Catamaran ready for big adventures with new Yanmar common rail engines

Dream Catcher on the water
Dream Catcher on the water

The upgrade of a stylish, custom-made catamaran has been a great success thanks to her powerful new Yanmar engines and the skill of the marine engineers who installed them.

Two years ago Des Caling took ownership of the beautiful 48-foot Grainger catamaran, SV Dream Catcher, which was built on the Gold Coast in 2000.

Des wants to build up enough experience to sail Dream Catcher to some of the Pacific Islands, Western Australian coast and even on some ocean crossings. In order to do this he decided to enhance her cruising ability and remote capabilities.

Along with the new Yanmar marine engines, the improvements he commissioned included new electronics, backup satellite communications, high quality solar panels and batteries with 1000 amp hours capacity.

Marine engine installation experts, Moore Marine in Cleveland, Brisbane, guided Des when it came to replace the engines. The decision was made to install a pair of new Yanmar 4JH80 (80 horsepower) common rail diesel engines.

Moore Marine is an authorised sales and service dealer and preferred installer of Yanmar Marine engines through exclusive distributor Power Equipment.

The Dream Catcher already had 50 hp Yanmar 4JHA Series engines, which made the installation easier because the new, more powerful and fuel-efficient 4JH80 engines had the same footprint as the previous ones.

Yanmar 4JH80 engine
Yanmar 4JH80 engine

However, Des says, the skill and knowledge that Moore Marine brought to the job made all the difference.

“Moore Marine did an unbelievable job. Bruce Moore mapped out a proposal to lift out the old engines without damaging any of the interior and without cutting the hull or deck,” Des says.

In order to preserve the American white oak interior, it was necessary to carefully plan and execute all movements of the engines, both while removing the old ones and installing the new engines.

The new 2-litre, four-cylinder Yanmar 4JH80 engines deliver a maximum output of 58.8 kW (80 mhp) at a rated speed of 3200 rpm. They meet EPA Tier 3 emission compliance and come with a 2+3 year extended warranty.

They were matched to new SD60 sail drives, and Des had the boat computer-modelled for a custom propeller match.

“Dream Catcher has run as she should from the very first water test with the new engines, with no changes or rework necessary,” he says.

Yanmar has built innovative, reliable engines for 100 years. Its aim is to provide engines that are best in class not only for power, but also for low noise, emission levels and fuel efficiency.

His new Yanmar 4JH80 engines confirm this for Des. He says the fuel efficiency of Yanmar’s common rail diesel engines was one of the main reasons he stayed with the brand and the new engines are quieter than the old engines.

Yanmar 4JH80 in the engine room
Yanmar 4JH80 in the engine room

“There is a significantly noticeable difference in the saloon with engine noise when underway,” he says.
“And coupled with the electronic governor and fuel flow meters, they are a particularly good engine to find the ‘sweet spot’ on your vessel.”

Des says the 10.5-tonne Grainger will easily do 10 knots with the Yanmars at around the 3000 rpm mark, while he can achieve 8 knots with engine speeds in the 2400-2800 rpm range.

This means Dream Catcher can cover the nautical miles when the breeze doesn’t want to help and it is easy to cross bars.

As a cruising assist option, one of the 4JH80s can run in a motor/sail combination at around 1600 rpm. In this setting, Dream Catcher can travel 6 knots and fuel consumption is less than 0.5 litres/hour.

Des says he is completely satisfied with both his new engines and the job that Moore Marine did installing them.

“In my experience, the difference between a good and a bad engine installation can be a few thousand dollars but the potential problems a short time down the track can cost you much more than that.

“The Yanmars are great engines, however using Moore Marine to have them installed made a big difference, because they went the extra yards.”