much the same: a rotating propeller accelerates the surrounding water in one
Forty-five years ago Executive Editor Capt. Bill Pike was a young combat infantryman slogging through the jungles and swamps of Vietnam, his only respite the occasional ride up the river on a patrol boat. Pike has returned to Vietnam to write a story about his experiences on the river, both then and now. Here is his first dispatch from ‘Nam. ▶