what kind of headwind should a sailboat be able to motor through? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 38 Old 08-23-2013
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Re: what kind of headwind should a sailboat be able to motor through?

Make sure you are not stressing the engine too much. Black smoke is never a good sign. I would look at the prop issue mentioned in earlier posts. There may be a more efficient setup. Try to reduce wind resistance of your boat (dinghy, gear on deck). Try to use both motor and sail where tacking is possible.

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post #22 of 38 Old 08-23-2013
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Re: what kind of headwind should a sailboat be able to motor through?

Exhaust/mixing elbows are notorious for clogging up on 2QM15s. That might be another thing to check before playing with the prop.
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post #23 of 38 Old 08-23-2013
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Re: what kind of headwind should a sailboat be able to motor through?

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Originally Posted by CanadianNorth View Post
The sea state was choppy, but only a mile from land with offshore winds, so not bad. No tide to speak of.
....
Just an aside: tide is less important than current. Even if minimal, there is always current. Even quarries have current.

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post #24 of 38 Old 08-23-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: what kind of headwind should a sailboat be able to motor through?

So true.

Within a week of buying the boat the mixing elbow clogged up. It had a split in it from freezing (perhaps years ago). I hadn't seen it when inspecting the motor because of the location. Long story short, the thing leaked like a sieve and I had a local machine shop build one up. I will eventually replace it with a original part.

That said, the motor issued existed prior to he mixig elbow trouble.

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post #25 of 38 Old 08-23-2013
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Re: what kind of headwind should a sailboat be able to motor through?

I would say somthing is not quite right with your engine, as others have mentioned. Maybe valves need adjustment, maybe a fuel filter issue (also look at the screen covering the tank pick-up drop tube- could be clogged). Or could be a prop pitch problem.

In neutral, what rpm does your engine make?

I have a 34 footer with a yanmar 3GMD (20 hp) and can make 5 knots into a 30 knot head wind (with 6 foot wind swell) running only at about 2200 rpm (about 1/2 throttle). So with your slightly smaller boat and smaller engine I would think you could make say 3-4 knots under similar conditions if engine and prop were operating optimum.

One thing for sure, do not depend on your engine to get you where you want to go, because she will let you down when you need her most. Have sails and or anchor ready on stand by to get you to a safe location.

As others have said, I am thinking you are over propped. The reason is you say engine rpm drops off as head wind increases. My engine rpm stay the same no matter what the head wind speed is, the boat may slow down but the engine rpm's stay the same. I think you need a smaller pitch prop.

Last edited by casey1999; 08-23-2013 at 03:42 PM.
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post #26 of 38 Old 08-23-2013
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Re: what kind of headwind should a sailboat be able to motor through?

any head wind over 15 kts i will tack and use to propell my boat... 30 kt headwind translates out to faster if you tack and sail instead of motoring, bashing into head winds and seas. easier on the equipment also.


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Last edited by zeehag; 08-23-2013 at 04:13 PM.
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post #27 of 38 Old 08-23-2013
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Re: what kind of headwind should a sailboat be able to motor through?

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Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post

I have a 34 footer with a yanmar 3GMD (20 hp) and can make 5 knots into a 30 knot head wind (with 6 foot wind swell) running only at about 2200 rpm (about 1/2 throttle). So with your slightly smaller boat and smaller engine I would think you could make say 3-4 knots under similar conditions if engine and prop were operating optimum.
I find this hard to beleive. You're running 10-12 ish HP and able to push a 34 ft boat in 30 kt winds and swells at 5+ knots? Unless your in a planning hull (or other non-displacing hull), I don't see how one could do this.

I have 33 ft boat (11 ft beam) 13,000lb displ, two blade prop, and Yanmar 27 HP 3GM30F motor. I need at least 2800 RPM (85%) to make 5+ kts in 30 kt winds and 6 ft seas. Flat water, clean prop, no wind, I'm approaching 7kts at. Full throttle, I'm at 7.2 knots.

To the OP - If it takes you 20-30 seconds to get the motor fired in normal (50+ deg F) temps, and when it does, a lot of black smoke comes out, something is very amiss. Starting should take no more than 5 seconds. Mine is within 2 sec.

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Last edited by DrB; 08-23-2013 at 05:19 PM.
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post #28 of 38 Old 08-23-2013
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Re: what kind of headwind should a sailboat be able to motor through?

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I find this hard to beleive. You're running 10-12 ish HP and able to push a 34 ft boat in 30 kt winds and swells at 5+ knots? Unless your in a planning hull (or other non-displacing hull), I don't see how one could do this.

I have 33 ft boat (11 ft beam) 13,000lb displ, two blade prop, and Yanmar 27 HP 3GM30F motor. I need at least 2800 RPM (85%) to make 5+ kts in 30 kt winds and 6 ft seas. Flat water, clean prop, no wind, I'm approaching 7kts at. Full throttle, I'm at 7.2 knots.

To the OP - If it takes you 20-30 seconds to get the motor fired in normal (50+ deg F) temps, and when it does, a lot of black smoke comes out, something is very amiss. Starting should take no more than 5 seconds. Mine is within 2 sec.
I just looked up my power curve for the 3GMD. @ 2700 rpm I am at 10 hp. At that setting in flat water and little wind I can hit 6.5 knots. Same setting into 30 knots and 6 ft seas I would be around 5 knots.

My hull shape is very efficient and beam is 10 feet, deck has very little windage. Weigh in about 14,000 lbs. I believe I am over propped becasue if I give engine full throttle rpm will pick up but boat speed stays about the same WOT is around 3400 rpm. My 3gmd is only rated at 20 hp, and I only use at most 1/2 of that, even to go hull speed.

Last edited by casey1999; 08-23-2013 at 07:22 PM.
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post #29 of 38 Old 08-23-2013
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Re: what kind of headwind should a sailboat be able to motor through?

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Originally Posted by CanadianNorth View Post
From cold, the engine smokes black when starting and takes 20-30 seconds to start. Once warm she starts no problem .
She's tired. You have a compression issue. Hopefully it's valves, not rings, and if the elbow was that badly coked up, crusty valve seats would be expected.
Start there, once you have fully bled the system with new fuel and clean filters, including the filter on the engine.

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post #30 of 38 Old 08-23-2013
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Re: what kind of headwind should a sailboat be able to motor through?

I get knocked down to around 4.5 knots with a 25 mph headwind in my 35 footer. In between big wave sets, she will do 5.5, almost hull speed but will average only about 4.5 once a large wave set hits. I try to keep the main up and quarter the waves. Keeping some sail up tends to stabilize the boat even if it produces next to no thrust.

I recently crossed Abelmarle Sound in a honkin headwind like this, decks awash on that ugly, shallow little body of water. It was a looooooooooooooooong, tedious f#%^ing trip!

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