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Old 10-09-2020, 17:19   #1
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back up Tranny??

I have been offered a rebuilt Paragon tranny & extra rebuild kit for $600. The price seems great but how many of us are actually cruising with, or wishing they are cruising with, a complete second unit as they wander the seas? It is the same unit I have on there now for my Perkins 4.326. I could get it into the v-berth of our '74 Trintella IV we are prepping for retirement wandering.
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Old 10-09-2020, 17:31   #2
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Re: back up Tranny??

That's the kind of thinking that leads to a boat that sails like an utter slug.

Make sure the current transmission is ok, leave the "spare" at at home. You'll be glad you did on your first light air leg, or when you make it to the next port before dark and don't have to spend the night flopping around waiting for daylight.
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Old 10-09-2020, 17:53   #3
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Re: back up Tranny??

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
That's the kind of thinking that leads to a boat that sails like an utter slug.

Make sure the current transmission is ok, leave the "spare" at at home. You'll be glad you did on your first light air leg, or when you make it to the next port before dark and don't have to spend the night flopping around waiting for daylight.
How heavy is the transmission? A case of beer? Sure that extra weight wonít make a difference in how the boat sails.
Personally I would spend the money on something else and enjoy the sails.

Good luck!.
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Old 10-09-2020, 18:24   #4
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Re: back up Tranny??

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How heavy is the transmission? A case of beer? Sure that extra weight wonít make a difference in how the boat sails.
Personally I would spend the money on something else and enjoy the sails.

Good luck!.
As I said, it's the kind of thinking.

Sure, the transmission is not all that heavy, but what next? Maybe a spare water pump, exhaust elbow? Both of those are more likely to fail. Before you know it you can be carrying a hundred kg of spares, just for the engine.

And changing a transmission over is most likely going to happen on the hard, when having the original repaired or the replacement shipped in are both likely options.

When I bought my boat the original owner confessed that he had let the boat become too heavy over time. Much of it was the same sort of "what if" hoarding of parts.

My boat is now 3 tons (or more) lighter and sails immeasurably better in all conditions, but light winds in particular.

This is the thin edge of the wedge and something monohull sailors in particular need to be wary of. (Most cat sailors seem to acutely aware of the problems of excess weight, a lead mono sailors should follow.)
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Old 11-09-2020, 06:14   #5
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Re: back up Tranny??

Good points, both of you. I don't plan to have a "home" or even port to stash the spare if the plan works out. The previous owner did indeed have thousands of pounds of tools, spares, and even useless broken stuff on board - every locker was full. I pulled off 4 of the same used broken water pumps, for example. She rose 3" or more when I emptied her. Yet, this narrow beamed Van DeStadt designed blue water boat sailed great even loaded. She was made to take weight at only 23,000 high and dry. I will have many spares, the question becomes of what.
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Old 11-09-2020, 06:35   #6
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Re: back up Tranny??

It has to be said, how often does a utility transmission go?
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Old 14-09-2020, 17:15   #7
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Re: back up Tranny??

Worst case it might make a nice anchor
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Old 14-09-2020, 17:51   #8
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Re: back up Tranny??

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Originally Posted by RonTown View Post
Good points, both of you. I don't plan to have a "home" or even port to stash the spare if the plan works out. The previous owner did indeed have thousands of pounds of tools, spares, and even useless broken stuff on board - every locker was full. I pulled off 4 of the same used broken water pumps, for example. She rose 3" or more when I emptied her. Yet, this narrow beamed Van DeStadt designed blue water boat sailed great even loaded. She was made to take weight at only 23,000 high and dry. I will have many spares, the question becomes of what.
RonTown, Lots of people have tranny problems. More I think if they motor all the time. But we haven't. Ours is 25 years old with 6500 hours on it and we've had no problems, but we rarely (rarely) motor. Most of our hours are for charging batteries.

If your tranny goes out you will have to get to a port the change it or fix it anyhow. It might never happen, but if you take it you will have the pain of carrying it 24hs a day, 365 days a year, for how many years? My theory is I'd rather suffer on one occasion every 10-20 years than have to deal with it all the other days of my life.

BTW, when we installed our new engine (and tranny) I tried to order a bunch of parts. The dealer who sold me the motor said, "Fred, I can sell you these parts you want, but you'll wind up carrying them forever and probably never use them. Just go without them and buy the ones you ever find out you need when you need them". It was good advice. I've never needed any of the ones I wanted to buy, and they were all heavy and expensive, and by now they'd be well rusted.
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Old 14-09-2020, 18:49   #9
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Re: back up Tranny??

