Yanmar at work in retirement

Boaters rarely come more dedicated to the Yanmar brand than Geoff Tickle. Following a 23 year career selling Yanmar marine and industrial diesel engines, Geoff retired to enjoy cruising aboard his Yanmar 6LPA-STP2 powered cruiser.

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Throughout their lives, both Geoff and his wife Brenda, have been avid boaties. As children they grew up in boating families that frequently went boating on weekends and holidays. Geoff and Brenda Tickle purchased their first boat together in the 1970’s.

Fast forward 30 years and several boats later, and Geoff and Brenda were thinking about a boat for their retirement years. Their boat of the day was a 26’ Honeymoon displacement cruiser with a Yanmar 4JH4 engine. With a cruise speed of 7.5 knots it was too slow.

In 2005, the brief for the new boat was to go bigger and purchase a hull suited to cruising up the coast of Queensland at a decent speed. It had to be easy for the retired couple to manage and of course economical to run.

“We thought that the Fairway 36 was an ideal boat for us,” Geoff Tickle said.

“However when we were looking to purchase there was a two year waiting list on a new Fairway hull. While we were searching around we came across “Sanuk” for sale at Sanctuary Cove.”

“Sanuk” is a Fairway 36, a big and beamy displacement cruiser which was built on the Gold Coast in 1998. “Sanuk” is a Thai name which translated into English means “fun”.

“The only down side with “Sanuk” was that it didn’t have a Yanmar engine in the engine room,” said Geoff.

With the original 225 hp engine on board, it was decided to use the boat with this engine for a few years. That was until 2009 when Geoff Tickle decided the time was right to repower the boat with a Yanmar 6LPA-STP2 matched to a Yanmar KM50A transmission.

“There was never any doubt about what brand of engine I was going to use on board “Sanuk”,” Geoff said.

“Through all my years of working with the Yanmar brand, I knew just how good these engines are. I also knew that the Yanmar 6LPA-STP2 was also being fitted as the engine of choice to the latest Fairway 36 hulls because the performance was significantly better with the extra power.”

Working in with his local Yanmar Dealer, Geoff Tickle stripped out the engine room and started from fresh. The engine bearers were slightly modified to accept the new Yanmar marine diesel engine.

The Yanmar 6LPA-STP2 is a sophisticated, true hi-performance and well proven package. It is direct injected with mechanical governor equipped turbocharger with intercooler. This straight 6 cylinder engine pumps out 315mhp at 3800 rpm at the flywheel. The 4-valve per cylinder engine boasts a 4.2 litre displacement for sustained torque through the mid rev range while still offering an impressive power-to-weight advantage coming in with a dry weight of only 408kgs without the transmission.

With “Sanuk” back on the water the transformation in performance has been nothing short of astounding; more power, lighter, smaller and lower fuel consumption. Even on the most fundamental of parameters, outright speed, the Yanmar is a clear winner.

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With the Yanmar ticking over at 3400 rpm the cruise speed of 15 knots is a comfortable pace. At wide open throttle the hull is good for 20 knots, a level of performance which is comforting to have on tap when a storm is approaching and the next anchorage needs to be reached in a hurry.

Interestingly, at the same fuel burn rate as the old engine, “Sanuk” is now 3 knots quicker with the Yanmar in the engine room. Three knots may not sound like much but over a coastal trip where anchorages are typically 50 Nm to 60 Nm apart, the extra speed can reduce the time at sea by up to 2 hours.

Having now logged 750 hours since the 2009 repower, Geoff Tickle has meticulously maintained a detailed fuel consumption log.

Pottering around Moreton Bay with the dinghy in tow and the grandchildren on board, the fuel burn averages around 11 litres per hour at 9 knots. On the coastal run when the throttle is opened up and the hull speed is lifted to 15 knots the fuel consumption averages just 15 litres per hour.

The real test of fuel consumption came in 2012 when Geoff and Brenda Tickle embarked on a three month cruise north. Over the journey they travelled approximately 800 Nm and used 2200 litres of fuel while clocking up exactly 100 hours on the Yanmar 6LPA-STP2. Cruising speed was between 12 and 15 knots depending on the currents.

With all the data computed the fuel burn equates to 2.75 litres per Nm or 22 litres per hour. Geoff rates this as “very economical” for a 36 foot boat weighing around 10 tonnes and covering an extended voyage at this speed. It also meant that each anchorage along the coast could be reached in a weather window of 5 to 6 hours.

“I think that you would be hard pressed to find a more economical combination than the Fairway 36 hull powered by a Yanmar diesel engine.”

“When at sea, engine reliability is the most important “sea-safety factor”,” said Geoff Tickle.

“As a dedicated Yanmar person, I have seen first-hand that Yanmar is definitely the way to go.”