Sailing with transmission in reverse-what is that sound? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-25-2007 Thread Starter
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Sailing with transmission in reverse-what is that sound?

Ok, so I went sailing this weekend and put the transmission in reverse (I have a Volvo saildrive) as suggested by other prominent members of this forum, and there was a low humming sound which went away when the engine was put in neutral (replaced by the sound of the prop turning). It was fairly quiet such that as the boat speed got above 6 knots I could barely hear it over the sound of the wind and waves. What is that from? Since it was hard to hear at higher boat speeds, I am sure Giu has never heard it.
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-26-2007
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It could be the sound caused by the water moving by the stopped propellor... do you have a fixed-blade prop or a feathering/folding prop? Is it two or three-blades? This information would help narrow it down.

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post #3 of 14 Old 06-26-2007
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A.) Its the sound of silence
B.) You can finally hear the hamster wheel in your head
C.) I have no idea, but SD is probably right

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post #4 of 14 Old 06-26-2007
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Maybe you had simply attracted a Humming Fish or else you had skewered a passing Tenor Shark or a Song Ray.. Couldn't have been a whale cos they sing but don't hum while of Fiddler Crabs are purely instrumentalists.

Then again it could have simply been the sound of impending empty walletitus.

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post #5 of 14 Old 06-26-2007
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Majorm

Don’t take any notice of mangy Wombat, he eats roots and leaves. It sound expensive or you could say it may save you money. Sounds like you have a buggered thrust bearing when it is turning it would self centre and is quiet when locked the movement of water over the propeller even a folding one will cause it to oscillate indicating a worn or lose bearing. Now doesn’t that not deserve some rep points?

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post #6 of 14 Old 06-26-2007 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions Simon. I currently have a fixed 3 blade prop, but will likely change for a folding prop after the summer.
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-26-2007
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Correct me if I am wrong here (yes it has happened once or twice ) but I thought that the reason we put our diesels into reverse is so that the cutlass bearings/shafts/stuffing boxes don't wear out prematurely.

I don't think that you have those on a saildrive... or do you ???
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-27-2007
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We have a Yanmar 2GM SD20 (sail-drive), with a two-blade folding prop, the same thing happened to me last week. We usually sail with the gear in neutral. However, a friend was on board and he was at the helm, he put the gear in reverse after we turned the engine off, which I did not notice at first. After a while of sailing I go below only to hear this 'noise', which did not sound good. We determined the gear was in reverse and once put in neutral the noise stopped - quiet as usual.

What was the 'noise'? Is there something I need to address with the engine/transmission/prop?
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max-on
We have a Yanmar 2GM SD20 (sail-drive), with a two-blade folding prop, the same thing happened to me last week. We usually sail with the gear in neutral. However, a friend was on board and he was at the helm, he put the gear in reverse after we turned the engine off, which I did not notice at first. After a while of sailing I go below only to hear this 'noise', which did not sound good. We determined the gear was in reverse and once put in neutral the noise stopped - quiet as usual.

What was the 'noise'? Is there something I need to address with the engine/transmission/prop?
2-blade folding props might, depending on design, have the naughty habbit of flapping the blades together if You lock the gear-box. May give an 'alarming' sound/knock. In general You may let sail-drives trail as they does not have a lubrication problem like most straight-shaft gear-boxes. The only thing is You perhaps should change the prop shaft seal every second year or so, but that is no big deal.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-27-2007
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Thanks Haffiman37, that's what I thought, but it is always good to get a second opinion.
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