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  #1  
Old 08-30-2006
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Removing inboard Volvo Diesel for rebuild

I am wondering if anyone has considered, or actually done this...

Has anyone actually removed an inboard diesel such as a Volvo MD11C engine from their boat by using the main halyard and a deck winch for the job? I am thinking the main and jib halyard together would be strong enough to lift the 500 lbs. out and then swing the engine out via the boom and lower the engine to the ground? Is this a suicidal move or something that could work?

Any other methods for achieiving this? Or is a travelift about the only way I can do this and live to tell about it?

Thanks
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Old 08-30-2006
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This idea sounds pretty suicidal, unless you've got exceptionally thick, high-tech halyards... you're looking to become a statistic.

First of all, the blocks have to be rated to handle that kind of load. Then the halyards have to be designed to handle that kind of load. Most ropes used for halyards aren't.

There are alot of ways to do this. Travelift, crane, block and tackle with scaffolding, are all possible ways to do it.
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Old 08-30-2006
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Using the boom as an arm and the mainsheet to lift will ease the load, but this of course depends on the size of the boat, the location of the sheet etc. You can support the boom with a halyard or two if necessary. Lifting 500# deadweight with a halyard winch is harder than it sounds. (Ever lifted a 200# person up the mast when they don't help support their own weight??) You need more mechanical advantage than that. You could combine the halyard or sheet lift with a come-along on the engine to get the required total lift.
Another thing to consider is to remove heavy components (heat exchanger, starter, water p/ps alternators etc) while still in the boat. This will reduce the lifted weight and make the whole package much easier to fit through the companionway.
Telling us what boat you are planning to do this on would help to see how it might go.
In any event, it's certainly do-able with the right planning and forethought. But S/D is right about the 500 pounds and the ratings of the equipment.
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Old 08-31-2006
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Yes, I know folks who have done it on the main halyard alone. Assuming your halyard is rated for that weight. After all, the sails are carrying the weight of the entire boat along with them.

If you want to test it, have two or three railmeat guys sit on the boom while you try to hold it up (or winch it up) as you'll see how it is to move that much weight. You may want to rig a 2-part or 4-part block in there, possibly borrow one that's on your mainsheet now.

Using the job & main halyards together is a good idea for safety, dropping the engine could scratch the deck.
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Hellosailor-

The main halyard isn't really supporting the weight of the entire boat... there is a lot of friction in the mast track, which helps to hold the sail in place. The main thing that the main halyard supports is the weight of the sail and part of the weight of the boom. Even if the rope is up to the task, a lot of times, the blocks in the system are not. You have to rate a system by the weakest component in the system, not the strongest. This is particularly true if the halyards are led aft to the cockpit. The turning block at the foot of the mast is often a weak point in that situation.

Also, just because you know people who have done it using the main halyard, doesn't mean that it was necessarily safe for them to do it that way. As a general rule, most ropes are designed to be used only at a 10-20% of their breaking strength. Using them above that is generally going to damage the rope permanently.
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Polyester (Dacron) line is incredibly strong. One-half inch line has a breaking strength of between 7,000 and 9,000 pounds....more than 10 or 15 times the weight of the engine. Working load strength is much higher than the 500 lbs needed also. Even smaller line would work as well. If you have any doubt as to it's strength, just double or triple it (and if you're using the mainsheet, that's already done).

The blocks and their attachment to the boom are an important consideration, but I can't imagine any setup on a reasonably sized sailboat -- big enough to have an MD11 -- which wouldn't be strong enough, especially if reinforced by using a halyard near the lifting center of effort.

Many, many years ago I used a wooden boom to lift a Jeep engine out of my 10-ton gaff-rigged ketch. No problem at all, and it was especially pleasing to swing it out over the side and cut the lifting rope to help create a new reef in 35' of water :-))

Bill
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Removing / rebuilding VP MD11C

Hi all,

In short, yes it should be possible to lift the MD11C engine out using the boom, I did it very recently, on my 32ft long-keeled Cape Carib (a Ted Brewer design and the Hong Kong version of the Douglas 32) but using the main halyard to do the hauling isn't the right way to do it. The halyard should easily be able to support the load, provided it's greater than 8mm in diameter (the MD11C as a complete unit - ie including the MSB reverse gear - weighs in at 505 lbs, 230 Kg, or about two-and-a-half well-built adult males) but it pulls at the wrong angle to get the engine up the hatchway (if you have to extract it that way - for my installation, see the following URL: http://www.swainsons.com/gallery/dis...m&cat=&pos=-55)

The way I did it was to use the topping lift to support the end of the boom, and the main halyard attached to a gybe-preventer sling to support the boom right above the hatchway. I then tied a piece of spare 10mm rope I had lying around in a loop of about 18 inches in diameter and laid that over the boom doubled. I used a 6mm diameter shackle to connect both ends of this loop to the cleating end of the mainsheet (previously removed from the traveller), and another larger shackle to connect what is normally the boom-end mainsheet block to a 10 mm dia rope passed figure-of-eight wise around the engine mounting feet (at the front end) and the mating end of the gearbox (at the back end).

