Highly increased fuel prices and the need for greenhouse emissions reduction from diesel engines used in marine engines in compliance with International Maritime Organization (IMO) on the strict regulations and guidelines for the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) make diesel engine exhaust gas heat recovery technologies attractive. The recovery and utilization of waste heat not only conserves fuel, but also reduces the amount of waste heat and greenhouse gases dumped to the environment .The present paper deals with the use of exergy as an efficient tool to measure the quantity and quality of energy extracted from waste heat exhaust gases in a marine diesel engine. This analysis is utilized to identify the sources of losses in useful energy within the components of the system for three different configurations of waste heat recovery system considered. The second law efficiency and the exergy destroyed of the components are investigated to show the performance of the system in order to select the most efficient waste heat recovery system. The effects of ambient temperature are also investigated in order to see how the system performance changes with the change of ambient temperature. The results of the analysis show that in all of the three different cases the boiler is the main source of exergy destruction and the site of dominant irreversibility in the whole system it accounts alone for (31-52%) of losses in the system followed by steam turbine and gas turbine each accounting for 13.5-27.5% and 5.5-15% respectively. Case 1 waste heat recovery system has the highest exergetic efficiency and case 3 has the least exergetic efficiency.