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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 03-13-2009
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Heeling while running diesel

I was talking to another boat owner who also has a Yanmar 2GM. He is under the the impression that you should not run a diesel for extended periods while heeled over because the motor might not circulate enough oil. I have certainly done this (some days, thats the only way you are going to get back in the Golden Gate!) , have never had a problem or heard that I shouldn't. I looked at the Yanmar manual and it doesn't mention anything. Has anyone heard of adverse effects of heeling while under power?
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I would think not, but I am not an expert. I suppose in theory the heel could be great enough to cause the oil pickup to be out of the oil, but it would seem to me the oil would need to be very low so what would it matter then. Diesel trucks haul loads up and down hill and ect for miles and miles. I think it is a bunch of hogwash imo
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If your engine has a low pressure alarm (buzzes when engine stopped, key on); it should warn you if the engine is being starved of oil. Usually marine diesels (and Yanmar is marine specific); are designed to be tilted and still run without the oil pickup going high and dry. On my Perkins 4-108 the manual says the engine can be tilted to 25deg without loss of oil pressure.
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Old 03-13-2009
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Yanmar in a hunter 42 suggests less than 10 degrees heel when motor sailing...

dave
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We overheated a motor because the water intake was out of the water for too long due to heel.

Dunno about oil.
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Perkins 4-108

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeelHaulin View Post
If your engine has a low pressure alarm (buzzes when engine stopped, key on); it should warn you if the engine is being starved of oil. Usually marine diesels (and Yanmar is marine specific); are designed to be tilted and still run without the oil pickup going high and dry. On my Perkins 4-108 the manual says the engine can be tilted to 25deg without loss of oil pressure.
I too have a Perkins 4-108 (1985 vintage). Back in 1985 when I first bought the boat, the mechanic told me to fill the oil higher than the dip stick indicated since the motor was mounted in a fore aft angle of maybe 20 %. I have always followed his instructions and the motor has done well over the years. Knock on wood. I'm not sure about the angle of heel and don't usually motor when sailing to windward. The boat is very tender and I do probably see an heeling angle approaching 25 %, but not sure what heeling angle will starve the motor of oil.....Thinking more about it, I would like to know where the oil pickup "tube" is located in the sump. It would seem that if it's aft, then there is no reason the "overfill" the oil??
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It's not just the sump oil that's of concern, it's the transmission oil circulation and the alignment that may go out at extreme angles of heel. This question has as much to do with one's particular installation as with general principles of optimal marine diesel use, but I personally would wish to limit my motorsailing while heeling unless I was clawing off a lee shore or some other "screw the engine, we're gonna die" situation.
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Old 03-13-2009
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"This question has as much to do with one's particular installation as"
Yup.
Which all comes back to part and parcel of why a proper marine installation for an engine, doesn't just mean dropping in a car or truck engine. Too much oil in the pan, and it gets foamed and aerated by the crankshaft and rods bottoms, no good. Too little, and things don't get lubed. The same way that we, as sailors, get used to looking at things a little differently, marine engineers have to review the entire powerplant to make sure it doesn't mind having oil passages that may no longer, and other subtleties.

Unless you're motorsailing under engine power and high wind, or trying to motor under high wind with a lot of freeboard...I wouldn't expect long-term heel under power to be much of an issue, but if the builder is still in existence, it might pay to check with them to find out what their build parameters were.
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Mine clattered to a halt doing that one night in the Gulf of Mexico. leaned over too far, and for too long.

There is an alarm on it now.

It happens there Guys. Be careful.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddyray View Post
I would think not, but I am not an expert. I suppose in theory the heel could be great enough to cause the oil pickup to be out of the oil, but it would seem to me the oil would need to be very low so what would it matter then. Diesel trucks haul loads up and down hill and ect for miles and miles. I think it is a bunch of hogwash imo
Yeah, come to think about it....How about Bull Dozer's working on a 45% grade, or for that matter, boats working in big seas? Anyway, not a bad idea to be aware of the issue, and use moderation. I try to keep the heel at about 15 degrees anyway. Makes me think of another issue though, which I'll address in a different post.
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