In this story, Hans tries to keep Swashy in shipshape condition, as something always seems to need fixing on a sailboat, but sometimes all that hard work just makes things even more dirty. The Oily Engine is the first book in the 'Hans the Little Sailor' series, which tells the story of a young boy called Hans who lives aboard his sailboat called Swashbuckled, or Swashy for short. He sails the oceans with his friends Harvey Wind and Brightly Sun and sings with the little ocean waves. He uses his imagination to turn ordinary situations into extra-ordinary adventures. The Little Hans stories also teach children the basics of sailing in a fun and amusing way.