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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blown Engine in Santa Cruz, CA

Safely moored in Santa Cruz, CA.

Two nights ago we were underway from Morro Bay to San Francisco bucking head winds and building seas when all hell broke loose.

A terrible racket jolted me from my off watch snooze. Kathy being an attentive watch person immediately sprung into action to shut down the port diesel engine which was making the terrible sounds. I grogily headed for the cramped engine room to make a inspection, a real challenge to in rough seas with hot engine as you have to watch out for burns. While I was below Kathy started the engine briefly for me to evaluate the noise up close and personal. My immediate diagnosis based on the hammering noise was a connecting rod bearing failure. Likely prognosis: Major rebuild or replacement. We decided to tuck into Santa Cruz to further evaluate the engine problem and look at solutions. We arrived in Santa Cruz around sunrise amidst thick fog and dropped the anchor near the famous Santa Cruz pier. After a few hours sleep we headed into the harbor via dinghy to check our dockage options. Lucky for us a long end pier was available which would make for an easy one engine approach. We tied up without incident and went out to treat ourselves to a nice breakfast.

Next stop was a local diesel mechanic to arrange for a visit to the boat. Before tearing into the engine I wanted to be sure what we were dealing with. Unfortunately, the mechanics opinion was concurring and the engine would need to come out.

Today we are looking into sourcing a new engine as it has been our desire to upgrade the engines to the newer Yanmar 3YM30 30hp models. Since we don't want to lose our summer cruising season to a major project we intend to make this an incremental project and just replace one engine now and leave the transmissions and remaining engine for later if possible

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