We had just left Kingston Marina and were motoring east past the scenic Kingston waterfront to begin the trip back to Toronto. I headed down into the boat for some reason (stereo? chart? sunglasses?) when I heard a very faint high-pitched whine for a couple of seconds. I dismissed the noise but immediately began to smell something burning.
As every sailor soon learns, ignore unusual sounds, smells, or vibrations on a boat at your peril. If the noise didn’t trigger a response in me, the smell certainly got me busy.
I lifted the step and peeked into the engine compartment and didn’t see anything amiss – no flames, no billowing smoke. I took a second look and realized that the alternator wasn’t turning but the belt wasn’t broken. Alt seizure? I immediately shut the engine down to take stock of what was happening. It turns out the belt was toast, literally. It was crisp, hard and smoking. It was so worn out that it wouldn’t turn or flex.
I think the noise was the alt spinning down.
I did a quick replacement as we slowly drifted towards the rocky shore, past a few sailing dinghy’s and stand up paddlers. I put on a Genuine Yanmar 25132-003700 (old part no# 128670-77350). We were back up running in 5 min, I think Rufus was impressed.
Mid-winter, on one of my periodical visits to the boat, I was blown away with the smell of diesel fuel when I slid the hatch open. I chalked this up to the new cover not giving the boat as much ventilation as it used to have, but I really wasn’t fooling myself. In the back of my head I’ve been wondering why the boat smells worse this year then last?
When doing my spring commissioning I discovered a drop of fuel on one of the fuel filters. I didn’t have time to look at it until now. I was partly motivated as we are are on day 10 ( I’ve lost track) of a trip to the 1000 islands. The girls still crawl into our bed some nights and last night I was squished up against the back bulkhead, getting strong wafts of diesel. That was enough to motivate me this morning to see if I can stop the leak.Continue reading Maintenance on the hook – chasing smells→
Early marine diesel engines, like the Saab had huge flywheels and chugged along happily at low rpm. Modern multi cylinder diesels, like the Yanmar 3GM30F in my Hunter 340 are a very different beast.
A diesel engine is subject to "wet stacking" or over fuelling if run for long periods of time with ultra light loads (less than 40% of the rated output). "Wet Stacking" causes the engine to smoke and run rough because the injectors become carbonized. Running a heavy load will usually clean up the over-fuel condition and allow the engine to perform properly. Diesel enginesoperate better and more fuel efficient when loaded (70-80% of the rated output is optimum). Source: http://www.allworlddieselgen.com/faq.htm
This condition happens to a lot of cruising boats who rely on running their main engine to charge their house battery bank while at anchor. I would also note that other experts say this can happen at higher loads than 40% and that cruising at 80-90% of rated RPM's is best. Main thing is to cruise at least at 70% RPM's and don't run your engine while at anchor to charge batteries!
Poke around in a few forums and you will come across lots of information in how to treat your Yanmar – hours of idle are not good, in-fact idling is really a bad idea.
Winter always brings a small amount of anxiety for boat owners, get your winterization wrong and you’ve created expensive problems. Fresh water systems get a dousing of pinnk antifreeze, but engines seem to cause confusion. Given that engines are made up of many materials with different properties, such as rubber gaskets, aluminum, brass and steel, coolant additives are important to ensure parts aren’t being corroded by the very liquids designed to protect them. Here is a list of coolants from Mack Boring regarding Yanmar engines.
The coolant/anti-freezes that have been tested and approved are shown below:
Texaco Long Life Coolant Anti-Freeze both regular and pre-mixed Product codes 7991 and 7998. This product is available in gallon containers, drums and bulk. It is recommended that the cooling system be drained and flushed before filling. Only Texaco Long Life Coolant should be used for top-off. This product has a much longer shelf life than conventional coolants provided the integrity of the container is maintained. For additional information and availability contact Texaco at 1-800-782-7852.
Havoline Extended Life Anti-Freeze/Coolant. Product code 7994. This product is available through Texaco gas stations, Procedures are the same as with Texaco Long Life Coolant Anti-Freeze.
Dex-Cool Long Life Coolant. This product is available through GM service centers worldwide.
Prestone Extended Life Coolant. Product code AF888. If the above coolants are not readily available, Prestone Extended life coolant is satisfactory.