Hi everyone, we are looking for some guidance on an issue with the performance of our 1985 Catalina 36
She has a Yanmar
23 hp on which we recently changed filters, did full maintenance
, and also replaced the exhaust
elbows. She has been running great, much better than in recent memory, since the exhaust repairs
which we completed 2 1/2 weeks ago. Before she never got above 2600 rpm
, or well below; since then consistently 3000 or above when needed. Until yesterday...
My sailing partner had her out in 20-22 kt winds. No issues going out of the channel off our mooring
, but later motoring back directly into the teeth of the wind
, the engine
would lose rpm
rapidly to 1000 or less when put in forward. He'd put it in neutral, then put it back in gear
, it would go to normal forward rpm but then quickly drop off rapidly again. (the first time he did this, it operated normally for ten minutes before dropping down near idle, then the time spans became much shorter). He had to call a tow eventually given the conditions and the boat's location near shallows.
We are having a hard time assessing the potential issue - if any. Prop is clean (at least as of this morning, we thought last night that it was fouled perhaps but no signs of anything when I dove below and it turns by hand). Goes to 3000 rpm in neutral on the ball with no apparent issues. Could not test her off the ball yet meaningfully due to weather
today (other than 10 seconds in forward and reverse on the mooring), but we are perplexed as to what issue, if any, there may be. Is it possible my buddy pushed her too hard into the wind
? It was dead against the tide and the wind at a narrow channel entrance, and I'm wondering if it was simply too much load for our 10 year old 23. Or could it have been bad fuel
? (we were in the bottom 1/3 of the tank, but he saw, and I saw today, no signs of smoke or discharge or anything to suggest poor combustion). I'm not aware of any prop issue, and the bottom is fairly clean. We only use the motor
for 30-45 minutes max normally just to get in and out of our channel, and I assume that was true yesterday although I don't know when my buddy fired up the engine
Any guidance would be appreciated! What could have happened and what should we check? Or do we just give it a run and see if in fact there is no ongoing issue. Thank you!