Hello, We were cruising the Bahamas
and on our way home to the States when our small oil
leakage problem took a turn for the worst and the engine
will now not start.
We sailed into the Nassau
Harbor and just dropped the anchor
before getting swept through. Here are our symptoms if you care to help out.
It's a Yanmar 3GM30
, raw water
cooler, 24hp, 1985
I went through the engine
looking for oil leaks
and tightened a few bolts and hose clamps that showed signs of leakage. I checked that the fuel filter
was clean of water
and that fuel
was reaching the cylinders. There was excess transmission
fluid so I removed it all and added new oil. I resealed a small water
leak at the water intake filter. I checked the aft engine zinc which was fine.
The primary indications of problem were oil coming out of the exhaust
when we were going through heavy waves and when trying to get off of a shoal. The main engine oil leak
seems to be between the transmission
and the engine block. The head gasket
shows no sign of oil leaking. I replaced the oil lube pipe before we left and it was still leak free. The engine does turn over but would still not start.
The first mechanic
opened the oil cap and felt a lot of air coming out as we tried to start the engine. From this he concluded that there was crank case pressure and probably a failed piston. He said they need to remove the engine from the boat and take it apart to find the problem. But then later he said that our engine did not have a liner on the head gasket
and that the head was probably scorched and that they did not have a machine shop to fix it so we would need a new engine: $10,000 estimate
Our friend came over to lend his expertise. He tried switching the compression
levers over. He noticed the air coming out of the oil cap when removed as well as fumes. He concluded that there could be a faulty valve that might have seized the last time our engine leaked out oil. Or we could have a failed piston ring in need of replacement. He advised me to take the valve cover off and find the faulty valve. He also said I should be able to take the head off and into a mechanics shop to have the valve replaced without removing the whole engine.
The second mechanic
tested all the fuel
lines for fuel. There was fuel coming through. He used starting fluid on the air intake as well as switching the compression
levers. He too noticed the fumes coming from the removed oil cap. He also put gasoline on a rag and put it over the air intake to try to start it. It would not. He concluded that their was a compression problem, probably a failed piston ring. The only option they gave us was to remove the engine from the boat and take it apart back at their shop to find the problem. The estimate was at least $3000.
None of these mechanics seemed honest though so we are not paying $1000 to have the engine removed and then getting stuck in a situation where we have to pay $10,000 for a new engine or paying another $2000 to have our engine put back together with nothing solved
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So that leaves us with few options to get back home.
1) We will attempt to take the engine apart ourselves and find the failed valve or try to take the head to a mechanic for fixing. If the engine starts we will sail to Florida
, only using the engine to dock/anchor.
2) We will fly in an experienced sailor to help us sail back to Florida
(preferably MD) without an engine. We can't afford to pay anyone but we can cover all your expenses. We can pay for two people to fly into Nassau
to sail to MD or one person to sail to Florida and then we would fly them home. We estimate the sail to MD to be about 7-10 days straight and the Florida sail to be 2 days straight . If you are interested in this please email
me at firstname.lastname@example.org
to talk details.
3) Our last option is to sail without an engine to Florida by ourselves. We do believe we can do this. Our only concerns are sailing upwind, getting stuck in a storm, and docking
. We can use our Boat US to help with the docking
. We also learned a trick from where we can tie up our dinghy
to the side of the boat and use the 3.5hp outboard
to tow ourselves.
Thanks for listening CF.