How not to sell an engine; other engines; solar; etc

Yesterday a Yanmar rep came by the boat to try to sell me a 4JH5E engine.  I had previously contacted him about the 3JH5E, a smaller engine, but I guess he didn’t really want to sell me that.  I was happy to meet with the rep as I was expecting him to help me take some measurements, talk about the boat, and make some recommendations based on my needs and the boat.

Instead he didn’t know anything about boats, nor about engines from what I could tell.  I asked him if he thought it would be a big job for me to convert my exhaust from 2″ to 3″ — he didn’t know.  I asked him about nonstandard mounting options after I did some measuring and found the engine was probably a bit too tall with the standard on-engine mounts — he didn’t know.  I asked him if he thought cutting down my stringers would be a huge job — he didn’t know.  I figured, oh well, he’s a salesperson, so I guess I can’t ask him technical questions.  I asked him if he could put me in touch with mechanics who could help me answer my technical questions — he didn’t know.  I asked him how long it’d take to get an engine after I bought it from him — they don’t actually have any in stock.  How long to get one?  3-4 months, shipped at my expense from the Netherlands.  I asked him for ballpark price range, plus or minus S$5k.  He stared at me and blinked.  At that point I pretty much told him we were done talking and sent him on his way.  But not before he asked me to please take more precise measurements so I know if the engine will fit before I contact him again, so he doesn’t waste any more time.  Priceless.

Needless to say I am not nearly as interested in Yanmar engines as I once was.  I left work early and wasted half a day to talk to their rep who had absolutely nothing useful to say.  All he did was hand me a technical data sheet (available online) — for the wrong engine — and then tell me I was wasting his time.

Yanmar: thanks for wasting my time.

Since then I have been looking at a few other engines.  I am really liking the looks of the Beta 38 and Beta 43.  The Beta 38 is nice and small, I really like their “make routine maintenance easy” strategies, and apparently they will help you make custom mounts (although it may be pretty easy to drop in place).  The downside is that FOT is 3600 RPM and cruising is probably somewhere around 3000 RPM, which is high.  The Beta 43 is a bigger engine (still smaller than my 4-107), but FOT is only 2800 RPM, which is really nice.  I have also done a little looking at the Westerbeke 44c Four, with FOT of 3000 RPM and some other nice stuff.

I have been finding this guy’s analysis, which is really recent, to be pretty useful.  I’m having a bit of difficulty deciding what kind of HP I actually need because the only Acapulco 40 design specs I can find have displacement at either 19k lbs or 22.5k lbs.  The pre-purchase data sheet I have for the boat (and my registration) say 30k lbs.  Waterline length is around 30 ft.  Hull speed is probably somewhere between 7-7.5 kts.  My current engine is 37 HP so I probably can’t go wrong around 38-44 HP which is where all the engines I’m considering lie.  Torque may be another matter but maybe before I worry about anything else I’ll just see if I can even get my hands on any of these engines here in Singapore (or in Thailand).  I’m also still trying in vain to get a quote for work to fix up my current engine.

Also yesterday I tinkered around briefly with the foot pump mounted in the galley floor.  It’s a Whale Tiptoe Mk IV.  It’s got some plumbing attached, which I traced — none of it is currently hooked up to anything.  I made a quick attempt to get water from the tanks pumping through it by hooking it up via a usually-closed drain valve, but it didn’t work and I ran out of time.  Doesn’t seem like it’ll be too hard to get it plumbed in though.

I also took a variety of measurements for various stuff.  I’m planning to get some cargo nets and pockets made to hang in various places — underneath the solar panels, possibly along the stanchions near the cockpit, and up on some of the bulkheads or other empty vertical space in the cabin.  Took all kinds of measurements for those.

I measured the solar panel mounts so I can figure out panel replacement options.  I have three 20+ year old Kyocera 43.5W panels, one of which has died, with the other two pumping out not-too-much power.  I’m liking the looks of the Kyocera KC85T quite a bit: two of them will fit almost perfectly on the existing mounts, and give me a nice 170W at peak.  There is also a possible 90W local option, although the shape isn’t quite as good for my mounts.  I did a little research last night on charge controllers.  While it’s not MPPT, I kind of like the Xantrex C40, which is PWM, because it’s not too expensive and can act as either a charge controller or a load diversion controller, which might be useful if I ever mount a wind generator.

1 Comment

Filed under electrical, galley, mechanical, planning, plumbing

One Response to How not to sell an engine; other engines; solar; etc

  1. Lee

    When I think about it, the engine thing reminds me about our diesel heater. when I called up Ocean Options and talked to a salesman about getting our heater serviced. He didn’t know the price of the service, or how long it would take, or much about anything except that he was sure that for a 38′ boat we needed the next larger size heater. Never had a problem with our heater during the winter, it was only when it started running intermittently in the spring and fall that it had issues.

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