Brian Dodds is the first to admit, that he probably didn’t really have to change his Yanmar 3GM30 Saildrive engines. But after logging over 10,000 hours, he decided to err on the side of caution and
installed a fresh pair of Yanmar 3YM30 engines and Yanmar SD20 Saildrives.
Brian and Jan have called their 1998 Chinchogan 40 catamaran their permanent home for the past six years. For six months of the year they do invaluable volunteer work in Vanuatu with Pacific Yacht Ministries.
The cat, named Another Angel, ferries medical teams to the many remote island communities, bringing essential medical, dental and other specialists along with medical supplies to these people.
“Even though we provide our boat and work as volunteers, we work to a strict timetable to make best use of the time resources on offer from our wonderful medical teams,” Brian said. “Over a four month period, we and one other boat do 21,000 medical treatments.” “For most of the time we cruise under sail, but when there is no wind or we need to get in and out of some of the very tricky islands to make a landing, we rely upon the Yanmar engines. If it is wet and raining, the engines are used as gen sets for power.
Of course, spending so much time in remote locations comes with its challenges. Technical support for the Yanmar engines has been provided by Minards Diesel in Newcastle. Informed advice and the right parts have always been supplied by Minards, irrespective of where Another Angel is operating.
“We bought Another Angel in 2003 when the engines had 4,000 hours up,” Brian Dodd said. “Since we’ve had the boat we have done regular servicing with oil and filters and made sure that we’ve used clean fuel.”
“When the engines ticked over to 10,000 hours we got to thinking that for security and peace of mind it was time for a re-power. In car terms, this is equivalent to 600,000 km!”
“Even though the engines had not given us any trouble, we didn’t want to wait for something to go wrong first. Our work doesn’t allow us to have any down time.”
Neither engine had ever had the head removed. The starboard engine was not using any oil, but the port engine was using about 1 litre of oil every 60 hours of operation.
After discussing their situation with Minards Diesel, it was decided to remove the 3GM30 (27hp) engines and their SD20 Saildrives. These were replaced with two of the new 3YM30 (29hp) and SD20 Saildrives as complete power packs.
The engine swap was arranged and timed to perfection when Another Angel came back to Australia. The old engines came out easily and the new ones slotted straight back in without any need for modification.
The upshot of the Yanmar engine swap is that the new Yanmar’s deliver an additional 2 hp to give Another Angel an extra 1 knot of speed when under power.
“We could no be happier with Yanmar,” said Brain Dodds. “We see plenty of other boats with Yanmar power when we are out in the Pacific and rarely if ever see any problems. Our experience has been first rate.”