The engine is keel cooled. The coolant header tank is on the aft end of the engine box. Top it up with water and antifreeze/inhibitor as required. The correct level when the engine is cool is marked by a cross piece in the tank immediately below the filler cap. The system is not pressurised and the space above the cross piece marker is for coolant expansion when the engine is at working temperature. The total volume of the cooling system is approx 40 litres. I normally run about 30% antifreeze/corrosion inhibitor. This is the conventional (green) type. Do not mix it with the orange type as they are incompatible.
The exhaust is dry with a water jacket on the exhaust manifold. It exits via a loop to the deckhead and out through a seacock just below the rubstrake amidships on the port side. The loop is high enough to prevent water entering the exhaust system under most conditions, but for safety I close the exhaust seacock at sea when the engine is not running and hang the ‘ENGINE EARTH’ key from the seacock as a reminder that it must be opened before starting the engine. I normally leave the exhaust open when at anchor.
Fuel is gravity fed from a header tank below the galley counter. The tank holds about 20 litres which is sufficient for about 12 hours motoring. It is filled by a hand pump: to ensure that I never run out of fuel, I pump up fuel from the main tank every 6 hours. The pump is semi-rotary and not self-priming. There is a ball valve immediately below the pump that is turned off when the pump is not in use so that it does not lose its prime. To fill the header tank, first turn the cock on then put a small container under the header tank breather outlet, which is a green holes with a ball valve in it above the galley counter by the exhaust box (I use a plastic bottle). Pump until the header tank is full and fuel spurts into the bottle. Turn off the cock under the pump and remove the bottle from under the breather.
There are two fuel filters. The first one is a Recor in the locker behind the header tank pump. It has a water separator that is drained by a valve in the base. The element is the spin-on type. The second filter is on the engine. It is necessary to remove the side of the engine box to get at this effectively – not a difficult procedure. I change the fuel filters when I think it is necessary rather than at a fixed interval. When using drummed fuel of dubious provenance in places like Patagonia, the interval may be as little as 200 hours. More generally it about 1000 hours.
The lubrication system is conventional. I change the oil and filter every 150 hours, which is very conservative but kind to the engine. The oil change interval could be extended to 250 hours and the filter to 500 hours without adverse effect.
The engine is isolated from the electrical system except when starting. The gauges are double insulated with no earth via the engine block. The tachometer is a proximity sensor on the cam shaft, not a frequency meter of the alternator.
The gearbox is a conventional twin shaft (Hurth type) using automatic transmission fluid. The shaft has a plumber bearing in the middle, under the bottom companionway step. This should be greased every 500 hours. The shaft gland is a stuffing box and it too should be greased every 500 hours.
STARTING THE ENGINE
1. Open the exhaust at the seacock behind the removable panel on the starboard side immediately forward of the galley. I hang the removable earth key on the seacock handle so that I do not forget to do this
2. Check the engine is in neutral and advance the throttle to about half.
3. Turn the earth key on. It is labelled ‘ENGINE EARTH’
4. Turn on the ‘ENGINE CONROL’ and ‘INSTRUMENTS’ switches. This provides power to the engine instruments , to the starter solenoid and alternator field coil.
5. Press ‘PREHEAT’ for 15 seconds.
6. Press ‘STARTER’
7. Once the engine has started, turn off the ‘ENGINE EARTH’
STOPPING THE ENGINE
1. Engine in neutral and idling
2. Pull the stop control – the cord at the aft end of the engine box.
3. Turn off ‘ENGINE CONTROL’ and ‘INSTRUMENTS’
4. If at sea, close the exhaust and hang the removable ‘ENGINE EARTH’ key on the seacock as a reminder that it is closed. In harbour I leave the exhaust open.
5. Put the gearbox astern to stop the propeller turning.
Conventional 12v, negative earth and entirely double insulated (floating earth) except the starter motor and glow plugs. All wires are labelled, generally at each end, always at one end. The alternator is a heavy duty Balmar 100 amp with smart regulator. See manufacture’s literature for details (aboard in the boat's documentation folder).
There are three battery banks: engine, house and windlass separated by splitting diodes. The engine battery is a 12v flooded lead-acid battery and the house bank is a pair of 6v AGM batteries in series. These batteries are under the port saloon seat. The windlass battery is a 12v flooded lead-acid battery and is under the forward berth. The voltage sensor from the smart regulator is connected to the house bank so it is the state of charge of the house bank that dictates the charging rate. The charge rate is optimised for AGM batteries. The solar panel is connected to the house bank and again optimised for AGM batteries. The solar panel has the latest generation MPPT regulator – see manufacturer’s literature for details.
The large battery switch is used to select the battery bank that starts the engine. It is normally left on bank 2, the dedicated starting battery. By switching it to 1, the house bank becomes the engine starting battery and ‘both’ puts these two banks in parallel. It should never be necessary to use the house bank to start the engine.