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Originally Posted by RonTown View Post
I have been offered a rebuilt Paragon tranny & extra rebuild kit for $600. The price seems great but how many of us are actually cruising with, or wishing they are cruising with, a complete second unit as they wander the seas? It is the same unit I have on there now for my Perkins 4.326. I could get it into the v-berth of our '74 Trintella IV we are prepping for retirement wandering.

Hello RonTown


Welcome to the machine


From my point of view I have had many transmissions, transfer cases, clutches, right angle drives, and other gear assemblies fail on land. I think the largest and most complex one I have repaired myself was the five-speed (plus reverse) transmission on a tandem-axle IH dump truck I once owned. The chief difficulty was removing it from the vehicle as it weighed over 200 pounds. I recall that first gear had sheared from its clutch requiring replacement, along with various bearings, seals, and gaskets.


Sailboat transmissions are lightweight and simple and I frankly cannot understand why any mechanically minded person would pay a marina to work on them. All you really need are a couple of end wrenches, parts, and patience. Well, maybe a puller, a snap-ring tool, and a feeler gauge.


But the advice upthread is good. Typically a sailboat transmission will more or less last for the life of the engine to which it is attached. If the engine is approaching overhaul based on hours, years, or condition, or if it has been overhauled/replaced but the transmission has not, then perhaps some preventative maintenance is in order.


Again, to the point upthread, if you have a doubtful transmission installed and a new one in hand, why not swap them before the journey and discard the questionable one rather than tote them both along?



If not well there's no point in carrying the case as they rarely fail, just bring the bearings and seals, and maybe the clutches, and figure on overhauling what you have rather than swapping in something else.
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Old 14-09-2020, 19:49   #10
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Re: back up Tranny??

If its a sailboat the extra tranny is not needed.

If it's a power boat, maybe.

If your of that sexual persuasion, a spare tranny might come in handy.

I have no use for a spare tranny on a boat.

Thx-Ace
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Old 14-09-2020, 20:09   #11
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Re: back up Tranny??

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If your of that sexual persuasion, a spare tranny might come in handy.

I have two nephews who are transmen who are in remarkably stable romantic relationships, one with a man and one with a woman. I am not certain that they would see the humor in your post.
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Old 16-09-2020, 17:32   #12
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Re: back up Tranny??

OK - thanks all! Asked and answered and I will let him keep the spare tranny. The one I have works fine. I have a back up clutch plate and will hang onto that. Regarding back up parts in general, the story above of old rusted stuff never used may very well be right on target. My biggest challenge in the hours of sorting parts from junk is trying to tell what was new in the locker 20-40 years ago and has simply sat and deteriorated beyond use (even as a temp back up), what might still work and be worth keeping, and what to toss. I am leaning more and more toward tossing 80% of it. Some stuff - like the complete fuel injection pump new in bag, the old Luke reversible prop with a couple broken teeth to repair, spools of marine grade electrical wire, and general wear parts - I will hold onto. that is probably still 400lbs of crap but hey, she has storage everywhere thanks to being an old school genius design and layout.
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Old 16-09-2020, 17:47   #13
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Re: back up Tranny??

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonTown View Post
OK - thanks all! Asked and answered and I will let him keep the spare tranny. The one I have works fine. I have a back up clutch plate and will hang onto that. Regarding back up parts in general, the story above of old rusted stuff never used may very well be right on target. My biggest challenge in the hours of sorting parts from junk is trying to tell what was new in the locker 20-40 years ago and has simply sat and deteriorated beyond use (even as a temp back up), what might still work and be worth keeping, and what to toss. I am leaning more and more toward tossing 80% of it. Some stuff - like the complete fuel injection pump new in bag, the old Luke reversible prop with a couple broken teeth to repair, spools of marine grade electrical wire, and general wear parts - I will hold onto. that is probably still 400lbs of crap but hey, she has storage everywhere thanks to being an old school genius design and layout.
Yep, toss or sell the 80%. Then, a month later, toss or sell 80% of the remaining 20%. Then you will only have 1.6% too much junk on board.

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Old 20-09-2020, 14:34   #14
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Re: back up Tranny??

Years ago when I was a live aboard cruiser, I remember someone saying, "You can tell a new cruiser by the second boat--full of spare parts--being towed behind.
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