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Old 31-05-2018, 22:17   #1
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Help from and for SABA 50 OWNERS, and a warning when ordering a SABA 50

Hello Friends,
Saba 50 SERENITY here, Hull number 11, 2015

The very best Genset is the 11 kva Cummins Onan. It is like a Kubota tractor motor, I had the 9.5 kva one on the Helia built 2013. Nearly bulletproof, probably 8000-10,000 or more life expectancy... Great stuff and not too high tech, good solid simplicity workhorse.

Now, the problem is where they put the 11 kva, in the starboard engine room. Mine has only 293 hours on it, but I decided to have the 500 hour anode change, and it was a good idea as the old one was about shot. Now the problem is NO ACCESS to the back side of the engine. Back there is the alternator, belt adjust, and the heat exchanger. If an impeller disintegrates, you need to pull the cover off the end of the heat exchanger to fish the bits out, and they and the alternator need service and adjustment eventually. So, I am probably OK for this season sort of four months up in the islands inside the Great Barrier Reef, but I have to come up with a solution...

This leaves two choices, one is make it slide out (near impossible) or a deck hatch in the middle of the walkway... (nearly too hard)... I will get away without it for now, but I am thinking it is going to have to be a custom built deck hatch, recessed, re-using the exiting teak decking on top of it... But it is not going to be an easy job, looks like next year in haul out at the greatest Boatyard in the world, Boatworks in Coomera. 20 acres, 20 marine trade workshops, and most importantly restaurant and bar..

This is a warning for you in the ordering program with F.P. and I am open to any ideas on how to fix this. All I can think of is the deck hatch over the far side of the engine...

Kind regards, owner, "Serenity"
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Old 01-06-2018, 13:49   #2
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Re: Help from and for SABA 50 OWNERS, and a warning when ordering a SABA 50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helia 44 View Post
Hello Friends,
Saba 50 SERENITY here, Hull number 11, 2015

The very best Genset is the 11 kva Cummins Onan. It is like a Kubota tractor motor, I had the 9.5 kva one on the Helia built 2013. Nearly bulletproof, probably 8000-10,000 or more life expectancy... Great stuff and not too high tech, good solid simplicity workhorse.

Now, the problem is where they put the 11 kva, in the starboard engine room. Mine has only 293 hours on it, but I decided to have the 500 hour anode change, and it was a good idea as the old one was about shot. Now the problem is NO ACCESS to the back side of the engine. Back there is the alternator, belt adjust, and the heat exchanger. If an impeller disintegrates, you need to pull the cover off the end of the heat exchanger to fish the bits out, and they and the alternator need service and adjustment eventually. So, I am probably OK for this season sort of four months up in the islands inside the Great Barrier Reef, but I have to come up with a solution...

This leaves two choices, one is make it slide out (near impossible) or a deck hatch in the middle of the walkway... (nearly too hard)... I will get away without it for now, but I am thinking it is going to have to be a custom built deck hatch, recessed, re-using the exiting teak decking on top of it... But it is not going to be an easy job, looks like next year in haul out at the greatest Boatyard in the world, Boatworks in Coomera. 20 acres, 20 marine trade workshops, and most importantly restaurant and bar..

This is a warning for you in the ordering program with F.P. and I am open to any ideas on how to fix this. All I can think of is the deck hatch over the far side of the engine...

Kind regards, owner, "Serenity"
I agree the Onan generator should have been pulled towards the stern a few inches to allow easier access to the anode. Fortunately, there is a mechanic at my marina that is small enough to reach the anode to replace it.
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Old 03-06-2018, 18:11   #3
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Re: Help from and for SABA 50 OWNERS, and a warning when ordering a SABA 50

Thank you Cuvee'

Look, my Mechanic was a smaller stature person as well, in a half hour of wriggling, trying to get into a stern access hatch, and all the possibilities.. He did finally get to the anode as well. I am 6'1" and it would have been hopeless.

Now at 293 hours, this Gen set is hardly run in (broke in in Yankee language), so this is not a major issue now... But: At some point you (we) are going to have to access the alternator, and adjust the belt, and access and remove the heat exchanger to cook it out at maybe 1000 hours, we are going to have to get to the other side of it... !!!! And there is just NO WAY..

