Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Chalreston, SC
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I recently purchased my first sailboat - a 1984 Silver Anniversary O'Day 31. She's a beauty and I'm living aboard so we're getting to know one another well. I'm digging into the systems that need attention as they present themselves, and finding my footing on several steep learning curves.
The current priority is an overheating engine, and this is torture because we've had some great wind here in Charleston this week. The Universal 18 began to overheat on my last go-out. There was, and still is, plenty of water coming out of the exhaust. Trying to be sequential in eliminating causes. In sequence I have: had the hull cleaned and checked (good report), pulled the raw water strainer (basket was clean), checked the water pump impeller (solid and clean) and pulled the thermostat (opens and closes in boiling water). Under load (tied to the dock) she's still running hot (shut her down at 200), but at idle she doesn't top 180. Today's project: pull and examine the heat exchanger, then consider my options. Some say clean it myself, other say take it to someone and have them do it. There are plenty of helpful and knowledgeable folks here at the marina, and everyone has an opinion (naturally!). No one has direct experience with an O'Day 31 , however.
Headed into the engine compartment now. Any thoughts on (a) clean the heat exchanger myself and if so, with what, since muriatic acid seems to have pros and cons or take it somewhere? (b) other possible causes of overheating? There is no water in the oil, and the freshwater manifold needed refilling twice during the run in when the engine overheated - never let it go dry, but added about two cups of coolant/water twice.
Thoughts and advice are appreciated!