Sunday, 15 December 2013

Transplant complete

Look, honestly, what is there to say about an engine?

Here it is, arriving on the back of the truck, the same flatbed which took the other one away.

Waiting on the back of the truck

All right, I can't pretend I wasn't just a little bit excited. A new engine. Wow.

At 9 am,  Mohammed came by our berth to make sure we were ready to move and I asked him how he was (Nasilsiniz?). He flashed his lovely smile and said, "Bomba". My Turkish hasn't made much progress, and I obviously looked confused. "Strong", he said, in English, and flexed his biceps. When I checked in the dictionary, bomba translates literally as "the bomb". Young men. Where would we be without them? I think he might have been excited too.

Master "marinero" Ahmet guiding an engine-less Enki's 20 tons single-handed from berth to dock

We had a perfect day for it. Usually, so the old Marmaris hands say, you can take that more or less for granted in December, but not this year. There's been more flooding in the town, bigger hailstones ripping up canvas-work and just these past few days, more bitterly cold days in stretch than anyone can remember. There was snow in Fethiye last week, I heard. A cargo ship sank by the dockside in Rhodes harbour. Strange times. But as I say, we got lucky that day.

A mirror surface in the travel lift dock
We were in and out of the travel lift dock within an hour. Such a smooth operation, with Ishmail as the choreographer, directing the crane operator and the movements of his muscle team. The Yanmar is a 4JH4 HTE model developing 110 hp. It's 80 kg lighter than the Volvo, at 217 kg, and slightly smaller in bulk (it's only 4 cylinders instead of 5), so inserting it through the gap between the hard top and the binnacle (the wheel stand) was marginally easier than removing the Volvo by the same route. Marginally.

Alex cushions the hard-top edge against the pressure of the strap

In the bucket, without a scratch on the boat

Mohammed (in the red overalls in the photos above) and Mehmet (he's down in the companionway guiding the engine from the front) are the two young Turks who worked under Ishmail on Enki's engine for three days after it lowered into position. They are hotshots from Marlin Marine. Their work is meticulous. They are proud of what they do. You can tell that. But they're also obliging, they don't play music while they work and they always leave their boots on the dock, without being asked, ever. They spread protective covers everywhere inside the boat. There wasn't any place for me to go while they were on board - the weather turned bad, and there was no lolling about outside, so I found a spot in the saloon and stayed put - but I'd have them back any time.

They wouldn't do this in Australia

The engine's not got a lot to do for the next few months, but all the boxes will be ticked - very carefully. Alex opens the door from time to time to purr at it. It's less convenient than the Volvo in terms of routine owner maintenance. The oil filter and dipstick as well as the fuel filter are on the OTHER side of the engine, and whilst the Volvo sea water pump was idiotically designed to sit on top on the alternator, Yanmar put it underneath, almost out of sight. A different, yet still a silly design? Changing an impeller will largely be a do-it-by-feel exercise, not ideal at all, but then neither was the Volvo pump dripping salt water on to the alternator.

Back at our berth, adjusting engine alignment

New hoses to the siphon break

Meanwhile, the gourmet season is upon us. I'm not talking about Christmas, though there's that too in a smallish way. The produce which we can buy in Marmaris is bogglingly good. Today is Sunday, Beldibe market day. Good for persimmons, and these gorgeous pears which are so unlike the homogenous varieties grown for mass consumption back home. Pine mushrooms too.

Field and pine mushrooms fried with garlic, tomatoes, herbs and village bread

There was frost on the top of the hard-top again this morning and in the folds of the beanbag. The pontoon was a bit like a skating rink. But there are still boats coming and going. Someone once told us that in the northern hemisphere you should not consider wintering above the citrus line. But this year, the citrus is getting frost bite. Good to have the engine bedded down before Christmas, we think.

Not for the careless on the early morning trek to the ablution block

Think twice before lounging in this frosty bag

Christmas wrapping everywhere


  1. Oh, the 4JH raw water pump access! I had completely blocked out the memory! Oh well, aside from that little design curiosity I'm sure the new beastie will do you great.

    The produce looks great, too.

  2. Had the sea trial today - everything faultless, shaft alignment spot-on, absolutely no vibration in the engine, mechanic looked as pleased as we did. And the pears taste great too.

  3. We chose these same engines for our new powercat we are building. One of the reasons we chose them was because they were not common rail, as we are keen users of radio on board, and the common rail create a lot of "noise". Also they are simpler, with less electronics to go wrong. My husband, who in a past life was a mechanic, always does his own engine work, is a bit concerned about the impellor access also, but has purchased a "puller" which will work on the genuine impellors. He is hoping also by unscrewing 3 of the 4 screws, the cover will swing away, and with the use of mirrors, feel and the puller, the impellor change will not be such the nightmare it would seem. The test would be of course, at sea, on a dark and stormy night. Sounds like the install has been a success

    1. Hello Catherine, Thanks for your comment. We got the standard Yanmar screw and thread puller rather than the big impeller tool. In our previous boat, we had a Yanmar 55 hp engine (same engine block as its bigger brother) and did manage without too much trouble to change impellers in fairly rough conditions. The puller is essential. Some people have also suggested removed the whole water pump, changing the impeller and re-installing the pump. Good luck!

    2. We both read the Engine Swap and Fuel sections, and found them full of interesting information, for any one with interest in fuel problems, Volvo and/or Yanmar engines. Thanks Diana & Alex.