The entire system is double insulated with no earth through the hull or engine, with the exception of the starter motor and glow plugs. These cannot be easily isolated from the engine block, so it is necessary to briefly connect the engine to the battery negative when starting the engine. The heavy duty switch labelled ‘ENGINE EARTH’ does this. It has a removable key.
All systems are protected by a 100 amp circuit breakers, the long wires having one at each end in case a wire chafes through in the middle. This is in addition to the normal fuses and circuit breakers protecting individual circuits.
The windlass has it’s own battery under the forward berth. The charging circuit has a 100 amp circuit breaker in it close to the splitting diode in the main battery box beside the engine. There is another 100 amp circuit breaker between the battery and the windlass. This is in the forward cabin. The solenoid that activates the windlass is in the locker just behind the circuit breaker. The solenoid is activated by a foot switch on deck. I leave the circuit breakers in the on position except on passage.
Below water line:
1. Sink outlet: access by lifting the floor panel of the lower locker under the sink.
2. Toilet inlet: access by lifting the toilet compartment floor.
3. Toilet outlet: access through the open-fronted compartment beside the toilet.
Above the waterline:
1. Bilge pump outlet: seacock in forward small (upper) locker in the saloon, port side.
2. Engine exhaust: see engine section
3. Toilet holding tank breather: in the toilet compartment, near the deckhead.
Water is in two keel tanks: the forward tank holds 60 litres and the aft tank 120 litres. Change tanks using the ball valves in the forward galley locker, under the fuel transfer pump. The fillers are on deck, the port filler goes to the small forward tank, the starboard one to the large aft tank. Rainwater can be caught and directed into the tanks by stopping the deck scuppers with a small piece of sponge or rag and opening the fills, which are flush with the deck. The whole midships deck (18 sq m) becomes the collecting surface. There are filters in the filler pipes to keep deck grime out of the tanks. The port filter is in the toilet compartment in the upper open-fronted locker beside the head. The starboard filter is in the back of the clothes locker. Unscrew the filter body to access the filter screen for cleaning.
Fuel tank is in the keel, under the engine, 150 litres. The filler is in the cockpit, port side. The main tank breather, which is normally closed, is in the forward galley locker along with the fuel transfer pump. When filling the tank, put the end of the main tank breather hose (a ½” green hose) into a suitable container, usually the same one that is use to collect overflow when topping up the header tank and open the breather ball valve in the breather hose. Close the breather again after refuelling.
Currently the toilet is a manual Jabsco with a holding tank. I have found that it requires less maintenance than the Lavac previously installed and not any more likely to blockages. If there is a blockage, it is almost always at the outlet of the holding tank rather than in the toilet and is usually because a female acquaintance could not be persuaded that there is a difference between toilet paper and paper towels or facial tissue. The system will handle toilet paper without a worry but paper towels and facial tissue clog it immediately. The least unpleasant way of unclogging it is to rig up an electric bilge pump on a long lead, hang it over the side from the dinghy, push the pump discharge pipe up the toilet outlet (which is at water level) and circulate water until the blockage is dislodged.
To use the holding tank, close the outlet seacock. The holding tank is above water level and is emptied by opening the seacock and letting gravity do the rest. When the seacock is open, the toilet contents are pumped through the holding tank on the way overboard.
The interior woodwork is entirely removable for access to the hull. The only exception is the athwartships bulkheads, which cover a trivial amount of hull. The order of removal is from the top down. For example to remove the panelling in the saloon behind the starboard settee back, start at the deckhead and unscrew the handrail and varnished battens. Next unscrew the painted deckhead panels, then the cabin side panel and finally the panel behind the settee back. The panels are held by woodscrews into timber furring pieces that are in turn bolted to the steel frames or deck beams.
The insulation is largely 32mm polyurethane panels that are a push-fit between the frames and stringers. This allows them to be removed for inspection of the hull and to allow welding of the hull without starting a fire. The insulation does not extend far below the waterline.
The rig is conventional. I originally had both running backstays and a stayed topmast but concluded neither were necessary so abolished the runners and made the topmast unstayed. The jib is on a Profurl furler and is generally trouble free. The staysail currently in use is on a boom, but the new one (as yet unused) is loose footed. I have tried it both ways, and there are advantages to each. For inshore work the boomed staysail is convenient but it is hard to goose wing it when running downwind. The loose-footed staysail with a booming out pole is better in this case.
DECK AND DECKGEAR
The non-skid is cork chips set in paint. Repair of small or large sections is simple – there is plenty of spare cork chips aboard.
The rails are 1”NB 3016 stainless steel water pipe, which is about 32mm OD with a wall thickness of 3mm. This is much more substantial than the usual 1.6mm wall tubing used on yachts. The stanchions have 1” round bar inserts that are plug welded through the deck and braced by substantial gussets below deck. All are strong enough to use as mooring cleats.
The above-deck section of the chimney unscrews and is stowed below when at sea. Usually only the short 400mm section with the cowl is necessary, but there is a 1 metre extension for when the snow is deep or if is a down draft behind a dock.