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Diesel This is a forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


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Old 03-23-2010
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YANMAR - Gear Position While Sailing

I know this will get interesting. For those of you not smarter than the engineers at Yanmar, this TSB may be beneficial for you.

We finally have a definitive statement from Yanmar on the proper gear position to use while sailing. According to the guy I spoke with this does not apply to hydraulic gear boxes or the few models that used Hurth/ZF.



Advisory Number: MSA08-003:

DATE February 8, 2008 Dealers and OEMs
TO: All Marine Distributors
SUBJECT: Gear in Neutral While Sailing All MODELS:

All Sailboat Engines

We continue to get questions regarding the correct gear position while sailing with the engine OFF. This advisory is issued as a reminder; Yanmar requires that if sailing with the engine OFF (not running) the transmission shifter must be in the neutral position or internal damage to the gear or sail-drive will result. This damage will not be covered by Yanmar’s Limited Warranty. Please instruct customers and dealers who deliver the sailboat to the customer, of the correct (Neutral) position for the marine gear while sailing.

If the customer desires that the propeller shaft not spin while sailing, either a folding propeller, shaft break, or other suitable device may be used. However, Yanmar accepts no responsibility for the selection, installation, or operation of such devices. Please also refer to Marine service advisory “MSA07-001_Yanmar Sail Drive Propeller Selection” for additional information.

If you have any questions regarding this advisory please contact a Customer Support representative.





Before folks ask, the reason for failure mode, as was describe to me, is that in reverse the clutch cones can chatter or vibrate against one another causing wear which eventually leads to slippage and a gear box re-build. Many already know how difficult a Kanzaki can be to get out of reverse after sailing with it locked.

Here's a quote from SBO:
Quote:
Originally Posted by glengrey View Post
Unfortunately I can attest to the proper Yanmar gear position. In the summer of 2008 my transmission (Kansaki on a 3GM30F engine) started slipping. Engine had 440 hours. always placed gear in reverse when sailing. After considerable discussion with Yamnar they advised they would not consider warranty (was passed the hours for that anyway). Upshot is new transmission. They advised that the cone clutch does "quiver" (my term) even though locked into reverse, producing wear and eventually slippage. [b]
Also, I am trying to cover all the bases because I know how this thread will go as I have posted this TSB on other forums.

1) Yes, it mentions sail drives but this is in reference to another TSB bulletin.

2) Yanmar chose their words very carefully. They did not use words like "suggests", "may" or "might" they use and chose words like "requires", "must" and "will" these words are never chosen lightly in the world of manufacturing. I think the key wording is as follows:

"Gear in Neutral While Sailing All MODELS: All Sailboat Engines"


"Yanmar requires that if sailing with the engine OFF (not running) the transmission shifter must be in the neutral position or internal damage to the gear or sail-drive will result."

P.S. Sailnet will not allow me to upload the .PDF file of the TSB if you want to see the actual document you can find it here.






Disclaimer:
I do not have a dog in this fight as I do not currently own a Yanmar. I post this because it is a topic that comes up often and Yanmar never addressed this well in their manuals. I know many have sailed for years locked in reverse with no problems but they have apparently had enough failures to warrant the strong language and publishing of this TSB..

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 03-23-2010 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 03-23-2010
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Thanks for putting this up here too, Maine Sail. Good information.

..so now... what about Hurths? We've always locked ours in reverse....
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Old 03-23-2010
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Originally Posted by Faster View Post

..so now... what about Hurths? We've always locked ours in reverse....
Most manufactures agree that forward is bad for gear boxes and Hurth/ZF specifically advises against forward.

Westerbeke / Universal has weighed in, and it is well known. ZF/Hurth or JS gear boxes used on Westerbeke & Universals can be left in both neutral or reverse but never forward when moving forward.

Some others, like hydraulic gear boxes, can not be left in neutral, no lube, so it is always best to consult your individual manual or manufacturer for your gear box.

Every gear box is different so it is always best to ask the manufacturer.

From Westerbeke / Universal:

UNIVERSAL DIESEL WITH HURTH TRANSMISSION

Model HBW-50 (2:1)
Used on Models 12, M2-12, M-18, M3-20, M4-30, M25 and M-25XP

Model HBW-100 (1.8:1)
Used on Models 30, 35, and 40

Model HBW-150 (1.9:1)
Used on Model 50

Model HBW-150 V-Drive (2.13:1)
Used on All of our V-Drive Models


Image Courtesy C-34 Association

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Or to put it bluntly:
"If you want to sail with a folding propeller (as many of us do, after all we have sailboats) don't choose Yanmar. Or make sure it has a Hurth gearbox if you do.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JomsViking View Post
Or to put it bluntly:
"If you want to sail with a folding propeller (as many of us do, after all we have sailboats) don't choose Yanmar. Or make sure it has a Hurth gearbox if you do.
Joms,

Doesn't Yanmar specifically suggest a folding prop in the TSB above?

Maine Sail, thanks very much for this info. We have a fixed prop, and I've been locking in reverse (whenever I remember to ) not so much for drag reasons, but to prevent any line from wrapping at the free-spinning prop while sailing.

What do you think of Joms comment above? I guess he's saying, that you can't get the prop to fold if you don't lock the shaft? And yet Yanmar seems to be suggesting a folding prop as an alternative. Does that mean it's okay to lock in reverse, if using a folding prop? If so, they were not clear on that.
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I'd expect you could briefly go to reverse to force the prop to fold, after which going to neutral should be fine as the prop is folded.

Once folded (or feathered), though, I wonder if the issue of chatter against the cones still exists?...
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A folding prop - most of the time - won't fold if left spinning. We've discussed this on AS. Some (most?) manufacturers of folding propellers state this in their manuals. So Yanmar is just doing CYA here
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
I'd expect you could briefly go to reverse to force the prop to fold, after which going to neutral should be fine as the prop is folded.

Once folded (or feathered), though, I wonder if the issue of chatter against the cones still exists?...
Faster, Sometimes, due to motion, the prop unfolds again if not locked, but then you could do the procedure again (and again )
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Of course this definitive advice is precisely the opposite of the advice which I received at the Norwalk Boat Show 2 seasons ago, when I spoke to both the Yanmar rep and the rep of their distributor, Mack Boring, who together advised me to leave it in reverse while sailing. If my transmission goes, I would not accept their no warranty argument.
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Add this to TS Springers fun with yanmar usa and one wonders why anyone would buy from them.
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