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Discussion Starter #1
I was talking to another boat owner who also has a Yanmar 2GM. He is under the the impression that you should not run a diesel for extended periods while heeled over because the motor might not circulate enough oil. I have certainly done this (some days, thats the only way you are going to get back in the Golden Gate!) , have never had a problem or heard that I shouldn't. I looked at the Yanmar manual and it doesn't mention anything. Has anyone heard of adverse effects of heeling while under power?
 

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I would think not, but I am not an expert. I suppose in theory the heel could be great enough to cause the oil pickup to be out of the oil, but it would seem to me the oil would need to be very low so what would it matter then. Diesel trucks haul loads up and down hill and ect for miles and miles. I think it is a bunch of hogwash imo
 

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STARBOARD!!
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If your engine has a low pressure alarm (buzzes when engine stopped, key on); it should warn you if the engine is being starved of oil. Usually marine diesels (and Yanmar is marine specific); are designed to be tilted and still run without the oil pickup going high and dry. On my Perkins 4-108 the manual says the engine can be tilted to 25deg without loss of oil pressure.
 

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We overheated a motor because the water intake was out of the water for too long due to heel.

Dunno about oil.
 

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Perkins 4-108

If your engine has a low pressure alarm (buzzes when engine stopped, key on); it should warn you if the engine is being starved of oil. Usually marine diesels (and Yanmar is marine specific); are designed to be tilted and still run without the oil pickup going high and dry. On my Perkins 4-108 the manual says the engine can be tilted to 25deg without loss of oil pressure.
I too have a Perkins 4-108 (1985 vintage). Back in 1985 when I first bought the boat, the mechanic told me to fill the oil higher than the dip stick indicated since the motor was mounted in a fore aft angle of maybe 20 %. I have always followed his instructions and the motor has done well over the years. Knock on wood. I'm not sure about the angle of heel and don't usually motor when sailing to windward. The boat is very tender and I do probably see an heeling angle approaching 25 %, but not sure what heeling angle will starve the motor of oil.....Thinking more about it, I would like to know where the oil pickup "tube" is located in the sump. It would seem that if it's aft, then there is no reason the "overfill" the oil??
 

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It's not just the sump oil that's of concern, it's the transmission oil circulation and the alignment that may go out at extreme angles of heel. This question has as much to do with one's particular installation as with general principles of optimal marine diesel use, but I personally would wish to limit my motorsailing while heeling unless I was clawing off a lee shore or some other "screw the engine, we're gonna die" situation.
 

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"This question has as much to do with one's particular installation as"
Yup.
Which all comes back to part and parcel of why a proper marine installation for an engine, doesn't just mean dropping in a car or truck engine. Too much oil in the pan, and it gets foamed and aerated by the crankshaft and rods bottoms, no good. Too little, and things don't get lubed. The same way that we, as sailors, get used to looking at things a little differently, marine engineers have to review the entire powerplant to make sure it doesn't mind having oil passages that may no longer, and other subtleties.

Unless you're motorsailing under engine power and high wind, or trying to motor under high wind with a lot of freeboard...I wouldn't expect long-term heel under power to be much of an issue, but if the builder is still in existence, it might pay to check with them to find out what their build parameters were.
 

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Mine clattered to a halt doing that one night in the Gulf of Mexico. leaned over too far, and for too long.

There is an alarm on it now.

It happens there Guys. Be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would think not, but I am not an expert. I suppose in theory the heel could be great enough to cause the oil pickup to be out of the oil, but it would seem to me the oil would need to be very low so what would it matter then. Diesel trucks haul loads up and down hill and ect for miles and miles. I think it is a bunch of hogwash imo
Yeah, come to think about it....How about Bull Dozer's working on a 45% grade, or for that matter, boats working in big seas? Anyway, not a bad idea to be aware of the issue, and use moderation. I try to keep the heel at about 15 degrees anyway. Makes me think of another issue though, which I'll address in a different post.
 

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On a tangent...I read that motorsailing can have stresses on the engine/trans/shaft mounting that aren't expected in the same way as just motoring.

When the boat is at rest, run lines across the interior of the cabin at a few spots in the general area of the engine. Then go sailing. When heeled over, are the lines still fairly tight? If not, the hull is flexing. What is happening to the motor mount, transmission & prop shaft during this hull flexing??? The more the flex the more you should be concerned with getting out of alignment during motorsailing, if heeling.
 

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"How about Bull Dozer's"
Bulldozers are actually damned expensive equipment, with way more routine maintenance than you might think. You don't just use them and change the oil every six months.(G)
I'd bet the folks at Caterpillar would tell you they don't just drop in truck engines, either.
 

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15 degrees

per Larry Berlin @ Mack Boring. Mine is a 3GMF. The oil sump on a bulldozer is probably like that of our Kenworth truck which holds several gallons, not a few quarts like a little marine diesel.
 

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Something other than damage to the engine to consider if you are motorsailing while heeling over is getting air in the fuel system. If you have port and stb. fuel tanks and a crossover line between them (with the valve open) the fuel will flow to the downside and if your engine pick up is in the high side tank you can suck air in (voice of experience talking).
 

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Sorry for resurrecting a 7 year old thread, but I see real value in it and learned a lot today. My next diesel aux will have a dry sump and a intake next to the keel. Never can learn too much.
 

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We overheated a motor because the water intake was out of the water for too long due to heel.

Dunno about oil.
Me too, thought we blew an impeller, finally figured out the overheating was due to an airlock picked up while we were motorsailing trying to beat some weather in (we didn't).
 

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Newt- I'm with you and appreciate the heads up causing me to read this.

What I wonder about is whether this is more of an issue with modern racer cruisers. Thinking ( perhaps untrue) is in pure ocean cruising designs with slacker bilges and more rocker the engine sat at or even below the waterline. A shaft could be employed. Now due to the shape of the canoe body a sail drive is required. Given where the axis of rotation of the boat is maybe there is more movement of the engine and it's fluids. Also wonder given limited bilges limiting placement of fuel tanks whether there is more risk of aeration and foam.
 

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My westerbeke 55b manual says dont run at 30 degrees for more than 30 min. I think there is a separate 'installation' manual and it may only be mentioned there.

It'll depend on your motor. I'd ask the manufacturer, it won't take any more time than asking us bozos, and they'll actually have an answer.

edit: oops, old thread. Yeah, what 'hellosailor' said.
 

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My Kubota is a good little engine, but I think it was designed with tractors in mind. They have dry sumps in racing cars, aircraft and others- why not marine engines? Esp sailboat engines, which get tippy all the time.
In the meantime, I think I will limit my motor on tip to less than 30 degrees.
 
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