Friday, June 20, 2014

Yanmar 26 hp diesel Marine Engine - SV GIRI

The SV GIRI is getting a new engine.  My Yanmar 26 hp diesel was bleeding oil.  It had already been rebuilt once.  The SV GIRI is a 39.9 foot Folkes steel cutter rigged sloop.  This Yanmar was installed with the GIRI at the time she was built in the late 80’s.  Though the GIRI is a sailing vessel, the fact is the Yanmar was definitely her “IRON Jenny”.  A lot of coastal wind is simply not conducive to sailing to schedule.  In the days of wooden sailing boats captains had time to wait for changes of wind. They had no choice. The steam engine ships surpassed the sailing vessels simply because they didn’t rely on the vagaries of wind.
This Yanmar made the journey to the Queen Charlotte Islands a couple of times and saw the coast of Alaska.  The GIRI circled Vancouver Island a couple of times as well. It crossed the Strait of Georgia and sailed the  Coastal Islands and the San Juan Islands countless times.  A favourite weekend for me was motoring to Vancouver to Nanaimo Friday night with autopilot then sailing back wing on wing Sunday afternoon. I can’t say how many times I’ve done that.
Sailing and motoring out to Barkeley Sound was also a great adventure I did a couple of times for the excellent salmon fishing. Then Victoria and Saltpring Islands were all time favourite destinations where dolphins invariably joined me or Killer Whales circled the boat.  Campbell River and  Texada Island to the North, Desolation Sound and beyond Desolation were also favourites.
The Yanmar took me down to coast to San Francisco once with crew and once solo. With crew I sailed to Mexico’s Sea of Cortez where we wintered.  Finally that Yanmar accompanied the GIRI when I sailed her solo 25 days in winter to Hawaii through winter storms.
Then with crew I sailed the Hawaian Islands before coming home again 34 days, slowed a little by breaking of the mast and the need to jury rig a Spanish  tourniquet to do the 1000 km left of the nearly 3000 km passage.
Since then I’ve been sailing and motoring around the Strait of Georgia.  A boat’s engine isn’t just for locomotion.  With the Yanmar my boat speed was predictably 5 knots.  But for trolling for salmon I also used the motor motoring around 2 knots, a speed particularly appealing to salmon and ling cod.  Thanks to that Yanmar I caught a lot of glorious fish trolling over the years.  Off shore we caught the finest tuna cruising with the motor running 2500 rpm at 5 knots. 3000 rpm was Full Open Throttle but I usually ran the engine at 2500.  
The Yanmar also is the boats generator.  Everything electrical on the sailboat relies on energy from banks of batteries:  lights, VHS radio, Hamm Radio depth sounder, anchor winch, windshield wipers, spotlight, down rigger, converter for television, dvd player, computers and iPhones.  Sailing across the ocean with the glory of the the magnificent downwind trades I still charged the batteries with the Yanmar every day for an hour.  When I am at dock I can recharge the batteries with shore power.  I do have a wind generator and solar panels but the diesel engine is the mainstay for generating power.
I loved my Yanmar.  It was a true and wonderful trooper for a quarter century of service.
Now Stem to Stern Marine has the GIRI up on deck. The Yanmar is out of  the GIRI. It's like the heart of the ship has been removed.  Almost sad to see her there.  The Giri’s empty chest waits a new Volvo 40 hp replacement  . I can only hope and pray the Volvo is all my Yanmar has been.
The Yanmar has been an integral part. Thank you Yanmar.  A new engine will be exciting. I'd almost replaced this Yanmar with a newer version but Volvo had a 40 hp that fit the space and this year's Volvo was built more specific for sailors needs than the similar Yanmar. I just hope Volvo will serve me as well and be as friendly as the Yanmar has been. I've bled the engine myself so many times, replaced injectors, water pumps, starters and alternators.  I'll just have to learn the Volvo now.  The Yanmar served me well. Thank you Yanmar for the great workmanship and attention to excellence.
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