Working on the boat

Guiding Light now has brand new engines and sail drives

By November 20, 2018 2 Comments

The big project I had done on Guiding Light this year was to have the staff at Grenada Marine take out the old Yanmar 3GM30 engines and SD20 sail drives and install brand new, sparkling 3YM30AF engines and SD 25 sail drives. This was the major project I did on the boat, but I also finished another major project, but I am saving that news for a bit longer. 😊

When I bought Guiding Light in 2009 the engines were 12 years old and had around 9300 hours on each engine. That is an average of 775 hours per engine per year. The boat survey and mortgage company were both concerned about the age of the engines at that time. Since then I have used them for 3500 hours over 9 years, bringing my average to 375 hours per year.

As good as I was to the engines, they were still 21 years old with almost 13,000 hours on each one. The thing that really sealed the deal was that going up wind the boat speed dropped from 4.5-5 knots down to 3-3.5 knots last spring. I was finally time to repower the boat. Of course, whenever I told people how many hours I had their jaws usually dropped and they would say something to the effect of “that is a lot of hours”. When the mechanic took them out he said, “there was not a side it WASN’T leaking oil from….that is one tired engine”.

Taking the old engines out and putting the new ones in went as smoothly as he expected and when I arrived I had new engines, sail drives, controller, and throttle cables. Under the boat was a pile of my old engines and sail drives, which I was trying to sell to no avail. Just to anyone curious, I offered them at $1000 each and slowly dropped the price to $400, but still did not have any takers. So, if you are going to repower do not expect to get any value for your old engines in the Caribbean.

The only thing that gave us issues with the repowering is the engine driven water maker. This is due to the fact the old bracket had the water maker pump out of alignment with the new engines. They took the time to modify the bracket, but when I took the boat for a test drive the engine that had the water maker was making an awful vibration throughout the boat. Turns out they need to do some more modification on the bracket. Once they got it perfect, they dropped it off, but said they could not get a mechanic to install it for a couple days. I decided I would install it myself in order to get away from the dock, because we wanted to get to a cooler bay and have the wind blowing down the hatches. It ended up taking me two hours to get it all mounted and installed. That does not seem like too long…..unless you are upside down and hanging by your waist half the time. Let me tell you I was ready for a shower, dinner, and a movie by the time I was done! 😊


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