My engine is installed below the bridgedeck and the galley work top. There is a "bridge" of bulkhead against which the companionway steps sit that the engine has to pass beneath, travelling in the forward direction, before it can be lifted out of the main hatch. This meant having to "walk" the engine forwards off its bearers, detaching and then re-attaching the hoist either side of the bulkhead "bridge".

Once the engine was free of the bearers and sitting on the (duly reinforced and protected) cabin sole, I used an overhead speedboat hoist to lift the engine out of the boat (this is because to work on the engine I had to get it up a 40 foot wall that abuts the pontoon, and didn't fancy trying to lug it up the steps. I *could* however have continued to use the boom to pull the engine right out of the boat and swung it outboard onto the pontoon (it would have heeled a fair bit of course - probably as much as 10 or 15 degrees, but this is down to individual boats' righting moment).

Some things to bear in mind, One: Please do remove all of the ancillaries before you remove the engine - by this I mean the alternator, starter motor, exhaust pipe swan neck etc - you'll make your life a thousand times easier. Two: please do remember to disconnect all electrical connections (including the earth) and the fuel lines from the engine before you try to move it - it's really annoying to start the heavy work, with your crew all ready to go, only to discover that you've still got something attached. Which brings me to Three: Please do make sure to have at least one strong buddy to hand to guide the engine while you haul on the piece of string, or vice-versa. and lastly: I have a 4:1 mainsheet tackle, and it's not enough to make this job easy. Either borrow one of those DIYer's car engine block and tackles, or take this opportunity to buy yourself three-gang top and bottom mainsheet blocks with a fiddle and a cam-cleat on the bottom block!

Also, if you plan to do the engine overhaul yourself, you'll find lots of pictures on the site above of my rebuild, and I picked up lots of experiences and knowledge that I'd be very happy to share. I can also help you figure the likely cost of replacement parts if you like - I had to spend HK$ 20,000 to restore mine, but it *had* been left for eight years with all of the cocks open, and at some point got sea water into it - eurgh!

Fair winds and big spanners

Blue Eagle

Last edited by Blue Eagle; 08-31-2006 at 03:23 AM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
most ropes are designed to be used only at a 10-20% of their breaking strength. Using them above that is generally going to damage the rope permanently.
First.. I think HelloSailor was joking about the supporting the weight of the yacht on the halyards thing... but also, from the English Braids website: http://www.englishbraids.com/products/indexm.html The breaking strain of 6mm polyester braid-on-braid: 1,230kg; 8mm: 1,900kg; 10mm: 2,300kg. For lbs, multiply by 2.24.

This engine weighs 230kg, so even a 6mm cheap halyard (Polyester as opposed to Dyneema (spectra)) will only be taking 20% of its' breaking strain in this one lift (plus a little for friction in the blocks etc.). Of course if your forestay parts company, or, for deck-stepped masts, your coachroof is soggy ... your mast is still going to fall down

cheers,

Blue Eagle

Last edited by Blue Eagle; 08-31-2006 at 03:24 AM.
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Old 08-31-2006
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From the NERopes.com site:

Quote:
No blanket working load recommendation can be made because it depends on the application and conditions of use, especially potential danger to personnel. It is recommended that the user establish working loads and safety factors based on professional and experienced assessments of risks.
The working load is a guideline for the use of a rope in good condition for non-critical applications and should be reduced where life, limb, or valuable property are involved, or for exceptional service such as shock, sustained loading, severe vibration, etc. The Cordage Institute specifies that the Safe Working load of a rope shall be determined by dividing the Minimum Tensile Strength by the Safety Factor. Safety factors range from 5 to 12 for non-critical uses.
3/8" Sta-Set has a BL of 4400
7/16" Sta-Set has a BL of 6000

Of course this is for brand new, unchafed, undamaged line. Unless your halyards are in pretty good condition, and the rest of your rig is in excellent condition, is it worth risking your rig, and a lot of damage to your boat, to save the money it would cost to have a crane or travelift do the job properly. Of course, for a critical use, they probably recommend a higher safety factor...and risking dropping a 500 lb. engine onto your boat is a critical application IMHO. A 500 lb. engine can make a pretty big hole if it drops. YMMV.

If you were in a location where travelifts and cranes were not an option, I can see trying this...but if you're in even a halfway decent marina—you have other options.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 08-31-2006
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Thanks to everyone for all of the quick replies. The boat is a 1980 Hughes 35. It also has a saildrive, so no reverse engine weight. The boat is on the dry in stands and I think all in all, it's going to be better to use a travelift. I suppose 500 lbs going about 40 MPH straight down could do a bit of damage to the boat and probably isn't worth the savings?!

The other big deal would be swinging the engine out. When I was just thinking after reading the posts, I never really considered the force of the 500 lbs at the end of the boom and the tipping force that would be created. I don't think I will trust stands to take that force. I sure wouldn't want to destroy the boat over the whole issue.

Thanks for the help and yes, I will be rebuilding it myself so I will be lurking around for help.

Thanks.
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