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Old 10-11-2014, 20:18   #31
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Re: Cruising spares list for diesel engine

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Originally Posted by kairoscruise View Post
Half a circumnavigation under my belt. All with a crappy old engine that should have died long ago. Armchair folks will balk and perfectionists will think I am a fool. Ask if I care.


The cheapskate list is as follows:

1) Starter Motor - usually 2 bolts and has the solenoid already attached. High failure item on 40 year old boats with crappy wiring and loose ground wires. Replace the whole thing for 80 bucks rather than pulling apart the guts or just doing the solenoid.

New Starter Replaces Perkins 185086600 | eBay


2) Water pump rebuild/impeller - if you are going for more than 2 years and out of the US, then have it done. If not let it ride and roll the dice. You will only get two years of constant use on a rebuild, so plan accordingly. New ones are stupid expensive for what they are. I can get a tablet for 120 bucks but I cant get a f-ing new water pump? In a pinch you may be able to run engine cooling through an external electric pump like your boats freshwater pump. As an aside, if you are overheating like crazy in the boonies pull the thermostat and go full flow cooling on the perkins. Glue the sucker down with permatex because you prolly dont have the gasket. Yes it runs cool. yes it is "bad for the engine" and no it does not really matter. The ol girl will keep chugging long after you have sold the boat. Get the new thermost after you are in port, or don't. 1/2 circumnav with no thermostat. Ask if I care. Cold engine is bad, but far less bad than a warped head and an engine rebuild when you have 10K for the year for cruising casue some crap got lodged somewhere and you didn't happen to be watching that guage. You can do this on a perkins. Others I have no idea.

3) Injectors if you can cross reference and buy them for 20 bucks or less. If 120 per, wait on them and keep your fuel clean.


3) If you have an external facet fuel pump get a spare. Cheap as chips. if you have the kind mounted on the engine with a little flip lever to prime/bleed the system leave it be until it fails then wait for your part like everyone else.

4) Remote starter switch - not a spare item, but a trigger grip remote starter bypasses all your crappy old wiring and lets you get the boat moving when a ship is bearing down on your ass and you don't have time to play "find the fuzzy green connection". One clip on the big positive the other on the solenoid and vroom you are started. Wish I had known about that when cruising, would have saved me a few pucker moments.

5) Injector pump - Forget this, too pricy. Get at least two racors inline before your on-engine fuel pump. First time you see big seas your crappy fuel tank will break stuff loose and then you are puking on yourself while trying to clean fuel filters in heaving seas and wondering why you did not take up golf. Dont f-up the injectors in the first place. Keep it clean hombre. Spare filters yes.


Transmission - too expensive, but if going the distance and you have a hurth get the rebuild kit. INCLUDE THE THRUST WASHER IN THE KIT. Some rebuild kits dont have the thrust washer and your rebuild will not last before it craps out too. IN a pinch you can revere your way into port once you have sailed in close enough even though that is stupid. But if the alternative is death on the rocks, go backwards mate. Reverse never goes on these it is always forward. In a pinch you can swap props righthand to lefthand and use reverse for forward. Just forget about backing up. Slightly different gear ratio but if you have no other options it is possible. Some will freak to hear that but it is true. Hurth HBW transmission is the devil and should be back in hell where it belongs. PRM80 cone clutch... PRM 80 Cone clutch... PRM 80 cone clutch!

Obviously the consumables need to be in there too.
I think thats a great list. I did not include things like thermostats in my list but we carry a few of those and a bunch of other items previously mentioned.

I don't feel that the $3K in spare parts I have on my boat is "too much".

I'm also on the "everything is about to break" side. Even stupid stuff! I am constantly amazed at what breaks. For example, 6 months ago I replaced by water accumulator tank because it had developed a leak. Not really many moving parts right? I'm in florida so no freezing issue. Guess what started leaking last week? I'm thinking my best option is to get rid of the tank altogether!

We saw Stanley Paris depart St. Augustine a few days ago and "talk about a systems-heavy boat". Holy cow. Anyone that thinks our vessel has a heavy backup list should take a look at Kiwi Spirits list.
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Old 10-11-2014, 22:21   #32
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Re: Cruising spares list for diesel engine

Zoss I like your comment about helping out the next guy. Folks need to remember that cruising is not regular life. You are a tribe of nomads and you help each other. We had very little but when someone got on the radio and I happened to have a spare starter key I gave it to him. How much? Nothing mate. Get the next guy when he needs it. In the real world you can't do that. Too many leeches. Cruising in the far flung you can, do, and need to. I gave a guy in a 50 foot catamaram my patch cable for a gps interface and i was basically dirtbagging it on an old small boat with no fridge. That is how it works. Treat each other the way you treat your neighbors at home and cruising will become one more stupid thing to do with your time. It is not, it is special and it is worth the work. It gets better the harder it is to get there.

I accept your belt and braces approach. If i could I would have a whole spare engine waiting to drop in. But life ain't like that. Plus waiting for parts is sometimes when you get to know a place. Far too easy to blow through every island after a week. I would also have a second fresh water pump that is the cheapest version of what you have now because hand dipping water out of the tank is a major drag.
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Old 14-11-2014, 11:17   #33
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Re: Cruising spares list for diesel engine

I just picked up a complete set of spares on craigslist. Even leaks both oil and diesel like the original...
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Old 14-11-2014, 11:44   #34
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Re: Cruising spares list for diesel engine

Post #11 by Sanibel sailor about sums it up. I'm sure everyone's list is relative to their area and plans. The OP is going to pick what is relevant. Lord help him everything from rubber bands and chewing gum to an enter boat.
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Old 14-11-2014, 11:48   #35
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Re: Cruising spares list for diesel engine

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I just picked up a complete set of spares on craigslist. Even leaks both oil and diesel like the original...
I thought it was only GMs known to oil leaks. That and Harley Davidsons.
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Old 14-11-2014, 12:46   #36
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Re: Cruising spares list for diesel engine

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I've never been on any boat on any cruise where something didn't break. Having the right spare and the right tool close to hand can make the difference between the failure being a trivial thing fixed in minutes, and it being a huge hassle which ruins part or all of your cruise.
This also includes electrical stuff, since wires connect a lot of the stuff that gets engines started.

From a 2004 cruise, out in the middle of nowhere:

When you're having a great cruise, but then, magically, the engine won't start, one of the first things to do is to check the starter solenoid fuse holder.

We did last week, and found the wire from the solenoid intact, the fuse holder intact, but a space of about 3 inches between them!

Evidently, the 18 year old, $1.24 fuse holder solder connection failed. Don't ya just wish they made better stuff that would last longer!

In about a half hour I installed a new wire with a new spade connector to the solenoid, and put in a new fuse holder butt connected to the wire through the harness to the starter button. The old fuse looks to be a slow blow, so I cleaned it up and put it back in the new fuse holder.

Just a reminder that it's there. BTW, it's VERY helpful to have electrical tools, wire and fuse holders on board. This was written up in one of the earlier 1980's FAQs, but it happened to me last week. Glad I could still remember reading it.
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Old 14-11-2014, 12:58   #37
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Re: Cruising spares list for diesel engine

Do not recall ever seeing a fused starter solenoid...
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