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Barry's Blog #161 - The real engine test

Updated: Jan 16, 2021

It's all well and good running the newly rebuilt engine of A B Sea whilst we're tied to the pontoon and seeing that everything works and there are no fluids leaking. The real test is to untie the lines and put the engine under load for an hour out in the open water. And that's what we did.

We woke up to a beautiful late November sunny day in Kaş marina, Turkey and checked the weather forecast. No wind was predicted but that wasn't an issue because we wouldn't be sailing we'd be motoring.

The last time we'd arrived back into the marina we'd put on our lines with the big steel shock absorbing springs, so our first task was to swap them out for slip lines. Once everything was prepared for departure I radioed the marineros to come and assist us leaving. They could handle the lazy line at the bow, whilst I focused on steering and Aannsha slipped the port aft line.

Deep down inside I knew that we'd done a good job with the engine rebuild and I was confident that there would be no problems, but there's always the cautious part of me that feels a little nervous. I calmed my nerves by reassuring myself that we'd still have radio contact with the marina for the duration of the test and if the engine stopped we could call for assistance and get towed back to our berth.


Waving a thank you to the marineros as they headed back to their station I slowly increased the engine throttle and brought A B Sea up to 2,400rpm and she responded well by giving us 7.3 knots speed over ground. There was a little bit of white smoke from the exhaust but certainly nothing to worry about.

Keeping her at full throttle for at least 30 minutes also allowed me to check that the engine temperature remained steady and it did at 83C (181F). Every 10 minutes Aannsha took the helm whilst I went below to visually inspect the engine and engine bay. There were no leaks and the engine sounded how it normally does when running. My nerves began to fade.

Originally we'd planned to only go as far as the isolated danger near the entrance to the channel, but it was a warm sunny day and we were both enjoying being out of the marina so much, that we decided to make the trip a little longer and go out as far as the small Turkish islet of Gurmenli.

Turning around at the islet I dropped the engine revs to 2,000rpm, our speed dropped to 6.0 knots and the white smoke stopped coming out of the exhaust. It seems that 2,000rpm is the sweet spot. The engine temperature settled down to 80C (176F).

Back at the marina the marineros once again took care of tying the lazy line to the bow cleat and our friend Jim caught and tied off the stern lines. Keeping in mind that we now have a fully functioning turbo we made sure that we let the engine idle for 5 minutes after we were tied off at the pontoon. This was to allow the turbo to spin down from its very high working rpm and to allow the oil that cools it to drop in temperature.

With the engine turned off we went below to check the oil level and it was exactly as it was before we departed. I'd say that was a perfect test of the engine and we can now move forward with confidence.

A working holiday

A couple of weeks ago a guy called Alan Jacobson signed up as a new patron and we had an email conversation which was very interesting concerning reaching a wider and more specific audience.

His website features videos from sailors who review a product or service and give their thoughts on whether that product or service was good or bad. We've never made separate videos about products we use, they've always just been included as a segment in our weekly story telling. We felt that our videos were not the perfect fit for Alan's website, but we did think that we could make a new playlist of videos that focus solely on DIY maintenance and the products we use. For that we needed time.

To create those videos would mean going through all of our past videos, finding the segments we could use, making a new and separate video and creating a new playlist on YouTube.

There's no way that we could do that much editing work and still produce our regular weekly episode. So we've decided to make this week's video the last one for the next 4 weeks. The last 2 weeks in December and the first 2 weeks in January will be used to make the new videos and also spend some time with a hire car exploring and filming some of the local regions ancient sites and attractions.

Then we can come back refreshed and excited to hit the ground running for the new year. With that being said I'll take this opportunity to wish our readers, viewers, subscribers and patrons all the very best for a wonderful Christmas time and a bright and happy New Year. We'll see you in 2021.

To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.


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