New Owner challenges

Oct 22, 2014
16,150
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Well I'm a New to Me owner of a 1974 Cal 35 Cruiser (pilothouse style) sailing vessel. It came at a good price but with deferred maintenance. I am excited with the acquisition and the opportunity to get my fingers dirty cleaning and remodeling this boat for my own use. As a friend said on our first sail - "she has good bones. just needs a little sprucing and care."

One of the deferred maintenance issues is the engine. I'm not a diesel mechanic. At least not yet. One difficulty for a new guy - how do you find a responsible mechanic to resolve the issues currently beyond your experience. I see in the blogs and comments the complaints about marina mechanics and costs. So where can a person turn to find a responsible and reliable individual. I know when you find him you nurture the relationship. For a new boat owner it feels like stomping through a mine field.

I just had a negative experience which lasted 3 months (2 months of lost sailing) and a 100% cost which solved 60% of the identified problems. Ended in boat less with out of town guests not enjoying the promised cruise.

So I pose to my new fellow boat owners, where's the Angies List like resources to help the new boat owner through the first season.

I know I'm going to be ok, but I feel for the next guy who hires the charlatan who told me he was an experienced diesel mechanic.

John S
S/V Hadley
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,914
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
Cangrats on the new boat.

I don't know what your occupational or hobby background is, but one of the strongest recommendations is to get yourself some good literature on diesel engine maintenance.

A good overall read is Nigel Caulder's "Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual".

Moving up in detail would be a SELOC manual on your particular engine if it's available.

The ultimate book would be the factory shop manual for your particular engine.

Also look for any diesel engine courses in your area.

Don't be offset by the fact that these books will cost several $100 but will be paid back many, many times over as soon as you start on your own maintenance. i.e. oil changes, filter changes, belts, minor trouble shooting, etc, etc.

For the your immediate needs, before you can get into the reading, look for a parts supplier for your particular engine and see if they have a maintenance department. Do not consider a marina based grease monkey without credentials or you can say goodbye to both your wallet and your engine. And the horror stories you'll read here about slip shod service ........ all true :eek:.
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,960
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
John,

Congratulations.

It would help us a lot more to help you if you told us what engine you have.

Often, issues can be resolved with from the internet in addition to finding the right mechanic, although DIY is partly the surname of this forum. :)
 
Jul 21, 2013
333
Searching for 1st sailing boat 27-28, 34-36 Channel Islands, Marina Del Rey
A good diesel mechanic would be you!
Get a service manual, post lots of pictures and lets get to work.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,150
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Thanks all for the prompt response.

I have a 48 or some books state 50hp Perkins 4107. Boat was built in 1974, so engine likely same age. I have found an engine shop manual and a Cal boat manual online. I purchased the Good Old Boat text and read most of it to get an overall understanding prior to buying the boat.

Hobbies. Sports to include sailing small boats, some wood work, electrical repairs, auto servicing, fishing, golf, hunting equipment repairs. So no specific diesel experience but not afraid to try. I have developed a basic understanding of the engine and the systems. I'm feeling good about bringing the questions to the forum.

Engines primary issues. Old spaghetti looking wiring, corrosion on the connections, think that's reason for on water starting problem. Over heating, not sure where but think I have a leak in the closed water/coolant system. I found the coolant tank on the front of the system empty after my last 20 minute use. The engine hoses look old. Suspect many are original equipment. After the last use observed some faint copper looking fluid spray on a white step ladder in the port side lazzeret next to the engine. Need to tell you the engine sits in my boat facing the stern. I have the vdrive transmission coupled so the prop shaft runs back under the motor. It's going to be interesting repacking the stuffing box.

The gone marina mechanic said he replaced some gaskets on the low pressure side over the fuel system. I found some small copper washers and a small nut on the engine and on the floor when I looked at the engine after the final repair. The nut size leades me to guess it came from an electrical connection. Did not see any loose wires. Suspect I'll get a surprise sometime. The washers were a little larger than a dime. Put them in my washer box for now. May be needed.

Well that's me for now. Thanks for the anticipated guidance.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,150
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Ralph
I found the Nigel book on line, but the Perkins engine is not covered by SELOC. We have a Harbor Marine store near the marina. It will be on my agenda during my next boat visit.
Thanks

I'll take photos on my next trip. Ideas on how to make a task list for dealing with the motor. What to tackle first. I need a system to apply to this adventure.