I am going to haul out next May at Sactuary Cove (Boatworks in Coomera) for the International Boat Show, a week/ten days out for routine bottom job. During that time, I am going to have a custom deck hatch made, maybe recessed lip and drain, and teak over to match, to access the back side of the 11 kva Cummin Onan. I will post picture of the finished job in IMPROVEMENTS TO THE SABA 50...

Just a heads up for any of you ordering, this deck hatch access should be done from new by Fountaine Pajot...

Kind regards, from "SERENITY" 2015 Saba 50 hull 11
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Old 03-06-2018, 18:48   #4
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Re: Help from and for SABA 50 OWNERS, and a warning when ordering a SABA 50

My heat exchanger failed at 4025 hrs. Took the same mechanic many hours to remove it and reinstall the new one.

I also think FP could have done a better job with sound deadening the generator to reduce noise in the cockpit and starboard aft cabin. Any relatively simple fixes "Helia 44"?
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Old 03-06-2018, 18:59   #5
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Re: Help from and for SABA 50 OWNERS, and a warning when ordering a SABA 50

Hello Cuvee'

To be quite honest, it has not been noticed by me.... On the other hand, forty years aboard various vessels, the steady humm of a well running diesel is soothing to me and makes me sleep well...

Mine has a full sound shield around it.. I do not think there is any unacceptable noise from it, just a comforting hum, but maybe that is just me. If you want to suppress it more, you can get some of the foil backed engine room insulation foam in sheets about an inch thick, and glue it to the cockpit flooring and the bulkhead to that aft cabin. Honestly it does not bother me, but that cutting and pasting on of that engine insulation foil backed foam, would be an easy job and it would help at least some.

Regards from Hull 11, Saba 50 SERENITY....
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Old 03-06-2018, 22:31   #6
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Re: Help from and for SABA 50 OWNERS, and a warning when ordering a SABA 50

You think the Onan is superior to Northern lights? Asking out of respect for your experience...

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Old 03-06-2018, 23:45   #7
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Re: Help from and for SABA 50 OWNERS, and a warning when ordering a SABA 50

Hello "Wanting a Cat"

Look, I work with all of these not only with yachts, but various other applications in remote areas of the Outback in Australia. Some of them (not to mention any names) are just a bit to technical, computer hookup initialization and trouble shooting You want KISS Engineering, as simple as possible.

IMO the Panda and Northern Lights sorts are just more complicated where the Cummins Onan in the smaller size with the Kubota engine is very tough and simple and I like that. KISS engineering. There are protective devices on the diesel motor, that even they are simple, like a Hobbs style pressure sending unit after the water pump">raw water pump. It is a simple Hobbs unit, NC or NO unit (Normally Closed or Normally Open) that the raw water pressure holds in the right position. Plastic bag or brine shrimp in the intake, no pressure, NC or NO sender shuts down the motor. Replacement is about $25, I had one fail at four years old. It is all simple, made to DIY, low oil pressure, high water temp shuts her down. Pressure fired injectors, simple injection pump, no piezo computer fired stuff, all it needs is clean fuel. I think it is the best to deal with if you are handy, you don't need a Technician to fly in with a laptop computer to plug it in...

The remote screen even tells you why it shut down, in simple terms like "No Raw Water present" something like that.. Anyway, my choice in the soundproof housings....

Best regards, and this is just my judgement on the matter. They are all good when they are running, but I think the Cummins Onan is the easiest to deal with and would be my choice... Yacht "Serenity"
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Old 03-06-2018, 23:48   #8
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Re: Help from and for SABA 50 OWNERS, and a warning when ordering a SABA 50

I totally appreciate the response!

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Old 17-11-2018, 19:45   #9
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Re: Help from and for SABA 50 OWNERS, and a warning when ordering a SABA 50

Hello Fountain Pajot Gourmet Yacht Lovers!!

