Maintenance Wrap up
31 October 2008 | Vuda Point Marina
We spent most of the day today wrapping up mechanical work on the boat. Our Yanmars have both had 1,000 hour services now and show no signs of age. Neither needed the valves adjusted, the exhaust water mixer elbows look like new. The 54 hp normally aspirated Yanmars are the most reliable engines I have run across and we are very happy with ours.
The jury is out on the SD50 Sail Drives. The starboard has given us no problems. If tightening up some bolts removes all phantoms from the port then I think I would give them a high rating as well.
On the genset front, all I can say is that I wish we had a MACE. The MACE generator has a Yanmar motor. I hear good things about MACE. A genset should run as reliably as your auxiliary and with as little attention. I am always anxious when our generator is running.
If the Westerbeke runs into another large failure I will create an artificial reef with it and buy a MACE and install it with double isolators. The Westerbeke has given us continuous difficulties, many minor, but all time consuming. We don't like things that take us away from seeing the world we have spent so much effort to visit. I have sent emails to Westerbeke direct and through the web site with not one answer. The spares kit had the wrong impeller in it and after having impeller problems we raised this issue with the dealer (and tried to with Westerbeke). No help there. We ended up figuring it out on our own by accident while shopping at a chandler in Panama. I now suspect that the heat exchanger may have been defective from the get go, worsening along the way, and this combined with repeated impeller failures (and on occasion subsequent overheating) has made the generator less than reliable. It is also singly isolated (an installation issue) and vibrates quite a bit more than I would like. This could be a contributor to the SD50 issues, seeing as how the SD50 is located just in front of the genset.
We are dealing with Brown's Engine in Southern California for Westerbeke parts now. Shawna there was very responsive and is moving things along as quickly as she can.
It is Halloween even here in Fiji, though the Fijians don't know it. We got some candy together to fill up our Kava Bowl for the little gremlins wandering about from the other yachts. The Fijians think we're nuts.