Hmmm.... Let me tell you a couple of stories about 2 sailors in the Bahamas
, oh, 3 months ago. Well the first sailor, let's call him Scott. The pinion gear
on his starter sheared off. He removed the starter looked at weldinging it, replacing it, not much luck. After fiddling with it in Georgetown
for 4 days. He decided to get another one. He ordered it. they had to fly it from the states into Nassau
. From there, it was going to cost him another $120 to fly it down to Georgetown
. Now, Scott, he's a frugal man. He ponders, I already spent $180 having it sent from Florida
, I don't want to spend the $$$$ to get it down here. I'll just have a friend bring it down from Nassau, heck no rush, I am having fun in Georgetown. Well, the friend brought it as far down as Staniel Cay. The friend said he had to get back to the states. Well, After sitting in Georgetown an extra week, Scott decides I think I'll have to go up a fetch it. So, Scott goes up to Staniel Cay, (sails up no less!) Get's the new starter, replaces it, back in business. Happy day, only cost him $500 (about $320 for the starter $120 shipping
$30 stamp tax, $30 handling charges) and 3 extra weeks down in Georgetown. Now Scott had originally decided to go to DR and keep his boat there for Hurricane
, with the time and mechanical breakdown, he turned around and went back to the states.
The other sailor, lets call him... Keith. He was sailing from Turks and Caicos
back up to the Bahamas
. All of a sudden Eva yells, I smell smoke! The instruments just died. Keith rushes down to the running engine space. Sure enough, there are wisp of smoke, Hmmm... Not good. Engine is still running, but no electricity. Must be the main fuse. Checks the fuse. Sure enough, it is blown. Keith, being the prudent guy he is, check the wiring
, Hmmm, Starter wire is rather warm. Jumps fuse, smoke coming from the starter, Hmmm.... Eva, kill the engine! She can't, no electricity for the shutoff solenoid, No worries, I'll, oh ah, Keith, just kills the engine by pressing the manual solenoid. Removes the wire from the starter, jumpers the fues. No smoke! That's good. Keith, puts in a new fuse, very glad he bought a few extra! starts up the other engine. Vroom Back to motor
sailing. Hmmm.... What's up with the starter. Keith removes said starter. Examines it, oh (explative deleted!) I did this. He thinks back to just before leaving South Caicos, I was tightening all the fitting on the starter/alternator. When he tightened the cable, it came to rest on the actuation terminal of the starter solenoid. Some time during the past 20 hours of running it wore through the shrink wrap of the terminal, shorted to the post and caused the starter to run for some n number of minutes, hours??? Well, let's see how bad it is. Hmmm... After taking it apart and seeing the brushes
are slag, the commutator is burned beyond repair, he say, new armeture, burshes and carrier plate time! Well, our intrepid sailor gets into Georgetown, no big worries. Anchor
, have a drink!
Over the next few days, he communes with auto repair, marine
supply and of course the ever useful net. No spare starters, no spare armatures. He does run into a guy named Scott who says he has an old starter with a broken pinion gear
, maybe you can use my armature? Hmmm. Big Bendix starter, little Hitachi starter, I don't think that will work! So, No worries! How much to order a starter and have it shipped here? No problem mon, just $460. OUCH, But the starters only go for $180 from the dealer, in the states. Hey, I know! Cliff and Orma are going up to Canada
maybe they can bring me one back with them when they return.
