Engine Envy

Jul 13, 2018 | Technical

A couple of months ago Clive Cameron mentioned he was considering getting a bigger engine for his H28 Rondo. I though it sounded like a good idea. When the wind is blowing from the southwest and the tide is running out it can take what seems for ever to get back up the Tamaki Estuary. In ideal conditions my own H28 Achernaries can get over five knots but when the wind is on the nose and it’s choppy we fall back to four knots. Not bad going though for an ancient Yanmar YSM12 but we struggle to keep up with H28 Monty Python! Anyway we are a sailboat.

Dale Felmingham (our Nelson coordinator) tells me that in Nelson most H28s have 20 to 30hp engines. The big engines go really well in an H28 – about 25hp is the max for one – anything over you don’t get the benefit from it as you are breaking hull speed and just dig a big hole as you go along. One can comfortable cruise at 6-6.5 knots and have plenty of extra power to use when necessary – strong winds, currents, getting out of trouble etc. In Nelson there are 4 H28’s with Yanmar 3Gm – 27 hp engines in them, one with a 25hp Daihatsu; 1 with a 21 Kubota, 1 with 20hp QM Yanmar.

Well it turns out that Clive has done more than consider installing a new diesel – he’s done it! And he’s not alone as Nigel Trickett has decided to replace his Yanmar YSE 12 on Vanadas with a bigger engine. I had to have a look! It turns out that the new engines are smaller, quieter, more powerful and lighter than the original 10 / 12 hp motors they replaced. I can’t get over how much spare room there is.

A Nanni 3 cylinder 21 hp (a marinised Kubota) is installed in Rondo. The fridge compressor is mounted in front. The Nanni comes with a sump pump which you can see on the left of the picture and all the parts you need to get access to service are mounted on the front of the engine.


A Yanmar 2 cylinder 18hp is installed in Vanadas


I was also intrigued by a new Bluewater “drip less” stern gland installed on Vanadas. Notice the water hose which goes to the stern gland from a tap on the raw water feed to the engine. This keeps the ceramic seal lubricated with water.

The engine in Achernaries was fully reconditioned 4 years ago, is running well and should have a few more years life yet. I guess it’ll be a while before I get my new engine. In the meant time we’ll get there in the end – keep a place near the BBQ for me.

Richard Legge – Achernaries