In order to mitigate further disasters we hired an experienced Captain who spent time with us going over all systems and operations of the boat. His favorite expression was "follow the hose cause the hose always knows".
This instructable goes over some of the basic operations any Catalina owner should understand.
NOTE: Systems will vary from boat to boat so parts of this instructable may not be applicable.
Step 1: UNIVERSAL 5411 DIESEL ENGINE OPERATION
Step 1 - Before starting engine, locate yellow handled valve in bottom of engine compartment, which should be in the down closed position. ( image 1)
Step 2 - Rotate yellow handle into up (open) position to allow the sea water to come in and cool the engine. (image 2)
Step 3 - Check engine oil level by opening the side access door and pulling out the oil dip stick. (image 3 & 4)
Step 4 - Open front access panel and check that alternator belt is tensioned firmly. (image 5)
Step 5 - Make sure gear (black spherical handle) is in vertical (neutral) position and throttle (red spherical handle) is also in vertical position. (image 6)
Step 6 - Insert key into ignition and rotate clockwise just before engine cranks. At the same time hold up the Glow Plug switch for about a minute (only for cold starts). There will be a loud buzzing sound due to low engine oil pressure which is normal before the engine starts. (image 7)
Then rotate the key to crank the engine and after starting release the key. After you've run the engine for a few minutes you should be able to stop and start it quickly without having to hold up the Glow Plug switch.
Step 7 - Once engine starts check to see if water is flowing out the back exhaust port. If no water is flowing for about a minute, it is recommended that you shut engine down to prevent heat damage, and have a mechanic inspect the impeller.
TURNING ENGINE OFF
Step 1 - Move yellow handled engine water lever to off switch in engine compartment.
Step 2 - After about 15 seconds (required to flush water out of the system) move red handled throttle all the way back and down to cut fuel off to the engine.
Step 3 - As soon as engine stops, oil pressure warning will sound and turn ignition key into off position.