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c40eb 04-13-2009 04:28 PM

What transmission gear while sailing...
My Sabre 30 has a Westerbeke 20B Two engine and JS tranny.

The engine manual says the tranny should be left in neutral while sailing. But, the Sabre manual says it should be in reverse.

The Sabre manual says less drag when the prop is not moving and oriented vertically. No explanation of why in engine manual.

Is there harm in letting the prop free wheel?

I don't race, so not too concerned about the drag...unless it's significant.


CaptainForce 04-13-2009 04:55 PM

I would think that the Sabre manual is concerned with the best sailing performance and the engine manual is concerned with the life of the transmission. A wise diesel mechanic told me that it is not harmful to freewheel or leave the transmission in any gear if the transmission is not lubricated by a pump from the running engine. I was advised that I can freewheel with my Kanzake transmission on my Yanmar or leave it in any gear. My concern is moving the gearshift with a lot of rotation on the shaft or torque in prep to an engine start, therefore, I'm prone to stall my sailing momentum before shifting gears. I too have heard that the least drag in with the prop in a fixed position in reverse, but I'm not racing & I'm not noticing a significance. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew

CharlieCobra 04-13-2009 05:39 PM

It depends on the tranny. I know with the ZF that's behind my 4-108M, the gear choice is reverse to limit wear from the tranny spinning without forced lubrication.

JiffyLube 04-14-2009 03:51 AM

I have Hurth transmission that takes ATF. I change the ATF every 100 hrs or 1 year, which ever comes first. My Hurth manual says I can lock it in reverse while sailing or leave it in neutral to free wheel, either way is fine according to the manual. I usually leave the transmission in neutral while sailing, so I don't have to remember to put it into neutral to start the engine.

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