(I am resurrecting this old Post, because of its extreme importance to anyone ordering a Saba 50... ) You can see my solution in the current Thread "Improvements to the Saba 50) where I will show you the work in process. The Fischer Panda and Northern Lights sort of generators are smaller, but IMO fussy and need computer management, where the good old Cummin Onan is a Kubota Tractor engine driven unit, nearly bullet proof... But there is a problem in the design of the engineering and I have solved it in the above Thread)

I am back from the Whitsundays, and now that I have gone cruising with "Serenity" for a few months I am into the serious improvements to make things better...

The biggest one, and a warning to all Saba 50 Owners that have the 11 kva Cummins Onan, (AND NOTE FOUNTAINE PAJOT!!) at about 500 hours you need to get to the far side of the Cummins Onan for maintenance. F.P. I understand it is an easy error to make, as you push the smaller Fisher-Panda generators but some of us like the Cummins Onan as it is an over sized tractor engine and gen set that will last probably 10,000 hours. Not compact and fussy like the smaller units...

Anyway, there is no access. You need to get back there to change the anode, and be able to cook out clean of the heat exchanger, and even to adjust the belt on the alternator. NO ACCESS. And no, I thought about build a slide out in stainless under the gen set, but it will not come out over the top of the Volvo Penta. So no.. The first picture is of my fridge freezer for fishing in route, with a table top for the BBQ, the hatch will go about half underneath that. The second picture is of my design to correct this with a sub-deck stainless frame for access hatch.. It is in 2mm stainless and will screw up under the aft deck floor. I am going to put it on with structural Sika-Flex adhesive sealant and screwed up from underneath about every 50mm. All that will be visible is the cut out and sanded gap, which will be sanded smooth, be epoxy sealed and painted white. This hatch will be 500 mm x 600 mm clear opening inside..

The third picture is a close up, to show the inner frame 10mm lower than the outer frame, all one piece in mirror stainless, with a gutter drain 50mm x 50mm. The inner frame is where the cut out deck piece will sit, on an automotive rubber door welt. I will add four engine room style hatch locks and lifts, as it will lift clear out for maintenance about once a year. There are two drains, fore and aft, that will go to a thru-hull in the tunnel of the cat.

Fountain Pajot NOTE: Yes this is an error in design, one of the few.. You should do this in the construction phase in matching fibreglass to the engine room hatch... You made one of the few design errors is a very beautiful Yacht the SABA 50. If you are going to offer the bigger Gen-set, you need to do the right thing and make access for maintenance. (Your were obviously not aware of the maintenance requirements on the inner side. I have to do it this way in a stainless inner frame and cut in hatch..

Other projects: I have also slightly widened and reinforced the bow roller stainless rack in the anchor locker. It now has solid 19mm rods on the outside that greatly strengthen it, and is flared out slightly. Why? I want to add on full length ribs of about 50mm square in poly ethylene or poly urethane block, relieved in the center of one long side to bolt over the edge of the stainless. This will allow the chain to be hauled in at an angle, over the covered edge of the rack and roller... It will reduce drag, save galvanizing, and speed up chain recovery... All I have done for now is the stainless reinforcing mods and drilled it out to take a 16mm bolt for the roller, and it is bolted back on. Sorry I did not get pictures. When in haulout in May I will show pictures of it completed with the full length rubbing strakes on the edges...

Anyway, fourth picture for fun, two of the best fish caught this season in the channel north of Pentacost Island in the Whitsundays: The first is a Blue Ocean Spanish King Mackeral, 1.4 meters sort of 4 1/2 feet. The second is a Blue Fin Tuna. The fillet steaks of both taste about the same, very good.

The fifth and sixth pictures are of some of the beach combing goodies for this season.... I hope you enjoy the improvements and pictures of the bounty!!

Kind regards, Helia 44, now Blessed to be on a Saba 50, IMO the greatest single-handed-able private luxury yacht in the world
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:28   #10
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Re: Help from and for SABA 50 OWNERS, and a warning when ordering a SABA 50

Quote:
Originally Posted by meatservo View Post
You think the Onan is superior to Northern lights? Asking out of respect for your experience...

meatservo
No but it is the best Onan I have seen. The direct drive Onans are a lot better than the belt drive one. Northern Lights is still the most reliable I have been around.
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