Those of you who follow our adventures may have noticed that, even though we own a sailing boat, our engine is a recurring theme. (repairs, a working engine, a hole in the water) We really try hard not to use the engine and are quite successful in keeping down the engine hours but when you need the engine you need it now. We have bad memories of drifting off Mallaig or Rhum with a none functioning engine and don’t want to try that again off a coral reef.
Since Gran Canaria the engine has been overheating after exhaust gases push the coolant out. Two guys in Tenerife looked at it but didn’t really have much idea so disconnected the fresh water heater.
In Martinique we went straight to Mecanique Plaisance because every one says they are “the people”. The technician came out to us at anchor and ran a few tests before declaring the heat exchanger (salt water to fresh water) dead. It was leaking internally so exhaust gases were pressurizing the fresh water coolant.
The engine is a three cylinder Yanmar (3HM35F) and as old as the boat (1992) which means spares are about as plentiful as rocking horse droppings, something else will be going wrong soon and it leaks a bit of everything all the time. We accepted the technicians opinion that a new engine made more sense.
They had a suitable engine with gearbox (3YM30AE) in the shop and Christoph (the technician) had time on Thursday and Friday so we agreed to be on the dock at 08:30 on Thursday for him to start.
Obviously every one was working on shipyard time so “08:30” was late morning, “an hour” was half a day and “finished on Friday” meant Saturday but whatever. The work looks professional and the motor works. And we don’t actually have any appointments the next few years.
The new motor is also a Yanmar. It is tiny compared to the old one, feels a bit more powerful and looks much much less rusty. It also has a three year manufacturers warranty and spare parts available worldwide. Sounds like fun.