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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 11-28-2010
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Motor Sailing Question

We were sailing on a chartered Beneteau 37 last week in ~12knts of wind beating to windward at about 5 knots. We were running late, so I started the diesel to push us up to hull speed (7kts). My buddy told me this is bad for the engine. As long as the intake doesn't cavitate, is there anything wrong with this practice?

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 11-28-2010
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It depends on the engine.. some engines have limited permitted heel angles - though any marine engine worth its salt should have considerable tolerance there.

We strive to keep the heel off the boat while running the engine.. just because. But we know many others who 'motorsail' as much as anything, in virtually all conditions.
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Old 11-28-2010
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I don't think so. Why does your friend think it is bad for the engine?

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Paulo
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Old 11-28-2010
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Some babble about the variations of forces from the water on the prop can damage the transmission.
Dave
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Old 11-28-2010
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That makes no sense.
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Old 11-28-2010
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I have over 5,000 hours on my basic maintenance and trouble free Yanmar with motor sailing being a very common practice. I also motor in currents which would simulate the same effect without the heel. 'sounds like this guy is among those that would also think that drafts cause colds or reading in dim light can damage your eyes! Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 11-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
It depends on the engine.. some engines have limited permitted heel angles - though any marine engine worth its salt should have considerable tolerance there.

We strive to keep the heel off the boat while running the engine.. just because. But we know many others who 'motorsail' as much as anything, in virtually all conditions.
I was worried about that and I have asked to a Volvo-Penta authorized mechanic. He said that the engine is prepared to work with any reasonable heel angle. My engine had more than 2200 hours and was just fine. Many times I had done what Hewie has done, sometimes close to the wind and that means at least 15/20ļ heel.

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Paulo
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Old 11-28-2010
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Just make sure that:
- water intake is sucking in water, not air
- oil pump is sucking in oil and not air.
If you have normal instrument for the engine you would get alarm the moment your oil pump will suck air (low oil pressure alarm).
If you are not getting enough cooling water you would get high temperature alarm before you would ruin your impeller or engine.
If this happens reduce heel.
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A friend had a Laser 28 with a Bukh engine... running it heeled hard on one tack (but not the other) dumped all the oil into the bilge.
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Old 11-29-2010
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Unless you were heeled way over...I don't see a problem with motorsailing at hull speed, other than possibly running the engine at WOT RPM for too long or wasting a lot of fuel... since hull speed is quite inefficient in terms of fuel consumption.
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