Monday, May 31, 2010

It's been a long time coming, but we finally have an engine in "Second Wind", a 38 hp Betamarine diesel, which is basically a Kubota diesel that has been adapted for marine use. We chose the Betamarine for several reasons, the most important of which is that the parts for Kubota's are widely available world-wide. In addition, it is compact, the ideal horsepower rating for the boat and has several features, such as a manual oil sump pump mounted on top of the block to make changing oil much simpler and cleaner.

Bud Taplin, the "sea daddy" for the Westsail boats currently in use around the world, came out from California to help me install it. Bud was the former production manager for Westsail and has developed a cottage industry helping all of us keep our boats in tip-top condition and has pioneered the upgrades in power plants and sailing rigs.

Bud has done dozens of new engine installations and he made it seem pretty simple. He flew in on Tuesday and we were finished by the end of the day on Wednesday. Of course we were not without a minor crisis or two: the angle grinder for trimming the fiberglass engine room pan died after only a few minutes and we had to dash out and buy a new one, and one of the engine room bolts seized up and I ended having to cut it off with a Dremel tool.

The top photo shows the engine installed, looking from the stern forward. The blue lines are the engine control cables for the transmission and throttle. The black box on the starboard side is for the starter battery. The large red hoses on the portside are the cooling water lines from the seacock to the water strainer and then into the engine.

The second photo is from the engine room door looking aft. You can see the folding shelf I installed above the propeller shaft to make access to the engine easier from the hatch in the cockpit floor, not to mention it's a nice seat to sit on when working on the engine and accessories.

The third photo is of the starboard fuel tank, fuel lines, selector valves for the fuel tank feed lines and return lines. The small box in the center of the photo is the electronic fuel pump (unwired as yet) and the primary fuel filter is visible on the left.

The cockpit drain lines, not yet installed, will run from the round opening at top left down to the bronze seacock at lower left. There is a similar one on the port side.

The fourth photo shows the aft engine room light, the fuel tank (each tank holds approximately 40 gallons), and the raw water strainer. The water enters the strainer from the seacock on the bottom center, then exits from the aft side and loops down and forward to the engine heat exchanger intake at the front of the engine, which you can see in the last photo.

I'm really pleased with the engine installation and all that's left in the engine room are the drains, bilge pumps (manual and automatic), and the engine exhaust and "water-lift" muffler. Then it's on to the final electrical installation and the fitting of the cabin-top hardware, then external painting. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Bud thinks that July 4th is doubtful, but I'm working as hard as I can and I don't think it will run too much past that goal. We're already getting quotes for transporting the boat to the nearest marina, as well as all the way to Jacksonville, Florida. Stay tuned!


Blogger Carl said...

Your blog rocks!
Are you in the water yet?

Happy Sailing.

6:26 PM  

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