Well, Cliff being the kind generous ever giving soul he is says, no problem! I'll just pick one up for you and bring it back with me! He runs into the dealer from Hades, he keeps promising the starter will there tomorrow, but we all know tomorrow is always a day away. On the day of his flight, Cliff drives down to Seattle
to pick up the start, that they have guaranteed will be there that morning at 9:00 o'clock. Well 9:00 no starter. It is on the UPS truck, well find the UPS truck and get it from him. Well, at 10:30, no truck, Cliff has to go. He has a 1:30 flight. Well, the next morning, Cliff calls the dealer. Hey! Good news, the starter is here! Not good news, I am in Miami Florida
. Hmmm... We'll ship the starter to you, but we don't know anything about shipping
to no Bahamas! No problem, just send it, we'll take care of it down here
Now, if you have cruised outside of the states, you know that getting things from the states can be a LOGISTICAL NIGHTMARE!!! It is NOT simple. So, Cliff gets to Georgetown and tells Keith about the starter, Keith says, ohhh... Well.... it's only going to be money
The next couple off days, Keith goes to the market, Any UPS, No, not here. Cliff calls dealer, gets tracking number, starter is in Nassau. Hmm, Well, calls nassau. Yes, your starter is here, but you have to pay duties, freight is owed and it cost extra to ship it down to you in Georgtown. How much is that, oh, you owe use $300 more dollars and the starter is your's. I, err Keith, says, I already paid $200 for the starter, I thought it WAS mine. Nope $75 duty $35 stamp tax, $190 for expedited shipping and if you want us to put it on a plan to Georgtown it will cost another $50. How do you get it here otherwise, On the slow mail boat that goes via china
. When does the boat leave? Today, put it on the boat! Well, the next day, Keith goes to the agent. I am looking for my starter, hmmm... not here, call Georgetown. Oh, your starter is here, the boat didn't leave yesterday, it left the day before yesterday. Oh, if you want us to put it on the plane, it is only another $50. No, sigh, put it on the boat. Next week comes, the starter arrives... It is, the right one! Goes in in 10 minutes. So, what did this cost for the $180 hitachi starter that I could have gotten from a motor cycle shope for $90? I paid just around $500, not counting the cost of phone
calls ($1 per minute, emails, $5 per day) and fuel
running back and forth. How about the time 3 weeks in Georgetown. That was the time Keith was going to spend in Abacos.
Now, spares is a personal thing. One has to do what one thinks is best. I do carry an extra engine, and after cruising for a while, I am certainly glad I do. I have had filters clog (just once!) The starter debacle! I thought I lost
an alternator once (it was just the wire needed tightening, see above
) and had the engine overheat a couple of times. Each time, it has never been threatening, I just turned on the other engine. I suppose I could have made the trip from Georgetown all the way up to North Carolina
on one engine. But, it would have put a lot of stress on me knowing that the engine I had left HAD to work. Definately not worth $500 to me. It would have taken all the FUN out of my trip up through the Exumas
and Abacos. It would have meant I would have gone over to the states at Cape Canaveral instead of Charelston. That would have added at least a week of time. Which would have been one week less time enjoying the Bahamas.
As for big electrical
component, Starter weighs in at... 6lbs, the generator
is about the same. Starters in the states cost $180 dealer retail! Alternators about $320. Both of these can be had from discount houses for about half that price
, if you shop. For me, experience says, get it now. Getting stuff outside the state is OFTEN a BIG challenge. Get it cost effectively is even MORE of a challenge. We decided not to do the rest of the Caribbean
because there are some critical things we did not have spare for. Like:
Extra RO membrane
Extra pump for watermaker
Extra water pressure pump
Extra starter (get armature for old starter)
Extra portable bilge pump
Extra keyboard for computer
(wouldn't recommend this for anyone else)
So it is still up to each individual capitan to decide what is best for their own boat. All I do is try to share my experiences and give folks some thing to consider that may have slipped their minds. Oh, all those spares above are for stuff that is new on the boat. Between wear and user error, it is just amazing the things that break.
I shirkwrap my spares, no issues so far. Tools are another matter!!! Wish I could shrink wrap them too, but then I couldn't use them.
A turbo charger
is a type of super charger
. The only differnce is what drives the compressor
. "super chargers" ostensibly are driven by a belt hung off the crank. Turbo charger use "waste" exhaust
gasess. A "super charger" will spool faster and give much better off the line performance. Once a turbo is spooled up it will provide the same boost as a "super charger" with no loss at the crank. Each has to be optimized for the expected run conditions to maximize performance.
I believe the only place a miata would stand a chance against a 930 turbo Porsche is at an autocross. Those courses are very short, narrow and twisty. If the supercharger is dialed in, and the suspension is tweaked and new brakes are put in, I would not bet against the Miata. Heck, I wouldn't bet against a mini-Cooper. But on any road track, a miata would be toast. I have only done 3 drivers ed events
at tracks (twice at Laguna Seca, once at Watkins Glen) I would be willing to drive against ANY driver in a miata at either of those courses.
So, never monday, if I understand you correctly a supercharger is a substitue for displacement? The multipier has been used by many different racing bodies to try to equalize the advantage presented by turbocharging. It is only one of MANY factors that contributes to the run class of a particular auto. IF you look at the SCCA rules (I used to be a tech inspector for autocrosses in Riverside, back in my youth
Even raced formula Vs) most of the known/standard autos are given a particular class and only those vehicles really compete against one another. In the X class, which is as close to unlimitted as it gets, I think there are two categories, above and below 3.0L. There a turbocharger requires a multiplier of the displacement to arrive at the proper class. But, if we want to discuss this further, we should go over to Rennlist.com.