Our Privilege 39 catamaran
has two 28hp Yanmars with three blade fixed props. I motored up the Hatea River in Whangarei, New Zealand
in 38 knots of wind
. I also motored into 38 knots of wind
on the nose in Eritrea seeking shelter after passing through the Bab al Mandeb at the southern entrance of the Red Sea. When the wind gets to 38 knots, my speed drops to about three knots of forward motion when I motor
directly into the wind. On both occasions, I had both Yanmars maxed out on RPM
for several hours as I battled to windward.
When we were in New Zealand
, we had 100 liter and 80 liter flexible tanks fabricated in Auckland
. I put those tanks in two cockpit
lockers, and kept them in reserve for "emergencies". For example, if there was fuel contamination in the main tanks, or if I needed additional fuel on an ocean passage
, then I pumped the fuel into my tanks as needed.
I liked having the flexible tanks because I could roll them up and put them away when they were no longer needed. I also liked them because it didn't put all of my fuel eggs in one basket. For example, if my starboard engine
went down, I could transfer fuel from my flexible tanks to the port engine
without any problem. Transferring fuel from my starboard stainless steel
tank is possible, but would involve a great deal of hassle. When problems happen in rough seas, I would rather be transferring fuel in the cockpit
from a flexible tank than be down in the engine compartment devising a way to move fuel from one tank to the other.
redundancy has many benefits, and for me the flexible tanks were well worth the expense. The Kiwi tanks have lasted me for more than six years without any leaks