The Sad Saga of the Yanmar

Galway, Ireland. “Into the Mystic” has a very solid, very reliable but very noisy engine. She boasts an inboard diesel engine, manufactured by Yanmar. It’s a 1GM10 for those familiar with the breed. In all its years of service, it never gave so much as a hint of trouble, and started almost immediately, except for those days when the battery was flat. At that, the engine would usually start after about 30 or 45 seconds of breathless hand-cranking.

In 2010 I was disgusted to find that the engine had seized up. Even though I had winterized the engine in late 2007, the exhaust muffler was filled with salt water, and the moist air made its way back into the cylinder via the exhaust valve.

I arranged a makeshift crane assembly and attached it to the side of the house. Amusingly, during the scant few hours that the jury-rigged crane was attached, Google Streetview wandered by. For those who know where I live, the the streetview of my house includes the strange crane attachment. I hope they come back soon, and take another image!

I managed to rebuild the engine by honing the cylinder wall, and replacing the piston rings. I also replaced the valves and had the valve seats ground down by a specialist engine facility in Dublin. However, even with all of that, I couldn’t get any kind of compression in the engine, and I was forced to give up.

The engine sat balefully in my garage, for a few years and in March of 2014, I brought the engine to the local Engine Guy (Fergus at Marine World) who managed to discover a few additional issues, including two bent valves (new!). It was great to hear the thing fire into life again, even if it sounds suspiciously like a cement mixer.

As the engine mounts have also corroded in the intervening years, I now need to install four new engine mounts and the re-assemble the jury-rigged crane so I can lift the engine back into the boat. I’m in no rush to do this, as it is warm and dry in my garage, so the installation will have to wait for a few other tasks before I’m ready to drop it back in.

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About Dermot Tynan

Part-time sailor, full-time procrastinator. Software Engineer, Writer, Film-maker. Interested in all things cloud, sailing, autonomous systems and robotic sailboats.

Galway, Ireland