The engine runs. It has good raw water flow. I installed a raw water screen filter and it is working to keep the gunk out of the system. The heating issue is current priority. This leads me to the heat exchanger, which I suspect is the brass looking cylinder on the transmission end of the engine lying transverse the engine.

Or should I tackle the hoses? When I start replacing the hoses water and any coolant will flow to the bilge? what do I do to protect against trapping air in the system? Manual says there are bleed screws on the engine. I've located 1 but not 3.

So before I adventure what are your thoughts on first things first. Oh I should add, what about the right tools. Perkins being from the UK I'm guessing I need a basic set of metric tools. Suggestions? I have SAE sets of sockets but no metric box wrenches. and of course I have a couple of the dreaded vice grips for last resort issues.
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,914
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
I'll take photos on my next trip. Ideas on how to make a task list for dealing with the motor. What to tackle first. I need a system to apply to this adventure.

John,

From the drift of your reply, you're going to be your own best diesel mechanic. Sure you haven't been posting here for years :naughty:, sounds like it ?

If I can suggest, present one item per posting to get the best response from this crowd. One picture, 1,000 words .............. you know the old saying.

As far as a list right here and now, questionable. Several ways of looking at it. If you're using the boat, what's the worst thing that could fail out there and cause damage ...... coolant hoses, fuel hoses ? your best guess. On the other hand, what looks the worst right now .......... electrical connections, hoses again, cooling system ? Over on your third hand, what's quick and easy just to get them out of the way ........... belts, filters, leaks ?

Sorry this doesn't give any concrete answers but may give you a possible approach to your engine overhaul.

What I did get from your post is that the cooling issue is probably your #1 priority at this time. Send the following info in one post and I'm sure you'll be inundated with replies as engines seem to be a fetish around here:

- what indicates the hi temp - alarm, temp gauge, IR gun ?

- what's in your sea water pump - broken impeller, loss of vanes ?

- what is your sea water inlet temp, outlet temp. Use IR gun with reserve ? ? ?

- what is your fresh water temp inlet, outlet temp. Again IR gun.

Include anything and everything else related to your cooling system, both sea and fresh water.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,150
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
No this is new postings for me. I started reading the forums last October. I'll take your observation as a compliment. Maybe I absorbed a few things in the past several months.

Thanks for the tips. Looks like I'll make the trip next week and get started with your suggestions on organizing my plan. I'll take photos and we will see where it leads.

Thanks again.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,150
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I found an in box Perkins Atomiser #487413640 in the stuff left on the boat. Looks new. I've looked on line but cannot identify if it is usable on my 4107 engine. Anyone know? Do I save it for a rainy day or sell on eBay?
 

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Oct 22, 2014
16,150
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Ralph
I am focusing on the temp issue right now.

- what indicates the hi temp - alarm, temp gauge, IR gun ?
Before I took possession of the boat the owners mechanic installed a new gauge. sea trial showed temps of 155 at mid rpm (1200 to 1600) and 175 at 2400 to 2600 rpm - where the engine seamed to run smoothest and the 3 blade prop appeared to max out hull speed. When the gauge exceeded 220 I was seriously concerned. Used an IR Gun on the pipe near the expansion tank (for coolant) injector side of motor. There is a T with one side a sensor that runs back to a sender unit on the other end of the engine and a hose that goes to the tank (I think). Temps were 200 and 195 running but ran up to 230 after engine was shut down. I temped the exhaust (asbestos covered pipe) pipe and it was 210 on the engine side and 160 on the water side. The top of the engine block ranged from 195 to 160 as I moved from front to back on the bolts holding the injectors.

Alarm sounded when gauge exceeded the 210 temps during my 10 minute return to slip.

- what's in your sea water pump - broken impeller, loss of vanes ?
Prior to owning the boat former owner had diesel mechanic replace the sea water impeller. Have old impeller and receipts to show work completed (Feb 2015) Good volume of water out the exhaust. Temps on the raw water pipes are in the 60's. Boat is in Everett. Cold PacNW Sound water. No blockages observed in raw water side.

- what is your fresh water temp inlet, outlet temp. Again IR gun.
I need to temp these sites and will get back to you. What temps should I be seeing at these locations on the engine?
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,914
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
sea trial showed temps of 155 at mid rpm (1200 to 1600) and 175 at 2400 to 2600 rpm - where the engine seamed to run smoothest and the 3 blade prop appeared to max out hull speed. When the gauge exceeded 220 I was seriously concerned.
You'll need more specific info from a Perkins owner as I can only speak from a Yanmar view point. Hopefully a Perkins owner will jump in here.

