old engine, new engine
Late autumn last year, I purchased a 28 feet, '76 sailboat, the winter was just around the corner, so at that point my priority was to prepare her for winter (diver cleaned her bottom, I removed her sails, I winterised her engine, the water tank,etc ). Now the spring is here and I am getting her ready for sailing.
The few times times that I took her out before was to test few things at her at leisure, one of them being the engine. She has the original engine on her, a 10 hp, it usually starts after the first few times. I am no pro on engines, in fact, don’t know anything about them, but even I can hear that the engine speed (whatever thats called in english) is too high, it also gets too hot after some motoring. But my problem is when we are in reverse getting in and out of the marina docking place, it just doesn’t responds well, meaning, it takes at least several additional yards for the boat to respond when I switch gears from going forward to reverse or viceversa, especially on reverse. I know physics enough to know about speed inertia, but it can’t be that, we are going too slow as it is, and I am talking about too many yards here, the propeller was freshly cleaned, so that didn’t seem to be a factor either. It wasn’t fun when I almost entered the nice all glass waterfront restaurant at the marina. The gear box certainly seem to have an issue to start with.
So, do I bother trying to get a mechanic to look at the 40 year old engine and try to fix it, are they even “fixable” or do I just go and invest in a new one?
Of course money are a factor, always nice not to have to spend them unnecessary, but if necessary, yes, I will invest in a new engine, not a problem.
I am not an experienced sailor be far, I have sailing courses. Thats the whole point of this boat, to learn all the aspect as a whole. But for that I need to be able to safely get in and out of the marina without everyone else around me to worry how strong their insurance is with me around.
I will be literally living and working from the boat the whole summer so thats not the casual sail every now and then, but taking her out almost daily if I can on whatever weather as practice. I got this boat purely as practice and experience and knowledge, experience in buying a boat, practice in sailing single handed, and learning/practice in using everything on her. Final boat will be a larger one as a live aboard long term, but thats later. Right now I have this one and she is my focus, and thats not to say I consider this one junk, on the contrary, I would smack anyone who would use that word for her.
She is a good boat, she might be old, but she has awesome reinforced rigging, and no other issues that would be a safety concern "from what I can tell", and just needs some basic cosmetics.
The engine is a problem though because its a safety issue for both me and others and I don’t know what to do with it.
Yes, I heard all about people sailing for centuries without engines, and people use anchors to nicely guide a boat at the docking place, although I think that only works on good weather, and also heard the “any idiot can sail a boat only a sailor can stop one”. I am still in idiot phase. I need to practice so I need a safe way to practice.
The old owner also had an outboard attached to the boat, still there actually, most probably because of the "laziness" of the inboard one.
Again, dont know if I could attempt to control this boat in bad weather with a smaller outboard engine and remove the inboard altogether.
I am hoping some experienced brains can help a little here with some ideas.
Deep Blue Crush