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Interesting...
I hear the Yanmar site recommends leaving it in neutral to "reduce wear and tear". But... most more generic sites recommend putting it in reverse for the same reason! If it's in reverse, there's nothing moving in the transmission, so I would say that is best for reducing wear. In neutral things MAY not turn, depending on your prop and how fast you're going under sail, but mostly your forward speed will turn the prop, which turns the gears inside the tranny, which increases wear and tear.

Does anyone know the reasoning behind Yanmar's advice of putting it in neutral?

druid
 

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Since you seem to have trouble using Google, to research this, read the Yanmar advisory.

Advisory Number: MSA08-003:

DATE February 8, 2008 Dealers and OEMs
TO: All Marine Distributors
SUBJECT: Gear in Neutral While Sailing All MODELS:

All Sailboat Engines

We continue to get questions regarding the correct gear position while sailing with the engine OFF. This advisory is issued as a reminder; Yanmar requires that if sailing with the engine OFF (not running) the transmission shifter must be in the neutral position or internal damage to the gear or sail-drive will result. This damage will not be covered by Yanmar’s Limited Warranty. Please instruct customers and dealers who deliver the sailboat to the customer, of the correct (Neutral) position for the marine gear while sailing.

If the customer desires that the propeller shaft not spin while sailing, either a folding propeller, shaft break, or other suitable device may be used. However, Yanmar accepts no responsibility for the selection, installation, or operation of such devices. Please also refer to Marine service advisory “MSA07-001_Yanmar Sail Drive Propeller Selection” for additional information.

If you have any questions regarding this advisory please contact a Customer Support representative.
 

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Too much wiggle room in that service bulletin for me, so I called Yanmar HQ service and several local Yanmar service departments.

Consensus answers ... while under sail ... transmission in gear or neutral?

- Fixed prop, leave trans in neutral. Period.
- Folding/feathering prop, slight preference that trans also be left in neutral. But should not be an issue with prop feathered and transmission in gear. This is good, means I've not been doing this incorrectly for the last N decades :D

The guidance is largely based on avoiding the prop torquing the cones/clutch when left in gear, which is mitigated by a folding / feathering prop.

Cheers
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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I think the best solution is some kind of brake. If things are moving, parts are wearing, including seals, bearings, packing, cutlass bearing, and any gears that may be turning. If on a long haul, something as simple as a carpentry clamp can stop the shaft from spinning and will fall off (if placed correctly) if you forget to take it off or need to start the engine quickly.
 

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I think the best solution is some kind of brake. If things are moving, parts are wearing, including seals, bearings, packing, cutlass bearing, and any gears that may be turning. If on a long haul, something as simple as a carpentry clamp can stop the shaft from spinning and will fall off (if placed correctly) if you forget to take it off or need to start the engine quickly.
SHAFT LOK INC.
 
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