Sounds like your thermostat is a little worn if you're getting that much temp. range between mid and max RPM. This is where the shop manual would be helpful.

Alarm sounded when gauge exceeded the 210 temps during my 10 minute return to slip.
What was the RPM when you hit 210 on the gauge and would the temp decline when you went back to mid (12-1600) RPM


- what is your fresh water temp inlet, outlet temp. Again IR gun.
I need to temp these sites and will get back to you. What temps should I be seeing at these locations on the engine?
This is where a shop manual would tell volumes ?

One other thing I would question is what is the raw water temp outlet like ?

With this much info floating around, it would be useful to assemble all temperature readings in a chart to see what does and doesn't add up.
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,914
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
I found an in box Perkins Atomiser #487413640 in the stuff left on the boat. Looks new. I've looked on line but cannot identify if it is usable on my 4107 engine. Anyone know? Do I save it for a rainy day or sell on eBay?
I can only presume an "atomiser' is what is commonly referred to as an injector. I'd lock it away in a safety deposit box and not trust anyone with the key.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,150
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Yes. I believe the USA term is injector. Perkins being of British design identifies it as an 'atomiser'. What I do not know are all of the injectors the same? The manual information I have for the Perkins 4107 uses an alpha-numeric code to id the part. The box I have (shown in the image I attached) only shows numbers to id the part. Hope someone can tell me if this one is compatible with my engine.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,150
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Hi fellow Sailors.
Just got back from boat. Two things happened. I met the parts person 'Jay' for Perkins Pacific Marine.
They are described as:
Perkins Pacific is a master Perkins diesel engine distributor providing full service Perkins engine sales, parts, service, and technical support.

And I believe I identified the overheating issue with me Perkins 4107. I filled the header tank with water. I started the engine. I then approached the running engine with a flashlight looking for leaks. When I got to the fan belt the engine was throwing a spray of coolant in my face. I took it as a sign. On closer exam I could see water dripping out of the area of the water pump. I looked at the shop manual and a defective water pump was one of the identified issues for overheating. So I tried to locate a replacement water pump in Everett but no luck. Contacted my new best friend and Jay said they had one on the shelf. So had it shipped to my home. Now with the defective one removed I can feel the wobble in the pulley and a gritty feeling as I rotate the pulley

So next step is to get the pulley pulled from the old pump. Clean it up. Press the pulley on the new pump. Attach the gaskets to the pump and then install the pump back on the boat.

Couple of questions. When I refill the system should I put just water in it to test for any leaks then flush the system and put a 50/50 mix of coolant? Or just put the coolant mix in the system? Is there a way to flush the system now that I have the pump removed? Did not see much in the way of scale. But a fair amount of rusty water was present ( now in my bilge). When I fill the header tank is there a bleeding procedure or will the air in the system bleed it self to the header coolant tank?

Where is the lower drain to empty the coolant. I want to be affirmed that I can drain any coolant left in the engine before I start adding fresh new coolant.

Thanks for any help. Pictures to follow if I got any good Images.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,150
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Hi Call owners. Still working on my 4107. I identified that coolant was leaking from the water pump. So removed the pump. Left a question on the 'engine and propulsion' forum about the pump assembly.

I read that I need to flush rust and scale from the engine.

Now I wonder what is the best way to go about this task ?

I have the pump off so there is a way for the water to pour out into the bilge. Not sure where to put the water into the system. Will the open pump face be enough to get water to fully flush through the system?

Thanks for your help and ideas.
 
Mar 30, 2013
684
Allied Seawind MK II 32' Oologah Lake, Oklahoma
You might rinse out some of it that way but the only way to get any serious flushing action that I know of will be to reassemble everything and be able to run it under pressure much like doing a backflush on a car engine.
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,960
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
One of the things you're finding is that SOURCES of materials become very important, once you've figured out what they are to begin with!:eek:

Pump source: www.depcopump.com THE place to go.

All things boats: Maine Sail's website http://www.marinehowto.com/

Google is your friend in searching out Perkins info.

www.cruisersforum.com has a lot of UK based folks, good source for Perkins info.

Engine electrical info: clean up the wires and the connections, draw wiring diagrams FIRST, before & after really helps

Overheating: as you've found out rw pump, then HX. HX sources:

Heat Exchangers 101: Sources for replacement

http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,6920.0.html

Some good links are also here, not specific to our Catalina 34s but good for everyone:

http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,6437.0.html

Good luck, sounds like you got a good start on things.