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Optimise Your Sailboat Upgrading Your Engine for Efficiency and Longevity

Articles and videos about boat restoration and maintenance.
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NBF
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Optimise Your Sailboat Upgrading Your Engine for Efficiency and Longevity

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Embarking on a journey to enhance the performance of my sailboat, I recently undertook the task of removing the aged BMC engine. As the captain of the Broadly Boating YouTube channel, I found it imperative to share the reasons behind this decision and shed light on the exciting upgrades ahead.

Embracing Change in 2022

As I sail into the year 2022, with the milestone of turning 51, I realised that my BMC engine might have outlived its usefulness. Dating back to a time possibly older than me, obtaining genuine replacement parts for this engine became a challenging task. Despite the availability of aftermarket components like lift pumps, the original MOG crankshafts were elusive.

In today's world, where planned obsolescence dictates the lifespan of products, relying on a 12-month guarantee for essential parts seems impractical. The BMC crankshaft, though available, provided a temporary fix in a world where longevity matters. Boats are meant for enduring journeys, and a mere one-year warranty on critical components didn't align with the longevity I sought.

Weighty Matters: Quarter of a Ton on a Sailboat

The BMC 1500, tipping the scales at approximately 186 kilograms, became a burden on my 27-ft sailboat. Coupled with the Bul Warner Velvet Drive direct drive gearbox, the engine contributed to nearly a quarter of a ton on board. In the realm of sailboats, where every ounce matters, this weight was not just a physical burden but also a hindrance to the boat's efficiency.

Considering the sailboat's modest size, a shift to a single-cylinder or a more compact twin-cylinder engine emerged as a logical choice. A smaller, lighter engine not only promises comparable performance but also aligns with the evolving needs of modern sailors.

Breaking Free from the Past: A New Engine Horizon

Having disassembled several engines in the past, I inspected the BMC engine and discovered wear on the crankshaft, a reminder of its age and usage. While it served admirably, the decision to part ways became evident. The thermostat housing incident during a challenging journey left a scar, reinforcing the need for an upgrade.

Opting to disassemble the old engine, I found new homes for its components. The cylinder head found its way to a friend, as did the rocker shaft. The rest was dismantled, with salvageable parts finding a second life online, ensuring the legacy of other BMC engines lives on.

Embracing Future Possibilities: A Hybrid Approach

The plan moving forward involves the acquisition of a single or twin-cylinder Yanmar engine, preferably a 2 GM from this century. With an eye on innovation, I entertain the idea of integrating a pancake motor, providing a potential pathway to electric propulsion. This hybrid approach combines the reliability of a diesel engine with the flexibility to transition to electric power when needed.

In conclusion, bidding farewell to the BMC engine marked a significant learning curve. The decision was not just about replacing an ageing engine but embracing a future where efficiency, weight considerations, and adaptability take precedence. Sail into the future with a lighter, more efficient engine that not only powers your boat but also aligns with the evolving needs of modern sailing.

Upgrade your sailboat, and let the winds of change carry you to new horizons.
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