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Old 26-10-2015, 11:14   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: London UK
Boat: Saba 50
Posts: 6

Hi all Saba 50's

We have ordered our new boat with delivery scheduled for next summer - just!

Interested from owners whether we should choose the 55 HP ( without turbo ) or the 75 HP -same engine but turbo's? has any one out there got the 55 HP engines. Boat will probably be med based maybe Caribbean at some point,

experience about adding NMEA to the engines

As well as any other advice on options better dealt with at home port. One of which being the covers which we feel could be made a bit easier to manage

We will probably go for factory generator and air con unless advised otherwise?

Thanks in advance

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Old 09-11-2015, 18:22   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 205
Re: engines



Sadly you have over 250 views and no response, so I will try:

This answer is two levels, because I have the Helia 44, your smaller cousin... But I have studies the SABA for a year and been aboard one a couple of times.
My Helia has the 55's, an upgrade for the Helia 44, but perfect in my view.... Your Saba 50 is about 20% larger and heavier... HOWEVER I have mixed feelings about the 75's, as all they are is the Volvo 55's with turbos added. That is more heat stress on the same basic engine, so temperature gauges like I show on the Topic "Improvements to the Helia 44", those temperature gauges PLUS Alarms, would be mandatory in my mind...

Now my Helia 44 is a bit over gunned with the 55's, a bit... But I like that. At 2400 rpm I am doing well OVER 7 knots on one engine. Like if I am not bucking a headwind or current I can see 8 knots on one engine at 2400 rpm.
At 2000 rpm, no wind or current I am cruising at just under or even 7 knots, on one engine... In a hurry? I only get 9 1/2 knots in perfect conditions on two engines, one engine is the go anyway... You will NOT get those speeds with the SABA on 55's on one engine, you will be a bit slow. This means weather dependent..

IMO you will do that well with the SABA, with the 75's. The problem is you will be a bit too slow with 55's, and have to run both engines on the SABA if you have the 55's, so the one 75 running will actually be more fuel efficient as you will be able to run on one engine at good speeds. With the 55's, IMO you are only going to be going 5 1/2-6 knots (if you are lucky) on one engine with the SABA, and that is not enough for me..

I do not like to be weather dependent. For instance, we have an early weather shift, due to "El Nino" and my Wife had a problem to deal with and I had to get home 600 NM during a lull... I mean dead air, like 10 days of no wind or light wind on the nose and I was bucking a current. I just turned on the motors and ran home on my "iron jib" during almost all daylight hours... In 8 days I was behind Fraser Island from Airlie Beach, stopping along the way seeing outer islands... My longest run was dawn at 1770, til about an hour after sunset to Kingfisher Resort, about 90 NM on my course from memory. It was no stress, good fishing, trolling the whole way, and the best fishing is at about 7 knots any way.

You will be hard pressed to get 7 knots out of a SABA on one motor with the 55's, like never.... I had no wind, and just ran her home. A cat cruising with us, did not have big motors, carried little fuel, and they were 3-4 weeks behind us because of needing the weather. They were stuck long periods of time in undesirable anchorages and ports waiting for favourable winds... No thanks, I want to go when I am ready. What I did in about 8 days they were 6 weeks battling... NO thanks..

Weighing it all up, I would go with the 75's, and after market temperature alarms I could set at lower levels.... I think you would be impatient and slow with the 55's.... Diesel is cheap, engines are good for 7500 hours, sail drives for 3500 hours before overhauls, my January 2013 Helia is fairly well traveled and has 730 hours on the engines in two years cause I like to fish trolling. Caught about 50 major fish just this year, 8 1/2' Sailfish, 6' Black Marlin, Kingfish a meter and more, Mackeral, Queenfish, 60-70 lb Giant Trevally, all sorts of fish. Sail is the best, but Iron Jibs are great in light air, no wind, beautiful flat seas.... If I ordered a SABA, and I could, and I might, I would get the 75's for sure.....

Kind regards, Helia 44, AVALON

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Old 10-11-2015, 06:04   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: London UK
Boat: Saba 50
Posts: 6
Re: engines

Hi Helia 44
I was starting to think that I had offended all FP owners until your reply!

Thanks for the information, and yes I agree with you on all points. I had concluded better to run on 1 engine to get the turbo's going and also have the extra power, but also take the point on extra stress. The 75's do also have a much meatier sail drive and with the extra weight it might be pushing it a bit Useful what you say about the gauges that is what I was wondering about the benefit of adding NMEA but you must do it at purchase and it is 1000 Euro's for not sure exactly what you get for it as its a bit vague.

I am actually in the Whitsundays before Xmas for a week and I see there is a Helia there - will keep an eye out for it.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:41   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Annapolis/St Thomas
Boat: Fountaine Pajot Saba 50
Posts: 32
Re: engines

Here are the boat speed measurements taken on my Saba 50 with D2-75 engines and Volvo Penta 4-blade folding props. Boat was fully loaded with 8 adults, provisions, fuel and water, and a relatively clean hull. Sea was flat and calm.

I went to the engine spec sheets to determine the required D2-55 RPM that would yield the same propeller shaft power as the D2-75.

I cruise the D2-75 at 1800-2300 RPM, at or just past the torque peak at 1800, to achieve 6.0 to 7.6 kts. The D2-55 would need to be run 200-250 RPM higher to achieve the same cruising speed and with about the same fuel burn as the D2-75 run at the lower RPM.

Based on my data, with both D2-55 engines at WOT (3000 RPM), I think one could achieve 8.8 kts. With both D2-75 at WOT (3000 PRM), this is about 9.3 kts. We achieved 9.9 kts during the sea trials but we were carrying much less weight.

......................................... Required
D2-75..Crankshaft......Prop Shaft Power.. D2-55
RPM....Torque.....Kts*.At Prop Load (kW). RPM. Torque RPM
1500.....96%......5.1......5.2........... 1515 94%....+15
1800....100%......6.0......11.5.......... 1977 99.0%..+177
2000.....99%......6.5......15.4.......... 2200 99.8%..+200
2300.....97%......7.6......24.0.......... 2550 99.3%..+250
2500.....95%......7.9......30.7.......... 2770 98.8%..+270
2650.....92%......8.0......36.8.......... 2940 95.9%..+290
3000.....82%......8.5......52.8.......... ---. --

* Single engine, flat seas, SOW. Volvo Penta 4-blade folding props.
Add about 0.8-0.9 kts with 2 engines operating at same RPM

D2-75 Fuel Consumption: 1800 - 1.0 gph / 2000 - 1.3 gph / 2300 - 1.9 gph
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:28   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: London UK
Boat: Saba 50
Posts: 6
Re: engines

Hi Curvee

Great stuff - reinforces everything about going for the 75's. I read your other posting with great interest and will do so again. We have until early February to finalise the spec with FP so any other hints to what to not include at build and do after, would be most welcome.
Thanks again
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